REVIEW – We recently completed a 5.5-month world cruise with a couple of extensions in the Baltic. One thing that stood out to us in Europe, and especially the Scandinavian countries, was the huge number of bicycles and scooters – electric scooters. Most were the rental variety, like Lime and others, but wow – scooters were everywhere. We thought they were cool and they sure looked like they would be fun to ride. When the chance popped up to review the iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter, I jumped at it. Let’s see if this will replace our golf carts for some of the running around we do here in the world’s largest retirement community.
What is it?
The iSinwheel i9Pro is a two-wheel electric scooter.
What’s in the box?
- iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter (pictured at the top of this article)
- Front bag
- User manual
- Warranty card
- Four assembly screws
- Two Allen wrenches – one to install the screws and the other to adjust the brake
- Motor: 350 Watt
- Battery capacity: 42 V 7.5Ah
- Charging time: 4-6 hours
- Waterproof rating: IP54 (low-pressure spray at any angle for 10 minutes – NOT waterproof)
- Hill climbing: 20° or 15° depending on what website you believe – the manual says 15%
- Scooter tires: 8.5 inches honeycomb solid tires
- Max rider weight: 264 lbs
- Product weight: 28.6lbs
- Lighting system: front and rear LED lights with pulsing brake light
- Max Speed: 18.6 mph depending on rider weight
- Range: 14-17.5 miles depending on rider weight and terrain
- Operating temperature: 32 – 104°F
- Size (unfolded): 45 x 17 x 45 inch
- Size (folded): 45 x 17 x 19 inch
- Braking: regenerative as well as rear disk brake
- App: MiniRobot – connects via Bluetooth
Design and features
If you have ever seen a scooter, then you understand this. There’s nothing remarkable about the design. Having said that, let’s look at the specifics of the iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter. We’ll start with the handlebars, moving from left to right.
On the left side, we find the standard brake lever. You squeeze it to engage the brakes. You can also see the small bell. You pull the lever down with your thumb and let it go. It impacts the bell dome, making a familiar ding sound.
Continuing to the right side of the iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter, we see the lock that clamps the handlebar to the rear fender when the scooter is folded. It is spring-loaded so a quick push releases the handlebars.
In the middle, we see the control button and information display. At the bottom of the display, it shows the five-bar battery indicator. When the battery is exhausted, the left bar flashes red. Above that, we see the three drive mode indicators for Eco, D & S. The manual doesn’t explain them at all and only Eco & S can be engaged. We did discover that Eco limits the speed to 12MPH. We never figured out what “D” is or how to engage it. Above the mode display is the two-digit speedometer. There will be no triple-digit speeds on this!
The control button does several things. Pressing it turns on the scooter. Holding it turns the scooter off again. When on, a single press turns the front and rear lights on or off. An indicator lights up on the control screen when the lights are on.
A double press switches between Eco and S drive modes. A triple press switches between MPH and KPH. This is also not documented anywhere.
Finally, on the right grip, we find the thumb throttle. Pushing it down accelerates. Releasing it engages regenerative braking. If you cruise at the same speed for three seconds, it engages cruise control so you don’t have to keep the throttle pushed. That is a nice feature and reduces rider fatigue.
The front bag straps on the handlebar and upright post. It has a key ring clip, a small pocket for carrying relatively small items, and perhaps the charger.
Here, you can see the small charging port with its rubber cover on the left side of the platform. You can also see the nicely textured non-slip deck.
The iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter has a sturdy kickstand that is mounted on the left side of the deck.
The front-mounted LED headlight provides modest forward illumination.
The rear-mounted red LED provides some additional visibility. When braking, it flashes to alert anyone following that you are slowing down. In bright sunlight, it was apparent that it could be a little brighter. Take a look at the small bump on the top of the rear fender in front of that green dot. That is the tab that the handlebar clip locks onto when you fold the scooter.
Just above the headlight, we find the sturdy clamp that secures the post and handlebars in their upright position. To fold the scooter, you lift that small switch on the left and pull the paddle forward.
Once released, the handlebar folds toward the back wheel.
The item in the red circle is the locking clip on the handlebar clipped onto the tab on the fender. It locks in place making a nice, portable package.
The iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter is nicely balanced and easy to carry, assuming that the nearly 30-pound weight falls within your definition of easy to carry.
The iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter comes nearly 100% assembled. The only thing left for the customer to do is to attach the handlebar to the upright shaft and strap on the accessory bag.
The screw went in just fine but…
…the brake cable made it difficult to tighten the two forward-facing screws. It was a minor issue and assembly took all of a couple of minutes.
I strapped on the front bag with the attached velcro straps and plugged it in to charge.
If you look really closely, you can see the charger sitting on the scooter deck with its red charging LED shining. The LED turns green once charging is completed.
You can continue to fine-tune the setup using the free app, strangely named MiniRobot app, available for iOS and Android.
When you fire up the app, it looks for compatible Bluetooth devices. Assuming you have the scooter turned on, it automatically finds it and connects.
The upper-right icon takes you to a map display. If you choose to attach your phone to the scooter, you could use it for navigation or as a replacement for the main display. There is no included phone mount. You can see the speedometer and battery level indicator as well as the max speed bug.
The left gear button opens the settings page.
Here, you can set your units, enable cruise control and minimum engagement speed, set up the regenerative braking, set the correct battery size so the app can display more accurate battery life, set the more to sport or Eco, and set the max sport mode speed. The scooter comes configured so that the throttle doesn’t work until you are going 3MPH. This prevents you from accidentally hitting the throttle while walking the scooter and having it pull you. That bottom setting lets you override that and allow the throttle to work from a standstill.
The right-hand menu button opens the details page.
This page shows various statistics about the scooter and the most recent ride.
The big Bluetooth icon forces a search for another scooter.
The four icons across the bottom from left to right:
- Sport/Eco modes
- Lock/unlock the power button
- Turn the lights on/off
- Turn cruise control on/off
I don’t understand the purpose of the lock. You can only engage the lock when the app can connect to the scooter, meaning that the scooter is turned on. It is not a security feature preventing use. All it does is disable the throttle. Why would you have the scooter turned on if you aren’t going to ride it? Weird. It also disables the ability to shut off the scooter. The button will still turn the light on/off, change drive modes, and change between imperial and metric units. You just can’t turn it off when it is locked. Again weird. One other note – when the scooter is moving, you can’t turn it off. That is actually nice.
OK, it looks like a scooter, it folds, it lights up, and it has a display. Let’s get to scooting and see how it does!
Here is my much better half, taking the iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter for a quick zip up and down the street.
This was actually her first time on the scooter. As you can see in the video, she had no problems zipping around, even when going over the modest curb at the end of our driveway. When she got off the scooter, she had a big grin on her face and she let out a big, “Wow – that is really fun!”
I gave it a quick try. To me, it seemed quite sluggish. It is at this point that I need to disclose that there is a strong possibility that my personal tonnage might exceed the scooter’s stated maximum load capacity of 264 pounds. Therefore, I will not be performing any more of the tests because that simply wouldn’t be fair to the scooter. 🙂
Let’s talk about their performance claims. As stated in the specs, they claim a top speed of 18.6MPH and a maximum range of 14 – 17.5 miles. Looking more closely at the user manual, we see a pretty important disclaimer:
Description of the battery life: It is measured under the condition of full charge, a load of 150 lb at 77°F on a flat road without wind, and at a speed of 9.3MPH. The battery life will differ with different factors of the load, humidity, wind speed, and operational habits.
OK, well, nobody is going to ride under those exact conditions, so the claims are just that, claims. Let’s do a real-world test and see how the scooter performs. We play water volleyball. On test day, we were going to play at a pool that is about 15 miles from our home. We loaded the scooter on my golf cart and headed to the pool. After two hours of spirited play, we unfolded the scooter, my lovely wife put on her helmet and got ready to ride home with me following in the golf cart. Here’s how our test conditions compared to the ideal:
- Item: Ideal scenario / actual test conditions
- Charge: full / full
- Load: 150 pounds / 149 pounds (OK, probably 150 with clothes)
- Temp: 77°F / 97°F
- Terrain: flat / mostly flat with several long inclines/declines and short ramps both up and down
- Speed: 9.3MPH / as fast as she could go
Here she is, scooting along with me in hot pursuit.
If you look closely, you can see her out in front and me chasing along at 17.7MPH. When she started out, she cruised along right at 18MPH. That continued for the first four to five miles. At that point, the top speed dropped to about 16MPH. That continued for the next four to five miles when the top speed dropped to about 14MPH. That stayed pretty constant until the red bar started flashing indicating that the battery was about done for the day.
Here’s the end result. She made 13.4 miles in about 59 minutes – but I took the first photo about a minute before she started and last about two minutes after she stopped, so the actual ride was 56 minutes. She averaged 14.36MPH, and that includes slowdowns for turns and stops at road crossings and stop signs. The specs state a 14 – 17.5 mile maximum range, but that was at a measly 9.6MPH on flat ground. She made 13.4 miles running on full throttle in 97° heat up and down slopes. I’d call that a win.
We loaded up the iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter in the golf cart and drove the remaining two-ish miles home.
I plugged in the scooter and the charger indicated that it was fully charged. What? My guess is that the battery was still too warm to be able to charge. I let the scooter sit for an hour and then plugged the charger in again. This time, it charged properly. That’s pretty common with high-discharge batteries – they need to cool before you can charge them. Again, there was not a word about that in the manual. The scooter recharges in four to six hours.
I don’t know exactly how long the scooter needed to cool before charging would start, but if you want to use this as a commuter tool, that is a consideration. If you ride to work, it may take 30-60 minutes before you can charge. Then, you’ll need five to six hours to fully charge. That means you need to plan on six to seven hours to fully charge. Of course, that is still manageable during a standard work day, so this is a viable commuter tool.
What I like
- Easy setup
- Folds nicely
- Easy to ride
- Relatively quick
- Cruise control is awesome
What I’d change
- The display would be better as an LCD that would be visible in direct light
- It would be nice if the speed remained constant until the battery dies
- I’d recommend a mirror on the handlebar
- Make the tail light larger and more visible
- Improve the water resistance
- Add security features
- Write a better and more complete user manual
First, a couple of observations:
- It is easy to ride and does a great job navigating bumps and curbs
- It folds easily to decrease storage space and improve portability
- The top speed decreases as the battery is used – it would be great if it could produce constant power right up until the battery is exhausted
- The display is all but useless in bright sunlight – an LCD display makes more sense
- Riding for a long time can be a little taxing – choose shoes with good cushioning to improve comfort
- A rear view mirror on the handlebar would be a great addition
- It would be great to be able to disable the scooter
If you fit the rider profile, the iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter is a great scooter at a reasonable price. It is perfect for short errands that do not require hauling anything. In addition, it is fun to just take the scooter for a short ride around. If you vacation in a camper, tossing a couple of these in the camper for zipping around the campground makes perfect sense. If you have a five-mile or less commute, this could certainly reduce your need to drive. Of course, its limited water resistance could be an issue if the rains come before your trip home.
One last note – the iSinwheel i9Pro electric scooter is not available directly from iSinwheel. The only model there are the S9 and S9Pro models. Amazon has those as well, but I couldn’t identify the different between the different models. Shop with care.
My wife was joyfully scooting away on the terrific iSinwheel I9 Pro until one day when it wouldn’t turn on. The display flashed on, then off and that was it. OK – we’ll charge it. The charger turned red as expected. After a while, it turned green and she went to take a ride. No joy. The display flashed on and then turned off again. The charger seemed to indicate that it was charged so I had no idea what was wrong.
I contacted iSinwheel support. They needed a full description and a video of what was happening. After several back-and-forth emails, they said that they were shipping a new battery. That seemed odd as the charger glowed green, indicating a full charge. It must be a control board or something else, but they insisted that it was the battery. What do I know?
It turns out not much. The battery arrived with limited installation instructions. Basically, I flipped the scooter over and removed a zillion screws underneath the footbed. after unhooking the battery connectors, I had to slowly and carefully pry up the battery as it is attached to the footbed with strong adhesive tape. You certainly don’t want to bend or crack a lithium-ion battery!
After several minutes of careful pulling and a couple of choice words, the battery came free from the tape. It was then that I noticed that the replacement was significantly larger than the original battery. They replaced the 7.5Ah battery with a 10Ah battery. I measured it and it looked like it would just fit. I had to modify the enclosure, cutting out some of the foam bumpers to allow the wider and longer battery to fit. I also had to do a little rerouting of the wiring harness.
After reassembling everything, I tried turning the scooter on, fully expecting the same flash on/off issue. I was wrong. The scooter fired right up. I charged it fully and my wife has been happily scooting ever since. The larger battery gives her a little more range. We haven’t done a full test to measure it as every ride has so many variables.
So, even though we experienced a full-on failure, iSinwheel made it more than right with a 33% bump in onboard power.