Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter Review: A Premium, Weather-Resistant Scooter at a Budget Price

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The Lowdown

When we were approached about reviewing the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter, I was surprised by its lower price. I assumed that significant corners would have to have been cut, and I expected something that looked and felt like a budget scooter. I was pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case; the Shell Ride SR-5S looks great, is light enough for easy carry, and it includes thoughtful features.

Overall
4

Pros

  • Affordable, yet it looks, feels, and rides like a premium scooter
  • Lights, bell, and fenders included
  • Weather-resistant
  • Decent battery and motor
  • Foldable and light enough to easily carry
  • 8.5″ semi-pneumatic tires never go flat and never need to be filled
  • Dual-braking system; Handy companion app
  • No suspension, but the scooter rides quite nicely

Cons

  • The locking mechanism for the folding steering post is very tight, and it takes a lot of force to release
  • Not quite powerful enough for easy use in areas with steep hills
  • The steering post has a fixed height which may be a little short for those, like me, who are over 6′
Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter Review: A Premium, Weather-Resistant Scooter at a Budget Price Listen to this article

The Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter is a light, affordable standing scooter that can go up to 20 miles per hour with a range of up to twenty miles per charge. It looks great, rides well, and can be found for as little as $499.99, making it a bargain if you are looking for inexpensive, fun, electric transportation.

Shell Ride SR-5S Electric ScooterFor the past few months, I have been trying to use my car as little as possible. I ride my electric bike or scooter to work when the weather permits. My co-workers look at me a bit funny, but I’m okay with that.

Riding a scooter comes in especially handy a few times a week. On days when my wife Raina commutes to Manhattan for work, I usually drop her off at the train and then pick her up at night. My schedule, however, often has me in meetings when her train arrives.

Rather than make her walk home, I usually drive her car to the station, let her know where it is parked, pull the scooter from the trunk, and ride it home. With its surprisingly light weight of just over 30 pounds, the Shell Ride SR-5S fits perfectly into this arrangement.

Before we take a closer look at the scooter itself, let’s address the elephant in the room: What is Shell doing putting their name and logo on an electric scooter? I’ll let them explain:

The world’s energy system is changing. Shell is investing in more lower-carbon technology. This includes renewables such as wind and solar, new mobility options such as electric vehicle charging and hydrogen, and an interconnected power business that will provide electricity to millions of homes, companies and businesses.

With the newly released Shell RIDE line of e-scooters and e-bikes, Shell is now offering a fun, reliable, and low-emission mode of personal transportation for life’s short journeys.

That makes sense from an environmental perspective, but it also makes good business sense. The Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter represents the company branching out in another, greener direction, and they have done it quite well.

Man sitting on Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter

At first look, the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter follows a familiar design that has become commonplace with motorized standing scooters. It has two small wheels separated by a wide, textured deck, a handle that can be folded down for storage and easy carrying, handlebars with a throttle, brake controls, and a digital display.

Honestly, the design is so ubiquitous at this point that the scooter could sport the name of any number of companies, and I would think it was their product. But the Shell Ride SR-5S offers a few details that make it stand out, particularly at its incredibly reasonable price.

Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter in retail box

When I pulled the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter from its box, I was surprised by how light it was. The scooter I’ve used up until this point isn’t heavy, but the SR-5S is significantly lighter; this makes a huge difference when it’s time to fold it and place it into your car’s trunk or carry it with you onto the train.

The scooter arrives fully assembled except for the handlebars. To prepare for my first ride, I simply had to connect one wire, place the handlebars into the vertical post, and then attach them using the included screws and Allan wrench.

True Confession: I connected the wire and attached the handlebars. The scooter powered on initially but then was completely dead. I tried everything possible before finally reaching out to the company for help. It turns out that I had not made the wire connection securely enough, and the first time I turned the handlebars, it came apart. In the blogging world, we refer to that by the technical term “User Error.” 🙂

The scooter has 8.5″ semi-pneumatic tires at the front and rear. They are a bit smaller than the wheels on my previous scooters but are still large enough to deliver a nice ride; I love that they will never go flat or need any maintenance.

Front wheel on the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter

There is a disc brake at the rear of the scooter and an electric brake at the front. The disc brake is activated by squeezing the brake handle on the right side of the handlebars; the front electric brake is activated with a button on the left side.

The Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter is the first I’ve used that mixes the braking mechanisms this way, and I’m a fan. Most of the time, I rely on the rear brake to slow down, but the dual approach works well when I need to come to an even faster stop. Obviously, you never want to rely solely on the front brake lest you go head-over-handles.

Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter handlebars

The handlebars are covered in a textured rubber; the texture looks cool but serves the important function of helping you to keep a solid grip while you ride. Even better, the handlebars are extremely comfortable.

The right handlebar has the brake, as mentioned earlier. In addition, there is a small bell and a push-button throttle. EScooters and eBikes tend to have either a button/lever or a twist grip to control the throttle. I prefer the button/lever over the twist grip and appreciate the fact that Shell opted for this design.

The right handlebar on the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter

The left handlebar has the button to activate the front electronic brake.

The left handlebar on the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter

Between the handlebars, there is a small digital display. The readout lets you know how much charge remains, your speed, the current function, etc. All of this information (and much more) is also available via the free companion app.

Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter Review: A Premium, Weather-Resistant Scooter at a Budget Price

Toward the front of the display, there is a single button. Pressing it once turns on the scooter.

Pressing it again activates the front and rear lights. I very much appreciate that Shell included both lights as part of the design rather than trying to upsell you are checkout.

The plastic locking mechanism in front of the display keeps the scooter in a folded position when transported or carried.

The plastic locking mechanism on the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter

The handlebar post has a fixed height. That’s important as it makes folding the scooter easier; if the post were adjustable, you would also need to lower and raise it each time you folded the scooter. It does, however, mean that the post is a bit low for my 6′ 1″ frame. It is not uncomfortably low, but I would love an additional inch or two.

About one-third of the way up the post, there is a large ring. A slight turn in one direction locks it into place.

The locking ring on the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter

A slight turn in the other direction unlocks it so you can fold down the handlebars; this is, to my mind, one of the biggest flaws in the scooter’s design. You see, lifting the collar to fold the scooter takes a lot of force.

The first few times I did it, I had to turn the scooter over and put all my weight into moving it into the open position. That’s annoying at home, but it’s a real pain when you are in a rush to get on a train.

One slick detail Shell included is the fixed hook that faces you when riding the scooter. While I like the idea and think it might be a great place to hang a small bag, I worry that anything hung there might swing back and forth or fall off if you hit a big bump.

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Speaking of big bumps, let’s talk about the scooter’s suspension system.

There is none.

I suspect Shell did this to keep both the weight and the price down. At first, I worried that the ride might be a bit too rough because it has neither front nor rear suspension, but much to my surprise, that isn’t the case. The scooter still rides nicely despite the lack of suspension.

The front fork and 8.5″ tire have subtle-but-effective reflective decals.

Front wheel of the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter

I’m not a fan of riding scooters at night, but they, along with additional reflective decals and the front and rear lights, are nice safety features if you ride at dusk or in the evening. The plastic fender on the front tire does its job and helps give the scooter a finished appearance.

The rear tire has a disc brake and a small piece of reflective tape on the frame.

The rear wheel on the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter

The fender that sits above it covers the entire wheel and helps prevent water or mud from splashing up against you when riding in less than ideal conditions. The fender houses the tail light and a small plastic clip that locks the handlebars in place when the scooter is in its folded position.

The Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter’s deck is a bit narrower than the other scooters I’ve reviewed but is still more substantial enough for me to comfortably while riding.

The Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter riding platform

The rubberized material is textured for traction and, as you can see, has the Shell logo built into the design.

Next to the deck, you’ll find the kickstand; it is a simple affair, but it gets the job done.

Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter Review: A Premium, Weather-Resistant Scooter at a Budget Price

Beneath the deck is where you will find the sealed 36 V / 7.8 Ah lithium-ion battery. Shell went with LG battery cells, so I expect them to be quite reliable over time. The scooter takes about 4.5 hours to fully charge from empty using the included wall charger and the charging port that sits by the kickstand.

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The battery powers a 350W rear hub motor. Shell reports that the motor is powerful enough to hit speeds of 15.5 to 20 miles an hour with a range of 18 to 20 miles. Both the speed and range you will get will depend on several factors, such as your weight, the terrain, and how fast you’re riding the scooter.

While you can likely expect the advertised speeds, I would caution anyone considering this scooter to assume a range of 25-50% less than advertised. Sure, you might hit the 18 to 20 miles, but I wouldn’t count on it.

If you need something that will run longer between charges, you will either want to purchase a second charger to keep at the office or a different scooter. Shell will come out with a scooter that offers a swappable battery, but it isn’t yet available.

The battery pack is one of, if not the, most expensive components of any e-bike or e-scooter. Spending $300 more to get an extra battery for a $3000 e-bike might make sense, but spending a few hundred dollars for a spare battery for a sub-$700 scooter doesn’t strike me as a smart move.

The Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter has three modes — Low, ECO, and Sport. Each can be selected using the display, smart button, or the free companion app.

ECO mode is ideal for people who are in no rush and want to maximize range. Sport mode will let you hit the advertised 15.5-20 miles per hour, but it will consume more battery and limit the range fairly significantly. Since I mostly use the scooter to go to work or ride from the train station, I have not worried about range; I have kept it in Sport mode.

The app also lets you see important information, such as the odometer, and it gives you access to the scooter’s built-in locking feature for times when you are out but need to leave the scooter unattended for any period of time. I love this latter feature and am pleased to see it on an increasing number of e-bikes and e-scooters.

App Features:

  • Speedometer
  • State of charge
  • Battery voltage
  • Motor output
  • Trip counter
  • Odometer
  • Three ride mode

 

When we were approached about reviewing the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter, I was surprised by its lower price. I assumed that significant corners would have to have been cut, and I expected something that looked and felt like a budget scooter. I was pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case; the Shell Ride SR-5S looks great, is light enough for easy carry, and it includes thoughtful features.

All the components work together to create a well-designed scooter rather than something cobbled together from various sundry off-the-shelf components.

The dual braking system is a high-end feature on a low-priced scooter that makes me feel more comfortable riding it on our busy streets. The 350W hub motor can handle people up to 220 pounds and does a nice job propelling the scooter; it’s just fun to ride!

Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter Review: A Premium, Weather-Resistant Scooter at a Budget Price

Because the scooter is just 30 pounds and folds, it is great to take on road trips, or it can also be brought on public transportation. The locking mechanism for the handlebar column continues to be one of the main issues I have with the scooter; it takes way too much force to lift it before moving it into the folded position.

And while I understand the company opting for fixed wheels rather than adding suspension to either the front or back wheels to keep the price down, I was worried it would be a hard ride. Thankfully, that is not the case. The scooter rides quite nicely!!

My biggest issue with the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter has little to do with the scooter itself. In fact, it’s the same issue I have had with every eScooter I’ve reviewed.

The 350W hub motor is absolutely fine on flat surfaces or small hills; Shell suggests the scooter will work well on grades up to 12 degrees. Unfortunately, the combination of my weight and the steep hills in my town is simply too much for a 350W motor.

The scooter can get me up the hills to my house and office, but it slows down to a crawl. Honestly, I can walk faster than the scooter moves when I turn onto my street. That doesn’t make the scooter unusable — far from it — but it does leave me thinking that my best bet would be a scooter with a 500W hub motor and/or dual front/back motors.

Until then, however, I’ll be riding the Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter; it’s a premium, weather-resistant scooter at a budget price.

The Shell Ride SR-5S Electric Scooter retails for $699.99; it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including HSN and Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Affordable, yet it looks, feels, and rides like a premium scooter; Lights, bell, and fenders included; Weather-resistant; Decent battery and motor; Foldable and light enough to easily carry; 8.5″ semi-pneumatic tires never go flat and never need to be filled; Dual-braking system; Handy companion app; No suspension, but the scooter rides quite nicely

What Needs Improvement: The locking mechanism for the folding steering post is very tight, and it takes a lot of force to release; Not quite powerful enough for easy use in areas with steep hills; The steering post has a fixed height which may be a little short for those, like me, who are over 6′

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.