Few things spice up urban exploration like an electric scooter.
The versatile devices provide a fun, efficient and cost-effective way to get around. Cities you've known your whole life look different when viewed from the running board of a scooter, the crisp wind whipping through your hair.
Unfortunately, there exists a substantial barrier to entry for many who might otherwise enjoy the occasional scoot. As a result of their compact nature, most mass-market scooters come with rather strict weight requirements.
But if people come in all shapes and sizes, why shouldn't electric scooters? Thankfully, that's a philosophy to which several manufacturers have adhered in recent years.
In fact, heavier would-be scooter-users have several high-quality models from which to choose. For your convenience, we've picked out the best big-time scooters on the market.
1. Qiewa Q1 Hummer
Pound for pound, few scooters can compare to the Q1 Hummer. This beast on two wheels is capable of carrying a payload up to 550 pounds, meaning almost anybody can take a spin if they so choose.
The heart of Qiewa's heavy-duty scooter is an 800-watt hub motor that is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 30 mph, even with a larger-than-average rider on the board. It's also capable of traveling an impressive range, capable of moving more than 60 miles on a full charge.
Ten-inch pneumatic on-road tires provide a smooth ride, even on uneven and unpredictable surfaces. Dual-disc brakes are responsive and effective, so you're totally in control when you're behind the handlebars.
Rider visibility is critical to Q1 Hummer's design. Each scooter is equipped with a headlight, tail lights, and sidelights. Those, coupled with a resonant horn, will keep you on every other driver's radar.
The scooter also includes an alarm system, an optional detachable seat and a USB port for mobile phone charging. It folds up for easy storage and is partially waterproof, meaning it can be operated in the rain (but not at the bottom of the neighborhood swimming pool).
The unbridled power of the Q1Hummer does come at a cost, however. The scooter weighs about 50 pounds, so it's not the easiest thing to lug around in a backpack or on public transportation.
And while the lithium-ion battery is capable of traveling immense distances, it can take eight to 12 hours to reach a full charge. Still, having to plug it in overnight once a week or so is a small price to pay for what you get.
For sheer power, speed and capability, the Q1 Hummer is nearly unmatched.
The ability to transport heavier riders at 30-plus mph in varied weather and road conditions alone would be enough to recommend a buy. But when combined with its ability to travel more than 60 miles on a single charge, the Q1 Hummer is a no-brainer for anyone who needs a bigger-than-average scooter.Buy it
2. Swagger 5 City Commuter
Compact yet powerful, the Swagger 5 City Commuter is an affordable, versatile option for heavier riders. If you've got a tight budget but still want to join the fun, the City Commuter might be a good fit for you.
There were no motors to be found in Swagtron's earliest consumer offerings. But the longtime skateboard manufacturer has branched out recent years, notably achieving success with self-balancing hoverboards.
As the popularity of electric scooters has skyrocketed in recent years, it was only natural that Swagtron would enter the market. And with the Swagger 5 City Commuter, the company has created a viable option for riders who might be too heavy for other, more-common models.
The Swagger 5 has a 250-watt front-hub motor capable of propelling riders weighing up to 320 pounds. The top speed is about 18 mph. Which won't set any land speed records, but it is nothing to sneeze at either.
It's also very compact, its carbon-fiber body weighing in at fewer than 28 pounds. It can easily be collapsed to fit nicely into just about any storage space imaginable. If you need to catch a quick ride on the subway mid-trip, the Swagger 5 will fit neatly under your seat.
The Swagger 5 has a dual-braking system with rear disc brake and tubeless tires. Not only will your ride be smooth and comfortable, but you'll also be able to slow down and stop with little effort.
Swagtron has created a smartphone app to help you interface with the Swagger 5 via Bluetooth connection. With just a few swipes of a screen, you can track your location, turn on your headlights and even activate cruise control.
Just make sure you keep your eyes on the road ahead of you once you start moving.
The lithium-ion battery will reach a full charge relatively quickly, needing just under four hours to go from bone dry to top off.
Unfortunately, you might find yourself making your way back to an outlet more often than you'd like. The battery has a range of just about 12 miles on a full charge.
If you're using it for a regular commute, you'll have to keep a watchful eye on your power level. The last thing you want is to run out of juice halfway through a trip, forcing you to finish your trek on foot and while carrying a scooter on your back.
And while the 320-pound weight limit certainly is generous, many other heavy-duty scooters on the market boast significantly higher payload capabilities. Plus, the more weight you put on the scooter, the less range you'll get out of its already less-than-stellar battery.
Shortcomings aside, the Swagger 5 is a genuinely impressive feat of engineering and design. It's lightweight and portable, but still has the muscle to move larger riders along at a relatively decent clip.
The Swagger 5 is also relatively inexpensive. Given its versatility, the scooter is a sound investment for just about anyone. Buy it
3. NanRobot D4+
For top speed and range capabilities, the NanRobot D4+ is hard to beat. This scooter zips along at an impressive clip, leaving other heavy-duty options in the dust. The D4+ is a high-performance option with the fortitude to turn the heaviest of riders into two-wheeled speed demons.
The signature feature of the NanRobot D4+ is dual 1000-watt motors capable of transporting riders up to 330 pounds at speeds approaching 40 mph. Other scooters will just stare in awe as you fly past them with a laugh.
But it's not totally about speed. The D4+ also was designed with comfort in mind. Switch between dual- and single-motor drive depending on whether you're in the mood for a fast ride or a relaxing one.
An eco mode will conserve your battery. Alternatively, the turbo option will give you maximum torque.
The D4+ uses 10-inch pneumatic tires and a complex shock-absorbing system to keep the ride smooth. Rear disc brakes are efficient and responsive. Which you'll be thankful for when you're churning up the road and realize you need to come to a relatively sudden stop.
The battery pack is a thing of beauty. Not only is it capable of traveling up to 45 miles between charges, but when you do have to find an outlet, you'll only have to wait about three hours to get back on the road. That puts it on par with a high-end smartphone.
Other features include an LCD similar to what you'd find in a modern automobile. Track your speed, engine performance and other vital statistics in real-time. Front and rear LED lights will heighten your profile, even if you choose to ride at night.
The D4+ can fold up in three seconds, but it's not the most portable of scooters. It weighs in at a considerable 70 pounds. It's not so unwieldy that it becomes totally impractical for city dwellers. Just make sure you always remember to lift with your knees.
The NanRobot D4+'s combination of speed, range, and supernaturally efficient charging capability checks just about every box imaginable off your list.
It's a little on the heavy side, making it less convenient for commuters who also have to rely on public transportation. But honestly, it's probably worth the occasionally strained bicep. Buy it
Things to Consider When Looking For An Electric Scooter For Heavy Adults
It's not a big deal if you don't want to take our word as gospel. Really, it's OK. We understand.
There really are a surprising number of options out there, so don't be afraid to check out the market. If you know what you're looking for and are willing to do the research, you're bound to find something to fit your style.
Here are some things you should know as you begin your search.
- Check out the motor. The more powerful the output, the more get up and go your scooter will have. A higher-power, higher-torque engine is going to give you more kick, but those motors often have the tradeoff of being a bit less efficient.
- Are you looking for a reliable, eco-friendly way to get to work each day? Or are you just using your scooter for the occasional spin around town? Because scooter motors and batteries are affected by so many factors, the length of time and the distance you can travel between charges can vary significantly.
- Weight limits are determined by several factors. Of primary importance is the sturdiness and weight of the frame, as well as the materials used in construction. The wattage of the engine also factors in, because heavier riders require a bit more of a push to get rolling.
- If you're approaching the max weight limit on your scooter, you might notice a decline in performance and speed. It might still get you where you need to go, but your battery probably won't be operating at max efficiency.
- Before investing in something as expensive as an electric scooter, make sure you figure out what is and is not legal where you live. Laws vary from state to state, and leaders in each municipality also can enforce various restrictions.
- Some states have speed limits for electric scooters, or only allow riders who are over the age of 16. Scooters can't be used on sidewalks or bike paths in some areas. Some states and cities even have restrictions on where you can park your scooter.
- Your city's terrain is also going to have a big impact on your scooter choice. Most are capable of going uphill, but the grade of the incline is a huge mitigating factor. It might seem obvious, but it's worth stating: the steeper the hill, the harder your scooter is going to have to work.
- Check out each scooter's specs before you buy it. Most will list the grades at which they're capable of operating effectively.