Scooter Underground

Electric Bike vs. Electric Scooter - How to Choose?

ezee bike Forte electric bike  - Scooter Underground - Photo courtesy of

This is an electric bicycle. Electric bicycles are usually based on traditional bicycle designs but they incorporate a battery pack, controller, and an electric hub motor on the front wheel, rear wheel, or both wheels.

The electric bike can function pretty well as a bicycle even without having any battery power. If you want a bit of exercise, just turn off the power or leave the battery at home for a charge.

Storage is usually accomplished by the rider wearing a backpack or attaching saddle bags, bungee cords, or other storage device to the rear carrier. Electric bicycles typically do not incorporate built-in alarm systems.

In most jurisdictions, they are treated just like bicycles and they are allowed on bike lanes and commuter trails.

Electric Scooter - Kaishan - Scooter Underground, Victoria, BC, Canada -

This is an electric scooter. Electric scooters look like their gas scooter cousins except they are battery powered. Virtually all electric scooters have much smaller wheel diameters than electric bikes. They are designed as "twist n' go" so that you just have to turn the throttle. They make lousy bicycles and the pedals are really for emergency use only.

Most electric scooters have lockable and waterproof storage under the seat. Many electric scooter models have a built-in alarm and immobilizer to prevent theft. The electric scooter offers a bit of protection from rain and wind.

Depending on the jurisdiction, the electric scooter may encounter more restrictions than the electric bicycle.

How do you choose between an electric bicycle and an electric scooter?

Let me point out some pros and cons, and some personal biases. From there, you can decide which fits your needs better.

Electric bike pros

  • Much like the bicycle you grew up riding but a bit heavier due to the battery pack and motor
  • Often have high quality bicycle gears and brakes form companies like Shimano and Magura
  • Many of the parts are readily available at bicycle stores
  • Two main propulsion technologies to choose from:
    • Pedelec = rider pedals. Motor input is only activated while pedaling. It feels like cycling with "tail wind"
    • E-Bike = Motor input is activated by turning a handlebar throttle
  • We find that, on average, the quality and ease of maintenance of electric bikes is better than electric scooters
  • No license or insurance required in most jurisdictions (subject to speed and wattage)
  • Treated just like a bicycle for access to bike lanes and commuter trails
  • ease of service and replacement parts
  • large tires are usually better on rougher surfaces and trails
  • no plastic panels to damage in the event of a mishap

Electric Scooter Pros

  • very low seat height and step-through clearance
  • provides some protection from rain and wind
  • USUALLY does not require a license or insurance (subject to speed and wattage)
  • USUALLY allowed on bike lanes and commuter trails
  • often has a built in alarm system and steering lock
  • has lockable, waterproof storage under the seat
  • often has a rear cargo box for additional lockable storage
  • simple "twist 'n go" operation
  • small tires are very maneuverable

At this point, many of the Scooter Underground staff share a bias toward electric bicycles over electric scooters. They are a more bulletproof design and many brands, such as the eZee bike brand, are of superb quality with widely available replacement part components.

One of our customers made the following comments expressing his preference for an electric bike:

"I like the fact that I can ride to work using plenty of "assist" so that I don`t arrive at the office all sweaty. This is particularly appreciated by my co-workers since we do not have showers at work. On the way home, when I want to get a work out, I can use less assist or none at all and get some much needed exercise. With the electric scooter, it must be driven in `twist n`go`mode all the time since pedaling is more of a cruel hoax on these babies.

The versatility makes the electric bicycle a preferred choice in my opinion."

There are probably many customers out there who will give you a great counterpoint argument for the electric scooter.

Hope this helps.

Give us a call at Scooter Underground, or better yet, drop in and let our experts help you decide which solution best meets your requirements and budget.




Home . Scooters . Gas Scooters . Electric Scooters . Electric Bikes . Folding Bikes . Parts & Accessories
Service . FAQ . Scooter Manuals . Seminars . Articles . Forum Discussion . Links
About . Contact Us . Employment . Dealer Inquiries . Sitemap
Web Design by Sage Internet Solutions Ltd.