Lightweight, modern looking and user-oriented, the ES1 is a great scooter for the daily commute. Priced at $550 USD, the ES1 is a more compact alternative to the popular Xiaomi M365. It is also a bit more limited than its successor – the ES2, though it is about $100 USD cheaper too. I will list the differences in a bit to give you a better idea on which of the three scooters might fit your needs better.
The ES1 is pretty unique because while it does look minimalist on the outside, it offers many useful features that most other scooters of the same price range don’t. This makes the ES1 a great choice if you need a highly customizable portable vehicle for the daily life. While definitely not the fastest scooter out there, the ES1 is one of the most complete and comfortable scooters I have had the pleasure to drive.
Ninebot ES1 Review
Riding Experience and Handling
Lightweight and agile, the ES1 rides very well. I spent some time driving around the town and I haven’t noticed anything that I could complain about. Yeah, it might be not as fast as the Xiaomi M365, though for what it lacks in speed, it makes up for in maneuverability. Overall, I’d say it’s perfect for beginners and with just a little bit of practice you will be flying around in no time.
There are some things to keep in mind, though. First of all, you want to drive the ES1 only on dry surfaces. It gets deadly in the wet. It slides all over the place.
Secondly, the clearance under the scooter is around 7cm (3in) which is not that much. I’d say, the scooter is definitely not meant for acrobatics, off-road driving or jumps. To be honest, I would avoid jumping off curbs too.
The scooter comes with two different brakes. The old-fashion rear manual brake seems pretty sturdy and can even lock the wheel if pressed hard enough. However, it lacks of the power and control hydraulic and electric brakes offer.
The front brake is better – it is an electric anti-locking brake that can be activated with the left thumb from the T bar. While I would prefer the rear brake to be electric or even hydraulic, it’s not too big of a problem because I find myself using the front brake most of the time anyway.
The ES1 is small and lightweight. Thanks to the smart latch mechanism, you can easily fold it, carry it around and store it in your car. I’d say, the ES1 is one of the most convenient scooters for an urban scenario. It also fits perfectly in a normal-sized car boot.
The scooter also features front wheel shock absorption to make up for its not-so-big (7.5 and 8 Inch) solid rubber tires. Shock absorption is crucial even when driving on asphalt. Without it, you feel every small bump. The front spring suspension makes the ride more comfortable, especially when driving over long distances.
That being said, the ES1 does feel pretty bumpy when driving on gravel. While the suspension helps to smooth out some of the bumps, I would still recommend getting a different scooter if you are planning on driving on anything else than asphalt most of the time.
The ES1 has got one front LED light and reflectors on the sides and the rear. It does not have brake lights, which it a bit underwhelming but definitely not a deal breaker. The LED Headlight and reflectors make it easy for cars to spot you during the night and allow you to see the road better.
Last but not least, if you decide to use two batteries on this scooter, you will be able to drive for up to two hours straight. This means that cruise control is a must and Segway has you covered – if you are traveling a long, clear, straight road, you can configure cruise control max speed and then turn it on by holding the thumb throttle on max acceleration for 5 seconds. Then, you either tap the acceleration button again or use the electric brake – either turns cruise mode off.
The ES1 comes with a 250W brushless motor that is pretty much the standard for urban scooters in this price range. It can reach a max speed of 20km/h (12.4 mph) on flat surface. There is also an option to set an artificial speed limit to enhance battery duration – a speed limit of 15kh/h might add an additional 10-20 minutes to your battery life.
Compared to other scooters of the same category, the ES1 is slightly slower. Just like with the Xiaomi M365, you have to kick off to about 3km/h before you can accelerate. For beginners, this might be a good thing because it gives you more control in the start.
There is also a possibility to add a second battery that increases the top speed to the 25 km/h (15.5 mph) mark, making the ES1 as fast as the ES2 or the Xiaomi M365. You can also activate the sport mode to make the acceleration a bit quicker at the expense of faster battery consumption.
Official specs state that the scooter maximum range is 25km (15.5 Mi). As always, those numbers only apply if the road conditions are perfect, which is never the case. Expect the real range to be about 15-20 km. Still not bad and definitely enough for your daily commute.
If you want more range, the ES1 also features a slot for a second battery that can increase the reach of the scooter as well as the speed, as mentioned earlier. The second battery attaches to the upright post between the front wheel and the hand grips. It charges up when charging the main battery pack without the need to remove anything. The second battery is for sale on Amazon for $250.
With both batteries equipped and fully charged, the ES1 features a 45km (28mi) max reach. Again, in reality you will probably get somewhere around 35 km, unless you completely avoid driving uphill and never exceed the 15 km/h speed mark.
The build quality is excellent. Not only the scooter looks modern and rugged, I also feel safe when driving it. I have been reading reviews and haven’t found a lot of complaints regarding parts breaking or falling off after some months of usage.
The only thing that could have been better are the foam hand grips. Foam is very soft and cozy indeed, though I believe that rubber would be way more durable without compromising comfort too much. That being said, you can replace them with lock on grips anytime.
The scooter body is made of aircraft-grade aluminum. Some parts such as the fork are covered in plastic, though you can find metal underneath them. There is also an anti-slip rubber around the aluminum alloy base. Overall, durability is pretty strong and I don’t see this thing slowing down anytime soon.
Assembling the scooter for the first time is easy too – all you need is to use the screwdriver that comes in the box to put four screws. Once done, you have to activate your scooter through your mobile phone using their official app. Until you do so, (a) your speed is limited to 15 KM/h and (b) the scooter keeps beeping.
Segway ES1 Mobile App Features
As mentioned earlier, you can connect your phone to your ES1 and access a plethora of handy features and stats. It allows you to customize most of the aspects of the drive, something not seen in most other scooter models, even those that are a bit more expensive. Here are some of the things that you can access and/or customize:
- Manage speed limit and cruise control settings. Cruise control allows you to spare your thumb during long drives. As always, I would encourage you to use it only when the road is straight and clear. Everyone’s needs are different, which is why cruise control can be customized in several ways. There is also an option to set a speed limit for safety or energy saving purposes. You don’t want your children to drive too fast? No problem, simply set the speed limit to 10-15 km/h.
- Change the speed display from Kilometers per hour to Miles per hour.
- Get diagnosed about the vehicle condition – the app shows you whether there is a malfunction in your ES1. Obviously, do not expect it to show you every issue the scooter might possibly have. This utility does not replace a qualified technician, though it does help in certain situations.
- Statistics and ranking system. The manufacturer hosts a global leaderboard and encouraging people to compete with each other and rank higher. While I do not consider this scooter a racing vehicle (due to its 20 KM/h speed limit), I do appreciate the way I can easily access all the stats I need in real time.
- Download the latest firmware.
- Anti-theft function.
- Learning center. The app provides some basic tutorials on how to configure and drive your scooter. Pretty neat for new users, especially if you haven’t used a scooter before.
Segway ES1 Specs
Max Speed: 20km/h (12.4 mph) with one battery, 25 km/h (15.5 mph) with two
Max Distance: 25km (15.5 Mi) reach with one battery, 45km (28Mi) with two
Charge Time: ~3.5 hours
Motor Wattage: 250W
Weight: 10kgs (22 lb)
Max. Rider Capacity: 100 Kg (220 lb)
Tire Size: Front: 20 cm (8 In), Back: 19.2 cm (7.5 In)
Brakes: Manual brakes on the rear wheel, electric brakes on the front
Folded dimensions: 1130x430x400 mm (51x17x16 inches)
Extended dimensions: 1020x430x1130 mm (40x17x51 inches)
Material: Frame and Handle made of aircraft-grade aluminum
Water and dust resistance IP54
Segway ES1 vs. Segway ES2 vs. Xiaomi M365
Here is a table where I list the most relevant differences between the three models:
|Weight||11 kg (24lb)||12 kg (27lb)||12 kg (27lb)|
|Tires||8” and 7.5” Solid||8” and 7.5” Solid||8.5” Inflatable|
|Suspension||Front Shock Absorption||Front Shock Absorption||Inflatable Tires|
|Max Distance||25-45* km (15.5-28* Mi)||25-45* km (15.5-28* Mi)||30 km (10.6 Mi)|
|Max Speed||20-25*km/h (12.4-15.5* mph)||25km/h (15.5 mph)||25km/h (15.5 mph)|
|Price||$ 550 USD**
+ $250 USD** for the optional second battery
|$ 650 USD**
+ $250 USD** for the optional second battery
|$ 600 USD**|
(*) When using two batteries
(**) Amazon prices
As we can see, there is no definitive winner here. While the ES1 is the cheapest in the list, it is also the slowest one with a max speed of only 20KM/h (without the second battery). Purchasing the additional battery puts the ES1 into the category of $800 scooters, which means that we should no longer compare it to the Xiaomi M365.
Both Segway scooters have slightly smaller wheels than the M365 resulting in a slightly less comfortable ride. On the bright side, those wheels are made of hard rubber, which saves a lot of money and trouble in the long run. Inflatable wheels are soft and cool but alas, there are a lot of sharp objects on the road that cause constant punctures and flats. Both Segway scooters also feature front spring suspension that makes the ride slightly smoother.
The ES1 has got the same motor power than the M365, though it gets bottlenecked by the battery – when using a single battery, the ES1 is slightly slower. Not that the difference is that bad, though.
When folded, the ES1 is slightly more compact than the M365, making it easier to carry and store. When unfolded, both scooters have the same dimensions.
Both Segway scooters feature an LCD screen that shows speed, battery life and some other stats. The buttons allow you to easily choose the mode and make other adjustments. The M365 on the other hand comes with no screen and fully depends on your smartphone. This means that you have to attach your smartphone to the T bar if you want to have something similar to a speedometer. This indeed is not safe for your phone and having the screen lit up all the time during the ride will drain your phone battery rather quickly.
Last but not least, both Segway scooters come with theft protection. While this might seem like a very handy feature, it might also be an annoyance in certain circumstances. Phone batteries tend to die; phones can be stolen or lost; having your scooter so dependent on your phone might cause you a handful of headaches over time.
Compared to the ES2, the ES1 has a weaker motor and no brake/side LED lights. If you have extra 100 dollars to spare, you might want to get the ES2. Otherwise, the ES1 isn’t that different from its successor.
Where to Buy Segway Ninebot ES1
Many people argue which one of the three to buy: the ES1, the ES2 or the M365. Hopefully, my review and comparison helped you to get a clearer picture on which one suites your needs the best. I’d say, if you want to drive in the campus, the ES1 is a great choice because it’s lightweight and agile. For longer distances, you might want to get something else rather than spending an additional $250 on a secondary battery.