The summer is the perfect season for electric scooters, and it’s definitely the part of the year when scooters are both the most useful, and the most fun.
Still, there are a few things to keep in mind, both to improve your scooter’s overall performance and lifespan, and to increase your safety. These are some of the most useful electric scooter summer tips I’ve found through my own experience but also through lots of research as well.
Electric Scooter Summer Tips
- Buy a white or a light-colored scooter with lots of summer features
- Wear a helmet with good ventilation and that protects against sweating
- Wear polarized glasses
- Don’t ride in flip-flops or other light footwear
- Check your scooter’s maximum operating temperature, and maybe don’t ride if too hot
- Don’t push your scooter’s performance too much
- Don’t charge your scooter immediately after riding
- Don’t leave your scooter under the sun for too long
- Check the brakes and tires more often
- Decrease the tire pressure by around 2-3 PSI
- Don’t rely on the screen too much
Consider buying a white or a light-colored scooter with lots of summer features
Obviously, this tip applies before you even buy the scooter, but it’s one of the most important tips for riding in hot climates, and yet I see many people often ignoring it.
I’ve done a fair bit of traveling over the last few years and I’ve visited some of the hottest urban environments and summer destinations in the world, where temperatures have often been well above 40°C / 104°F for big parts of the year. And yet, I see the same typical scooter colors in there as I see pretty much everywhere.
People just love black scooters.
While I understand that completely (I prefer the black scooters for the default scenarios), it’s still not a wise decision, to get one in a hot place.
You probably know that darker colors heat up much faster than lighter colors. The extra heat not only decreases the performance of all the electronics (most importantly the battery and the motor), but it also shortens their lifespan and increases the chances of a malfunction.
So, if you live somewhere that’s very hot for several months throughout the year, you will do yourself a huge favor by choosing a white or light-colored scooter over a black or a dark-colored one.
Also, some other things to consider when buying a scooter that you plan on riding during the summer or in hot weather:
- the scooter shouldn’t overheat easily
- the scooter’s operating temperature should have a high upper limit
- there should be no known issues of the battery or the scooter overheating frequently
- the scooter should have a smart BMS (battery management system) that prevents it from overheating while charging, especially in hotter temperatures
- the screen or display should be bright and have a lot of contrast, so that it’s visible in sunny days
You can check out the complete guide on the best electric scooters for summer and hot days to see the best models. My personal favorite summer scooters are:
- EMove Cruiser for best choice overall (full review here, sold on Voromotors)
- GoTrax XR Ultra for a budget choice (full review here, sold on Amazon and GoTrax)
Wear a helmet that protects against sweating and has good ventilation
The best helmet is the one that you never hesitate to wear.
This means, in the summer, the ideal scooter helmet, which is usually safer than a bike helmet but also less comfortable, may actually not be the perfect helmet. If you’re getting sweaty all the time and the helmet has no ventilation at all and it just makes your rides miserable and makes you lose focus on the ride itself, then that’s not an ideal helmet for that situation.
Now, I’m not saying this lightly, as I always like to err on the side of caution, so if you can stick with your regular scooter helmet, then great, ride away.
But if you notice that your typical, somewhat safer helmet, is actually causing you more harm than good, then go ahead and see some lighter and more summer-ready options.
The Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet (link to Amazon) is actually my top pick for the best budget bike helmet, and it comes in white, which is a double-win for the summer. It provides a lot of ventilation, and you will barely sweat even on the hottest days.
Wear polarized glasses or other strong sun protection
Naturally, you will want to protect your eyes and remain vigilant in traffic on the extra-bright days.
Your helmet may already come with good eye protection that does a decent job of keeping the light out of your eyes. Otherwise, consider getting yourself a pair of polarized glasses (the HULISLEM S1 Sport on Amazon are an excellent budget pick).
Don’t compromise on safe footwear
The requirement for solid footwear during the summer will be one of the main disadvantages for scooters in general.
I’m perfectly aware of the temptation to just ignore some of the scooter safety guidelines during the hottest days, and not ride with boots or other heavier shoes that protect your feet in case of a fall.
Avoid that temptation. At least wear some heavier sneakers. And don’t even think of riding with flip-flops, as foot injuries are really common that way and one of the most common ways how scooters are may jeopardize your health! (A friend of mine rode with flip-flops for most of the last summer, and after her first fall, ended up with a sprained ankle and a very nasty wound. Just don’t do that.)
Check your scooter’s maximum operating temperature (and consider not riding if it’s too hot)
Most scooter manuals specify an optimal operating temperature range for the scooter. For example, it is recommended to not ride the Xiaomi M365 if the temperature is colder than -10°C / 14°F, or hotter than 40°C / 104°F. Most scooters have similar temperature ranges.
Now, these are usually not hard and fast rules. I’ve ridden my Xiaomi M365 Pro in temperatures both hotter and colder than what’s recommended several times, and I haven’t noticed any issues. But I still keep this in mind, and I’ve decided to simply leave my scooter home two or three times as well.
It is very likely that your scooter’s warranty may not cover damages related to improper use, which probably includes riding in extremely unfavorable conditions, so that’s another thing to keep in mind as well.
So, check your manual, know your scooter’s temperature limit, and if it’s way too hot outside, consider not riding that day.
Don’t push your scooter’s performance too much
If it’s super hot outside and you still decide to ride anyway, at least try not to push your scooter to its performance limits.
The motor, the battery, all the other electronics, and even the brakes and the tires, will have to work harder when used in extremely hot temperatures, so the chances of a defect will be greater, and their lifespan will probably decrease sooner.
This means not climbing too much or avoiding climbing the steepest hills, not riding at full speed the whole time, not riding for very long times, not draining the battery completely, and not hitting the brakes too hard (more on that below in the brakes section).
Don’t charge your scooter immediatelly after riding
This is just part of the battery charging best practices, but I’ve caught myself forgetting it a number of times, and I guess a lot of you might be prone to forget this as well.
But also, while some manuals mention this tip, I’ve noticed it’s typically missing from most manuals, and many owners are simply unaware of it.
In general, batteries don’t perform well in heat, and they especially don’t charge well in the heat. Not only do they get charged slower, but they may also suffer damage if charged while still hot from the ride under the burning sun, and doing that over and over again will definitely shorten their lifespan.
So, after you’re done riding, give your scooter’s battery time to cool off before you plug in the charger. Ideally, you should try and wait at least 30 minutes if possible before charging it, but even 10 minutes are better than nothing.
Don’t leave your scooter under the sun for too long
While it’s generally best if you don’t ever leave your scooter outside for too long (and, btw, you should always lock it with a proper scooter lock when you do that), I know that sometimes it’s just the best option available.
If you do that on a very hot or sunny day, know that you’re not doing your scooter any favors. A few minutes under the sun will not melt it down, but just an hour or two may already overheat or damage the battery or the other electronics, damage the paint, or even loosen up the glue between the rubber mat and the deck, for example.
Just try and bring your scooter inside with you, you prevent both heat damage and the risk of theft.
Check the brakes and tires more often
You probably already know that all rubber parts of the scooter wear out over time, but you should also know that in the summer or in the hotter days, they wear out even faster.
The heat increases the friction, so both the tires and the brake pads will start to deteriorate and may need a replacement sooner. This applies to both solid and pneumatic tires.
Usually, I recommend a quick and light cleaning and maintenance routine once a week, and a more involved routine once a month. During the hot summer days, I recommend doubling that frequency.
Decrease the tire pressure by around 2-3 PSI
The air pressure in pneumatic tires increases on its own during hot weather. This is especially so if riding for longer times during hot weather.
Riding with both too low or too high tire pressure increases the chances of your scooter suffering a flat tire, and you should always aim for the correct tire pressure, recommended by your scooter’s manufacturer (usually indicated either in the user manual or on the tire itself).
However, when the temperature outside is very hot (32°C / 90°F or hotter), it is wise to deflate your tires by about 2-3 PSI because of their tendency to have their pressure increased by that amount because of the heat.
Be prepared to ride without reading the screen too much
Most electric scooters have screens that are bright enough and are easy to read even on relatively sunny days.
But when the sun is too bright (think 1 PM mid-July), almost no scooter screen will be easily readable. In fact, the majority of them will not be readable at all, and you will have to create some sort of a cover above them to be able to read them.
While riding, you should not count on your scooter’s information to be easily available. So, if you need to make sure you’re not riding above the speed limit for scooters in your country, maybe set your speed mode to lower, and also make sure you know your battery level and speed mode beforehand.