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Factors to consider when buying electric scooters for off-roading in the US

Written by Fiona

March 25 2020

Riding a two-wheeled kick scooter has increased in popularity over the years in America. A steel bar, plastic wheel kick scooter was the item on hundreds of kids’ wishlists for Christmas. Since the rise of its popularity, companies have taken it upon themselves to completely re-design the nifty ride to accommodate adventurous kids and adults alike. 

Being much more economical, while also ditching traffic and the frustration of looking for a parking spot, scooters have become a common way to commute to work and other social events. But if you really want to take things to a next level, investing in an off-road unit is the way to go.

Off-road scooters can be driven on rough terrains and dirty roads in America. Please note, for UK readers, electric scooters are not yet legal except on private land and they are not legal anywhere for anyone under 14. 

Here is a list of factors you have to consider when buying an electric scooter. 

Wheels and tyres

Wheels and tyres are two of the most important aspects when buying an off-road scooter. Their durability and type will ensure a safe ride.

If you are going to stay on sidewalks, cobble stone pathways and tar roads you can opt for slick wheels. For off-roading, you will need thicker tyres that can endure all terrains. Some tyres have specially designed surfaces that will allow them to grip better and avoid slipping in mud. 

Make sure you invest in a tyre that is able to take a beating from sharp stones, thorns and hard grounds. Air-filled tyres are the best for shock absorption. Even though they need maintenance and care, they are still better than airless tyres. 

When you are a beginner at off-roading, you can consider a scooter with four wheels or even three. For more skilled riders you can purchase a two-wheeled model. Take a few different options for a test ride to see which wheels and tires you prefer. 

Check out Electric Now’s quality review list for off-road scooters here: https://www.electricridenow.com/off-road-electric-scooters

Scooter seat

Kick scooters were originally designed without a seat. Standing and balancing on it is what makes it so much fun. If you feel more comfortable with a seat, then you can consider buying a scooter with a seat. 

It’s different to a normal road scooter’s seat, which forms a full part of the body structure. Instead the seat is similar to a bicycle. 

Weight load and size

Find an off-road model that fits your weight and size. Riding on a model that is too small or too big can be extremely uncomfortable and might cause an accident. 

Depending on the design and brand model, it will have a different maximum load. Purchase a model that can take at least 10kg more than your actual weight. Models that can carry light weights will slow down and maybe even break, when heavier riders ride them. 

Consider the deck size, bar length and handle width. You should be able to stand comfortably on it without crouching down to reach the handle bars. Your feet should also have adequate space for you to keep your balance and stay stable.  

Portability and weight

When you’re heading out of the city, you want an off-road model that’s easy to transport. Whether it can fold up and be placed in the boot of your car or on the backseat, you need to be able to move it around easily. 

Some off-road models can be folded into compact units for easy maneuverability. 

Also bear in mind that the total weight of the unit will ultimately influence the way you can control it. Lightweight scooters are easier for kids to control, ride and carry around. 

Battery life

Check the maximum distance of the unit as this will give you an indication of how long the battery life is. The worst thing will be for your battery to run out of power and you to be stranded in the middle of nowhere. 

Also consider the charging time of the battery. Most batteries take between 2-4 hours to charge to full capacity. The balance between charging time and running time is important. You wouldn’t want to end up with a scooter that takes forever to charge only to ride for 30 minutes. 

Brakes 

Safety is extremely important and having a good quality brake system will keep you safe. Make sure that the brakes are of good quality and that they work well. Brakes will need regular check-ups to ensure they are in good condition. 

Lighting

Some off-road scooters come with built-in lights and reflectors. These will come in handy during an adventurous night ride. It also helps you to be visible to any other riders or vehicles. 

Motor power

The motor power is what will drive you up hills and through difficult terrains. Look at the wattage of the motor. Typical scooters start at 200 watts. Nothing less than 250 watts is recommended to adults.  For off-roading a wattage of up to 6270 is available in certain models. 

Even units with 500 watts will slow down while climbing steep hills, so if you are serious about riding off road you should consider a strong motor. 

Quality and manufacturing

Shopping around for the best off-road models you should consider the quality of the unit. Quality is influenced by the materials used during manufacturing. You wouldn’t want a model that’s made from plastic. 

Aluminum and pressed steel are durable materials used to manufacture high quality units, as are nuts, bolts or welding for joining parts together.

You will get a lot more quality for your investment when you buy a model from a reputable brand. Brands known in the off-scooter industry spent a lot of time perfecting and designing quality models for their consumers. 

Ditching fuel-driven cars and motorbikes, and opting for an eco-friendly electronic scooter is great. Not only will it provide hours of endless fun and adventure it is money well spent.  

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