One of the best balance bikes available in the US comes from Ridgeback; a well-known European brand.
Ridgeback Scoot Balance Bike Review
We are quite familiar with the Scoot from Ridgeback; having been a retailer of this bike back in 2012 and 2013 when we still owned an online shop. Its been around much longer in the UK; Ridgeback started their kids line of bikes in 2003. The Scoot used to also be branded as the Zooom Adventure balance bike.
We are very fond of the Ridgeback and for a very simple reason. Their bikes are designed for a real-bike experience to allow children to learn balance, coordination and build confidence; all while taking away the scariness of a pedal bike with training wheels. If you are looking for Ridgeback scoot reviews you are looking for a high-end kids bike that is made to last and will provide the best learning experience for your child. There are only a few balance bikes that I would put in the same category as the Scoot.
At first glance at the Scoot you will observe its overall beauty; smooth frame geometry, glossy paint and the black components. When you start really looking this bike over, you notice all the features and details. The lightweight 6061 Aluminum Alloy frame is perfectly proportioned with a low center of gravity and long wheelbase. Making contact with the road are the 12″ aluminum rims that are fitted with Kenda oversized tires for improved traction and ride comfort.
The images above also show the internally routed brake cables. A feature you don’t see on many balance bikes; heck some bikes don’t even have brakes! The Scoot is built to move and when going fast, you will want your child to have a dependable way to stop. The Scoot features high-quality aluminum v-brakes coupled with easy reach aluminum brake levers. What good are brakes if the child can’t safely reach the lever while zooming down the sidewalk. In the past the brake levers came on the left side (its a British thing) but the US importer made changes arrangements for the US models to have the brake lever installed on the right side which is standard on US bikes.
Comfort is key and the Scoot features a stitched saddle with a easy to access handle on the rear side to aid in carrying the bike and for parents to add a little stability and aid them in their first run. The picture on the above right shows the rounded dome nuts on the axles and the quick-release clamp for seat adjustment.
Sizing and Weight
Quality features add weight. This is the reason there are many brands on the market that don’t have hand brakes, or air-filled wheels and spoked rims. Ridgeback balanced (no pun intended) this issue with a lightweight aluminum frame and components to register on the scales at 10 1/2 lbs. While this may be getting heavy for little kids in the 18 month old range, there is no need to worry as the Scoot generally fits the stronger aged 3-6 year olds with body weights 30 lbs and up. If you are shopping for a petite 2 year old, this may not be the best bike initially for your child.
Originally only available as a 12 inch model, there is now the Scoot XL that features 14 inch wheels for bigger kids. The 12″ Scoot (3 to 6 year olds) which comes with 2 seat posts will fit kids with inseams in the 13 to 20 inch range – that is a huge range that allows the bike to accommodate siblings or longer use if the child isn’t getting the hang of it. The Scoot XL (4 to 8 year olds) features 14 inch wheels and will fit kids with inseams in the 16 to 22 inch range.
Ridgeback Scoot XL (14″ wheels) Left, Ridgeback Scoot (12″ Wheels) Right
- Frame: 6061 heat treated aluminum
- Bike Weight: 10.5 lbs
- Fork: Hi ten steel
- Wheel Size: 12″ Scoot and 14″ on Scoot XL
- Brakes: Alloy V-Brake rear
- Handlebars: 460mm width / 30mm rise / 25.4mm barbore
- Stem: Steel quill
- Saddle: Ridgeback Junior w/ carry handle
- Tires: Kenda semi-slick 12×1.75
If you are looking for a “real” bike at the top of it’s class, then the Ridgeback Scoot is your ride. Quality components, strong aluminum frame, assembly tools and an extra seat-post included rounds out this worthwhile purchase. The Scoot is priced appropriately at $199 and it’s bigger brother the Scoot XL is priced at $209.99. Both feature a lifetime frame warranty; check your preferred retailer for further warranty information.