Almost three years ago I tested out my first electric scooter, the Mi Electric Scooter, and since then have experienced flat tires, dead batteries, and a need to ride in the rain. The new Slidgo X8, sold exclusively by Adorama, addresses these issues with a starting price of $499.99.
During this time of coronavirus with increased remote work opportunities and limited public transportation you may not think an electric scooter makes much sense. However, it is perfect for taking you further when bus or train service is limited and when you need to get around town to complete essential tasks. With an electric scooter you can get places with a reasonable long-term cost and have fun as well.
Tires, batteries, and weather conditions
If you have ever owned an electric scooter with pneumatic tires that failed you then you can appreciate the use of solid tires. I discovered some tips on YouTube, but even with some sage advice, removing and installing 8.5-inch tires on a scooter is a challenging task to complete. After experiencing three flat tires, I bought and installed solid tires on an older electric scooter so I never had to worry about flat tires again.
Thankfully, the Slidgo X8 comes with 10-inch solid tires so you shouldn't ever have to worry about changing them out. The solid tires have openings formed into the sidewall in order to help improve the comfort of the solid tire and I honestly did not feel any difference in the ride between these solid tires and pneumatic tires. People typically don't spend hours riding a scooter to and from work so the benefits of solid tires far outweigh any perceived comfort of a pneumatic tire.
The batteries on scooters I have tested in the past were all positioned under the platform deck and were not easily replaceable. This meant you could ride until the batteries were expended and then had to wait hours for them to charge back up.
The Slidgo X8 has a user-replaceable battery pack that fits into the front bar of the scooter. Adorama offers a 10.4aH pack for $179.99 and a 12.8aH capacity pack for $279.00. The larger capacity battery pack is rated for just four additional miles per charge so I'm not sure that an extra $100 is worth it.
The battery packs can be charged directly with the scooter charger so you can charge up the one attached to the scooter and then charge up a spare. Simply slide the extra battery in your backpack and keep riding for hours. These battery packs weigh in at five pounds.
Scooters I've ridden in the past contained instructions and guidance to not use the scooter in the rain. In Washington State that has been hard as we see regular drizzle and light rain throughout the year. Delayed braking is really the primary concern when riding in the rain, but if you plan for that then it is nice to know that the Slidgo X8 has an IP54 dust/water resistant rating so you can count on it working for you in less-than-ideal conditions. The safety notes in the manual clearly state you should not ride the scooter when it rains so keep that in mind.
Slidgo X8 specifications
- Motor power and torque: 350W peak output
- Frame construction: Aviation aluminum alloy
- Max load: 250 pounds
- Battery: 36V, 10.4aH or 36V, 12.8aH battery pack options. Four hours of charging from empty to full.
- Dust/water resistance: IP54
- Flooboard width: Six inches
- Braking system: Rear disc brake, front e-brake, and back fender brake
- Lights: Front LED and rear LED brake light
- Folded dimensions: 1083 x 420 x 460 mm
- Extended dimensions: 1083 x 420 x 1186 mm
- Weight: 30 pounds
- Max speed: 19 mph (dependent on rider weight and road conditions)
- Range: Up to 22 miles w/ Eco mode and 18 miles in Sport mode (dependent on rider weight, riding surface, and weather conditions)
Walk around the Slidgo X8
The Slidgo X8 is available exclusively at Adorama and comes with a 30-day no-questions asked return policy so the company is confident in its appeal. It arrived in an outer Adorama labeled cardboard box with an inner Slidgo black box. I was sent the X8 scooter and two battery packs to test out during my evaluation period.
To setup the scooter for use, simply rotate the front pole of the scooter into vertical position, flip up the spanner lever, and rotate the fixing ring into position to secure the spanner lever. Attach the brake lever to the left side using the included hex wrench. Screw in each of the two handlebars, paying attention to the proper rotation to secure the handlebars in place. The brake lever and handlebar attachment steps are only required for initial setup.
You can charge up a battery pack with it attached to the scooter or separate from the scooter. To attach the battery pack you simply insert it into the battery slot and then slide it down until the latch locks it into place.
When you want to fold the scooter to store it or carry it during your commute, rotate the fixing ring, flip down the spanner lever, and then secure the handlebar down into the rear fender notch. You can then pick up and carry the scooter by the front pole.
Starting at the top we see the brake lever on the far left with a bell attached to the brake lever. On the right side of the central LED display we find a green rotating dial that serves as the throttle button with a power button and function button positioned on the top of the throttle dial. The function key is used to toggle between eco/beginner, normal, and sports modes. Press the function button quickly twice to toggle the front headlight on and off.
The center LED display is large with an easily readable display. It is pretty basic with speed, mode, and power level shown to the rider. The battery status indicator on the dashboard shows a total of five bars.
On center and below the LED display is the battery pack. The powered front wheel and solid tire have an ample fender to prevent rain and mud from flying up onto you and the scooter. A six-inch wide and long standing deck is provided with a textured surface to keep you from sliding around. I have size 12 shoes and was able to easily stand on the scooter and move around the platform.
Moving to the back of the platform we see a unique feature, a very large rear fender that you can stand on to activate a third brake. There are grooves fit underneath the fender to help slow down the scooter when you step on the fender. The LED brake light is on the back side of the fender.
A disk brake system is positioned on the left side of the rear wheel with the rear wheel also being solid rubber material. There is also a kickstand on the left side of the scooter deck.
Riding the Slidgo X8 electric scooter
I am six feet, one inch, tall and weigh 250 pounds so electric scooters and bikes I've tested in the past provide less speed, less range, and lower performance than we see in the specifications. On sport mode on a flat concrete surface I experienced speeds averaging 15-16 mph with speeds in the 5-8 mph in the eco mode. I was unable to ride the scooter up hills with 5-8% grade, but I am also at the maximum weight capacity of the scooter so keep that in mind.
The rubber coated handlebars have great texture and were very comfortable after several miles of riding. I felt very comfortable riding the scooter and the battery pack positioned on the front pole did not impact my stability in any noticeable manner. Holding down the throttle for six or more seconds initiates a sound that indicates cruise control is activated so you no longer need to hold down the throttle button.
Braking took a bit longer than I expected, but I was moving forward at more than 10 mph and am at the maximum capacity of the scooter. I never felt scared or in danger while braking and also appreciated the extra back fender step brake that could be useful if a sudden obstacle appeared in front of me while riding.
There is no smartphone connectivity for updating the firmware on the scooter or any other advanced controls, but the design features of solid tires and removable batteries make this a great scooter to consider. $500 for the 10.4aH battery pack model is a reasonable price for a very capable scooter.