Which scooters are best?
Scooters are a great way to get around while still having fun. There are many types of scooters out there, including kick scooters, three-wheel scooters and specialty scooters for those who need something to help with mobility. Considering how many types of scooters there are, many of which have their own advantages and drawbacks, it can be challenging to find the best one. For a comfortable riding experience suitable for most adults who are new to scooters, check out the Razor A6 Kick Scooter.
What to know before you buy a scooter
Type of scooter
Scooters come in many different types, ranging from traditional or kick scooters with various features to electric scooters. These types vary based on the number of wheels, the size of the handlebars and the maximum speed the scooter can reach. Here are some of the most common types of scooters.
Two-wheel scooters: These scooters come with two wheels and usually require the user to have better balance than three-wheel scooters. Two-wheel scooters are typically faster than three-wheel scooters and are great for adults and older children.
Three-wheel scooters: Three-wheel scooters are a good option for those learning how to use a scooter for the first time. The extra wheel is in the front of the scooter, which allows for the majority of the weight to be placed there. These scooters focus on stability over speed.
Pro scooters: Also known as stunt scooters, pro scooters have a similar appearance to two-wheel scooters. However, they have wider handlebars, which contributes to stability. These scooters can handle rockier terrain as well and are great for performing tricks.
Electric scooters: Electric scooters come in many forms. Some look like a kick scooter, while others look more like a small motorcycle. Smaller electric scooters have a battery that is hooked up to a throttle near the handlebars. Larger electric scooters, like Vespas, may use gasoline to run. Top speeds are around 20 MPH.
When selecting a scooter, consider what you plan to do with it, your skill level and the terrain.
Specialty scooters, like mobility scooters or knee scooters, are designed for those who need extra help getting around or who have medical needs.
Mobility scooters: These are meant to aid those with restricted mobility, like those with hip or joint problems. Mobility scooters have a seat to fully sit down in and are powered by battery or electricity. Early models ran on gasoline, but most manufacturers are transitioning out of this.
Knee scooters: Knee scooters, or knee walkers, are a type of scooter designed to make it easier to move around. They’re ideal for those with knee injuries. These scooters typically have three to five wheels, a cushioned knee support and a steering wheel.
Most traditional kick scooters have an adjustable steering column that sits between the front wheel and the handlebars or handle grip. This part varies in size, with children’s scooters being smaller than adult models. Some kick scooters have a folding mechanism to make the entire thing more compact. Scooters with this feature may have reduced stability since parts of the joints can fold. Very few pro scooters have this mechanism.
Next, there’s the deck size of a scooter. This is the area where the rider places their feet. The size of the deck is usually directly related to the size of the scooter’s wheels. In other words, larger wheels mean a larger deck. The larger the deck size, the easier it is to safely step on and off the scooter.
Then, there’s the height of the deck, which is the distance between the ground and the bottom part of the deck. This, along with the length and width of the actual deck, plays a big role in the user’s overall comfort when using the scooter. The lower the deck is to the ground, the easier it is to push a kick scooter. The downside of a low deck is that it may scrape on the ground.
If you want something more portable, choose a scooter that either folds or has a smaller deck. If you have larger feet or want additional comfort, you may need to give up compactness for a larger deck.
What to look for in a quality scooter
Most scooters have a rear fender brake, allowing you to manually slow down the scooter with ease. This works by applying friction to the back wheel equal to the amount of pressure applied downward. It is a simple but useful system. Scooters with a rear brake are easy to use, making them ideal for kids or beginners.
The next type of brake is a handbrake. These are a lot less common and are more akin to a bicycle brake that rests on the handlebars. Some electric scooters have a handbrake because their placement and function are more effective for slowing down or stopping quickly.
There are other types of brakes, too, each with a similar function. At minimum, a scooter should have a rear brake for safety purposes. Brakes do add some weight to a scooter.
Scooters have several different types of wheels. Smaller wheels, which range between 100-145 millimeters in diameter, are lightweight and more agile. This allows for quick turns. The downside is that these smaller wheels have a higher chance of catching on to something.
Larger wheels are made for speed. They offer great shock absorption and can easily maneuver over cracks and small rocks. However, scooters with large wheels are typically less agile when turning. These scooters are also larger and heavier than other models.
Being able to steer properly is extremely important for any type of scooter. Most scooters fall into one of two categories.
The most common type of steering, especially for two-wheel scooters, is the traditional bicycle type. Just like with a bicycle, you turn the handlebars to go in the desired direction. This type of steering works well for adults and older children who already have a fundamental understanding of how to use a scooter.
The other type of steering is lean-to steering. To make a turn, you simply lean in the direction you want to go and the scooter moves that way. This is similar to how skateboarders and snowboarders steer. Lean-to steering is great for teaching younger kids how to improve their balance while riding a scooter. It also serves as a great transition to two-wheel scooters.
How much you can expect to spend on a scooter
The type of scooter heavily influences the price you can expect to pay for it. A traditional, two-wheel scooter is generally between $40-$100. Professional scooters often cost closer to $200.
What should I consider if I want a more portable or easily stowed scooter?
A. For a portable scooter that’s easy to store when not in use, you’ll want something foldable with a smaller deck size. Smaller wheels also make it easier to carry and store a scooter. These features may make the scooter less comfortable to ride or less stable though.
When should I start teaching my toddler to ride a scooter?
A. In general, wait until your toddler can walk unassisted to ensure they have good balance. Start them off with a three-wheel scooter, since this type offers better stability and is easier to control.
What’s the best scooter to buy?
What you need to know: This sturdy, high-quality kick scooter has a lot of foot room and is designed to accommodate taller individuals.
What you’ll love: Made with a sturdy, aluminum frame, this foldable scooter has large wheels for rougher terrain. At just over 12 pounds, it’s relatively lightweight and portable as well. It has a rear brake, which helps with stability.
What you should consider: The larger frame of this scooter may be a little tricky to carry, even when folded.
Top scooter for the money
What you need to know: This lightweight, two-wheel scooter is great for children around the age of eight to 10.
What you’ll love: The LED lights along the deck, wheels and steering column make this scooter visible in low lighting conditions and a unique feature that children will love. The scooter comes with an adjustable handlebar and rear brake, making it easy to use.
What you should consider: This scooter isn’t as durable as others, but it’s still a good starter option.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This foldable, adjustable kick scooter is affordable and practical, making it a great option for beginner adults.
What you’ll love: Offered in different colors, this scooter has a strong build quality, rear brakes and 200-millimeter wheels as well as great balance and stability, even when holding up to 220 pounds. It’s on the tall side, making it ideal for larger or taller riders.
What you should consider: The joints may rattle after consistent use.
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money
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