If you've ever ridden on an electric scooter with a shock absorber and one without, you know how comfortable the former feels. Some riders even describe the experience as "...like riding on the cloud."
Suspension systems greatly improve the overall ride quality of an electric scooter. However, this doesn't mean that just any suspension system will fit all use cases.
This guide will help you understand how different electric scooter suspensions work. It will also inform you on how to choose the best full suspension scooter for your needs.
What Types of Suspension Are Used on Electric Scooters?
1) Suspension Forks
These are mostly found on performance electric scooters with front suspensions. Their shock mitigation capabilities and durability make them the perfect choice for high-performance cycles.
How Do Suspension Forks Work on Electric Scooters
Suspension forks typically consist of an upper tube (which is usually just the stem in electric scooters), two stanchions, an air or coil spring, a damper, and a lower tube/lowers (the part that's connected to the scooter's front wheel).
When the front wheel comes in contact with a bump, the lower tubes drive the stanchions up, compressing the spring (coil or air). In order for the spring not to release the energy immediately (as normal springs do after being compressed), a damper dissipates this energy.
This damper is what controls the extension (or rebound) of the fork. Without a damper, riding an electric scooter with front forks will pretty much feel like riding one with a coil-spring suspension.
They are sometimes called hydraulic forks. However, as mentioned above, not all forks have hydraulic chambers (dampers)
2) Coil Spring Suspension
Coil spring systems are one of the most popular forms of electric scooter suspension. Most electric scooter manufacturers use coil springs for their front and rear suspension.
How Do Coil Spring Suspension Systems Work on Electric Scooters
Coil springs, like other suspension systems, allow an electric scooter's wheel(s) react to surface irregularities without transferring motion to the rest of the scooter.
When force from the ground acts on the wheel, the spring compresses and absorbs the energy. If the coil spring system has a damper, that energy will be converted into heat (which would eventually get dissipated)
However, if the system consists of just a spring (like in most electric scooters), the absorbed energy from the spring's compression will be released as the spring returns to its original state.
3) Rubber Suspension
Rubber suspension is the least common type of shock absorber you will find on an electric scooter.
They are mostly used in heavy-duty machines and vehicles.
How Do Rubber Suspension Systems Work
Rubber suspension systems consist of an axle that pushes against rubber or polyurethane bushings (could be any elastomer) housed inside a steel shell. The axle connects to the wheel(s) via swingarms.
When the swingarms compress, the axle rotates and pushes against the rubber bushings located inside the cartridge. This is how rubber suspension absorbs and dampers energy from road shocks.
Why Is Suspension Important for Electric Scooters?
Shock absorbers force an electric scooter's wheels to maintain contact with the road. This improves grip and ensures the rider can make quick bends even when traveling at high speeds.
They also help smoothen out bumpy rides by absorbing most of the energy from road shocks.
Should I Get an Electric Scooter With Suspension?
This depends on your needs as a rider. If you're looking for a high-performance electric scooter that you can take off-road, then yes.
However, if your rides are limited to flat urban roads, an electric scooter without a shock absorber will perform just fine.
Which Electric Scooter Has the Best Suspension?
There's no such thing as an electric scooter with the best suspension. What will work off-road might send vibrations through your body when you jump off curbs.
You want to select a suspension system with a range of motion suitable for your riding style.
What Is an Electric Scooter With Dual Suspension
An electric scooter with dual suspension has one shock mitigation system in its front and another in its rear. These can be any of the suspension systems mentioned above.
Kaabo's Wolf King is equipped with hydraulic forks in front and coil springs in the rear. An electric scooter with dual suspension will most likely perform better than an e-scooter with just one.
This is because both wheels maintain contact with the road and can independently react to bumps.
How Do I Lubricate My Scooter Suspension?
Not all full suspension electric scooters need to be lubricated. Forks and dampered coil springs are the only e-scooter shock absorbers that require lubricating.
How to Lubricate Your Electric Scooter's Suspension Forks
Before lubricating your e-scooter's suspension forks, you want to make sure that the stanchions are free of dust or any other form of solid particles.
Then you apply your lubricant to the stanchions (please don't use Vaseline).
Little drops should do. If you apply too much oil, the excess will eventually flow through the fork's lowers and leak onto your brake pads or — even worse — seep into the hub motor. Remember, inverted forks are closer to the wheel than traditional forks
After applying the lube, compress the stanchions. This will create a ring of oil and dirt around your stanchions. Wipe this off with a dry cloth and repeat the process.
How to Lubricate a Dampered Coil Spring
Lubricating a dampered coil spring is not as easy as lubricating a suspension fork. The major reason for this is their not-so-accessible position under the scooter's deck.
So, instead of spilling oil everywhere hoping to get lucky and hit your target, you might want to consider taking it (your e-scooter) to a mechanic who will carry out proper maintenance on it.