This Segway Ninebot ES2 review details one of the most prolific, yet most mediocre electric scooters on the market today.
Read on to learn what we found and why there are much better scooters out there for you.
Segway ES2 Review: Highlights
The Segway ES2 is an incredibly popular scooter that is priced much above its similar-spec’d cousins. After putting a ton of miles on this scooter and thoroughly considering all of its features, it’s a bit puzzling to us how this could be such a popular scooter. The only explanation that might make sense is the strength and name recognition of the Segway brand.
- Range: 16 miles
- Top speed: 16 mph
- Weight: 28 lbs
- Max rider weight: 220 lbs
- Brakes (front/rear): Regenerative / Foot
- Tire (front/rear): Dual solid (airless)
Review of Segway Ninebot ES2 Performace
Segway Ninebot claims a 16 mile range but we actually got 9.8 miles on our Berkeley, California test track during our real-world ES2 testing that simulates a challenging semi-urban commute.
Read more about: acceleration, range, top speed, braking and other performance tests.
This relatively short range isn’t surprising, given that the ES2 has only a 187 watt hour battery, whereas its nearest competitors have 280 watt hour batteries and achieve much better range.
Acceleration and Top Speed
Like many electric scooters that are trying to maximize range, the ES2 must be kick-started. Though we expect a 300 watt electric motor on a 28 lb electric scooter to be fairly peppy, acceleration was downright sluggish.
In fact, dissapointingly, the ES2 feels slower than its cheaper, smaller motor (250 watt) friends, the Xiaomi M365 and Swagger 5. Though the ES2 can still reach a top speed of 16 mph, it takes a bit longer than these other scooters.
On the plus side, the motor is very quiet. Maybe that’s not too surprising because its actually not doing a whole lot in the acceleration department.
The Ninebot ES2 has a front regenerative brake and a foot brake in the rear. Neither of these are high-quality braking systems and it’s a little shocking at this price to not see a more robust brake.
You can read our take on brakes in: technical guide to electric scooter brakes.
Additionally, Segway Ninebot has had some issues with the regenerative brake activating inappropriately and throwing riders off their scooters.
The regenerative brake, like all regenerative brakes, is not very powerful and will not stop you quickly.
To stop more quickly you must also use the rear foot brake, which requires you to shift most of your weight onto one leg. In an emergency situation, this is not a quick maneuver.
Both braking systems are supremely quiet — probably because, like the motor, they aren’t doing a whole lot.
Stability is decent. Wheel base is similar to other scooters in the price class. Wheels are a bit smaller than average at 8″ (20 cm) vs 8.5″ (22 cm) but not very noticeable.
The flat portion of the platform is about 16 inches (41 cm), which is the same as the Xiaomi. Then there is a gradual raising of the platform at the front, the first few inches is usable. This is actually a great design feature that helps to increase space on the deck without increasing the overall dimensions of the scooter.
The big drawback to this scooter is the jarring ride. Although the suspension feels soft when you jump on it, there will be a loud banging sound every time you go over a bump or large crack in the road. It also rattles constantly on rough roads. This is not a great experience.
Most scooters without pneumatic tires will transfer the vibration of the road into the scooter somehow, but this one seems to let out the energy through noise! Riding is a jarring experience and it’s a little embarassing to have such a rickety-sounding scooter that is loud enough for people around you to hear.
The suspension is not the only part at-fault to explain the poor ride quality. The tires must take some of the blame. They are solid and are the least supple of any solid tires we’ve felt. There is just no give to them at all.
Due to the design choice of putting the battery in the stem rather than the base, the stem is quite a bit thicker than most scooters (7 inches diameter) Xiaomi is 5”, Unagi is 3.5”.
When folded to carry, this means an average adult hand will not wrap all the way around the stem — making the 28 lbs (13 kg) weight of the scooter feel like 35 lbs.
To make matters worse, the balance point when carrying is right on top of a raised portion (charging port) of the already large stem, making it easy to find where to carry, but not really making it easier.
Similar to other scooters like the Xiaomi, Swagger, and Gotrax, the Ninebot does not have folding handlebars. While upright, the dimensions are similar to these scooters.
However when folded, the Ninebot is 2″ (5 cm) longer. This may not sound like a lot, but it was just slightly too big to fit into the trunk of and mid-sized sedan, whereas every other scooter fit with no problem. We had to rearrange the other items in the back of the trunk to put it in at an angle.
Segway Ninebot ES2 Feature Review
Lights are as expected in the front and mounted high, which is nice.
Rear lights are on either side of the back platform of the scooter. They are mounted at an angle, rather than directly on the fender which means if you are directly behind the scooter you will have a harder time seeing the rear lights.
However, if you are on the side of the scooter, either directly or slightly to the back, you will see the lights well. To activate the lights you simply press the power button once while the scooter is on.
If you’re riding this scooter a lot at night, you might want to consider some light upgrades.
The best feature on the scooter is the ground effects (ground lighting) provided by 16 multicolored LEDs across over 12” of the bottom of the scooter. They can be customized to shine in nearly any color you choose and have different frequency modes, our favorite being the “breathing” mode where the lights gradually shine brighter and darker.
Not only is this cool, but it also makes it safer when riding at night.
Cockpit is clean, simple, and well-designed. The display shows speed, power mode, bluetooth connectivity, and battery level.
There are three power modes you can also change by double clicking on the power button while the scooter is on. There is a small icon that notifies you of what mode you are in.
Handlebars have good material design, feel nice in our hands, and do not move or spin. Throttle and brake placement are optimal on the right and left thumb positions. They also have wonderfully bumpy raised rubber lines that really give a premium feel. For longer rides, this design of thumb-activated brake and throttle are much more comfortable than “trigger-style” throttles and standard brake levers that you’ll find on other scooters.
There is no horn, which is also an interesting omission as nearly every other scooter on the market has one.
The display isn’t as dim as the Swagger 5, but not as bright as the Unagi. You can see the speed and battery power in direct sunlight, but the power mode icon is small and changes from white to red, which is very hard to make out until you go into the shade.
Acceleration lever is somewhat graduated, but considering the lackluster power, we pretty much always push it to the max. The brake is slightly graduated as well, but there is only a very minor difference between pushing a little and maxing out the brake.
Both the front and rear tires of the Segway ES2 are solid (airless). They are made of a fairly hard compound that is not supple like many other airless tires. This means they provide essentially zero suspension and poor grip.
The tires can be replaced when they wear down, but the front one is quite a painful procedure, that involves complete disassembly of the front wheel motor.
There is no stem wobble and that part of the scooter feels solid. However, we do not like the design of the latch style stem lock as the pin is only covered half-way and seems prone to come out, which would cause the handlebars/stem to fall into your lap.
Packaging / Contents in Box
Packaging was uninspired at best with crudely shaped and bent cardboard serving as insulation. These did the trick as the scooter came in fine shape. Manuals were provided in many different languages and had clear instructions on assembly and all the safety precautions when riding.
The ES2 has respectable build quality — on par with other major name-brand scooters in this price range. None of the components are super hefty like what you might find on a more expensive, higher-quality scooter, but they aren’t total garbage either.
Segway ES2 Review: Final Thoughts
Feel free to learn more and check the price on Amazon Prime, but we consider this scooter to be a don’t buy for several reasons:
- Feature set
The Segway ES2, coming in typically at just under $600 dollars is at the top end of the commuter class of electric scooter.
Though having similar quality to scooters in this class (Mi M365, Swagger 5, GXL V2) you’d think at this top end of price that it would be one of the best featured — yet it’s not. The airless tires are made of a harder rubber that provides poor traction, it lacks a strong braking mechanism, the 300 watt motor is slower than 250 watt scooters, and it’s tiny 187 watt hour battery yielded only 9.8 miles of range.
Finally, for repairability the ES2 gets an F.
Replacement parts are essentially non-existent and most repairs are quite difficult. If this thing breaks, its going to one of two places: the Segway Ninebot repair facility or the dumpster.
Better alternatives to Segway ES2
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Ninebot ES2 waterproof?
The Ninebot ES2 is not waterproof, but it is water resistant. It has a IP54 rating meaning that it can withstand water spray from any direction, but not submersion. Prolonged exposure to water will damage the ES2 and will not be covered by the Ninebot warranty.
Segway Ninebot ES2 Technical Specifications
|Weight||28 lb||13 kg|
|Folded dimensions||45″ x 17″ x 16″||113 x 43 x 40 cm|
|Motor power, continuous (front/rear)||300 watts|
|Top speed||16 mph||25 kmh|
|Range||16 mi||25 km|
|Battery capacity||187 Wh|
|Battery recharge time||—|
|Max rider weight||220 lb||100 kg|
|Brake type (front / rear)||Electronic||Electronic|
|Tire type (front / rear)||8″ Solid||8″ Solid|
|Built-in lights (front / rear)||Yes||Yes|