With so much traffic and everyone in a hurry to get somewhere, driving around in the city can get frustrating. And, even on days when you are lucky enough to find minimum traffic, you spend too much time looking for a parking space. Besides, cars are expensive, need insurance and monthly gas-tops.
E-scooters and e-bikes have emerged as effective solutions that can solve these problems to a great extent. They can move past the heavy traffic jams, are easy to maintain, affordable to buy, and more eco-friendly options. But what exactly are they?
Electric bikes are similar to regular bikes but with an electric motor to propel you forward. So you have to put less effort while riding an e-bike. The motor in the bike automatically powers on when you pedal.
Electric scooters operate on chargeable batteries. The batteries are either Lithium or lead types. They have a deck, wheels and handlebars for steering. Generally, e-scooters are designed to be ridden standing up, but some models, the deck comes with the option of a seat.
So which one should you choose?
Deciding between the two can be perplexing. So, with this article, we aim to simplify this decision for you. We have compiled a list of factors that will help you decide between an e-scooter and an e-bike.
With e-scooters, you will not be able to get very far. Besides, nobody wants to commute for 10 miles standing. So, if you wish to travel farther, an electric bike proves to be a better choice.
You can maneuver in and around the city and reach your destination without being a sweaty mess. Moreover, if you run out of battery in the middle, you can still ride the bike. If, on the other hand, your e-scooter runs out of battery, you would end up in a tricky situation.
The electric bikes offer a better range as opposed to e-scooters. It is uncommon to see an e-scooter with more than 40 miles range, while good e-bikes easily offer well above 70 miles.
2. Riding Comfort
The road bumps and vibrations are more noticeable in e-scooters than its counterpart. You feel the trajectory of the road through your body. And not to forget the risk of falling into potholes that are bigger than the scooter wheels.
On the other hand, E-bikes offer comfort and vibration control in different forms based on the bike type. However, even the stiffer e-bikes offer rides that are smoother than scooters. And, the fact that you get to sit down also adds to the comfort level.
An e-scooter proves to be a comfortable riding option when you are wearing certain clothes like short dresses or tight skirts. If you are wearing any clothing that restricts your movement, it is difficult and awkward to ride a bicycle. Since you will be standing while riding the scooter, you can ride it while wearing nearly anything.
E-bikes, with their core design, offer better stability than e-scooters. With larger wheels and less weight stress, e-bikes are less wobbly. Moreover, the larger wheels also ensure that you do not end up tripping into potholes. You can easily pass through small or medium-sized potholes while riding a bike, but the wheel of a scooter would get stuck.
Additionally, if you are taking your e-scooter down the hill, you will likely get an extremely wobbly experience. You would not be able to take your hand off the handlebar even if it is to adjust your helmet.
Ease of Use
E-scooters are the hands-down the winner in this category. The slim and small size of the device makes it significantly easier to take into your house, stairs, buildings, or any other place. Additionally, the smaller size of e-scooters makes it easy to lift and move around without getting tired.
You can easily squeeze through lane splitting and small spaces. If you get stuck in a traffic jam, you can simply squeeze your way out of it with your scooter. The concise body frame that encompasses one board and one pole make them significantly lighter than e-bikes. An e-scooter weighs around 7 lbs, whereas e-bikes could weigh around 15 lbs.
Majorly, e-bikes seem like an evident choice concerning safety. The bikes’ big wheels can quickly move across potholes and tend to offer better hold on wet paths. Moreover, Heavier frames and big wheels also provide better stability and visibility on the road.
While the e-scooters offer a certain level of safety, it entirely depends on the model. The smaller frames of the e-scooter do make it easier to move on the cramped city roads. But it does give a wobbly experience.
One of the reasons people choose e-bikes is because of the free exercise they get while pedaling through the town. In an e-scooter, after the first kick, you do not have to put much effort while moving. Though you must continue to push the scooter to keep it moving, it is not practically a workout.
If you are using a pedal-assist electric scooter, you must continue to pedal to keep the motor running. While there is electric support, you still get low-intensity exercise.
Moreover, if you are using an electric bicycle on a hill, you have to work harder to keep moving. Although e-scooters also require more effort while traveling uphill, the degree of physical effort is still greater in e-bikes.
Ease of Learning
If you do not know how to ride a bike or scooter, the latter will be easier to learn. The design of the scooter is more welcoming as opposed to the bike.
All you have to do is step on it, push it off the ground, and you are off. The learning curve is higher in e-bikes. Since your feet will be working the pedal, you need to learn how to balance yourself. While learning a bike is easy, it is still a differentiating factor.
Considering that e-scooters entirely run on battery, unlike e-bikes, the devices come integrated with the best batteries. In fact, the battery is the most expensive aspect of electric scooters, and the volumes would reach up to 20 Ah.
This capacity is significantly larger than standard e-bikes. Moreover, if you invest in a quality e-scooter, you will get a device that offers better control and higher durability.
The structure of scooters does not leave any room for a basket or storage capacity. So, you would need a carry bag or backpack for your stuff.
However, it is evidently not going to be easy to ride on your scooter with bags to handle. E-bikes come with an option of a built-in storage basket in varying sizes.
You will find tons of options for utility-oriented bikes in different price ranges. From hauling cargo to trailers, e-bikes allow you to easily carry stuff.
When it comes to the speed of e-bikes and e-scooter, the limitations are more legal than technical. In the US, e-bikes can have a top speed of around 20 to 28 mph, whereas this limitation is set to 15.5 mph in Europe.
As for e-scooters, the high-speed limitation is set at 15 mph. You can easily carry out your usual commute with a speed of 15 mph but when it comes to traveling more distance in less time, you need a little more speed.
The pricing models of electric bikes and scooters are continually changing. But as a whole, electric scooters prove to be more affordable than an electric bike.
While there are high-end e-scooter models, the overall entry barrier is significantly lower in comparison to e-bikes. You can purchase a decent e-scooter for less than $500.
You also have to consider the price-to-performance trend, which differs in both these electric vehicles. With electric bikes, speed and battery size are more standardized; therefore, the higher price reflects the higher quality of components. The market of e-scooters is primarily unregulated; therefore, high price means better range and higher speeds.
Where to put your money on?
Reasons to invest in an e-bike –
- Travel long-distance
- Travel up and downhill
- Physical output
- Storage capacity
Reasons to invest in an e-scooter –
- Low maintenance cost
- Affordable price
- High portability
- Ease of use
The decision between e-bikes and e-scooters entirely depends on your requirements. We hope that above factors have helped you make a suitable decision.