As an ardent advocate of cycling, riding on an electric scooter was never on my must-try list in the past. Notwithstanding the widespread proliferation of this two-wheeler in park connectors, wet markets and even the Central Business District over the last 2 years, it did not occur to me that I should ever get myself a skate scooter, be it for recreational or commuting purposes. There are just too many negative reports on electric scooters to prevent me from embracing them into my lifestyle!
In an ironic twist, my negative impression of this micro-wheeled gizmo turned out to be a rather short-lived one! It all started when Trimen Ventures Pte Ltd, a leading bicycle and bicycle components distributor, came to us with the CITYBUG2S, an electric scooter model which they are merchandising.
CHECKING THE CITYBUG2S OUT
The CITYBUG2S, or 2S for short, is the scaled-up version of the CITYBUG2. The latest baby from renowned mobility product company CITYBUG, the 2S boasts a single yet powerful 48 Volts / 350 Watts Brushless DC motor. Available in black, red or white, the 2S is nicely specced with a capacity that is 12 Volts / 100 Watts higher than its other sibling. The 2S is also packed with more stamina. According to its technical specifications, the 2S can cover a respectable distance of approximately 18 kilometres in a single charge. Unless you have plans to commute from Pasir Ris to Jurong on a daily basis, the range that can be traversed by the 2S is decent enough for multiple short-distance commuting and recreational activities. Charging the 2S only takes a little more than two hours.
The 2S is aesthetically pleasing. While it retains the general design of an electric scooter, the 2S stood out from its adversaries with a fuller-looking deck. The frontal portion that grips the handlebar and the fork is arched, presenting a sleeker, Porsche-like profile. The rear of the 2S is no less sexy. Unlike the typical scooter where the rear tyre is half-covered with a rounded panel, the 2S’s fender bears a striking resemblance to the rear fender of a motocross bike.
To keep things neat, the 2S does not have a kickstand. However, standing on its own feet is never an issue as the frontal portion of the deck can be lowered squarely to the ground when the handlebar stem is folded inwards. Elegant design, isn’t it?
Being an electric scooter, the 2S is not a featherweight gadget. However, at 13.50 kilograms, it is still lighter than the ever-popular Mobot Freedom (2nd Generation), which stands at 14 kilograms on the weighing machine, and the more-popular Speedway II, which averages 17.5 kilograms. If part of your commuting involves some form of public transportation, it may be wiser to use the 2S.
From the CITYBUG2 and the 2S, we get a sensing that CITYBUG is an experiential-oriented company and the people in it are not afraid to try new concepts. Throttle design, for example, is never the same for the CITYBUG2 and the 2S. In the earlier model, the rider accelerates by pushing the handlebar forward. For the 2S, gaining speed can be easily achieved by pushing the thumb throttle that is found on the right side of the handlebar.
ZIPPING AROUND ON THE CITYBUG2S
One thing is for sure – the 2S had completely overturned my initial perception of electric scooters. Every form of experience was wittingly pleasant right from the time the “Start” button was pressed to bring the 2S to life.
Talking about the “Start” button, one will note that it is ingeniously located at the arch of the deck (the point that is nearest to the front wheel). Whilst some may find it strange as they have to bend over to initiate the battery, CITYBUG’s lofty idea is to enable the rider to move off in a three connecting steps: Push the button with the foot, step on the deck with that same foot and kick off with the other foot. I was surprised that even my seven-year-old boy was able to start the machine and move off this way without any guidance from me!
Acceleration was smooth and modulated. Even when it was purposely pushed to go fast in double-quick time, the 2S was able to react to my riding demands effortlessly. Personally, I found it alluring whenever the 2S emits a gentle humming sound during the acceleration process.
I was quite impressed by the level of torque generated by the scooter’s 350 Watts motor. The 2S was able to overcome a number of moderately-steeped slopes without any hint of deceleration. I pushed my luck a bit further and got my son to ride on the 2S with me. With a combined load of 95 kilograms, the 2S took up the climbing challenges without any sign of distress. This time, I was totally awed!
Safety is always a concern when using an electric scooter, and CITYBUG knows this all too well. To curb the likelihood of running into accidents caused by excessive speeds and/or hard brakings, the 2S is designed with the Electric Assisted Brake System (EAB). What the EAB does is that it slows the 2S down when the rider stops accelerating. I did not have any complaint with the EAB because it helped kept the speed of the 2S in check. My only grouse is the jerkiness that the 2S produced whenever the brake lever was depressed. CITYBUG may need to refine the modulation of the braking mechanism in the 2S.
Illumination from the 2S was adequate. The front and rear safety lights were dazzling enough to catch the attention of other road-users.
The 2S did fairly well in terms of the range that it can cover. The Strava App that was used to track the mileage clocked by the 2S showed that the miniscule automobile traversed an actual distance of 19.20 kilometres in a single charge. However, do bear in mind that the distance covered by the 2S is generally influenced by a number of overlapping factors. The weight of the rider and the gradient of the road are two major contributing factors.
Honestly, I liked the 2S! The comfort of zipping around the parks and the ease of shuttling between my home and the nearby shopping malls for some quick bites have somewhat convinced me that electric scooters are fast becoming a significant part of our lifestyles.
It is unlikely that the 2S will totally replace my love for cycling. But there is no denying that the 2S had generated a great amount of buzz and excitement for my family. Did I also mention that the 2S had somewhat brought my kids closer to me?
The 2S is neither the best electric scooter nor the fastest model in the market. But if you are looking for good clean fun on a lazy weekend, the 2S is for you.
With the government’s advocacy for a “car-lite” society, what will be a better way to reduce our carbon footprints than to invest in the 2S to commute to work (if your workplace is not too far, of course) and to get to your office in style?
For more information, please visit Trimen Ventures Pte Ltd website which is at https://www.facebook.com/TrimenVentures