The best electric bikes, scooters and skateboards to use at school
For the medium-distance ride to school, Brompton's Electric offers a good balance of range, weight and fun. The bike only assists your ride up to 15MPH, over a distance of 25 to 50 miles per charge, but in return you'll have less weight to haul up those daunting college stairs (36 pounds with the battery). The smaller 16-inch wheels and slim frame mean the Brompton will stow under your desk more easily than some bigger bikes, so you might not have to worry about leaving your $3,500 investment chained to communal bike racks. Despite only having two gears (you can upgrade to six for an extra $250), Brompton claims it can tackle "most" San Francisco hills -- meaning your local mound should be no challenge.
When it comes to electric skateboards, bigger isn't always better. Sure, that long board might be sweet for carving up the streets, but it's a handful to carry and even the lowest curb can stop you in your tracks. Enter the Miles Dual from Miles Boards. This diminutive deck was pretty much designed with the college campus in mind. At 12.5 pounds it's lighter than Boosted's Mini S and faster too (22MPH over Boosted's 18). It also offers a range of up to 18 miles (Boosted lists the S at 7) -- all for about the same price ($769). If you don't need as much juice, the lighter, cheaper Single model ($499) will still last for up to 12 miles and reach 18MPH.
Another perk with Miles is the swappable battery, which means you can keep riding without stopping to charge, and the small kicktail makes popping up curbs a cinch. Last, you can choose from a range of different grip tape designs and graphics to make the Miles fit your style.
Riding a bike is fun, but your quads might not always agree. If you buy an electric one, however, you'll get the freedom and exercise of a bike with motorized support when you need it. The Vektron D8 from Tern is ideal for those who live a few miles from campus and don't want their ride to dominate the school day. With eight gears and five levels of assistance, even big hills become easily surmountable. Meanwhile, the low center of gravity (thanks to the motor placement) makes it a good option around town, too.
One charge should be good for between 25 and 55 miles of assisted riding, but once you get above 20MPH, you'll be picking up the slack (still, that's pretty fast). The hydraulic disc brakes will safely slow you down, and as the Vektron is foldable, you can tuck it under your desk or easily take it on public transport if you need to. We also like the Vektron's rear storage rack, which is handy for lugging all of your gear to class.