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Segway Ninebot Max Summary
Our Take: Built Like a Hammer, the Max Is a Rider Fave for Good Reason
It can go double the distance of the M365 with 21.6 mi of tested real-world range, and it's slightly faster than electric scooters from the sharing market with a 18.4 mph top speed. With an additional 100 watts more in the rear hub motor than the M365, the Ninebot Max can propel heavier riders up steeper hills at a faster clip.
The Max also has 22% more standing room than the M365, with a larger deck and large, air-filled tires to cushion long trips. It provides so many user-friendly, comfort-inducing features that it's possible to overlook the Max's rather average looks. The Max isn't a thrilling racer scooter in its performance or appearance, but remains a stalwart machine built for reliable commuting.
The Ninebot Max is an excellent scooter for those who love the general design of the Xiaomi M365 but crave a more durable, longer ranged electric scooter.
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Segway Ninebot Max Review
In our acceleration tests, the Max reached 15 mph in 6.0 seconds, which is faster than the original M365. The Max also has better acceleration than its little brother, the Max G30LP, as well as the Gotrax G4, which has a higher 20.0 mph top speed.
As with some other scooters in the budget and midrange classes, the Ninebot Max does not have a zero start mode. Zero start means the motor engages as soon as you activate the throttle.
The Max is a kick-to-start scooter, which means that you must kickstart it to about 2 mph before the throttle will engage the motor. Kick-to-start mode is a common safety feature that you'll find standard on shared scooters, as it keeps the scooter from running away if you accidentally hit the throttle while powered on but at full stop.
Although kick-to-start is great for beginners, it's a somewhat annoying feature when trying to power forward to get up to speed from a stoplight or kick your way uphill. If you've ridden a zero start scooter, you'll expect that instant burst of power when pressing the throttle and won't get it.
Because you need to kick the scooter up to speed, it may be a challenge to go uphill quickly without some practice. On a somewhat steep hill, it took us multiple tries before we could create enough speed to engage the throttle. Going uphill might be especially difficult for smaller (shorter) riders, as you'll have to kick, push, get onto the deck, and press the throttle before you can tell if you've gotten it fast enough to power the throttle.
Overall, the Ninebot Max has good hill-climbing ability. We were able to maintain about 7 mph on some impressive hills and were only halted by the steepest ones.
The Ninebot Max G30LP, has a slightly faster top speed of 18 mph, likely due to its second generation motor and possibly its lighter weight (its around 3 lbs lighter and does not have a built-in DC converter).
In our real-world testing, we simulate real-world conditions with a 165 lb rider, making frequent stops, going uphill, and riding the scooter as fast as is safe in its highest mode until the battery is depleted.
Actual range will depend on the rider's size and riding style.
Learn more about our rigorous performance tests.
The Max has one brake lever which controls the front drum brake and rear electronic brake. Together, they provide a redundant braking system should one of the brakes fail. One thing we really like about drum brakes is that they are zero maintenance. The braking mechanism is completed encased within the wheel — protecting it from the environment and incidental damage.
Some riders are concerned with having a drum brake on the front wheel, and whether or not that could cause you to topple over the handlebars when braking. During our testing, this didn't happen to us — even when braking hard. However, we generally recommend that you crouch and shift your weight toward the rear wheel for more stability when braking in an emergency.
The whole package — with its larger deck, thicker stem, and beefier build — make the Ninebot Max feel like a legitimate commuting machine rather than a toy-level kick scooter. It has a super durable, well-constructed frame but with a slower ride feels like a safe rather than thrilling choice. You won't crazily carve the roads on the Max. You'll leisurely put-put among bicyclists and motorist, maintaining a reasonable speed using the comfortable thumb throttle.
However, all those things said — the Max is a well-rounded daily commuter with enough comfort and deck space for going longer distances. When we compare it to the Max G30LP, we felt that the original Max has a more stable ride and for the $100 more is just a better buy given the tested specs and features.
Ninebot Max Features
The Ninebot Max has folded dimensions of 46 in long by 19 in wide by 21 in tall. The Max is on the longer, taller side when it comes to scooter dimensions, and it may take some angling to get it into your trunk. We tested it in the trunk of a Honda Accord, which has a large trunk, and it fit pretty easily.
The Max has a folding stem with a latch that holds a lever, keeping the stem upright and making the stem rock solid. It has a safety collar that rotates to lock the folding lever into place. This folding mechanism is ultra solid, and the same mechanism is used on the Max G30LP.
Compared to the Max G30LP, it has 2.5 in shorter handlebars that latch onto the deck that's 2.5 in shorter, and with the 3.4 lb weight difference, both Maxes are pretty portable.
Overall, all the adornments on the handlebars — the easy-to-read display, rubber-covered thumb throttle, brake lever, twist bell, and texturized handgrips appear thoughtfully constructed out of high quality materials.
The bell is loud enough to alert pedestrians but not deter cars. The thumb throttle has a grippy rubber pad on it, maintaining good contact with your "trigger thumb." The brake lever is solid without any play or excess friction, activating both the electronic and drum brakes together.
The lights are sufficient for providing some visibility, but if you're regularly riding at night, see our guide on additional lights to improve visibility.
Segway calls the tires "self-healing," which means that the air-filled tires come pre-filled with tire slime. Tire slime makes the tires more resistant to flats, and we'e seen more scooters with pre-slimed tires for convenient comfort, especially in the budget and midrange commuter classes.
Manufacturers are trying to give riders a more convenient (read: flat-resistant) experience, providing a cushioned ride on pre-slimed air-filled tires often without adding suspension, resulting in fewer experiences with flats because the slime repairs punctures as they happen.
The deck has 3.0 in of ground clearance. The deck-to-handlebar height is 40.2 in .
It gives the appearance that it has been carved from a single piece of metal, with clean, rounded lines, cohesive design, and rock solid feeling, especially when you can feel secure that the scooter is solidly upright or folded given the zero-wobble safety collar folding mechanism. Everything just feels well made. The Ninebot Max that we've had has lasted well over time with minimal cosmetic damage after over a year in our care.
Along with the slip-proof rubberized deck, the Ninebot Max has an IPX5 water resistance rating, meaning that it can tolerate splashes but not full submersion.
We don't generally recommend riding in the rain, but the Max's pneumatic tires perform surprisingly well on wet roads. Practically speaking, the Max can be ridden home if you get caught in the rain.
Our Ninebot Max has a first generation motor, which limits its performance against newer models with a second generation motor. Here's how to identify what generation motor your Max has in it.
How to identify the motor generation
Although we have not yet tested a Max with a second generation motor, we expect it to get around 20.4 miles of real-world range.
Segway developed the motors with battery saving technology that limits the scooter's speed, likely to save the battery's overall capacity and control overall speed as a safety measure.
As the Ninebot Max rider community has grown, many riders have shared how they've hacked their Maxes to enhance performance, including higher top speeds and stronger electronic braking.
Here's a shop dedicated to upgrades for the Max. If you see anything you like, here's an exclusive $5 off coupon code (ESG4NORD).
Here's a video from one of our favorite creators, Adam from Wrong Way, on how to hack a Ninebot Max.
This means that you don't need to carry the heavy charging pack with DC converter around with you, as you can use a relatively cheap and standard power cable for lightweight charging on the go.
This is one of our favorite features of the Max, but it did not make its appearance on the Max G30LP.
Ninebot Max: Review Conclusions
When it comes to defining a hardworking machine, the Ninebot Max comes to mind. It has such a durable build that you expect it to give you long lasting, consistent performance, ride to ride, and there are hundreds of riders out there that can confirm or deny that claim.
In our experience, it has done well in both dry and wet conditions, beating its smaller brother and keeping up with others in performance tests. The Max is a consistent, stalwart electric scooter worth its weight in gold (or $USD).
If the Ninebot Max doesn't appeal to you, look at our alternative scooters. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.