Razor's latest small e-scooter makes for a light but inconvenient ride

I’ve spent the last week zipping around on the Razor E Prime Air electric scooter, one of the few electric scooters available in retail stores. This scooter is incredibly fun to ride, but I’m not sure about the convenience for most users.

The $799 E Prime Air is a lot smaller and lighter than most electric scooters, including Segue’s Ninebot range and the popular Xiaomi Pro. It’s also a lot smaller and lighter than sharing scooters from Lime that litter some cities. This makes the scooter a little easier to carry and store than most, but also means there’s less grunt.

While there’s a small throttle on the handlebar, you’ll still need to kick off to start. After the initial kick, you can just ride the throttle on flats and downhill roads, but riding uphill is another story; I needed to pitch in and help the tiny motor on even the slightest of inclines. The scooter's maximum weight limit is inconsistently listed as 91kg or 80kg, and I’m closer than I’d like to be to that smaller number, so perhaps a lighter rider would be able to tackle hills more easily.

Still, I was able to hit the top speed of 25kmph fairly easily and consistently on the flat roads of Melbourne. At this speed you could feel every bump of the pavement, so I stuck to riding on the streets. There are two easy braking methods on the scooter; a small thumb-operated brake on the handlebar, and a foot-operated fender brake over the back wheel. Either method was responsive at high speeds, and felt smooth once I got used to the pressure of each.

The scooter felt safe and relatively comfortable to ride to my local train station, just more than a kilometre away. Unlike my electric bike the scooter was easy enough to fit onto a packed peak hour train.

But riding it to the shops seemed less convenient, as there’s no way to lock the scooter, so I ended up dragging the 10kg frame up and down the aisles.

I’d love to find an electric scooter with two security options; a key lock kill switch for the engine, and a foldable, built in D lock to attach to bike stands. And any electric device, be it bike or scooter, should take advantage of the onboard battery to power headlights and brake lights in the frame to increase safety.

Folding the frame down was harder than it should be, and this is something other similarly priced scooters do a lot better than Razor.

Overall, if you’re looking for the lightest, smallest electric scooter for a teen or small adult, then this Razor is worth testing. But for most adults a larger frame model from Xiaomi or Segue will provide greater range and a smoother ride.

Tags: Gadgets

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