Reviews

Hover-1 Alpha 2.0: Speed, Sound, and Lights on a Budget

Hover-1, the well-known manufacturer of hoverboards, also makes quality electric scooters sold in big box stores and online retailers. We previously reviewed the Hover-1 Journey Max and found a lot to love.

three quarter photo of the hover-1 alpha 2.0 electric scooter

Hover-1 Alpha 2.0 – $348

The Alpha 2.0 is the second version of Hover-1’s best-selling scooter: a bluetooth speaker-enabled, swag-light-equipped budget speedster with an 18 mph top speed that you can purchase off the shelf at your local big box store, with a warranty from one of the country’s biggest makers of personal electric vehicles.

alpha 2 dash scaled

Who Is This Scooter For?

This is a scooter for riders on a budget who want a little flash with their ride, and a lot more speed than they’ll get with comparable models from other brands.


Our Full Video Review

Top: Hover-1 Alpha 2.0: Speed, Sound, and Lights on a Budget

Hover-1 Alpha 2.0: Performance

The Hover-1 Alpha 2.0 has several improvements over the original, including hugely improved braking (more on that below), a UL listing, and a much larger, brighter color display.

Top Speed

Hover-1 claims a top speed of 18 mph for the Alpha 2.0, and they do not exaggerate. In fact, in our testing, we achieved a max speed of 18.2 mph. That’s about 3 mph faster than the competition, which includes the GOTRAX G3 Plus, NIU’s KQi1 Pro, and the Segway Ninebot E2 Plus.

The only electric scooter at this price point with a higher top speed than the Alpha 2.0 is the legendary 19-mph budget performer Hiboy S2.

alpha 2 throttle scaled

Acceleration

The Alpha 2.0 is kick-start only, with no zero start option. This means you have to physically kick the scooter before the motor will start and the throttle will engage.

Once the motor kicked in, our scooter accelerated to 15 mph at a typical-for-its-class 8.7 seconds.

Hill Climb

There are no surprises here: the Alpha 2.0 is a single-motor, 350W scooter with 450W of peak power. These specs do not make the scooter a powerful climber.

“Hill climb was also typical for the price, taking 28 seconds to reach the top of our steep 10% grade test hill. Incidentally, 10% feels like about the limit for how steep this scooter can climb with a 165 lb rider.”

– Paul

Range

The scooter’s 36V 6Ah battery can’t store enough power for long ranges. The good news is that the scooter’s already-low 4-5 hour charging time is much reduced if you don’t fully drain the battery on your ride.

The manufacturer claims 12 miles in ECO mode. We were able to cover 9 miles in SPORT mode, with plenty of hills. That’s about the same as the Alpha’s smaller sibling, the Journey 2.0, which has the same size battery.

9 miles will cover most urban commutes, at least one way. And if charging at the office or on campus is an option, this limitation could be no big deal.

alpha 2 deck scaled

Ride Quality

We are impressed with this budget scooter’s ride quality; no, you won’t get suspension at this price, but 10″ x 2.75″ air-filled tires do a great job of soaking up road vibration, with lots of traction for cornering.

The deck is long, wide, and covered in grip tape, which makes it easy to ride the Alpha 2.0 like a skateboard, confidently steering with your feet. Put simply, this scooter is a LOT OF FUN to ride.

Braking

Here’s where the Alpha 2.0 perhaps improves the most over its predecessor, which had only a single mechanical disk brake and regenerative brake at the rear wheel.

The Alpha 2.0 has dual braking: a front-mounted motor with front regenerative brakes. At the rear is a drum brake, which might seem like a downgrade from disc, but it’s not, for three reasons:

alpha 2 front wheel scaled

  • Disc brakes on rear wheels are easy to lock up, since when you brake all your weight is transferred forward from the rear. 
  • You don’t have to worry about a bent or dragging brake rotor with a drum brake.
  • Drum brakes last much longer than disc brakes and are much easier to maintain and adjust.

With some very slight adjustment right out of the box, the scooter stopped in 14.9 ft from 15 mph.

Top: Hover-1 Alpha 2.0: Speed, Sound, and Lights on a Budget

Hover-1 Alpha 2.0: Design, Build & Reliability

alpha 2 brake lever scaled

We give the Hover-1 Alpha 2.0 a reliability score of 7.2 – very good for a scooter at this price point. It gets a boost for being UL-listed, a certification that is required for selling electric scooters in New York City (and riding any scooter at all in Singapore).

The took kit comes with an air pump and a supply of spare bolts. And then there’s the upgraded tires:

“This next improvement doesn’t seem like a big deal, but really is. It’s way easier to air-up the tires on the new version. On the early models, the valve stems were really tucked away inside the plastic cover, so you needed to use an extension to put air into them.”

The new display shows its readout even in bright sunlight, and the swag lighting and Bluetooth speaker add a fun factor that’s hard to beat, while also being imminently practical.

This is the least expensive scooter we’ve seen with a Bluetooth speaker. It’s not loud and won’t transmit bass frequencies, but it sounds good at speed, and you can play music through it or transmit turn-by-turn directions from your phone.

Swag lights look flashy, and also make you more visible to drivers in low light. (Watch our full video review above to see them in action at night.)

Top: Hover-1 Alpha 2.0: Speed, Sound, and Lights on a Budget

Hover-1 Alpha 2.0: Is It Worth It? Our Verdict

three quarter photo of the hover-1 alpha 2.0 electric scooter

You can buy more expensive electric scooters for faster speeds and more power, but you’ll have to spend a few hundred dollars more than the Hover-1 Alpha 2.0 to get the same level of build & ride quality, top speed, and fun & practical add-ons.

Given this scooter’s many pros, we can definitely recommend it for under $350. And given Hover-1’s reputation in the industry, we can recommend their scooters in general as quality products with good warranties and reliable customer service.

Buying locally at Best Buy or Walmart is nice because you don’t have to order from an online distributer and you can return or exchange easily.

If you’re looking for a scooter with similar specs for riders under 5’10”, we’d recommend checking out the Hover-1 Journey 2.0. Otherwise, the Alpha 2.0 is a great choice for teens and adults alike who want a scooter that’s inexpensive and seriously fun to ride.

Top: Hover-1 Alpha 2.0: Speed, Sound, and Lights on a Budget

Paul Somerville

Rider Guide’s Editor-in-Chief is a seasoned expert in the electric scooter industry. With a wide-ranging background that includes managing scooter warehouses, selling thousands of motorcycles, and restoring high value (+1M) European sports cars, his expertise is unmatched. Having personally tested more than 100 electric scooters, he offers invaluable insights and recommendations to our readers. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team, as his diverse skill set and extensive experience ensure top-notch reviews.

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