If you’re looking for budget e-scooter that’s easy to fold, carry and store, then look no further than the Zoom Stryder EX
- Easy to carry and store
- Dual suspension and cruise control
- Adjustable handlebar height
- Bumpy and noisy on uneven terrain
- No app to activate extra features
- No motor lock, bell or kickstand
It may not be the biggest name in e-scooters but the Zoom Stryder EX has a number of features that help it stand out from the crowd.
It’s much smaller and more compact than most and, mercifully, requires zero assembly out of the box. It’s also the lightest e-scooter we’ve reviewed and the only one with foldable handles for easy storage. Plus, it has two adjustable handlebar heights to cater to people of different heights. For most, those features should be reason enough to consider buying one – but they aren’t the Zoom Stryder EX’s only strengths.
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Zoom Stryder EX review: What you need to know
Another of the scooter’s standout features is dual suspension, which smooths out the lumps and bumps. You can also extend the top speed to 18.5mph from the standard 15.5mph, making it one of the fastest scooters I’ve tested.
The scooter has solid rubber tyres, so there’s no worrying about punctures and it has kick start and cruise control modes to help mitigate throttle fatigue. Range is decent at up to 18 miles and the motor is rated at a powerful 300W. There’s no accompanying app but you don’t really need it as all the functions can be accessed via the controls on the scooter itself.
Before we go any further with this review, we should mention that e-scooters are currently still illegal to ride on both roads and pavements in the UK. The government is currently in talks to legalise rental e-scooters on UK roads in the near future but private e-scooters will still likely be illegal in the medium term. At present, you are only permitted to ride them on private land with the landowner’s permission, although this has not deterred many people from purchasing and riding them.
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Zoom Stryder EX review: Price and competition
At £449, the Zoom Stryder EX competes directly with the Xiaomi M365 (£260) and the Ninebot Segway ES2 (£450). The Zoom is the lightest e-scooter of the three, weighing under 11kg, where the other two tip the scales at 12.5kg and it can accommodate a heavier rider (110kg vs 100kg). It also has a longer range than either of its rivals.
Where the Xiaomi and Segway outmatch the Zoom is with the little features. Both come with a kickstand and bell, which are handy extras. And both have an accompanying mobile app that can be used to access extra features such as motor lock.
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Zoom Stryder EX review: Setup and design
The Zoom Stryder EX comes in either red or black, but whichever you choose, it’s a reasonably attractive kit. As I’ve already mentioned, it has folding handlebars, which makes it more compact than most rivals when it’s folded up. I’m also a big fan of the thick, super-comfy rubber grips.
Another great feature of this folding design is that the handlebars are quite narrow. From end-to-end they measure a mere 39cm, which is the narrowest of any e-scooter we’ve reviewed. For comparison, the Reid E4 Plus’ bar is 52cm wide.
The grips sandwich a small rectangular LCD display set at the top of the steerer with the accelerator throttle immediately below to the right, and the brake throttle to the left. The scooter’s LED headlights are set into the front of the screen’s housing. These aren’t as bright or customisable as on the Reid E4 range but do the job well enough.
Unfolding the e-scooter is simple: just push down the rear fender and pull up its steerer tube until it clicks in place. Next, adjust the height of the handlebars, selecting from one of the two heights available, and lock in place using the lever provided.
To fold the Zoom Stryder EX, first unlock the lever and shrink the handlebar back down to size. Next, put your leg on the red folding lever at the bottom of the stem and jerk the handlebar forward. This takes some getting used to, but it’s very secure.
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Zoom Stryder EX review: Features
The Zoom Stryder EX doesn’t have an app to make accessing the settings super simple but the backlit LCD display is pretty comprehensive. It shows your battery charge, riding mode, riding speed and whether the headlights are on or off. The display even tells you the outside temperature and a quick press of the Mode button lets you switch between your trip mileage and total riding mileage.
Various settings can be changed using the screen as well, such as switching between miles and kilometers, changing the riding mode and enabling the cruise control and kickstart features. However, as doing so often involves pressing buttons and the throttles in a particular sequence, it pays to keep the manual handy the first few times you ride the scooter, or at least until you’ve customised the e-scooter to your desired settings. No doubt, it’s much easier to change settings using an app.
As for charging, that’s simple and straightforward. The charging port is under a neat flap at the bottom of the screen and, once plugged into the mains adapter, the scooter’s 36V 7.8Ah (281Wh) battery charges in about 2.5 hours, which is among the fastest we’ve seen.
One known issue is that the battery gauge on the display shows a sharp drop when you’re riding uphill. Zoom says that this is due to the surge in current used. The battery indicator stabilises as soon as you’re back on flat terrain but it’s still an annoyance.
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Zoom Stryder EX review: Comfort and performance
The most noticeable and irritating thing about riding the Zoom Stryder EX is how noisy the wheels get as they rattle over uneven ground like pavements. Thankfully, none of this is transmitted to the rider due to the presence of suspension at the front and rear wheels, which smooths out what would surely otherwise be bone-jarring vibrations.
The motor is pretty loud, too, especially when riding uphill. Despite the racket, though, there’s plenty of powerful torque and the scooter drags you up inclines and humps in the road with relative ease. You do have to be careful in Turbo mode to ensure you apply gentle pressure to the throttle because the acceleration can be very quick. But even when you reach top speed, it feels perfectly stable and safe to ride.
One area I felt the scooter could do better in is braking. Press the left handlebar throttle and the Stryder employs regenerative braking to bring you to a halt. This is effective in scrubbing off a lot of your speed but it doesn’t bring you to an immediate stop. Zoom says you can step on the rear mudguard for emergency braking but you should avoid doing this too often because it wears out the rear wheel and mudguard. Even when we used both braking methods, the e-scooter took a few seconds to come to a complete halt in Turbo mode, which isn’t ideal.
Having said that, Cruise Control works pretty well, though, remaining engaged even when you turn or ride over bumps, unlike the Reid E4 Plus which loses Cruise Control at the slightest change of speed.
Zoom Stryder EX review: Verdict
The Zoom Stryder EX, undoubtedly, has some shortcomings, which prevent it from gaining the full five stars. It would have helped if the e-scooter had a kickstand, bell and motor lock for additional security and an accompanying app would make it much easier to use.
However, it’s very light, folds away neatly, charges quickly and the ride is very impressive on smooth terrain, if a little noisy when the going gets a touch rougher. If you’re looking for a compact e-scooter that doesn’t weigh a ton and is easy to carry and store, then you can’t go wrong with Zoom Stryder EX.
Zoom Stryder EX Specifications
|Maximum rider weight||110 kg|
|Charge time||3 hours|