Commuting by car and public transport isn’t always an option, or desirable by commuters. And starting your working day hot and sweaty after commuting on a traditional pedal bike isn’t a great way to start your day. Therefore, many people are enjoying the benefits of electric scooters and e-bikes. But you may be asking the question of Should I Get An Electric Scooter Or A Bike?
Why Are People Commuting With Electric Scooters And Bikes?
People who live and work in busy cities are beginning to search for better ways of getting to and from work. They are sick of crawling through heavy inner-city traffic while contributing to the poor air quality with petrol and diesel fumes.
Public transport isn’t always a great option either, as everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing these days.
Electric scooters and bikes are becoming increasingly popular for commuters, as they eliminate many of the problems with commuting in the traditional ways.
You can ride them in cycle lanes, so you can pass all the slow-moving vehicles. When there is no cycle lane, you can easily weave in and out of the traffic to get where you want to go. Also, once you have arrived at work, you don’t need to find and pay for a parking space.
Many people use electric scooters and bikes to complete those last miles to work or home. You can often carry them onto public transport and complete your journey from the bus stop or train station.
So if you are thinking about switching to one of these alternative ways of commuting, you may be trying to work out which is best for you. Here are some aspects associated with both electric bikes and scooters, and how they differ between the two.
An electric bike is more comfortable to ride than a scooter. The increased comfort comes from the fact that it has a seat. Also, electric bikes often have high-volume tires and suspension for soaking up the bumps in the road.
However, this doesn’t mean that scooters are uncomfortable. Although the wheels are much smaller, scooters such as the Kaabo Mantis has a shock absorber fitted to both front and back wheels. Also, its tires are pneumatic, which gives you plenty of traction while creating a smoother ride. Alternatively, the Z11X has hydraulic suspension for an even more plush ride.
The portability of an electric scooter or bike can be a significant factor for many commuters. If you have to carry either one of them up many flights of steps, an electric scooter is much easier. An electric bike is much heavier and bulkier.
If you live in a small city apartment, storage space may be an issue. You can buy foldable electric bikes, but a scooter still takes up less space while being lighter.
Carrying an electric bike onto a bus or train may not be possible on some routes. But an electric scooter can be folded up to a convenient size that won’t annoy your fellow commuters.
Portability can still be an issue when you get to work. Often you will need to leave your bike outside, which leaves it vulnerable to thieves, even with a good lock. You can often stash an electric scooter under your desk, in a locker, or safely out of the way.
Range And Speed
In theory, the range of electric scooters and bikes is only limited by how much energy you have as a rider. An electric bike can be ridden even if the battery is dead, you will notice the extra weight, but you will be able to get home.
An electric scooter can be used with a dead battery, but you will experience lots of resistance. It will be tricky and uncomfortable. However, you will be able to carry it easily if riding it becomes too challenging. With both modes of transport, you will be able to swap the battery for a fully charged one, or charge it up ready for your return journey.
There are three different classes of electric bikes.
Class 1 – Also known as “pedelec.” These have a top speed of 20mph, and they only work when you are pedaling.
Class 2 – These also have a maximum speed of 20mph, but they have a throttle, so the electric motor works without you needing to pedal.
Class 3 – These have a top speed of 28mph. Some local laws require you to have a license for Class 3 bikes.
You can generally ride electric scooters in the streets and on cycle paths. But, it is worth checking what your local laws are to make sure they are allowed.
Electric bikes are more expensive than regular bikes, but you can convert any bike into an e-bike with an easy-to-fit kit.
Electric scooters are generally less expensive than electric bikes, depending on the different models and what they are designed for.
But both are much cheaper to buy and run than a car. They are also much more affordable than some season passes to inner-city public transport.
An electric bike takes more looking after than an electric scooter. Electric bikes have many more components that need regular maintenance. The drivetrain, brakes, etc., are more complicated than the items you find on an electric scooter.
With an electric scooter, you can do a few simple tasks to keep it running smoothly and reliably. For example, keeping it clean and regularly checking the bolts will go a long way to keeping your electric scooter in good condition.
Which Is Best For You?
Everyone’s circumstances are different, but there are certain circumstances that each mode of transport is best for. Here are some examples to help you answer the question of should I get an electric scooter or a bike?
When An Electric Bike Is Best
If your commute is quite long, an electric bike could be the best option for you. You can typically ride 80-120km on a single charge on an electric bike if it is a good one. In addition to this, if your commute involves different surfaces, such as cobbled streets and canal paths, an electric bike may be better.
Some commutes involve steep hills. An electric bike with a good range of gears and a powerful motor will climb hills very easily.
Electric bikes give you a workout when you want it, as they still require you to pedal. You can change the intensity of how much work you are doing by changing the level of assistance. Set the bike’s assistance level to a lower setting for some exercise or a higher one for steep hills and when you don’t feel like exercising.
When An Electric Scooter Is Best
An electric scooter is ideal if you have a short commute to work. It will allow you to dodge traffic jams effortlessly while providing lots of convenience.
Hopping off curbs and using the scooter’s nimble handling, will allow you to avoid obstacles and pedestrians with ease. If your commute involves back passages and shortcuts, an electric scooter will allow you to exploit them to cut your journey short every day.
With a scooter’s foldable design, you can load it onto the bus or train without any hassle. Many people drive their car to the city’s edge and ride their scooter the last few miles into the center. The idea is to make parking easier and cheaper.
If you want to go sightseeing in a new city, an electric scooter will get you to the best attractions quickly. You will also be able to experience the city more intimately than on public transport.
But Wait…..There Are Some Exceptions!
If portability is a significant factor in your commuting needs, but the journey seems more suited to an electric bike, there still could be a scooter that suits your needs.
If there is a slight off-road element to your route to and from work, you can still get the advantages of a scooter. Some scooters, such as the Kaabo Wolf Warrior, are suitable for riding rough surfaces. The Wolf Warrior has a full-suspension design and chunky tires for riding the rough stuff. With 2,400W of power, this scooter will get you up any hill you will encounter on a commute, while its 93-mile range between charges is more than enough for most people.
As you can see, there are many advantages of using either an electric scooter or bike for commuting. We have also highlighted that some scooters blur the lines, thanks to their advanced capabilities.
You can dodge traffic jams and save some money by ditching the car. In addition to all this, you are doing your bit for the environment by reducing your carbon footprint dramatically.
You may be lucky enough to be able to buy one of each. This will give you an option for every eventuality and to have the best of both worlds. Some people like to use an electric bike for longer rides and shopping. But, when it comes to shorter trips, they will jump on their electric scooter.
At the end of the day, it is down to your personal circumstances and preferences. But, it is clear that both are excellent ways to commute through busy cities. They are also great fun and get you outdoors while giving you a break from screen-time.