2 Wheel Scooter Buying Guide
Who you are purchasing a scooter for is an important consideration. If you are looking for a scooter for yourself or another adult, you will need to make sure that it has certain characteristics that make it a good choice for adults. The same premise applies to purchasing a scooter for children. Below we have listed a few considerations that you will need to think about when you are buying a scooter. We have separated these points into two categories: kids and adults.
Characteristics of Scooters for Kids
- Scooters are built for smaller frames
- Lighter weight so the scooter is easier for the child to carry, pick up and steer
- Lots of color choices
- Scooters allow children to try fun tricks (i.e. wheelie bar, etc.)
- Cost tends to be more important than durability
Characteristics of Scooters for Adults
- Durability is important
- Smooth rolling and strong suspension
- Higher weight limits
- Ability to fold up for easier storage and transporting
- Larger deck size to accommodate larger feet
- Speed for efficient commutes
Scooter Deck Characteristics
The deck of a scooter is very important as this is the part that you or your child will be standing on. There are several factors to look at when it comes to the scooter deck. We have listed these characteristics below so you know what to look for during your research.
- Deck Width – Look for a scooter that has a deck wide enough to place your feet side by side. This can be a lot more comfortable for people than one that requires your feet to be one in front of the other. Riding with your feet side by side is much more comfortable for longer commutes. Another benefit to having a wider deck is that it makes it easier to alternate your kicking foot so that both legs get an even workout.
- Deck Length – Another consideration that you should give attention to is the length of the deck. A longer deck will be necessary for adult riders, especially those that have larger feet. Short decks can require foot exchanges that can get your feet tangled or you may have to hop from one foot to another. Keep in mind that frequent hopping on the deck of the scooter will wear it out faster and require a replacement to have to be purchased.
- Deck Weight – Weight is one of the many important factors to think about when researching scooters. A sturdy, durable deck is very important for adult riders because more body weight and stress will be put on the deck. Lighter decks will be easier to carry around but if you are using the scooter for work commutes, you will want to invest in the stronger decks.
Characteristics of the Scooter Frame
Scooters can be made from many different materials but the sturdiest and most common is aluminum. A rigid, sturdy frame is going to require less energy to power it which makes your kicks much more efficient. The more rigid the frame is the less it will rattle around as well. If you are interested in doing a lot of tricks, you may prefer a looser frame that has more give.
Characteristics of the Scooter Wheels
There are also many considerations that you will make concerning the wheels of your scooter. Wheels are very important and will affect the way the scooter rolls. We’ve listed all these characteristics below.
Regular wheels on a scooter are usually between 100-110mm. These are the standard wheel size that most standard scooters are equipped with. This size wheel is good for riding on a regular scooter and performing different tricks.
- Large Wheel Diameter – A wheel that has a larger diameter will measure 120mm or more. The larger wheels are much better suited for riders that are cruising from one place to another. They are faster rolling than the scooters with standard sized wheels and you’ll find that you won’t have to push as much. You will travel farther on one push with a scooter with larger wheels which makes commuting much easier and more efficient. Larger scooter wheels offer riders a smoother ride as well and absorb the shock of bumpy roads and sidewalks much better.
- Small Wheel Diameter – Smaller wheels are well suited for the rider that wants to perform tricks. This is due to the enhanced maneuverability.
Wheel Material – The majority of scooters have wheels that are made from polyurethane. (Also called urethane or PU) This strong material offers a ride that is durable and smooth. Wheels can also be made of plastic or PVC. This is most often seen on scooters that are specifically designed for children and while they are durable, smoothness will be somewhat lost.
Wheel Width – Wider scooter wheels will offer the rider more stability which can be very important for younger children or adults just starting out.
Wheel Durometer – This measurement has to do with the softness or hardness of the scooter wheels. If there is a durometer measurement for the scooter you are considering, you will most often see a rating that is between 74A and 88A. The lower the number is the softer the wheel will be. Softer wheels are better for shock absorption but they will wear out faster as well.
Wheel Roll Resistance – Speed and quality of your scooter will be determined by something called wheel roll resistance. The less resistance the wheel has the faster the scooter will roll. All of the energy you expend when riding a scooter goes to overcoming whatever wheel resistance the scooter has. For this reason you will be doing yourself a favor by choosing a scooter with high quality wheels that are much better for longer distances or longer traveling times. Another factor that determines the amount of wheel roll resistance is the size of the wheels. The larger the wheel the less resistance you will experience.
Handlebar Height – The best handlebar height will be the one that reaches the waist of the rider. Handle bars that are too low can cause awkward hunching and those that are too high can affect scooter control and can lead to tip-overs or accidents.
Weight of the Scooter – Remember that lightweight scooters work very well for children because they are much easier to control. It’s also easier for a child to carry or an adult that ends up needing to carry it for their child. Heavy scooters usually mean stronger scooters as well which makes them suitable for adults. The higher the maximum weight is that the scooter can handle, the heavier it will be. Scooters that are designed for stunts are heavier as well because they need to be able to handle the impact that doing stunts will cause.
Scooter Bearings – Bearings are important to the quality of the scooter. If you see a rating from ABEC this is in regard to the bearings the scooter has; the higher the rating the better the quality of the scooter bearings. This also means they will last longer. Bearing ranges can be from ABEC -1, ABEC-3 or ABEC – 5. The best quality scooter will most often have a rating of ABEC -5.
Folding Ability – Scooters that have the ability to fold are great for many reasons. They are easy to travel with, easier to carry from place to place and easier to store as well. If you have children you are familiar with the fact that they get tired when out and about and may not want to ride or carry their scooter anymore. Some scooters even have long straps that make carrying even more convenient. Avoid folding scooters if you or your child wants to do stunts.
Scooters are excellent for exercising, having a great time exploring the outside, traveling to school or work and much more. They are used by people of all ages and come in many different styles, colors and price points. With so many choices on the market you are guaranteed to find one that will fit your specific needs regardless of whether you are purchasing the scooter for yourself or a child or other family member.
They make excellent gifts and can really encourage physical activity for kids and adults as well. The three top rated scooters we have featured above gave you three examples of high quality scooters that will last a long time and that will stand up to the rigors of even daily use.
This guide has also provided more information about different characteristics of scooters and how to determine which one is the right one for you. Take the time to do the research and homework on the different types of scooters available so you can spend your money wisely on a scooter that will fulfill all your needs.