Best Seated Electric Scooters (pedal-less ebike)

What’s the difference between an ebike and an electric scooter?

The key difference lies in the source of propulsion. Electric scooters are exclusively propelled by a throttle control and a DC motor. An electric bicycle (or ebike) is normally but not always activated by the use of the pedals to power the motor (pedal assist or pedelec) without a throttle.

Now you may be wondering, why would anyone want to pedal when you can just press a throttle? Pedal assist ebikes actually gives more distance per charge because it consumes only a fraction of the electrical power a fully automated ebike or escooter consumes.

Let’s say, it takes approx 200W of power to run at 25km/h on a straight road. On a pedal assist ebike, it will consume 100W of power from the battery pack and 100W of power from the rider. This compared to a full 200W of power that is solely powered by the battery when operating a throttle controlled escooter (or ebike). You can potentially double your range per charge on a pedelec!

However, pedal assist ebikes have been around for a while. We at sgscooters are more concerned about portable ebikes or electric scooters with seats that are foldable, lightweight and compact. That is our whole reason for our existence.

Pedalless Ebikes

What do you call an ebike-looking vehicle that does not have pedals? It’s ambiguous, but according to the latest legal classifications, they are classified as electric scooters and hence are not allowed to be used on public roads. For our purposes, we will classify as such:

Pedalless Ebike = Electric Scooter with seat

In this blog, sgscooters will introduce the Best Pedalless Portable Ebikes in the market.

1. URB-E

The Urb-e hails from Pasadena, California and it is probably one of the few production seated electric scooter that is able to carry the “Made in the USA” tag. Wholly designed, engineered and manufactured in the US, the Urb-e has a boxy design with round cutouts for weight savings which makes for an interesting concept. Riders can customize the look by inserting different colored sleeves into the main frame. Here’s a video of how the Urb-e is made:

Sgscooters had the privilege of trying out the Urb-e and we found that although there is a slight learning curve to mastering the steering, its easy to get a hang of it after about 5 mins of practice. The coolest part is their quick folding and that makes it truly portable and seamless for a commuter. Its literally a one-second fold by lifting up the seat saddle and pressing it down.

urb-e-models

Specification-wise, due to legal speed restrictions, the max speed for each is 20mph or 32kmh. Every full charge gets you about 30km. However, when we tried the Urb-e, it took abit of balancing for us to get used to the ride. Maybe it was just our balancing skills or lack thereof. We would like to think that the small 8 inch tires played a part in the stability of the Urb-e. The 8 inch rear wheel drive motor packs plenty of punch for its size, but does not offer the stability or grip that we were looking for.

Prices start at USD 1499 for the basic scooter and $1699 for its more powerful, higher torque version. They have a sports version which goes for $1999 too. Considering it’s made in the US, the prices are pretty reasonable. Its available for order direct on the Urb-e website.

2. Stigo

The Stigo was conceptualized around the same time as the Urb-e and has taken a similar rocky path to production. The Stigo is designed and engineered in Estonia (where??) and manufactured by the same Taiwanese factory that makes Decathlon bikes. After 3 years of development, it seems Stigo is turning the corner and finally launching the first production Stigo.

At first glance, the Stigo looks big. And heavy. However, when you actually do pick it up and ride it, you will feel how light it is right away. The frame is designed in such a way that the frame is wholly made from aluminum alloy hollow tubes that are welded/screwed together.

The Stigo is as comfortable as they come. Their seat design is the coolest part. As opposed to a normal bicycle saddle, the Stigo has a wider saddle (for bigger butts) and is made of a flexible but tough plastic composite. The weight is incredibly light for its size at only 14kg for the basic version (range of 20km) and 15kg for the extended battery version (max range of 35km), giving it a range similar to the Urb-e for the top end.

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Sgscooters recently visited their factory and witnessed a full blown production line churning out Stigos for an official launch in October 2016! Take a look at the pics below:

There is no learning curve to ride the Stigo unlike the Urb-e. A big reason is due to the larger 12.5 inch tires of the Stigo which makes balancing easier and also going up and down kerbs a possibility! Folding the Stigo is an ease too. It takes all of 3 seconds to fold and unfold it.

Check out our very first Stigo ride…with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand filming. That would not have been possible on an ebike/escooter with smaller tires.

Prices start at USD 1300 for the 20km version and USD 1500 for the 35km version. Pretty reasonable if you compare it to other premium electric scooters in the market. The Stigo is available for preorder at Falcon PEV.

8 Reasons why You should buy from an Authorised Dealer

Following our article on how to tell the difference between a copycat (or counterfeit) Inokim and the original, here is a very good article from our friends from The Wheelies (original article available at their blog).

8 reasons why you should buy from authorised dealers

With the growing popularity of buying online, it is becoming easier for consumers to compare prices and buying online in the comfort of their home. With a click of a button, all the prices from different sellers will shown on the computer. If all things are similar, most consumers would probably go for the cheapest price since the products are the same or looks the same. While the principal product is the same, there is definitely nothing similar in terms of the entire package. Let us look at some factors that you, as a consumer, should be aware of.

1. THERE ARE HIDDEN COSTS

Well, maybe you don’t need the additional services such as delivery and training which the Wheelies provides as part of the package but you need to look at the other factors of the sale such as the fine print or the exclusion clauses for warranty. Most of these online deals only have a one month warranty. At certain times, what should be part of the package are taken out and sold separately. e.g. charger, cover, handle etc. In some instances, even though the spare parts are part of the warranty, consumer are sometimes slapped with an exorbitant fee to repair.

2. STOCKS MIGHT NOT BE THE SAME AS ADVERTISED

Stocks from unauthorised dealers are mostly procured from China retailers whose goods are supposed to be manufactured for China market and sold there. Do note that the specifications of the product is slightly different for domestic product and export product. e.g NineBot E & NineBot E+, KS16A vs KS16B . It is not difficult to identify which are parallel exports goods as all of these goods carries a serial number. In the instances of parallel exports, the manufacturers do have a right to refuse to supply spare parts or acknowledge warranty claim.

3. WARRANTY ISSUES

Do note that all authorised dealers are appointed by the manufacturers and have signed agreements with them to distribute their products.

“When I bought the NineBot E, I was promised warranty. I noticed there is a problem with my battery on the 5th month and couldn’t be fully charge. I sent for repair for the battery, they denied there is anything wrong and ask me to wait another few more months and monitor. I actually took the advise and went back on the 8th month. Eventually, they told me that the warranty for battery is over and they cannot do anything”

So be aware: Parallel importers and unauthorised dealers will have issues with warranties. You are taking a huge risk when it comes to after sales support.

Do note that to prevent service standards from deteriorating, all major unicycle brands (KingSong, Inmotion, NineBot) have come together and agreed not to service and honor warranty for parallel exporters.
 
4. REPLACEMENT PARTS ISSUES

As an authorised dealer, the Wheelies will have access to all parts and stocks.  If you wheel is under warranty and damage due to manufacturing defect, we are committed to repair it for you, no matter how difficult it may be. This is a commitment and assurance we give to all customers.
5. NO LEGAL REPERCUSSIONS
 
We believe in doing business in the right manner as we want to be success in the long term, building The Wheelies as a brand of reliability and trustworthiness. We DO NOT CONDONE malpractices. Nothing of the sort of hidden fine prints or under-declaring the value of goods just to avoid paying GST. All our goods have went through required certifications with Singapore Power too.
6. NO EXPERTISE TO SERVICE

Authorised dealers go through stringent training before they are given the rights to distribute the products. Even under unforeseen circumstances where the problem, support will be given to authorized dealers so that they can manage the repairs.

7. STRESS TEST & PRODUCTS REVIEW
 
The Wheelies believe what we do will have an impact on the industry being the largest electric unicycle group in Singapore. We thread carefully on the boundaries. We also make sure that the products we brought in are throughly tested and reviewed before being introduced into the Singapore market.
 
8. EXCLUSIVE LAUNCHES
 
Authorised dealers will have access to the latest product launch as well as demo unit for interested customers to test. All preorders deals are geniune offers and there are no hidden costs and gimmicks.

Sneak peek of the INOKIM Quick 3

All New Inokim Quick 3 Series

We at Sgscooters have word that the latest revision of the Inokim Quick series by MYWAY will be out sometime in Sept 2016. The Quick 3 follows the MYWAY Quick 1 and the Inokim Quick 2, both highly successful models which became the industry standard for a comfortable, rugged, reliable and elegantly designed portable electric scooter.

So what’s changed from the Quick 2?

Structure

First off, the Quick 2 had some tolerance issues in its structure. This isn’t so much a production fault, but a design fault. The design of the foldable handlebars on the Quick 2 gave way to too much freeplay in the folding mechanism. The permanent fix was to install Xtasy bars which have zero freeplay and hence performed like a rigid handlebar with the folding capability.

The Quick 3 has adopted the handlebar folding concept of the Inokim Light and removed the shakiness from the ride. Its basically a set of screws that holds the folding mechanism tightly in place and this has proven to be a rock solid mechanism during the initial implementation on the Light version.

Power and Batteries

Inokim is an evolution. The 3rd series is physically similar to its predecessor but it is in no way the same. At least the guts of it isn’t the same. Powered by high density Li Ion Samsung batteries, the basic model of the Inokim Quick 3 is equipped with a 10.4Ah battery pack to give the rider up to 35km per charge. This is an increase of 10 km from the Quick 2 basic model.

quick3-Detail2.png.png

The upgraded model is equipped with a specially designed top end 48V geared brushless hub motor and its batteries deliver a whopping 48V 14Ah of charge. That gives you roughly a third more torque than the Quick 2 with the same distance per charge of 45km. What this means is that the Quick 3 can pull a heavier load up a steeper slope.

Electronics

A common complaint of the Quick 2 was that the inbuilt lights both front and rear were too weak. Well, the Quick 3 has added more lumens into its integrated lighting system. Stronger front head lights (300 lumens) and a larger rear light and braking light makes night riding alot safer on the Quick 3.

There is a new smartphone app function for the Quick 3 available on iOS which allows the rider to configure a whole host of functions like setting the speed limit and disabling the electronic system via an software lock.

Brakes

The Quick 3 brakes have been upgraded to the well respected Tektro braking system which the Inokim Light uses. With front and rear Tektro brakes and integrated bell, the Inokim Quick 3’s braking system is a significant and non-superficial upgrade to the Quick 2.

Tires

The Quick series are already well known to be one of the most weather resistant electric scooters on the market with tires that do not give way easily. The Quick 3 improves on that by having thicker, more puncture resistant tires that provide more grip on the road especially during wet weather. If you thought the Kenda tires on the Quick 2 were good before, the Quick 3 tires will look like tires on a humvee.

WATCH THE LAUNCH VIDEO HERE:

The Inokim Quick 3 starts at $1499 is available for preorders now.

World’s First Modular Electric Scooter

When the ZERO carbon fiber electric scooter first launched in Sept 2015, it broke the weight barrier for electric scooters. Most electric scooters made of aluminium alloy hovered around the 10-12 kg weight limit for a power output of 250W and above. ZERO was essentially the first production carbon fiber scooter built and used by the masses.

When you thought nothing could top that, ZERO has announced the launch of the successor, the ZERO 2.0. Its touted as the World’s first most advanced modularly designed electric scooter.

What does that mean to you and I, the consumer? Other than having a fully integrated LED panel with integrated front and rear lights, what it really means is that any piece part of the ZERO 2.0 can be easily removed and replaced by ANYONE without anything more complicated than a screwdriver. Its really the IKEA of electric scooters.

Check out how easy is it below:


The ZERO 2.0 is currently on preorder at Falcon PEV.

5 Ways to tell apart a fake and original scooter

HISTORY OF COPYCAT ELECTRIC SCOOTERS

From the dawn of the age of electric scooters, there were only handful of brands like the GoPed, Razor from the 1980s. With the advent of hub motor and Li Ion technology, in 2009, Myway (now known as Inokim) came about. A few years later, the Romanian designed E-Twow (also known as the Zoom Air) came into market in early 2013.

Fast forward to today, we have close to 100 different brands of electric scooters that seem to look and feel identical to the original brands with similar parts and design. The original brands with original designs are INOKIM, I-MAX, GoPed and E-TWOW. Most of these copycat escooters come at a fraction of the cost of the original using inferior materials and compromising the safety of end users such as China-made batteries that are untested and uncertified.

To be clear, we are not here to argue that the entire electric scooter industry has suddenly started churning out copycat products instead of innovating and investing into their own R&D AND more importantly, we are certainly not implying that all China designed or engineered scooters are inferior. The ZERO, the first carbon fiber escooter is an excellent example of great product that is designed and engineered in China.

Below are 5 tell-tale signs that would help you spot the difference between the genuine item and a copycat.

1. Front mounted “Pigeon” front head light

SpeedwayFrontHeadlight

These “pigeon” front headlights is an infamous design introduced by Shengte on their copycat version. Why they are called Pigeon lights is due to the fact that these are the lights used on the cheap mass market Pigeon bicycles that are still popular across China. Unlike the built-in integrated lights on the Inokims, these front headlights were much easier and cheaper to manufacture as the controller does not support any built-in lights. They typically require an external switch to turn them on/off.

2. Similar (but not the same) folding mechanism designed by Inokim

SpeedwayFoldingPin

Developed by MYWAY, the folding plunger pin can withstand 120kg maximum load. We have seen folding pin that was made using weaker steel/thing aluminium material to cut manufacturing cost, causing the pin to snap into two pieces or damage after prolong usage.

3. China-made battery cells with poorly designed motherboard

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Just recently, another copycat called Kaabo exploded, and the rider suffered 2nd-degree burns. Battery & motor are of one of the few expensive parts of any electric scooter, to lower manufacturing cost unscrupulous company often opt for cheap China-made batteries from a dubious source. Viewer’s discretion is advisedpicture of injury

Original batteries from INOKIM and IMAX use Samsung cells (yes, packaged in China but the cells are made by Samsung nonetheless). GoPed batteries use US made cells. Most if not all copycats use China made cells that are packaged without going through proper tests. These China batteries can be packed very densely giving consumer more charge in a single package but what people do not realize is that if cells are packed too densely without the proper protection design on the Battery Management System, the whole battery becomes unstable and potentially dangerous.

4. Poor Construction Quality

The construction and structure of many counterfeit or fake inokims are of a l0wer quality and QC is almost non-existent in many cases. In most cases, there will be hairline cracks on the deck which becomes a safety issue when riding for a few months. These hairline cracks will worsen to the extent below. We have encountered numerous cases of these fake inokims having structural issues like this:

image2

5. Serial nos. that are Erased

These are becoming more commonplace. Black market or grey market scooters have their original serial no. scrubbed off to prevent authorities from finding out the source of manufacture. This is actually illegal. All original products need to have the original serial no. for authorities to trace the source in the event of a recall or product defect.

Don’t risk your life purchasing a cheap electric scooter from an unverified China factory that simply copied the design of the original product without putting the product through the proper test and certification procedures. That is precisely why these copycats are significantly cheaper than the original.

If you are shopping for a reliable entry-level electric scooter, you can consider the Powerock S1. The Powerocks is a long-range entry level electric scooter at an extremely affordable price. The Powerock S1 is brought to you by the same company that made the ever popular Powerocks power bank and was also featured in CES 2016.

cespowerocks

A Case of Ninebot vs Segway

Many readers have been asking us, what is the difference between Xiaomi mini, Ninebot and Segway?

The Segway is the original self-balancing gyroscopic electric scooter that was invented and founded by Dean Kamen, the inventor of the segway. Patented in the US, the segway was an expensive toy the rich and famous and a gimmick for city tours. For decades, it was marketed as a security and military solution, but it never got further than a few malls adopting the expensive segway for moving oversized mall cops around. Segway as a company refused to compromise on its price and size to focus on corporate and military applications. It rejected compromising on certain functionalities and price to appeal to consumer demand.

10 years after the invention, the gyroscopic technology has been copied very cheaply and in large quantities by manufacturers of the electric unicycle, hoverboard and smaller sized self-balancing scooters (or “mini-segways”). The ninebot was one such company that rode the wave of self-balancing craze. Beautifully designed, the Ninebot model was first touted as a direct and more affordable segway. It was the first real competitor of the segway that had very similar build quality and level of ride technology, at less than half the price.

The real difference between Ninebot and segway was that Ninebot was more flexible in responding to consumer needs by developing the Ninebot One and then Ninebot Mini (and Pro) in quick succession. This explosive growth in product development was financially backed by the capital venture arm of Xiaomi of course. Now, why did Xiaomi, a maker of affordable phones decide to invest in Ninebot, an electric mobility company? Xiaomi’s strategy was to dominate all hardware media platforms in mobile technology or TV and now PEVs (Personal Electric Vehicles). By controlling those hardware platforms, it will be able to launch value-added software services based on consumer patterns. Furthemore, all Xiaomi phones will have preinstalled ninebot app which allows Xiaomi to track user patterns and location. Something right out of Apple’s playbook but Xiaomi is taking it a step further.

So it leads us all to the point where, the clone, Ninebot, had enough financial muscle to pull Segway, the original, out of its financial quagmire. Ninebot has been chipping away at the Segway market for years, eroding its brand and wiping out its market share. Segway was a failed company and product, slowly bleeding to death. Hence, the clone bought the master, together with its patents and technology. Dean Kamen of course had long moved on to other more exciting ventures and Ninebot’s (and Xiaomi’s) domination of self-balancing platforms is complete.

All that just by being sensitive and responding when the market questions.

Ninebot Mini Pro VS Ninebot Mini (Xiaomi) : What’s the Difference??

Emerging from the crazy hoverboard trend comes a two-wheeler on a league of its own. Ninebot easily wow-ed us all with their smooth riding duo: Ninebot Mini (also called the Xiaomi Mini in China) & Ninebot Mini Pro (international version).

Ninebot Mini Pro & Ninebot Mini (Xiaomi)

Priced at $899 (Mini) and $1199 (Mini Pro), the most common question we encounter would be “What is the difference between the two?”, “Why would I pay $300 more for the Pro version?”

Here’s why:

SPEED & RANGE

The Ninebot Mini (Xiaomi) gives a respectable speed of 16km/h and a distance of about 20km (almost as far as an average electric scooter). For a self-balancing two-wheeler, that’s pretty impressive. As for the Ninebot Mini Pro, you are getting a speed of 18km/h and almost 10km more in range. Though 2km/h faster does not sound significant, we could actually feel quite a difference when riding. If you plan on just using the two-wheeler around your neighbourhood area, you can stick to the Mini (Xiaomi) version. However, if you are a tad more adventurous and would like go exploring with your new ride, the extra 10km definitely comes in handy. Another advantage of a bigger battery capacity would be not having to charge as often.

PORTABILITY & STABILITY

One of the main features of the Ninebot Mini & Mini Pro is the steering bar in the middle. To maneuver left and right, the rider simply needs to lean his knee against the steering rod.
Ninebot Mini Pro

Compared to a standard hoverboard (aka. Deux Cruiser/ Segway with no handlebars), which turns according to the tilting of one’s feet, the Ninebot Minis feel a lot more stable and less prone to any sudden movements.

The Ninebot Mini (Xiaomi) has a steering bar with a fixed height. Therefore if you are taller then the average asian (around 1.7m/5.57ft), turning may feel less natural with the bar below knee level. Whereas for the Pro version, the steering bar’s height can easily be adjusted to optimise one’s comfort.

Weighing almost 13kg, having to carry these two-wheelers around can be a pretty daunting task. This is where the convenience of the Ninebot Mini Pro’s trolley function comes in. The ability to extend the trolley handle all the way to near-waist level makes the Ninebot Mini Pro easy to manoeuvre around even when you are not riding it.

Ninebot Mini Pro Trolley Function

WARRANTY

At the moment, the Ninebot Mini Pro comes with a 1 year factory covered warranty. The Ninebot Mini (Xiaomi) has an in-house 6 months warranty from the Singapore distributor FALCON PEV. Both warranties cover all electrical faults but not consumable parts.

SO, IS THE UPGRADE WORTH THE EXTRA $300?

Well if you ask us, we think the convenience of the trolley bar is definitely tempting. That plus the 10km extra I get in range, slight boost in top speed, and extended warranty, I would say “YES! Go for the Ninebot Mini Pro!” However, if you are little tight on your budget or just don’t want to spend too much on your new personal transport, the Ninebot Mini (Xiaomi) is already a premium ride on its own.

Here’s where you can get yourself these sweet rides (with FREE Shipping):

Ninebot Mini (Xiaomi) @ $899SGD – www.falconpev.com.sg/products/ninebot-mini-xiaomi

Ninebot Mini Pro @ $1199SGD – www.falconpev.com.sg/products/ninebotminipro