Most individuals affiliate electrical scooters with the low-end fashions utilized by ride-sharing providers which have inundated cities all through the world. Then there are the acute scooters, hulking autos able to hitting over 40 miles an hour, however too huge and heavy for multimodal commuting and out of most purchaser’s value vary.
However there’s additionally a center floor in scooters just like the Mercane WideWheel, distributed solely by FluidFreeRide within the US. Able to hitting 25 miles per hour and 20 miles of vary, the WideWheel is likely one of the most well-rounded scooters in the marketplace, with few caveats. It received’t break the financial institution in comparison with similarly-powered scooters, coming in at $999 or $1,200 relying on whether or not you go for the only (500W) or dual-motor (1000W) configuration, respectively. (Furthermore, it’s on sale for $899 on the time of publishing).
The scooter‘s declare to fame is in its identify: the extra-wide, 8×4-inch tires that make for a steady journey that feels nothing like your typical scooter journey. The expertise in some methods extra akin to using a snowboard or surfboard than your typical scooter, asking you to make use of extra of your physique to make tight turns round corners, and making for an enticing journey.
The scooter can also be constructed to a excessive normal. It’s good trying, for one; modern with out being as ‘techy’ because the Unagi Mannequin One. Strangers would steadily ask me about my journey. The scooter is available in at 50lb (42lb for the single-motor mannequin), and the metallic base feels stable and the stem has minimal wobble, though there may be some flex within the folding handlebars.
I’ll take it although, because the WideWheels folds small and slim sufficient to go away in a hallway or carry on the subway with out stabbing anybody within the shin. It’s nonetheless a giant scooter, thoughts you, at 43 inches lengthy, however in observe is usually extra sensible to tuck away in a nook than one thing with mounted handlebars, just like the Unagi Mannequin One.
Whereas the WideWheel makes use of airless tires for sturdiness – you by no means have to fret a couple of flat – take into accout the tires do transmit some vibrations from the highway. Alternatively, the scooter comes with glorious suspension that is ready to take up bumps and small potholes successfully, serving to me really feel safer on the highway. The fats tires make it a blast to journey, and although I’ve ridden quicker, stabler scooters– together with FluidFreeRide’s personal Mantis – none feels fairly as partaking because the WideWheel.
That’s to not say the WideWheel isn’t zippy although. The very first thing I after I pressed the throttle was simply how rapidly the scooter accelerates – practically as quick because the 40mph Mantis. Regardless of my being a 270lb rider, it climbs up hills like no person’s enterprise, and it had no downside getting as much as its 25mph prime pace as soon as unlocked. That’s quick sufficient to maintain with NYC site visitors in a pinch, although I usually hovered nearer to 15-18mph.
The scooter delivers on vary too. FluidFreeRide claims you’ll be able to go a “real looking” 20 miles on a cost with the dual-motor model; the corporate even has a variety check video displaying it attaining 18 miles at near-maximum energy with an 185-pound rider.
I are inclined to journey slower and located myself recurrently attaining 12-15 miles regardless of a 270lb payload in stop-and-go metropolis site visitors. And in case you do run out of battery, the WideWheel makes a surprisingly respectable kickscooter on flat terrain.
The scooter isn’t with out its faults although. The obvious one is in its interface. Altering settings – similar to to modify between energy modes or activate cruise management – is needlessly sophisticated.
The WideWheel’s interface consists of 4 LEDs and a single button to modify between modes. Unlocking the highest pace entails some finger gymnastics to press the throttle, brake, and button with cautious timing. You get the hold of it will definitely, nevertheless it’s not enjoyable.
The LED headlamp can also be disappointingly dim. It’ll provide help to be seen from a distance at night time, however received’t assist you see something forward of you. A separate, brighter mild is completely essential for night-time using. And whereas the acceleration is zippy, the throttle isn’t practically as easy because the one on the Mantis or Unagi Mannequin one.
However the WideWheel’s greatest flaw, so far as I’m involved, is that it solely has one brake. It’s an efficient disc brake, however there’s no built-in redundancy ought to one thing go amiss, similar to on different scooters which will function digital braking or a bodily foot brake along with a disc brake.
This downside got here to a head when FluidFreeRide and Mercane issued a recall for the WideWheel after a difficulty was found with the brake caliper just a few months in the past. The businesses dealt with the difficulty swiftly and brazenly, providing free replacements and simple to observe directions. However it will have been a considerably smaller concern if the WideWheel had another method to brake. Other than, you already know, simply placing your shoe to the asphalt. You’ll need to recurrently examine the brake to ensure every thing is so as.
Regardless of these caveats, I can’t assist however really feel the WideWheel is likely one of the greatest fanatic purchases within the electrical scooter market. It’s quick, steady and comparatively compact for its energy. It has good vary, feels nicely constructed, and is available in at a good value. Most significantly, it’s an absolute blast to journey.
The Mercane WideWheel is obtainable from FluidFreeRide starting at $999, however on the time of writing, the dual-motor model is on sale for $899.