Decent X7 : The people’s electric scooter

by Tom Begglesworth in Review on September 09, 2020

Lightweight, quick, comfortable, with an interchangeable battery and a low price tag. The Decent scooter is supposedly for those who are 'down to ride', rather than just pose. We test the X7 to see if it lives up to the manufacturer's moniker.

Decent's X7 at a glance

  • Entry-level, inexpensive folding electric scooter
  • 350w front hub motor capable of 15mph
  • User swappable, 5Ah battery charged in 2.5 hrs
  • 15 mile max range
  • Comfortable, high-profile 10inch pneumatic tyres
  • Headlights, brake lights and side reflectors
  • IP54 rated with front and rear mudguards
  • 118cm tall, 108cm long and weighing just 13kg

A no-nonsense scooter

In a post-instagram world preoccupied with style over content, Decent position themselves as a no-nonsense, back to basics brand. Their first scooter, the X7 is a custom take on an OEM design. Looking past the ‘marmite’ branding adorning the oversize steerer tube, it is a chunky, front-heavy design finished in a powder coat-style satin black. With the electrics mostly internally routed, only the brake cables and reflectors break up the clean lines. A solid looking bulkhead tapers to the slimline aluminium alloy deck, book-ended by a front hub motor and rear wheel wrapped in large profile 10inch pneumatic tyres, these shortening its overall appearance. Textured grips and deck rubber continue the black on black theme, resulting in a bold scooter standing out in a world of dark grey frames.

Unboxing and powering up the X7

Arriving in a brown, printed cardboard box measuring 118x50x19 cm and weighing 15.7kg, the X7 is secured inside between two awful polystyrene blocks, wrapped in some plastic and foam packaging. Alongside the scooter is a small accessory box with charger, UK adapter lead, manual, allen key and handlebar ends. The scooter is folded but 95% constructed, requiring only the bar ends be screwed on through the brake lever loop, the later secured in position with the supplied allen key.

Decent X7 Scooter controls

Ideally you will want to fully-charge the battery before your first ride, the charge plug readily accessible just above the hinge beneath a rubber cover. A full charge can take between 2.5 and 3 hours, but arriving with a storage charge ours took significantly less time. Whilst charging we topped the tyres to the maximum 35psi the sidewalls indicated, as they are shipped only partially inflated.

Simple controls, integrated dashboard

The integration of controls gifts the X7 a clean cockpit. To the left the smooth metal brake lever features a small bell, positioned so that you needn’t stop covering the brakes when using it. To the right is a soft-touch rotary throttle lever which has an ‘option’ and ‘power’ button built into it. Sat centrally hovering below its glossy circular cover, is the scooter dashboard. Inset into the battery door, this display isn’t a bolt on generic e-bike unit as seen fitted to other scooters, but designed specifically for it.

Decent X7 Scooter brakes and dashboard

Power up the scooter by long-pressing the lower button and it will beep into life, displaying the current speed, drive mode and battery capacity, the latter shown in 5 segments. Pressing the menu button will switch between drive modes, displaying a red circled D for sport mode, a white circled D for standard drive and no icon at all for the Eco mode. Tapping the power button will toggle the headlight and rear running light.

Decent X7 Scooter menu button
Decent X7 Scooter front brake bell

When powered up, pressing both the menu and power buttons together accesses a basic options menu where settings for speedometer unit readout, cruise control and kickstart can be scrolled between using the menu button and altered via the power button. Our review unit was limited to 15mph but we are told that later models will come with the option to remove the limiter, at which point the scooter will reportedly top out at 19mph, payload-dependent.

Removable Battery

The X7’s unique selling point is its easily removable battery, the process taking a matter of seconds and requiring no tools. Power down the scooter, flip up the display cap releasing it with the button above the hook, push down and rotate the retaining cap anti-clockwise and lift out, finally grab the battery by the ribbon and slide it up and out of the tube. Re-installation is the reverse of this process, but be careful to lower the battery into the scooter rather than just dropping it down the tube. Whilst we certainly wouldn’t recommend it, it is physically possible to remove the battery, swap in a fresh one and carry on riding without even stopping!

Decent X7 Scooter lift battery cover
Decent X7 Scooter release battery lid
Decent X7 Scooter remove battery lid
Decent X7 Scooter lift battery

Measuring 48cm long with a diameter of 5cm, the cylindrical battery is available in two capacities. The standard 5000mAh unit weighs just under 1.5kg whilst the larger capacity Panasonic-cell 6400mAh unit is another 44g heavier. These batteries have a rubber-covered charge port on the base allowing them to be recharged (using the stock charger) separately from the scooter in a little under three hours. The modular battery setup opens new possibilities with scooter ownership, such as having a spare battery and charger at the office or a friend's house, to filling a backpack with spare batteries for travelling extreme distances.

Robust, familiar folding mechanism

Employed in many folding bicycle frames, this tried and tested folding mechanism is robust. A stainless, adjustable, replaceable catch hooks around the lower steerer tube allowing the motor power cables to cleanly route through. This reliable modular mechanism has plenty of surface area and minimal play, something other folding scooter catches fall down on.

Decent X7 Scooters latch lever release
Decent X7 Scooter latch design
Decent X7 Scooter latch open spring catch

To fold the scooter, rotate the plastic safety catch clockwise out of the way. Grasp the top lip of the release catch and lever it down away from the upright, using your other hand to guide the handlebars down. Finally click the hook below the display into the rear mudguard to secure it.

Decent X7 Scooter folding mech 1
Decent X7 Scooter folding mech 2
Decent X7 Scooter folding mech 3
Decent X7 Scooter folding mech 4
Decent X7 Scooter folding mech 5
Decent X7 Scooter folding mech 6

Once folded the scooter can be lifted or carried via the main tube. This chunky pipe houses most of the weight of the scooter, centralising the majority of the mass in your grip, although its large diameter may prove difficult to grasp for those with smaller hands. Located at the top of the tube, the securing latch doubles up as a small hook (rated to 10kg) ideal for light shopping bags. Collapsed, it measures just 108 long, 46cm tall and 43cm wide, dropping to a svelte 17.5cm wide should you opt to unscrew the bar ends.

Decent X7 Scooter lightweight
Decent X7 Scooter weight man carry

Class leading comfort

Thanks to material choice and tyre specification, this scooter sports ride comfort that belies its budget pricing. Thanks to those high-profile tyres, this is probably the first scooter we’ve piloted that genuinely rides nicely without the need for a suspension upgrade. The fine undulations of the tarmac and any potholes are still communicated through the bars, but significantly softened even when running high tyre pressures. This combined with the minimal play in the hinge result in superior rider confidence.

Decent X7 Scooter riding fast

If you have ridden a Xiaomi M365 scooter you will be familiar with the dimensions of the X7. The 46x15cm deck is covered with a grippy textured rubber grip that runs down the curve of the bulkhead, across the footplate splitting to fork around the rear wheel. Those with larger feet will spend most of the time riding the scooter with their weight on our dominant foot ahead, with the other foot placed horizontally across the rear of the deck. You will need to avoid resting your back foot on the rear fender as this is hinged for use as an emergency brake.

Decent X7 Scooter folded deck

The touch points are covered with soft rubber, from the rotating throttle to the handlebars terminated in (standard 32mm size) finely textured rubber grips. Our only comfort criticism was with the handlebar width. At 43.5cm, they are as wide as the majority of scooters in this category, yet broader riders may find them on the narrow side on longer journeys. At 114cm high they might also feel ‘high’ to shorter riders.

Decent performance

Out of the box the X7 will hit 25km/h (or a displayed 15mph once you have switched the dashboard readout to mph) with all but the heaviest of riders onboard. Note that this top speed is only accessible when in the red ‘D’ sport mode, restricted to 9mph with the white ‘D’ drive mode and 6mph in ‘eco’. Note that, as with other scooters, towards the end of the battery capacity the top speed will drop off.

Acceleration is smooth even in sport mode, the scooter safely progressing rather than raggedly tearing up to the limit as some others do. The torquey 350w motor fed by the 42V battery can reputedly cope with a 26%/15° incline and whilst our test rides so far have been largely flat, we have had no issues tackling gentle hills.

Decent X7 Scooters being ridden

The majority of the scooters we have tested in the real world struggle to meet the manufacturers promised range. The X7 is no different, it’s 15mile range reportedly reached by a lightweight rider on a flat surface on a warm day. With heavier than average riders using it in the most powerful drive mode we rarely broke 10 miles. If you are looking to set a distance record, this isn’t the scooter for you, but with many customers riding less than 4 miles at-a-time we feel this scooter is still a viable option. The X7 can still be used as a kick scooter when the battery is flat.

Decent X7 Scooter dashboard

Cruise control is an invaluable feature that anyone clocking up miles along a steady path will be grateful of. With it enabled in the menu, hold the throttle in the same position for 7 seconds to activate it. It is very sensitive in its position, so typically we used this with the throttle wide open, restricting the speed by previously swapping the drive modes. Trying to hold the throttle open when running this will result in the scooter beeping at you to release the lever. Once released, tapping the throttle or applying the brakes cancels cruise control. If you are feeling particularly lazy, the menu also provides the option to turn the requirement for a push-start off, but this will potentially put extra strain on the motor.

Safe and confidence inspiring

Decent have opted for the popular triple-brake system on the X7. The brake lever controls the cable-operated mechanical disc brake slowing the rear wheel. Meanwhile the ESC detects any actuation of the same lever and slows the front wheel using the motor. In emergency situations the rider can also stomp on the rear fender, using it as a friction brake to slow the wheel. We found this often had the effect of locking the rear wheel and that the traditional brake was more than capable of quickly halting the scooter. Redundant systems such as these are always favourable over say the electronic-only brakes found on the Ninebot ES2 and offer the rider excellent braking control.

Decent X7 Scooter pull brake lever
Decent X7 Scooter push brake flap

The grips and rubber footplate keep you locked on to the scooter, whilst the soft compound shallow tread tyres offer good purchase on the ground. The large air volume allows you to experiment with pressures for various surfaces, lowering them for a better ride off road where with its 83cm wheelbase and 11cm of ground clearance, it is more capable than you’d think. The soft compound pneumatic tyres offer incredible grip in the dry and are safe to ride in the wet unlike the cheap solid rubber tyres fitted to other models.

Decent X7 Scooter 350w front hub motor
Decent X7 Scooter kickstand

It certainly is a practical scooter with all the modern conveniences we have come to expect. Large mudguard/fenders cover the front and rear tyres, the wide lip on the front of the deck further protecting you spray from the front wheel. An IP54 rating will give you the confidence to splash through shallow puddles, but we’d avoid submerging the scooter in water. The kickstand is sensibly positioned and long enough to prop the top-heavy scooter up securely.

A bright white LED headlight angled down from the handlebars produces a good beam, but is better for ‘being seen’ than lighting the way ahead. When activated, a strip on the rear mudguard, three red LEDs illuminate as a running light, flashing as usual when the brakes are applied.

Decent X7 Scooter headlight close
Decent X7 Scooter tailight

The arduous but essential task of checking your tyre pressures is much easier on the X7. The innertubes are fitted with long neck valves which can be accessed with a latch type schrader valve inflator, a breath of fresh air from the fiddly and frustrating valve extensions included with other scooters. Should you be unfortunate enough to get a puncture, those deep flexible side-walls make removing the tyre and swapping out the inexpensive innertubes easier than anything we have tested to date.

How does it compare to the competition?

The X7 has been released into a highly competitive market. Its direct challengers include the incredibly popular Xiaomi Essentials and the recently released Pure Air electric scooter. With comparable size and effective range, the fine details become more important. The Xiaomi is currently the fashionable choice and whilst it does have a companion smartphone app (ideal for a more accurate display of available range), it lags behind in ride comfort with small uncomfortable tyres that are infuriatingly difficult to change. Pure’s scooter is a closer competitor with great ride quality but a battery that we wouldn’t consider user swap-able and a markedly higher purchase price. As such we feel the X7’s easy-to-swap battery gives it the edge over similarly priced competitors.

Whilst the Decent X7 stands out aesthetically, as you’d expect from the price point it lacks the design refinement of Unagi’s Model One. If you are unfamiliar with scooters, note that range figures are based on ideal circumstances and thus expectations need to be adjusted accordingly for the real world. As such if you want a scooter that can ride 15+ miles you should be looking towards Ninebot’s G30 Max or InMotion’s L9, both of which command a far higher price tag.

Who is the X7 for, should I buy one?

New to electric scooters? Start here. With the triple braking system,fat tyres, lights and mudguards, the X7 is now our ‘go to’ recommendation for anyone looking to purchase their first. It doesn’t suffer from the fine vibrations, sloppy mechanism and nervousness found on Xiaomi’s popular M365 range, all of which can undermine the confidence of a new rider. Suffering from range anxiety before you’ve even purchased? Pick up the 28% larger-capacity Panasonic battery at the same time to maximise your journeys, keeping the standard unit as a spare.

Decent X7 Scooter out cruising

There are outlier use cases where purchasing a different scooter makes more sense. If you are looking for style over substance, the X7 isn’t going to light your fire; look instead to Unagi for their slick ultra-fashionable Model One. Are you over 6ft4in in height, or of above average build? We’d suggest looking at Ninebot’s G30 MAX, or the new super-heavyweight champion, Inmotion’s L9. Yet for the vast majority of us, the Decent X7 really is all the electric scooter you need, for less than half the price of the aforementioned.

Decent X7 Scooters ready to go

Be under no illusions, this is an entry-level unit, offering fantastic value for money. As we continue to clock up the miles, the materials on it are proving to wear well and its uncomplicated, modular construction should make for a simple and speedy repair should a part wear out or fail. All this plus the peace of mind brought by the UK warranty (supported with on-site spare parts) certainly sweetens the deal.

Where can I buy a Decent X7?

Sold out
Sold out

The Decent X7 is available on our webstore now. As mentioned we’d recommend picking up a standard spare battery or two, or if weight is at a premium, buy a larger capacity Panasonic battery. You can view all of our Decent products here. Still unsure on your next scooter purchase? Compare all the scooters we have available here.

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