Hiboy NEX Review
If you’re looking to cruise around town with your friends or even ditch the bus and rock up to school in style, then the Hiboy NEX might be a good option for you. A lightweight scooter that boasts a stylish aesthetic, the NEX appears as though it’s an ideal entry-level scooter for young teenagers. However, the solid tires and lack of suspension mean you’re in for an uncomfortable ride on anything but pristine roads and sidewalks. If you look beyond its shiny exterior, the NEX’s value for money comes into question when compared against similarly priced scooters.
Hiboy NEX Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the Hiboy NEX Be a Good Fit For You?
The NEX has been designed for teens thanks to its 13 mile range and 13 mph top speed – both of which manage to match several more expensive Segway-Ninebot models. It also comes equipped with two riding modes, allowing you to cap your top speed at 9 mph so you can feel safer and gain confidence as you grow as a rider.
The 250W motor means you’ll struggle when tackling most inner-city hills and slopes. However, if you plan on riding the NEX over smooth, flat terrain and are looking for a budget model that is light enough to lift and carry, then the NEX may fit your brief – it folds in two seconds and weighs just 25 lbs.
Pros and Cons
- Flat resistant tires
- Quick folding
- Extremely light
- Poor ride quality
- Cheaper scooters with superior build quality
Value for Money
Is the Price Tag Worth it?
At $249 you get solid performance against other similar scooters that have been designed for teenagers. For instance, the NEX is both faster and has a range that is double that of the Segway-Ninebot ZING E8, E10, and E12. Plus, features like an LED display, cruise control, and adjustable riding modes alongside the sleek design make it a worthwhile purchase.
But, if you look beyond these features, the scooter’s inability to soak up impacts from cracks and bumps puts the NEX’s value for money into question.
If you can afford to stretch your budget slightly, the GoTrax GXL V2 leaves the NEX in the dust. This is mainly thanks to its 8.5 pneumatic air-filled tires which effectively soak up surface imperfections to deliver a smoother ride, but also because of its superior speed (15.5 mph), extra load capacity (220 lbs), and water-resistance rating (IP54).
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
The handlebars come with well-designed textured rubber grips which provide both comfort and control. The rubber also adds a slight premium feel to the scooter as it offers quality that cheaper foam alternatives cannot possibly provide.
You will find two thumb paddles on either side of the handlebars, one of which is the accelerator and the other being the electronic brake. Both paddles have a slight texture on the tip allowing you to use them while keeping your eyes carefully on the road.
The accelerator is also equipped with a button that allows you to control the scooter’s function. While its placement is ergonomic and intuitive to use, it is exaggerated. For example, to turn cruise control on or off, you need to tap it seven times in a row. This is absurd, especially when compared against other scooters that allow you to make the same adjustment with just a few clicks.
In the center, is the stylish LED display giving you top-level riding information including your speed and battery level.
Like most electric scooters, the NEX has been forged from an aviation-grade aluminum alloy that provides solidity and robustness. It is thanks to this alloy that the NEX can withstand most day-to-day wear and tear.
The NEX is also one of the lightest scooters available. Weighing a mere 25 lbs, portability is not an issue. Despite how light it is, the durability of the frame has not been sacrificed.
As we’ve come to expect from the majority of scooters, the frame is finished in a neat matte black paint, bolstered by a cool white design on the stem that gives the NEX a sleek aesthetic that is reminiscent of an adult scooter. Typically, scooters designed for young teens tend to sport colorful getups, the paired back design gives the NEX a stylish look.
Like the handlebars, the deck on the NEX comes with a textured rubber matting that is both grippy and well secured to the deck’s aluminum finish.
Since the NEX has been designed for teenagers, the deck is a lot smaller in both length and width than adult scooters. However, for its purpose, it's large enough for you to stand on with your back foot perpendicular to the front. This is standard for pretty much all budget scooters so you shouldn’t have to worry about ungainly and awkward standing positions.
The deck also comes equipped with a handy kickstand allowing you to prop the scooter up when not riding.
As we’ve seen with almost all of Hiboy’s budget scooters, the NEX comes equipped with 8.5 inch solid tires. These have pros and cons – the cons, however, outweigh the pros.
The main advantage of solid tires is that they are puncture-proof, taking away the hassle of having to replace the inner tube of your tire. They are also extremely low maintenance since you don’t need to pump them up with air.
However, solid tires have very poor cushioning. As a result, ride quality is subpar.
Riding over anything other than pristine roads and sidewalks results in an uncomfortable, head rattling, riding experience, especially when there is no suspension.
If the NEX swapped out its solid tires for pneumatics (air-filled) ones, like on the GoTrax GXL V2, ride quality would improve significantly.
Build Quality & Durability
As previously mentioned, the aluminum alloy makes the NEX extremely durable. The scooter will refuse to bend, twist, or dent. However, when we consider build quality beyond the frame and rubber used on the handgrips and deck, it falls short.
Don’t get me wrong, the scooter’s finish from an aesthetics perspective is excellent but the lack of air-filled tires and a mechanical brake pull the overall build quality down.
Plus, the NEX is not water-resistant, meaning it falls into the large bucket of scooters in our 100+ database that have no water protection.
If you can afford to splash a little more cash, you’ll get more for your money in this department with the GoTrax GXL V2 – it sports an aluminum frame, as well as rubber handgrips and deck matting, but also has air-filled tires, a mechanical disc brake, and an IP54 water-resistance rating.
Weight & Load
Weighing 25 lbs, it is one of the lightest scooters I have reviewed. This makes it ideal for younger riders to maneuver and carry it around comfortably.
While it is a featherweight in the scooter world, it still manages to carry a reasonable load of 180 lbs, over 7 times its weight. Now, this isn’t the greatest load-bearing capacity, but it is enough to support most teens, even with bags filled with school books.
As a rule of thumb, I recommend opting for a scooter that has a load-bearing capacity far beyond what you need. This is because the heavier you weigh, the less performance you’ll get – this especially holds true when you are nearing the upper limits of your scooter’s weight limit. If you need your scooter to support more weight, try the GoTrax GXL V2 or XR Elite – both support 40 lbs more than the NEX (220 lbs in total).
Folding & Portability
The NEX comes with a two-second folding mechanism which is extremely easy to use, allowing you to jump off your scooter and carry it within a flash.
Simply release the latch at the bottom of the handlebar stem, then fold the stem down, and press it into the rear fender allowing the hook on the back of the handlebars to securely attach to the fender. You can now easily carry the scooter.
The NEX comes partly assembled.
Simply attach the handlebars using the Allen wrench provided. All tools and instructions needed are provided in the box.
Is the Hiboy NEX Comfortable to Ride?
Unfortunately for the NEX, like many other Hiboy models, it is stricken by its subpar ride quality.
The NEX has no suspension meaning there is no spring in the ride which is felt when you go over bumps and cracks. Secondly, the solid tires mean there is no cushioning so you feel everything, especially when you hit the top speeds.
This leaves you confined to the smooth surfaces of the inner-city, taking away the opportunity for you to explore and enjoy scooting.
For a scooter under $300, you shouldn’t expect to find a model that can deliver a buttery-smooth ride – that is reserved for more expensive scooters that sport the best suspension systems – but, when you compare it with similarly-priced scooters, the NEX comes up short.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
Thanks to the 250W motor, the NEX can reach a top speed of 13 mph when riding in Advanced mode. When in Beginner mode the top speed is capped at 9 mph, which is a great safety feature to have for new riders getting used to riding.
To adjust between speed modes, you need to tap the button on the accelerator once and you will see which mode is engaged on the LED dashboard (no. 1 is for Beginner and no. 2 is for Advanced).
As to be expected from the small motor, the acceleration curve in both riding modes is slow. While some riders may outgrow this relatively quickly, it won't take you by surprise by pulling off without you being ready.
Hiboy quotes a maximum range of 13 miles, however, this is conditional on how you ride – speed, inclines, and load can all affect the range.
Realistically, you can expect a maximum range of 6 miles. If you want to squeeze out as many miles as possible, riding in Beginner mode allows for more economical use of your battery.
While throughout the review I have pointed towards the GoTrax GXL V2 as a great alternative, it sports a close realistic range of 7 miles and so, if you want a scooter with a bit more punch, opt for the GoTrax XR Elite with its maximum range of 18.6 miles and realistic range of 10-13 miles.
The hill-climbing prowess of scooters is generally determined by several factors:
- Battery size (Ah) – The larger the battery, the more energy there is to keep the scooter’s wheels rolling.
- Motor size (W) – The larger the motor size, the greater the maximum speed.
- Voltage (V) – The higher the voltage, the greater the torque and the faster the acceleration.
With the NEX’s small 5Ah battery, 250W motor, and 36V, it doesn’t have the pedigree to be an effective hill climber. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – it is one of the slowest hill climbers.
If you are interested in getting the NEX, make sure you ride on flat terrain as you’ll be carrying it up even gentle inclines.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
Unfortunately for the NEX, the non-existent suspension means the ride quality is poor. There is no cushioning whatsoever meaning you are confined to where you can ride, and even then when going at top speeds you will start to feel your knees and wrists rattle.
Most Hiboy scooters come equipped with a dual braking system – including an electronic brake and mechanical disc brake. The NEX strays away from this.
The major difference between the NEX and other Hiboy scooters is that there is no mechanical brake, leaving you to rely on the electronic brake and rear foot brake which you can stomp on.
The electronic brake – which is operated by pushing on the left thumb paddle – brings the scooter to a gradual stop. To bring yourself to an immediate halt, use the electronic thumb brake in tandem with the foot brake.
You should be careful, though, because as the battery depletes, the electronic brake weakens.
All considered, there is room for improvement. While the brakes do a good enough job at bringing you to a stop, having a mechanical brake to rely on for stronger stopping power would be the preferred setup.
Within 6 hours you will have a fully charged battery. This is extremely underwhelming considering you only get 13 miles.
Again, the GoTrax GXL V2 outperforms the NEX here with a 4 hour charge period for 12 miles. Furthermore, other scooters with 6 hour charge times, like the Hiboy S2 Pro and Turboant X7 Pro offer greater range, 25 and 30 miles respectively.
The NEX fashions a very neat LED display in the center of the handlebars which provides key riding information including your speed, battery level, riding mode, and whether your lights are on or off. You can also choose to change the units of measurement from kmh to mph and vice versa.
It is worth noting that the design of the oblong-shaped screen is very easy on the eyes. It is well-lit and easy to read, especially in the dark. The screen isn’t angled so it does catch some glare from the sun, but it’s bright enough that it doesn’t impact visibility.
A feature that is more common on budget scooters than it is on performance scooters, is a headlight. The good news is that the NEX is equipped with one that sits directly below the LED display.
While it's always great to have a factory-fitted headlight, the one on the NEX is more for keeping you visible at night as opposed to beaming buckets of light in front of you to illuminate the path ahead. As always, I advise adding supplementary lighting to the scooter to be on the safe side.
One area of the lighting that deserves a round of applause is the rear fender light which also doubles up as a brake light. On scooters this cheap, taillights are few and far between. For instance, the GoTrax GXL V2 doesn’t have one, despite everything else it has going for it (its big brothers, the GoTrax Apex, and XR Elite do, though).
To turn the lights on and off you simply need to tap the button on the accelerator twice.
The cruise control function allows you to rest your thumb, maintain speed, and take in your surroundings so you can enjoy the thrill of riding.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Ermm…yeah – sorry about this but, to activate cruise control, you need to tap seven times on the control button.
Seven taps is ridiculous, especially when you are riding at speed. Take any of the GoTrax scooters, for example, cruise control has been programmed to turn on automatically when you’ve maintained your speed for 8-10 seconds. You’ll hear a beep and the scooter takes it from there. To stop the scooter, you simply push back on the accelerator or pull the brakes. The NEX, in comparison to this, is cumbersome.
Specification: Hiboy NEX Review
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
Like on other Hiboy scooters, you are given a 12-month warranty that covers all scooter defects from the date of purchase. Hiboy only covers purchases when ordered directly from the Hiboy website or any of their authorized retailers, so you should be sure to know who you are buying from.
Once a defective item has been replaced, the warranty’s timeframe will carry over from the original date of purchase.
If, for any reason, you aren’t content with your order, Hiboy offers a 30 day returns policy. This is conditional to the scooter remaining unused.
Hiboy alleges to “respond to emails within 24 hours”, however, as I have mentioned in my other Hiboy scooter reviews I haven’t always found this to be the case.
To get in touch with them, simply email [email protected]. Be sure to include your scooter's serial number which you can find on the side of the deck.
Intro to the Hiboy NEX
A lightweight scooter that boasts a stylish aesthetic, the NEX has been designed as an entry-level scooter for young teenagers. Discover its key features.
Specification: Hiboy NEX Review