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Oxelo Town 9 Easyfold - The Perfect Urban Scooter?

[ KICK SCOOTING - 12/29/2014 - www.LetsKickScoot.com ]



Jerry Szubin

My Urban Scooter Wish List

>>  As an owner of three "kick vehicles" - a small urban scooter, a medium size scooter with 12-inch pneumatic tires, and a full-size kick bike (Know Ped, Mibo Tiny, and Kickbike Sport Max, respectively) - and having tried many other scooters over the years, I've developed a wish list of features I'd want my perfect urban scooter to have. They include:

  1. A low deck for easy kicking

  2. Tires with large circumference for safety

  3. Low rolling resistance for speed

  4. Adjustable handlebar height

  5. Hand brakes for safety

  6. Wide handlebars for stability

  7. A long deck that can accommodate large feet

  8. A solid frame for durability

  9. A secure and easy folding mechanism for convenience

  10. A kickstand or equivalent "parking" mechanism

  11. Light weight for easy transporting

Of all the small urban scooters I've tried, the Oxelo Town 9 Easyfold comes closest to meeting all these requirements, meeting an amazing 10 out of the 11, and it makes up for the 11th in a very clever way.

Love at first kick

The first time I stepped foot on the Town 9 it put a big smile on my face. This scooter rides beautifully, and it rides fast, thanks to its hard polyurethane (PU) tires and ABEC7 bearings. The large circumference of the tires, 200mm, also allows it to ride over imperfect surfaces with ease.

The Town 9's wide handlebar, which comes with very nice ergonomic grips, gives it a super stable feeling. Its low deck, generous enough in size to accommodate my large US size 13 feet with room to spare, is just 2⅞ inches from the ground, making it a breeze to kick. And oh my - a back handbrake!

The Oxelo has just about every feature you could want in a small urban scooter.

Back Handbrake!

A handbrake is not essential on an urban scooter - most don't have one, and some people even prefer not to have one, but personally I find it liberating.

Most scooters make do with a rear "stomp brake." To slow or stop the scooter you step on the rear fender, which causes it to rub against the tire. The disadvantage to having only a stomp brake is that your back foot must always be either at the ready or already positioned on or near the fender to slow or stop.

What happens when you need to stop suddenly and unexpectedly? What if you want to coast with both feet on the deck? Having a hand brake means you don't have to be concerned about where your back foot is. It makes riding practically carefree.

Some scooters do have handbrakes - the Know Ped and Xootr are two. But their handbrakes operate on the front tire. The problem with that is you always need to apply the brake carefully so as not to lock up the front wheel, which can cause you to be hurled over the handlebars. Not so with a back brake.

For me, a back handbrake is the holy grail of braking systems (having both front and back is even better, but if there's to be only one, having it on the back is definitely my preference). Add to this the fact that the Town 9 has a rear stomp brake in addition to its handbrake. I consider this to be a perfect braking system. Bravo, Oxelo, for choosing this brake design! Both the stomp brake and hand brake function well on the Town 9, and you get extra stopping power by applying both at the same time.

The Town 9's generous deck length has no problem accommodating my large, U.S size 13 feet.

The Town 9's large 200mm PU tires allow it to roll easily over many surface imperfections, like the ones you see in the photo above.

In my testing, the Town 9 handled packed-earth paths well. However to ride on loose stone path like the one in the above photo, you'll need a vehicle with larger tires.

Folding

The Town 9's folding mechanism is one of its best features. To fold it, you just position yourself in front of the scooter, step on the "nose" of the frame, and voila! It folds in a mere second (the rear swings up and clicks onto the front stem) - no bending involved, super convenient!

Stepping on front of the Town 9's frame causes the back wheel to swing up and click in place against the steering column - a super quick fold!


But wait, that's not all! Step only halfway on the "nose" and you put the scooter in "park mode" - no dropping it on the ground, no fussing with a small kickstand with questionable stability. In almost no time you have it resting solidly on its deck. A quick flick forward of the handlebar sets it back on two wheels and you're ready to go. Super!

The Oxelo Town 9 Easyfold in "park mode."

Stability and Comfort

The Town 9's wide, variable-height handlebar gives it great stability and comes with excellent ergonomic rubber grips. Note also that the handlebar ends can be slipped out and locked in place alongside the stem, giving the whole scooter a slim profile for easy maneuvering among crowds in trolley mode, and easy packing.

The Oxelo Town 9's handlebar is a generous 15¾ inches wide, which contributes to its outstanding stability.

Let it roll!

Recently Karen, her husband Phil, and I met to perform rolling resistance tests on three 12-inch pneumatic-tire scooters, including a very high-end Czech scooter. It just happened that Karen brought along the Town 9. Out of curiosity we tested it against all three of the 12 inch scooters. It beat them all. More recently, after riding the Town 9 Easyfold for some time, I switched to my Know Ped. The difference was remarkable. The Town 9 just rolls almost effortlessly. In comparison, the Know Ped felt sluggish.

Transporting

Admittedly, at 13 pounds, the Town 9 is not the lightest scooter on the market, and that may concern people who wish to use it as a commuting vehicle if they need to carry it. But consider another great feature of the Town: When folded, it can be wheeled along on its front tire in what's called trolley mode. Wonderful! For all of its other features, personally I can live with the Town 9's extra weight as an acceptable trade-off.

When folded, instead of being carried, the Town 9 can be trolleyed along on its front wheel.

I'm feeling it . . .

Having heaped a lot of praise on this scooter, I do want to point out one thing. Due to its hard PU tires and stiff frame, the Town 9's ride, while fast, is also quite harsh, despite it having front suspension. On smooth surfaces the Town 9 rolls beautifully, but on any kind of bumpy surface, you feel every vibration. I accept this as the price one pays for speed. I did not find it to be objectionable on typical sidewalks and streets, but I would not want to ride it long distance on a path that consists of pavers or bricks.

Riders should also note that, as with any scooter with hard PU tires, one needs to exercise caution when riding, avoiding loose debris and wet surfaces that can cause the scooter to slip from under you. Riding on wet surfaces will also adversely affect braking performance.

    [Editor's Note: As a small urban scooter, the Oxelo Town 9 Easyfold rides much smoother on well-maintained packed brick than a Xootr, which has smaller wheels, but not as smoothly as a kick scooter with 12-inch pneumatic tires, which can easily skip over many cracks. Another plus for the Town 9 is that while you can easily steer, its front wheel cannot be widely turned left or right (like on some scooters which offer almost a 360 range) and that, together with its handlebar, which is wider than found on other kick scooters of its type, makes steering firmer and more responsive.]

Conclusion

The Oxelo Town 9 Easyfold is one of the best, full-featured scooters on the market today. Its ride is fast and stable. Its superb braking system makes it one of the safest scooters available, and its folding mechanism, which allows you to instantly fold, park, and trolley it, make it super convenient. All of this, plus its large 200 mm tires, which can handle many surface imperfections, make it an excellent choice for city commuting. Most of all, it's a whole lot of fun to ride!

The scooter's speed does come at a price, though: Its stiff frame and hard PU tires make the ride fast but somewhat harsh. If your commute includes long stretches of bumpy surfaces, you might want to consider the Oxelo Town 7 Suspension, known for a smoother ride with its rear suspension (but lacking a back handbrake), or a Know Ped or Kickped, which have softer and wider rubber tires.

Unfortunately, the only way you can purchase an Oxelo Town 9 Easyfold in the U.S. is to buy one on eBay, have a friend or relative who lives in a country where the scooter is sold buy and ship it to you (the method I chose), or arrange with an international shipper to receive a package from a Decathlon Store (Oxelo's authorized store), then buy it from Decathlon and have the scooter sent to the pre-arranged shipper.

A low risk is that the guarantee/warrantee will not be valid, as Oxelo does not authorize sales to the States. This may sound like a lot of hoops to jump through to buy a scooter, but for all its features, I consider it well worth the effort.

Links

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
Jerry Szubin - ScooterJerry88@gmail.com

Article and all but the first and last photo by Jerry Szubin. First published on 12/29/2014. All rights reserved by www.LetsKickScoot.com and Jerry Szubin.






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