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Electric scooter suspension: what happens and why is it needed?

Imagine the situation: you are driving on smooth asphalt on an electric scooter and suddenly fall into a deep hole. What did you feel about it? If your electric scooter is not equipped with a suspension, then most likely a strong impact and possibly a taste of dust on the pavement. And in the presence of a shock absorber – just a slight push.

What is a suspension?
The suspension is a set of devices that provide an elastic connection between the wheels and the carrier system. Simply put, it is a spring-loaded mechanism between the wheel and the body. Due to the suspension, large and small bumps in the road are smoothed out, the movement becomes smoother and, as a rule, safer.

Types of shock absorbers
Most electric scooters are not equipped with any kind of suspension. This means that the front and rear wheels are directly attached to the body. In this case, the driver will feel all the bumps in the road. And it’s not always bad. If your route runs exclusively on smooth asphalt, then the shock absorbers will only interfere. With them, the scooter becomes heavier, its reliability decreases, because this is an additional mechanism, for the same reason the cost increases and, importantly, the roll-up decreases. That is, the scooter will not roll as far if you release the accelerator lever.

There are 4 types of shock absorbers. Each of them has its pros and cons and is suitable for completely different tasks.

Spring damper. The simplest and most popular type of suspension. Coil springs, by compression, absorb energy from small potholes and even large holes, thereby reducing the force of impact. As a result, driving comfort is increased and the driver is less stressed.

The pros of spring dampers are relatively little weight gain and ease of maintenance. They do not need to be lubricated and cleaned unless the system includes a damper. Also, the spring damper can be adjusted, making it softer or stiffer. The disadvantages include rapid wear, noise and linearity, that is, the spring is relatively easy to compress to the stop, because its force does not change throughout its entire length. In this case, crunches and squeaks may appear.

CIS-VR
CIS-SM
CIS-SAM
CIS-RC
CIS-ITSM
CIS-HR
CIS-FSM
CIS-EM
CIS-CSM
CIS-CPG
CAS-PA
CAD

Hydraulic suspension. This is a more complex, expensive and reliable mechanism. The whole system consists of a rod, a cylinder, an air or helical spring, a guide sleeve, and oil is also poured inside. When the wheel comes into contact with unevenness, the fluid resists and does not allow the mechanism to compress to the stop, as in the case of a spring mechanism, the vibrations are damped without creating a large amplitude.

Reliability can be attributed to the pluses : the hydraulic suspension can withstand a much greater load than the spring one. In addition, the suspension works very quietly, because pushing it all the way is almost impossible. There are also disadvantages : due to the complexity of the design, electric scooters with this type of suspension are usually more expensive than their counterparts on a spring suspension. At the same time, the tubes require maintenance, they need to be periodically cleaned and lubricated.

Rubber suspension. Rarely used type of shock absorbers. Due to its properties of elasticity and strength, rubber is excellent as a shock-absorbing element. In fact, this is a more complex and expensive variation of springs, but the principle of operation is the same. It is installed in expensive powerful models of electric scooters.

The biggest plus is complete noiselessness and better stability, since the rubber itself is very elastic. The downside is that it is impossible to adjust the stiffness.

Monorim. Almost never found in production models, mainly used in custom assemblies. A powerful spring with a wide range of adjustments is used, attached to a fixed metal rim. When driving over bumps, such as a gravel road or old paving slabs, the driving experience should remain the same as on smooth pavement.

This type of shock absorbs most of the shock force until the end of the suspension travel, providing excellent ride comfort, it is more resilient and easier to adjust than a simple spring mechanism. The main disadvantage is the price: the parts are bought separately, and the price, for example, for the front suspension can reach a couple of hundred euros. In addition to this, the design is bulky, which means that the appearance of the scooter and its weight change radically.

Suspension location and which one is better to choose
There are 4 main types of scooters: without suspension, on both wheels, only with a front shock absorber and only with a rear shock absorber.

An electric scooter without suspension is perfect for use on flat city streets at low speed and with frequent carrying. A lot also depends on the weight of the rider. Truly shock absorbers begin to work under a load of 40-50 kg. So, if a child or a slender girl uses a scooter, then there will be no effect from shock absorbers. Which means it’s not worth paying.

A shock absorber on the rear wheel only is worth choosing if the movement around the city will sometimes run through sidewalks and curbs. Simply put, when driving over a low obstacle, you will lift the front end on the move, and the rear will gently hit it due to the shock absorber. Also, the rear suspension can be recommended for moving on uneven asphalt, it will reduce the load on the legs and spine.

The presence of a front shock absorber will provide driving comfort by reducing steering shaking. Again, suitable for frequent driving over small bumps.

Front and rear suspension , as a rule, the prerogative of “off-road” models. If you often encounter large bumps on your way, or there is a desire to explore the world beyond the city limits, then a pair of shock absorbers will favorably affect the comfort of movement on a primer, gravel, and so on.

wheels
However, not only the suspension affects driving comfort. The wheels are in direct contact with the road surface and it depends on them what will be transmitted to the shock absorber, and subsequently to the driver.

Cast. They do not have a chamber and a cavity inside themselves. Plus – they can not be pierced, minus – rigidity. It is not recommended to use them somewhere other than smooth asphalt.

Perforated. The newest kind of wheels. They, like cast ones, are filled inside and do not have a chamber, but at the same time there are holes around the circumference of the wheel. This is what causes depreciation. They are impossible to pierce, they are light and with them you can already comfortably move over small bumps.

Pneumatic tires with a chamber. The camera is installed under the tire. The air inside the wheel creates a cushioning effect, which means that a scooter with such wheels will ride much softer than the two previous options. In addition, the pressure inside the wheel can be adjusted depending on the situation. The only negative is that such a wheel can be punctured.

Pneumatic tires without tube. Everything is the same as in the previous case, only the weight is slightly reduced due to the lack of a chamber, high resistance to small punctures, and the repair process itself is much simpler. Tightness can be called a minus: when entering a large hole at high speed, depressurization can occur, and the wheel will be blown away.

You know everything you need to know about shock absorbers in electric scooters, which means you can approach the choice of your two-wheeled friend in a much more balanced way. Do not chase powerful hydraulic suspension and pneumatic tires if you are not going to ride out of town. You won’t feel much difference with a light scooter without suspension, but the money and effort spent on lifting a faithful friend home can be used in a different direction. And vice versa. If you are planning to scorch and arrange a scooter enduro, then it is better to immediately overpay for high-quality suspension and tires than dozens of hours to read forums and look for spare parts for modifications.

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