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 intense scooters, hulking autos able to hitting over 40 miles an hour, however too massive and heavy for multimodal commuting and out of most purchaser’s worth vary.
However there’s additionally a center floor in scooters just like the Mercane WideWheel, distributed completely by FluidFreeRide within the US. Able to hitting 25 miles per hour and 20 miles of vary, the WideWheel is without doubt one of the most well-rounded scooters available on the market, with few caveats. It gained’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 title: the extra-wide, 8×4-inch tires that make for a steady experience that feels nothing like your typical scooter experience. 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 attractive experience.
The scooter can be constructed to a excessive commonplace. It’s good wanting, for one; glossy with out being as ‘techy’ because the Unagi Mannequin One. Strangers would incessantly ask me about my experience. The scooter is available in at 50lb (42lb for the single-motor mannequin), and the metallic base feels strong and the stem has minimal wobble, though there’s some flex within the folding handlebars.
I’ll take it although, because the WideWheels folds small and slim sufficient to depart in a hallway or deliver on the subway with out stabbing anybody within the shin. It’s nonetheless an enormous scooter, thoughts you, at 43 inches lengthy, however in follow is usually extra sensible to tuck away in a nook than one thing with fastened 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 note the tires do transmit some vibrations from the street. Then again, the scooter comes with wonderful suspension that is ready to take up bumps and small potholes successfully, serving to me really feel safer on the street. The fats tires make it a blast to experience, and although I’ve ridden sooner, 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 shortly 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 high 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 possibly can go a “lifelike” 20 miles on a cost with the dual-motor model; the corporate even has a variety take a look at video exhibiting it attaining 18 miles at near-maximum energy with an 185-pound rider.
I are likely to experience slower and located myself repeatedly attaining 12-15 miles regardless of a 270lb payload in stop-and-go metropolis site visitors. And if you happen to 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 – akin 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 includes some finger gymnastics to press the throttle, brake, and button unexpectedly with cautious timing. You get the grasp of it will definitely, but it surely’s not enjoyable.
The LED headlamp can be disappointingly dim. It’ll aid you be seen from a distance at night time, however gained’t assist you see something forward of you. A separate, brighter mild is totally obligatory 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 largest 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, akin to on different scooters that will characteristic 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 a number of months in the past. The businesses dealt with the difficulty swiftly and overtly, providing free replacements and simple to observe directions. However it might have been a considerably smaller concern if the WideWheel had another option to brake. Except for, you already know, simply placing your shoe to the asphalt. You’ll wish to repeatedly examine the brake to verify all the pieces is so as.
Regardless of these caveats, I can’t assist however really feel the WideWheel is without doubt 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 effectively constructed, and is available in at a good worth. Most significantly, it’s an absolute blast to experience.
The Mercane WideWheel is on the market from FluidFreeRide starting at $999, however on the time of writing, the dual-motor model is on sale for $899.