Glion Balto: Specs
Battery: 36V 10.5Ah
Max speed: 17 MPH
Max range: 20 miles
Weight: 38 pounds
Tires: 12-inch pneumatic
Max rider weight: 255 pounds
Motor: 500W (Peak 750W) geared brushless hub motor
Size (folded): 37 x 12 x 8 inches
Size (unfolded): 48 x 45 x 24 inches
When it comes to electric scooters with baskets, the Glion Balto gets just about everything right. It has lights, turn signals, a side-view mirror, and can even fold in half, making it easier to store. Don’t want to use it as a sit-down scooter? You can remove its seat. Plus, you can use the Balto’s battery for charging your electronics on the go.
At $700, the Balto is more expensive than other electric scooters with baskets — not that there are many — but if you need a scooter with storage, the Balto is the best electric scooter for the task. Read more in the rest of our Glion Balto review.
Glion Balto: Design
The Balto is a modular electric scooter, letting you add or remove accessories as your needs see fit. It has a big, cushiony seat that can be easily removed if you want to ride the scooter standing up. Likewise, a rear basket can be strapped on if you want some extra storage, or left at home if you’re traveling light.
Rather than being integrated into its body, the Balto’s battery is detachable, and hooks into a port on the downtube. Not only does this let you charge it more easily, but you can also use the battery itself to charge your other electronics, via an inverter ($99, sold separately).
I really like that the Balto comes with a side view mirror; given that this scooter’s top speed is around 15 miles per hour, it’s helpful for spotting cars coming from behind, especially when you’re about to turn.
Also helpful in that department is the Balto’s turn signals. Built into the sides of the deck and wrapping from front to back are yellow LEDs that light up when you flick the switch on the left handlebar. It’s a feature I’d like to see in more electric scooters. In addition, the Balto has head and taillights, so you can see — and be seen — by others.
A small metal rear cargo area — onto which the basket attaches — has two small wheels, so you can roll the Balto around when it’s folded. The rack also makes it possible to store the Balto vertically, a definite advantage for those who don’t have a lot of space. However, to do this, you have to remove the basket (it’s held in place by Velcro straps), unhook the cargo rack, fold up the scooter, then reattach the cargo rack. The process isn’t difficult, but it’s something that could probably be streamlined in future models.
The tube connecting the front of the Balto to the desk is hinged, so that you can fold up the scooter on itself. While this obviously does nothing to reduce its weight — a hefty 38 pounds — it does make it much easier to store the scooter.
Glion Balto: Performance
Cruising around on the Balto was a very laid-back experience. As with the Razor EcoSmart Metro HD, it’s more like riding a Rascal than a Ducati.
Its single, 500-Watt, rear hub-mounted motor let me tool around my neighborhood at an easy 12 to 15 miles per hour. The Balto was powerful enough to get me up fairly steep hills, though it did slow down to around 6 MPH on the more severe inclines.
While the Balto has smaller pneumatic tires compared to the Razor (12 inches vs. 16 inches), I didn’t feel any difference in the ride, including when I drove over cracks in the road.
This being the first scooter I’ve tested with turn signals, I would often forget that I left the blinker on, like an octogenarian driving through a Florida retirement community. My only criticism would be that the turn signals are so low that they may not be as visible to motorists as if they were mounted higher.
Glion Balto: Battery and range
Glion estimates that the Balto’s battery should be good for a range of about 20 miles, assuming it’s 75 degrees, there’s no wind, the rider weighs 170 pounds, and that you’re traveling at a steady 15 miles per hour over flat ground.
Reality is something different, as I weigh more than 170 pounds and my neighborhood is anything less than flat. Expect to get around 10 to 15 miles of range before you need to recharge the Balto.
However, another handy feature of the Balto is that, like the Levy and the Slidgo X8, you can swap out its battery for a fresh pack if you need to travel farther. Glion sells extra batteries for $229 each.
Glion Balto: Verdict
The Glion Balto addresses just about every issue we had with the Razor EcoSmart Metro HD: It has head and tail lights, a side-view mirror, and it folds up for more compact storage. Yes, it does cost a few hundred dollars more, but if you’re looking for the best electric scooter with a seat and basket, the Balto is the one you want.