EcoReco Pneumatic Front Tire Prototype and a Year Worth of EcoReco Insights.
EcoReco sent me this prototype pneumatic front tire to try out. I did, and this post will spend some time on its pluses and minus. I also thought this would be a good time to give you the (over a ) year rundown on the EcoReco electric scooters. I got the M3 17 months ago, and the M5 (full suspension model) 6 months ago. To say I have a lot of info on them would be easy. As soon as this post goes live, the 2 scooters are going back in the box to be returned to the company. You can be sure they will have me test any new products they introduce.
These are very useful as last mile transportation. They are also a lot of fun. My first post on the M3 asked the question—”Tool or Toy?” The answer is both. I have used them both as transportation, carefree fun machines and as a quick alternative to walking. Neither one has ever let me down and well over a couple hundred people have been able to try them out. These are rock solid ways to get around and the proof was there with each ride. I am now truly an EcoReco fan.
When I was first approached to test review this electric scooter I was hovering on my interest levels. Bikes are my go to machine here on my bike blog. Yet, offering much of what an electric bike does, I dove in with a smile. It has been a fun journey and reporting on them has brought a lot of attention for both E-bikes and E-scooters. That is my passion and EcoReco has helped fuel it. I will add links at the bottom of this post to my original M3 and M5 articles, reading those will fill in the blanks I don’t cover here.
The kind of rough ride of the M3 has been mentioned by many. On a smooth surface you can really experience the quiet and flow of this electric two-wheeler. Yet as things get grated, the vibes transmitted to the rider and machine are quite noticeable. The front suspension is mostly just the springs with a minor friction damping from the sliding wheel mount blocks. The solid flat-free tires do little to soak-up the bumps and ruts.
Enter the M5, much the same but with the addition of a elastomer (?) supported lever action rear suspension. The extra movement at the rear does much for the rider in terms of comfort on rutted surfaces. I posted a video with both scooters to try and show the difference, and I did the same with this new pneumatic front wheel (once again, links to them are listed below). Like the M5 made things nicer, the pneumatic front tire does too.
This beefy little front tire goes on the scooter (M3 or M5) (I tried it on both) quickly with one axle bolt removal and re-installation. I had to add my own washer / spacer on each side of the ball bearings, yet when it becomes available I am sure they will be included. It was evident from the first ride the way having some air in the front tire made a difference worth talking about. Pumped up to the listed spec of 36 lbs., it was firm yet just spongy enough to roll easy and smooth out the ride. With the solid tires not getting great grip on wet surfaces, I would expect the pneumatic one to be much better in that respect.
I would imagine EcoReco has the mindset of producing a scooter with these tires front and rear. The rear will be a little tougher (especially as a retrofit like this) because the rear has the motor and brake built into the wheel hub. I can’t say if this front tire, or the complete pneumatic supported scooter will make it into production, so keep an eye on the company to see. They have told me they have several new products on their drawing boards.
The main drawbacks I see here is the chance of a flat and forgetting to add air every month or so (which can cause flats and poor performance). Part of what I like about both scooters is the lack of needed maintenance and worries (about things like flats). Everybody has different needs and desires, so you might be on one side of this or the other. It is nice to have a choice.
OK, on to my experiences with these EcoReco scooters. I do lots of earth fairs and electric vehicle events (including my own twice-a-year E-bike seminar) so tons of people have ridden these 2 scooters. Not once have they failed to run and perform. Of course I have ridden them both many, many times too. I especially like the safe throttle that only activates the motor when some forward speed is attained (just a little push off is all it takes).
I first turned a wrench on the M3 when they sent me the anti-rattle front suspension up-grade (all EcoRecos have this factory for a while now, but if you don‘t they will make sure you can get it). It was fairly easy to install. This basically consists of 2 plastic sleeve inserts for the front axle carrier blocks. They allow a tighter fit where they slide on the strut bolts, but still allow for free movement. It tightened up the front end and quieted the scooter down considerably.
Then not an issue to mention until they told me of this front pneumatic wheel. I had the 2 scoots at a friend’s birthday party (they all loved them by the way, everyone seems to) and I noticed the M5 had 2 front strut bolts that were slightly bent back. It was still safe and steered fine, but I had them send some replacements along with the pneumatic front wheel. They were easy to install and solved that problem.
I attributed this to the maybe 1 inch curb rises I have hit countless times. I would slow (some) and shift my weight back, but still hit them pretty hard. I noticed the new pneumatic wheel is much gentler when hitting these rises, so this prototype tire should help in that respect too. With all the extra abuse the M3 has had (time ridden too) it never had this happen.
They early on sent me some buttons for the handlebar adjustor they said a few people had broken on their scooters. Mine never did. I have also asked them to up-date their charger. It works great, but when you plug it into the scooter (and always plug the scooter first and then into the wall socket) ( and the reverse sequence when the charge is complete) you hear a spark. This means the charger isn’t diode protected. It isn’t really a big deal, but that spark could cause issues on an unlucky day, it never has for me though. To my knowledge the charger hasn’t been changed. The M5 I got 6 months ago works the same way.
So, months of riding fun and convenience has been the result of this extended test. I need to thank EcoReco for the ability to do this test and report, and can’t wait to see what they roll out next. The 2 electric scoots are headed back to the factory and I am moving onto the next bike review. Still the memory of the good times with the EcoReco scooters won’t fade soon. To cap it up, the M5 full-suspension model with the pneumatic tire is the quietest and smoothest ride of all the combinations I tried.
You too can scoot, Turbo Bob.
“I left my youth behind me. It peddled the bicycle while I rode on the handlebars.”—Jarod Kintz.
You can find EcoReco on the web and Facebook
Here are links to my M3 article and the one about the M5
I posted many videos with these electric scooters. These are the two ride comparison ones. You can find all the others on my You-Tube channel too.