E-Bikes, E-Scooters, and E-Trikes - Which is Best for You?
E-bikes and e-scooters have been growing in popularity in the past decade and are in demand by Canadians who want an affordable, convenient, and environmentally friendly way to get around. The bike boom that began with the pandemic is not going away.
Geoff Whittaker of Bow Cycle E-Bikes in Calgary says that "we’ve been in a bike boom situation over the last couple of years because of supply and demand of existing bikes." Whittaker says higher gas prices and lifestyle changes are contributing to the increase in demand. It looks like micro mobility is here to stay; which personal electric vehicle will you choose?
E-scooters are small electric scooters and commuters are realizing they are a quick and inexpensive way to travel in the city, with many people preferring them over public transportation. E-scooters are slower than E-Bikes and have shorter ranges but are easier to maneuver in traffic, making them a good choice for commuters. E-scooters are less expensive than e-bikes, though high-end scooters can cost as much as e-bikes.
They are the smallest of the three options and if you live in a small apartment or climb up several flights of stairs every day, they may be the best option for you. As the smallest and lightest personal electric vehicle, you can pick e-scooters up, fold them, carry them, put them in an elevator, and store them easily.
E-scooters are also easier to maintain than e-bikes. Unagi Scooters explains that “Electric bikes ... require far more maintenance than well-made e-scooters, which may need no more than a battery replacement every few years.”
E-bikes are faster and have longer ranges than e-scooters and they too are a fun and easy way to commute. E-bikes can be safer than e-scooters and better for commuting on busy roads. Unagi Scooters says that “when it comes to riding safely, an electric bike can be a better option on the road than an electric scooter.”
E-bikes are also a great way to exercise. It is often assumed that because they are motorized, e-bikes do not have the exercise benefits of bicycles. But Belgian e-bike manufacturer Cowboy says that research indicates otherwise and riders often ride longer than they would on pedal bikes. “After a month, differences in peak oxygen consumption, blood pressure, body composition, and maximal ergometric workload were within 2% for e-bike and regular bicycle riders,” they explain.
E-tricycles are the latest addition to the e-bike revolution. An e-trike is a modernized version of the tricycle you may have had as a child and is an electric bike with three wheels. For many people, they are the most convenient e-bike option because they are fun and practical. Their benefits include the ability to transport equipment, stability, and more comfortable riding positions. E-tricycles are sturdier than e-bikes, more suitable for people concerned about being able to balance on a bicycle or scooter, and have storage for running errands like grocery shopping.
There are two types of e-trikes. A delta tricycle has one wheel in the front and two at the back and a tadpole tricycle has two wheels in the front and one at the back.
Both kinds of e-trikes perform well, but according to Epic Cycles, “over repeated customer feedback and our research we believe that tadpole bikes provide more stability on the road and can make sharper turns on corners at higher speeds with a reduction in the rate of tipping over while making the turn.”