It wasn’t all that long ago that foldable scooters were seen as nothing more than a children’s toy. I remember laughing at my twelve-year-old younger brother and his mates in their ‘scooter gang’ scooting around the local streets not that long ago...
Today, however, you’re a lot more likely to see young professionals zipping around the city streets of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane on top of foldable scooters – scurrying to and from with these fantastic alternatives to traditional commuter options.
Foldable scooters (almost universally powered by electric battery packs, as opposed to petrol motors), have become one of the hottest ways to commute to and from work.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that they offer so many different advantages and benefits over the more traditional choices (including bicycles) – advantages and benefits we highlight more in depth below.
So, let’s get right into it!
Foldable Electric Scooters for Getting to Work
Frequently referred to as “commuter scooters”, if you’ve spent any amount of time in any of Australia’s major cities (as well as most decent sized cities around the world!) the odds are pretty good that you’ve seen a few people scooting around the streets.
Incredibly lightweight, super compact, and a fantastic alternative for those that don’t want to deal with the headache and hassle of owning a car or dealing with public transportation.
You’ll never again have to worry about being stuck in traffic, using a clogged bicycle lane, or dealing with finding a place to park, keeping track of your stops with public transport, or locking up your bicycle before you head into the office - there's a lot to love about the foldable electric scooters.
What is a Foldable Scooter?
Fold up scooters are essentially the exact same thing as a traditional “kick scooter”, with a few modifications.
For starters, while these foldable scooters can be used manually (using a kicking motion to propel yourself up and down city streets) they almost always have some sort of drive system tied to the rear wheel – electric or petrol powered – that lets you sit back, relax, and zip around without having to do any kicking whatsoever.
Secondly, these fold up scooters almost universally feature significantly improved wheels, suspension systems, and larger format “running boards” that you can stand on top of. Many also feature overhauled breaking mechanisms, quick charge capabilities, and of course the opportunity to fold almost completely flat for storage or transportation.
What is the difference between a Foldable Scooter and Mobility Scooter?
While it’s certainly possible that you could use a mobility scooter as a commuter scooter, the truth is there’s actually a lot that separates mobility and foldable scooters.
For starters, mobility scooters are almost universally designed for individuals that have a tough time moving around in public places, as well as at home. Many of these scooters are carefully crafted for individuals with disabilities and conditions that do not allow them to walk for extended amounts of time.
These kinds of scooters are nearly always “sit down” scooters that look a lot like the kinds of motorised shopping baskets you can find at grocery stores and some retail outlets. They aren’t quite as manoeuvrable, easy to pilot, or even have the same amount of range and speed that a foldable scooter has, which is specifically designed for convenient commuting.
On top of all that, they certainly cannot be folded up, tucked under a single arm, and brought up a flight (or a dozen) of stairs, taken onto public transport, and then deployed quickly later down the line when you want to speed around on the scooter again.
Sure, mobility scooters certainly serve a specific purpose and do a great job in those situations. But they aren’t commuter style scooters the way that foldable systems are, that’s for sure.
Features You Need to Look for When Buying a Foldable Electric Scooter
When shopping for a new foldable scooter there are a couple of different features you want to focus on before you dive right in and invest your hard-earned money in this kind of transportation technology.
The handle bars of the foldable electric scooter you choose will have a huge impact on how comfortable (or uncomfortable) your new scooter is. They should have ergonomic designs, and remain relatively compact so that everything still folds away pretty neatly.
The battery of your new foldable scooter is its heartbeat and its lifeblood, unless of course you want to spend a lot of time manually kicking your scooter around when you could have been cruising at top speed.
The bigger the battery, the more life you’ll get out of the scooter, and the faster you’ll be able to cruise as well. But be mindful that generally the bigger the battery, the heavier the scooter. Also look for something that offers lithium-ion technology, so that your scooter doesn’t lose performance as battery life begins to dwindle.
The forks that your scooter has upfront are going to play a huge role in the amount of control, consistency, and stability you have, as well as the suspension system you get out of your new scooter.
Under no circumstances do you want a foldable scooter that feels loose, sloppy, or difficult to turn or control – particularly at high speeds! These forks should also have built-in suspension systems to ride over uneven terrain without losing performance capabilities.
The deck of any foldable scooter is where you’re going to spend the bulk of your time standing. It needs to be wide enough to comfortably accommodate both of your feet, but slim enough to get through tight and narrow spaces as you move through your commute.
Look for a deck that is at least partially raised compared to more traditional scooters, so you also have a better level of clearance.
The grips of your scooter offer control, comfort, and security as well as stability. They should be thick but never uncomfortable, grippy but never too sticky, and easy enough to hold in your hand without a lot of pressure, while still letting you exert total control over the scooter at every moment.
Sure, some of the foldable commuter scooter options out there are certainly faster than others but that may not be the number one consideration you have going forward.
Ultrafast scooters often have a smaller range than scooters that are a little bit slower. This is usually where the biggest trade-off between speed and longevity comes into play as far as your lithium-ion battery pack is concerned.
This doesn’t mean that you should go for a foldable scooter that goes along slower than you could walk, but it does mean that you shouldn’t necessarily look for a scooter that can win drag races.
Spare Part Availability
Like everything else in the transportation world made by human beings, the odds are that your scooter is going to require a little bit of repair, a little bit of maintenance, and a little bit of upkeep – particularly as you put more and more mileage under its belt.
Spare parts should be easily accessible, relatively affordable, and it’s best if you can actually work on your scooter yourself rather than having to send it out to a specialist to fix it up for you.
What is the Best Foldable Scooter for Adults to Travel to Work?
If you are on the hunt for the best foldable scooter as an adult, and looking for a better commuting option, you have a couple of different top-tier pieces of transportation technology to pick and choose from.
The Raine One Electric Scooter is one of the best options that money can buy, and maybe the best foldable electric scooter available on the Australian market! It’s 100% electric, with one of the fastest charging battery packs for scooters on the market right now. You can even get over 40km of continuous transportation on a single charge!
The X-system fold with carbon fibre elements makes the Raine One super compact, meaning it can easily slide under your desk during the work day, or can be put into the trunk of a car for transportation. Weighing only 12kg, you can also easily carry the Raine scooter onto public transport or up and down stairs, without exhausting yourself.
To improve the comfort of your riding experience, the Raine One also includes a wide composite high-grip deck, which means you’ll be able to find your perfect stance in all conditions.
In many instances, brands have had to compromise the overall strength of the scooter in order to accommodate a folding mechanism. In the case of Raine though, they took 12 months to perfect the folding system, and by utilising a double-forked design, they haven’t compromised on strength or shock absorption. This means you still have a very durable scooter that offers an enjoyable riding experience.
On top of all of this – it’s fast! As I mentioned above, foldable scooters often trade in range for speed, but this isn’t the case with the Raine One electric scooter. With a max speed of approximately 50km/h, the Raine One is one of the fastest scooters of this size on the market. So, if you’re using your foldable scooter for the daily commute, the Raine One will definitely get you where you need to go in no time.
Foldable Scooter Accessories
The helmet you choose is going to make a huge difference when it comes to your comfort, your safety and security, and just how you feel using your scooter to begin with.
You’ll obviously want something that prioritises safety above all else, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise style or comfort at the same time.
Plenty of open-face commuter scooter helmet options are available today that are rather minimalist and quite stylish, as well as options that won’t mess up your hair as you head into the office.
Are Foldable Electric Scooters a good investment?
All things considered, there’s a lot to fall in love with when it comes to foldable scooter options on the market today.
Whether this is going to become your new main method of transportation or something you bring along to take on public transportation to make that “last kilometre” go by just a little faster, these amazing pieces of transportation technology aren’t going away anytime soon.
Use the inside information we highlighted above to land yourself the best possible fold up scooter right now.
You won’t regret it!