With the tremendous growth in popularity of electric scooters, increasing number of people are considering using them for the daily commute to and from work. Others who may not be ready for such a drastic change to their lifestyle may be contemplating using an e-scooter for short trips to the grocery store or for an occasional plain, simple fun.
There are may makes and models of electric scooters available on the market today. Many of them cater to heavier adults, thus giving them the option of switching to a new mode of transportation that has become very popular in the recent years.
Electric scooters are available for everyone: kids, teens and adults of nearly all sizes.
If you happen to be an adult of greater than average size, you too can enjoy the adrenaline and pure joy of riding an e-scooter. But before you hop on one, there are a few things to consider first.
Get a heavy-duty electric scooter
In order for you to have a safe and enjoyable ride, the scooter you’re riding must be powerful enough to carry your weight. All manufacturers prominently display the load capacity of their e-scooters. Although some may have reinforced body frame intended for heavy loads, it really comes down to the power of the motor and the capacity of the battery powering it.
Things to look for in a heavy-duty e-scooter
For all practical purposes, the power of the motor and the capacity of the battery are the two most important features to consider when buying an electric scooter for a heavier adult.
Motor: although some heavy-duty e-scooters come with extremely powerful motors (1,000 Watt or more), for all practical purposes an electric motor with a minimum of 250 or 300 Watt of power should be more than enough for most heavy individuals. I personally know people weighing 200 lbs who regularly commute on a 250 Watt Xiaomi M365 with no issues whatsoever. The scooter maintains nice acceleration, speed and range of travel. I’m specifically making a note of this so that any heavy adults reading this would not get fixated on getting the most powerful electric scooter on the market – in my opinion, there’s no need for that. Obviously 250 or 300 Watt will seem small when compared to a 2,000 Watt motor, but you should know that a 300 Watt motor will do just fine, even if the rider is a little on a heavier side. Just remember that a more powerful motor will consume more energy and will tend to have a shorter range, even if equipped with an extra-powerful battery. Find out how to increase the range of your e-scooter.
Battery: a higher-powered electric motor will consume more power, than a lower-powered one. For this reason a high-capacity lithium-ion battery is recommended. Fortunately, most manufacturers are well aware of this obvious association and usually install a properly-sized battery for any given electric motor. But, you should always double check before buying.
Tires: depending on a specific model, electric scooters come with either air-filled or solid rubber tires. For most of us, I would say that it doesn’t matter what type the tire is. Just consider the fact that air-filled tires tend to give a smoother ride (I personally don’t think that the difference is that big, but most people seem to think that, so lets assume that it is true). Air-filled tires, on the other hand, are more prone to punctures. For this reason, very heavy adults should probably steer toward solid rubber tires in order to minimize the risk of a flat tire, especially if they plan on riding the scooter on uneven terrain. A tire subjected to a heavy load and a sudden spike in pressure, such as when riding into pothole, may burst.
Brakes: an obvious safety feature. Brakes for the most part are well-designed and most users have no issues with them. For safety reasons, larger adults who choose to ride an e-scooter with a more powerful motor should pick a model with dual brakes.
Handlebars: if you are a heavy and tall individual, keep in mind that some e-scooters have non-adjustable steering handle height. In this case, I recommend that you personally try the e-scooter first, before buying. A handlebar that is not well-adjusted to the position of your arms will make you tired and your ride unsafe and certainly not fun.
Finally, before buying a specific model, try to think about the type of terrain you will be using the e-scooter the most. If most of your commute will involve smooth city streets, then the vast majority of e-scooter models will fit your needs. However, if you plan on spending most of the time riding the scooter off-road, then you should look for a heavy-duty model that has been designed for off-road use. These scooters will generally have a sturdier frame, wide base, dual brakes and off-road tires.
Top Heavy-Duty Electric Scooters
Please note: I have not personally tested any of the e-scooters listed below, as I only own a Xiaomi M365. In order to narrow down your search, I researched models available on the market today in terms of the maximum load capacity. The most notable ones are listed below.
Swagtron Swagger 5
- Max load: 320 lbs (145 kg)
- Electric motor: 250 Watt
- Max speed: 18 mph (29 km/h)
- Range: up to 12 miles (19 km)
- Tires: 8.5” air-filled (front), airless honeycomb (rear)
- Well-built and sturdy. Classic look resembling Xiaomi M365 that doesn’t scream “I’m heavy-duty”
- Somewhat disappointing travel distance range.
- Max load: 330 lbs (150 kg)
- Electric motor: 1,000 Watt (two front and rear motors for a total of 2,000 Watt)
- Max speed: 40 mph (64 km/h)
- Range: 50 miles (80 km)
- Tires: 10”
- Classy, but heavy-duty looks. Slightly larger than an average electric scooter.
- Dual shock absorbers on each side. Two types of brakes: electric and mechanical.
- Max load: 485 lbs (220 kg)
- Electric motor: 1,600 Watt (dual motors for a total of 3,200 Watt)
- Max speed: 56 mph (90 km/h)
- Range: up to 67 miles (107 km)
- Tires: 11” pneumatic off-road tires
- Front and back shock absorbers, dual hydraulic brakes
- Rugged looks, designed for off-road use
Qiewa Q1 Hummer
- Max load: 550 lbs (250 kg)
- Electric motor: 800 Watt electric motor
- Max speed: 37 mph (60 km/h)
- Range: 65 miles (105 km)
- Tires: 10” (pneumatic)
- Dual brakes
- Dual shock absorbers
- Max load: 660 lbs (300 kg)
- Electric motor: 1,600 Watt (two electric motors for a total of 3,200 Watt)
- Max speed: 56 mph (90 km/h)
- Range: 62 miles (100 km)
- Tires: 11” off-road tires
- Dual hydraulic brakes, dual shock absorbers.
- Rugged, off-road design. This thing is a monster!
E-Scooter Safety for Heavy Adult Riders
Electric scooters can be practical and fun means of transportation for adults of all sizes. Needless to say, all riders should follow general safety precautions while riding their e-scooters.
It may be obvious, but here’s a little reminder of the general safety precautions:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Wear protective gear.
- Make sure that your shoes are well-fitted and with closed toes. This will ensure a safe grip with the base of the e-scooter.
- Be mindful of pedestrians and vehicles around you.
- Always follow the local traffic laws and regulations.
- Never listen to music in your headphones while riding an e-scooter.
- Do not take extra riders on the trip. Most e-scooters are designed for single-person use.
- Never ride an electric scooter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Larger adult riders should additionally consider the following:
- Avoid riding over larger obstacles, which include branches, rocks or curbs.
- Do not ride over potholes.
- Avoid making sudden turns.
- Be mindful of your braking distance.
- Bear in mind that despite having more powerful motor, the acceleration of a heavy duty e-scooter with a heavy load may not be as fast as that of a standard e-scooter.
Other (not so obvious) factors to consider:
Personal Physical Ability
What is your body mass? What is the current general state of your body? Are you confident that your bones, muscles and joints won’t disappoint you in case you need to make a quick jump or a sudden turn? Most heavier adults will have no problems testing the limits of their physical agility. Some, however, may be unable to to do it so because of associated medical conditions. If that’s your case, then you should strongly consider all the risks and benefits associated with riding an electric scooter, before riding one.
Depending on your weight and any medical conditions that you may be suffering from, it may be to your advantage to consult your doctor before you take your first trip on an e-scooter.
Many largely overweight or obese persons tend to have co-morbid medical conditions. If you are suffering from any type of a chronic medical condition, talk to your doctor, make sure that you have a medical clearance. For example, some disorders that lead to higher body mass, may be associated with increased risk of bone fractures. Understandably, individuals with weak bones may have to strongly consider the risk and consequences of riding an electric scooter.
Electric scooters are fun, practical and relatively eco-friendly. Every adult, large or small, who is interested in buying a heavy-duty e-scooter will be able to find one that fits their needs best. There is no real compelling reason as to why heavy adults should be discouraged from riding e-scooters.
Keep your eyes on the road, wear safety gear and have fun!