Despite its name, the Segway eMoped C80 is classed as an electric bike rather than a moped when it comes to legalities. Specifically, this is a Class 3 e-bike and therefore doesn’t require a Class C driver’s license or a motorcycle license to be ridden in most states. This allows it to tick many boxes for a whole lot of people.
These days, it’s easier than ever to find a convenient and green alternative to cars. If you prefer not to pedal and sweat your way to work, for example, electric scooters are a terrific solution. If, on the other hand, standing on a narrow platform and feeling every single bump on the road is not your idea of comfortable commuting, e-bikes are also on hand.
The Segway eMoped C80 is the new e-bike on the block, hitting that sweet spot in the market where many environmentally conscious people sit optionless. It’s less expensive than many high-quality electric bikes and much easier to use. It’s also more comfortable than e-scooters, and much smoother to ride on.
The question is, does it live up to expectations? Notwithstanding a few minor flaws – what product doesn’t? – we can honestly say that the Segway eMoped C80 is well worth the money. So much so we’ve given it that coveted perfect score.
Segway eMoped C80 review: Design and build
The Segway eMoped C80 is a thing of beauty. Not so much in that elegantly futuristic sense that Ducati motorcycles have, but in that adorably hip Vespas way. Except, less showy and more minimalist and modern.
The bike comes in a choice of four color combinations: grey, aquamarine-yellow, lemon and blue-orange. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I love its aesthetic, as do the boatload of people that have complimented me on the streets. In fact, a handful have gone as far as to pull up next to me to admire this chic ride.
That moped-style design isn’t just for attention, however. It’s also for comfort and easy handling. This is an e-bike for the most part — although, being a class 3, instead of turning on pedal assist, you can simply turn the accelerator and go. It’s also abandoned that somber and not-the-most-comfortable e-bike form factor for a funky and cushy one.
Instead of a narrow, thin-cushioned seat, you have a big and bouncy one. Instead of placing your feet on the pedals the whole ride, you’ve got a spacious platform and extra retractable footrests to rest them on. And, instead of a long and tall e-vehicle that looks intimidating, you’ve got a short, compact one that looks accessible and welcoming and elevator-friendly. Seriously, it’s a breeze maneuvering this in and out of mid-sized elevators.
Its seat it can be popped open to reveal a 24Ah removable battery. I want to emphasize the convenience of the removable battery, as it fits with the overarching accessibility of this e-bike. Although you can easily take the C80 up to your apartment or inside the house, you wouldn’t want to do it every single time you need to charge. Luckily, you can effortlessly remove that battery to take into your home for overnight charging. Just make sure the e-bike itself is kept somewhere locked and safe, as the alarm won’t work sans battery.
There’s a small rack on the back for strapping on a basket or a bag, as well as a fairly big taillight that’s very bright and a rear reflector. It’s just a shame that Segway hasn’t rolled out C80-specific accessories. I would have loved a nice, sturdy basket that’s designed to easily attach to that back rack.
Up front, there are two color-coded LED light rings on either side of the handlebar to indicate the Segway eMoped C80’s status (orange for stand-by, green for ready to go, blue for power assist or cruise mode, and red for error). Of the two textured handles, one (on the right) is an easy-to-use throttle. There are two buttons next to these handles, the one on the right serving as the on/off and custom button, the one on the left reserved solely for the horn. In the middle is a large LED display that shows a battery level indicator, a speed indicator, an icon to indicate whether or not it’s connected to your phone, and an error code display. Finally, a brilliant halo-shaped headlight that smartly adjusts to the brightness of its environment, a front reflector, and two side reflectors complete the look.
Segway eMoped C80 review: Features
The Segway eMoped C80 is loaded with features, but I will focus on the main (and perhaps, best) ones, starting with its anti-theft protection. Segway has thoughtfully incorporated a four-step anti-theft functionality to the C80, designed to not just discourage but actually prevent thieves from taking off with it. If someone tries to steal the e-bike, its LED rings will flash green and red first as a warning. If they don’t stop, the alarm, which is decently loud and will definitely get people’s attention, will go off then the wheels will lock, preventing the thief from wheeling it away or riding off with it. Finally, you’ll get an alert on your smartphone via the Segway-Ninebot app notifying you.
This functionality isn’t as consistent as it should be. Sometimes, it’s sensitive enough that someone merely brushing against it will trigger the alarm. Sometimes, it doesn’t trigger at all. There’s also been a couple of instances during our testing when we didn’t receive a smartphone notification of tampering. Most of the time, however, it does work well enough that we’ve been confident about leaving it parked around the city. And, if Segway hasn’t already, a simple update on the firmware and for the app could easily fix this issue.
There are other security functions worth mentioning, but they’re more to ensure passenger and vehicle safety. Both the smart seat detection and the kickstand detection minimize accidents as they prevent the Segway eMoped C80 from accelerating if the rider isn’t seated properly or if the kickstand isn’t put away properly. Meanwhile, the AirLock system lets you bind the e-bike to your smartphone so you can use it as a key, and two included NFC tags give you more secure access to the vehicle.
I especially love the convenience the AirLock system affords. Not only will it let you use your smartphone as the key to unlock the Segway eMoped C80, but it’ll also let you set the distance for automatic unlocking, auto lock, auto cruise and push assist. It’ll also let you use the remote lock.
Those who are looking at the C80 to lower their carbon footprint will be happy to know that its panels are made with 100% eco-friendly polypropylene plastic, which currently has among the lowest environmental impacts of any material. Those who are constantly on their mobile devices, on the other hand, will appreciate the included USB port for charging.
Segway eMoped C80 review: Performance and battery life
With a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), the Segway eMoped C80 isn’t going to be the fastest on the road. In fact, you’ll probably see a lot of Class 3 e-bikes passing you on the road, even when you’re going at top speed.
But, as they say, slow and steady wins the race, and that’s what you’re getting here. It gets you to your destination comfortably and, more importantly, safely. And, with a range of 47 to 52.8 miles (depending on the passenger’s weight), it’ll get you from one side of town to the other and back.
That depends obviously on the size of your town, but consider a city as big as Los Angeles — with that range, you can get from the westmost border of its city limits to the eastmost border and back, and you’ll still have some juice leftover to run an errand or two.
Don’t worry about those smaller wheels. The Segway eMoped C80 has a two-stage central shock absorber that honestly delivers a much smoother ride than any e-bikes out there. So smooth, in fact, that you’ll glide over potholes and curb ramps like you’re riding a wave.
That throttle is just as smooth, responsive but not too sensitive that it’ll go zero to 10 with just a slight turn, making it yet safe for inexperienced riders. Equally, your hand won’t have to work so hard getting to 20mph either, which means that when you do need to hit that top speed on a busier road, that motor won’t dawdle getting there.
Similarly, its braking system is extremely effective and has more than enough bite to make emergency stops without resorting to extremely sudden halts that might throw you off the bike. It’s a dual braking system with a front disc brake and a rear drum brake, both of which can slow you down, even going down a 20% to 30% grade hill — yet another advantage for those who are either inexperienced or faint-hearted when it comes to speed. This system is also regenerative, which means that it recycles some of that energy and sends it back to the battery to extend your range. It’s not much, but it is something.
If you do live on a hill, however, just bear in mind that this isn’t the best vehicle to go uphill on. It will do just fine on one with a 15% hill grade, but I couldn’t get enough power from it for a 20% grade hill. Every time I’ve tried to force it up one, it slows down to about 3mph (4kph). That’s certainly disappointing, but unless you have to go uphill on that hill grade for more than 10 meters, this likely won’t be much of an issue to you.
There are pedals attached to the Segway eMoped C80, and they work well even if you don’t have the vehicle powered on, which means that if you do ever find yourself out of juice, you have the old-school way of getting home on hand. However, I don’t recommend relying on them unless you absolutely have to. The wider form factor of the C80 makes pedaling a hard and messy affair.
Segway eMoped C80 review: Price and verdict
The Segway eMoped C80 might look like another gimmick, especially with its series of bright color options. But this is one of those times when you really cannot judge a book by its cover.
This moped-style ebike is accessible all around, from its price to its operation. It’s great at what it does, which is to offer a greener yet very reliable mode of transport. It’s also much more powerful than it looks; its throttle, brakes and battery life rivaling a lot of similar electric vehicles, even if it does limit your speed to only 20mph. Though this limit is likely so that it meets safety regulations.
It’s also brimming with features, from basic ones like bright tail and headlights to relly useful one like a USB port for charging and the AirLock system for security.
With a price of $2,199 (currently not available in the UK or Australia), the Segway eMoped C80 is much less than most upper mid-range to high-end ebikes. This makes it an appealing proposition, especially if you’re not really much of a bike rider or prefer something where you don’t have to actually pedal.
Segway eMoped C80 review: Also consider
The Segway eMoped C80 isn’t the only moped-style e-bike on the market, which means that if you don’t think it’s the most ideal option for you, you’ll still have other options.
If you’re on a budget, for example, something like the Juiced Scorpion might be more your speed. It boasts a top speed of 28mph and a range of 45 miles while only setting you back $1,699. However, it certainly doesn’t have the C80’s looks.
Need something cheaper still? RadRunner 1 from Rad Runner matches the C80’s top speed and the Scorpion’s range for only $1,299. And, being a utility bike, it has a higher payload capacity of 300 pounds.
For something heftier and more robust, the Zugo Rhino may be $2,499, but it comes with a long-range of up to 90 miles, a seven-level electronic Pedal Assist System, and up to 28mph top speed that you can unlock with a code.