Folding Bikes vs Electric Scooters

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written By:

Updated September 16, 2022

If you are shopping for a new personal transportation vehicle, you may be comparing folding bikes vs electric scooters. The best electric bikes, after all, tend to feature foldable and compact designs. How do these two vehicle types compare? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Folding bikes are much better for the space-conscious consumer, as they can fold up to a compact size when not in use. E-scooters need to be parked outside.
  • Folding bikes are good to deter theft, as you can fold them up and carry them in while running errands or going to work.
  • In general, folding e-bikes are slightly safer than electric scooters due to the way each vehicle is designed.

Differences Between Folding Bikes and Electric Scooters

The obvious difference between the two is that a folding e-bike transforms into compact form factors, whereas electric scooters do not. A folding electric bicycle makes it easy to stow away the vehicle when not in use, and maybe models actually feature carry handles, so when it is folded, you can simply carry it in with you during errands or at work. Though, there are certainly other differences when it comes to a folding bike and an e-scooter.

Insider Tip

Folding bikes may boast a lower maximum weight capacity than traditional electric bikes. Check the stats.

Risk of Theft

Another key advantage of folding e-bikes is that they act as a serious theft deterrent. This is due to the fact that you don’t have to leave this kind of electric bike outside if you don’t want to, as the form factor allows for either easy carrying or resting in bike racks. Electric scooters, on the other hand, will have to be left outside while you perform errands or go to work. This leaves them wide open for potential thieves to do their dirty work. If you are parking an electric scooter, be sure to chain it up. The same theft issues apply when comparing electric mountain bikes vs cargo bikes.

Speed

You will find high-end electric folding bikes that are faster than medium-grade electric scooters, and you will find some scooters that are faster than folding bikes. In other words, it is a draw, as makes and models vary significantly when it comes to motor power. Electric scooters used to have a clear edge on this front, but recent years have seen manufacturers cutting corners to create light and cheap e-scooters. If speed is your primary requirement for a mode of transportation, you should probably check out a moped. Additionally, you can read about mopeds vs electric bikes to understand their differences.

Safety

Generally speaking, folding electric bikes are slightly safer than electric scooters. This is due to the nature of the design of scooters. E-scooters are lower to the ground than electric bikes, with smaller wheels. This leaves them susceptible to bumps in the road and other obstacles. Of course, the safety of a vehicle will likely depend on its overall durability and form factor. So it will vary depending on the make and model. Additionally, the type of motor can have an impact on safety. First, you need to decide between a mid-drive or wheel hub motor. Mid-drive offers a better weight distribution than hub motors. However, if you choose a hub motor, you may want it on the front wheel instead of the rear. You can read more about the differences between front wheel and rear wheel to see how these affect the bike’s performance. Don’t forget that with all that power, you need a way to stop as well. That’s where the choice of brake pads vs disc brakes for an electric bike comes in.

F.A.Q.S

Are electric scooters faster than electric folding bikes?

When it comes to the speeds of an electric bike and an electric scooter, it is something of a draw. There are faster e-scooters out there, but there are also faster e-bikes. Pick the type of vehicle you are most comfortable with. Though both are faster than a kick scooter.


What do I do with my bike if a train I’m on already becomes crowded?

If you are dealing with crowded train stations and crowded trains with an electric bike, simply fold it up and carry it. Otherwise, try to make the electric bicycle as out-of-the-way as possible.


What about a plain old analog bicycle?

You can opt for a traditional bike over an electric bike. They will require human power to operate, but they can fit in all bike racks and are cheaper than purchasing an electric vehicle.



STAT: In the 1890s, electric bicycles were documented within various U.S. patents. For example, on 31 December 1895, Ogden Bolton Jr. was granted U.S. Patent 552,271 for a battery-powered bicycle with “6-pole brush-and-commutator direct current (DC) hub motor mounted in the rear wheel”. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image