- Andy Hitch
Should I Buy a Scooter or Ebike (electric bike)?
Without a doubt, the short answer is ebike. The reasons are plentiful and important. I'm sure there are more reasons, but these are my top 10.
Ebikes can be ridden on the road, the side of the road, and on bike paths. Scooters are not allowed on paths or sidewalks.
49cc scooters are very slow going up hill. Even the slightest hill can drastically affect your speed. Ebikes have more power.
An average ebike only weights 50 LBS. A scooter is 150 LBS or more.
Obviously ebikes are better for the environment
You don't have to get a permit for an ebike. In Colorado you have to buy a permit for a low power scooter.
Ebikes don't use gas, so you'll save money. More on this below:
Ebikes are silent. You can hear things going on around you. This is really nice when you're just out for a cruise in the park or in a mountain town.
Ebikes are cheaper than scooters.
Most ebikes come with thumb throttles, so you can choose not to peddle.
Most commuter style ebikes have front fork suspension. Due to the much larger diameter tires, they are smoother over bumps than a small scooter.
Ok, let me put this stupid argument to bed right here and now. We've all seen the stupid memes of generator running on fuel, charging an electric car. I suppose someone who ran out of power after 400 miles of failing to recharge would need an emergency service to come out and charge it with a big generator. I'm sure this could happen. You do know some people who fail to fill up run out of gas as well right? Secondly, my uncle has an electric car. He drives roughly 1500 miles a month. His electric bill went up by $35 a month after buying his electric car. Tell me, when was the last time you paid $35 to drive 1500 miles?
The average ebike draws 2.5 amps when it's charging (roughly the same as 4 light bulbs).
Where do I buy an Ebike?
Most sporting goods stores and bicycle shops are selling ebikes now. The problem you may run into is low stock. They're so popular, it's hard to buy one in a store. No worry though, you can buy them all day long online.
Mid Drive Vs. Rear Drive
The only upside I've been able to find in a commuter bike is sound. The rear motor has a little more sound.
Which Ebike should I buy?
I personally buy LOTS of ebikes. First thing to know is that nearly every one is made in China. Yes, even big name brands. China has the market cornered entirely to be honest. The good thing is, even the cheapest thing you can find isn't all that bad. Here's an example: I bought the absolute cheapest ebike I could find when I wanted to try it out. I got it for $800 online. I put 750 miles on it and never had to do a single thing to it.
Personally, I like the Trek and Aventon commuter ebikes. The Aventon Level is on par with the Trek Verve. The Verve will give you slightly better components and mid drive motor. The Allant is a premium bike with much better components and features. You can't go wrong with any of them though.
Here's the upside to buying. If you don't care for the ebike you bought, you can sell it pretty fast locally. They're hot right now.
Which electric mountain bike should I buy?
Components are the name of the game when it comes to mountain bikes. You should do some research before you purchase. I wouldn't go cheap on a mountain bike. That includes brand name bikes. Trek makes some entry level bikes. The Powerfly for example, my not be a sturdy enough bike for hard core riders. If going with Trek, I'd look at the Rail series. The general rule is this: The more you pay, the more you get. For a quality electric mountain bike, I wouldn't spend any less than $5000. Keep in mind, there are some off brand name bikes you can pick up for roughly $3500 that match name brand $5000 - $7000 bikes. I haven't see a quality off name brand under $3500 though.
Written by Andy Hitch