I already have a TravelScoot which is very similar in size and weight. After 7 years with it, it was time for a tune-up. I was a bit disappointed that a replacement battery and controller would cost about $1400. Also, the new models are not compatible with my older model so parts would be hard to purchase in the future. So I began a search to see what else was out there. I discovered the Smart Scoot and was drawn to it because if it’s weight and simple design. It has the in-hub motor that many of the manufacturers are adopting which makes the scooter more balanced front to back. You can easily lift it with one hand. It has the added advantage of not scooting in a tight turn like my rear wheel drive scooter because it is pulling rather than pushing. I also find it easier to stand and exit because of the single center tube. By pulling 1 pin, I am able to remove the seat and easily lift it into the back of my car. A spare battery is also half the price of a battery for my old scooter… If you are looking for a scooter to use around town that will not require a power lift or two burly assistants to transport, I highly recommend this unit.
There are 2 on-off switches that must both be on to use. I myself attached a small bike bag under the seat and carry a retractable cable lock in it. I will usually leave the scooter in the lobby locked to a post or something.
[After the first few months]
I am still in love with the SmartScoot. It is lighter than the TravelScoot and better balanced. I have an SUV so I didn’t fold the TravelScoot all the way up. Unfortunately, that required two hands to lift the scooter into the back of the SUV. With the SmartScoot, I remove the seat, fold the handlebar, and am able to lift the scooter with one hand because of the good balance. This allows me to keep one hand on the bumper for my own balance. Because of my restricted mobility, this is important to me. I have made a couple of personalized chances to make this more convenient. I replaced the high back of the seat with a smaller backrest. This makes it much smaller when folded and easier to put on and off the scooter. I use my scooter to go to stores and run errands, so all I need is some back support. If I planned on spending hours in the seat, I might put the high backrest back on. Totally a personal preference. I also put some grip-tape on the battery to make it easier to remove. Lastly, I put some reflective tape on it to make it more visible at night. The front light works well, but I was concerned about traffic from the rear not seeing me. These are all personal touches and not really any fault with the scooter. I would still give it five stars.
I find the stability to be better than my previous scooter. My previous scooter was rear-wheel-drive where this one is front-wheel-drive. On a slope, the front wheel is pulling you the direction you are going rather than the rear wheel pushing and the front wheel trying to steer with no power. Compare it to any front-wheel-drive car as opposed to a rear-wheel-drive car. Another thing. I don’t know if the product description makes known that the rear wheels are adjustable for width, up to 4 additional inches. You can even space one wheel farther from the center than the other if the slope is one you encounter often. Obviously the wider you space the wheels apart, the more stable it is. With a single 2″ center bar, it is easy to drag your feet along the ground, like balancing yourself on a bike, on a slope that really concerns you. I use mine however on the narrowest setting to allow me to go through the narrowest possible opening, for those aisles where people refuse to move their cart to the side. I have never felt unstable on it. Regardless, because it is adjustable, you can set it up for however you feel comfortable.
I have never found it to be lacking power. It has three settings for speed. I find it works best to use the highest speed on a slope. It allows you a little run-up speed, and with the adjustable throttle, you still have total control over your speed. I don’t know of any scooter that will handle much of a slope from a dead stop. All depends on your weight and the degree of slope. I weigh 235 and have yet to find a handicap ramp I can’t get up.
I still find it to be a good, dependable product. It is my third scooter and by far the best.
The basket at the base of the TravelScoot was pretty handy, but not without its drawbacks. The fact that there is room for the basket there is an issue. I had a bit of an issue standing on one foot while trying to span the width of the scooter. With the fabric basket there, you cannot step between the bottom struts. Therefore you have to straddle the basket and frame to mount or dismount. For me, that was a problem, especially if there was anything in the basket you had to step over. To stand, you have to stand up spread eagle, then from that position, maneuver your foot over the basket leaving you slightly off balance. I found it easier for me to leave the basket off so I could step in that area between the struts. As a picky personal note, anything on your shoes ends up in that fabric basket. Plan on having to clean it often. The SmartScoot does come with a front folding wire basket that will handle as much as the fabric basket in the TravelScoot. I myself find it handier to attach a hook to the rear of the seat back. I keep several wadded up nylon bags with me. As I fill a bag, I hang it on the back of the scooter. This keeps my hands free, nothing between my legs, and the ability to carry much more. I used this system on both the TravelScoot and the SmartScoot. You are only limited by the amount of nylon bags. The ones I use are about the size of a plastic grocery bag, and I buy them from Amazon in packs of six.
As for the seat comfort, hands down the SmartScoot is the most comfortable. The back is larger and arched rather than a lean pad. The actual seat itself is about the same. If I am going to an all-day event, I still use the original Smart Scoot seat back. I have fabricated a smaller backrest that I use for everyday running around simply because it is so much smaller in my trunk, and I am spending minutes on the scooter rather than hours.
Having owned both, I must say that they are both fine products. My preference for the SmartScoot has more to do with my physical limits and how it addresses them. I find the reverse on the SmartScoot to be handy, as well as the light and horn, which the TravelScoot does not have. I was very pleased with the TravelScoot and still own it, though it seems to always be on loan to someone. Prior to owning the SmartScoot I considered it the best on the market.
[After the first two years]
I’ve had this scooter for over 2 years and use it every day. It still works flawlessly. It has accumulated some nicks and scars with use but keeps going. One point I may make is that the wheels are a little firm. You do feel each seam in the sidewalk and rough pavement will jar you a bit. This is the price you must pay for weight. I just recently checked out SmartScoot’s home page, and find that my scooter is a bit out of date with their newer model, but must admit that the page gives a good and accurate depiction of their product. Though the price is a bit steep, I will spend the money to have a scooter that is always in my car and ready for use rather than a cheaper one that spends most of its time in my garage because of the hassle loading it. No regrets with this scooter.
– Dennis P.
Dennis P. 03/01/2018