Author Topic: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.  (Read 3790 times)

Praxis

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Alright, guys.  We can all accept that it looks incredibly dorky.  But...can we have a conversation about electric scooters?

I was recently in San Francisco for a weekend, where I first witnessed this phenomenon.  I've recently read this amazingly written article from The Atlantic, Unfortunately, the Electric Scooters Are Fantastic, and the slightly less hilarious but still good NYT article How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Electric Scooters, and I'm increasingly interested in the tech.



Personally, I have a 3 mile commute to work. I should be bicycling to work.  However, as much as I know it's the right frugal/Mustachian thing to do, I keep driving.  Primarily because parking/storing the bike is a big hassle.  There are no exterior parking spots, and the only place to park the bike is in a bike rack in the back of the break room in the basement, which requires taking the bike on the elevator (downstairs, while everyone is going up to get to work, so it takes a long wait), through two secured doors and through a ton of seating areas and a kitchen, which is hard to navigate a bulky bike through.  At home, it's stored on a rack in the garage, while I park my car out front ready to go quickly. I also personally struggle with timeliness, so I am frequently rushing out the door and skip the bike option due to the hassle involved.

Additionally, we have brutal winters, so the bicycle is a poor option for a good portion of the year, which makes it hard to maintain the habit.



The scooter option, on the other hand, seems very simple: store it by the door.  When I get to work, plug it in under my desk.


The more I think about it, the more interested I get.


However, these people writing these articles and using this service in San Francisco are paying ~$3 per ride on these scooters, and many just to use them as a last-mile option to get to bus/metro stops.  This seems absurd, but I understand the difficulties of traffic in very big cities. It seems obvious to me that the best option is to buy an electric scooter, not rent them daily.




So the two questions are:

What do you think of the viability of electric scooters?

and

If good, which scooter should one purchase?

The latter question is complicated.  Amazon shows electric scooters starting from as cheap as $122 (Razor E100), with 10 mph and a long 12 hour recharge time for 40 minutes of driving (and I imagine not a lot of power for hills), to $249 (GOTRAX Glider)  for 17 mph and fast charging, to a high end Xiaomi scotter for $899, to reviewers that say I shouldn't settle for anything worse than the $699  Zoom Stryder which is one of the cheapest with a 500w motor and all the other bells and whistles.  I don't actually know what's necessary for a daily commute, and the more you spend the worse your ROI.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 02:36:06 PM by Praxis »

teltic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 03:11:04 PM »
This is an interesting post.  One I have been thinking about for a while.

I lived in Salt Lake City for most of my life, where winters get pretty brutal.  So while MMM tells me to ride bike every day... I don't.

Fast forward to 2018, where I moved to San Diego, California.  Perfect weather, and I grabbed an apartment 1.5 miles away from work.  I do ride my bike to work, every day (yay).   There is a slight incline I have to do, and I get a little sweaty upon getting to work.  Since the weather is nearly perfect (65 to 75 degrees), I can make this work.  When I get back to UT, I can't sustain this long term.

I've looked into E-bikes, not E-scooters (but we are accomplishing the same thing).  I have a hard time justifying paying over $1k for an electric whatever... I also worry about how long the batteries will last.

17MPH sounds wimpy.  I want 40 MPH, but I think that is unrealistic (Seems hard to sell electric whatevers that go that fast... But I've read some DIY E-bikes that can). Why do I want 40 MPH?  Not a clue.

Hopefully someone can chime in who is currently using an E-bike or E-scooter to do this!

DreamFIRE

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1232
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2018, 03:29:29 PM »
Stick to getting your exercise in a safe manner, such as biking trails, but don't ride a bike or scooter in traffic.  Your personal well being is more important than a little bit of gas money  savings.   Again, there are plenty of ways to get exercise without exposing yourself to that risk on city streets.

letired

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 767
  • Location: Texas
    • Needs More Glitter
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2018, 03:34:51 PM »
The scooters arrived at my city, and I'm not super into them. HOWEVER, most of my objections are

1) many of the people renting them have poor manners and operate them semi-dangerously. You can't be zipping around at speed on sidewalks around pedestrians. As much as I don't want them next to me when I'm biking, they belong in a bike lane, or similar arrangement for vehicles that go faster than walking but slower than cars.

2) the rented scooters get left just wherever. Either in the middle of the sidewalk, or worse, at bike racks.

That said, I'm not sure how a scooter addresses most of your concerns about biking. I'll (sortof) give you the one about it being more compact and easier to store when not in use, but the rest of it? How is scootering any better when it's cold out? You're still 100% exposed to the elements, and worse, you aren't generating any body heat to help keep you warm. And is the battery enough to get you 3 miles there and 3 miles back, especially when it's cold and the battery is underperforming? I've got my dubious face on.

Personally, I'd buy the $100 bike rack and mount it next to your front door before I shell out for an electric scooter. If you've got enough space for a scooter, I'm pretty sure you can make enough space for a bike. Then, I'd bike consistently for 3-6 months, then start lobbying for a better bike parking spot at work, either via whatever formal channels exist, or by parking it at your desk 'till everyone is annoyed with it being in the way and gives you a better spot to leave it.

PDXTabs

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 610
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Vancouver, WA, USA
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2018, 04:02:58 PM »
I don't have a ton to add, but my brother in Singapore has one that he loves. He uses it to take his 4 year old places too (she stands in front of him). I think he paid ~$1200-1500 USD, but that's nothing compared to a car in Singapore.

Rocketman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2018, 04:50:21 PM »
Talk to your work - I did and they put a bike rack right next to the employee entrance. It reminds that I should be biking the 6 miles EVERY DAY!!! ( just every once in a while).

Institutionalized

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2018, 07:28:05 PM »
Ha, that Atlantic article is fantastic.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3619
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2018, 08:01:00 PM »
My kids has the Razor one for ~150$.

Technically I'm too heavy (limit is 120 lbs), and the battery lasts only 20 minutes.

It is super fun and I would totally buy one if it made sense for my commute, or just as a toy. I have an ebike on my wish list and will probably go with that but it is appealing to just take your scooter in and stick it at your desk.

I don't want to be sweaty at work, and I hate riding up hills. Especially loaded down with groceries. An electric something sounds like the perfect solution.

AccidentialMustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2018, 08:26:50 PM »
Ebike rider here. I don't do winters as they are icy here (we're at the snow limits, so snow, melt, freeze, melt, freeze, repeat). Its a great way to run a 3.5 mile loop, home, school, work. I pedal with 1.2 to school with the lowest assist, otherwise my son on his bike yells at me for cheating. After I drop him I pedal some while I'm on a sleepy shady side street, but when I get out to the bike path along the east-west 4-lane with no shade, I let the motor rip and carry me along by itself. It pushes me the whole way in to work up a long but shallow hill.

On the way home I let it run the lowest assist the same way, unless I have a need to not be sweaty and gross (dr appt or similar).

I would not want to do groceries on a scooter where I'd have to carry them on a backpack or similar, that's a recipe for sweaty without real justification (ie, you aren't really getting a workout, but you get to be gross like you were). Panniers on the bike are so much nicer to stuff full of heavy stuff than a backpack.

In my ideal world the velomobiles like the ELF or Bio-Hybrid get into mass production and come down in price. Classified and the size of a bike but as a 3/4 wheel so self-stable in the winter, plus protection from the rain and cold wind and I'd ride it all year. Well okay more of the year. I'm not sure how they'd do plowing their own path through snow on the bike paths, and people (including the city) clearing driveways like leaving big heaps of snow on the path. But at least I could bike when its just cold/rainy/icy.

Miss Piggy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1224
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2018, 08:27:34 PM »
Well, as long as we're talking awkward scooter conversations...I almost feel dirty admitting this, but I recently received on of these, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!

https://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Adult-Shuffle-Scooter-Wheels/dp/B0183T0IRE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528424828&sr=8-1&keywords=schwinn+shuffle+scooter

There. I said it.

I think this is going to be my gateway drug into an electric scooter.

Praxis

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2018, 10:32:22 AM »
That said, I'm not sure how a scooter addresses most of your concerns about biking. I'll (sortof) give you the one about it being more compact and easier to store when not in use, but the rest of it? How is scootering any better when it's cold out? You're still 100% exposed to the elements, and worse, you aren't generating any body heat to help keep you warm. And is the battery enough to get you 3 miles there and 3 miles back, especially when it's cold and the battery is underperforming? I've got my dubious face on.


On the flip side, you're arriving at work without being all sweaty.  And yeah- most of the >$200 ones have 40 minute or 15 mile range batteries.


Well, as long as we're talking awkward scooter conversations...I almost feel dirty admitting this, but I recently received on of these, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!

https://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Adult-Shuffle-Scooter-Wheels/dp/B0183T0IRE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528424828&sr=8-1&keywords=schwinn+shuffle+scooter

There. I said it.

I think this is going to be my gateway drug into an electric scooter.

Interesting!  Do you just use it for fun or practical commuting?

Miss Piggy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1224
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2018, 02:25:35 PM »
Just for fun at this point. Hills are a beast. But it's a great workout!

teltic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2018, 03:17:22 PM »
The reason why I look into E-bikes/scooters is because of hills.  If the earth was flat, I would be okay riding a bike where ever.  I have a 1.5 mile bike ride to work, but there's a hill... I try to take it as slow as possible to be less sweaty, but it is quite embarrassing walking into a meeting sweating my ass off.

I am cautious on battery life though for e-bikes...

facepalm

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
  • Location: California
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2018, 06:52:26 PM »

17MPH sounds wimpy.  I want 40 MPH, but I think that is unrealistic (Seems hard to sell electric whatevers that go that fast... But I've read some DIY E-bikes that can). Why do I want 40 MPH?  Not a clue.



17 mph on tiny wheels is actually pretty quick--and more importantly, the top speed doesn't overwhelm the brakes or handling of the scooter. A scooter capable of 40mph would need a substantial brake, battery, suspension, and wheel upgrade. Which would make it heavier and more expensive. By the time you are done with upgrades and associated costs, you are into E-bike/scooter territory.

BikeFanatic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2018, 08:25:35 PM »
I had a Blaze e scooter, max speed 16 MPH Plenty fast. Need a powerful scooter for an adult. Mine was 350 watt. Loved it. Gave it to my neighbors kids  now just ride the bike and Ebike.

letired

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 767
  • Location: Texas
    • Needs More Glitter
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2018, 08:59:33 PM »
That said, I'm not sure how a scooter addresses most of your concerns about biking. I'll (sortof) give you the one about it being more compact and easier to store when not in use, but the rest of it? How is scootering any better when it's cold out? You're still 100% exposed to the elements, and worse, you aren't generating any body heat to help keep you warm. And is the battery enough to get you 3 miles there and 3 miles back, especially when it's cold and the battery is underperforming? I've got my dubious face on.


On the flip side, you're arriving at work without being all sweaty.  And yeah- most of the >$200 ones have 40 minute or 15 mile range batteries.


Well, sure, you aren't sweaty, but that's because you aren't getting any exercise, which is one of the big items in the pro-bike column. But that wasn't on your list of bike issues. And everyone has different body chemistry yadda yadda, but that's not a bit issue I've seen, even in Texas. This makes it sound a bit like you're fishing for justification.

Vapour

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2018, 12:24:47 AM »
Personally, I have a 3 mile commute to work. I should be bicycling to work.  However, as much as I know it's the right frugal/Mustachian thing to do, I keep driving.  Primarily because parking/storing the bike is a big hassle.  There are no exterior parking spots, and the only place to park the bike is in a bike rack in the back of the break room in the basement
There may be no designated outdoor bike parking, but you can easily lock a bike to a lot of different things like sign/light posts, trees, railings, etc.  I bike to places all the time that don't have designated bike racks.  You can pretty much always find something solid to lock your bike to.  Sure, it's more of a pain, but it usually can be done.  Or if security is decent at your workplace and your bike isn't very expensive, you may not even really need to lock it up to something - just lock the wheels to the frame to prevent someone from riding it away easily.  Or talk with your employer about adding a small bike rack outside that is more accessible than the one in the basement.  It seems like if bike storage at work is really your main issue, you should be able to find a way to resolve this if you really do want to bike to work.  Now if you really just don't want to bike to work, that's fine.  I'm just saying it may be easier to make it work than you think.  I highly enjoy bike commuting and would recommend you at least give it a try.

Stick to getting your exercise in a safe manner, such as biking trails, but don't ride a bike or scooter in traffic.  Your personal well being is more important than a little bit of gas money  savings.   Again, there are plenty of ways to get exercise without exposing yourself to that risk on city streets.
You're making assumptions here.  I'm not sure that a bike trail is that much safer than riding on a decent road with dedicated bike lane or wide shoulder.  On a bike path, you still have to deal with cars at cross streets.  This is what always feels most dangerous to me.  Cars may block the bike path at the intersection, pull out in front of you, and generally aren't paying attention to the paths, whereas they do generally know to look for cars on the road so if you're biking on the road then they'll be more likely to see you.  Also, not all commutes are in heavy traffic or high speed areas.  I'm not sure why you'd just assume that the commute must be unsafe, but there are some places you can bike that are safe.  I've seen a few comments on here lately about risking your life by bike commuting to save a few dollars on gas, and I think it's ridiculous to assume that all bike commuting is dangerous.  Driving in a car is dangerous too.  There are things you can do to make bike commuting more safe.  Make sure you're visible (bright colors, lights), bike defensively, follow the law (or at least yield at stop signs and stop at stoplights and check for traffic), assume no one sees you.  Sure, there's still some risk in it, but that's life.  If your particular commute is on busy/high speed roads with no bike lane/shoulder, then maybe it isn't smart to bike in that case.  But it doesn't make sense to assume that everyone falls into this category and must be risking their life to save a few bucks.  To me, it's not even about saving money.  I'd bike for fun anyway and I love that my commute forces me to get exercise everyday.  It's an awesome way to start the day.

The reason why I look into E-bikes/scooters is because of hills.  If the earth was flat, I would be okay riding a bike where ever.  I have a 1.5 mile bike ride to work, but there's a hill... I try to take it as slow as possible to be less sweaty, but it is quite embarrassing walking into a meeting sweating my ass off.
I'd recommend bringing in a change of clothes and putting a small fan at your desk at work (if you have one).  I cool off pretty quickly with a fan blowing on me.  I've never really had any issues being too sweaty with a ~5 mile commute, though it's not too hilly and my work is pretty casual.  It's also generally cooler in the mornings, which helps.  If you get in before your first meeting and have time to cool off at your desk first, that may help too.

Sorry, I don't know anything about electric scooters or have anything to add there so I probably should have just stayed out of this thread.  Just seeing too many anti-bike posts lately and felt the need to speak up about that.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3619
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2018, 04:51:00 AM »
Vapour, on the issue of being sweaty at work, may I kindly advise you not to advise people on it?

It is a real issue and of someone says they get too sweaty while biking,you should believe them. Everyone has different body chemistry, different standards at our offices, different fitness levels, etc.

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8251
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2018, 05:18:29 AM »

17MPH sounds wimpy.  I want 40 MPH, but I think that is unrealistic (Seems hard to sell electric whatevers that go that fast... But I've read some DIY E-bikes that can). Why do I want 40 MPH?  Not a clue.



17 mph on tiny wheels is actually pretty quick--and more importantly, the top speed doesn't overwhelm the brakes or handling of the scooter. A scooter capable of 40mph would need a substantial brake, battery, suspension, and wheel upgrade. Which would make it heavier and more expensive. By the time you are done with upgrades and associated costs, you are into E-bike/scooter territory.
This, plus a crash at 17mph will most likely leave you with some cuts and scrapes. A crash at 40mph is more likely to put you in the hospital (or worse). In order to make it suitably  safe to ride at 40mph (aforementioned upgrades to brakes, suspension, steering) you've lose the economic edge.
...but sure, you could just slap on a bigger electric motor + battery and fly down the road until a pebble tossed you ass-over-teakettle at 40mph.


shawndoggy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 288
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2018, 07:02:51 AM »
how about an electric skateboard instead?? way less dorky.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3375
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2018, 09:16:15 AM »
The reason why I look into E-bikes/scooters is because of hills.  If the earth was flat, I would be okay riding a bike where ever.  I have a 1.5 mile bike ride to work, but there's a hill... I try to take it as slow as possible to be less sweaty, but it is quite embarrassing walking into a meeting sweating my ass off.

Yeah, the motor helps there a lot.  I used to ebike commute in Seattle and would reliably show up glistening with sweat unless I got to work about 15 minutes early to cool off, which rather defeated the point.  An ebike got me there faster than a car, and not sweaty, and then I could do whatever I wanted coming home.  I lived on top of a rather large hill, and would generally use the motor pretty hard going up that as well, because it saved a lot of time, and because if I'd gone up it without the motor, I'd arrive home, hot, sweaty, and generally annoyed from sucking a lot of car exhaust up the hill.  With the motor, far less of an issue.

Quote
I am cautious on battery life though for e-bikes...

As you should be.  I make a lot of money rebuilding those things.  Get a bike that doesn't use a proprietary battery so you can just replace the whole pack, and then find a charger that won't charge it all the way (charge to 4.1V/cell instead of 4.2 and you radically increase battery longevity).

Well, sure, you aren't sweaty, but that's because you aren't getting any exercise, which is one of the big items in the pro-bike column. But that wasn't on your list of bike issues. And everyone has different body chemistry yadda yadda, but that's not a bit issue I've seen, even in Texas. This makes it sound a bit like you're fishing for justification.

An ebike is more exercise than a car, and different places care about you showing up sweaty different amounts.

facepalm

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
  • Location: California
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2018, 09:23:45 AM »

17MPH sounds wimpy.  I want 40 MPH, but I think that is unrealistic (Seems hard to sell electric whatevers that go that fast... But I've read some DIY E-bikes that can). Why do I want 40 MPH?  Not a clue.



17 mph on tiny wheels is actually pretty quick--and more importantly, the top speed doesn't overwhelm the brakes or handling of the scooter. A scooter capable of 40mph would need a substantial brake, battery, suspension, and wheel upgrade. Which would make it heavier and more expensive. By the time you are done with upgrades and associated costs, you are into E-bike/scooter territory.
This, plus a crash at 17mph will most likely leave you with some cuts and scrapes. A crash at 40mph is more likely to put you in the hospital (or worse). In order to make it suitably  safe to ride at 40mph (aforementioned upgrades to brakes, suspension, steering) you've lose the economic edge.
...but sure, you could just slap on a bigger electric motor + battery and fly down the road until a pebble tossed you ass-over-teakettle at 40mph.
Excellent points. A scooter like the Razor E300 comes with pneumatic tires (which would be a minimum in my book) but has a  optimistic single rear brake and fairly steep head angle which are probably the key factors that limit its speed to 15 mph.

If I were to ride one, I'd be happy with the  25 mph limit. Asphalt, when contacted at speed, works similarly to a cheese grater. A crash at 17mph with a helmet is survivable, but the pavement will take your skin down a few layers.

To even survive a crash at 40 will require a DOT/Snell approved helmet, and a full Power Ranger suit. I ride a moto, and never ride without the full suit. When I'm touring through places like Idaho on my KTM, I see guys on motos with no helmets, wearing cutoffs and shorts. Here I am in 90 degree weather, full monkey suit, sweating at the stop light, and they are out all comfy working on their tan. But I know that if I hit the pavement I at least have a chance, while they pretty much have none.

Vapour

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2018, 10:31:20 AM »
Vapour, on the issue of being sweaty at work, may I kindly advise you not to advise people on it?

It is a real issue and of someone says they get too sweaty while biking,you should believe them. Everyone has different body chemistry, different standards at our offices, different fitness levels, etc.
It's not that I don't believe them.  I was just trying to make some suggestions that might help in with dealing with it.  If it doesn't work for you, that's fine and an ebike or scooter would be a great alternative to a car.  I understand that bike commuting isn't for everyone.  I was just trying to help with ways to make it work for people who show a willingness to try it.

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7173
  • Location: Washington DC
  • Cake or Death?
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2018, 10:55:05 AM »
Vapour, thanks for saying something. It's strange to see the anti-bike strain pop up. My own bike to work experiment was brief, but I want to try again now that I have a shorter commute and a flexible start time. In the meantime I'm doing a combo of subway and walking. I wish I had the time to walk both ways, because it's one of the only chances I get to be outside in the sunshine

When I used to bike 8-9 miles through the worst traffic Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan could offer, I kept baby wipes and clothing at work. This was in the summer, and I am not very fit, so I got incredibly sweaty and gross. Spent 5-10 minutes washing off in the bathroom before going to my desk, and no problem. This was in a fairly conservative company, too.

Praxis

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2018, 11:08:08 AM »
Vapour, on the issue of being sweaty at work, may I kindly advise you not to advise people on it?

It is a real issue and of someone says they get too sweaty while biking,you should believe them. Everyone has different body chemistry, different standards at our offices, different fitness levels, etc.

I'm going to throw another curveball here- I suffer from cholinergic urticaria.   If I raise my body temperature and sweat due to exercise, I break out in hives. In layman's terms, I am literally allergic to exercise (specifically, cardio).  When I jog, I break out in hives.   I can do strength training and swimming, but I break out in hives if I jog.

(My wife thought I was making this up when I first told her, until I tried jogging with her.  It's a full-body rash.)

When I was younger, I lived in the Netherlands for a few years (before I'd developed the cholinergic urticaria) and commuted by bicycle everywhere.  I loved it (but the country was flat and bicycle parking was abundant).

Last year I biked to work a couple times and did not break out in hives luckily- but it's a constant concern that makes me hesitate to rely on it during hot summer months.  I need to reiterate- this is a hypothetical concern- so far, I have never broken out in hives on a work bicycle commute (but I've only done it a few times), but I always break out in hives when I jog.


But yeah- this is an interesting example of how everyone's body is different.  I sweat quite heavily when I sweat- I'm extremely OCD about frequent showers.  My wife barely sweats and if she skips a shower for a day she's still quite clean.

Personally, I have a 3 mile commute to work. I should be bicycling to work.  However, as much as I know it's the right frugal/Mustachian thing to do, I keep driving.  Primarily because parking/storing the bike is a big hassle.  There are no exterior parking spots, and the only place to park the bike is in a bike rack in the back of the break room in the basement
There may be no designated outdoor bike parking, but you can easily lock a bike to a lot of different things like sign/light posts, trees, railings, etc.  I bike to places all the time that don't have designated bike racks.  You can pretty much always find something solid to lock your bike to.  Sure, it's more of a pain, but it usually can be done.  Or if security is decent at your workplace and your bike isn't very expensive, you may not even really need to lock it up to something - just lock the wheels to the frame to prevent someone from riding it away easily.  Or talk with your employer about adding a small bike rack outside that is more accessible than the one in the basement.  It seems like if bike storage at work is really your main issue, you should be able to find a way to resolve this if you really do want to bike to work.  Now if you really just don't want to bike to work, that's fine.  I'm just saying it may be easier to make it work than you think.  I highly enjoy bike commuting and would recommend you at least give it a try.

While I'm in a smaller city (pop 500k, tallest buildings are about twenty stories), I work in the dead center of our downtown, several stories up.  My work has to rent a commercial parking lot a block away for us.  I doubt it's feasible to get my work to install one on the sidewalk, but I can try suggesting it.


The reason why I look into E-bikes/scooters is because of hills.  If the earth was flat, I would be okay riding a bike where ever.  I have a 1.5 mile bike ride to work, but there's a hill... I try to take it as slow as possible to be less sweaty, but it is quite embarrassing walking into a meeting sweating my ass off.
I'd recommend bringing in a change of clothes and putting a small fan at your desk at work (if you have one).  I cool off pretty quickly with a fan blowing on me.  I've never really had any issues being too sweaty with a ~5 mile commute, though it's not too hilly and my work is pretty casual.  It's also generally cooler in the mornings, which helps.  If you get in before your first meeting and have time to cool off at your desk first, that may help too.

Sorry, I don't know anything about electric scooters or have anything to add there so I probably should have just stayed out of this thread.  Just seeing too many anti-bike posts lately and felt the need to speak up about that.

These are genuinely good suggestions, but for someone who struggles with timeliness and morning routine, adding "get there even earlier and pack a change of clothes" makes it tough.  Especially given that I physically sweat quite easily.


I'm not anti-bike- biking to work is a goal of mine that I'd very much like to achieve- but rather, pointing out advantages that an electric scooter or bike has in my case.  I hate that I commute with car and think I'm being very wasteful, and I'm not replying to argue with you, but clarify why I currently struggle.  I feel the need to clarify this because I feel like most of the time people are arguing to justify their habits- I'm explaining, not justifying.

My wife, I should add, also thinks I'm being a whinypants and that I should get a bus pass instead of getting an electric scooter.  I hesitate because I think it actually costs me more than gas monthly if I don't sell one of the cars.  (My math on my commute says I spent less than $1/round trip with my Prius even when you account for maintenance.  Bus pass is $60.  Eliminating my commute 20 days a week and paying for a bus pass doesn't seem to save me money. However, our insurance on the car costs more than the bus pass would.)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 11:18:30 AM by Praxis »

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
  • Location: Northern California
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2018, 11:36:26 AM »
I cycle commute. I think the risks of cycling in traffic are mostly overstated and usually quite manageable with route selection and learning how a cycle safely interacts with traffic. Recently I saw someone commuting on something that looked like an electric skateboard. They traveled in traffic like a bike. I can see that being a great alternative for someone who would otherwise bike but has a bike storage issue. I agree with other posters about asking your employer to provide better bike parking.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5711
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2018, 01:00:20 PM »
It's interesting that some company just rolled these out here, because I read an article about how the city is impounding them.  (The company without warning put them out on sidewalks.)

About half the comments on the news article was about how they are a nuisance in other cities, and half are angry at the city for being against everything and always wanting money.

So, my opinion
- you can't just roll them out and use up space on sidewalks that you do not own and do not have permission to use.  You need a permit to operate here, as much as many people complain about it.
- It could very well be a nuisance with them being left in the middle of the sidewalks, though if they are any more of a nuisance than the homeless population here, I'd be surprised.
- They don't come with helmets.  Someone's going to get hurt.
- Some dufus is going to try riding them on the sidewalk, which is dangerous.  Already we have people riding their bikes on the sidewalk by the beach, even though it is literally in between a dedicated bike path and a freaking road.
- I'd rather walk or ride a bike, but that's just me.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
  • Location: Northern California
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2018, 05:04:07 PM »
It's interesting that some company just rolled these out here, because I read an article about how the city is impounding them.  (The company without warning put them out on sidewalks.)

About half the comments on the news article was about how they are a nuisance in other cities, and half are angry at the city for being against everything and always wanting money.

So, my opinion
- you can't just roll them out and use up space on sidewalks that you do not own and do not have permission to use.  You need a permit to operate here, as much as many people complain about it.
- It could very well be a nuisance with them being left in the middle of the sidewalks, though if they are any more of a nuisance than the homeless population here, I'd be surprised.
- They don't come with helmets.  Someone's going to get hurt.
- Some dufus is going to try riding them on the sidewalk, which is dangerous.  Already we have people riding their bikes on the sidewalk by the beach, even though it is literally in between a dedicated bike path and a freaking road.

Sacramento, California passed an ordinance a few months ago requiring dockless bikeshares to have integrated locks that lock to a bike rack and that the share scheme install 2 racks (usable by any cyclist) for every 3 bikes they deploy (and the same rules applies to scooter shares).

Vapour

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2018, 09:56:00 PM »
While I'm in a smaller city (pop 500k, tallest buildings are about twenty stories), I work in the dead center of our downtown, several stories up.  My work has to rent a commercial parking lot a block away for us.  I doubt it's feasible to get my work to install one on the sidewalk, but I can try suggesting it.

Ok, that sounds a bit more difficult.  Your employer may not even be able to install a bike rack on the sidewalk (public property I assume?) without permission.  So they may be even less likely to want to deal with it.  But doesn't anyone else downtown bike?  It seems odd that there are no bike racks in the nearby downtown area that you could use.  I'd think the demand would be even higher if you're in a downtown area with multiple businesses around.  I guess it's not a very bike friendly place.

I'm not anti-bike- biking to work is a goal of mine that I'd very much like to achieve- but rather, pointing out advantages that an electric scooter or bike has in my case.  I hate that I commute with car and think I'm being very wasteful, and I'm not replying to argue with you, but clarify why I currently struggle.  I feel the need to clarify this because I feel like most of the time people are arguing to justify their habits- I'm explaining, not justifying.
I didn't mean to imply you were anti-bike or this was an anti-bike thread, but there have been others making anti-bike comments like saying that all bike commuting is dangerous.  I think what they mean is that their particular commute would be dangerous if done via bike.  But that doesn't mean everyone's commute would be dangerous via bike.

I think the fact that you've tried biking and want to do it more is awesome!  Your struggles do seem valid and I can understand how it'd make it off-putting to get started.  I had a bit of a hard time adjusting to bike commuting at first despite having pretty much no obstacles in my way.  And that was coming from years of leisurely riding, being comfortable on a bike and on the road.  Change in and of itself can be hard to adjust to.  But the more I said, "I have to bike everyday that it's not raining," the easier it became to do and the more I loved it.  Now, I don't even let the rain stop me most days!  Snow on the other hand...

My wife, I should add, also thinks I'm being a whinypants and that I should get a bus pass instead of getting an electric scooter.  I hesitate because I think it actually costs me more than gas monthly if I don't sell one of the cars.  (My math on my commute says I spent less than $1/round trip with my Prius even when you account for maintenance.  Bus pass is $60.  Eliminating my commute 20 days a week and paying for a bus pass doesn't seem to save me money. However, our insurance on the car costs more than the bus pass would.)
If you're really only spending <$1/day for your commute, that's pretty good.  It doesn't seem like the bus pass would make sense, unless you'd make use of it for other trips or if it allowed you to get rid of the car.  It does sound like the electric scooter would be a pretty good option for you.  Have you considered a regular non-powered kick scooter?  At 3 miles, that seems do-able if you had the time.  Less things to go wrong and you'd still get some exercise, but not have to deal with bike parking.  It'd be even dorkier than an electric scooter though! :)

Praxis

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2018, 02:30:00 PM »
While I'm in a smaller city (pop 500k, tallest buildings are about twenty stories), I work in the dead center of our downtown, several stories up.  My work has to rent a commercial parking lot a block away for us.  I doubt it's feasible to get my work to install one on the sidewalk, but I can try suggesting it.

Ok, that sounds a bit more difficult.  Your employer may not even be able to install a bike rack on the sidewalk (public property I assume?) without permission.  So they may be even less likely to want to deal with it.  But doesn't anyone else downtown bike?  It seems odd that there are no bike racks in the nearby downtown area that you could use.  I'd think the demand would be even higher if you're in a downtown area with multiple businesses around.  I guess it's not a very bike friendly place.

They (the city) did recently install a bike lane, but I don't think there is a bike rack anywhere within a block of my work.  I think the nearest one is at the bus plaza a few city blocks away.

But yeah, there's not a large number of bikers sadly.


Thanks for the mentality tips, I might try to get myself set up tonight to bike to work tomorrow :)

If you're really only spending <$1/day for your commute, that's pretty good.  It doesn't seem like the bus pass would make sense, unless you'd make use of it for other trips or if it allowed you to get rid of the car.



My math is this:

My Prius gets 45 mpg, I'm going to say 35 mpg because I'm an inefficient driver.
3 miles at 35 mpg = 30 cents.    Let's say 3 miles also costs 20 cents in maintenance/deprecation.  That's 50 cents a trip, or $1/day.

Quote
  It does sound like the electric scooter would be a pretty good option for you. 

At risk of arguing with my own thesis,  someone on Reddit pointed out: at $1/day, 20 days a week, 8 months of the year (cold winters), it'd take 3 years to break even on a $500 scooter- the question is how long until the battery needs to be replaced?  I'm waffling on this.

This is the scooter someone on Reddit recommended.

Quote
Have you considered a regular non-powered kick scooter?  At 3 miles, that seems do-able if you had the time.

The ride back is uphill, unfortunately.  Kick scooters do poorly under that condition (bikes are fine though).

I'll try again with the bike and keep considering the electric scooter if I end up struggling to do it.

grundomatic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2018, 09:03:51 AM »
I've heard those things are unstable, looking at the handlebars I am not surprised. There is a reason bicycle handlebars are wider than a foot. A friend rented one of those things to ride around in San Diego. A cyclist says "on your left", she raises her hand to acknowledge she heard, and BAM! goes down. Broken elbow. I say stay away from the things, but if you do ride one, keep both hands on the handlebar!

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
  • Location: Northern California
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2018, 08:51:19 AM »
My math is this:

My Prius gets 45 mpg, I'm going to say 35 mpg because I'm an inefficient driver.
3 miles at 35 mpg = 30 cents.    Let's say 3 miles also costs 20 cents in maintenance/deprecation.  That's 50 cents a trip, or $1/day.

At risk of arguing with my own thesis,  someone on Reddit pointed out: at $1/day, 20 days a weekmonth, 8 months of the year (cold winters), it'd take 3 years to break even on a $500 scooter- the question is how long until the battery needs to be replaced?  I'm waffling on this.

Doesn't sound very cost effective. By the time you add in power, maintenance, and time value of money; you'd be looking at about 4 years before cost savings.. If you hate your car commute then this is a viable alternative; but not enough potential to save money that I would choose it on a purely financial level. Of course the numbers change dramatically when you are able to eliminate the carrying cost of the car.

Just Joe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2061
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2018, 03:23:49 PM »
Years ago I rode my kids unpowered scooter. The front wheel was so close to my leading foot that when I ran over a small rock, it pitched me right over and I had to try to run it out before I stumbled. I survived unscathed. Be careful.

I built a mid-drive ebike from a kit. Its battery bolts to the frame and is detachable. When this battery wears out I can remove the cradle from the bike and install another battery of any sort. I'm passing 1000 miles with no noticeable reduction in range or speed. My charger allows me to charge from slow to fast (5 levels) and to 80/90/100%. The idea is to charge it to 80% most of the time and as slowly as you have patience for. Usually I pick the middle (3 AMP) setting. I rode it today and I'm charging it to 100% for the first time in a long time to rebalance the cells. I read where doing this occasionally is a good idea. Normally I charge only at home, today I brought the charger with me.

A friend bought bare cells and built his own battery for ~$100. I spent a fair amount more for an off the shelf pre-built battery. Uses the same cells as the Tesla S I'm told, and they are very long lived losing perhaps 1% of capacity per year.

My battery is removable so when I lock the bike up outside a shop, I take the battery with me to reduce my losses should the bike get stolen and to make it less desirable to ride away with. Without the battery it is just a heavy bike.

The bike is a great conversation starter. I ride in to work with more boost when it is hot outside so I don't work up a major sweat. The ride home is more about the work out. As others have mentioned, just choose a route based on its safety and ease more than directness. I add about half a mile to my ride to utilize quieter streets part of the way.

Talk to your employer. Maybe they can make it easier for you to park your bike inside or out. I bring my bike into the building basement with me where it stays in a locked room that I have a key for.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
  • Location: Northern California
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2018, 10:03:04 AM »
The front wheel was so close to my leading foot that when I ran over a small rock, it pitched me right over and I had to try to run it out before I stumbled.
Small wheels makes debris on the riding surface much more significant and shorter horizontal distance from front axle to center of mass makes pivoting over the axle more likely.

My charger allows me to charge from slow to fast (5 levels) and to 80/90/100%. The idea is to charge it to 80% most of the time and as slowly as you have patience for.
This is a good protocol because lithium cells age faster when they are warmer and more fully charged. Faster charging means the cells are warmer while charging (faster discharge is also warmer than slower discharge). Unlike lead based cells, there's not really any harm in storing them at a low state of charge (as long as they don't fully discharge); but planning to start the charge enough ahead of your desired use to charge slowly can be a challenge.

hadabeardonce

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • It's never too early to learn the value of money.
    • My Journal
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2018, 10:40:11 AM »
Bicycles provide greater health benefits and parts for them are easier to obtain.

My boss bought a $4k ebike after I started biking in to work on my 15 year-old 26" mtb. It's funny to hear him complain on the days he forgets to charge it or the battery dies; "I had to pedal all the way home... the thing is so heavy... I took it into the shop the other day..." I like the simplicity of what I have and knowing that my motor only improves the more often I ride.

patrickza

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
  • Age: 39
    • The Investor Challenge
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2018, 09:23:03 AM »
I have two electric bikes and an electric scooter. All were built by myself and they're all stupidly powerful. The least powerful is my scooter and that has 4 horse power and does 25mph, my bicycles do 40mph and 53mph, but I'm usually too scared to go those speeds.

The scooter is the most fun, and where I live there are hardly any around and definitely no adults using them. I get so many comments riding and can't help but have a grin when I ride. The only thing that sucks to me is the 10 mile max range, but eventually I'll replace the older lithium cells with some tesla style cells and increase the range to more than double that.

The big benefit of the scooter is that I don't need a pickup and a dropoff when I take my car to get serviced etc, I just pull the scooter out of the back and ride away while everyone else needs to wait for transport.

aspiringnomad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 726
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2018, 11:25:42 AM »
I think after SF and parts of LA, DC was among the first to adopt these en masse. As with anything new (and dorky) there was a bit of blowback at first, but I do think they offer the best, cheap way to get around the city for the average person. Bikes are a bit more of a hassle and if no e-assist will leave you sweaty in our humid summers. I had my moped recently stolen, and I used the insurance money to buy another because I had always figured it was the best way to get around the city. But I probably should have thought more seriously about buying an electric scooter for $500 off Amazon like my next door neighbor did, so as not to have to rely on one of the shared scooters being nearby. It folds up easily for inside storage so no worries about theft, and can get you pretty much anywhere in town using the bike lanes.

Mon€yp€nny

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2018, 03:43:14 PM »
And here for the Dutch perspective: why do you need a bike rack to store a bike? We put locks around trees, lamp posts, bridges, etc etc.  (Or we attach our bicycle to the trailer from the band we think is playing at the party we are going to attend, what do you know, they had more venues in that building ;-) )
The average railway station here has a problem cause people park outside the bike racks so much (saves one or two minutes). Two elevators and a kitchen isn't very practical or hygienic.
Ask for another bike rack or just start to park your bike at another spot (that doesn't cause inconvenience to others of course).
As for safety, make sure you are visible.  Good lighting, maybe a reflector on your body or helmet when traffic isn't used to cyclist where you have to drive.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
  • Location: Northern California
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2018, 05:30:21 PM »
And here for the Dutch perspective: why do you need a bike rack to store a bike? We put locks around trees, lamp posts, bridges, etc etc.
Plenty of people do that in the US as well. Sometimes it is hard to find something to lock to that is both compatible with a good U-lock (most trees and many lamposts are too large in diameter) and not an inconvenience to others (plenty of handrails that would work with locks, but would get in the way of pedestrians). Cable locks are too easily defeated and chains are too cumbersome to carry.

Our local bike share has been installing racks that are designed for their bikes (legally any bike can use them - a city requirement for bike share operators). The rack is a bent sheet of metal with a circular hole near the top at the height their bike's integrated lock. I've occasionally seen their bikes locked to them (usually their bikes are locked to flimsy but convenient sign posts). The only time I have seen a private bike locked to the bike share installed racks it had to have one wheel lifted off the ground to have the lock fit around the frame and through the hole.

AccidentialMustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2018, 07:09:29 PM »
Two thoughts --

1) if its a big city, go harass your city government about cycling infrastructure! They provide street parking I bet, they should be providing bike parking too. And you can fit a lot more of them into a double-car-spot than you can cars!

2) Electric Folding Bike. You get a bike, but its small and compact when folded (think luggage size), and you don't have to sweat your way in and can avoid the hives issue. Some are clever and can be wheeled about on their own wheels when folded.

There's a guy who works at a bank nearish my work that rides a Rad Mini, but there's lots of other options. Check the electric bike reviews online, you'll find a ton of options.

IMO, having had a 750W Rad Wagon for a year now -- while its a great hauling bike and the high output motor is a ton of fun... I kinda wish I had something smaller/lighter/lower wattage/smaller battery vs it. It's great when I need to take DS somewhere and he's riding on back of it, but I prefer it when he's on his own bike (which as it happens is a dahon mariner folding bike, DW's former bike before she decided it doesn't really fit her very well) because its good for him to burn off some of his too-abundant energy.

Mon€yp€nny

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
Re: I know it's awkward, but...let's talk about Electric Scooters.
« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2018, 02:09:52 AM »
@robartsd You indeed need to make sure you are a social cyclist. I used to wrap my chain lock around the bagage rack but there are also al sorts of bags available.
I missed my train once cause I could not get to the elevator in my wheelchair because of all the illegal parked bikes (free camera monitored indoor bicycle facility at that station, mind you). I had to move bikes, on a day that I didn't really bring my wheelchair to carry my bag for me. Luckily we don't live there anymore :-).

Is there a bicycle union/ foundation in the US that could maybe help? Maybe a foundation that shares the knowledge how and who to approach in your city.