In a new trend popularized by celebrities, two wheel electric scooters are quickly becoming the next viral product phenomenon. The phenomenon widely said to be started with an Instagram video of Justin Bieber riding one (shown below when he falls off at the end), is unusual but has exploded recently.
Ranging in price from $300 all the way up to $1500, these electric scooters have a couple of things in common. Each scooter has two wheels and self-balancing capability. This allows riders to simply tilt their weight to move forward and backward.
To turn, riders move only one foot. In essence, these two-wheel electric scooters are mini segways without a handlebar for riders to hold. The time from unboxing the product to riding around and showing off typically only takes 15-30 minutes for beginners.
With a large number of different brands out on the market, Review Longboards tried to simplify the product choices by grouping the brands into Low-range, Mid-Range, and High-Range products based on price point and component selection.
While some might think to simply buy the cheapest version of these self-balancing electric scooters, Review Longboards would advise caution when doing so. In a WIRED interview with Jeff Wells, a creator of one of these electric scooter brands, he details the number of problems with buying the cheapest boards: “[There’s] a number of corners [to] cut. Weaker motors, not as reliable batteries, gyro boards, improper motherboard design.” When considering that riders will be on top of this device and be moving fast, good components are essential to avoiding accidents.
In terms of price, there’s the low range category where you can pick up an electric two-wheeled balancing scooter for less than $300. The popular Erover brand dominates this category.
Increasing in quality, the Swagway self-balancing electric scooter dominates the mid-range market. As an US brand, it stands out against other retailers who often ship from China resulting in long shipping times and delays.
The one most popular with celebrities is the IO Hawk (as shown above with Justin Bieber as a rider). It’s one of the products that started this viral trend.
For this review, the Review Longboards crew rode the SwagWay two wheels balancing electric scooter. While the higher price scooters increase in quality and different controlling software, the crew at Review Longboards wanted to feel the baseline of the electric scooter industry: a market that the Swagway dominates.
Weighing in at 27 pounds, this scooter was heavy enough to feel sturdy while atop of it, yet still light enough to carry around if need be. The scooter is not designed to be carried though: with a 36V battery and a range of 10 miles, it’s safe to say this scooter will last any commuter at least a couple of days.
With no handle to hold onto, riders reported initial concern when stepping onto the board. However, this quickly went away. Most riders preferred to initially step onto the board while holding onto something steady. As they adjusted to the board, they gradually let go and started moving.
The self-balancing capability built into these boards functioned admirably though. Over and over again, it was difficult for riders to lean too far forward or backward and actually fall off of the board. After talking to a couple riders who had only 30 minutes with the board, they all stated that their initial concern about falling off had completely gone away in only a half hour.
For a fun and innovative method of transportation, these electric self-balancing scooters definitely take the cake. Review Longboards would officially recommend the Swagway Self-Balancing Scooter as the premier electric scooter.
Unlike other brands, the company is based in the United States, and from multiple reviews, customers can expect high-quality components and stellar customer service from them.