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Electric bike or electric scooter: which is right for you

Electric bike or electric scooter: which is right for you?

electric scooter

As personal electric vehicles become more powerful and affordable, electric bikes and standing electric scooters have become more and more practical alternatives to traditional transportation methods for many people, especially those in crowded cities.

However, when it comes to spending your hard-earned money, you may ask yourself which form of electric two-wheeled vehicle is best for you. I am fortunate to be able to try a variety of these electric cars, constantly weighing the pros and cons of each electric car, so I am here to help.

Why should I buy a personal electric car?

Let’s face it: traveling in most cities is a pain. In places like New York, cars are usually the slowest mode of transportation in towns. Even if you are lucky enough to have a series of green lights and minimal traffic, it’s not uncommon to waste 15-30 minutes in finding a parking space. Cars are also expensive. In addition to monthly payments, insurance and gasoline are required, and for most people, it is not feasible to pay for taxis every day.

Public transportation is more affordable and environmentally friendly, but it is usually crowded, full of annoying tourists, and smelly. It also does not always take you to where you need to go, it will only stop at a few key locations, which may still be a long way from your destination. In addition, not being able to fully control your itinerary is also terrible; there is nothing worse than discovering that the local train line is out of service and needs repair when you are in a hurry.

Eel model one

Electric bicycles or scooters do not have these problems. In many cases, travel time is better than car, train or bus. With folding bicycles and scooters, the choice of multiple modes is opened: combining long-distance trains and scooters to achieve “last mile” transportation, giving you the best of both worlds.

But for many people, a simulated bicycle is not the most practical daily transportation tool. If you don’t want to sweat, cycling to the important meeting 15 miles across the city in summer is not a good choice. If you live in a mountainous town, the situation will be similar. Others may have disabilities, making it difficult or impossible to ride extensively without support.

Even if these scenarios do not apply to you, electric bicycles and scooters can give you more peace of mind-if your journey ends up being longer or harder than expected, the electric bicycle engine will help you get home without worrying about burning Bad.

Well, you convinced me. Which one shall I choose?

For many people, the choice of electric bike or electric scooter is obvious. Need something that can fit in the trunk of a car without breaking the bank? Get an electric scooter! Want an optional exercise? Come on an electric bike! However, if you do not give up on any of them, the decision may be more complicated, so I have collected a list of advantages and disadvantages for each type of vehicle.

Finally, please remember that my goal is not to declare any vehicle category as a winner, so I will not rate any of them. There are many types of electric scooters and electric bicycles, so they are meaningless. Instead, I hope to point out some general trends that can help you make more informed decisions.


In most cases, this is very obvious: ordinary electric scooters are smaller and lighter than ordinary electric bicycles. Most scooters I tested fit in the trunk of a car. Most bicycles do not.

Of course, this comparison is not a universal rule. There are heavy-duty high-speed scooters weighing more than 100 pounds. On the other hand, folding electric bicycles are very helpful in alleviating the portability problems of cyclists, and they are usually small enough to be carried on trains or cars. Some bikes have folding stems and become very flat-or you can add your own.

Electric bike


In general, electric scooters are more affordable than electric bicycles. Although there are some expensive scooters there, in most cases, the barriers to entry are much lower than electric bicycles. Entry-level scooters from well-known companies such as the popular Xiaomi M365, GoTrax Xr or Ninebot ES1 start at less than US$500.

In the meantime, I would be happy to recommend electric bikes under $1,000. The upcoming Shuangye D1 and Propella 3.4 come to mind. In Europe, Analog Motion produces bicycles at a price of £999. But below this price, there is very little reputable competition.

The price/performance trends of electric bicycles and electric scooters are also different. Electric scooters are part of a newer, largely unregulated market, so higher price tags usually mean higher speeds and better range. For electric bicycles, battery size and speed tend to be more standardized, so paying more often translates into higher quality components and lighter weight, rather than an increase in the original power specification.

However, electric bicycles do have a great value advantage: you can charge most ordinary bicycles. Whether through a simple modification kit like Shuangye or a more advanced DIY method, you can save money by modifying your familiar and favorite frame into an electric bicycle.


You would think that the bicycle is faster in the simulation mode, and it will be easy to win here. But not so fast-this is a more complicated problem than it seems at first.

In general, electric bicycles are much more strictly regulated than scooters, and electric bicycle companies are better at complying with the rules. In the United States, the speed of electric bicycles is usually limited to 20 mph (level 1 and 2) or 28 mph (level 3). New York is a bit unusual, especially when the speed of electric bicycles is limited to 25 mph.

In Europe, the speed limit for most electric bicycles is 25 km/h or 15.5 mph. Some places allow 45 km/h electric bicycles, but they are usually classified as mopeds and require insurance and license plates.

The speed of Shuangye S2 exceeds 28 mph.

As mentioned in the previous section, there is much less regulation of electric scooters. Although bicycle companies usually follow the rules, the regulations for electric scooters are more contradictory and not enforced-if they even exist.

It is not difficult to find an electric scooter that can exceed the speed limit of local electric bicycles. Shuangye’s S2 can reach a speed of 26 mph, while the S21 can reach a speed of more than 40 mph. There are even scooters that exceed 100 miles per hour! Of course, depending on where you are riding, these speeds are usually mainly for display. Although I prefer to have the extra speed to keep up with the car, I rarely have the opportunity to drive so fast in stop-and-go city traffic-nor do I want to.


The point is simple: unless you plan to bench press on a scooter, an electric bike is better if you want to use transportation twice as much as an exercise.

Although some electric bicycles provide a lot of help, and those with a throttle can basically be used as a moped, they at least give you the option of serious exercise. In fact, a European study last year showed that e-bike riders tend to do more exercise than ordinary bicycle riders, simply because they tend to ride farther and more frequently. Likewise, knowing that even if you feel tired after a long and fast ride, you can turn on the assist function on the way home to give you peace of mind.

Also, if exercise is your main goal, there is nothing better than trying to drag a 70-pound electric bike up a hill with accessibility features turned off. Or, there are some light electric bicycles, such as Specialized Turbo Vado SL, specifically designed to not provide too much power, but to ride more like a regular bicycle when needed.


Most electric bicycles offer better range than scooters of the same price because they require you to do some work. It is rare to see a scooter with an actual cruising range of more than 40 miles, and for electric bicycles, this is normal-Juiced CCX claims a cruising range of more than 70 miles, I found this to be realistic, and the aforementioned Vado SL claims to be up to The range extender can travel 120 miles.

More importantly, when the electricity runs out, the electric bicycle can still be fully functional. Even when your battery runs out, you may only have a heavy bicycle left, and you should still be able to go home on your own. In contrast, when the battery is exhausted, it is much more difficult to use an electric scooter.

On the other hand, for many commuters, mileage anxiety is not a problem with scooters in the first place. If your battery is dead, you can call a taxi and put the scooter in the trunk. This cannot be done with a typical electric bicycle.

electric scooter


In most cases, electric bicycles seem to be the obvious choice for safety. Large wheels can brush away potholes and debris to a large extent, and often provide better traction on wet roads. Big wheels and a heavier frame mean better stability, and a larger bike size should also make you more visible on the road.

On the other hand, sometimes I do feel equally safe on a scooter. At least, I am more flexible and easier to shuttle between traffic and pedestrians with a last wish. In a ridiculous way, it’s nice to know that if I have to bail to avoid an accident, I can literally jump off the scooter-it’s not easy to do this on a bicycle.

The problem is that it varies greatly depending on the specific scooter you ride. The aforementioned Mantis has big tires and silky smooth suspension. In my opinion, it is as stable as many bicycles. Unagi scooters are equipped with small solid tires, which means close attention must be paid to avoid every small pothole.

The research on this subject is not entirely decisive, but unsurprisingly, it seems to prefer bicycles. A number of large-scale studies on carpooling accidents show that the accident rate of electric scooters is significantly higher than that of standard bicycles, ranging from 2.4 times to 18 times.

Mantis’s 10-inch tires, low center of gravity and strong suspension make the scooter feel very stable even at high speeds

However, I don’t know that these results completely translate into a comparison between personal e-scooters and personal electric bicycles. Many electric scooters for personal use have suspensions and stronger tires, and their riders are more experienced. A November 2019 study also showed that electric bicycle riders are more likely to participate in accidents that require hospitalization, and users of electric scooters, although the latter have a higher rate of concussions.

Part of the reason may be that users of shared scooters rarely wear helmets. According to rumors, I think this does not apply to individual scooter owners. In fact, I saw more people in New York wearing helmets on their personal scooters than cyclists.

Public utilities

No doubt. If you use an electric car for loading, an electric bicycle is a better choice.

There is no shortage of practical bicycles on the market, from affordable RadRunner and Ariel Rider M-Class to premium Tern HSD and GSD. If you want to really do heavy riding, you can choose basket bikes such as Urban Arrow Shorty and Reise & Müller Load. Even if your electric bike is not designed for hauling goods, you can almost certainly modify it for these purposes through an aftermarket trailer (such as the super versatile Burley Travoy), not to mention a wide range of frames and luggage racks. And the basket.

There are some small freight accessories for electric scooters on the market, but the relative lack of standardization and poor stability of scooters makes electric bicycles more widely used as alternatives to automobiles.


Electric scooters have only been popular for a few years, while the development of electric bicycles has been longer. Most of the problems you may encounter on an e-bike are those that can be solved by a local bike shop; a flat tire, a bent spoke. Many electric bicycles are also sold through dealers, which are often more expensive, but can also provide direct support for mechanical and electrical component failures. In addition, many electric bicycles are also manufactured by companies that have decades of knowledge in manufacturing traditional bicycles, providing additional confidence that your vehicle will not collapse.

In contrast, more scooters use proprietary parts, many bicycle shops do not work on scooters, very few physical scooters dealers, and more electric scooters are made by companies that have only existed for a few years of. Some dealers can provide good support, but in general, electric scooters do not have the same repair options as electric bicycles.

Although the verdict on this issue has not yet been determined, I think it is safe to say that you can expect higher durability and better maintainability of electric bicycles as a whole.

Have a fat wallet? Why is it different? !

If you have the ability to buy an electric bike and an electric scooter at the same time, doubling can help you get the best of both worlds. I usually put a powerful electric bike and light scooter in my apartment. For long-distance rides and freight errands, I use a bicycle, but when I need to make a quick short trip or plan to combine the trip with a car or train, I choose a scooter.

No matter what you end up with, you may find it more environmentally friendly, healthier, more fun than driving, and easier than public transportation. good luck!

If you want to know how the motor works with other parts in the electric scooter, please view the full guide here.

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