How to Choose a Scooter?
Do you want to buy a scooter and are not sure, what type to choose? Or do you plan on buying a scooter for your child and want to know which one will suit their needs the most? This guide will help you figure it out.
Scooters have become quite a phenomenon lately. What used to be a children’s pastime is now an activity enjoyed by people of all ages. Riding a scooter is a fun leisure activity. At first glance, it may seem that choosing a new scooter is easy. However, you should not underestimate the importance of choosing the right scooter.
Criteria before buying a scooter
Before you decide to buy a scooter, whether for children or adults, you need to take into account several criteria. Take these attributes into consideration before purchase:
What Type of Scooter to Choose?
Before you buy it, you need to consider the purpose of your new scooter. Scooters can be sorted into several categories, such as folding scooters, scooters for adults, children’s scooters, freestyle scooters, tri scooters or special downhill scooters or dirt scooters. We can also categorize scooters according their intended use:
- sport scooters (made of durable materials, aerodynamic shape, usually have two brakes)
- tourist scooters (big wheels for more comfort while riding, sturdier frame)
- recreational scooters (almost all types of scooters)
- urban scooters (slim handlebars, small or average wheels, usually have one rear brake)
What Is a Sufficient Weight Limit?
The weight limit is the maximum load capacity of the scooter, meaning the weight put on the scooter even while performing jumps or falling down, where the force pressing on the scooter increases. That’s why it is important not to underestimate this attribute. There is no danger of uneven surfaces, holes, etc. on roads and in urban areas and so scooters with lower weight limit will suffice. For riding through rough terrains, scooters with higher weight limits are more suitable to compensate for the uneven ground.
What Size and Type of Wheels to Choose?
Generally speaking, the bigger the wheels, the faster they are. At the same time, however, the scooter is harder to handle. That’s why children's scooters have smaller wheels, since smaller wheels are suitable for beginners. Road and downhill scooters have large wheels, because speed is an inportant aspect with these models . On the other hand, freestyle scooters have small wheels so that the rider can exercise better control.
The most important attribute of wheels is their hardness, because it determines comfort and riding speed. Harder wheels (PVC, bantam, PU rubber) are faster, but make you feel every dent in the road. They are therefore suitable for even roads, pavements and other flat surfaces. They are not recommneded for riding through rough terrain. For this purpose, softer inflatable wheels are more suitable. They better adhere to the surface and absorb shocks. However, to develop higher speeds, it will take more of an effort than with hard PU wheels.
What Kind of Brakes to Choose?
There are three basic scooter brake types on the market – foot brakes, caliper brakes and disc brakes. The brake types differ in design, function and also price. If you plan on riding mainly through urban areas, all you need is a rear foot brake. If you are a bit heavier, caliper brakes will serve better. Foot and caliper brakes are more affordable and easy to clean. Disc brakes are suitable for sport enthusiasts that partake in races and other similar activities. Disc brakes are more expensive and need more maintenance (replacing brake pads, etc.).
How to Choose the Correct Handlebar Height?
Another important attribute that should not be overlooked is the handlebar height. Every adult adjusts the handlebars according to their needs. Usually, the height ranges somewhere between 90 – 100 cm. The handlebars on children’s scooters are usually over 60 cm. If the handlebars are too low, the user leans on them too much, which certainly won’t help their back. On the other hand, if the handlebars are too high, they prevent the user from steering the scooter properly, which might be dangerous under fast speed. When choosing the height of the handlebars, it depends on the type of scooter, but in general, the handlebars should be at the height of the hip joint.
In the case of freestyle scooters, the height of the handlebars is measured in a different way, and due to the specific use, the ratio with the optimal height of the rider is also different.
Orientation table for classic scooters:
|Height of user||100 - 110 cm||110 - 120 cm||120 - 130 cm||130 - 140 cm||140 - 150 cm||150 - 160 cm||160 cm and more|
|Handlebars Height||65 cm and less||75 cm||80 cm||85 cm||90 cm||95 cm||100 cm and more|
In general, if you are not sure what the ideal height is for you, it is better adjust the handlebar a little higher, due to the movement of your legs.
Scooters are usually made of steel frame and aluminium fork and handlebars. This combination of materials is sufficient for regular use. Sport scooters are made of lightweight aluminium, sometimes even carbon. All materials have their advantages:
|+ low weight||+ durability||+ rigidity|
|+ rigidity||+ lightweight||+ flexibility|
|+ good manufacture|