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Segway Ninebot Max Review: Comfort + Insane Range

by freshlycharged

Who will love the Segway Ninebot Max:

Commuters looking for a durable, long range, no frills electric scooter will find what they are looking for with the Segway Ninebot Max.

What I think:

While my main electric rideable devices have been the Onewheel, Electric Unicycle, and Electric skateboard, I am fascinated by the electric scooter, which has arguably the easiest learning curve of all the electric mobility devices. You don’t have to really have any background or experience to hop on a scooter and ride.

The scooter is super portable, is far less intimidating than electric skateboards or onewheels and is much easier to learn than electric unicycles. That makes the electric scooter an ideal choice for last mile transportation for many people.

The Ninebot Max boasts big batteries for big range (40 miles under ideal riding conditions), big wheels, a big base, and a big front stem. This scooter is just big. You know what’s not big? The price tag. At sub $1000, this scooter offers a lot, especially the range which many will find very appealing.

If you want specs and numbers, go to their website. I’m going to go over the 3 factors that matter most to me when I ride and then I wrap up with what I liked about this scooter and what I hated.

Starting with the first factor that matters to me when I ride…

Comfort:

The large air filled tires felt nice and helped to absorb the chatter and vibrations that small bumps and cracks transmit up into the tire, up the stem, through the handlebars and into your hands and forearms.

While scooters with suspension may offer a smoother ride these big tires are a pretty good substitute as one OR the other is needed for a smoother ride.

Having both big air filled tires and suspension would be ideal, especially if you plan on daily commutes greater than 15 miles at a time, but the big wheels are sufficient for short to moderate length rides on descent pavement.

The front stem of this scooter is taller than most and will be a relief for tall and even average height riders. I’m 5’10” and it felt natural. I could stand straight and my arms in a natural position.

It was comfortable. The front wheel to stem to handle bar set up is solid. While the turning radius is limited, there is no unnecessary wobble or play in the front which felt responsive, stable and sturdy at cruising speeds.

Range:

The 40 mile range is commendable for a device at this price point, but this number needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Manufacturers tend to exaggerate range and even if they did give an honest range estimate, that number will be drastically affected by variables such as rider weight, wind resistance, riding style, riding speed, terrain, topography, temperature, wind, tire PSI… am I forgetting anything?

The nice thing is, 40 miles is a big number and even if you only get a solid 25-30 miles, that should be enough for most people.

Speed:

I’m no speed demon and on this day, the snow, ice, and slush kept me from sending it and going full throttle. I will say that the acceleration felt nice, and at cruising speeds I felt comfortable. It handled the ice and slush surprisingly well and even when my rear wheel would spin out on the soft snow, I felt safe and stable. My Onewheel on the other hand did slip in some of the slush a little and I ended up having to jump off.

Now for what I loved and hated about the Ninebot Max

What I loved about the Ninebot Max:

I absolutely loved the twist bell: Perfectly placed on the left handle bar. Easy to use. Nice built in design.

The brakes: The hand operated brakes engages the front brakes and the rear electric brakes which were surprisingly good. As a guy that always harps on safety, I felt very confident with the brakes on this device.

Sturdy design: The Ninebot is solid. While the word scooter may imply something for children, the Ninebot Max is no toy.

Folding and unfolding was simple and easy to do.

Charging: the power supply is built into the scooter so no need to carry around a charging brick, just the cable. Very convenient.

What I hated about the Ninebot Max:

How they shipped it. The packaging is pretty minimal and the box was pretty beat up. Fortunately the scooter is solid and can withstand a beating. Just don’t let your delivery person leave it on your doorstep as thieves will have no problem identifying what is in the clearly marked package.

Regenerative braking. It did not feel as robust as I would have liked. When I drive my Tesla I love the strong regenerative braking which basically allows me to drive using only one pedal. The Ninebot’s regenerative braking was noticeable, but personally, I would have liked more regen to minimize the use of the hand brake and to increase the amount of energy I harness back into my battery.

Weight and bulk: This scooter is big and heavy. This means transporting it on and off public transportation, in and out of cars, and up and down stairs will be difficult. That’s not something you want when looking for a last mile solution. Of course, the range on this guy is 40 miles so maybe it’s meant to be your main transportation solution rather than your last mile solution?

Lack of suspension: the big battery range and the big built like a tank body makes this scooter ideal for going on trails and on long marathon rides. However, the lack of suspension means you’ll really be feeling all those bumps, cracks, and potholes before the end of your journey.

Now for the big question. Would I get a Ninebot Max?

Personally I would not get a scooter for myself just because my electric unicycles and Onewheels can get me around and are way more fun to ride while freeing up my hands to capture video, to eat, to drink, and to be merry.

I would get a Ninebot Kickscooter Max for my wife though. She is deathly scared of my one wheeled devices and like I said at the beginning, the scooter is the least intimidating of all the e-rideables out there. I’d love for my wife to be able to join me on long rides and maybe this is how I get her started in the world of electric mobility devices.

If you are interested, here are some screen grabs of the Ninebot Max app so you have an idea of what to expect before you first ride:

Conclusion:

The Segway Max is a good workhorse of an electric scooter. For current pricing, check out Amazon.

If you are looking for more range and suspension in addition to large pneumatic tires, consider the InMotion L9 electric scooter which has more features than the Segway Max, but still within the under $1000 e-scooter category.

Here’s my full review of the InMotion L9.

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We are Andrew and Jimmy, two guys who love personal electric vehicles, and we hope to share our experiences and reviews to help you find the best next PEV for your needs.

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