In depth Eco Reco S3 Review


10 kW
Feb 28, 2011
Bay Area
This review is on the more recently released S3 model. Differences from the older M3 model may be minor but worth mentioning to those who haven't navigated the Eco Reco website and conducted other extensive research in depth:


1. It's 2" shorter.
2. It weighs 7 lbs less. Yes, that means it's still 27lbs, but much closer to what some call the competition (the 24lb E-Twow Booster).
3. Integrated bell on the brake handle.
4. Camera mount at the t-bar.
5. Rear body integrated brake light.
6. New battery chemistry.
7. 2-prong charger instead of 3-prong.
8. Rear drive tires are always solid. M3 had a solid front tire too, but an air tire is used in the front of the S3.
9. Price. Eco Reco heard you loud and clear. It's cheaper now.
10. Regenerative braking.

3 vs 5.
Model numbers ending in 3 have front suspension only.
If ending in a 5, it has both front and rear suspension.


- It's the only 36v system with this physical size. Other ones are much larger. Ones that are able to achieve a smaller size are only 24v.
- Durability. Many reports of people smacking their Eco Reco (M3) into things and it coming out unscathed.
- Extra wide handlebar for increase handling and maneuverability. A design for safety particularly when traveling at high rates of speed.

- If you’re new to all this electric rideables segment, know that 24v systems are for neighborhood casual riding, 36v is for work and 48v is a super workhorse. Prices will be based on what sized battery is used to juice the machine.
- If you're comparing this to an electric razor scooter, you can't appreciate the technology in batteries. These Li-ion batteries are much more compact and last much longer than SLA batteries used in Razors. They're also pricier. $350 battery vs a $35 SLA battery.
- Controllers cost about $100 retail.
- 36v brushless hub motors cost at least $130 retail.
- Add that up and you haven't even touched research and development nor the frame and other components of value.
- Doing the math, we're up at $580 already. So if you're thinking that's expensive, you're not appreciating the cost of electric vehicles in general. Before saying, "Wow, that's expensive", it's important to know what you're getting.
- The scooter has a specific purpose for a particular lifestyle. Comparing it to a motorcycle/scooter/car is irrelevant.

If you’re okay with a larger scooter with all things considered, go for it. Suspension will be better. You won’t feel the bumps of the roads nearly as much, but don’t complain that those 8” or larger wheels are getting in the way of you carrying it around public transportation. If you plan to pull the scooter out of your car’s trunk/boot and go for a leisurely ride, you probably don’t care how big or heavy the thing is.


Those complaining about the scooter aren't always clear that they're commenting on electric scooters in general rather than the Eco Reco scooters specifically.

There really is none at the moment. If you think it's too heavy, you'll be hard pressed to find a 36v electric scooter that weighs much less.
- The new carbon scooter is only 12lbs, but it's also got a 24v system and the range is only a fraction that of the Eco Reco S3. It goes by a number of names including the Zero.
- Some say that all their complaints about the Eco Reco M3/M5 models were solved by the E-Twow (pronounced E2W). That's a much bigger scooter, so if you're okay with that, then it may be the gem you're looking for.
- Eco Reco is an American company with local support for me as I'm in the Bay Area. This was a big deal for me as I'm tired of having to watch my hoverboard while it's charging on a cement floor with a fire extinguisher close by b/c I got it from a vendor in China (4th generation with Samsung cells so I'm a bit less concerned).
- Back to the price. I bought the Eco Reco S3 for a $100 discount with free shipping so it came out to be a lot less than what the E-Twow costs. Even if I could convince myself to love the E-Twow more, I can't justify the cost difference. In my mind, it has to be a lot better for me to fork over 30% more in dollars.

We know it's 27lbs, but what does that really mean?
It means it's a durable piece of machinery.
It means that when you carry it, it's going to be heavy regardless if it was a couple lbs lighter. It would have to significantly lighter for it to really make a difference. "Heavy starts at about 17lbs". Just think how heavy a backpack would have to be before you consider it "heavy."

Even lithium batteries have some weight to it. You’re not going to want the frame of your scooter to outweigh the weight of the battery it houses. I feel much more confident in the scooter traveling at 15mph+ when it’s got some good weight to it.

This is a vehicle that you can happen to fold up. This is very different from it being a heavy thing you lug around that you can happen to ride. Folding up and being portable is a feature of this vehicle. You should be riding it more than you're carrying it around. People don’t complain about mountain bikes which are heavier b/c they’re not really expected to carry it up in the air. Naturally, when something is carriable but it’s heavy, people are going to say so.

Holding it in the air while talking to someone for more than a couple minutes for most people will be something you want to avoid. You’ll naturally want to set it down and continue your conversation. That’s how heavy it is. Again, this is not a drawback of the Eco Reco. It’s an inherent quality of a durable foldable electric scooter. Keep in mind electric Razor scooters are heavier b/c of their SLA batteries and aren’t foldable.

When you see the picture of hot guy standing in on a bus holding one of these in his hands with a smile, remember he works out, the photoshoot only took a second and in real life, you’re going to have a lot more people around you. In a crowded bus, you can’t carry it horizontally like you’d imagine. Unless you want everyone hating on you, you’ll need to carry it vertically. Front tire faces down, gets anchored by your feet while you hold the stem anticipating the deck of the scooter will swing side to side which it will. In a crowded bus or train with standing occupants, you won’t have the luxury of folding it nicely under a seat.


It really does reach 20mph. I’m 154lbs, don’t work out (anymore) and stand 3” under the average height of an American male (which I Googled is 5’-10”). 15mph is fast for a scooter and 20mph is downright dangerous unless it’s a smooth road and you have no obstacles around you. This is coming from a guy who is very comfortable having ridden my non-electric recumbent tricycle downhill topping out a bit over 50mph for miles.

If you don’t care how your scooter looks like, size isn’t an issue, want to save some money and really like the trolley feature absent in the Eco Reco line of products, grab yourself a Glion. Not joking. I’ve yet to ride one, but I can almost tell already that it’s a good product.

1. Handlebar height. Some may think that there are only two heights b/c there are only two spring loaded buttons at two various heights. Not true. You don’t have to use the spring loaded buttons. The handlebar height secures with a few twists of a locking collar.


1. Locking collar vs a standard tube clamp. The locking collar looks a lot nicer. It offers clean lines and doesn’t shout “Look at me. I’m a generic bicycle part”, but it also means twisting it a few times to loosen and tighten every time you fold and unfold the scooter. A clamp has a bulky look to it and reminds you of a bicycle as opposed to proprietary parts of an Eco Reco, but at least it clamps down super quick.

2. The screen and throttle stick out quite a bit from the handlebar. This results in the handlebars not being able to fold all the way in when positioned ergonomically for actual riding. Not a big deal but maybe something to address in the next version of Eco Reco.


This isn’t a guide for whether you should have an electric scooter at all. Although that would be a good question to ask yourself. We’re talking Eco Reco S3 here.

1. If you’re new to the Eco Reco community, get the S3. It’s the cheapest of the bunch. If you’ considering the S5, just ask yourself if you’ll miss suspension every time you ride it or if you’ll miss your $100. As previously mentioned, I got an excellent deal on the S3 (sorry, which has since expired), so my savings neared $200 when compared to the rear suspension model. I took the money and claimed my S3.

2. If you really need or want something compact, but also want the torque and speed a 35v electric scooter has to offer, you don’t have much of a choice.

3. You really care that Eco Reco plants a tree for every scooter they sell.

4. You live in the Bay Area and want to buy from a local company.

5. You really don’t like the flashy designs and colors from other e-scooter companies.

I love all electric rideables so this was just another toy to add to the fleet. I knew I wanted one and just had to find an excuse to fork over the money. When it came down to it, it was for no other reason than it being a hobby and I just enjoy the thrill of the ride and ownership of unique vehicles.


1. I considered the CityGo Urban on Indiegogo, but the look of it was too slick for me. I need something more rugged my girlie personality. Price was very comparable, but performance was still under par. It was 24v. I have experience with 24v vehicles and they’re nothing to get excited about and don’t complain about inability to climb hills b/c it’s not expected to do more than go around the block a few times.
2. It’s also a kick assist vehicle much like the E-Micro One. Not sure I was ready for something like that. I want to just pull the throttle and let loose.
3. I couldn’t help but to look into the E-Twow since people seemed to be raving about it over the Eco Reco’s, but in the end, it’s just too big for me. I really wanted something I could trust that’s American (probably made in China, but backed by an American company at least) for safety reasons but also for reliability. Having local support of a company in my area was a big plus.
4. The Inokim Quick 3 is being released soon, but it’s out of my price range.
5. City Bug 2 looks cool and within my budget, but again, the 24v system is too weak.
6. The Kleefer scooters go by another name, but it was still beyond my budget. Very cool folding design, but looks weird.

Looking to buy your own electric stand up scooter but not sure that the Eco Reco S3 is right for you? My guide on how to select one may be helpful:

If you've gotten this far, you deserve a video. Here's an unlisted one exclusively (at least for now) for the Endless-Sphere community. Enjoy:

Took the opportunity after my kids went to sleep (and wifey available to look after them) to go for a night ride. Craving for a boba.


My favorite place is only about a mile and a half away. A few things I learned:

1. Don't try to be gangsta and keep the handlebar low. It's really much more ergonomic to bring it up higher.

2. Yes, you need a headlight for visibility (others to see you).

3. Wear eye protection. As someone who has ridden a recumbent tricycle on a 5 day trip over 450 miles and sometimes exceeding speeds of 50mph, I am a big fan of glasses. Tifosi is my brand of choice. Reasonably priced, good quality and they have the transition style ones that get darker in the sun if you're into that sorta thing. One time I killed a fly by blinking as it flew into my eye. Don't really want that happening while on a scooter speeding 20mph.

4. I'm very glad the handlebars are as wide as they are. As well seasoned as I think I am from having going skiing, snowboarding, recumbent triking, electric bicycling, mini electric bicycling, hoverboarding, pedal scootering, I still feel the need for a wide handlebar. It's so much more stable.

5. Going 15mph is scary. As long as I'm paying attention, I actually think night riding is safer. A lot fewer cars and it's a lot more obvious where the cars are (assuming they have their headlights on). In the daytime, parked cars, cars coming in and out of traffic can sometimes blend into the entire scenery and almost make it feel 2D. Weird analogy and most probably can't relate, but the point is that headlights are easier to see at night time than moving cars in the day. Arguable I know, but that's the way I feel. Nowadays in the big city, people speed through stop signs and red lights equally as often in the daytime as they do at night. Very unfortunate, but that's reality and it's only going to get worse.

6. I should wear gloves. So cold out there. Sensitivity to the handlebars is important to me and gloves take away from that, but you don't see BMX riders, motorcross riders shying away from gloves. I'll wear 'em the next time around.

7. I should really wear a helmet if I'm riding at night. Safer from cars I feel, but tougher to see the pot holes and unevenness of the road. Almost ran into one which I'm not confident the 6" wheel would have taken easily. When speeding down the hill even at just 15 mph, I can't help but to think how tragic it would be if I were to take a spill. I can be bad, really bad. Maybe I'm just taking it (close to) the limit today since the Eco Reco S3 is still to me and I'm just excited. Perhaps later on as I get used to the thrill, I won't be riding around so fast and taking unnecessary risks. I'd only go 20 mph on a flat smooth road with no obstacles in a place I'm familiar with 20 mph on a scooter is very fast. Danger kinda fast.

8. People like the Eco Reco S3. One verbal comment, "That's a nice scooter" as a couple guys came out of the bar and caught me taking this photo:


Another turned his head as I road by up hill. All black, kinda stealthy. Simple, yet rugged look of the Eco Reco S3 does have a particular charm to it. Loving it so far.

9. It climbs up hill a lot better than I thought it would. 7-8 mph on the hill I took in the street at a 3.5% grade. The scooter could've gone faster, but I know from my experience with electric vehicles that when the motor starts to sound like a high pitched whine, you know you're pushing the motor too much. When it makes that awful sound, you're only getting another 1-2mph in speed, so it's just not worth the poor battery efficiency to gain that tiny bit of speed. Much better to just keep it steady at what the scooter is capable of. It'll be obvious when you ride it when the sound of the motor changes.

I moved up to the sidewalk midway through and the motor was much more comfortable. 9-10 mph before the whining kicked in. Felt better and much more comfortable ride than the rough pavement of the street. In the daytime, this can be fairly dangerous w/o any reverse lights shining into driveways to warn you of cars coming out in front of you. I felt comfortable at this speed up the hill.

10. Your stance will be important. I like having my front foot pretty much parallel to the length of the deck and the back foot almost completely perpendicular. Front foot in this fashion allows my body to comfortably face in the forward direction of motion while allowing me to balance left and right with the back foot (snowboard/skateboard style).

11. Pressure on the board is important too. This is different going along flat surfaces vs downhill. On flat surfaces, I like having my weight evenly distributed. When starting off, I'll have more weight on the front foot as I prepare for the sudden jerk of the throttle which I haven't perfected to make gradual. Going down hill, a lot more of my weight is on the back foot b/c I'm not able to yet feather the brake well enough. It's pretty jerky when I first initiate the brake pedal and it's not even adjusted for increased sensitivity. Normally, I like the brake pedal very sensitive such that I barely touch it and it engages to bite down hard. After experiencing braking while going downhill though, I found that I prefer a much more gradual braking distance. This allows me to not have to change my shift in weight so suddenly.

12. Including my stop and go from my 6.0 mile commute the other day + this evening's 1.5 (one way), I only used up one bar of battery:


This was before all the downhill stuff, so a lot of this was up hill. Range is impressive. At this rate it seems I can go 37.5 miles on a charge. Highly doubtful though b/c in my experience the first bar of battery has the most range. The last bar is only a fraction of that. I don't doubt that on flats, it can easily reach the 20 miles that Eco Reco claims. I wouldn't be surprised if it exceed that by 5 or so miles. I'd like to test it.
kmxtornado said:
tougher to see the pot holes and unevenness of the road.
Put your headlight about halfway between eye level and road level, or lower, so that you can see the shadows cast by uneven areas of the road, and make sure it casts enough light far enough away to let you see the road a few seconds away from you, to give you reaction and judgement time.
Thanks! That's a great tip. I currently have it at about handlebar height but I should probably drop it down a tad to better see the texture of the road.

1. If you just ordered the S3 take some time to order yourself a headlight. I recommend the vertical type as opposed to the round or horizontal ones. It helps keep it slim when the scooter's folded. I currently have mine set up on the top part of the stem, but when I get a band long enough, I'd like to remount it to the main bottom stem which is wider and doesn't slide. The current location on the top stem makes it such that I can't collapse it to be as compact as it was designed to be.

2. When you unpack the scooter, the first thing you should do is admire your new purchase of course! Next, pull out an allen wrench (not included) and loosen the bracket that holds the brake to the handlebar. You want to slide it down so that it's ergonomic to your height and stance. It's angled the way it is out of the box only to be compact for packaging. It's not at all supposed to be angled upwards like it is.

3. Make sure the front wheel nut is on tight. In my research, a couple people have experienced the front wheel getting loose and eventually falling off. Yes, really. So make sure that's tight. I don't know if the details of what the circumstances really where and don't really care, but keep that thing on tight just in case. I'd check it every now and then.

4. You know you want to do the speed test. Look at the dial again and note the perimeter shows the speed in fixed numbers. The digital screen itself will show bars corresponding to the fixed digits to tell you the speed. This is very unconventional for a scooter which normally would just have a digital reading right smack in the middle of the screen. No so here, so just be aware of that. You don't want to be fumbling trying to figure stuff out as you're approaching 20mph on less than perfect road conditions b/c you're so desperate to max out the speed limit.

5. Practice folding and unfolding the scooter. It's pretty simple, but just do it a couple times so you're not fussing with it on your commute when your time counts the most. I found that sometimes I'd be at the bus stop having just gotten off and trying to set up the scooter only to find that the scooterless people who walked off with me have already reached the next bus stop. Boo!

6. If you're in a big City and have some concern about theft, you should be. There've only been a few reported incidences of hoverboard theft from what I've seen and I follow the scene fairly closely. If the weight of the scooter hasn't held the thief back, keep in mind the scooter is much faster, giving the thief the ability to abandon you pretty quickly. Chances may be slim and even slimmer if you're a 290lb and/or often get mistaken for a UFC fighter, but still.

I can't stress enough how dangerous it can be going 20mph on a stand up scooter with 6" wheels and single suspension particularly in city riding. Nothing wrong with the scooter. You just need to know what you're dealing with and take it seriously. This really is like a supercharged razor scooter from the 90's. A lot of people got hurt on the pedal Razor scooter back in the day. There were hospital injuries, lawsuits, etc. Realize you're going about 2x faster on this thing. Don't get overly excited.

On my recent 3-mile ride as I was going downhill at 12-15mph (varied b/c I had varying levels of being freaked out and feathered the brakes accordingly) on a dimly lit street, the only thing I could think of was how drastic the fall would be if I lost my footing, lost balance, hit a rock, needed to swerve, the wheel fell off, or whatever. No helmet, no gloves, no eye protection. It would've been bad, really bad. I've fallen on a few occasions doing other things and was about to tuck and roll to save myself and did think of reacting that way if I had to.
arent the eco reco scooters rebadged chinese scooters from somewhere?
i thought i saw the m3 rebadged but i dont know anything about s3. also, where did you get yours? i didnt see a link in your post for buying

and for whatever reason, all your images are dead.
Looks similar and there was a discussion about that in the kickstarter thread where Eco Reco replied. Some follow up on the kickstarter website too: It's comforting that Jay, the owner of Eco Reco reaches out to respond.

I don't want to make this thread redundant, so feel free to read up on that there. From what I gather, Eco Reco does have control over the design. They've partnered up with the original Taiwanese designer and made their own modifications and improvements. They do more than just slap on a sticker. I wouldn't consider them resellers. I read an article recently regarding a company named ROHM that makes sensors. Eco Reco is working with them to explore the idea of embedding sensors in the deck such that if a rider falls, a phone call is automatically made to a predetermined emergency number. Interesting concept.

I prefer American companies if at all possible for CE standards and all that technical safety jaz. To me, it's important. San Jose where Eco Reco is based isn't that far away from me and I'd like to think that they keep an eye out on quality control of their batteries and other components. It also helps that there's a phone number I can call, a person who is fluent in my language for correspondence and what I find the most helpful is the Eco Reco posts a lot of DIY instructional videos on Youtube that go over how to swap out a batter, remove the tire, etc. Although I can sometimes figure it out, I like that they put effort into showing us and the videos are very thorough.

If you read the first bit of the article above, you'll know as much as you need to about the S3. I purchased mine from an online retailer. I don't think I'm supposed to discuss it here according to the rules. You can PM me for my source. It's not a secret. I just don't want to do anything against the forum regulations. They're not a sponsor here. The sale is over though, so if I were to buy it now, I'd probably get it straight from Eco Reco's website. Warranty will be best if you buy it from them directly.
kmxtornado said:
I prefer American companies if at all possible for CE standards and all that technical safety jaz.
If you mean the "CE" logo on things, that's the European Conformity standard. ;)
Yes, that's what I meant. Thanks for the clarification. From what I understand the European ones are even more stringent. I forget what it's called, but motorcycle helmets have a DOT equivalent too that's used in Europe. Point being that there's a stamp of some sort unlike the hoverboards being shipped out these days. I've got a fourth generation one, so I'm not that concerned about it since I've also opened it up to find at least a Samsung "label" (doesn't mean the cells are actually Samsung though).
I love the review (biased as I am) - thank you for posting it. Always nice when my Google Alerts send me something to brighten my day.

Edit: I wanted to mention because you were talking about brake sensitivity, that we have a bunch of videos on our Youtube channel related to various repair/maintenance/customization tasks. Brake adjustment is one of them.
Yes, the videos is one of the reasons I chose Eco Reco. I don't know whether to be disappointed or excited that the Model R is coming out so soon. The S series just came out earlier this year.
tung256 said:
arent the eco reco scooters rebadged chinese scooters from somewhere?
i thought i saw the m3 rebadged but i dont know anything about s3. also, where did you get yours? i didnt see a link in your post for buying

and for whatever reason, all your images are dead.

Definitely more development on this upcoming model:
Eco Reco is also collaborating with Tile, the bluetooth locator company. Definitely not something a Chinese company would be doing. Eco Reco's getting pretty involved with other technology to integrate into the new Model R. Should be very exciting.

kmxtornado said:
Definitely not something a Chinese company would be doing. Eco Reco's getting pretty involved with other technology to integrate into the new Model R. Should be very exciting.

In all fairness, we're successful in part because our founders are Taiwanese and Chinese, and they are able to effectively navigate and control the supply chain, as well as interface with the team in China. It's an enormous advantage that cannot be overstated.

That said, because we're a US company with the goal of having a strong presence here, we also lack the disadvantages that many of our exclusively-importing competitors face in terms of connecting to big name US companies looking for cool products to share co-marketing space with.
*high five*, glad to be part of the Eco Reco family. Can't wait to get on my next ride.

Not specific to the Eco Reco, but I imagine all scooters pick up quite a bit of dirt being that the deck is slow low to the ground. Time for a quick wipedown this weekend. I shared my S3 with a friend of mine yesterday during our lunch break and let her run around with it w/the motor off to get the hang of a scooter since neither of us have really been on one since we were probably 12 (that's over 20 years ago). Switching on the motor, she was wowed, cracked a big grin but perhaps too much torque for a small newbie who's only been on it for 2 minutes. I'm sure she or anyone else will get the hang of it after a few rides. Biggest tip is to look up. Just like skiing. Your body will react quicker than your eyes. It is a good idea to keep notice of the ground more than you would on a bicycle or most other rideables merely b/c of the small size 6" wheels of the Eco Reco inherent to a scooter that's designed to be smaller, lighter in weight and compact (for an electric). The wheels definitely won't take bumps as well as larger wheels but that's the sacrifice for the portability which I was aware of and took on with full force.

A lot of reviews I've read on Amazon and other sites have complaints of electric scooters in general and aren't specific to the brand that they tested. "It's too heavy (more than 15lbs), it's too expensive (more than $500)", etc and that's to be expected. Would-be buyers aware of the limitations and physics of electric stand up scooters will be better able to appreciate the scooter they end up buying not only for what it is, but for what it's not.
Hills Hills and Hills:

I'm just as curious as everyone else. How does the Eco Reco S3 perform on hills? Here's a shot of what was in store this afternoon:


If that looks familiar, I was inspired by this video from Eco Reco: The test is to go up to that building and continue on up the S-curve to the right. I've been up this hill on foot and experienced it on a number of rideables: recumbent mountain trike, recumbent road trike, and my college bike converted to electric. I never taken the time to measure the actual percentage grade until today. Whipping out the iphone, I open up the compass app and swipe right. 4 degrees which equates to 8.7%. Not nearly as much as I was expecting.

Took a rolling start from the bottom flatter area and gently pulled the throttle. It flew up the first portion fairly quickly over 12mph. I was a bit confused b/c I was expecting to hear the motor run hard making a whining sound indicating it's reached its limit forcing me to lighten up the throttle so I don't put too much stress on the machine.

That didn't happen.

The scooter kept going. What? I think I slowed to maybe 10mph at the steepest portion which was the 8.7% grade area. A majority was at 7%. Before I knew it, I was at the top looking down.


The trail in the background isn't the same route I took.

I wouldn't hesitate to take the Eco Reco S3 up that hill again. Prior to actually taking it up there, I was thinking I'd only do it for this test but not subject my new toy to such a vigorous task, but the S3 is blind to the challenge. I'm sure the smooth concrete sidewalk helped. The scooter would've performed very differently on the street with vehicular traffic. That'll be my test for next time. The city built a bike lane so it softens up the danger factor quite a bit. Don't think I'll be coming down the same route though. The sidewalk coming down is definitely the way to go. May seem dangerous for pedestrians but that portion of sidewalk is actually quite wide and the brakes on the Eco Reco S3 kick in pretty quickly and takes an initial bite hard enough to lunge you forward if you don't feather it intentionally and/or aren't prepared.

Although the S3 reacts to the brake lever fairly immediately as it should, pulling harder doesn't bring it to a stop nearly as quickly as I would have liked. I'm sure there needs to be a gradual slow for safety reasons but even at just a few miles an hour before an anticipated stop, the brakes system doesn't bite down that hard when coming to a final rest. Could be just a matter of brake adjustment which I'll play around with sometime. I'm sure disk brakes would perform better, but it adds to the bulk and requires a lot more maintenance and adjustments. Glad Eco Reco stuck with the drum brakes. Something I'll need to get used to for a machine stops from 20mph.

What impressed me before riding the S3 is this video of the M3: No reason for the poster to lie about it, but I did have some doubts originally. That's one steep hill and it's in the snow! Surely the guy had to pedal it midway up, but considering his age, the grade, terrain, he made it up pretty quickly. After having ridden the S3 myself up my own big hill, I can totally see how that video is possible.