Choosing scooters for kids can be a complicated issue, especially if you are new to the market. If your child has pestered you for a scooter, whether for the first time or as a upgrade, Bike and Scoot presents you with this comprehensive guide to help you and your child decide which is the best scooter for his or her purposes.
To choose the best scooter for your child, you need to understand the various types available. Scooters have come a long way from the wooden vehicles built in someone’s garage. Today, updated technology plays a large part in engineering designs that re stylish and fun. Remember, that all scooters have the same goal in mind: to have fun and give kids healthy physical activity.
Sidewalk or Kick Scooters
When the average person thinks about scooters, these models are the types that come to mind. When your child is first starts riding a scooter, he will probably learn on one of these. Razor manufactures a wide variety of scooters that are appropriate for young beginners and even intermediate riders who need a sturdier model once they have progressed in confidence from the sidewalk to the skate park.
For beginners, virtually anything such as a Razor A1, A2, A3, B model or other folding type aluminum model with adjustable handlebars will suffice for a beginner. Keep in mind that the cheaper the model, the easier it will be for your child to trash it as she uses it more frequently. At this stage, you’ll want to look for a model that is economical, has safety features and can withstand some daily punishment. Let’s take a look at some of the sturdier entry-level sidewalk scooters.
The classic look and high-quality features that include aircraft grade aluminum make this a great scooter for kids ages 5 and up. The sturdy design can withstand weight up to 143 lbs., while the adjustable height of the handlebars allows it to grow with your child. This sidewalk scooter is ideal for learning how to ride. It features a simple fender brake system and the new wheelie bar design that can allow young riders to progress to riding on one wheel for a short amount of time.
Razor A5 Lux
This stylish scooter with an anodized surface only comes in two colors—pink and blue and is ideal for older and taller kids. It has large wheels with a 200mm diameter, a wide deck that provides a smooth ride. The aircraft-grade aluminum makes this scooter lightweight and is easy to fold and carry. You’ll also get Razor’s patented fender brake along with a sturdy kickstand.
Micro Mini Deluxe
Ideal for kids ages 4-7, the Micro Mini Deluxe is another sturdy beginner scooter with an adjustable handlebar that can handle p to 75 pounds. This scooter uses lean-to-steer technology that teaches kids how to balance when riding. Certified by CPSC, you’ll have no qualms about your child’s safety. It fiberglass reinforced deck and its wheels provide essential shock absorption to give your child a smooth riding experience.
Zycom 3-Wheel Scooters
Zycom has a line of 3-wheel scooters that come in a range of sizes for kids ages 18 months on up. See our article that covers the entire line of Zycom scooters from Madd Gear Sports Here
Air-Filled or Pneumatic Scooters
Once your child masters the basic of riding a scooter, he’ll start looking beyond the basic push scooter models if he really enjoys riding, even if tricks aren’t on the horizon. Air-filled scooters are one of the choices as they give riders a smoother experience on paved surfaces, however, they are also built for off-road excursions. That’s why they are sometimes called dirt scooters as they can be ridden on a variety of terrains that include dirt jumps, grass tracks and trails.
These scooters are similar to yet designed with a number of variations on sidewalk scooters, the most obvious of which are the wheels. Most are fitted with air-filled 12-inch wheels with inner tubes that provide more cushioning over bumps and uneven surfaces. You can also expect a pneumatic scooter to have an advanced cartridge braking system along with well-built stems and sturdy, oversized handlebars. The wider the bar, the better the scooter will be for stunts. Be sure to find a scooter with handlebars that are positioned well for your child to control it easily.
Many pneumatic scooters can accommodate adult weight. Here are some of the more popular air-filled scooters.
Mongoose Expo Scooter 12”
Versatile and stable, the Mongoose Expo 12” offers a ride that is head-and-shoulders above what you’ll fine with typical kick scooters. It features a well-made frame that can hold up to 220 pounds, meaning that adults can also use it. Dropouts are well melded into the frame via solid welding. This scooter is designed for 360-degree tricks, so if your son or daughter is ready to do some, this model will accommodate them. There aren’t as many air-filled scooters available in the USA; we hope that Weebikeshop.com brings back their line of Yedoo kick scooters for younger kids.
Razor A5 Air and Razor Dirt
Don’t confuse this one with the Razor Lux as it has pneumatic tires and super-strong construction along with anti-rattle technology. Both can handle weight up to 220 lbs. and have heavy-duty aluminum frames. The A5 Air has the added advantage of folding just like a more basic sidewalk scooter.
Another interesting type of scooters for kids is the pump scooter, which mimics the pedaling action of a bicycle. Riders stand on a wide deck and propel the scooter forward via a teeter-totter motion. Depending on the brand, some pump scooters only have a single pump while others have two, similar to bicycles. This pumping action enable the scooter to go farther and faster than conventional scooters. Riding pump scooters can take a bit of getting used to, but they appeal to kids who want to go faster and aren’t interested in tricks. The big advantage of these scooters is the rider doesn’t have to put his foot down to propel himself.
Because of the speed of these scooters, they are recommended for riders over the age of 8. These scooters aren’t made for tricks but are made for going fast, so make sure that your child is a confident rider on a more basic kids scooter before buying one of these. Also depending on the brand, some pump scooters have two wheels while others have three. Manufacturers that make pump scooters include Zike, Yvolution, Yflyer and Rockboard.
One of the biggest advantages of this scooter is you can transform it from shredding (pump) mode into a traditional kids’ kick scooter. It features advanced propulsion technology with a steel power-drive chain and a rear spring-enhanced suspension that creates a smooth ride. Other features include a telescope downpipe with height adjustment locks, aluminum alloy brake handle and a two-position locking joint that makes folding a breeze.
Yvolution Y Flyer
Some adults characterize the Yvolution Y Flyer Scooter as a cross between an elliptical trainer or a stair machine and a scooter. Recommended for ages 7 and up, the Y Flyer can withstand 154 pounds. When assembled, it is about 38” high, and although the post folds down for storage, the handlebars don’t collapse, making it slightly unwieldy for carrying and storage. This model features a hand brake and a small kickstand. The pump pedals have a decent gripping surface that helps prevent slipping.
Powerwing Style Scooters
To the uninitiated, Powerwing scooters look like a tricycle without wheels. These scooters have a different deck, one that almost looks like an upside down or flying V formation that is reminiscent of some types of electric guitars. Riders propel themselves forward on these scooters by moving their hips from side to side in a manner that mimics ice skaters. These types of scooters add another dimension to the kids scooter experience through their inherent drifting motion. With practice, kids can do a complete 360-degree turn and continue riding without losing momentum.
Powerwing style scooters give their riders a total body workout and are often touted as a way to lose weight especially for adults. In fact, one manufacturer, Trikke, calls their products personal “carving” vehicles. Trikke claims that riding one of its CV models allows a typical adult to burn 650 calories in an hour at a speed of just over 11 mph. Expect to spend more for a Trikke as their models start at about $150 and go up to $600. Here are models to check out.
Razor PowerWing DLX Caster Scooter
Razor is the original inventor of this style of kids scooters, thus the category name. The company markets the DLX by noting that this model is great for kids who have become bored with regular scooters and skateboards but has devised a whole new method of riding by combining both into a single product. It’s easy to balance and turns fast so your daughter can do easy tricks, drifts on spin. The Powerwing performs best on smooth surface. Your child may have some trouble when riding on rough sidewalks. The larger version is suitable for kids over 10 years as well as adults.
Y Flicker A1 Self Propelling Scooter
Suitable for riders up to 220 pounds, the Y Flicker A1 has a sharp design that evokes speed. Features include a steel frame, internal brake cables and an angled steering column for a unique ride. This scooter’s free-spinning trick handle has anti-vibration rubber hand grips for comfort along with a quick response hand brake to ensure safety. It is also easy to fold and transport.
Pro-Style Scooters for Kids
Even if your son or daughter has no intention of competing, a pro-style scooter for your kid may be in your future. As your child gains confidence and begins working on tricks and jumps, the scooter takes more punishment. Pro Style models have large wheels, stronger decks and are made of higher quality materials. These features make them more expensive, but you may save money in the long run by the durability that these models give you.
Pro scooters generally have less bling than other scooters for kids, although some are available with stickers for decoration. Neither is there one right type. The one you buy depends on what your child wants to do and how large he is. Many pro scooters have wider decks, large wheels and large T-bars. Prices range from $100 to $500, so you’ll have plenty of options for beginner tricksters to advanced riders. The MGP VX8 Shredder is a great entry-level pro scooter for kids. Check out our article about the Shredder HERE.
Choosing the Right Scooter for Your Child
Whatever type of kids’ scooter you choose, you must keep several things in mind in addition to sound construction. One, keep your child’s age in mind. Younger kids should have three wheels instead of two until they can balance properly. Secondly, height is another important consideration. Make sure that the scooter can accommodate growth spurts both in height and weight. Thirdly, the model you choose should be something your child wants, not you. If you son or daughter expresses an interest in a certain type, check it out thoroughly. After all, the main aim of riding a scooter is to have fun.