The best electric scooters, e-bikes and rideable tech we’ve tested in 2020


Whether you’re looking for a little exercise, want to reduce your carbon footprint or simply feel like enjoying open-air freedom on your ride to and from work, electric-powered rideables are a convenient option. Scooters for adults, e-bike and other rideable tech (none of the items listed here is a scooter for kids, each one is an adult electric scooter) will help you commute around town with ease — and with a battery, they’re environmentally friendly and offer a smooth ride to boot.

What follows is what I learned from testing different types of battery operated rideables (I’ll be adding a skateboard or two soon), both with a seat and without a seat, usually on a commute through the busiest sections of midtown Manhattan, around Central Park or down the West Side Highway bike path. With the exception of the Swagtron EB5 E-Bike, all of the products on this list come with variable ride modes, meaning they have different gears or levels of electric assistance. In most cases, the top ride speed for each device will increase with more advanced settings, at the cost of battery life — it’s essential to keep an eye on the battery.

I’ve included water resistance (IP) ratings when available. IP ratings, which stands for ingress protection, lets you know how dust- or water-resistant a product is. For example, if something has an IP54 rating, the first number after the letters refers to resistance to solids while the second refers to moisture. Read more in our IP rating explainer. 

Also, let’s not make a big deal of it, but I exceed the weight capacity for most of these products. For the most part, they all still performed as expected, though maybe with a little less range or speed. No devices were harmed during this roundup. 

Lastly, if you plan on getting into rideables, be safe about it. Leave enough space between yourself and both cars and riders on plain old human-powered bikes and scooters. Remember you’re able to go a lot faster, so ride and pass with caution. Make sure to charge your battery and check on your tires. And, most important, always wear a helmet when you ride. 

Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue from the sale of some of the products in this guide.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Boosted is best known for its motorized skateboards, but it’s now getting into the e-scooter market with the battery-powered Rev. It’s got a powerful dual 1,500-watt motor and air-filled 9-inch pneumatic tires for a top ride speed of 24 mph. Due to its motor power and speed, it’s best as an electric scooter for adults and not exactly a scooter for kids — though if you’re looking for an electric scooter for kids, there are plenty of options out there.

The $1,599 Rev supports riders weighing up to 250 pounds, which is 30 more pounds more in weight capacity than some other scooters in this list, which makes it the best electric scooter as far as weight capacity. Bonus: For those with larger feet, the board is wide enough to get them side by side.

For a closer look, check out our gallery of the Boosted Rev.

Read more.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Swagtron Swagger 5 Elite is the least expensive product on this list, and that’s its greatest feature. This folding e-scooter doesn’t outperform any of the products mentioned here, but at $299 it’s hard to complain. It has a single 250-watt motor that doesn’t put out much torque but can reach a ride speed of 14 to 16 mph. The listed travel distance is approximately 11 miles on a fully charged battery, with a lithium-ion battery will charge in 3.5 hours. The maximum weight supported is 320 pounds and the e-scooter weighs 26 pounds. Although it supports larger riders, due to its low powered motor, you may get a slower takeoff and slowdowns on inclines.

For a closer look, check out the gallery of the Swagtron Swagger 5 Elite.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The ES4 Kick Scooter sits atop the Segway consumer scooter chain, with a secondary battery to make a long distance ride or a lengthy ride time a breeze. It can travel an estimated 28 miles on a single battery charge and the electric motor allows for a top speed of 18 mph (which I was able to hit). The folding point on this e-scooter is different from the others in this roundup. The entire front post folds down, wheel and all. While braking, I would shift my weight back over the rear wheel, pushing down on the spoiler brake along with hitting the handlebar brake (which is an antilock brake), but without much of the front headtube flex you’d feel in some other scooters. There are also shock absorbers that help with shock absorption when you ride over bumpy surfaces. 

The dual-battery model weighs just over 30 pounds, and it supports riders weighing up to 220 pounds. The scooter has some good power and can put out 300 to 800 watts depending on the riding mode. Single charge time is longer than the average, about 7 hours. If you run out of battery life and don’t have time to charge, it can also work as an old-fashioned kick-and-go scooter. It also sports some customizable LED lights under the deck between the tires. Those and some other settings can be adjusted in the iOS and Android apps.

For a closer look, check out the gallery of the Ninebot by Segway ES4.

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The Unagi E450 is the most well-rounded scooter in this lineup, making it the best electric scooter to ride all-around. It’s an excellent blend of looks, performance, electric motor, tires, battery life and ease-of-use. It’ll turn heads, with an aluminum and carbon fiber frame in four color options (we tried sea salt and cosmic blue) along with a beautiful LCD display in the handlebar and an LED headlight. Powerful dual motors (front wheel 200 watt motor, rear wheel 250 watt motor) promise a top ride speed of 15.5 mph — and I was able to get it to 16 mph on a flat surface. The Scooter itself weighs just a bit over 24 pounds, and is rated for up to 220 pounds riders. There’s a single push latch to collapse the handle for easy carrying. The scooter has a travel distance of 15 miles on a full charge on its lithium battery, but the battery life can vary depending on speed and single- or dual-motor mode. It has a water resistance rating of IP54. The latest cosmetic change to the scooter is a spoiler rear brake, ideal for a ride up those steep hills you find in San Francisco.

For a closer look, check out the gallery of the Unagi E450.

Sarah Tew

The Mercane Widewheel scooter is the best electric scooter when it comes to motor power in this lineup. Powered by dual 500-watt motors, it has some serious takeoff power and torque. 

Most models are locked to a top ride speed of 15 mph, but there’s an advanced mode where you can unlock its full battery power and ride it to 25 mph (but do so at your own risk). It has a dual suspension and weighs a whopping 50 lbs. The range is up to 20 miles on a single battery charge, and it support riders weighing 220 lbs. The riding deck is longer and wider than your average scooter, making it easy to get both feet on the board comfortably. It has an IPX4 rating.

The scooter gets its name from its 8-inch wide tires. The tires are great for staying upright during a ride, but turns take some getting used to with the tires. Unlike most of the honor-system devices here, this one needs a key to start.

Availability note: Due to a brake issue, this scooter is currently only available for pre-order and will be shipped when the brake problem is resolved.

For a closer look, check out the gallery of the Mercane Widewheel.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Great for a commuter with limited storage space. The Swagtron EB5 Pro is a folding pedal-assist bicycle with an electric motor that also has its own throttle (so you don’t really have to pedal at all). With a full battery, it can travel up to 15 miles at a speed of 15 mph. This folding electric bicycle is a single speed and you can even turn all the powered features off and use it like a regular bike. It weighs a solid 37 lbs. and the seat supports riders up to 264 lbs., but when the seat is folded down, this ride is surprisingly small. 

For a closer look, check out the gallery of the Swagtron EB5 Pro.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I decided to put the Trek Super Commuter + 8S to the test during the 2019 TD 5 Boro Bike Tour. First, I wanted to see how it performed as a normal seat bike. It’s heavy at 54 lbs., and I had to see how it would fare against some of the sleeker bicycles. The 11 speeds made it easy to maintain a comfortable pace. When I came across a few inclines, the pedal assist (Bosch Performance Speed, 350 watt motor, integrated into the frame) worked perfectly. 

Eco was my preferred assist mode. It gives the least assistance of the four settings, so it has the best battery life ideal for long distances. The bicycle does not have a throttle; it is strictly pedal assist. Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo each progressively give you a more spice in your ride, and the estimated distance that the battery will let you travel in each mode shows on the display. Pedal assistance on the Trek coincides with rpm — the faster you get the cranks around, the more the Bosch system will progressively increase your speed to get those tires moving.

During my daily commute around the city, I found myself riding in the streets more so than the bike lane. I was coming up too quickly behind other cyclists, and battery-powered delivery bikes too. Fortunately, the Trek SC+8 comes equipped with a bell, reflectors and rear as well as front lights, so hopefully they’ll see (or hear) you coming on your commute. For those instances where they don’t, the S8 comes with 180-centimeter hydraulic disc brakes that stop on a dime, and the wider tires make bumps on the ride hardly noticeable. The S8 has an IP54 rating.

For a closer look, check the gallery of the Trek Super Commuter + 8S.

Mark Licea

The Onewheel Pint is $950, practically half the price of the bigger Onewheel + XR, which costs $1,799. It weighs 26 lbs. and supports riders up to 250 lbs. The Pint can travel six to eight miles on a full battery charge with the motor allowing a top speed of 16 mph. It is more maneuverable than any previous Onewheel and most other rideables. It handles inclines with ease and sports rear along with front lights for night riding. The board is operated by shifting your weight forward and back to move forward and back, and heel to toe to steer. Once you get the hang of it, it’s like riding a skateboard, and you’ll be tempted to pull off some tricks (which we do not officially endorse). 

For a closer look, check the gallery of the Onewheel Pint.

Read more about the OneWheel Pint.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Of all the products on this list, the Kiwano KO1 Plus was the hardest for me to get the hang of. It’s a bit like a unicycle with a motor, and has a high natural learning curve. On a single battery charge, the KO1 Plus can travel up to 12 mph with a distance of 12 miles. It is definitely an interesting ride and a well-built solid product, with a weight capacity up to 250 lbs, but geared more to the adventurous rider rather than your average daily commuter. 

With the KO1 Plus, pressing forward on the handlebars will move you forward and pulling back will send you in reverse, and you keep your balance by using your feet. Yes, it’s self-balancing, but once mounted by the rider some serious skills are needed to maintain, to prevent it from tilting side to side. I’ve seen some really interesting things done on it, but it’s going to take a lot more practice. The KO1 Plus has an IP54 rating. 

For a closer look, check the gallery of the Kiwano KO1 Plus.

The Onewheel Plus XR is the bigger and older brother to the Pint. Still one of my favorites, due to the all-around freedom you feel when riding. That along with the ability to travel 12 to 18 miles on a fully charged battery, plus the motor lets you hit a top speed of 19 mph. 

A nice feature found in the iOS/Android app is while riding you’ll get a notification once the battery is at 50% so you can make it back home from wherever you may roam. The app offers a bunch of other settings from social to board riding customization. It’s not the most travel-friendly in terms of carrying around, it weighs about 30 lbs., but is easy to store. In addition, it only takes about two hours to fully charge the battery. 

For a closer look, check the gallery of the Onewheel Plus XR.

Read more about Onewheel+ XR.

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