Choosing a kick scooter for adults for different purposes is a bit complicated. However, it is more complex when choosing one for a child. There are a lot of things to consider when buying a kick scooter. For adults, you may have to consider the main purpose of purchasing it, whether it is for weekend sport or leisure or for daily commute or transportation. As for the children, you may consider the main reasons why you’re buying a scooter for them, whether to develop motor skills, build physical confidence, exercise, outdoor activity, prepare to learn how to ride a bicycle or just family outdoor fun.
How to Choose a Kick Scooter for Children?
You may ask yourself as a parent if your child is ready to ride a scooter or if a two-wheeled or three-wheeled is great for them or small wheels or large wheels are better. For key considerations, they will be affected by the child’s physical size, overall motor skill and whether the child knows how to ride a scooter or a bicycle.
- Is your child ready to ride a scooter?
At any given age, every child differs when it comes to motor skills. Their physical ability is a much better predictor than their physical size or age in determining if they are ready. Overall, a child who walks with a steady gait can ride a kick scooter, meaning 2 or 3 years old. It is very advantageous for your child to start as early as possible, as any sports coach will say.
- Which one should you buy, a two-wheeled or three-wheeled kick scooter?
Aside from the physical ability of a child, you have to consider whether the child can successfully or safely ride it. A majority of three-wheeled kick scooters built with a plastic body can carry up to 20 kg or 50 kg. For aluminum-bodied scooters, they can carry riders up to 100 kg in weight. Now there are four types of a three-wheeled scooter.
- Type 1: Two front wheels and one rear wheel with lean-to-turn type steering. It is the most common and is easier for very young children such as toddlers. They will only do half of the balancing work. The scooter is self-balanced when it is going forward; however, the rider leans in the direction to turn to steer the scooter. Choose this kind of scooter for children 2 to 7 years old.
- Type 2: Two front wheels and one rear wheel with bicycle type steering. It is like a tricycle but front to back. There is no need of balancing skill to ride. It is perfect for a 2-year-old child. The kick scooter can get the leg and calf muscles to work. But the drawback is it cannot help a child improve their balancing motor skill.
- Type 3: Two rear wheels and one front wheel with bicycle type steering. This is a scooter version of a tricycle but is inferior to type 2 that is mentioned above. The rear has the wider wheelbase instead of the front where the body weight is mostly placed. This scooter’s build does a bit of developing balance but is easier to ride for a very young child. Choose this one if your toddler struggles with type 1.
- Type 4: Two rear wheels and one front wheel in a V shape. This one is a special type that is propelled forward not by pushing it with the use of the feet but a hip twisting motion that carves the kick scooter along. Its built is for a particular way of riding. Choose this for older kids.
As for two-wheeled kick scooters, they need more balancing skill when compared to three-wheeled ones. Like a bicycle, the two-wheeled scooter needs a minimum speed to keep the balance. When turning, it requires the rider to lean towards the center of the turn to keep the balance.
Very young children need to overcome challenges just like when they learn how to ride the bicycle.
- Getting minimum speed: The children have to be strong enough to be able to push the scooter to a minimum speed to keep their balance upright and they must have the stamina to maintain that particular speed.
- Continuous steering: The children have to learn how to continuously and actively steer the handlebar so that they will stay in control.
So, when choosing a scooter, keep in mind the tips above and the things below:
- In case it is your child’s first scooter
- If your child has not learned to ride the bicycle yet
- In case your child is not physically active
- If your child is 2 to 5 years old
- Should you choose a small-wheeled or a large-wheeled scooter for your child?
It depends on your child’s physical ability and body size. But first, understand the difference between small and large scooters.
- small size: 100 mm, 120 mm, 125 mm
- medium size: 145 mm, 180 mm
- large size: 200 mm, 205 mm
- very large size: 230 mm (which is typically only for the front wheels)
Small-wheeled scooters are not always meant for children. Most aluminum scooters can carry a 100 kg rider. The reason it is for kids is that the handlebar is short, which can make the adult stoop. Its small size of the deck is not really a deal breaker as you just need space for one foot to ride it.
Small-wheeled scooters are much lighter than large-wheeled ones. This makes them easy to ride, steer, handle and accelerate for kids. They are also faster. So its downside is it is more ride-fast, risky and brake-hard.
Meanwhile, large-wheeled scooters will make riders take more effort to push, steer and take longer to brake to halt. They are more challenging for very young children. Although they are more stable because of the longer wheel base and can perform much better over rough surfaces. They have also larger bulk and thus force children to ride in a moderate manner. Their advantages are that they have long lifespan and adults can utilize them.
Best Kick Scooters for Kids
Micro Mini Deluxe is a popular scooter enjoyed by many children. It features an excellent reading performance and comes with all the useful qualities that such a product should have. This scooter offers a wide range of colors. You will surely find something that your child loves. The Micro Mini Deluxe can be a helpful product for your kid, providing them a way to exercise outdoors and keep fit. It is also very fun to ride. The Micro Mini Deluxe is the product of days of research and testing, good design and well built, aiming to address consumer needs. This is one of the best scooters for small children. It features a T-bar that can help the children balance their body, large wheels, stable deck and rear foot brake.
The Micro Mini Original is a legendary scooter made by Kickboard USA. This model is a bit more expensive than its competitors, but you get good value for your money. With a sturdy design, the Micro Mini’s design is to last for a long time. The scooter comes with a unique learn to steer mechanism designed to help kids to direct it by shifting body weight right or left. This way, they learn coordination and balance. It features three wheels system to make the ride easier, high-quality construction and T-bar design.
Fuzion’s Z250 scooter model is suitable for children both beginner and intermediate riders. Three color options are available: teal, gold, and black. The scooter has a strongly built deck. Even distribution of weight to the outside surfaces facilitates the dog-bone deck curvature. Due to its super lightweight and strength, the Z250 stands out among its rivals. Among its great features include the easy to use Hidden Internal Compression system. It is made of aluminum alloy and tensile steel in order to ensure low maintenance and durability. Users can ride the scooter both on the streets and in the park. Its design is for maximum efficiency and high speed. It comes with fusion integrated and sealed headset bearings, a feature usually available only in scooters with a much higher price.
How to Choose a Kick Scooter for Adults?
When adults purchase kick scooters, you will have to consider whether they are for convenience or practicality with good performance and ride quality or comfort. You also have to consider the technical features a scooter can offer with regards to wheel size, deck size, deck height, bearing grade and quality, folding mechanism, suspension, bicycle-style handbrakes, kickstand, carry strap and overall quality of its build.
In the context of daily commute versus a leisure ride in the park, you have to know the advantages and disadvantages of its parameters. Most scooters have wheels that are made up of plastic core, which is set into PU (polyurethane) thread. It is an extremely effective material for wheels utilized on urban surfaces. The material is water-resistant, lightweight has grippy feature when dry and has rebound quality to return to its original shape after temporary compression because of the pressure or weight.
- Small wheels (100 mm, 120 mm, 125 mm, 145 mm in diameter). The advantages are that they are lightweight, easier to slow down or speed up and more nimble or agile with smaller turning radius. On the other hand, its disadvantages are that they have lower rolling effectiveness with shorter glide distance with every push; they transmit more vibration from the surface or ground, and they have a higher chance of catching random cracks or objects. In short, they are convenient to use in terms of portability but they have lower performance as they are slower and score lower in comfort due to vibrations.
- Large wheels (180 mm, 200 mm, 230 mm in diameter). The advantages are that they have better shock absorption, longer glide distance with every push, better rolling efficiency, safer when rolling over random cracks or ground objects like pebbles or twigs and more comfortable as they usually have larger deck. Meanwhile, the disadvantages are they are heavier to carry around, more cumbersome to carry and transport in crowded areas, take more effort to slow down or speed up due to lower responsiveness and slower with a bigger turning radius. In other words, larger wheels are comfortable as they have with fewer vibrations and perform faster but less convenient to carry around.
- Bearing quality and grade
The wheels of kick scooters utilize the same kind of bearings that are present in inline skate and skateboard wheels: the 608 bearing. Each wheel has two bearings and mounted in the center. The higher the bearing grade, the higher its performance. The ABEC ratings are usually from 5 to 7. The higher the precision, the lower the rolling friction/resistance. Lower friction means longer glide distance with each push. Well-known brands tend to have higher quality and higher rating.
- Deck size
It is typically proportional to wheel size of the scooter. The larger the deck, the larger the wheels and vice versa. With larger deck size, you can step on and off easier; it is more comfortable when shifting your weight or changing your foot position as you ride; it has longer wheelbase, which is more efficient for a long-distance ride.
The downside of a larger deck is that it is heavier. Also, it takes you more effort to slow down or speed up.
- Deck height
Lower deck height means more comfort in pushing the scooter. Deep drop deck is technically not easy to build, so it is usually found on high-end scooters.
This refers to scooter’s shock absorption mechanism. It is usually spring based and installed at the front of the scooter, or both at the front and rear. Its chief purpose is to absorb the micro-shocks that rolling over rough ground surfaces at speed causes.
6. Folding mechanism
Majority of scooters offered in the market have the folding mechanism. Generally, the mechanism involves a hinge between the steering column and the deck. To fold and unfold, the rider can uncompress the joint via a quick-release clamp, lift the locking pin up from the notch and then shift it into the other notch and recompress the clamp. If you are a daily commute, you have to choose the one with quick and easy to fold scooter, which has a single-action system. But if you are a leisure and weekend rider, you do not have to perhaps fold and unfold it to place into a car boot.
Mostly, scooters do not have handbrakes installed. They are slowed down or halted by stepping down on its rear fender. But it is nice to have a bicycle-style handbrake.
8. Overall build quality
Technical aspect aside, the kick scooter’s overall quality has a huge impact on the performance and ride quality. For a fun weekend or leisure ride or for daily use, prepare to spend your money on scooters with durability and great quality ride.
Best Kick Scooters for Adults
The Razor A5 Lux Scooter is the adult version of its child releases. This is fairly far cheaper compared to other brands. It has large wheels, comfortable and adjustable handlebars, metal deck, easy portability, and nice fit and finishes. The scooter can be more of a new transportation mode instead of a mere fun toy. Adult enthusiasts can now glide to wherever they want to go. They can use it to go to work rather than to waste money on public transportations. It is a nice looking kick scooter with a range of colors available to choose from. The scooter can perform tricks if the user is looking to do that. But for some others, it can strictly be a way to get from one particular place to another in such a timely fashion.
The stylish Fuzion CityGlide is one of the best scooters for adults. This kick scooter features a handle system that is basically the same as the Razor, metal deck, easy portability, large wheels, adjustable handlebars and dual rear brake system. The large rear brake and the easily engaged hand brake provide two times the safe stopping power needed. There is also a three-position safety button or “catch” that keeps the front handle’s up/down adjustment from slipping. By comparison, the Razor has just one catch on the top.