Taking your pick from modern personal mobility solutions has never been more difficult. This is not surprising given how many options are out there. However, if you’re already still hesitating between a push scooter and a bike you’re in the right place.
So, should you get a kick scooter or a bike? Well, it depends on many things. But here is a table to help you make up your mind:
|Price||Affordable, plenty of choice for less than $100||Pricier|
|Average speeds||10 mph/16 kph||15 mph/24 kph|
|Distance||Suited for shorter distances||Appropriate for longer distances|
|Ease of use, maintenance and repair||Easier||Medium to hard|
|Travel route||For smoother terrain||Less sensible to terrain|
|Portablity||Very portable||Limited portability|
That said, if you want to get more in depth details, jsut carry on reading. Let’s get started!
You can easily acquire a full performing adult kick scooter for under a $100. Furthermore, even for high-end kick scooters, the prices won’t be exceeding 4 times or 5 times the prices of basic ones!
On the other hand, it’s very difficult to buy a new adult bike for under a $100. Let’s not talk about more premium bikes that can have the price tag closer to that of a car than of a bike!
Nonetheless, this gap in prices is quite understandable! Kick scooters are a simple piece of technology. You’ll pretty much need a deck, a pair of wheels, a brake and a steering handlebar (plus a dozen nuts and bolts). In contrast, bikes comprise a longer list of components: wheels, a frame, a gearbox, a chain, a front and back wheel hand brakes, just to cite a few. Assembling all these into the final two wheeler would not be a piece of cake!
Ease of use
Kick scooters have the advantage of being very intuitive to use and straightforward to learn. You’ll only have to push with one leg while positioning the other on the deck and while maintaining your hands on the steering handle. In order to accelerate, you’ll have to give stronger kicks. Braking can be achieved in two simple ways depending on your scooter: either with a hand brake or with rear wheel foot brake.
Bikes in contrast need a prior training before use. And let me tell you that it needs some courage and grit! Personally, I had to suffer from several falls before being able to manoeuver a bike while not being a public danger! The ability to use your front or back wheel brake depending on the situation is a must. Furthermore, efficient gear shifting is also required if you want to fully exploit the possibilities of your bike! But again, this is no piece of cake especially for beginners.
Bike speed is a heavily dependent on the technology used in the two wheeler. Bikes have a super feature: a chain drive. It improves the efficiency of the bicycle coupled with the use of gears. The combination of a large cog on the cranks with a smaller one on the rear wheel is revolutionary: a single turn of the crank produces multiple revolutions of the rear wheel (depending on the gear used). This makes speeds like 15 mph (24 km/h) for beginners easy to reach, on short to medium distances.
Kick scooters, by contrast to bikes, rely solely on the muscle power produced by the rider. Scooters equipped with bigger wheels have the advantage or being more energy efficient than the ones with smaller wheels.
For equally fit riders in the same riding conditions, bikers will be able to reach more important speeds and maintain them for longer periods of time than push scooters riders.
Bikes score a point when considering travel distance. Thanks to their efficiency, they can take you on long distances in a fairly short time, when compared to kick scooters.
Push scooters and bikes are not equal terrain-wise. The first tend to be more sensible on unpaved areas and rough terrain, and on rainy days many scooters tend to slip due to lack of grip on the wet surface. Bikes, however, dwell better on bad terrain conditions thanks to their height and more common suspension systems that can help reduce vibrations felt by the rider.
On narrow spaces or crowded areas, kick scooters win. They are easier to use in these conditions than a bike thanks to their better maneuverability and simpler use.
When it comes to safety, do not forget to always wear a helmet, whether on a bike or on a kick scooter!
Let’s get back to our comparison. In terms of risks, these two are quite different.
A kick scooter has the big benefit of a lower center of gravity. This makes loosing balance more difficult than on a bike. More over scooters users tend to cruise at lower speeds (due to max reachable speed of scooters) bikers which reduces notably the probability of an accident. In addition, most kick scooters are at least three times lighter than most commonly used bikes. The formula is simple: less speed and less weight means less inertia, which makes breaking easier on a kick scooter than on a bike.
Foldable kick scooters are heard to beat when you consider portability. Not only they are light weight (averaging 5kg/11lb), but they also take very little space once folded. You can easily transport them during your commutes in the subway, and once you reach your destination they’re so compact that you’ll hardly notice them!
Bikes and portability however, do not get along very well. Although foldable bikes exist in the market, they don’t come anywhere near kick scooters in terms of portability.
Besides, the average bike user, knows unfortunately the hurdles of finding safe parking spots for his rides. When you leave your two-wheeler out there, it’s heard to have a peaceful mind especially if you rely on your bike to go back home.
As showed before, riding on a kick scooter will be more physically taxing than riding a bike for the same distance. Some experts say that traveling on a big wheels scooter consumes 1.5 times more calories than riding a bike. The more athletic ones of you will see this as a benefit: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
Remember that safety always comes first. Use a protective helmet in all times! You can also use elbow and knee pads if you’re not feeling very confident. This applies equally when riding kick scooters and bikes.
That said, while biking, avoid wearing dresses or loose clothing that might get tangled in the chain drive of your bicycle. This problem, obviously, does not arise on a kick scooter, but you’ll still want to avoid clothes hindering efficient leg kicks.
When it comes to maintenance, most kick scooters are very easy to maintain. Checking the tear and wear of your wheels and that the handlebar is tight enough are what most manufacturers recommend. You can also clean the wheels bearing if you’ve been riding in dirty spaces. Some oil for the bearings can also do some good for a smooth ride. This is no rocket science!
Concerning bikes, you’ll need some tools especially if you’re repairing a broken chain or changing your tires. First times will always be difficult and sometimes even nerve wracking. But with practice it becomes easier.
I hope that this post helped you make up your mind. If you’re still hesitating about acquiring a push scooter, you might want to take a look at 10 reasons to own a kick scooter!