Electric bike vs electric scooter
Now that I have taken my new, super cool electric bicycle on a few errands, I can see the differences between riding the electric bike vs electric scooter. I have to say that I’m really loving the electric bicycle, and one of the reasons is that I feel safer. For one, maneuvering a 100 lb bicycle is way easier than maneuvering a 300 lb scooter. I never worry that it’s going to get away from me or fall on me.
I also like that I don’t have to ride in the road. I feel safer in the bike lane or the sidewalk. Although I will say this… I may have to be a more consistent bra wearer now! The ride is a bit bumpier on the bike – especially on the sidewalk. It claims to have front suspension, but I don’t know how well it’s performing, and I know there isn’t any in the back.
But back to safety! The bike had two flimsy mirrors on it that I replaced with one quality mirror on the left side. This will allow me to see traffic coming up behind me whilst riding in the bike lane. It is much easier to get downtown now as the only two roads I need to traverse have bike lanes. With the scooter, I was taking bumpy back roads to avoid the high traffic roads that made me nervous.
I do miss the speed of the scooter. Whereas the scooter would easily go 30 mph, the bike goes around 16 mph consistently, although I did have it up past 17 mph yesterday. It is classified as a bicycle because it has pedals and does not go more than 20 mph. In Florida, theoretically, I am not supposed to be in the bike lane or on the sidewalk with anything motorized, but that is just silly. Where would I ride it? In the road at 15 mph? I think not. I am super cautious and considerate of others using the bike lanes and sidewalks, and I am not clogging up traffic, taking up parking spaces or lending to pollution, and I hope that counts for something.
Speaking of parking, I can now park anywhere as long as there is something to lock my bike to. Even though it requires a key to operate electronically, the bike can still be pedaled, so just taking the key is not enough. There is a spoke lock that I am going to try to obtain as well.
The seat on the bicycle is a little less comfortable than the big one on the scooter, but it seems to be good enough. I will be testing it out on the 23 mile trip I plan to take later this week. I’m not sure if the seat can be easily replaced with something else as it is not a standard bicycle seat.
Although I no longer need to wear a motorcycle helmet (but I do always wear my bicycle helmet), I feel like I should probably wear goggles. I am right near traffic and want to protect my eyes from debris. Plus, even at just 15 mph, my eyes get a very dry feeling or (especially right now) they get very cold and start tearing up, which runs down my face and makes me look like a very sad electric bicycle owner. That’s NOT the impression I want to give!
Charging the bicycle is about the same as with the scooter, although the directions say not to charge for more than 10 hours. I would plug the scooter in and leave it overnight, but I haven’t done that with the bicycle. I know one day I will forget to unplug it before going to bed, and hopefully it won’t burn my house down. As I mentioned earlier, the lights on the charger are conveniently labeled in Chinese only.
One great thing about the bicycle is that I can take it to a bicycle store for accessories. I added a speedometer, mirror and panniers to it last week. Also, I was able to remove the old mirrors by myself, and have had to tighten a few screws. I feel very comfortable “tinkering” a little on the bicycle – something I would never have done on the scooter.
All in all, I am loving the electric bicycle. Now that I’ve added two shopping bag sized panniers, it carries about as much as the scooter did for cargo and can handle larger, bulky items as well. The one thing that would make riding it more pleasant would be if all the streets downtown had space for a bicycle. The sidewalks are often bumpy and sometimes have vegetation growing over them that does not get trimmed.
Hopefully our city (and other cities like it) will work hard to include more infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians in their future plans.
P.S. I am thinking of becoming a dealer of these bikes! They are so great!