Best Ninebot MAX Alternatives
What Made the Ninebot Max the Best Electric Scooter in 2019?
- The Segway Ninebot Max electric scooter was reasonably priced.
- The scooter remains a long-distance commuter favorite with one of the best ranges in its class–28.1 miles against a manufacturer-stated 40.0 miles.
- Beefy construction, which riders can feel in the ride quality and can be experienced in the scooter’s longevity.
- Legendary 10-inch, pre-slimed, tubeless pneumatic tires, which were good for ride comfort and eliminated puncture anxiety. For its class, this was a first, and many models have largely borrowed from the MAX’s initiative.
- The scooter is still a great alternative for riding in wet weather–the air tires offer good traction, the slip-proof rubberized deck offers great stability, the front and rear fender protection is excellent and keeps splashes from reaching your feet–and best of all, it is rated IPX5.
- Great riding ergonomics with a large deck measuring 20 inches x 7 inches and a 40-inch high steering column.
- The front drum brake and rear regenerative braking are dependable, bringing the scooter to a stop in just 11 ft from a speed of 15.0 mph. The gradual deceleration ensures you don’t put yourself over the handlebars.
- The MAX was also among the first scooters to facilitate dual charging for its large 551 wh battery.
But now it’s nearly 2023, and the Segway Ninebot MAX is ancient in scooter years. It had a good run and even got flankers off the original model that have continued its glory–but with scooter innovation being what it is, we’re seeing impressive models released virtually every other day.
We’ve been hands-on testing these new entrants looking for the next Ninebot MAX or Xiaomi M365 Pro. And out of 54-similarly priced alternatives, we’ve discovered a few electric scooters that can beat the Ninebot MAX electric scooter at its own game.
The 6 scooters we’re about to show you have a similar or better range for the price, plus they have at least one superpower that makes them Ninebot MAX killers. Let’s dive right in.
Best For Range & Safety
Okai Neon Pro (ES20)
Seasoned car and Bike manufacturer made a splash when they made their maiden entry in the electric scooter world with the gorgeous Okai Neon. Their name didn’t immediately resonate with riders, but Okai and Segway ARE the world’s top two manufacturers of shared scooter. Therefore, if you’ve ridden a shared electric scooter, then you’ve probably ridden an Okai scooter.
The Neon is a decent scooter, but it is the newer Neon Pro that gives the Ninebot Max electric scooter a run for its money. How, you ask? Well, first, the Okai Neon Pro earned its place on this list by going 24% further than the Ninebot MAX in the same RG range test, and it went faster than the MAX the entire time. In solid stats, the Neon Pro went as far as 26.8 miles, maintaining a speed of 16.1 mph against the Max’s 22 miles at 15.6 mph.
Okai uses a 26% larger 48V battery, with newer Samsung 21700 automotive-grade cells that carry more energy per pound than the Ninebot’s 36V battery made from 18650 cells like the ones used in laptops. Therefore, it makes sense that the 705 wh on the Neon will push further than the 551wh on the Max.
But despite having the longest range and the lowest price on our list, the Neon Pro’s other superpower is that it beats the MAX on safety. With programmable front and side swag lights, the Neon Pro has the best nighttime visibility. It can also use Bluetooth to connect with Okai’s upcoming 2023 helmet with a brake light built right in.
It doesn’t end there–the Neon Pro has safer cruise control that only engages when you hold down the power button for 4 seconds while riding, so it will never turn on by accident. And it also has a regenerative front brake, so no matter how hard you squeeze the brakes, you’ll never go over the bars. With the Ninebot MAX, the front drum brake, though proven to be safe, requires the rider to make calculated steps when braking.
Top speed is better on the Neon Pro, reaching 20.5 mph against a manufacturer-stated 20.0 mph (talk about an under-optimistic speedometer, which we actually love) and against the MAX’s 18.4 miles per hour. However, the Max is quicker to 15.0 mph taking only 6 seconds, and the Neon Pro gets there in 7.6 seconds. And despite the similarly rated motors, the Neon Pro climbs hills faster, reaching the top of our hill test in 15 seconds–2 seconds ahead of the Max.
Finally, when it comes to ride quality, the Neon Pro’s ride isn’t quite as smooth as the Ninebot MAX electric scooter due to a higher tire pressure spec. However, since they’re tubeless tires (10-inch like the MAX), you can always take out a few pounds of pressure to smooth things out without worrying about getting a pinch-flat. But it’s not just that–the Neon Pro has a shorter riding platform and shorter handlebars, which may cause a bit of riding fatigue–in comparison, of course.
Best For Performance & Speed
NIU KQi3 Max
Another newbie, but not a novice in the personal mobility space. NIU is a legend, having made (and sold) over Three million seated scooters before deciding to try their hand in the electric kick scooter space. The company already has an excellent track record for reliability and build quality–but they proved themselves once again with their (now) four kick scooter models. And it’s not enough that they have positioned themselves as an up-and-coming Segway rival, but their scooter that rivals the Ninebot MAX is…the NIU KQi3 MAX electric scooter.
Now, the KQi3 MAX might actually just take the crown for this, if we’re being honest, since it beats the Ninebot MAX in every possible performance spec. Let’s start with maximum speed. It not only beats the Ninebot MAX but also every other scooter on this list, reaching 22.0 mph against the manufacturer-stated 20.0 mph. And acceleration is also superb, reaching 15.0 mph in just 4.6 seconds. Again in the race to the top of our hill, the KQi3 Max shines again with a record 14.4 seconds, which is unbeaten in our test database in its class.
With high speed and quick acceleration, nothing is more important than a good braking system, which the KQi3 Max electric scooter has. The scooter’s dual disc brakes give it the best stopping distance, reaching a complete halt from 15.0 mph in just 9 ft. To get how incredible that is–the scooter that follows the KQi3 Max in terms of good braking is the $4,000 Segway GT2. Also, this is the 2nd best braking distance in our entire database. For this, we can thank the unusual brake calipers that grab the disc from both sides and the built-in variable regen making it better than the system on most electric scooters.
The KQi3 Max is also a long-distance commuter, going as far as on a single charge. Like the Okai Neon Pro, the KQi3 MAX electric scooter is another 48V scooter–with a massive 608.4 wh reserve in its battery. With this kind of power, you are guaranteed longer commutes, even when riding in high-performance modes. And just to show you how much NIU believes in the quality, this battery is also covered under the 2-year warranty that covers the rest of the scooter–the longest one in the industry. For perspective–the Ninebot’s battery is only covered for 180 days, while the scooter itself is covered for just 1 year.
Now, the drawbacks. There’s a price to be paid for all the performance you get, and it’s in the weight. The KQi3 MAX is a heavy scooter compared to other scooters in its class. It weighs an RG-tested 47.0 lbs, while the Ninebot MAX weighs 3.9 lbs less. It is also significantly heavier than all other scooters on this list. It also has a smaller (albeit unique) deck than the Ninebot MAX and shorter handlebars. The tires are also smaller–10-inch self-healing tubeless tires (we did say it was a direct Ninebot MAX competitor).
Overall, the performance and powerful brakes make the KQi3 MAX the best choice for experienced riders or riders who want a scooter they can grow into as their skills progress. And the aesthetic on the KQi3 MAX, especially the always-on halo light, is the kind of scooter that screams ‘grown-up’s toy’ and not some kids electric scooter. And there’s a companion App, which at this point just feels like a decent bonus.
Best For Ride Quality & Handling
Canadian scooter company Apollo needs no introduction, and they’ve been quite busy this year. Apollo has been shaking things up in 2022 with a lineup of sleek new scooters, all designed in-house. They’ve revamped most of the scooters, which we already loved, and that has been quite a treat. For instance, we were already fans of the Apollo Air Pro in 2021 because of its light weight and excellent handling, but we always wished we could get a little more from the 350W motor, the same size as the one on the Ninebot. Let’s see how Apollo did it.
The new Air 2022 replaces the 2021 Air Pro by making a few significant changes to the framework. First, the new Air electric scooter comes with a step up in the motor, which is now rated 500 W. This has seen the new Air give us a better top speed than the Ninebot Max and the predecessor, at 19.9 mph, and better acceleration, now reaching 15.0 mph in 5.6 seconds. The 2021 Air Pro only reached 18.8 mph with an acceleration of 6.0s to 15.0 mph.
With higher maximum speed and acceleration, we expect better braking, which the new Air delivers. The scooter comes to a stop from 15.0 mph in just 10.4 ft, which is better than the Segway Ninebot’s 11.3 ft. The Air also now comes with an improved battery, made with energy efficient 21700 cells. However, with 19.5 miles of maximum range, the Air is no match for the Ninebot Max–but then again, in this class, there’s less than a handful of scooters that can go up against the MAX’s range.
Where the Air really shines is on ride quality and handling. Its smooth ride beats the Ninebot MAX and virtually every other scooter on this list. The scooter has 10-inch air-filled tires that run a plush 35.0 lbs of pressure. These have a very nice roll on them. But paired with the motorcycle-like front forks–there’s no beating this scooter when it comes to a comfortable ride. Whether you’re out on nicely paved city streets or cracked pave, the duo works phenomenally. For many electric scooters at this price point, it’s not common to find both suspension and air-filled tires.
To further amplify the ride, the scooter comes with the widest handlebars and deck, which allows riders to stand comfortably when maneuvering the scooter. And it helps that the handlebar height is 40.0-inches above the deck–the most ideal height, in our opinion. Apollo also has one of the sleekest apps (and the best one on this list) that allows you to further finetune your ride for the best experience on the road. The best feature of the companion app is that it allows you to set when cruise control sets in, rather than just finding yourself there without warning.
If you live in an area with rough pavement, or no pavement at all, the Air 2022 is the best electric scooter.
Best For Heavy Riders & Quickness
The EMOVE touring electric scooter is a great scooter that will constantly surprise you. For a scooter priced under $1,000–you get value that’s above and beyond what you pay for. It is one of the most versatile scooters we have–with a long list of factory options, including a seat comfort for added ride quality. So, let’s see what makes the EMOVE Touring a Segway Ninebot MAX alternative.
For starters, the EMOVE Touring electric scooter has the highest rider weight capacity on this list and one that is competitive across all other scooter categories. With a rider weight limit of 308.0 lbs, the Touring is rated to carry 40% more weight than the Ninebot. This electric scooter even out-carries the mighty Dualtron Thunders.
Next, if you’re going to have a high weight capacity, you’d better back it up with power, and the Touring does. It’s by far the quickest scooter on this list, from 0 to 15.0 mph, beating the MAX to 15.0 mph by more than 2 seconds–taking only 3.9 seconds. It’s also the fastest hill climber on this list, 37% quicker than the Segway Ninebot MAX on our steep 10% grade test hill at 12.4 seconds, and has the second-highest top speed at 21.5 mph.
All of that power will cost you just a little range, though. The Touring covered 18.7 miles on the ESG range test course, compared to the MAX’s 21.6 miles and against a manufacturer-stated 24.0 miles. This is despite having a comparably larger LG battery rated 48V, 624 wh. Also, with a single drum brake, the Touring needs you to make calculated moves for stopping, seeing as it brakes from 15.0 mph to 0 with a stopping distance of 16 ft.
The Touring’s full suspension feels good for a surprisingly wide range of rider weights. It feels good whether you’re a 165.0 lb rider or 250.0 lb rider. We haven’t tested it at 300 pounds+, but leave us a comment on our YouTube channel if you have. The front and rear shock absorbers, plus a single stem spring suspension, work together with the 8-inch air-filled front wheel and the 8-inch solid rear wheel to absorb most of the jarring that would otherwise be felt on the deck.
The Touring’s deck is also legendary–and a great choice for heavy riders. It measures 22.8 inches x 7.3 inches, with a 5 inch clearance, giving you all the room to maneuver on board, and even more room to hop off curbs despite your weight. The Touring comes with adjustable height handlebars to suit most riders’ heights–with a minimum height of 28.0-inches above the deck and a maximum height of 40.3 inches.
Best For Portability
Fluid Horizon 2022 (13 Ah)
The Fluid Horizon has been around as long as the Segway Ninebot MAX and is one of the best electric scooters for commuters. The e-scooter has just been updated for 2022 and now comes with a new display, thumb throttle, and a carrying handle that doubles as a footrest. But, there’s more to it–besides the fact that this is a more affordable option. Here’s why.
The Horizon electric scooter earns a spot on this list by beating the Ninebot MAX in the ESG range test and doing it with a much higher average speed. The Fluid Horizon attained an ESG-tested range of 21.7 miles against a manufacturer-stated 30.0 miles and sustained a speed of 16.6 mph. The Ninebot MAX closely competes at 21.6 miles but goes slower at 15.6 mph. This is yet another 48V commuter with a large 624 wh capacity, which explains the amazing performance. The only scooter that beats the Fluid Horizon in this class for range is the NIU KQi3 MAX.
The Horizon electric scooter also does well on maximum speed. It reaches 21.8 mph, almost hitting the manufacturer-stated 23.0 mph. The acceleration to 15.0 mph is also good at 5.5 seconds, and the 500 W motor got the scooter to the top of the hill test in 17.3 seconds (slower than the Segway Ninebot MAX). However, braking is where the scooter really falls short. The scooter solely relies on a rear drum brake that delivers a stopping distance of 20.7 ft, nearly double that of the Air 2022 and more than double that of fellow speedster, the KQi3 MAX electric scooter.
That aside, the Horizon e-scooter has one amazing superpower–its portability. It’s a couple of pounds lighter than the MAX–40.8 lbs, to be exact, and folds down to less than half as wide (38.0 inches x 7.0 inchesx 14.0-inches L*W*H), making it the easiest scooter on this list to fit into your trunk or apartment. Again, the new handle makes it easier to carry when it’s not folded. The wheels are also smaller at 8.5 inches, further reducing that folded footprint. Just avoid riding it in the rain, as it’s the only scooter on our list without an IP rating.
The Horizon is one of the best scooters if you love full suspension and hate flat tires. A little-known fact: almost all flats happen at the rear tire. So while it has an air-filled tire up-front, it uses a flat-proof solid tire at the back and then adds full suspension to smooth out the ride.
Swappable Battery & Ultra-Stable Ride
We’ve already had 2 new companies on this list–and here’s the third one, ANYHILL. ANYHILL entered the scene more recently, and we’re so glad we found them. ANYHILL says there hadn’t been any real progress towards sustainable means of movement until scooters came about–and even now, manufacturers need to work harder at making them more functional for everyday use, more accessible, and designed with everyone in mind. With that in mind, ANYHILL brought us the UM-2, an almost completely new blueprint for a commuter scooter, which is pretty rare with newbies.
To get us started, the ANYHILL UM-2 electric scooter comes with an exceptionally high 300.0 lb rider weight limit, which has made this electric scooter another favorite for heavy riders. Even with riders closer to the rider weight limit, the 450 W motor does not lag in acceleration or compromise the top speed or struggle on hills. That said, the scooter manages a max speed of 17.9 mph but with an incredible acceleration reaching 15.0 mph in just 5.9 seconds. Hill climbing is also relatively good, given the size of the motor–reaching the top of our test hill in just 18.2 seconds.
The UM-2 beats the Ninebot MAX (and all other scooters on this list) on range, in an unconventional way: Swappable Battery Packs that weigh just 5.0 lbs. This means that you could go 2.4 times as far on a UM-2 than you can on a Segway Ninebot MAX if you bring two of these along in your backpack. And besides being the lightest swappable battery, we’ve experienced-the battery is also made with energy-dense LG 21700 cells that prolong battery life. The battery is accessed via a keyed lock–and it is rated IPX6 to safeguard it from any kind of liquid damage when charging at your desk.
Something else we really love about the UM-2 is the stable ride. While we don’t recommend riding any scooter one-handed, the stability of the UM-2 means you’re far more likely to get away with bad behavior than you are on a Ninebot MAX or just about any other scooter. Acrobatics-aside, the benefit of good stability means you get to relax more and just enjoy your ride. The Ultra-stable ride is the reason the UM-2 is an ESG office favorite. You can ride it for hours on end without getting tired. Also, the rear mudguard feels like a rear fender brake, but it’s not–so don’t be tempted to use it as one.
The scooter’s other features that stand out are the overall aesthetics, the unique center stand (the only scooters with this design), a colored dash that we wish was brighter, and exceptional build quality. We can’t wait to see what ANYHILL does next.
Honorable Mentions: Best Ninebot MAX Electric Scooter Alternatives
There are still several other excellent alternatives that deserve attention. Some of these options include the following:
Segway Ninebot G65
Rumor has it that in 2023, the classic Ninebot MAX G30 will be replaced with the new 53.8 lbs Segway-Ninebot G65 electric scooter. From the videos and comments we’ve seen, most riders think the 10.0 lb weight increase makes it far too heavy to justify the addition of full suspension and more range(3.0 miles). The deck also looks very short, as does the suspension travel. And the rumored price increase also seems too high. We’ll withhold judgment until we test it, but based on what we’re seeing, we don’t feel like it beats the existing Segway Ninebot scooters.
Segway Ninebot F40
Another e-scooter worth mentioning is the Segway Ninebot F40, the largest and fastest F-series scooter and one of the main releases that followed the MAX. If we’re honest, we haven’t been particularly impressed with the F-Series so far. Unfortunately, with a battery size ⅔ the size of the Ninebot MAX, it will not be in the same league regarding range. We estimate the F40 electric scooter will cover about 14.4 miles on our test track.
However, it does deliver a comfortable ride. The F40 e-scooter rolls on anti-puncture, 10-inch pneumatic tires, which have a good level of shock absorption. Riding on these air-filled tires will deliver a smoother riding experience than solid rubber tires, allowing you to take your Ninebot on smooth pavement and rougher city tracks. The large tires also deliver low rolling resistance making the scooter easier to manoeuvre. And thanks to the wear-resistant tread, your tires will retain good traction over a long time.
You can carry the F40 electric scooter with you on public transport, in the back of your trunk, up the stairs in your building, etc., due to the lightweight and compact folded dimensions. It has a quick folding mechanism that folds down to 45 inches x 19 inches× 19 inches.
The F40 and the F series of electric scooters also have a great set of safety features as below:
- Night riding is made safer by the 2.5W built-in LED lights and a rear fender light
- Dual braking by the front electronic brake + rear disc brake
- The non-slip tread ensures that the scooters don’t skid on wet track
- Durable frame that supports riders weighing up to 220.0 lbs
- Three riding modes to cap your max speed in line with your experience, local speed limits, or traffic conditions
- Ability to lock your scooter on the Bluetooth app as an anti-theft measure
The F40 is fast without compromising on ride quality. And this line of electric scooters is a feature-rich, fashionable option for the budget-conscious commuter.
You’ve got to respect the Ninebot MAX electric scooter for setting a new standard for range and reliability back in 2019. But honestly, these days, it’s just not an e-scooter we tend to reach for our personal commutes here at ESG because there are faster, smoother, more fun, and frankly, better-looking alternatives to ride.
Head over to the Video Review and let us know in the comments about your favorite Ninebot MAX alternative, or make your case if you feel the MAX is still the king of long-range commuters.
If you’re interested in any of the scooters, we’ve provided purchase links to the best places to buy them, and ESG exclusive coupon codes. Using the links also helps support our channel.
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Comprehensive reviews are available on the site for these and more electric scooters, so be sure to check it out.
Electric Scooter FAQ
Q: Is it hard to maintain an electric scooter?
A: Electric scooters require minimal maintenance: you should check the battery, brakes, and tires regularly. Additionally, keep the scooter clean and regularly inspect for any damages or wear and tear. For more information about maintenance and repair, see our post here.
Q: What accessories do I need for an electric scooter?
A: At a minimum, you should consider investing in a lock and a helmet for your electric scooter. Other accessories, such as reflectors, phone mounts, and headlights can be especially helpful as well. Learn more about scooter accessories at our post on the 10 Best Electric Scooter Accessories.
Q: How much does a good electric scooter cost?
A: Prices for electric scooters can range from as low as $300 for basic models up to several thousand dollars for performance scooters. Prices will vary based on range, speed, suspension, and other features. Generally, whatever your budget, you can find a great scooter at an affordable price.
Q: Do I need to wear a helmet when using an electric scooter?
A: Riding an electric scooter requires the same safety precautions as riding a bicycle; therefore, riders should always wear a helmet while operating an electric scooter. Different jurisdictions have different rules, so it is important to be aware of and follow the laws in your area. What kind of helmet should you get? See our guide to learn more about electric scooter helmets and visit the Rider Guide electric scooter helmet database.
Q: What is the best way to store an electric scooter?
A: The best way to store an electric scooter is to place it indoors in a cool, dry area. If the scooter needs to be kept outdoors, be sure to invest in a scooter lock for added security and try to keep your scooter covered and out of the rain.
Q: How far can an electric scooter travel?
A: The range of an electric scooter can vary depending on the model and battery life. An average electric scooter can travel between 10-20 miles before needing to be recharged.
Q: How long do electric scooter batteries last?
A: It depends on the battery size and manufacturer. Generally, the smaller the battery, the shorter the range. Some batteries can last up to 40 miles on a single charge, while others last only a few miles. Learn more about electric scooter batteries here.
Q: Are electric scooters legal?
A: Rules and regulations on electric scooters vary by city or state, so it is important to contact local authorities for more information. See this Comprehensive Electric Scooter Laws article to learn more about specific laws for every state in the U.S.
Q: Can you ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk?
A: This depends on the city or state regulations. Generally speaking, electric scooters should be ridden on bike lanes, trails, or roads with the flow of traffic. It is also important to make sure that you keep your electric scooter away from pedestrians and make sure it is not blocking any public pathways. See Comprehensive Electric Scooter Laws to find out where and when it might be safe and legal to ride on the sidewalk.
Q: Are electric scooters safe?
A: Most electric scooters are considered safe if ridden responsibly on roadways that allow them, and in accordance with the speed limits in your area. Additionally, wearing a helmet and other protective gear is always a good idea while operating an electric scooter. See our Ultimate Guide to Scooter Safety for more.
Q: Can electric scooters be used off-road?
A: Some electric scooters are designed for off-road use, but it’s important to check with the manufacturer to make sure the scooter is designed to handle off-road terrain.
Q: Is it safe to ride an electric scooter in the rain?
A: That depends on the scooter. Please see our post on Best Electric Scooters for Riding in the Rain to learn more about which scooters function best on wet roads and how to navigate bad weather on your scooter.