Segway Ninebot Max Review
The Segway Ninebot Max is a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable commuter scooter with some additional fun features thrown in. Its unique selling point lies in its impressive range, but its speed is also decent for inner-city routes. The Max’s revolutionary self-healing 10” pneumatic tires are a neat mod-con, which takes the stress out of riding over pesky potholes and greatly increases your chances of getting from A to B with no hiccups. And if you’re after some decent tech, the LED dashboard and accompanying smartphone app give you a break-down of your ride stats.
Segway Ninebot Max Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the Ninebot Max Be a Good Fit For You?
The Ninebot Max is a mid-range scooter that’s ideal if you aren’t an experienced rider but are looking for something reliable and durable to get you from A to B. With an impressive range of 40.4 miles, it's best suited for long commutes or leisurely rides.
The lack of suspension means the Max is grounded to asphalt – you wouldn’t want to take this bad boy off-road.
Its seamless black paint job and chunky aesthetics give it an edgy vibe, making it look like a supersized version of the world-famous Xiaomi M365.
Pros and Cons
- Long-range (40.4 miles)
- Self-healing tires
- Cruise control
- LED display
- Access ride data via mobile app
- Battery management system for prolonged life
- No suspension
- Slow acceleration
- Portable but on the heavy side
Is the Ninebot Max Comfortable to Ride?
The Ninebot Max performs well on smooth asphalt and the large 10” pneumatic self-healing tires can handle some lumps and bumps in the road. However, the tires only do so much to counteract the fact the Max doesn’t have any suspension, so it’s not wise to roam on rough terrain – it’s just not what it’s built for.
The thick, grippy handlebars and the smooth mechanics of the thumb throttle make for a really nice ride. Not only that, but the dual brake system is combined into one single hand lever, making braking easier as well as resulting in a quicker response time.
The large batteries enable you to ride for a maximum of 40.4 miles, but their size means that the Max is not the lightest scooter. Carrying it for short stints is just about manageable. Because the batteries are housed under the footplate, the deck is fairly wide and long (7-inch by 20-inch), making the Max comfortable to ride without having to squeeze your feet in an awkward position.
In terms of feel, the Ninebot Max’s handlebar grips are thick, feel sturdy, and textured to make sure you feel fully in control of your scooter. The sleek, centrally-integrated LED display on the handlebars screams modernity. Not only is it a feast for the eyes, but it’s also incredibly simple to check your ride stats on the go: from current speed to battery level, to engaging your front and rear lights for added visibility.
The bright LED display dims automatically when riding with the front lights on, a nifty little trick from Segway, to combat screen-glare. One button is used to control the different speed modes, lights, and power the scooter on/off.
The loud bleat of the fully-integrated twist bell quickly lets other pedestrians know that you are close by. However, it’s not loud enough to alert cars to your presence, which is a shame, especially if riding on busy roads. The integration of the twist bell gives the handlebars a clean finish, but this does make it easier to accidentally ring the bell while riding on bumpy terrain.
The thumb throttle looks and feels high-quality, with smooth mechanics on a rubber pad that makes it easy to grip. So many electric scooters take advantage of a dual brake system, but unlike most, the Ninebot Max sets itself apart from its competitors by coordinating the drum brake and rear electric brake in one single hand lever. Not only does this make braking easier, but it gives you the control and quick response time when the unexpected inevitably happens.
Did I ever think I’d use the adjective ‘edgy’ to describe an electric scooter? No, not really. But then I met the Ninebot Max. Its smart, supersized black finish and chunky tires create an urban, modern vibe, which makes it look like a ‘cooler’ version of the world-famous Xiaomi M365.
But, this isn’t just for pure aesthetics: the extra sturdiness of the chunky frame makes the Ninebot Max more durable. Better looks and more long-lasting? Win-win. It also means that the sturdy frame somewhat counteracts the Ninebot Max’s lack of suspension – albeit the ride can get a little bumpy on uneven surfaces.
Doesn’t a 7-inch by 20-inch foot deck sound like the dream? Well, the Ninebot Max realizes this dream. Different to the likes of the Unagi Model One’s somewhat stingy 5-inch foot deck, the Ninebot Max’s spacious deck makes for a comfortable ride – even for the big-footed rider. This also allows for a variety of comfortable riding positions – for example, you can stand with your feet in a straight line, as opposed to being forced to have one perpendicular.
The deck also boasts an anti-slip design, giving you the much-needed control for traversing both smooth pavement and more undulating, bumpy terrain. The other great thing about the wider, sturdier foot deck is that you need to focus less on staying balanced, which frees up more headspace to enjoy the ride. This is fantastic news for those looking to cruise for long distances, which, if you’re considering buying the Ninebot Max, you may well be due to the delightful range this scooter has (did I hear someone say 40.4 miles?).
There’s a bright LED front light and small rear brake light on the deck, which is suitable for riding around brightly lit streets in the evening, but not so much for the explorer who wants to go off-piste.
The deck also has 7.6 cm of ground clearance, which helps to avoid scraping the scooter when rolling off curbs and alike.
The major thing I want to brag about on the Ninebot Max’s behalf is its self-healing tires.
I know what you’re thinking: how is this even possible? No other electric scooter offers this mod-con…but my goodness they should do. In a nutshell, the tires come prefilled with tire slime to help deal with any nick or punctures up to 6 mm, avoiding instant deflation. This is ideal for the longer commute as it’s inevitable that your tires are going to be exposed to various road types for long periods.
For the more adventure-seeking rider, it also makes off-roading on flat surfaces like parks and grassy areas a little easier too as you can tackle bumpier terrain safely in the knowledge that your tires are well equipped to deal with them. Nothing takes the wind out of your sails like a puncture from a small pothole.
Not only that, but the 10” pneumatic tires provide fairly decent protection against lumps and bumps in the road to deliver a smoother ride. In simple terms, the larger the tire, the more cushioning it provides, and so these 10” tires are a welcome addition…especially when the Ninebot Max doesn’t have inbuilt suspension system like other scooters on the market.
Build Quality & Durability
It’s without a doubt that the Ninebot Max is built to last. Despite the weight being a bit on the heavy side for some, this does show how sturdy the build quality is and this, coupled with its 7” anti-slip foot deck, makes you feel in control of your scooter. This is a major plus when traveling a long commute or doing light off-roading.
It feels like a more durable, supersized version of the Xiaomi M365.
The Ninebot Max also has an IPX5 water resistance rating so when riding through rough weather you needn’t worry: granted, no one would ever enjoy riding in the rain for a prolonged period, but if you do then the Ninebot Max has you covered. This isn’t to say it deals with full submersion, though, so don’t try and roll through big puddles.
Weight & Load
While the Ninebot Max does cut down on extra weight by having a single motor, it’s not the lightest of scooters. Weighing in at 42 lbs (19 kg), you will need to consider how often you’re going to carry your scooter. Hopping on and off public transport might be fine, but it’s worth bearing in mind the Ninebot Max’s weight when thinking about carting it upstairs.
The max rider weight is 220 lbs (100 kg). It’s important to remember that the speed of the scooter and ability to ascend hills depends on the rider's weight – if you are towards the upper end the Max will have to work harder to hit those top speeds and this will drain the battery quicker, meaning less mileage.
Folding & Portability
The Ninebot Max just sneaks its way into what I consider to be a commuter scooter (i.e. weighs less than 42 lbs, has a decent top speed, and mileage). However, it is less portable than some lighter scooters, mainly because of its chunky frame and large wheels.
Easy enough to carry for short intervals and with a folding mechanism that collapses the scooter in a mere 3 seconds, it is manageable as a commuter scooter. The Max’s folding stem functions in a very similar way to the Xiaomi M365 and has absolutely no give once it is unfolded. This is largely due to the safety collar that rotates, locking the folding lever.
Similar to the Unagi Model One, the handlebar can’t be folded, which is a bit of a hindrance.
5.9 x 18.6 x 21.0” when folded, the Ninebot Max also limits where you can store it, which you should bear in mind if living in an apartment with little storage space.
Like many electric scooters, assembling the Ninebot Max isn’t difficult at all. The scooter is delivered with handlebars detached and handily comes with an Allen wrench to screw in the bolts.
You can then download the Segway-Ninebot app to your smartphone (both iOS and Android), and link your scooter to the app, as well as registering it. You can use the app as a ‘dashboard’ to give you an overview of your riding stats. For example, some scooters, like Unagi Model One, lack detail when they show battery life (they show 4 bars, which deplete over time), but with the Segway-Ninebot app, you’re shown exactly how much battery you have left.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
The Ninebot Max’s top speed is respectable for a commuter scooter, sitting in the middle of the pack.
You shouldn’t buy the Ninebot Max if super-fast speed is what you’re after. You’d be better suited to a performance scooter, some of which can reach up to 55 mph.
In terms of acceleration, the Max doesn’t have a zero start mode. This means that you have to kick the scooter to get going, up until you reach about 1.8 mph. This prevents rapid acceleration and once you have started rolling, it’s important to ease the throttle lever as otherwise, the motor won’t engage. This is a nice safety feature, especially if you are new to scooting since it won’t take you by surprise. Once you get going you can use the full force of the throttle with ease.
The Max also has a Sport mode that ups the rate of acceleration, letting you get to top speeds quicker. This is a fun feature, and you’ll certainly enjoy leaving other riders in the metaphorical dust during the daily rat race, but it doesn’t make the Max’s peak speed any higher. It’s unsurprising, too, that the Sport mode diminishes the range capacity of the scooter, but if range is your main reason for buying the Max, you can pop it into Eco mode, which offers slower acceleration speeds in return for more miles.
It’s impossible to mention the Ninebot Max without speaking about its impressive range.
The 551W high-efficiency battery means that you can ride the Max for up to 40.4 miles on one single charge.
The range inevitably drops if you put your pedal to the metal and so if you do want to keep the Max going at its peak speed, you can expect a range of around 24 miles. Regardless, 24-40 miles on one charge makes the Max longlasting, but let’s face it: will you really commute 12-20 miles each way? I’d say that the likelihood is ‘no’, and so despite the impressive range of the Ninebot Max, it may not be that important for your personal use.
If you plan on using the scooter to go on longer rides as more of a hobby, then perhaps this is the scooter for you. But if you just want to make your commute more efficient, or simply cruise at the weekend, you don’t need to have such a large range.
The Ninebot Max’s powerful 350W motor means that you can tackle some pretty steep slope, but you might need to give it some kick on the more challenging inclines. It’s still able to get up most 20-degree inclines, which means it fares pretty well in comparison to other scooters on the market.
Because of the weight of the scooter, it can be a bit cumbersome if you’re trying to kick-start the motor at the bottom of a hill.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
You’ll know by now that the Ninebot Max doesn’t have suspension. But, the overall design of the scooter means that you feel secure and in control of the scooter, thanks to the sturdiness of the frame and thickness of the tires.
The 10” pneumatic tires cushion your ride, but I must admit it can feel a bit rattly when riding over really uneven surfaces, but most scooters without suspension do. At least you’ll be safe in the knowledge that the Ninebot Max has its self-healing tires, which makes going over uneven surfaces less fear-inducing.
The Ninebot Max comes equipped with dual brakes – a front mechanical drum and a rear regenerative electric brake. This makes the braking system robust and gives you peace of mind in case one fails.
The beauty of dual brakes is also that you get responsive and efficient braking. In other words, you can stop as and when you need to. In comparison, the brake-ability of the Ninebot Max is as good as the Xiaomi M365, but not as strong as higher performance models that are equipped with hydraulic disc brakes. However, given the Ninebot’s max speed, the brakes are sufficient.
For the busy rider, low maintenance is a priority. When I realized that the braking mechanism is encased within the wheel, I was impressed. There’s been some conjecture about whether the drum brake being located on the front wheel is a problem, though, as it could result in you going over the front wheel when braking hard. However, if you practice safety then you’ll know that it’s always wise to lower your center of gravity when braking maximally anyway, and so I wouldn’t say it’s a huge ‘red flag’.
The Ninebot Max comes with an inbuilt charger, enabling you to recharge on the go. It takes about 6 hours to reach full battery, which is impressive given the large range. Plus, the inbuilt battery charger means that it’s no longer an inconvenience to charge your scooter on the go. You can wave goodbye to lugging around a separate charging adapter with you.
The Ninebot Max boasts a modern LED dashboard, which enables you to keep track of your maintenance signals, power levels, and choose from three ride modes: Eco, Standard, and Sports. The Max also comes with Bluetooth connectivity and an easy-to-use mobile app – so if you’re one of those riders who like to look at the raw data from your ride to dig deep into those stats, you’re in luck.
The LED dashboard even shows you error messages when something has gone wrong. This is a really handy feature as it means that you are given real-time information relating to your scooter, making troubleshooting far easier. The dashboard itself is also bigger and better-placed than many other electric scooters.
There’s a bright LED headlight and a small rear brake light, which are ample for city riding but not as safe for late-night, long-ranging voyages. I’d recommend investing in a powerful LED light that you can attach to the scooter if nighttime riding is what you’re after.
Separate to the LED lights, there are also side reflectors that help when riding in low-light conditions.
Bluetooth Mobile App
The Ninebox Max comes with a handy Bluetooth app, which you can connect to your phone via the centrally-positioned, easy-to-read LED dashboard to access all of your ride data in one place.
The app can be used to set your cruise control, as well as choosing between the 3 available riding modes. Each mode has a different top speed so you can choose the one that matches your mood or environment you’re riding in.
Water Resistance Rating
The Ninebot Max’s IPX5 water resistance rating will deal with a fair amount of rain, but it’s important to note that IPX ratings are not an entirely valid IP rating (unlike the IP54 rating).
Battery Management System
The Max houses 551Wh big capacity lithium batteries. It also boasts a Smart Battery Management System, which closely monitors battery status and protects against short-circuiting, overcurrents, and overheating. In simple terms, this makes sure the battery life of the Max is protected, lengthening its service life.
The Ninebot Max’s kickstand does exactly what it says on the tin: it keeps your scooter stood up to attention when you’re not riding.
Don’t take this for granted, some brands focus so much on the build quality of the frame and deck that they can give a lack of attention to the smaller details, like a kickstand. Trust me, having a kickstand that doesn’t provide stability is frustrating.
Specification: Segway Ninebot Max Review
Value for Money
Is it Worth the Price Tag?
This mid-range scooter has some cool mod-cons and if range is what you’re after, the Ninebot Max is worth its weight in gold.
I would have liked to see a higher top speed and suspension for the price, especially as other models offer both (alongside range) for a similar price tag.
All things considered, the Ninebot Max is good value for money if you’re after a reliable scooter that is manufactured by a company devoted to the research, development, and design of transportation products.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
The Segway Ninebox Max is covered by warranty if purchased through an authorized dealer (you’re best off buying it directly from Segway).
Taking a closer look at the warranty, it is split into 3 parts:
- 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.
The limited warranty period itself covers all defects in material and workmanship or occurring as a result of your normal and ordinary use of the scooter. So, if you see that there is a manufacturing defect then you are covered. Similarly, if you ride the scooter safely (i.e. don’t misuse and abuse it) and an issue occurs, you will be covered subject to the determination of the authorized service provider that the problem is covered under the warranty.
It’s worth noting that unlike some of its competitors, Segway also charges you for the inconvenience of shipping your defective scooter, so the cost of this is worth bearing in mind.
Also, if you have a problem with your scooter that can be solved over the phone or by email, the team at Segway is happy to help.
Specification: Segway Ninebot Max Review