Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES2 Review
Pros: Fast, front suspension, cruise control
Cons: Limited travel radius, bulky/long frame, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This scooter has great breaking in descent scenarios, yet it delivered an inconsistent performance throughout the rest of the evaluation. The ES2 is fast, has a sharp look, and it has some nifty features such as an atmosphere (ground) light and cruise control. However, it's a little uncomfortable to carry, it failed to top the steepest hills, and, most notably, it has a below-average travel radius.
Our passion is producing consumer reviews that cut to the chase with practical, head-to-head product evaluations so you are more likely to pick the right product the first time around. To achieve this, we bought many of the top electric scooters on the market and ran them through a grinding set of tests that simulate how they are likely to be used out in the wild.
For the purposes of this review, we delineate power in a scooter as the ability to climb hills and maximum flat ground speed. The hill tests are conducted on a 3.5% and a 10.5% grade. While the ES2 impressed all with its 16+ mph max speed, it left us scratching our heads when it stalled out 3/4 of the way up the steeper of the two hills and slowed considerably on the shallower test slope.
The range assessment has two components, travel radius and charging time. Travel radius is subdivided into maximum and effective miles. The prior is the number of miles that a scooter can travel on flat ground at any speed, the later is the number of miles that the machine can travel at or near max speed. The ES2 left a lot to be desired in the range category traversing a mere 8.5 effective miles (9 miles max) on a full charge. However, it did recharge swiftly (3.5 hours), which is nice since it will need to be charged more frequently.
The Ninebot has one of the best braking systems we've seen, which is good because it has a 16+ mph cruising speed. The scooter employs a front electronic and rear fender brake that makes 16 foot stops going 12 mph (which is average for the group). More impressive though, it can easily hold a safe speed when descending steep hills.
Our analysis of the braking envelope of each scooter is the product of two tests. First we look at the ability of the machine to maintain control by regulating speed while descending a 15% grade. Second we run multiple flat ground stopping tests using both the hand lever brake as well as the lever in combination with the fender brake if available on the model being tested. The flat ground tests are standardized at ~12 mph and the results are averaged over three consecutive tests.
The Ninebot ES2 is the only scooter in this review with solid rubber tires that scores high marks in the ride category. The reason for this is that the ride metric is an assessment of how smooth the product feels when it traverses cracks and bumps in the road and solid tires lack "give" and thus issue a lot of feedback to the rider.
To mitigate the sensitivity issue without scraping the maintenance-free benefit of solid tires, Segway utilizes front and rear shocks. We have to say, it helps a lot. And, as a result, this scooter received marks comparable to the models with pneumatic tires.
Portability is a chief concern for the commuter crowd because the scooter has to be folded, picked up, and stored when it's not being ridden. The ES2 does pretty well in this category with a couple of notable exceptions. At 45 inches, this scooter is quite long for the class. Also, the carrying handle is a large diameter tube that may pose problems for those with smaller hands. That's said, the unit is lighter than most at 27.2 pounds.
As indicated above, our portability tests assess those features that render a scooter easy to portage. In addition to the length and weight, we evaluated folding ease and carrying latch functionality. The ES2 garnered top of the class marks in both of these categories as the folding action is quick, easy, and intuitive while the carrying latch is simple to secure and stays put even when unweighted.
The Ninebot Segway ES2 is one of the more expensive scooters in our review and yet its overall performance is about average. Normally, a cost to performance ration like this would lead us to say that this model does not offer a significant value to the consumer. However, if you will be descending steep hills on the regular, then the performance of this model's braking system will balance out the scales, rationalizing the cost of this scooter.
Segway produces a scooter with aesthetic lines that boogies when you pin the accelerator, and its brake system is competitive with the best in the class. However, this product misses the mark on some key features such as travel radius and hill-climbing power. Add to these shortfalls some sticker shock and we think you'll agree that there are other products more worthy of your attention unless you will be regularly descending steep hills. If this is your situation, the cost is warranted.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer