Segway Ninebot ES2 Review: The Popular Scooter That Just Isn’t Worth It

Ninebot ES2 Rear Wheel
Ninebot ES2 handlebars/cockpit area showing LED display
Electric scooter headlights
Segway Nineboot ES2 rear wheel foot brake
Close up of ES2 electric scooter front and rear tires
Ninebot ES2 electric scooter front wheel containing its DC motor
Segway Ninebot ES2 grey rubberized deck
Close up of ES2 electric scooter deck lighting
Segway ES2 electric scooter folded in a road
Ninebot ES2 Rear Wheel
Ninebot ES2 handlebars/cockpit area showing LED display
Electric scooter headlights
Segway Nineboot ES2 rear wheel foot brake
Close up of ES2 electric scooter front and rear tires
Ninebot ES2 electric scooter front wheel containing its DC motor
Segway Ninebot ES2 grey rubberized deck
Close up of ES2 electric scooter deck lighting
Segway ES2 electric scooter folded in a road

Segway Ninebot ES2

This Segway Ninebot ES2 review details one of the most prolific, yet most mediocre electric scooters on the market today. The ES2 is underpowered, short on range, and underpowered. The design and build quality are nice, but as an overall package, we don’t think it is a good value.

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 16.0 mph*
Tested range: 9.8 mi*
Weight: 29 lb
Max rider weight: 220 lb
Water resistance: IP54

Highlights

Overall clean design
Overpriced for feature set
Very sluggish
Poor ride quality

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Our content is independent, but buying through our links may earn us a commission.

Summary

The Segway ES2 is an incredibly popular scooter that is priced much above its competitors.

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 makes sense is the strength of name recognition due to the Segway brand.

Best Alternatives and Competitors

** Based on our independent testing, which may differ from manufacturer’s claims.

Model Top Speed** Range** Weight** Price
Segway Ninebot ES2 16.0 mph 9.8 mi - $549
Fluid Freeride Horizon (13 Ah) 24.0 mph 26.0 mi 39 lb $799
Segway Ninebot Max 17.8 mph 28.1 mi 43 lb $949
Unagi Model One (E500) 20.0 mph 8.5 mi 29 lb $990
Xiaomi Mi M365 16.7 mph 14.6 mi 27 lb $599

Ninebot ES2 Review

Performance Summary

Results below are based on our independent performance testing and not data provided by the manufacturer.

Acceleration (0 to 15 mph)7.1 seconds
Top speed16.0 mph
Braking distance (15 to 0 mph)17.7 feet
Range9.8 miles
Hill climb36.9 seconds

Acceleration

Ninebot ES2 electric scooter front wheel containing its DC motor

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 29 lb electric scooter to be fairly peppy, acceleration was downright sluggish.

During our acceleration tests, the Ninebot ES2 went from 0 to 15 mph in 7.1 seconds, nearly one second slower than the M365 (6.3 seconds). The ES2 is actually slower than its cheaper, smaller motor (250 watt) friend, the Xiaomi M365.

On the plus side, the motor is very quiet.

Hill Climb

The Ninebot ES2 electric scooter is a very poor scooter for climbing hills. In a city with any amount of hills, it will be wholly inadequate.

In fact, the ES2 is actually the slowest scooter we’ve tested. It took 36.9 seconds to complete our 200 ft, 10% grade hill climb test with a 165 lb rider.

For comparison, the less-expensive M365 completed this test in 20.8 seconds.

Top Speed

The top speed of the Segway Ninebot ES2 is 16.0 mph, according to our GPS-tracked top speed test.

Range

The Segway Ninebot ES2 has a 9.8-miles range, according to our real-world range tests. We test all scooters on the same urban test loop with the same 165 lb rider. The loop has frequent stops/starts and hills. The scooter is ridden as quickly as possible in the fastest (least energy-conserving) mode.

This relatively short range isn’t surprising, given that the ES2 has only a 187 watt-hour battery. The M365, its nearest competitor, has a 280 watt-hour battery and achieved 14.6 miles in our real-world range test.

This is less than the 16-mile range reported by Segway, under ideal conditions.

Braking

Segway Nineboot ES2 rear wheel foot brake

The Ninebot ES2 has a front regenerative brake and rear foot brake. Neither of these brakes is particularly strong.

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.

During our braking tests, the ES2 came to a halt from 15 mph in 17.7 feet using both the electronic and rear foot brake. Using the electronic brake alone, the scooter took more than 35 feet to come to a stop.

Ride quality

The Segway ES2 has poor ride quality due to its very hard solid tires (airless) and lackluster integrated suspension. Unfortunately, this results in a very jarring ride. It actually performs worse than scooters with pneumatic tires but no suspension.

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 continuously on rough roads. It’s somewhat embarrassing to have such a rickety-sounding scooter that is loud enough for people around you to hear.

Despite poor suspension, the scooter feels good to ride on smooth roads and is nimble.

Ninebot ES2 Features

Portability

Segway ES2 electric scooter folded in a road

The ES2 is a fairly portable scooter but has an oversized stem that is 2-inches larger in both diameter and length compared to similar scooters. The ES2 has folded dimensions of 44-inches by 17-inches by 12-inches. The stem folds, but the handlebars do not.

The large stem diameter, which houses the battery, makes the scooter both stiffer and stronger, but also makes it more difficult to carry compared to other scooters. When folded, the average adult hand will not wrap all the way around the large-diameter stem — making the scooter more cumbersome.

To make matters worse, the balance point is right on top of a raised portion (charging port) of the already large stem, making it easy to find but not ergonomic.

Additionally, the stem is also about 2-inches longer than similar scooters. 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.

The stem and handlebars do feel very strong and stiff. There is no stem wobble. However, we don’t like the design of the stem locking mechanism seems prone collapsing inadvertently (though we haven’t read any reports on this).

Cockpit

Ninebot ES2 handlebars/cockpit area showing LED display

The cockpit and handlebar area are nicely designed, look good, and have a high-quality finish.

The central feature of the cockpit is a bright LCD display. You can see the speed and battery power in direct sunlight. However, the power mode icon, which changes from white to red, is difficult to see.

The accelerator feels nice and has good mechanical action. It is sensitive to small change, but given the lackluster power, we pretty much always pushed it to the max. The brake control is similar but less sensitive, and there is only a minor difference between pushing a little and maxing it out.

Lights

Electric scooter headlights

The ES2 has both a high-mounted LED headlight and red taillight. Additionally, there are LED strips under the deck that provide so-called “ground effects” or “swag lighting.” Lights are easily controlled by quick-pressing the power button when the scooter is on.

Taillights are mounted on either side of the rear deck of the scooter. Because they are mounted at an angle, it is harder to see the scooter when you are directly behind it. However, visibility is good from the sides.

One of the best features on the scooter is the ground effects (ground lighting) provided by 16 multicolored LEDs on the bottom of the scooter. The lights have a variety of color and frequency modes — our favorite being the “breathing” mode where the lights gradually shine brighter and darker.

Close up of ES2 electric scooter deck lighting

Not only is this cool, but it also makes it safer when riding at night.

If you’re riding this scooter a lot at night, you might want to consider some light upgrades.

Tires

Close up of ES2 electric scooter front and rear tires

The Segway ES2 has front and rear solid (airless) that are 8.0 inches in diameter. They are made of a fairly hard compound that is not supple like 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.

The benefit of airless tires is not having to worry about flats. However, these particular ones are below average.

Deck

Segway Ninebot ES2 grey rubberized deck

The flat portion of the platform is about 16.0-inches, 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 a great design feature that helps to increase space on the deck without increasing the overall dimensions of the scooter.

Build Quality

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 or even better than 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.

Is the Ninebot ES2 waterproof?

The Ninebot ES2 is not waterproof, but it is water-resistant.  It has an 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: Review Conclusions

Ninebot ES2 Rear Wheel

We like the look of the ES2, think the design is good, and that it is manufactured well. The fit-and-finish is great. We wish all scooters were at least as good as the ES2 in these respects.

However, we consider this scooter to be a don’t buy for three reasons:

  • Price
  • Feature set
  • Repairability

The Segway ES2 typically costs around $549 — about the most we’ve seen for these specs. Though having a similar quality to scooters in this class (Mi M365, GXL V2), it is not one of the best-featured.

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, it’s going to one of two places: the Segway Ninebot repair facility or the dumpster.

If you’re convinced the ES2 isn’t the best scooter for you, see our recommended alternatives. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.

Our content is independent, but buying through our links may earn us a commission.

Ninebot ES2 Specifications

Note: These specification are provided by the manufacturer and may differ from our real-world testing.

MakeSegway
ModelNinebot ES2
Weight29 lb
Folded dimensions44 by 17 by 12 in
Motor power, continuous300 W
Top speed16 mph
Range16 mi
Battery capacity187 Wh
Battery recharge time3.5 hrs
Max rider weight220 lb
Brake typeRegenerative + Foot
Tire type8.0 in Solid + Solid
Built-in lightsFront + Rear
Water resistanceIP54

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About the Author

Paul

With a background in applied physics, Paul is ESG’s Hardware Program Manager and a former motorcycle roadracing champion and manager of scooter repair workhouses for Lime and Skip; Paul has spent more of his life riding (and working) on two wheels than four.

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