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Understanding the Basics of Electric Scooter Suspension Systems

Understanding the Basics of Electric Scooter Suspension Systems

Electric Scooter Suspension: Everything You Need to Know

Suspension? What's that? Imagine yourself in a 4-wheel drive vehicle rolling over sand dunes or through hilly gravel mountain roads.

If you don't know what a suspension is, you know what it does, and you're glad it does that thing: namely keeping you from cracking your head against the doorframe or breaking a tooth from a jarring descent.

What Is Suspension on Electric Scooters?

Before we get into the nitty gritty details of electric scooter suspension, we should define the term "suspension" as it relates to an electric scooter.

So yes, you're probably familiar with a car's suspension, the system of shocks and/or struts that makes it bounce up and down when you hit bumpy road. But maybe you have a harder time picturing the same thing on a small, two-wheeled folding electric vehicle.

Nonetheless, an electric scooter suspension is similar to the suspension on a car, or bike, or motorcycle, and it serves the same purpose, absorbing shocks and bumps before they rattle your bones and make for an uncomfortable ride.


Source: Electric Scooter Guide

A electric scooter suspension system is any combination of technologies -- springs, swingarms, rubber bushings, etc. -- that suspend the scooter's deck above the road. When the scooter hits a bump, the e scooter suspension system compresses to absorb it, then rebounds back to its original position.

Some suspensions allow you to adjust the level of rebound for a smoother, less bouncy ride quality, while others are factory tuned for riders under a certain weight limit and might not work as well for heavier (or lighter) riders.

Below we'll survey a few of the different kinds of suspension systems, as well as some of their pros and cons.

Given the variability of different suspensions -- some are more stiff, some more bouncy -- it's recommended that you try a scooter with suspension before you buy, so that you can see how it works for your particular size and riding style.


Source: Electric Scooter Guide

Why is Suspension Important in E-Scooters?

The truth is that not all electric scooters need a suspensions system. Unlike cars and trucks, not all scooters travel at high speeds, and they certainly don't weigh several hundreds, or thousands, of pounds.

Many lightweight electric scooters built for commuting do not include a suspension, which makes them lighter, slimmer, and more portable when folded. E scooters like the Unagi Model One Voyager don't exceed 20 mph or weigh over 30 lb, so a suspension system is unnecessary and only adds weight and complications to a very simple design.

That said, most bigger, heaver, high-speed electric scooters would be very hard to ride without some kind of suspension system. Moreover, off-road riding requires good suspension too. Finally, suspension greatly improves ride quality for larger riders.


What is Damping?

Damping is an important aspect of electric scooter suspension systems. It refers to the ability of the e scooter suspension system to control the speed of movement when compressing or rebounding. Damping can often be adjusted to suit a rider's weight and riding style, and can greatly affect the overall ride quality of the scooter.

What Are the Types of Electric Scooter Suspension?

Spring Suspension

Spring suspension means, simply, a suspension system that uses springs to absorb shocks and vibrations. Some systems use two springs per wheel, some use three, some four, and some only one.


Source: Electric Scooter Guide

Spring suspensions are some of the most popular designs. They are rarely adjustable, although some systems allow for swapping out stiffer or bouncier springs.

Air Suspension

Air suspension systems use air pressure to absorb shocks and vibrations, typically using pressurized air cartridge or a chamber that can be filled with a bicycle pump.

Air suspension is rarely if ever found on electric scooters because air shocks can be ineffective in the small clearances of the best electric scooter designs.

Hydraulic Suspension

Hydraulic suspensions use fluid to absorb shocks and vibrations. They tend to be more expensive and more complex than spring-based systems, but they offer a smoother ride and are more easily adjustable.

Hydraulic suspension cartridges can be combined with spring suspension to improve damping. Premium electric scooters like the NAMI BURN-E MAX use this design, with a knob that easily adjusts the amount of rebound.

Dual Suspension

Dual suspension uses both front and rear suspension to absorb bumps and shocks. They offer the smoothest ride quality, but are also the heaviest and most expensive suspension type. They're typically found on high-end electric scooters designed for very high speeds or both on and off-road use.


Source: Electric Scooter Guide

Rubber Suspension

A rubber suspension system uses rubber bushings or cartridges to absorb shocks and vibrations. They tend to be lighter and simpler than other suspension types, but may not be as effective at absorbing larger bumps or shocks and they can take some time to properly break in.

These types of suspension systems can be adjusted by swapping out different sized rubber cartridges, but replacements can be hard to find and expensive, and the process is not nearly as simple as dialing in the damping on hydraulic suspension.

The Dualtron Storm is an example of an electric scooter that uses a rubber suspension system.

Swingarm Suspension

Swingarm suspension is a type of suspension commonly used on motorcycles. It consists of one or two swingarms that pivot at the rear of the vehicle and support the rear wheel. This type of suspension is known for its stability and is often used on more powerful electric scooters.

The Kaabo Wolf Warrior X GT is an example of a high-performance electric scooter that uses dual swingarms (combined with spring suspension).


Electric Scooter Suspension Maintenance

Taking care of an electric scooter suspension is an important part of regular maintenance. Depending on the type of suspension system your scooter uses, you may need to periodically check the tightness of bolts and screws, lubricate moving parts, and replace worn or damaged components.

If you notice that your scooter's suspension system is making strange noises or that e scooter feels less effective at absorbing bumps and shocks, it may be time to inspect and/or replace some components. Be sure to consult your scooter's manual or take it to a professional mechanic for any necessary repairs or maintenance.

When it comes to maintenance, it's important to regularly check and tighten bolts and screws, lubricate moving parts, and replace worn or damaged components. If you notice any issues with the vehicle suspension system, such as strange noises or less effective shock absorption, it's best to consult the manual or seek help from an electric scooter specialist to ensure proper repairs are made.

The Unagi Model One Voyager: A Smooth Ride for Smooth Urban Streets


As we noted earlier, not every electric scooter needs a suspension, and thus not every scooter requires suspension maintenance.

Lightweight vehicles with aerodynamic designs and flexible, vibration-damping materials like carbon fiber can cruise over many obstacles without jarring the rider. (Consider, for example, the road bikes used in races over hundreds of miles.)

Unless you're traveling at speeds over 25 mph or riding off road, a suspension system, for all its pros, can also add weight and needless complication to the design of a lightweight, portable urban commuter vehicle.

The Voyager's flexible deck, tapered, carbon-fiber stem, and vented, solid tires are all purpose built for the city streets Unagi riders ride, and the Model One design continues to make Unagi the most portable dual motor commuter electric scooter on the market. Try one for yourself today.

Daniel Foley
Daniel Foley

Daniel tests all the latest e-scooters and currently enjoys the Unagi Voyager as a daily driver for it's light weight, good range, and stylish look.