Cargo Bike or Commuter Scooter: Which Is the Future of Your Commute?
The streets are packed with cars that pollute the air and keep you stuck in traffic for hours. Cars are a major source of pollution in Australian cities, which is why more and more people seek out alternative ways of transportation. While bikes are definitely an environmentally-friendly and cheap transportation option, cycling to work isn’t always practical, especially if there’s a long distance to cover. Plus, a bicycle isn’t exactly compact, and you might have trouble storing it while you’re at work.
These might be some of the reasons why you decided to get a cargo bicycle or a commuter scooter. Not only are these eco-friendly transportation options, but they’re also easy to take on the subway or a train and store in the basement, at the office or even in the trunk of your car. Let’s see what each of these offers so you can pick an option that works best for you.
If you’ve never heard about it before, you’re probably wondering what’s a cargo bike? It can be simply defined as a bike that is adapted to transport more than the rider. There are a variety of cargo bike designs that can carry a variety of loads. So, basically, it’s a bike with large racks at the back and front – like a bike on steroids. Jokes aside, this type of bike is longer and larger than normal bicycles and you can use it for everything from going to work, to running errands, taking the children to school and grocery shopping.
There’s also the option to get a cargo e-bike. This way, you’ll get to your destination faster and with less effort. If the cargo e-bike is more than 250W, it’s no longer considered as “electrically assisted” but as a motor vehicle. In this case, such bikes may not have access to regular bike lanes and you’ll need to ride them on the road. If it’s up to 250W, you can easily ride it in the urban areas and on bike lanes.
Cargo bikes are always heavier than regular bikes. They weight about 20kg for the bike and about 5kg for the battery. However, they can support a lot of weight thanks to their sturdy design – up to 100kg for the cyclist and an extra 20kg of load. As a result, you can use the bike to transport loads such as suitcases, boxes, even smaller furniture. Unfortunately, the weight of the load can affect the bike’s speed and its capacity to climb heights.
Compared to a bike, the commuter scooter is a much smaller means of transportation. It can be electric or push scooter. The electric option is far better for longer distances, while the push scooter is just enough for shorter distances. It’s designed to carry only you (and you can carry your bag or backpack on you, or maybe a small bag on the handles). So, the scooter is only meant to help you move.
If you don’t feel like putting an effort into cycling, then a scooter is for you. Plus, due to being lighter and smaller than a cargo bicycle, as the scooter is a lot easier to carry around and store when not in use.
When purchasing your commuter scooter, you’d probably want to know if it can be folded and stored in your trunk or anywhere in your home. If you want to be able to store your scooter under your office desk or in your work locker, then a folding model will be a more suitable option for you.
When it comes to the wheel size, the bigger ones are better for commuting. They can transport you faster and the ride is more comfortable. However, large wheels aren’t collapsible, so they will add bulk to the scooter.
When it comes to weight, keep in mind that you’ll have to carry the scooter sometimes (when climbing stairs or on public transport). If you decide to get an electric model, expect it to be heavier than the push scooter. Lift it in your hands so you’ll know exactly whether you’ll be able to carry it.
Riding both a scooter and a cargo e bike is simple. The electric cargo bike can climb up to 10% of inclination (if we assume you go with a normal pace and a load of up to 100kg). Commuter e scooters are easy for riding, they don’t require any pushing, just hop on it and keep your balance.
Even though these options don’t require a lot of physical effort, they are still a lot better than sitting in the car. Because you’re going to need to keep your balance when riding an e-bike or a scooter, this means that you will need to activate your muscles (and this will give them a small workout). Plus, you’ll get to improve your balance and spend more time out breathing fresh air. In other words, these are excellent if you want to increase your physical activity without pushing yourself too much.
And besides staying in shape, you will not contribute to air pollution, which is one of the most serious factors for lung diseases.
The Final Verdict
All things considered, the decision should depend on your specific needs. For instance, if you don’t carry a lot of things (bags, lunch box, toolbox) or other people (your kids to school) or pets, then a commuter scooter is a great option. An electric cargo bicycle is better if you need to transport heavier loads that otherwise, you won’t be able to do with a regular bike or a scooter.