There are several main types of scooters: manual scooters, electric scooters, and dual scooters. A manual scooter is the traditional kick scooter. It doesn’t have a power source. When you stop kicking, it will eventually stop rolling.
The term electric scooter generally refers to a powered scooter. It is made to be propelled by the motor. You may be able to roll it manually if the battery dies, but it isn’t made to be ridden when this happens. The dual scooter is one that can be used as both an electric and manual scooter.
What Is a Dual Scooter?
A dual scooter or hybrid scooter is one that’s made to be driven by your feet and by the motor. It is designed to let you turn off the power and push it with your feet if you want. In short, it is made to work with a kick scooter when you want it to.
This can save battery life, though it requires a little more intelligence than units that you might be able to push if the battery dies. In contrast, some electric scooters are damaged if you try to propel it via hard kicks when the motor is off because this strains the bearings. In a dual scooter, you can switch to manual mode and push it as long as you like in any manner.
If the battery is dead, you can push it with your feet, too. And you can do so as if it were a conventional kick scooter. You’ll get home faster than if you walk it slowly home.
Can You Use An Electric Scooter As A Kick Scooter?
If it is a dual or hybrid scooter, the answer is always yes. Switch to manual mode and ride it like a kick scooter. For an electric scooter, there are additional reasons you may not want to use it as a kick scooter aside from the possibility of damaging the bearings.
Electric scooters designed for commuters have a wider deck and a more stable body than kick scooters. After all, you don’t have to step down with one foot and push. This can make it much harder to kick and propel the scooter.
However, the electric scooter can always be pushed all the way to the destination. You can also fold it up and carry it to your destination. That’s a point in favor of the scooters that can be folded up and carried in a backpack.
What Should You Look for in Hybrid Scooters?
When you are looking for electric scooters, battery life and charge time is key. The farther you want to go, the longer you want the battery to last.
Faster charge times mean you don’t have to charge the electric scooter 12 hours at night and while you’re at work to be able to ride it several miles to and from work.
You want to have long battery life and rapid charge time in hybrid scooters, too. While you can kick it and propel it, this can be exhausting. It allows you to extend the battery life or manage to ride it in a comfortable manner all the way home if the battery dies.
If you are shopping for a dual electric/kick scooter, ease of use also needs to be on the list of requirements. For example, how easy is it to stand on the scooter when you’re riding it at 15 miles an hour? And how easy is it to handle when you’re kicking off the ground? Some electric scooters have you too high above the ground to readily push it with afoot.
And leaning at an angle increases the odds you fall. This is why so many electric scooters have kickstands, so you can keep your balance while getting on and off or messing with the controls.
Manual scooters will only go as fast as you can push them. In electric and dual scooters, the motor and battery capacity will determine how fast it can go.
For example, a weak battery can’t deliver enough power to go fast. And the battery may have an upper limit, too. For example, children’s scooters may have a top speed of 5 or 10 miles per hour. It can’t go faster no matter how much power it has due to safety limits.
What Happens If You Use an Electric Scooter as a Kick Scooter?
If the electric motor is engaged, kicking it to make it go fast could damage the bearings. If that happens, you could mechanically damage the motors and other parts that allow the electric motor to move the scooter in the first place.
This is why hybrid scooters have a manual mode that typically disconnects the motor. Check the instruction manual to know if the scooter can safely be pushed at a rapid pace or if any special steps have to be taken to move it manually.
If you don’t have the manual, check the wheels. If you can’t get them to roll freely, you probably shouldn’t try to use it as a kick scooter.
You might not be able to move it even if the motor won’t be damaged by you kicking the ground to propel it. Kick scooters tend to be much lighter than electric scooters.
Hybrid scooters have an intermediate weight. It is weighed down by the battery and motor, but they don’t make it so heavy you can’t push it. In contrast, trying to propel an electric scooter by kicking it is hard when it may weigh more than forty pounds. That’s part of the reason why people tend to push them slowly if they can’t fold it up and carry it.
And that’s why someone carrying the scooter is often doing so in a sports bag, not carrying it like a baby. Depending on the design, you may have to bend your knee and push off hard, too.
That can end up being more work than simply walking the scooter the same way you could walk with your bicycle. Note that these same issues are true if the hybrid / dual scooter won’t switch to manual mode.