Here at WIRED, we are extremely pro-scooter. In fact, we are pro all electric vehicle that allows cars to leave the road and reduces carbon emissions and traffic. But although I personally love electric bikes, eskateboards and other e-fans, I've never wanted to scoot. In my beautiful city of Portland, Oregon, a bicycle country, the only people I see on scooters are kids and tourists stuffed with beer.
But if an electric scooter can look attractive, it is boosted. The company, best known for making electric wheeled skateboard orange an indispensable suburban vehicle, is now interested in the electric push-powered scooter. I have been driving the Rev for a week and it's great. If you want an electric scooter, you should probably have it, if you can afford it.
A vroom apart
Boosted designed the Rev for it to be a personal vehicle that we own and service for years, rather than a rental of a lifetime of a few months. This shows. The Rev is sleek and solid, with a black textured aluminum frame with a contrasting gray tube around the deck. It weighs 46 pounds, a figure so staggering that I had trouble carrying the Reverend in and out of my house.
However, here is the problem: complaining about the weight of the Rev is like complaining that your Lexus SUV occupies too much space in a parking space. The Rev is just bigger and more beautiful than other electric scooters on the market. The bridge is wider, thicker and padded. The wheels are big and heavy and each hub has its own engine. The material is metal, not plastic. Hence the weight.
Fortunately, Boosted has planned several adaptations to make the Rev easier to manage. For example, a simple easy-to-use latch allows the handlebar tube to fold back, where it locks firmly in place on the rear brake. I used the bent handlebar tube to carry the scooter home, much like an extremely heavy suitcase. Some lock reports were reported while the scooter was bent, but I had no problem with this one.
The Rev also has a crutch to keep it standing and the gray tube band around the deck is designed with enough space around to allow you to lock the scooter on a bike rack. Although it is small enough to fit under a coffee table, I usually close it on the outside rather than deposit it in a coffee shop or restaurant.
The Rev has a simple LED display showing your speed, the remaining battery life, the driving mode you are in and whether your headlights are on. The control panel consists of a single button. Press once to turn on or off the scooter, twice to turn on the headlights and three times to change the driving mode.
I liked the simplified display and I did not find the operation complicated, but I imagine that customers will be pleased to be able to control the scooter settings via the Boosted application. I could not try this on my pre-production tester because the application was not ready yet.
Like other Boosted products, the scooter has three different modes: beginner, intermediate and advanced with different levels of acceleration and different top speeds. I've kept the Rev in advanced mode, which has a sensitive acceleration and a top speed of 24 mph. The Boosted throttle pedal is much easier and gentle to use when it is attached to a handlebar, instead of swinging it wildly in a portable remote when I zoom in on one of the skateboards of the company.
Finally, the scooter has three separate braking mechanisms. You can decelerate with the help of the electric brake located on the throttle, but the latter also has a hand disk brake on the front wheel and a pedal brake. wing on the rear wheel. I did not end up using brakes, except the electric brake on the throttle, even downhill slopes of 20 degrees, but I liked to have them in case.
Having several braking mechanisms is also reassuring if you have to take it out in the rain. The Rev is weather resistant, but disc brakes are always preferable when wet.
I could not test the Rev in the drizzle, but I did it up and down some steep hills in my neighborhood. While the Boosted Mini was only slowly gaining momentum, the Rev had plenty of power to spare – I brought it up to 10 mph up a 20 degree incline.
I achieved a personal maximum speed of 22 mph on a well-maintained bike path, while feeling comfortable, steady and in control. Even walking down quiet residential streets, I glanced at the billboard and was shocked to discover that I was going at 15 mph when I was thinking of sailing at 8 or 9 o'clock.
Of course, my speed was considerably reduced when I was on poorly maintained roads or gravel. Even premium scooters do not have moving dampers, and going over 15 km / h over cracks or bumps was enough to make my teeth snap.
Boosted states that the Rev has a range of up to 22 miles. The screen has no odometer – Boosted m ensures that the app will have one – so it was hard to verify, but it only took me About three days to go around before having to recharge the battery. For Boosted's defense, I rode these steep hills on the first day for over an hour.
In fact, during those first three days, I drove the Rev for hours. Despite my initial fears, the scooter does not suffer from the Segway problem. I do not look like a lazy idiot and I do not feel like a lazy idiot.
The Reverend is almost irresistible, both for the rider and for the others. One evening, I turned around while preparing dinner to discover that my husband had shunned the Rev and had gathered some friends who followed him in turn. When I tried it myself, I almost fell several times – not because it was unstable, but because I was whipping each time a passer-by shouted, "Yo! How much does it cost?
Micro-vehicles such as eskateboards and scooters can have a bad reputation – even more, so if you use one, you take it from a scooter share instead of a device you own yourself . And I still think their usefulness is somewhat limited. For example, an electric vehicle that does not allow me to bring home a bag of 25 kilo dog food does not meet my needs.
But if you have some qualifications – if you're not old, do not get carried away by a crowd of kids and groceries, and if you live in a city where the streets are relatively well-maintained – a sturdy escooter and Reliable as the Rev could possibly be the ticket to reduce a few kilometers of the odometer of your car.
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