Bird Air Electric Scooter Review: Budget Scooter for Leisure

E-scooter sharing company Bird, who is now selling their “own” electric scooters, released a new model last month – Bird Air.

The “own” part is questionable because e-scooter sharing companies just rebrand budget Ninebot electric scooters and use it for their fleet. You can buy the cheap Bird ES100 – a rebrand of the Segway ES1 Gen 2 – from Amazon and it comes with a Segway charger. The official scooter available on their website is déjà vu – the Bird One is a rebranded Segway ES2.

Bird Air looks like another familiar electric scooter, but at the price of US $599 (AU $800+), it’s relatively affordable. But then again, this doesn’t mean you can’t demand good value for money. Is Bird Air worth buying or is it another knockoff?

Bird Air Electric Scooter Review

bird air

Build Quality

The Bird Air doesn’t look like another Ninebot electric scooter. It looks like the Unagi Model One with the folding mechanism of a Xiaomi, minus the exotic building materials. We can’t confirm for sure if this is intentional. To be fair, it’s an updated look of the Bird One and makes for a sleek looking machine. Considering the price, Bird Air looks and feels like a premium electric scooter.

Speed and Range

The top speed and maximum range of this electric scooter are the same as the Xiaomi M365 – a tested speed of 25 km/h and tested range of 22 km. When you’re commuting in the city these figures are just enough.

Ride Performance

Bird Air has rear-wheel drive and 8.5-inch semi-solid wheels that you wouldn’t see in a budget scooter. This leads to a stable ride that requires less maintenance, but the small wheels are only meant for short trips on flat surfaces. The regenerative and foot brake is disappointing, especially considering that a budget Xiaomi M365 has a disc brake. Overall, it does a decent job like any other budget electric scooter.

Is it Worth Buying Bird Air Electric Scooter?

It’s evident that this electric scooter is not meant to be sold as a standalone machine, but rather a commercial unit picked off from Bird’s fleet to fill the gap in the market. Bird is hoping that commuters who prefer to buy their own budget scooter will choose this over Xiaomi M365 or Go Trax Commuter V2. 

Pros

    • 8.5” semi-solid tyres
    • Sleek Unagi Model One look
    • Rear-wheel drive

Cons  

    • no disc brake
    • can only be used on flat surfaces
    • meant for leisure trips and not commuting

Bird Air does well as an electric scooter for short leisure trips. And it is priced reasonably enough for that use. But compared to its competitors in the market, the Xiaomi Electric Scooter 1S – which is readily available in Australia at roughly the same price – is a better choice for commuters. 

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