- One of the most comfortable electric kick scooters I've tried, great suspension and inflated tire at the front to absorb shock
- Longer deck provides increased standing room and the sturdy fixed rear fender lets you rest your foot on top for balance
- Larger battery capacity offers increased range but does weigh a bit more, five power levels let you conserve power or hit the 18 mph top speed - to me they also create stability because you don't have to regulate speed just with the throttle
The I-MAX T3 is one of my favorite electric kick scooters on the market right now. It’s a high quality build with decent range and it’s fairly affordable at ~$1k. Compared to some of the other models I’ve tried it just feels smoother… that’s due to the larger eight inch wheels and air-filled front tire. The rear wheel is solid (with a sort of internally ribbed honeycomb structure) but the front uses a small schrader tube just like a bicycle. The deck is spacious and you can rest your rear foot on the hard plastic fender without dragging on the wheel or bumping the brakes. Many electric scooters offer regenerative braking, some only offer regenerative braking… but the T3 does not. That isn’t such a bad thing though, with this e-scooter you get a solid mechanical disc brake in the rear. It’s sturdy, works even if the battery is completely full (where regen might not) and allows you to do some fun skids) as shown in the video review above. At ~33 lbs this isn’t the lightest unit but it’s still portable and the folding mechanisms all feel solid without being too frustrating to use. I was able to unfold the unit with one hand (and my foot) while filming and that’s not always possible. I especially like the handle bars which aren’t spring loaded and instead opt for little sliding cuffs that feel magnetic. Aside from the ride quality, my favorite part about this unit is the five drive modes that help you limit power and speed. It can be thrilling to hit 18 mph (the top speed of this unit) but that’s not always what you want… in crowded spaces or while carrying gear for example.
Driving the I-MAX T3 is a standard 250 watt gearless hub motor built into the rear wheel. It’s fairly quiet and likely very durable because it doesn’t contain any moving parts (aside from the bearings). For me it felt zippy and even performed in grass so I’m assuming short hills would be doable if you approach with some speed, but I’m not especially heavy at ~135 lbs so take this with a grain of salt. Some electric kick scooters position the motor in the front wheel and this makes for shorter wires (for power and braking) but also makes lifting the unit, like up and over curbs, a bit awkward and heavy. I like having the motor in the back here because you can easily lift the front and it offers lighter, faster steering while also enabling the inflated front tire for comfort. I haven’t seen any kick scooters with ~8″ wheels that have inflated tires on the same wheel as the motor so I’m not going to complain about the “harder” rear wheel. One benefit from the solid rubber design there is that you won’t ever get a flat and you can skid more before requiring a replacement tire. Also located in the rear is a small kickstand which is handy for storage. There’s also the mechanical disc brake unit in the back. I think the rotor size is 140 mm but wasn’t able to confirm, it’s small but very effective at stopping the small wheel. To reduce skidding and stop quicker I recommend leaning back when you apply the brakes so more weight goes into the rear wheel which can increase friction.
Powering this electric kick scooter is a relatively large 36 volt 10 amp hour battery pack stored inside the deck. It’s well protected in there and also keeps the center of gravity low, much like other kick scooters I’ve tried. I was told that the pack can be replaced (along with tires and other parts) but that it’s not designed to be charged separately from the scooter itself. Given the compact folding design and light weight of this unit it’s best to simply bring the whole thing inside with you wherever you go. There’s a small charging port towards the back left end of the deck and it has a little plastic cap to keep the innards clean. I didn’t seen an obvious place to loop a lock through the I-MAX T3 but possibly just above and behind the front wheel could work if you use a u-lock that’s short. Passersby could turn it on but you aren’t able to activate the motor unless the unit is moving 2+ mph. This is a safety feature that helps to prevent accidental acceleration while lifting the unit and some full sized electric bikes do the same thing. Getting back to the batteries, it consists of Lithium-ion cells that are relatively light and long lasting (like in a laptop) and they come with a one year warranty (along with the rest of the unit) which is pretty solid in my opinion. Most scooters I test that resemble the T3 offer smaller capacity with ~8 amp hours or less but with 10 here you should get increased range and that’s especially true if you ride at slower speeds which is much easier to do here thanks to the variable speed settings.
I love the display, throttle, grips and brake lever on this thing… It’s all clean, easy to understand, full of utility and very comfortable! You’ve got a throttle on the right side and a brake on the left, this reduces wire clutter but definitely gets the job done for riding and stopping (considering the light weight and lower speeds achieved vs. a full sized ebike). The display is large and easy to interpret with a limited number of readouts (battery, speed, power mode, odometer) and I LOVE the five levels. As mentioned earlier, being able to ride at a lower speed with less power can extend your range and make the whole thing feel more stable. In the video you can see my handle shaking at higher speeds as I rode with just one hand to film and this is exactly when it’s nice to be able to slow down. Sure, other electric kick scooters can also go slow but you have to control this with your finger by pulling more gently on the throttle. That can get tiresome and is more prone to accidental bursts of acceleration if you hit a bump or lose your grip. In addition to the soft rubber grips (which feature a nice comfortable ergonomic design) there’s also a bell integrated into the left brake lever and a motor inhibitor. These extra features improve safety and the bell is more enjoyable than an electronic chirp in my opinion… plus, it works even when the unit is turned off. On this topic, I want to point out that there’s a bit of cogging which slows the rear wheel when coasting. This is common on most of the scooters I try and not a huge deal but definitely not fun if you run out of juice… consider taking along the portable ~1.5 lb charger to top the scooter off if you intend to ride longer distances. It charges fairly quickly. There are no lights here but you can always get something to stick on your helmet or backpack if you ride in the dark regularly.
I really enjoyed the I-MAX T3 electric kick scooter. All of these light electric transport type scooters are handy due to their light weight and compact size because you can easily carry them up stairs, toss them into your trunk or carry onto the subway but not all of them feel great or handle well. I have often felt scrunched and unstable because of a small deck or nervous because of a touchy throttle but those issues don’t manifest here. I love that you can get white or dark metallic gray and that there’s a one year warranty with replacement parts available! There’s room for improvement with some lights and maybe a front brake but that might impact price and add clutter. I didn’t miss regen and would expect to get more range based on the larger battery than the addition of the fancier energy-capturing system (which tend to be inefficient at ~10%). If you’re looking for something a bit more comfortable to commute with and are willing to take a slight risk of puncture with the inflated front tire vs. the harder all-rubber found on models like the lighter E-Twow Booster then the T3 might be a great fit. It would probably be my first choice at this stage.
- Very comfortable to ride given the ergonomic grips, front suspension element and inflatable front tire vs. many other kick scooters that offer more basic grips and stiffer rubber-structured tires
- This unit was fairly easy to fold and unfold but still felt solid, the silver lever on the left side near the front of the platform can be activated with your foot so you don’t have to bend down completely which is nice, the handle bars fold out easily and aren’t spring loaded
- The fenders blend in, protect you from water and feel sturdy, I was able to rest my back foot on the rear fender while riding which made me feel more stable and less cramped on the deck
- Wires are integrated and stay out of the way, the levers and clamps are also well designed and feel sturdy (they aren’t plastic like some other models)
- Three locking positions for stem height means you can dial in the fit a little bit better than units which only offer two heights
- Smooth, efficient and stable because you can select from five power levels! Many other escooters make you regulate speed by pulling the throttle more or less but this one feels safer because of the levels
- Adjustable telescoping stem has three click-in points making the scooter easy to handle for short or tall individuals, it feels pretty sturdy and locks even if you forget to tighten the quick release collar
- Because the motor is a gearless direct drive design there is some coasting drag due to cogging (the magnets inside repelling against the stater) that can make unpowered riding a bit slower, most electric kick scooters are designed with gearless motors and will function in much the same way with respect to cogging
- No regenerative braking systems built into this kick scooter, some others have added this as a feature (to help recoup energy lost during stopping) but the I-MAX T3 uses a strong disc brake and opted not to add regen as it adds cost and does not function when the battery is completely full
- Weighing in at ~33 lbs it’s heavier than some other electric kick scooters I’ve tried but that’s partially due to the increased battery size at 36 volts 10 amp hours
- This isn’t exactly a con but I-MAX designed the system to not start unless it’s rolling ~2 mph so you have to kick forward manually to get the throttle activated
- There aren’t any built in locking systems that I could fine, someone could turn on the unit but at least they couldn’t get the motor going (due to the 2 mph activation requirement)