If you live relatively close to your workplace or college, you are probably thinking about trying out some alternative solutions for transportation, especially if a big city is your home. We know that there are many models you can choose from, so if you feel a bit lost among all the options, don’t hesitate to check out some useful reviews of electric scooters for commuting.
The great part about these vehicles is that they are relatively cheap to purchase, and additional maintenance costs, in the long run, are significantly lower than those of owning a car. This means that you can enjoy the urban mobility you need without spending a fortune and also protecting the environment in the process.
The fact that scooters are handy units that can take you a long way in a crowded city has made them an increasingly popular solution. While it’s true that some areas, such as New York City, are not officially allowing them on the streets, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check the local regulations in your area and see if you can enjoy the benefits they bring.
On the other hand, since buying an electric scooter might feel like an important decision similar to buying a car (granted, a smaller or cheaper one), we thought that you could use some tips on what to look for as you are going through the alternatives.
A little bit about how to choose
We know that one of the major factors influencing your decision is the cost of the scooter. The good part is that you can find models in several price ranges, going from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand. In this case, the cheaper products come with fewer features, while the more expensive ones offer outstanding performance.
You might already have a budget set in mind, but before you go and buy a scooter, the first thing you want to ask yourself is how you are going to use it. If we’re only talking about a couple of miles that you need to cover every day to get to work, and the route is not that complex (with heavy traffic or sloped streets), then you will do just fine with a cheaper model.
However, in case the distance to get to work is larger (such as over 10 miles) and various other conditions might affect your ride, then going for a high-end scooter is a better idea. This way, you’ll have more features to keep you safe and comfortable at all times, which is crucial when using such a device, especially since the traffic can get quite agitated.
Once you have a general idea about how often you are going to use the scooter and what conditions the route includes, you can take a look at some of the characteristics in order to make the right choice for your needs.
The range refers to the overall distance a scooter can cover before needing to be recharged. Manufacturers provide a lot of information on this topic, but the truth is that performance varies depending on numerous other factors.
These include the way the vehicle is ridden, the user’s total weight (backpack included if that’s the case) and whether the route is a complex one with sloped streets and hills. Therefore, if you want to be careful and choose a model that will not run out of battery before you get home, the rule of thumb says you should take the range stated by the manufacturer and divide it by two.
According to some studies, it appears that manufacturers tend to overestimate the performance of their products by 30% when it comes to range. This is most probably because they run tests in contained environments, while the streets you ride on every day are a completely different matter.
You might need to hit the brakes more often than you’ve thought because of traffic, while the various weather conditions or the quality of the pavement can have a significant impact over the entire journey. One thing you can do is gather some data over several days on your own routes and then compile it to get an accurate picture of what the actual range of your vehicle is.
Among the tips and tricks offered by experienced riders is leaving an extra charger at your destination, if you want to make sure that you don’t run out of battery. However, in case this eventually happens once, you can always kick to push the scooter. This might involve more effort on your part, but it gets the job done.
Weight is normally a very important consideration, and in our case, it’s even more so since we’re talking about scooters for ladies. You want to be able to fold and carry the device whenever you need to, especially if your commute includes stairs, public transportation, or elevators.
Maybe one evening you want to stay out a bit longer with your friends and then go home with a cab. You will need to be able to fold and carry the scooter without too much hassle. That’s why you should carefully go through the information provided by the manufacturer on this topic and see which options suit you.
Plus, if you have friends who already ride scooters, you can ask them to let you test one out and see whether you are comfortable with a certain weight. You should also be aware that high-end scooters usually involve more features that add to the unit’s weight, making these heavier.
That’s why, when it comes to this particular aspect, cheaper alternatives tend to seem like a better choice. The general rule says that most scooters that have a reasonable range (which means over 15 miles) weigh around 25 lbs. or more. A device that’s heavier than 30 lbs. will be rather difficult to carry, especially for longer periods, so it’s not a very advisable alternative.
On the other hand, a shoulder strap or a handle can definitely help, while some models also feature folding configurations that allow them to be rolled. Before you make your choice, it’s a good idea to visit a sporting goods store in order to see what weight you can manage, and then imagine carrying it for several minutes over some stairs.
We all know that scooters cannot attain high speeds, but this is not such a major factor given that we’re talking about urban traffic. Truth be told, many times you cannot really move on crowded streets, let alone speed up. However, as a general rule, the scooter that you choose should be able to attain around 15 mph.
Some municipalities have rules against such vehicles that can go faster than this limit, so this is the threshold you need to keep in mind. Also, most of the times, 15 mph is more than enough to effectively move from one location to the next within a city.
Of course, there are options that allow you to go much faster, and these are the extreme performance scooters that also tend to cost a lot more than the average one.
And since we’ve mentioned speed, it’s a good moment to remind you about safety. You should always wear the right gear that protects you from any potential accident, especially if you do plan to go rather fast.