If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you are familiar with, or may already own, an e-scooter. If so, scroll down to the first accessory. If not, let us give you a quick lowdown.
A brief background on e-scooters
E-scooters (that’s electric scooter: a motorised version of the two-wheeled micro scooter you may have seen or experienced as a child) are growing in popularity around the world. They’ve become particularly popular in towns and cities, where cruising past traffic at 15mph is preferable to tackling the morning rush hour on public transport or behind the wheel.
Alongside traditional bicycles and electric bikes, e-scooters are mooted as a way for workers to safely return to the “new normal” following the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, at the time of writing, e-scooter trials are currently taking place across several UK towns and cities. Rental schemes (similar to bike rental initiatives) are being piloted as a way of reducing overuse of public transport in a post-lockdown world.
And, although privately-owned e-scooters are currently only legal to use on private land in the UK, it seems there’s no stopping the increasing numbers of people purchasing them. At the start of 2020, UK sales had already doubled compared to. 2019, with many experts predicting them to go through the roof this year.
Whether you own or intend to buy or rent an e-scooter, there are some accessories that will make your journey safer, more reliable and more convenient. Here are 5 must have e-scooter accessories.
Price: expect to pay around £30 – £75 for a good bicycle helmet and £100 – £250 for a motorcycle helmet.
A helmet is the essential accessory that all e-scooter riders should own and wear. The latest electric scooters can reach speeds of up to 30mph, so it’s vital that you protect your head when riding one.
The type of helmet you need depends on the speed you’re riding at. A normal bicycle helmet will suffice if you’re topping out at a lower speed of, say, 10-15mph. For anything more rapid, a robust motorcycle helmet is advisable.
The quality (and therefore efficacy) of any helmet can vary wildly. So, make sure you read up on the safety standards required of both bicycle and motorcycle helmets before spending any money. Our article on bicycle helmet safety standards is a useful first port of call. The UK government website also includes useful information on the topic.
Price: A good lock will cost around £30 to £50.
E-scooters are not only expensive, they’re also desirable for would-be thieves. So, a lock is a vital piece of kit that all owners need. Not least because you’re unlikely to secure insurance for your e-scooter if you don’t own – or properly use – one.
Remember, not all locks are created equal. In fact, there are some pretty ropey ones out there on the market, so do your research.
Just as with bicycle locks, the majority of e-scooter locks are rated on a ‘Sold Secure’ scale and are given a podium style rating of Bronze, Silver or Gold, with Gold being the strongest. We recommend a D-Lock (also known as a U-Lock), as they are the most durable and hardest to break open.
Price: £25 – £40 for a good set of front and back lights
Most e-scooters will come with dim or low-mounted lights as standard. But these are unlikely to be bright or powerful enough to see more than a few feet ahead if you’re riding beyond dusk. Perhaps more importantly, lights drastically improve your visibility to others and allow people to see you from a distance at night. A set of strong front and back lights is therefore a worthwhile accessory.
We recommend attaching red lights where they’re rear-facing, and white lights where they’re front-facing, just as a car or other vehicle would. This helps others around you to decipher which way you’re travelling at a glance.
A red light of around 150 lumens is suitable for your rear light. Meanwhile, you may wish to go as bright as 400-500 lumens for your front-facing white light.
This article offers some further tips on how to cycle safely at night.
Price: around £10 per bottle.
E-scooters run on tyres. And tyres – particularly pneumatic tyres, which most e-scooters have – run flat. So, it’s a good idea to keep something on your person that can help you get back up and running as soon as possible.
Enter: tyre slime. Applying tyre sealant, also called tyre slime, is the best way to both prevent flat tyres from occurring in the first place and help you repair on the move. (Please note that sealant only works in air-filled tyres, rather than tubed ones).
How does it work? Essentially, should a puncture occur, you’ll inject the sealant into your tyre. Upon rotating the wheel, the liquid coats the entire inside of your tyre and creates a seal to stop air from escaping. Hey, presto.
You can also use slime before your first ride to provide an additional layer of tyre protection.
Price: £10 – £15
Whether you’d like to navigate your route or track your speed, a smartphone holder is a super convenient addition to our list of must have e-scooter accessories.
This may seem an obvious point, but make sure you check that the holder is compatible with both your phone and the e-scooter you’re looking to attach it to. It might also be worth getting one with a waterproof cover if, like us, you’re based in a rainy city like Manchester.
Specialist e-scooter insurance from Cycleplan
Whichever e-scooter accessories you decide to buy, it’s vital to make sure they’re covered against theft and damage. Our e-scooter insurance includes accessories and is bespoke, buildable and hassle-free. Get a quote today by clicking the link above.