This review covers one of the most well-balanced and revered electric scooters — the MiniMotors Dualtron Spider. We detail the key features and give our hands-on impression. Read on to learn the key features and drawbacks of this ride.
Dualtron Spider Review Summary
The Dualtron Spider is the pinnacle of performance for a lightweight yet powerful electric scooter. It is an awesome commuter scooter, striking an excellent balance between speed, range, weight, and durability. Finally, the Spider is a more practical and tamer family member in the formidable Dualtron line of electric scooters.
- Range: 37 miles
- Top speed: 40 mph
- Weight: 44 lbs
- Max rider weight: 220 lbs
- Brakes (front and rear): mechanical disc
- Tires (front and rear): 10″ pneumatic
- Suspension: front and rear
The Dualtron Spider is a high performance electric scooter that is thrilling to ride and powerful enough to get you into serious trouble. It is durable, beefy, and completely badass. However, its weight and size make it just tame enough to be a practical commuter. It is probably the best last mile solution. The Spider weighs 44 lbs and is modestly sized when folded. Hauling it up stairs, bringing it onto a train or into an elevator should be no problem. A few modifications can greatly enhance its portability and practicality.
The Dualtron Spider is an excellent investment for the dedicated electric scooter commuter because it (one that will save you at least $0.60/mile, compared to a car). If you’ve grown out of or broken your Ninebot or M365, this beefy scooter is for you.
The Spider has front and rear cable-actuated disc brakes. It also has dual regenerative brakes with anti-lock brake system (ABS) that can be enabled, disabled, and tuned via the EYE LCD interface. They may need adjustments out-of-the-box. However, once dialed in, they provide very good braking to keep this speedy beast under control.
A few simple DIY upgrades can also dramatically improve braking quality and feel. The dual regenerative brakes also add a bit of stopping power, however, like many other electric scooters, they do not function when the battery is fully charged. The Spider also features dual anti-lock braking system (ABS). However, it is not a true ABS system (like on a car) and has not been well-received by most. Most Spider owners disable it.
When the ABS system activates, it modulates the electronic regenerative braking capability of the electric scooter, multiple times per second, creating unnerving vibrations throughout the scooter and potentially putting excessive load and wear on the mechanical drive components. The best bet for braking safety is to make sure the brakes are dialed in and learn how to properly modulate them without locking up the wheels. This will require practice and an awareness of how grippy the tires are on different terrain (cement, asphalt, etc) and under different conditions (dry, rain).
Rear our guide to Dualtron Spider modifications to learn about tire and brake upgrades.
The motor is fueled by a 60 V, 17.5 amp hour battery pack formed of LG MJ1 cells with 1050 watt hour total capacity. Note: the LG MJ1 batteries are rated for 400 charge-discharge cycles and for charge/discharge rate of 1 C.
Top Speed and Acceleration
Like all scooters, range is heavily dependent on how throttle happy you are. Under the most aggressive riding circumstances (performance mode, powered start, frequent acceleration at max throttle, high speed riding) the quoted range could easily drop to a bit more than 50% of that claimed by the manufacturer. In the most eco mode, with care given for extending range (e.g. push start, gentler acceleration, lower top speed), you may approach 90% of the claimed range.
Ride quality and stability
At top speed, you will feel surprisingly stable on the Spider. The steering is solid and precise with no slop or wobble in the stem. This precision gives the rider immense confidence in this machine.
The suspension and modest ground clearance easily handle urban obstacles that could otherwise be catastrophic on a more civilized scooter. Potholes, road debris, uneven terrain are all easily soaked up by the scooter. Dropping off a curb is no problem and you are at no risk of bottoming out or scraping the undercarriage.
We were skeptical of the dual rubber cartridge suspension, which seems out of place on this high performance beast. However, if you put a decent number of miles on this scooter you will greatly appreciate ride quality, quietness, and durability of this dead simple suspension. Additionally, the cartridge suspension allows customizable ride stiffness by swapping in different cartridges.
Forward lighting is provided by two surprisingly anemic white button lights. The rear red lights are similarly weak and the low mounting position makes them difficult to see. You should upgrade the lighting if you ride at night or under poor visibility conditions. Love it or hate it, you also get the steering stem mood “swag” multi-colored lighting and remote control with a zillion possible options.
The classic wide Dualtron deck permits a good range of possible feet positions for comfort and stability.
The Spider has lightweight carbon fiber handlebars. These can easily be upgraded to folding ones for more portability. One thing to note is that carbon fiber is designed to be lightweight and strong but not necessarily durable.
If you plan on thrashing the scooter, swapping to more durable aluminum alloy one may be a good choice. Some riders complain that handlebar position is too low, though this can also be remedied with some adjustments.
The handlebars have laughably bad foam grips, which can be easily and cheaply upgraded.
The so called EYE cockpit is very functional. It has an accurate battery monitor and speedometer. The EYE cockpit gives immense control over performance and ride feel. You can set kick or powered start mode, regenerative brake strength, cruise control, auto power off, and enable/disable ABS. The EYE has a button to cycle through three possible power levels.
Located on the left handlebar are two push buttons for: Eco/Turbo mode and Single/Dual mode. Eco/Turbo controls the aggressiveness of the throttle, while the Single/Dual mode controls whether the scooter uses one or both motors. This combination of push buttons and EYE controller give immense customization of acceleration, top speed, and overall “aggressiveness” of the throttle. This level of throttle control does seem a little unnecessary and possibly could have been simplified. Overall, the interface is very functional, yet more reminiscent of a 90’s TimeX than the designed user experience that we’ve all come to expect in consumer products.
The Dualtron Spider’s folded dimensions are 44 x 10 x 19 inches. This is more compact than a bicycle and should be fairly easy to stow at home or work. One drawback is that there is no built-in way to latch, fold and carry this scooter. This can be readily accomplished with some simple modifications.
The 44 lb weight is heavy, but manageable for going up short flights of stairs, lifting into a car or bringing onto the bike car of a train. You wouldn’t want to haul this thing around for long distances or hoist it up 10 flights of stairs, but it is surprisingly maneuverable. If you’re on the smaller side or have some physical limitations, then it might be a bit much (check out comparable, lighter scooters).
The build quality of this electric scooter is superb, with the minor exception of the stem hinge that can be a little bit squeaky. The frame is constructed of 6082 T6-tempered aluminum, a high performance, lightweight, and strong alloy with good corrosion resistance. The control arm and suspension assembly are super beefy, ensuring this won’t be a point of failure. There are a handful of non-critical plastic components such as the fenders. Even these are heavy duty and durable. This model is known to suffer from out-of-the-box quality controls issues, including brakes that may need to be adjusted, fenders, and tire tube valve stem issues. If you have any issues, they are likely to be minor and a good distributor should be able to take care of any major ones.
Unlike a decent swath of the electric scooter market, which is akin to disposable electronics, the Dualtron Spider is a piece of equipment that will easily last for thousands of miles and years to come.
Like a Dualtron Spider, but ...
Cheaper alternative to Dualtron Spider
Qiewa Q1 Hummer is an excellent alternative to the Dualtron Spider. It has similar range and top speed, but is a bit heavier and suspension is not as good as the Spider. Overall quality less BUT price is 2/3 of the Spider. More details and available from Amazon.
Qiewa Qmini is another alternative. Build quality and features are another step down, but at less than 1/2 the price of a Dualtron Spider, it is a significant cost savings. Available from Amazon.
Inokim OX Hero is the another alternative to the Dualtron Spider, with excellent quality and features, though a bit heavier and less portable at 57 lbs. Available from Urbanmachina.
Lightweight alternative to Dualtron Spider
The MiniMotors Mini 4 Pro is a light alternative to the Dualtron Spider (weighing only 35 lbs). Range, top speed, and acceleration are still excellent, though nowhere as near as powerful as the Spider. There is significant cost savings with the Mini 4 Pro, which is about 1/2 that of the Spider.
Available from MiniMotors USA
More powerful alternative to Dualtron Spider
The MiniMotors Speedway 5 is a more powerful, yet still fairly civil electric scooter.
The MiniMotors Dualtron III is another step up in terms of power, weight, performance (and price). Beefier tires and cable-activated hydraulic calipers help keep the scooter planted on the ground and you in control.
The MiniMotors Dualtron Thunder is one of the most powerful, well-built electric scooters you can buy. It has giant 10″ x 4″ tires, massive battery, ultra powerful motors, and a fully hydraulic brake system. If this is really what you want, why are you even looking at the Spider?
|Weight||44 lb||19 kg|
|Folded dimensions||44 x 10 x 19 in||113 x 24 x 48 cm|
|Motor power||1350 watts|
|Top speed||40 mph||64 kmh|
|Range||37 mi||80 km|
|Battery capacity||1050 watt hours|
|Battery recharge time||8.7 (standard) to 2.6 (quick charger) hours|
|Max rider weight||220 lb||100 kg|
|Brake type (front / rear)||Mechanical disc w/ABS||Mechanical Disc w/ABS|
|Tire type (front / rear)||Pneumatic inner tube||Pneumatic inner tube|
|Built-in lights (front / rear)||Yes||Yes|