Electric bicycles and electric scooters are two popular choices for city commuting. Instead of driving in a traffic jam or being at the mercy of unreliable public transportation, commuting with an e-bike or e-scooters is money-saving, faster, and easier. Electric bikes and e-scooters are designed for commuters with different needs, both of them have advantages and disadvantages. This article will make an in-depth comparison of the differences between e-bikes and e-scooters, so you can make a better decision.
Electric bike advantages
E-bikes are more comfortable to ride
Electric bicycles have better suspension systems and tire cushioning, so you can ride comfortably on bumpy roads. E-bike wheels are normally 12 to 28 inches, much bigger than scooter wheels. You will find the suspension and big wheels quite necessary when riding on potholed city streets. Although a lot of electric scooters have decent suspension systems, they are lower to the ground, so the suspension travel distance can not be as long as a bicycle.
E-bikes have longer mileage
Batteries are the heaviest part of either e-bikes or e-scooters. Electric bicycles can accommodate the added weight of the bigger battery thanks to the bigger frame and wheels. The common mileage of electric scooters is 25km to 65km, while electric bicycles can easily ride over 80km per charge. Of course, in addition to the difference in battery capacity, it must be considered that the forward model of the electric bicycle is pedaling and motor assist, while the electric scooter is completely driven by the motor. Therefore, the maximum mileage of an electric bicycle is usually more than twice that of an electric scooter.
E-bike can be ridden with an empty battery
Riding an electric bicycle is just like riding a regular bike, so you can pedal your ebike when the battery is completely empty. For long-distance commuters and people who live in low-density areas, this advantage is enough for them to choose electric bicycles instead of electric scooters. Sometimes you forget to charge your electric bikes, but this will only give you sweats and sore thighs when you get home, rather than being trapped in the middle of nowhere.
E-bikes help you get more exercises
Just as I mentioned in this article, riding an electric bicycle is a good way to get exercise. It can improve your cardiopulmonary function and exercise the muscles of your hips and thighs. More than that, thanks to the pedal-assist mode and adjustable assist levels, you can choose to pedal a little or a lot without changing the speed. This makes e-bike cycling a good workout for people of different ages and physical conditions. Compared to riding regular bikes which has higher requirements for physical strength and joint flexibility, riding an e-bike is more starter friendly and easier to stick to it.
Electric bike disadvantages
ebikes are bigger and heavier
With bigger batteries and wheels, electric bikes are heavier than electric scooters. Electric scooters are normally under 20kg while a 14” e-bike is around 21-22kg and fat tires can easily reach 30kg. If you often need to take public transport or take many stairs, riding an electric bicycle may not be a good choice because it is not as portable as electric scooters.
Ebikes are more difficult to fold and unfold
Folding an electric bike needs three steps: fold the handlebar, fold the top tube, and fold the pedals. In order to ensure safety and avoid shaking when riding, the folding handle of an electric bicycle is usually designed to be tight. That’s why folding an electric bike will be more difficult than folding an electric scooter. In fact, folding electric bikes are not supposed to be folded and unfolded frequently, they are designed to be folded occasionally when you need to place them in the trunk or other narrow spaces. And the folding size is much bigger than electric scooters.
Electric scooter advantages
E-scooters are more affordable
Commuting with an electric scooter is easier to start because e-scooters are cheaper. You can get a decent electric scooter for less than €500. And the smallest electric bicycles will cost you a lot more than that. Not only that, you don’t have to buy expensive insurance or locks for electric scooters because you can easily carry them with you no matter where you go.
E-scooters are lighter and more portable
Electric scooters are much lighter than e-bikes because of the smaller wheels and simpler structure. Take Himo L2 Max as an example, it has a 10.4Ah battery and 10” tires, the weight is 18kg. Women can easily lift it and men can carry it with one hand. Electric scooters are perfect to solve the last one-kilometer problem, you can easily carry them to the subway station and fold or unfold them in one second.
E-scooters are easier to ride
Not everyone knows how to ride a bike, but everybody can ride a scooter. It takes no time to learn to ride and handle an electric scooter, just stand on the deck and turn the handlebar. If you need to ride in a park or on crowded sidewalks, the compact size of the electric scooter will help you a lot. And it takes less effort to push an electric scooter when you have to.
Electric scooter disadvantages
E-scooters are unable to carry loads
Electric scooters do not have rear racks and can not carry anything unless you carry it on your back. This is not good news for buyers and delivery people. In some certain use cases, riding an electric scooter is not an option. People prefer to get an electric bicycle to carry camping supplies or purchase groceries.
E-scooters have shorter mileage
Electric scooters are designed to fill the gap between your office and the subway station. As a supplement to commuting by public transport, they don’t need a long mileage like e-bikes. Long mileage means big batteries, big batteries make the e-scooters heavy, which will reduce the portability and mobility of electric scooters.
Electric bicycles are better for you if:
- Live in a low-density area
- The daily commute distance is longer than 5km
- Need to take some cargo or an extra passenger
- Like to explore some unknown terrains occasionally
- Want to get some extra exercises
Electric scooters are better for you if:
- Live in big cities and need to take public transportation
- The daily commute distance is less than 5km
- Can not carry more than 20kg with you
- Have a tight budget
- Don’t know how to ride a bike