Cheap folding "carbon" scooters any good?

Lightweight / Folding / Portable EVs - seats optional
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MaxPowers   1 mW

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Cheap folding "carbon" scooters any good?

Post by MaxPowers » Jun 17 2017 6:49pm

I am looking for a lightweight scooter for occasional use at the park and have been looking at the swagatron swagger and the similar clones on alien press for $400. Are these things worth it? We do not want to spend to much because we want to see how much we like it. If we like it we may get a better one down the road.

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Kneelb4ZOD   1 W

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Re: Cheap folding "carbon" scooters any good?

Post by Kneelb4ZOD » Jul 24 2017 7:00pm

When you say "at the park", what exactly do you mean? Riding on sidewalks would be great, taking it to a skatepark is a good way to break it. Riding anything with 5 inch wheels on dirt or grass is not going to be very enjoyable. This is something that is designed and excels on sidewalks, asphalt, and other smooth surfaces. It's a last mile commuter vehicle. If you plan on doing tricks on it you're better off getting a scooter without a motor that will survive constant abuse.

There are actually a ton of different manufacturers making nearly identical small folding carbon scooters using the same or similar components. The quality of the individual components like hub motor, controller, throttle control are similar across the board (the component parts like throttle, hub motor, controller may be identical between a lot of them), but the folding mechanism and frame can differ significantly in terms of quality. They can be really convenient, but you should be prepared to do regular maintenance and repairs like you would on a bike. As long as you take care of it and use it as intended, and don't mind swapping parts out if something wears out and breaks you will probably like it a lot. Don't expect an indestructible tank which never requires repairs, even a car can break down, so as long as expectations are realistic I think the value to price ratio is pretty high.

That being said, I'm not a fan of 5 inch wheels. It's too small to be safe and comfortable. It's a trade off when weight and portability are important. 10 inch scooters are amazing but taking it places feels like a chore, 8 inch wheels are just big enough to take you through most urban environments but you will not want to carry it anywhere for longer than a minute or two, 5 inch wheels are fine as long as you are confident that you can avoid pot holes, ledges, and cobbled stones.

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