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Electric Scooter Types: How To Choose The Best Scooter For You

The electric scooter market is booming, and the surge in popularity has sparked the interest of many potential riders. But it can be quite challenging to find the best option for your circumstances and preferences, with so many different factors to consider. How can you choose the best one?

When it comes to buying an electric scooter, consider your commute, riding style, budget, and design preferences. We recommend that beginners start with an electric kick scooter that has a range of 15-20 miles, a weight of 20-30 pounds, and drum or disc brakes. Don’t forget the helmet.

We know there’s a lot to digest when it comes to the electric scooter market. Thankfully, we’ve compiled everything you need to know to get started in this guide. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to hit the shops and find the perfect scooter for you.

What Are Electric Scooters?

New black electric scooter isolated on white

What comes to mind when you imagine an electric scooter? It’s probably something that resembles a kid’s toy, right? Although there are children’s models, electric scooters are powerful personal electric vehicles for all ages.

Models typically contain a motor, deck, battery, and controller. Adult electric scooters have higher weight limits and can include a seat in some cases. You usually ride an electric scooter standing up and using the handlebars to maneuver around. If you’ve ever ridden a Lime or Bird Scooter, you’ll know what to expect.

Types of Electric Scooters

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing an electric scooter. You’ll need to know the different types before you get into specifications, brands, and price ranges. Here are the most common types of electric scooters available in today’s market.

Electric Kick Scooters

Electric kick scooters (on Amazon) are the most common type of scooter available. This type is probably what comes to mind when you think of a scooter: They have two wheels, a deck, and handlebars. Here are some advantages to electric kick scooters:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • They don’t take up a lot of space
  • Foldable options are available
  • Easy to maneuver around tight spaces, corners, crowds, and traffic
  • They typically come with various speed modes

Electric kick scooters are lightweight, portable, and easy to ride. You can easily fit one in the back of your car or trunk, especially if it’s a foldable model.

They’re also great if you need to hop on a bus or catch an Uber. They don’t have a high learning curve either. The elegant design allows you to weave through traffic and pedestrians with ease.

Electric Mopeds

Electric mopeds (on Amazon) barely break into the scooter category. They fall somewhere in between e-scooters and motorcycles. They run on electric motors and have wider wheels. Here are some advantages to electric mopeds:

  • Extended range
  • Broader and more comfortable seats
  • They typically have more power
  • Larger wheels and tires
  • They typically have a bit of cargo space
  • They often have mirrors, lights, and turn signals

Electric mopeds are almost always going to contain a saddle. This allows for easy riding and smooth commutes. You’ll also feel less pressure from the ground, as they have larger wheels and shock absorbers. Electric mopeds typically have extended ranges of up to 50 miles per charge, making them a more practical option.

One of the downsides to electric mopeds is that they may be regulated similarly to a vehicle under local laws. You might require a license, a registration, or other documents. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations before purchasing an electric moped.

Self-Balancing Electric Scooters

Self-balancing electric scooters are another option available. If you aren’t sure what they are, recall the 2016 hoverboard craze. These options can be enjoyable to ride but have a steep learning curve. Let’s separate self-balancing scooters into a few categories to give you a broader perspective.


You may remember in 2016 when hoverboards (on Amazon) gained a tremendous amount of popularity. Hoverboards have two wheels, an electric motor, and a battery. They’re hands-free, so you have to balance them with your hips and knees. Here are some advantages to hoverboards:

  • Fun to ride
  • They make a great gift
  • Off-roading models available
  • Fairly compact and lightweight, at around 25 lbs

Hoverboards can travel around 10-15mph and have a range of around 12 miles. Although they’re fun to ride and off-terrain models are available, you can’t go over curbs very easily. Hoverboards can have a steep learning curve as well.

High-quality hoverboards cost around $300-$500, making them a less affordable option. Hoverboards are designed more as a fun side toy rather than a practical means of transportation. That’s not to say you can’t cruise to your local convenience store or run basic errands on one.

Electric Unicycles

Another new edition to the personal electric vehicle market is the electric unicycle (on Amazon). Electric unicycles are precisely what you think they are. They’re motorized unicycles containing one wheel, a motor, and a battery. These models are straightforward to transport but extremely difficult to master. Let’s take a look at some of their advantages:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Fun to ride
  • Very cheap after the initial investment
  • They have decent range and speed capabilities
  • You can learn tricks and hop over curbs
  • Extremely nimble

Electric unicycles are a new technology. You may experience some bugs and malfunctions depending on your model. Or you might purchase a high-end option only to find an amazing new model released right afterward.

Generally speaking, electric unicycles can reach around 15 miles per hour and cover 20 miles on a single charge. The lightweight design makes them easy to carry and allows you to weave through crowds and traffic.

However, they may not be suitable for you if you aren’t already looking at electric unicycles. These products are very new and niche. They can also be extremely pricey, ranging from $300-$3,000. If you don’t want to take the time to master this option, it might not be suitable for you.

Fat-Tire Electric Scooters

Fat-tire electric scooters (on Amazon) are another option to consider. Picture a mini-bike or a small motorcycle. Fat-tire electric scooters can strike a balance between traditional scooters, motorcycles, and mopeds. Let’s take a look at some of their benefits:

  • They typically have a seat
  • More comfortable and interesting design
  • Fatter tires allow for off-roading
  • They’re typically more potent with increased speeds and extended range
  • Sometimes, they come with lights, mirrors, and turn signals

The larger tires on these models allow for more versatility. You’ll find it easier to traverse rough terrain and tackle some light off-roading. The added suspension and shock absorbers can provide a smoother riding experience. However, they can be a bit pricey if you’re looking at higher-end models.

How to Choose the Right Electric Scooter for Your Needs

New black electric scooter isolated on white

Now that you know all the different types available, we can start discussing how to choose the right electric scooter for your needs. Let’s discuss some of the basics you need to think about before purchasing an electric scooter.

Pick a Design That Works for You

The design of your electric scooter may be one of the most important factors to consider. As you’ve seen, there are a lot of types to choose from. The first question you should ask yourself is, “Do I want to stand or sit while I commute?” This question will help you determine whether you want a scooter with a seat.

Consider the Wheel Size

The wheel size is another basic consideration. You should look for adult scooters with wheels no less than 10 inches in diameter. Smaller-sized wheels result in rougher rides and are at risk of getting stuck in cracks.

You’ll need larger wheels if you plan on doing some off-roading or need something more robust. You may also require fat tires or treaded tires for rough terrain.

Solid or Air-Filled Tires

You have two options when it comes to tires: solid rubber (airless) and pneumatic (air-filled). These tires types have different pros, cons, and best-use cases. Let’s break into them.

Pneumatic or air-filled tires provide a smoother ride. They have more shock absorption and better handling. However, these tires are prone to punctures and require routine maintenance. You may need to check the tire pressure before each ride and fill them up when they’re too low.

Solid tires don’t require much maintenance at all. You won’t have to worry about punctures from nails, rocks, or glass. However, solid tires don’t provide a smooth ride. You’ll feel nearly every bump and vibration as you cruise through the city.

Think About the Suspension

Electric scooter suspension serves the same purpose as suspension on a car. The suspension absorbs shocks from the ground and provides a smoother riding experience. If you’re going to be riding on rough terrain, the suspension will be a crucial factor to consider.

Without adequate suspension, you’ll experience an uncomfortable and rough ride filled with vibrations. Air-filled tires paired with suspension offer an effortless riding experience.

Which Brakes to Choose

The brakes are an integral part of an electric scooter. After all, who wants to fly face-first over their handlebars into traffic? There are three main types of brakes you can choose from:

1. Electric and Regenerative Brakes

Electric and regenerative brakes are a low-maintenance option. However, they’re less effective at stopping on a dime. If you’re traveling above 15 mph, they may not stop you as fast as you’d like.

2. Disc Brakes and Drum Brakes

Disc brakes have the most stopping power out of any option. They’re lighter than drum brakes, meaning you can gain more speed.

On the other hand, drum brakes are generally low maintenance. They’re enclosed inside the wheel hub. These brakes provide consistent performance in rain and wet conditions.

Either of these brakes is a great choice. However, they wear out after a while and will need to be serviced at a local shop.

3. Foot brakes

Foot brakes are another option to consider. You activate these brakes by pushing your foot on the rear mudguard. Foot brakes have a slight learning curve and take time to get used to. However, they offer more stopping power.

Things to Consider When Purchasing an Electric Scooter

Now that you know the different types of scooters and some basic things to look out for, let’s look at some factors to think about when it comes to the actual buying process.

What’s Your Budget?

Your budget matters when choosing an electric scooter. Generally speaking, you’ll receive better quality and features if you spend a bit more. You won’t find an excellent off-roading scooter for under $200.

If you don’t have a lot of cash to spend, you may not be able to afford an electric moped or fat-tire scooter. However, you can find excellent electric kick scooters if your budget is around $300-$800.

How Far Do You Need to Travel?

How far you plan to travel is a significant factor to consider when choosing an electric scooter. The range of an electric scooter refers to how far you can travel before the battery dies. The range will vary depending on the motor power, weight, weather, mode, average speed, etc.

There are ways to extend your range as well as preserve it. An electric scooter’s battery will diminish over time. With proper maintenance and charging, you can extend your battery’s lifespan. If you adjust how you ride, you can get a few extra miles per charge.

Consider how far you need to commute on an average day. Less range may be okay if you’re not traveling often or just need to run a few errands. If you’re planning to use your scooter to get to work or school, opt for an extended range.

Do You Need Something Portable?

The weight of your scooter is another significant factor to think about. Electric scooters aren’t that heavy compared to other options. Electric scooters typically weigh around 20-30 lbs. Here are some questions to ask yourself about portability:

  • Do you walk upstairs?
  • Does your destination have an elevator or escalator?
  • Where can you store your scooter?
  • Can you lift your scooter?
  • Is your scooter your only means of transportation?

Heavy-duty scooters exceeding 30 lbs are more challenging to lug around. You may not want to hop on the bus, catch an Uber, or throw a heavier scooter in the back of your trunk. You may even consider investing in a shoulder strap or handle to help manage the weight.

However, there are lightweight and foldable models available. Foldable models can be a bit more expensive, but they can be stored more easily. Foldable and lightweight electric scooters are great if you plan to use the bus or catch a cab. Be sure to consider the weight and portability if you’re an everyday commuter.

Portability might not be a significant factor if you’re looking for an off-roading superstar or high-speed electric scooter. If you’re focused on those things, you may want something with a higher build quality and top speeds.

How Fast Are You Riding?

Your top speed may not be the most critical factor if you’re an average commuter. Typically, electric scooters average around 15-25 miles per hour. Some locations even have restrictions on speeds and where you can ride.

Riding an electric scooter at 15 miles per hour is going to feel vastly different than riding at the same speed on a bike or car. Models with good acceleration can easily weave through urban traffic. However, you should look at other models if you want to go off-roading or prefer something high-powered.

What’s Your Commute Like?

You should consider your commute as a whole, not just the length. Consider the average distance you need to travel, the traffic, and the terrain when you’re looking at electric scooter models.

If you’re only traveling short distances in an urban environment, an entry-level electric scooter will do just fine. These models will allow you to visit your local grocery store or run basic errands with no problem. Entry-level models are better suited for urban environments with fewer travel distances and harsh terrains.

However, you’ll need something more robust if you’re climbing steep hills or making long trips. You may want to consider fat tire options, electric mopeds, or higher-end kick scooters. You may also want a little more power for weaving through traffic, bike lanes, and sidewalks.

Are Durability and Reliability Important to You?

We already know the answer to this question. Of course, durability and reliability are essential to you. Electric scooters are an investment, so make it count.

If you live in a rainy area, you should look at options that are waterproof or water-resistant. If you’re on the heavier side, you’re going to need a scooter that can accommodate your weight. You should also factor in the overall build quality and materials used in the options you’re considering.

Look for models from well-trusted manufacturers. Does your model provide a warranty? Will the company be around long enough to honor it? Opt for well-established companies with excellent customer support teams.

Avoid fake, low-quality, and cheap imported electric scooters. These options often cut corners and are typically not safe to ride. Cheap imports can be hard to spot online. Be sure to do your due diligence and read what previous customers are saying.

What About Comfort?

Comfort is nearly always subjective. However, you should think about your preferences and circumstances when looking at electric scooters online.

Consider your height, weight, and the designs you like. If you’re opting for an electric kick scooter, be sure to find one that matches your body. You’ll want the deck and the handlebars to feel comfortable when you’re cruising through the city.

Go with an electric scooter that has a seat if you don’t want to stand or have limited mobility. You may be spending a bit more cash, but you’ll have a more enjoyable riding experience.

Electric Scooter Gear You’ll Need

Safety isn’t something to mess around with when it comes to electric scooters. Although you’re unlikely to reach the top speeds of a motorcycle, you could still suffer from accidents, injuries, or in the worst cases, death. You may need more gear for certain circumstances. Here are some must-haves to get you started.


A helmet is essential when it comes to riding an electric scooter. You should wear a helmet no matter how short your commute is. CPSC-certified bike helmets (on Amazon) are the bare minimum. However, you may want something a bit more robust if you’re traveling at faster speeds.

You’ll have a wide variety of options to choose from, including bicycle helmets, downhill or BMX helmets, motorcycle helmets, and more. Motorcycle helmets (on Amazon) and downhill varieties are common choices for riders. These options are DOT-certified, meaning their designs have been regulated by strict safety standards.


Unfortunately, many electric scooters don’t provide enough light for you to see or be seen on the road at night. That’s why it’s crucial for you to purchase an aftermarket light (on Amazon).

You’ll want a bright headlight rated at 1000 lumens (on Amazon) or higher as a bare minimum. You should also consider a brake-responding tail light (on Amazon). These lights will help other people on the road see you and understand what you’re doing.

Eccentric lighting that goes under the deck of an electric scooter may be flashy, but it isn’t that effective. These types of LEDs won’t provide enough light for others to see you or for you to catch obstacles on the road.

Gloves and a Jacket

Gloves (on Amazon) are another must-have item if you’re purchasing an electric scooter. Gloves will help keep your fingers warm and functional during the colder months. They’ll also protect your fingers when you fall, resulting in fewer injuries and accidents.

You may also want to invest in a high-quality jacket (on Amazon). Although you’re not riding a motorcycle or reaching the same speeds, a high-quality coat can keep you safe if you have to bail. These jackets are designed to help you avoid road rash and skidding along the road in the event of an accident.


Other third-party accessories you should consider are audible warning devices or electric horns (on Amazon). Most scooters come with one, but they can be an inexpensive addition that increases safety.

Horns will help you alert nearby pedestrians, other riders, or vehicles in dire situations. Even if you’re not in danger, a horn can help you alert nearby people that you’re coming through.


There’s a lot that goes into choosing an electric scooter. You have standard kick scooters, hoverboards, fat-tire models, and more. Here are a couple of key-takeaways to help you with your purchase:

  • Look for options with ranges around 15-20 miles
  • Look for products that weigh around 20-30 lbs
  • Find options with 250-watt motors or larger
  • Opt for scooters with drum or disc brakes
  • Find front or rear pneumatic tires

You should also consider your commute, preferences, and budget. This guide is designed to help first-time riders find the perfect entry-level scooter. You can find excellent options on nearly any budget; all you have to do is look!