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Useful Tips

At Nanny M's Mobility Scooters in Croydon, Surrey, we strive to provide our customers with as much information as possible about the mobility aids we carry. We want you to be able to make an informed decision.


Quality

Quality is the number-one factor to consider when buying an electric scooter. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of fakes flooding the market. Poorly manufactured electric scooters aren't built to last. They break down shortly after purchase, repairs are expensive, parts may not be available, safety can be a concern, and ultimately these scooters find themselves in an early grave. Sadly, too many people have been ripped off by unscrupulous vendors selling poor quality scooters. You'll even find these cheap scooters sold in normally reputable establishments! You can save yourself much heartache and frustration by doing your homework and steering clear of poor-quality electric scooters.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid poorly manufactured electric scooters:
• Stick with a good company that will guarantee the electric scooters for at least 12 months.
• Go for the ones that offer free breakdown cover. (Some even give you a free replacement scooter.)
• If the price sounds too good to be true, it is! Buy electric scooters that offer at least a 12-month warranty. Purchase from a reputable vendor and make sure your scooter is EEC approved.


Speed

Electric scooters vary in speed from 8 mph to 25 mph, however electric scooters that hit speeds over 20 mph are rare. The speed of an electric scooter is affected by several factors, including the weight of the rider, the level of charge in the battery, tyre pressure, inclines, hills, and rough terrain. Typically the speed rating the manufacturer lists for an electric scooter is its maximum speed under ideal conditions.

Motor

An electric scooter motor or engine is rated by its output in watts. Electric power is measured in watts; 746 watts are equal to 1 horsepower. Electric scooters with a watt rating under 300 watts are not recommended for use on steep, hilly, or rough terrain, or with riders who weigh more than 180 lbs. Generally speaking, the higher the watt rating of the motor the better your scooter will handle demanding terrain and a heavier load. Unless the electric scooter comes with a weather-resistant motor, the motor should be kept away from water and wet weather. If water gets into it, the motor will short out and need to be replaced. An electric scooter motor is regulated by a controller.

Range

This is the distance an electric scooter will take you on a single charge. Electric scooters vary in range from 8 miles to 20 miles per charge. Electric scooters that offer a range of more than 15 miles are rare and more costly to purchase. The range of an electric scooter is affected by several factors. The weight of the rider, tyre pressure, extreme temperatures, inclines, hills, and rough terrain can all influence an electric scooters range. Typically the range rating the manufacturer lists for an electric scooter is its maximum range under ideal conditions.

Drive Train System

The mechanism that moves most electric-powered scooters are chain or belt driven. Some brands and models come with a direct drive system. Chain- and belt-drive systems usually consist of a sprocket (chain wheel) on the motor and on the rear wheel with a chain or belt running around them. A sprocket moves the chain or belt and turns the rear wheel. Direct-drive systems usually consist of wheel type device on the motor which is directly in contact with the rear wheel. The motor turns its wheel, which turns the rear wheel. Most scooters are hand throttle controlled with either a twist (motorcycle style) or thumb (ATV, Jet Ski™ style) controller.

Brakes

The stopping system for the scooter brake types vary by brand and model. The most common types are drum, hub, disc, and caliper (cantilever). Most scooters will come with any combination of the above brake types. Some models offer rear brakes, others offer front brakes and some offer both front and rear braking systems. Some models will come with an automatic throttle shut-off system. This is a safety feature that keeps the engine from engaging while the brakes are being applied.

Tyres

Most tyres are made of rubber, foam rubber, or polyurethane. Styles vary from pneumatic with an inner tube to pneumatic tubeless to solid and can come with a smooth, semi-smooth, or knobby surface. Tyre size will have an effect on the performance of the scooter. Taller tyres will generally increase the top speed of a scooter but will lower its hill-climbing ability. Taller tyres also increase a scooter's ground clearance. Enhanced ground clearance helps the scooter handle speed bumps, potholes, curbs, and off-road terrain. Shorter tyres generally increase the hill-climbing ability of a scooter but lower the top speed. Shorter tyres decrease ground clearance. Tyre width also affects the scooter's ability to grip the road while wide tyres increase traction and skinny tyres decrease traction.

Battery Charger

Some electric scooter brands and models offer smart chargers that will not overcharge the battery and quick chargers that power an electric scooter faster than a regular battery charger. Always place battery chargers on a non-flammable surface!

Carrying Capacity

This is the maximum amount of weight an electric scooter can carry. Keep in mind that the heavier the rider the slower the acceleration and top speed of an electric scooter. Heavier riders will also reduce an electric scooter's range and decrease its hill-climbing ability. Riders who weigh less than 180 lbs. can typically ride any electric scooter out there and achieve maximum performance.

Terrain

The ideal riding surface for an electric scooter is a relatively flat street or road. If you plan on taking your electric scooter off-road, climbing hills, or scooting through rough terrain you will want to purchase a scooter with a high-watt motor. For a 180-lb rider, a motor rating of 300 watts or above will do the trick. Generally speaking, the higher the watt rating of the motor the better your electric scooter will tackle demanding terrain. Riders heavier than 180 lbs. will want to compensate by purchasing a scooter with an even higher watt rating.

Battery

The power storage device of a standard electric scooter battery is a sealed, 12-volt rechargeable lead acid battery. Electric scooters will come with one to three batteries, depending on the brand and model. The range of an electric scooter has much to do with the quality and power rating of the batteries. A heavier rider, low tyre pressure, extreme temperatures, inclines, hills, rough terrain, and high levels of speed will put extra demand on the battery and drain its charge quicker. The life span of a battery tends to run 300-500 charges and varies by brand and model. When fully drained, a battery will take anywhere from two to eight hours to recharge, depending on the brand and model of the electric scooter and the quality of the battery charger. Some models offer a quick-change battery feature that lets you swap out your depleted batteries for a fresh pair. It's recommended that you always keep lead acid batteries charged. Lead acid batteries do not like being completely drained. For longer battery life, always charge your scooter immediately after riding it.

Frame, Body, & Deck

The frame of a scooter is typically constructed of steel. The body covers the frame and the deck is the area you stand on. Bodies and decks can be constructed of steel, aluminum, plastic or any combination of the three materials. Plastic bodies and decks are more susceptible to cracking and breaking. A rear suspension system may be built into the frame which will cushion the scooter and increase the handling characteristics. Rear suspension models will usually show the type of suspension and the amount of travel the suspension offers, measured in millimetres (mm); 25.4 mm is equal to one inch -- so a 50 mm travel fork has just less than two inches of travel.

Wheels

The entire part that includes the axle, hub, spokes and rim. Wheels come with wire spokes, solid spokes or a spoke-less solid design. Wheels come in steel, aluminum and reinforced plastic.

Rims

A rim is the outside part of a wheel that holds the tyre. Aluminum rims offer superior quality in terms of look and wear. Steel rims are a cheaper alternative. They can be found at lower prices, but typically, they don't last as long or look as good. Steel rims are more prone to rusting and paint chipping. Alloy rims are also available.

Forks

Forks hold the front wheel onto the scooter. Most brands and models come with a solid front fork but some brands and models are offered with a suspension fork setup. Suspension forks add travel to the front wheel. This cushions the scooter and increases its handling characteristics. Most fork suspension systems use metal springs, elastomers (rubber springs), or a combination of both. Most fork suspension travel is measured in millimetres (mm); 25.4 mm is equal to one inch -- so a 50 mm travel fork has just under two inches of travel.


Accessories

Some electric scooters offer a host of accessories and others stick with the basics. Here's a list of some of the accessories you might find when looking for an electric scooter:

• Removable Seat
• Adjustable-Height Handlebars
• Key Ignition
• Basket or Cargo Box
• Headlights
• Tail Lights or Brake Lights
• Reflectors
• Tool Kit
• Turn Signals
• Horn
• Rear-View Mirrors
• Battery Indicator Gauge
• Speed Indicator Gauge