Segway Ninebot ES4 Review
The Ninebot Segway ES4 improves on previous Ninebot models extending its range by 12.4 miles. For the urbanite who has a longer-than-average commute, this is a major asset. It’s not the cheapest of scooters, but its long-range, decent speed and additional features such as under-deck lighting go a long way to explain the price tag. Its solid, airless tires can mean that riding on uneven terrain isn’t be the most pleasant experience, but if your commute is on smooth asphalt then you can breeze through the streets using the impressive cruise control option and relax on your journey safe in the knowledge that your scooter is safe, reactive and long-lasting.
Segway Ninebot ES4 Review: 11 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the Ninebot ES4 Be a Good Fit For You?
The Ninebot ES4 is a great option for commuting and, unlike many scooters on the market, has the potential to convert into a seated scooter without compromising on speed and power. This is a bonus for those who want a comfortable ride.
The range on offer is fairly impressive, taking you a maximum of 28 miles on a single charge. However, under realistic conditions, you can expect between 20-23 miles – ideal for short to medium journeys.
Though more expensive than its predecessors, such as ES3 and ES2, it’s a prime contender for those who want a reliable scooter that will get you from A to B and back again.
Pros and Cons
- Cruise control
- LED display
- Customizable under-deck lights
- Battery management system for prolonged life
- Low maintenance
- Bumpy on uneven terrain
Is the Ninebot ES4 Comfortable to Ride?
Because of the solid tires, it’s only comfortable to ride on smooth asphalt, anything rough and you’ll be in for a bumpy ride.
The front and rear shock absorbers are capable of soaking up small lumps and bumps in the road below, however, something that could be a real clincher when it comes to riding comfort is the ES4’s optional seat.
Attaching the seat will cost you an extra $119.99 but it does increase the shock absorption capabilities. As you glide over uneven terrain the front and rear shock absorbers that sit above both wheels work in tandem with the seat post absorber.
It’s worth bearing in mind that other scooters, in the same price bracket, like the Horizon, Apollo Light, and EVOLV City, feature superior suspension systems. So, if you want a scooter that can handle more challenging terrain than your average road, then you should opt for one of the scooters mentioned above.
One neat feature of the ES4 is cruise control. All you need to do is accelerate to your desired speed, hold the accelerator steady for 5 seconds till you hear a beep, and then release and let the scooter do all the hard work for you. It’s simple to initiate and makes long rides enjoyable.
A sleek, modern LED interface sits in the center of the handlebars. The screen displays all the information you need at your fingertips, including current speed, riding mode (Speed Limit, Standard, and Sport), and battery level.
It’s clear to see that Segway has improved the Ninebot over the years of many iterations and models. The handlebar grips are one of these improvements. Unlike the first-generation models of the Ninebot, there are no foam grips that wear incredibly quickly and fall victim to dirt. The ES4, instead, features rubber grips that are longer lasting and easier to clean.
With the accelerator on the right and the brake on the left, the ES4 is super simple to operate. Both controls are comfortable and easy to use with your thumbs. One thing worth noting, though, is that the ES4 doesn’t come with a bell or horn so it’s worth looking into how much this additional add-on would cost. Let’s face it, with any scooter – especially one that has a decent peak speed, like the ES4 (18.6 mph), it’s important to stay safe.
The frame is elegantly designed with a seamless dark gray finish.
Made from hard aluminum alloy, it's sturdy and durable without being hefty or cumbersome to carry.
The addition of the built-in LED display and customizable rear and side lights give the frame a premium feel that seamlessly fits into urban environments.
The deck is standard in comparison to other scooters. Its entirety is covered by an anti-slip rubber material that has been adorned with a mesh pattern allowing you to get a good grip.
The deck remains grippy even if you step onto it on wet footwear, which is a bonus.
If you’ve read some of my reviews before, you’ll know I’m a big fan of pneumatic tires because of the shock absorption they offer when riding on rough terrain. Unfortunately, the Ninebot ES4 doesn’t have pneumatics.
The solid 8.5” rubber tires mean that you will feel the terrain you’re riding over unless you’re on smooth asphalt. Solid tires just don’t provide the same level of cushioning as other plush, air-filled (or, in some cases, foam-filled), tires and so, it’s worth bearing in mind the terrain you're going to be riding on before purchasing the ES4.
Having said that, the ES4 does come with front and rear shock absorption, which is a nice addition, but, in all honesty, it doesn’t fully compensate for the tires.
The one bonus of solid rubber tires is that they’re puncture-proof and require almost no maintenance.
Build Quality & Durability
The ES4 is made from hard aluminum alloy and the joints and connections feel sturdy, making for a safe ride.
The ES4 does have some plastic parts such as the thumb throttle/brake, front-wheel fender, and rear foot brake, but this doesn’t impact on the aesthetics or quality of the scooter.
If there are damaged pieces though, it’s important to flag that Segway will repair your scooter within the warranty period. There are some caveats, so read the section in the FAQs below on post-purchase support and warranty.
Weight & Load
The ES4 rolls in at a fairly lightweight 30.9 lbs (14 kg). Electric scooters that have decent mileage, like the ES4, tend to weigh more because of the size of the battery and motor needed to power the drivetrain. However, given the impressive range on offer, the weight of the ES4 can be commended. It can be carried easily in one hand.
The max rider weight is 220 lbs (100 kg), which is standard in the electric scooter world. But, if you are on the heavier side I would suggest checking out my guide to the best electric scooters for heavy adults.
Folding & Portability
The Ninebot ES4 fares pretty well in terms of foldability, but it does take a bit of a knack to begin with you as you have to step on the small folding pedal where the deck meets the stem whilst pushing down the handlebar. Nevertheless, after a few practice runs you’ll get the hang of it and you’ll be all set to carry this puppy around.
If you’re looking for something that is incredibly slick when it comes to foldability, I’d recommend you look to the likes of the Unagi Model One.
As previously mentioned, you can fit the ES4 with a detachable seat for additional riding comfort, however, there is one caveat. Unfortunately, the scooter can’t be folded with the seat attached. This makes it slightly inconvenient if you want to use the seat during your daily commute and need to fold it down in a hurry to get on public transport or stow it away at work or home. You can always remove the seat, but it is a bit fiddly to remove on-the-go.
In terms of general portability, the ES4 is light enough for most people to manage. The dimensions of it when folded are 45 x 17 x 16”, making it compact for storing under your desk at work, in the trunk of your car, or even tucked under your bed.
Setting up the Ninebot Segway ES4 is a piece of cake. All you need to do is unfold it until the handlebar post clicks into place. The handlebar itself doesn’t come attached but it’s easy enough to assemble with the handily provided screws and Allen key.
If you’ve opted for the additional seat, it does take a little longer than a few minutes to put together. You need to fasten the seat to the deck via four small screws. Because of this, it’s unlikely you’ll want to constantly remove and reattach the seat but if you’re after a predominantly seated scooter, this shouldn’t put you off.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
As with all Ninebot models, you have to kick-start the scooter to set it in motion (above 3 mph) and then press the right acceleration throttle.
Offering a top speed of 18.6 mph, the ES4 packs more than enough punch for commuting purposes.
It may not be fast enough for some speed demons out there, but realistically when swapping between riding on the road and weaving in between pedestrians on the sidewalk, you don’t need to be putting your pedal to the metal non-stop. There are also three riding modes to choose from:
- Speed Limit – minimum power/speed and increased range.
- Standard – moderate power/speed and range.
- Sport – maximum power/speed and reduced range.
The motor itself is about 50W bigger than the Xiaomi Mi M365 scooter, which makes it a top contender as an urban commuter scooter. The 300W motor has a max output of 800W that avoids sluggish acceleration when in Sport mode.
The range of the ES4 makes it shine. Aided by the additional external battery, the impressive maximum range of 28 miles on a single charge ticks all the longer-than-average-commute boxes, but it’s worth bearing in mind that if you’re traveling at peak speed in Sport mode, you’re more likely to see about 20-23 miles.
However, if you’re in the market for a deal, then listen up – I’ve got a little secret to tell you. The guys at Turboant recently released their X7 Pro model. Why am I telling you this? Well… it looks just like the ES4, has a top speed of 20 mph, and a range of 30 miles, and the best it…it costs just $499.98. The Turboant X7 Pro is $320 cheaper than the Ninebot ES4 and even performs better – if I was you, I’d opt for X7 Pro over the ES4.
Because of the torque generated by the 300W motor, the ES4 has no qualms climbing hills up to 15%, although it will get a bit sluggish towards the upper limits of the incline scale.
If you live in a relatively flat cityscape you’ll be fine. If you’re based in a location not too dissimilar than San Francisco's rolling hills, then I’d suggest opting for a scooter that packs more punch like the WideWheel Pro (capable of tackling hills up to 30%).
Shock Absorption / Suspension
There are shock absorption springs that sit above the front and rear tires that go some way to alleviate the burden of uneven terrain (providing it is relatively flat i.e. asphalt), but Segway could have done more to combat this – especially considering that there are a bunch of other scooters (mentioned in the alternative section) at a similar price point that offer full suspension systems.
Before choosing to purchase the ES4 ask yourself what type of terrain you will predominantly ride over. If your answer is smooth city streets then the ES4 is more than capable of delivering decent ride comfort. This is further reinforced if you plan to equip your ES4 with the additional seat that features its own shock absorption. If your answer is rough streets and off-road terrain, you’re best off looking elsewhere.
Segway is known for designing safe scooters, and the ES4 is a prime example of this. It features a dual electric and mechanical braking system that delivers decent stopping power in all conditions – you don’t have to worry about adverse weather conditions. Tests have shown that you'll be able to stop within 13 feet when traveling at a speed of 12.4 mph so you can ride safely in the knowledge that when unexpected braking is required, you’re armed and ready to go. If you use the front brake alone you can expect to ground to a halt in 4 seconds, but this can be quicker if using the foot brake at the same time. The rear lights blink when you brake for added safety too.
A nifty feature of the front electric brake is that it has KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System). This is the same technology that enabled McLaren Mercedes to become the first team to win an F1 Grand Prix. In brief, when you use the front brake, the scooter feeds part of its kinetic energy back into the battery to prolong battery power.
Charging the ES4 is super easy. A full charge of both 374Whr batteries takes around 7 hours, which is fairly standard for electric scooters of this caliber. In comparison to the Xiaomi M365 Pro which has the same range (28 miles), it’s 2 hours quicker to charge. Whereas, in comparison to the Apollo City (28 miles), it is 2 hours slower (4 hours slower with the faster charger).
One simple but useful feature that the ES4 possesses is the LED panel that indicates the battery level with 5 bars. Each bar equates to approximately 20% power level.
Like many of its competitors, the ES4 has an LED panel that displays your speed, battery level, and riding mode (which can be changed by double-clicking the power button).
The panel is seamlessly integrated into the handlebars to play into the sleek, urban aesthetic.
The ES4 pulls out all the stops with its under-deck LED lights. Purely aesthetic, these beauties add a nice touch to the scooter and can change color to suit your mood.
The scooter also has a bright headlight and rear lights, which you can either switch on with a single click of the power button or control via the handy Bluetooth app.
I really like the cruise control feature – it’s a nice-to-have addition that enhances the overall ride quality.
Having to hold your thumb down on the throttle for long commutes can get tiresome and, truth be told, can make your thumb feel a little crampy. The ability to let your scooter run on auto-pilot while you give your thumb a rest is a welcome bonus. Turn cruise control on, take in the views, and save on battery whilst you let the ES4 efficiently maintain speed.
Mobile App & Bluetooth
As well as unlocking the different rider modes, the mobile app, available on iOS and Android, also gives basic instructions about how to use your scooter which is handy when you’re still getting to grips with the ES4 and its functionality.
Not only is it practical, but after you’ve taken a deep dive into your riding stats, you can change the color of the under-deck lights to suit your style and mood, turn the headlight on, even lock the motor. When you’ve locked it through the app, the scooter is hard to push and makes a beeping sound whenever anyone tries to move it.
Water Resistance Rating
The ES4 has a water-resistance rating of IPX54, which means that it can handle water splashes from all directions but it’s never wise to ride through deep puddles or to leave your scooter out in the rain.
Detachable Extended Battery Pack & Battery Management System
The range of the ES4 is wholly down to its 2 Lithium-ion batteries – one that is internal and another that is external. This extra juice is very much appreciated for those with longer commutes.
Each battery takes around 3.5 hours to fully charge but here’s where the detachable battery comes into play. If you’re short on time you can choose to ride with just the one internal battery to minimize the amount of time your scooter has to be plugged in. You’ll get half the mileage if riding with just one battery, though.
Whilst often overlooked, the battery is the most important asset of any electric scooter, and for good reason – without it, you wouldn’t go anyway. As a result, I was pleased to see that it came kitted out with a battery management system that protects against overheating, short-circuiting, overcurrents, and over-charging to prolong battery life for hundreds of cycles without diminishing the max capacity, making the ES4 a worthwhile investment.
Lastly, the ES4 is UL 2272 certified. This is the most essential safety feature to look for with scooters as it indicates that the lithium batteries have gone through extensive testing.
Optional Seat Attachment
The ES4’s seat attachment sets it apart from others available on the market. It’s been designed with comfort in mind: cushioned with high-elastic foam and treated with a special coating process that protects the leather and stops premature wear and tear so you can ride in comfort for longer.
The seat is also equipped with increased shock absorption in the form of two shock absorbers located underneath the seat, which soak up bumps in the road, alongside the seat post suspension for increased stability. The seat is worth the $ 119.99 price tag as it’s one of the best quality attachments you can get.
Specification: Segway Ninebot ES4 Review
Value for Money
Is it Worth the Price Tag?
From the nifty app to the responsive braking system and the dual batteries increasing range and acceleration, the Ninebot ES4 deserves its price tag. I’m not a huge fan of the non-pneumatic tires, but other than that I would say the Ninebot ES4 is a safe bet for the urbanite with a longer-than-average commute.
Although the Ninebot ES4 has the might of Segway behind it and some fancy thrills, like the customizable lights, if you want to save some money and get a scooter that delivers the same level of performance then I recommend the Turboant X7 Pro.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
The Segway Ninebot ES4 is covered by a 12-month warranty if purchased through an authorized dealer. You can purchase it directly from Segway which I would recommend.
The warranty has a few nuances to be aware of:
- Vehicle body (e.g. deck, wheels, handlebars, etc) – 12-months cover.
- Other components (e.g. battery, battery charger, electronic throttle / brake, etc) – 6-months cover.
- Components subject to wear (e.g. handlebar grips, headlight, kickstand, etc) – 3-months cover.
As with most warranties, it covers all the defects in material and workmanship that occur as a result of normal scooter use. However, you should know that if you want to ship your defective scooter back to Segway, you will have to pay shipping fees. Luckily, Segway has a customer service team that can help troubleshoot and fix any problems that can be solved over the phone or email.
What is the Difference Between the Ninebot ES2 and ES4?
The major difference between the Ninebot ES2 and the ES4 is the additional battery that the ES4 offers. This results in the following performance differences:
- The top speed for the ES2 is 15.5 mph, in comparison to the ES4’s 18.6 mph.
- The range increases from 15.5 miles to 28 miles.
Overall, the ES4 is more exciting to ride than the ES2 thanks to the extra torque and increased acceleration as a result of the more powerful motor.
Specification: Segway Ninebot ES4 Review