This Fluid FreeRide Horizon review dives deep into the performance, build quality and features of the Horizon.
Fluid FreeRide Horizon Review: Highlights
- Excellent 26 mile range
- Folds into very compact package (39 x 7 x 15 in)
- Good hill climbing ability compared to entry-level 250 watt motor scooters
- 42 lb weight makes it less portable
- Fast, but not quite as punchy as slightly more powerful scooters (e.g. WideWheel)
- Solid rear tire doesn’t have as good of traction as a pneumatic one
What it's for
- Someone who is looking to go one step up from the M365 or another entry level scooter.
- Riders with long commutes desiring a scooter with a small form factor.
- Traversing urban areas with lots of steep, sustained hills
Review of Horizon Performance
Horizon Test Data Summary
|0 to 15 MPH (24 kmh) time||4.68 seconds|
|50 feet time||4.67 seconds|
|100 feet time||6.33 seconds|
|200 feet time||10.18 seconds|
|Hill Climb Test (200 ft, 15% grade)||15.13 seconds|
|15 to 0 MPH time||2.08 seconds|
|15 to 0 MPH distance||23.0 feet (7 meters)|
|Top Speed, Flat||22 mph (35 kmh)|
|Range||26 miles (42 km)|
Read about our testing methodology or compare with other scooters on our electric scooter acceleration testing page.
Our Horizon review found that acceleration is a little laggy initially, up to about 8 mph. However, after gentle initial acceleration, you hit the sweet spot of the acceleration curve — the Horizon wakes up and starts pulling hard all the way up to 15 mph. At >15 mph acceleration slowly rolls off until you hit the top speed of ~22 mph.
The motor, which is unsuspecting initially, also wakes up, and strong acceleration is accompanied by pleasant increased motor whirring sounds.
We hit 15 mph in 4.7 seconds in our acceleration tests and sprinted 200 ft in 10.2 seconds.
Overall, acceleration to 15 mph is nearly 2X faster than the budget Xiaomi M365, which takes 8.2 seconds. However, the Xiaomi and some other budget scooters may actually beat the Horizon off the line due to less acceleration lag.
The Horizon performs very well on even the steepest of hills. If you live a hilly city e.g. San Francisco, then the Horizon will perform well for you.
On an average hill of a few % grade, the Horizon is able to fly up at only a few mph below its maximum speed.
On our standardized hill climb test, the Horizon climbed a 200 ft distance at 15% average grade in 15.13 seconds, significantly faster than the M365 (21.2 seconds) and just a hair slower than the more powerful (and pricier) eMove Cruiser (12.0 seconds).
When fully charged, the Horizon will hit ~22 mph (35 kmh) on the flat and 24 mph (39 kmh) when going downhill (165 lbs rider). Speed is not electronically governed, but limited by motor power output.
Our GPS tracked Horizon range test, which simulates a real urban commute, yielded a 26 mile (42 km) real-world range. This is one mile more than the advertised 25 mile range and the longest range at this weight class.
The Horizon features both a rear drum and rear electronic brake controlled by a single lever.
Overall, the redundant braking system performed very well and we were able to bring the scooter from 15 to 0 mph in 23 feet.
The rear drum brake, which has the benefit of being fully encased within the wheel is virtually maintenance free and should be very robust. Out-of-the-box, the brakes were dialed-in and quiet. There is minimal travel in the brake lever meaning you don’t have to pull it much before it activates. Finally, braking action is smooth and minimal force is required for maximum braking.
The only downside to the braking system as whole is that all braking action is coming from the rear airless tire. The tire doesn’t have quite as much grip as a pneumatic one. If you lock it out the rear tire will slide around. Overall, performance for the braking system as a whole is still very good.
Read more: electric scooter braking tests.
The weight balance on the scooter is more centered towards the rear where the motor and drum brake are located.
Even after completing the range test, which consisted of 26 miles of starts/stops and riding over rough roads, we could still feel our feet and our joints weren’t hurting. This is good sign that the suspension is doing its job.
Horizon Electric Scooter Feature Review
Overall, the Horizon is on the heavier side of portable, but folds into one of the most compact sizes for stowage on public transportation or at a coffee shop.
The Horizon is 42 lbs, which is under the upper limit of 45 lbs that we consider to make a scooter truly “portable.” However, the stem size and weight balance make the scooter feel much lighter than this.
To fold into a compact package, the Horizon features:
- Folding handlebars
- Folding stem
- Telescoping stem
Handlebar folding mechanism
The Horizon has a simple handlebar folding mechanism that greatly reduces the width of the folded scooter.
To unfold, you simply pull the handlebars upwards, then tighten a screw mechanism to lock them into place. This will prevent them from collapsing mid-ride (which we’ve experienced on foldable, but non-locking handlebars).
During our test riding, we noticed that the handlebar screwing mechanisms had a tendency to loosen up every so often when traveling over rough roads and we found ourselves re-tightening it. This didn’t cause any major problems, but is worth mentioning. We are experimenting with some simple fixes and will update if we come across one.
Stem folding mechanism
Folding the Horizon is very easy — you simply pull on a metal lever near the base of the deck and the scooter folds. The scooter locks in the folded position for easy carrying.
Unfolding is just as easy.
The pin seat is covering >50% of the metal pin, and has a nice click to it when completely locked in folded or unfolded positions.
Handlebars / Cockpit
The Horizon has quality, ergonomic, rubberized grips that are secured well to the handlebars. We didn’t have any problems with them twisting or turning while riding.
Throttle / LCD Display
The throttle control and LCD information display are one trigger-style unit, that are ubiquitous among scooters.
Throttle build quality is okay, feels very light. The force needed to pull the throttle is not a lot, which makes it feel a bit cheap, but also makes it more comfortable to hold down for extended periods of time.
The LCD display shows mode, speed, odometer and battery level. You can also use it to tune some of the many P-settings that control different features. The LCD display, with the exception of the battery level, is easy to read (even in bright sunlight).
The Horizon has a single, high-quality brake lever mounted on the left side of the handlebars. The single brake lever activates both the electronic brake and rear drum brake.
Pulling action on the lever is smooth, has minimal travel, and requires minimal force. Pulling down just slightly on the lever will activate the electronic brake which provides modest braking. Pulling just a bit further, takes the small amount of slack in the mechanical cable and begins to activate the rear drum brake.
Overall, the brake lever gives good control over the brakes and allows sudden, rapid and controlled stopping, if necessary.
The Fluid FreeRide Horizon features both front and rear lights. The scooter does not have any auxiliary lighting or turn signals.
Overall, these lights will help if you find yourself riding at night occasionally. However, they aren’t terribly bright and you should definitely upgrade if you plan on riding regularly at night.
Read our complete guide to riding an electric scooter at night.
Besides the low mounted, small front light, there are two button lights on either side of the deck.
Rear lights are just two button lights mounted on the platform. They blink when brake is activated whether lights are “on” or not.
No Horizon scooter review would be complete without geeking out about tires a little.
The Horizon features a front 8.5″ (20.3 cm) pneumatic tire and 8″ rear airless tire.
The front pneumatic tire provides good traction and combined with front suspension works well for rolling over most obstacles and bumps you’ll encounter in an urban setting.
The rear tire is airless and consequently doesn’t provide quite as good of traction as the front one. It will perform worse in wet conditions. The main benefit of the airless rear tires is zero maintenance and risk of flats.
Also, if you hit the brakes hard you can lock out the back tire and we’ve noticed the scooter likes to slide at a bit of angle. If intentional, this can be a lot of fun.
Learn more: technical guide to electric scooter tires.
The Horizon has a front coil suspension and rear hydraulic suspension.
The front coil suspension and 8.5″ pneumatic tire help to soften the impact from road potholes or debris. They also reduce the amount of force needed to roll over obstacles that might otherwise result in face planting into the ground.
The rear hydraulic suspension is less important for rolling over obstacles and mostly contributes to overall ride quality. It ensures you don’t get a brain massage / joint pain when riding on really rough roads.
Overall, the Horizon suspension is fairly quiet — unlike the dreaded clanking suspension on the Ninebot ES2 — and yields ride quality that is on par with dual large diameter pneumatic tires.
Overall, the Horizon has good build quality.
Cabling and wiring originating from the handlebars and descending into the various parts of the scooter are all nicely buttoned up in a protective sheath and routed through a separate tube attached to the main stem. This gives the scooter a clean look and should increase durability.
While the Horizon is by no means a tank, it is well constructed. Most of the scooter is constructed from quality metal parts and assembled together with hefty bolts.
When fully unfolded, the scooter is fairly solid without noticeably creaking that would suggest poor quality. However, there is play in the folding handlebars and stem if you push or pull hard on them. Though we don’t love this, even the sturdiest of scooters tend to have some play in the folding/adjustable joints and the Horizon is no worse.
The Horizon we received had one screwing mechanism on the folding handlebar that tended to back out every few miles, which was a bit annoying but not a huge quality/safety issue.
Miscellaneous Features Review
Charging port placement: the charging port for the Horizon is placed on the front of the scooter deck and requires the wheel to be turned when its plugged in. This is a little awkward because if you accidentally turn the wheel while charging, you could potentially break off the charger plug or damage the scooter charging port.
Kickstand: the kickstand is little too short and causes the scooter to lean over a bit too far.
Horizon Review Conclusions
Despite a few minor gripes regarding the charging port placement, throttle lag, and loosening handlebar threads, the Horizon is a great scooter at a competitive pricepoint.
- longer range
- better hill climbing
- higher top speed
- greater compactness
The trade-off is its 42 lb weight, which is roughly ~16 lbs heavier than a typical 250 watt scooter.
The Horizon is currently on pre-order discount and available exclusively from Fluid FreeRide.
Fluid FreeRide Horizon Technical Specifications
|Weight||42 lb||18 kg|
|Folded Dimensions||39 x 7 x 15 in||99 x 18 x 38 cm|
|Motor power||500 watts|
|Top speed||25 mph||40 kmh|
|Range||25 mi||40 km|
|Battery capacity||624 watt hours|
|Battery recharge time|
|Max rider weight||264 lb||120 kg|
|Brake type||Rear drum + electronic|
|Tire type||8.5″ pneumatic (front) / 8 ” solid (rear)|
|Built-in lights (front / rear)||Yes||Yes|