The best city scooter of 2020 - The e-TWOW GT

The best city scooter of 2020 - The e-TWOW GT

The e-TWOW Booster GT scooter vastly exceeded my expectations and as of March 2020, it’s my pick for the best city / commuting / portable scooter out there at any price.

I’ve put way too many hours into the Xiaomi m365 scooter (aka the Mi). In fact, I’ve owned multiple over the past years and have adored it ever since I tried one retrofitted for Bird scooter rental. As I stated in my rundown of the Xiaomi Mi Scooter, it was my pick for best city commuter scooter… until now.

Selection Criteria

In late January 2020 I started doing research on the latest and greatest electric scooters out there and began my quest to find something that might topple the m365 as the king. I searched around and applied some important metrics for “success” in my case. Namely weight, speed/power, range, ride comfort, and finally price. Here’s my detailed rundown.

Weight

After injuring my arm lifting the $1,000 USD Mercane WideWheel scooter (which clocks in at 22.5kg!! (50lbs)), I vowed to cap my scooter prospects at a maximum weight for sanity/usability. As someone who rides once or twice a day and needs to lift a scooter up a 3-step staircase to get it into my home, I set a new weight cap of “under 13.5kg (30lb)”. The m365 scooter is 12.5kg (27.5lb) and hasn’t given me too much trouble so I figured just above that would be a logical top end. The e-TWOW GT weighs in at 12.3kg (27lbs), which is honestly a miracle of science as they were able to pack in twice the power of the m365 and the battery allows for over twice the range! The size and weight on the e-TWOW GT is impressive for what it contains.

Speed / Power

This thing is really fast! Thanks to the speedometer, I know that it regularly hits between 37-40km (23-25mph) and I weigh about 86kg (190lbs) with my gear on. According to the specs, it has a 700w engine and I haven’t had any issues with it being unable to climb hills.

Range

As far as range goes, it gets about 2.5x to 3x the range in practice that my modified m365 gets. The firmware hack on my m365 that enables it to hit 29km/h (18mph) instead of the stock 24km/h (15mph) definitely hurts its range so keep that in mind with the comparison. Regardless, I’m able to do 16km (10mi) round trips and make it back with around ~40% battery to spare while maxing out my speed the whole time, which is impressive! I haven’t had a trip yet that pushed my battery down under 40%. If I do, I’ll update this to reflect how that went.

Ride Comfort

Generally I like to stick to pneumatic tires solely for the comfort factor. I’ve ridden too many solid tire scooters on bumpy roads and felt like my teeth were about to chatter out of my head. Without exaggeration, I’ve felt like my arms were losing sensitivity from all the vibrations on some electric scooters (looking at you Segway Ninebot ES2!). The e-TWOW GT has solid tires which I was definitely fearful of, but the dual suspension shocks have done a surprisingly good job of smoothly easing over bumps. I’d say its about 90% as comfortable as a large pneumatic tire like the 8.5 inch tube tires on the m365. The value of not worrying about flat tires definitely makes up for the missing 10% in comfort as reliability is important to me as well. I have changed two tires on my m365 and I will NEVER DO IT AGAIN (opting to buy a whole new wheel to avoid the tire replacement process). All in all, the comfort on the e-TWOW GT is quite good.

Price

As of February 2020, the e-TWOW GT is surprisingly hard to find in the US. Right now eWheels.com has them in stock, which is where I purchased mine for $1089 USD. It was well worth the relatively high price and is a serious upgrade over the m365 but I can see how $399 USD compared to almost $1100 USD could give some folks pause. For me, as someone who uses this as their primary method of getting around town, it’s a worthwhile investment for sure.

Downsides

As mentioned before, rough patches on the road can be felt with the solid tires more-so than on the m365 (but the reliability of the solid tire plus the shocks helping immensely counter-balance this downside). Additionally, I wish there was a disk brake instead of a magnetic drum brake. The magnetic brake works well and there’s an optional foot-stomp brake for fast stops, but I’d prefer the ease of a single disk brake over the dual-brake setup of the e-TWOW GT. Lastly the charger is a bit large and has a pretty loud fan in it that runs while actively charging. That’s about it for downsides!

Direct Competitors

In late 2019 / early 2020, the next generation of m365 successors began to launch. This includes the m365 PRO and the Segway Ninebot MAX, two scooters in the ~$700 USD price range that are actually quite similar to one another thanks to the fact that they shared the same production line. At the time of writing, the m365 Pro is not available in the US while the Segway Ninebot MAX is available on Amazon. When it comes right down to it, these are fantastic scooters that improve on the original m365 but they both suffer a similar fate for city riders: the weight is much higher! In fact, the Ninebot MAX is 19kg (42.1lb), which violates my ‘under 13.5kg (30lb)’ edict. Sure, some people can get away with heavier scooters but for a city rider, it’s definitely a concern. I’m looking forward to spending some time with a Ninebot MAX to see how it handles!

Summary

Overall, I’m very happy with my upgrade from the m365 to the e-TWOW GT. Sure, the m365 is still a powerful little scooter especially in its price range, but if you’re looking for the best thing out there for city/commuting, my vote goes to the e-TWOW GT.

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About Alex Schwartz

Alex works in tech and games in Boston, MA and has been using scooters to get around since before it was cool.

Boston, MA https://cityscoots.net

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