Transforming Transit: 13 Compact Scooters, Skates & More

Big Wheel Commuter Skates

Urban Commuting Chariot Skates 1

Now here’s a bicycle of a different kind, essentially using your body as a frame while functioning like a cross between skates and skis. Unlike roller blades, which strap your ankles into stiff boots, these large-wheeled skates enable freedom of movement for more natural strides, and the size of the wheels also makes them suited to all sorts of terrain that ordinary skates can’t handle.

ZBoard Electric

Urban Commuting ZBoard

Urban Commuting ZBoard 2

Keep on moving even when you encounter a hill with the ZBoard, an electric skateboard with two pressure-sensitive pads on the board that control the motor. Lean on the front pad to move forward and the back pad to brake, shifting your weight to speed up or slow down. The Classic version has a range of five miles and a top speed of 15mph, while the Pro doubles the range, raises the top speed to 17mph. At 30 pounds, the latter is seven pounds lighter than the former, but still a bit heavy to carry around the city for long periods.

Cool Rider

Urban Commuting Cool Rider 1

Urban Commuting Cool Rider 2

Would you feel cooler riding this than you would on a Segway? That’s what the makers of the Cool Rider are banking on. It’s basically a wheel on a stick – you can either attack the included platform to ride it like a scooter, or remove it to let the thing pull you around on skates or a skateboard. It goes 12 miles per hour, so it’s not any faster than a Segway, but it’s a lot cheaper at $1250.

OneWheel Electric Skateboard

Urban Commuting OneWheel

Urban Commuting OneWheel 2

This self-balancing electric skateboard might be the closest thing you ever experience to riding a hoverboard, despite what Back to the Future told you. Lean forward to speed up, lean back to slow down. The creators describe the ride as more akin to surfing or snowboarding than skating. It gets up to 12 mph, has a 4-6 mile range per charge and weighs 25 pounds.