By now, you've probably seen or tried a rental scooter, available in many cities around the world. When you rent them, they cost a dollar to start and about 15 cents a minute. They are fun and useful but when the cost starts to add up, you might be wondering if you should buy one for commuting to work every day.
The original model of the Bird scooter is from a Chinese company called Xiaomi. The model is the M365 and while these birds flocked everywhere, they are now becoming extinct as both the Bird and Lime are switching to a new model from Segway called the Ninebot ES2.
The Segway ES2 retails for $600 but has been selling out quickly due to high demand and prices can fluctuate. Meanwhile, the Xiaomi is even harder to find these days and with eBay having the best chance of having them available.
To compare the Xiaomi M365 and the Segway ES2 the retail versions were purchased to see how much more functionality they have from the rental versions. When you buy your own, you have more capabilities, like access to an app where you can customize higher top speed, braking resistance, cruise control, and even custom under-glow lights.
One key difference on the Segway ES2 is the digital screen on the top which will display your current speed, ride mode, and battery life remaining. Both scooters have front headlights which are very bright. They also both have real tail lights. And, there's a setting to keep them on all the time if you choose.
Both scooters feature cruise control mode. If you turn on cruise control, it will engage at the current speed after holding the acceleration steady for five seconds. For riding modes, the M365 only has two. Eco and regular. The Segway has three modes. Eco, sport and super sport.
Each scooter has the feature to change energy recovery level from weak, normal and strong. This setting uses the motor to slow you down as soon as you let off of the brakes. It means coasting less while using the energy to recharge the battery.
Speaking of battery, the Limes have an extended-range battery pack on the front to increase the range. The batter pack costs an extra $250 and it increases the range up to 28 miles. It also gives faster acceleration and a top speed of up to 19 miles per hour instead of 15 miles per hour without the battery.
Where these scooters start to differ is the brakes. The Segway features a front brake that uses the resistance of the front motor to slow down. It also has a rear brake that can be activated with your foot. The Segway brakes are not nearly as strong compared to the original Bird M365 which has disc brakes in the rear which will allow you to stop much faster. The downside to disc brakes is they are more likely to rub and squeak, requiring maintenance like changing the pads.
For tires, the M365 features air-filled tires which are bigger and provide some cushion when going over bumps and cracks. The downside is these can get flat and you'll need to replace the tube. The Segway has thinner, solid rubber tires. They also fitted the scooters with front and rear suspension in order to handle bumps and cracks in the road.
The M365 has the battery stored inside the bottom case, on top of where your feet stand, compared to the Segway where the batteries are stored in the front stem. This means that the Segway is more front heavy while the M365 feels better balance. The Segway is able to make quicker turns and the extra suspension helps when carving.
The Segway ES2 uses a superior mechanism over the M365. It has a fold-down lever that you press with your foot to fold. The front bar clips directly on the rear and you can grab and carry. The M365 is more difficult to fold. The handle mechanism was very tight and hard to pull. These scooters are heavy and it’s not recommended to carrying them up long flights of stairs.
Where to buy
Xaiomi M365 – eBay
Xaiomi M365 – Amazon
Segway Ninebot ES2 – eBay
Segway Ninebot ES2 – Amazon
This review was transcribed and edited from this YouTube video.