help me haul my lazy ass around town
May 28, 2010 4:00 PM   Subscribe

Folding bike or Electric scooter? Help me choose!

Decided to buy a cheap something to help me zip around locally in new york city as I do my chores.

Cant decide between elec scooter and folding bike. Which is the more convenient solution?

Has anyone switched from one to the other? I'd love to hear your reasons/stories.

Electric scooter: i'm looking at the ezip 400.
Pros: seems to fit the bill for locally zipping around. Folds up very compactly.
Cons: Heavy at 52 lbs, needs to be charged nightly. Possibly weak going uphill.

Folding bike: Looking at something like this: Kent 16
Pros: no range limit. Half the weight of the e-scooter at 25 to 30 lbs.
Cons: I'll need to be in better shape! And the folding bike is significantly bulkier even when folded than the scooter, probably.

Which is the more convenient solution?

posted by jak68 to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total)
Well, the folding bike costs less than a third what the electric scooter costs and not only will you get into better shape riding it, you'll even get to keep your dignity.
posted by mhoye at 4:07 PM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: hahahaha yes i've considered my dignity but as always its a street fight between dignity and laziness ;)
posted by jak68 at 4:18 PM on May 28, 2010

folding bike can go places scooter can't. How much does it rain? Where would you store it when not in use? Easier to park a bike or a scooter errand-wise?
posted by tilde at 4:29 PM on May 28, 2010

Whoops, wrong idea of scooter. Sorry. Still, bike all the way.
posted by tilde at 4:30 PM on May 28, 2010

For truly lazy ass-hauling you want something that can be ridden to bus or subway stops, then dragged onto transit vehicles. May be not for every trip, but it's nice option to have. See what restrictions the MTA has regarding bikes and scooters; around here, folding bikes are A-OK but motorized scooters are verboten.
posted by Quietgal at 4:33 PM on May 28, 2010

Response by poster: quietgal, interesting cuz i'd think that folding e-scooters would be okay on bus/train, since i imagine they take up even less space than a folding bike. I'll have to check MTA site I guess. I do have a friend who takes a folding free-wheel scooter on the subway.

If motorized ones arent allowed, that would definitely make a difference.

The nice thing about the Kent folding bike is its weight (mere 25lbs and smallish 16" wheels), which sounds fairly portable I guess.
posted by jak68 at 4:41 PM on May 28, 2010

What's wrong with a plain ol' bike?
posted by schmod at 5:08 PM on May 28, 2010

Sorry, but the electric scooter is illegal in New York:
Motorized Scooters, Mini-Bikes, Dirt Bikes, Go-Karts, Motor Assisted Bicycles

You cannot register any of the motorized devices from the list below in NYS. You cannot operate these devices on sidewalks, public streets or highways in NYS. These devices are motor vehicles, but they do not have the correct equipment or design for operation on roadways.

* Motorized Scooter - a device with a motor attached and a handlebar for a standing rider. An example of a motorized scooter is the device called the Go-ped®.
* Mini-bike - a small, motorized device with two wheels and created for off-road use. A mini-bike does not qualify as a moped, a motorcycle or an ATV.
* Dirt Bike - a motorized device like a motorcycle, but created for and used for off-road use. Some "dirt bikes" qualify as an ATV. These vehicles can register and operate off-road as an ATV.
* Go-Kart - a small, motorized device with four wheels, created for off-road use. You cannot register a go-kart as a motor vehicle or ATV because a go-kart does not have the same equipment.
* Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment.

These devices are not allowed on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment. The DMV can not provide any information about operation of these devices on private property. Contact the local authorities and property owners.
I know people have them, and if you are wearing a helmet the cops might let you slide, but NYC has lots of cops. What are the odds you'll cross paths with one having a bad day?
posted by Marky at 5:52 PM on May 28, 2010

Bike. The scooter looks like something my 12 year old brother would ride.
posted by kylej at 6:22 PM on May 28, 2010

Get the best of both worlds: folding e-bike.
posted by foxjacket at 6:38 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can eat pretty-much whatever I want and not worry about dieting because I bike everywhere I go. The added exercise is a great advantage.


When I bike places, I arrive hot and sweaty. If I got a quarter every time I wished I wasn't biking...

Then again, this entire question might be moot re: legality in NY.
posted by 47triple2 at 9:23 PM on May 28, 2010

Response by poster: thanks all.

marky -- thanks for the info and the link. I'm frankly shocked at such a draconian policy. The go-ped originally was gas powered (quite powerful, noisy, fast) and maybe that policy was made before the current batch of electrics came out (electrics are quiet, slow, weak, in comparison). I do see people with electric scooters all the time in the city.

foxjacket - folding e-bike - I considered it, but the battery makes it seriously heavy. The electric scooter would be considerably lighter and easier to store, I figured, just by being so much smaller.

Well folks, in the end I decided to go with the bike, as most of you (all of you? lol) suggested. Less dorky, more legal, but in the end what pushed me over was not needing to charge the damn thing every night, (or paying to replace the battery every 1.5 years). Plus, the Kent is a relatively light weight, and a bargain basement price.

Cheapness overcame laziness.

As a bonus, I might actually be in better shape at the end of the summer :)
posted by jak68 at 12:28 AM on May 29, 2010

I want one of these -- 10kg.
posted by Killick at 12:13 PM on May 29, 2010

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