What are scooters good for?

A scooter is the ideal vehicle in city traffic. But which one is the best? We tested five models.

In full swing: With the test winner of the Hudora brand, you are well on your way.

Er is back: the scooter. And with it the nostalgic feeling of the 2000s, when even businessmen in suits made their way to work on two roles – sometimes even the last few meters in the office to the desk. After a break of several years, the simple means of transport is celebrating a comeback, especially in large cities. The manufacturers lure with a variety of colors, sizes and gimmicks such as cup holders or integrated combination locks. The structure, on the other hand, remains the same: two castors, a running board and a handlebar are enough to get going with muscle power.

For Andre Thiemann, the first chairman of the German Scooter Association, riding a scooter is more than indulging in the old days: “Especially in the big city, the scooter is a perfect means of transport.” Because it can also be used on sidewalks and in pedestrian zones. And in contrast to bicycles, there is no need to buy an additional ticket on the train – an advantage for commuters. When you arrive at the office, you can simply take the scooter with you. Thieves don’t stand a chance.

But which city scooter is best for city traffic? Five models compete against each other in the test. The common feature of the companions from Hudora, Micro Mobility Systems and the electronics mail order company Pearl are solid wheels made of polyurethane (PU) – which is why they are also called scooters. The other two test models, on the other hand, are similar to a bicycle without pedals. The tires are inflated, the frame is more massive and therefore more robust than that of its smaller competitors. Fans simply refer to these models as scooters.

The price ranges show a wide range. The scooter from the German manufacturer Hudora costs just 89.95 euros. The most expensive is the Yedoo scooter for 329 euros.

Weight matters

In the first test, only weight counts. Micro Mobility Systems advertises its model as being particularly light and baptizes it microscooter. In front, however, is the Hudora scooter, which weighs just four kilograms. The two large scooters from Yedoo and Oss Bikes, on the other hand, weigh seven kilograms and thus lose the handiness for which scooters are actually valued.

When driving, however, the two scooters hang off the scooters. The large wheels are an advantage here – both models have 16-inch tires. If you stand on the luxury scooter from Yedoo or the Swedish model from Oss Bikes, you can glide relaxed across the road thanks to rubber tires. Neither stones nor bumps can be felt. An additional plus point: the scooters defy rainy weather. The risk of slipping of the PU rollers, on the other hand, makes the scooters fair-weather vehicles. Better to leave them at home even when it’s drizzling. Hudora advises: “Only use the scooter on suitable surfaces that should be smooth, clean and dry.” When the sun is shining, the scooters from Hudora and Micro Mobility Systems can be steered smoothly over paved sidewalks. On the other hand, it jerks unpleasantly on cobblestones. You should avoid stretches with lots of pebbles and sand, as they can damage the sensitive PU wheels.

In full swing: With the test winner of the Hudora brand, you are well on your way.
In full swing: With the test winner of the Hudora brand, you are well on your way.: Image: Helmut Fricke

The Pearl model, on the other hand, offers no driving fun even if the weather and the route are right – despite the extra large running board. Even with the smallest bump, the scooter wobbles back and forth uncomfortably. The strong vibration affects the feet. Even cobblestones or somewhat bumpy sidewalks become a knockout criterion.

Security and comfort

The test vehicles have to prove themselves when cornering on a level stretch. There are eight traffic cones to drive around without bumping into them. Before each new round, the cones are tightened. With the Pearl, even the simplest version of the curve test becomes bowling. The steering is bulky, one cone after the other falls over. It works better with the Yedoo scooter – it can be steered smoothly around the cones placed close to one another. The other three models are also good in the curve and only fail on the narrow course.

In the security check, the city scooters have to show how fast they are braking. Pearl’s discounter scooter takes the longest to come to a stop and leaves long skid marks. The companions from Hudora and Micro Mobility Systems, which are also equipped with coaster brakes, work better. The Yedoo luxury scooter stops fastest with its two hand brakes on the steering wheel, followed by the Oss Bikes scooter.

Image: FAZ

What comfort do the scooters offer? After all, a big plus is that they can be stowed away quickly on the train and in the office. The three small scooters have a decisive advantage: They can be folded in in just a few simple steps. The scooter of the test winner Hudora also has a shoulder strap. This makes it the easiest to handle during transport. Although the handlebars of the Oss Bikes scooter can be folded, it does not lose any noticeable size. The luxury model Yedoo is not foldable. But at least it has a bottle holder. Refreshment is needed by anyone who has to carry the seven-kilo scooter to the office.