I tried a forward-facing e-scooter, and it really is the future of micro-commuting

Air-filled tyres and clever design make the better electric scooter models a realistic option over a regular bike

Pure Advance Flex electric scooter
(Image credit: Pure Electric)

One of the best things about electric scooters is that they're much easier to store than most regular bikes. I should know, as I've seen both sides of the coin in recent years. While both modes of transport are great for short hops and even longer school run-type commutes, they can be challenging when it comes to storage.

That's why my recent encounter with the rather good Pure Advance Flex e-scooter convinced me that one of these dinky two-wheelers is a realistic option for daily journeys where they're allowed, such as in most parts of Europe, the US, etc. The coolest thing about the Advance Flex is the unique riding position: you look forward, which feels more natural than what you do on standard scooters (electric or otherwise).

Plus, unlike many of the models found in our best electric scooter guide, Pure's latest e-scooter is a fully-folding machine, which collapses down to almost nothing.
That means you can keep it just about anywhere at home, take it on public transport if need be and also keep it out of harm's way at the other end. It's a lot of fun to ride and comfortable, too, thanks to pneumatic tyres and an innovative design. Hell, it's even got turn indicators!

Pure Advance Flex electric scooter

(Image credit: Pure Electric)

Micro magic

Micro-commuting is getting around in town or, more like, covering short distances, like when you go to the shop. Walking to the cinema or the theatre is micro-commuting, as is using an electric scooter to get from your dorm to the university building. Optimising these shorter travels can save you a lot of time and hassle.

Central to the cleverness of the Pure Advance Flex is the design. There's a cheaper, non-collapsible variant, but it is worth spending more and getting the premium edition if you can. It's easy to fold and unfold, making it perfect for commuting, and the design and build quality are excellent; best of all, it's a doddle to ride.

The first few electric scooters I tried were nothing like this, with a harsh ride usually being the order of the day. In the case of the Pure Advance Flex model, though, you get a slick and stylish ride thanks to chunky air-filled rubber tyres. These make all the difference, especially if you need to tackle less than pristine tracks and trails on the way to campus.

But it's the way you ride the Pure Advance Flex that makes all the difference. Unlike traditional scooters and e-scooters, which you ride like surfboards or skateboards, you face forward on the Advance Flex. This makes for a more comfortable riding experience, one where your head isn't a weird angle compared to your body.

Pure Advance Flex electric scooter

(Image credit: Pure Electric)

Performance potential

Ride quality is one thing, and practicality is another, which the fully-foldable design addresses. But neither would make sense if the performance wasn't there. I'd regularly get up to 25 miles of range from the Pure Advance Flex model while I tested it, which is more than adequate for what it's designed to do.

This machine is also made for comfort, with a wide area for your feet to rest on. This has been accomplished by incorporating ingenious twin fold-down boards, which means you can get on and go while not worrying about fatigue setting in en route. It's an impressive design that leaves many lesser rivals standing.

Doubtless, it will not be long before we see rivals coming up with cheaper variations on this theme. For now, though, I think the Pure Advance Flex is a brilliant solution for anyone with micro-commuting requirements. 

Better yet, because it is fully foldable, the Pure Advance Flex is easy to store both at home and at the other end of your journey. Crucially, what that means is your high-value purchase should also be easier to keep away from the prying eyes of thieves. (Micro) Mission accomplished.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital, he has run the Innovation channel for a few years at Microsoft, as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of Stuff, TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working, he's usually out and about on one of the numerous e-bikes in his collection.

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