Apollo Air Review 2023: THE Apollo Air 2022 HAS NOTHING AT ALL WRONG. With a trustworthy enough range, you won’t need to bring the charger wherever you go because this electric kick scooter can get you from point A to point B at a respectable speed.
But on a cool day in October, I let a friend borrow the Niu KQi3 Pro, which is currently my top pick for most people. We rode side by side. We quickly decided that the Niu had the best speed, acceleration, and other attributes. The $200 increase in price for the Apollo doesn’t help.
Air of Despair
The Apollo Air 2023, which I recently evaluated, and the Apollo Air 2022 have similar design aesthetics. That might not always be a good thing. Yes, it’s pretty, but it duplicates a few features from the company’s more expensive electric scooter that I didn’t enjoy.
Let’s look at the folding mechanism. You lift the metal loop built into the deck, flip the latch at the base of the stem, lower the stem, and then take out a hook on the stem to attach to the loop to fold this e-scooter up. Many of the scooters I’ve recently tried have a system that is much easier to use and takes less fussing. I frequently have to shove a cable out of the way since it frequently blocks the path of the hook. It isn’t very pleasant.
The Air’s ridiculously long handlebars, about 24 inches long, can benefit if you intend to attach accessories, such as a phone mount. (A bell and light are built-in.) Its handlebars are among the longest I’ve ever seen; they’re approximately the same length as the Evolv Terra I’m testing, but the handlebars on the Terra fold down, whereas they don’t on the Apollo. Although it weighs 39 pounds, which is pretty light for a scooter, the large stem makes it difficult to handle, even for brief periods.
All of this conveys that I don’t particularly enjoy folding this scooter. The handlebars keep catching on stair railings and doorways, so I don’t like lugging it about. The aforementioned Terra is heavier (53 pounds), but I much enjoy lifting it because it has a grab handle and a smaller stem that make carrying it around much simpler. Getting these minor details correct is crucial because failing to do so could significantly affect daily life.
Apollo Air Review 2023
A Slow Zephyr
When I opened the box and assembled the Apollo Air, I was eager to start riding. It turns out that this was a horrible idea because the scooter’s speed is fixed at 12 miles per hour by default. Imagine me moving at a snail’s pace as I crossed the Williamsburg bridge in New York City. The Niu KQi3 Pro has a comparable feature that locks the peak speed until you ride it for a short distance. Still, Apollo took a more radical approach: connecting the Air to the Apollo mobile app is the only method to unlock the top speed. Apollo’s justification? It wants to follow the posted speed limits.
I’ll be honest: I dislike using scooter-related applications. Just give me access to the device’s controls. Sure, it’s convenient to set the maximum speed and the amount of regenerative braking using an app, but most of the time, it’s a hassle. Thankfully, the Air instantly associated with my phone, I turned on the top speed, maxed out the regen brake, and I was happily on my way, with the 500-watt engine allowing me to reach a top speed of about 19 miles per hour.
You should be averaging 21 mph, and chances are you will. I’m a touch heavier than Apollo Air’s recommended 220 pounds at 6’4″. I could go 13 to 15 kilometers while riding throughout New York City. On one excursion, however, I had to kick off the ground to make it the final few blocks home from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, over the Manhattan Bridge. Although I’m confident that most individuals can get at least 20 miles out of it, Apollo’s claim of 31 miles seems improbable to anyone.
The 10-inch, air-filled tires and the dual front fork suspension make for a comfortable ride. The potholes and jolts in the road barely bother me. And I hardly ever had to use the front drum brake; the regenerative brake usually stopped me. The brake worked when I needed to stop, which was occasionally.
On this scooter, acceleration isn’t very good. The Air rolls along the tarmac like a tumbleweed in the desert when the light turns green, and I press the thumb throttle. It takes a while for it to increase to its top speed. Expect such speeds to decrease to between 11 and 14 mph on inclines (like all the bridges in Brooklyn). Said it lacks the power to ascend hills with ease.
My companion and I used the Niu scooter on our return trip home, and our vehicles had around two bars of juice left. Despite this, I was trapped at roughly 14 mph while he cruised along at the claimed 20 mph. The Apollo occasionally dramatically slows down when it drops to two bars for some reason. It is erratic in nature.
Although it’s a perfectly good scooter, my main complaint is that it costs $1,200 (despite typically being “on-sale” for $999). The Niu, which is only 5 pounds heavier, has a top speed of 20 mph and accelerates swiftly. I had a lot nicer experience with it. Both of them manage inclination rather similarly. The Niu KQi3 Pro, however, costs $799. What a significant pricing disparity.
Since Niu has a larger dealer and service network, any potential issues are probably simpler to resolve. In the US, Apollo operates five service facilities. Although I want to mention that Apollo offers better customer service, I have encountered concerns regarding both firms’ customer service. I advise upgrading to the Speedway Mini 4 Pro ($1,049) if you have this much money to invest in an electric scooter. It is lighter and simpler to fold, with a marginally more reliable range and faster speeds.