Scooter Buying Guide - What to Look For
Unsure which Zoomy Scooter to Buy? We've got you Covered.
Buying your child's first scooter can be a daunting process. Today's market is flooded with so many different options that it is hard to know where to look.
There are different styles, materials, price ranges and levels of quality. Not to mention number of wheels! When choosing your child's first scooter, it is important to find one that is:
- Affordable and
- One that your child will be over the moon to ride.
So, with all things considered, we have put together the following list of tips to guide you in choosing the right scooter for your child. But firstly, lets confirm:
Is your Child Ready for a Scooter?
If you are thinking about buying your child's first scooter and wondering if they are ready - chances are the answer is yes! The beauty of three wheel scooters is that they are designed for young children from the age of just 2 years; they can start scooting as soon as they have reached an adequate level of coordination as well as height.
The beauty of our scooters are the adjustable handlebars which grow right along with your child. When it comes down to it, each child is different, and if at the right age and height, you can gauge their level of coordination and ability to listen to instructions (which is just as important) - then get scooting!
Tips to Help You Choose the Right Scooter
Weight - Plastic vs Metal
When choosing the core material of your scooter, age does play a significant role. For the younger ones, plastic scooters can work just fine as they offer a more lightweight option for little people. However, as your child grows up, becomes bigger and stronger, the weight becomes less of a problem and the durability of the scooter more important. This is when you can look to shift to a heavier, yet more durable metal scooter. As a gauge, learning on a plastic scooter is great to begin with, then as your child progresses to tricks and more advanced scooter techniques - look to the metal scooter.
Two wheels or three wheels?
You have a choice with kick scooters of two, three, or four wheels. Three and four wheel scooters are designed for young children who are still developing their sense of balance. The three and four wheel scooters offer additional stability which is important when building confidence and learning how to scoot. For older children and adults who have a good sense of balance, two wheel scooters are the go.
Size and Material
Both the size of the wheels and the wheel materials make a big difference when it comes to the quality of your scooter experience. Especially when it comes to riding over bumps and cracks on a path. A softer, more pliable wheel material will provide much better shock absorption. The same goes for a larger wheel - you will find more shock absorption.
The quality of your wheel bearings can also have a big impact. Good bearings ensure the scooter will roll smoothly and is more efficient. Without this, your child will tire quickly and their developing muscles will need to work too hard for maximum effect. Scooting therefore becomes less fun and they will lose interest.
- Choose the number of wheels on your scooter based on your child's age and ability
- Three and four wheels - toddlers and young children.
- Two wheel scooters - once kids have mastered the three wheeler.
- For young children, front wheels to be at least 100mm in size.
- Choose quality bearings for the smoothest, most efficient scoot.
Understanding the different steering mechanisms is important when deciding which scooter will best suit your child.
2-wheel scooters tend to steer the same as a bicycle: turn the handlebars and the wheel turns.
With 3-wheel scooters you tend to have a choice, either turn-to-steer or lean-to-steer.
For young children just starting out, turn-to-steer seems like the easy option, but be careful to choose a scooter that stops the wheel from turning too far. If a child turns the wheel too sharply, there's a good chance they will fall and possibly hurt themselves.
The lean-to-steer mechanism allows children to lean in the direction they wish to turn and the scooter's wheels will turn in that direction. Not only is this a very safe option, but it also helps the child develop their balance and coordination and this is why we prefer lean-to-steer for 3-wheel scooters.
The deck height plays an important role in determining the stability of a scooter. A deck that's low to the ground will keep the centre of gravity low, making it harder for the scooter to fall over.
It’s a fact of life that kids will fall. So the distance between the deck and the ground also determines how far your child will fall from the scooter to the ground. The higher the deck, the harder it is for little legs to kick along the pavement.
- For young children, choose a deck that is not too high off the ground.
- Ensure they can easily reach the floor to kick
Scooters can come with adjustable handlebars that allow you to change the height of your scooter as your child grows.
The height setting of the handlebars generally comes down to personal preference but as a rule of thumb you don't want the handlebars lower than the child's waist or higher then their chin when they're on the scooter.
Hand grips typically come in either rubber or foam. Both are perfectly acceptable, yet it may come down to simply the material you prefer.
Rubber grips are generally more durable than foam as they don't soil as quickly or easily. Rubber grips wrap completely around and cover the ends of the handlebars eliminating the need for end plugs.
Foam grips, generally don't wrap entirely around the ends of the handlebars. They are then usually plugged with plastic or metal. Do note that these can scratch and develop burrs when coming into contact with the ground which can cause injuries to small hands.
- Rubber grips are the go - they are durable and cover the entire handlebar for optimum safety.
There are both small heel scooters and large wheel scooters on the market. At Zoomy, we stock small wheel scooters designed for young children and those starting out learning to scoot. Large wheel scooters are harder to move, stop and steer and are recommended for older riders.
We have previously blogged about the importance of choosing the right safety gear to compliment your scooter. Core safety components include:
- Elbow pads
- Knee pads
- Road rules training.
Check out the above blog for further information.
Sharp Edges and/or Protrusions
Many scooters have height adjustable handlebars made of aluminium or other material. Sometimes the adjustment mechanism has parts that protrude as you can see below. These protruding parts have a knack of injuring a falling child. Adjustable handlebars do come very much in handy, but for young children, you can be better off seeking out a scooter designed especially for them without any protruding items.
And Most Importantly.... How Cool is Your Scooter??
When it comes down to it, kids aren't as concerned about all the above checklists as we parents are! They just want to know their scooter is cool and going to get them where they need to go! We've got the tastes of every child covered with an array of bright and colourful scooters to choose from as well as the addition of light up wheels and accessories.
THE ZOOMY SCOOTER DIFFERENCE
At Zoomy Leisure, our focus is on making sure your children have fun - as long as it is safe! We only source the best products that are strong and durable, that minimise the chance of injury to your children.
There are many other scooters on the market. When tested side by side, Zoomy Leisure scooters often come out on top in the following areas:
- Strength - The maximum weight of a Zoomy Mini Scooter is 45kg. The Mini Micro can only carry 35kg. When tested, a full grown adult could ride the Zoomy Scooter successfully without any damage to the scooter. When the same was attempted with a Mini Micro, the deck broke.
- Durability - Zoomy Leisure scooters feature plastic that has been designed to withstand the effects of the harsh Australian sun. After several years of regular use, the colour will be just a vibrant as when new.
- Bearings - all our scooters feature high quality ABEC 7 bearings that minimise friction, ensuring a smooth and effortless ride.
- Support - At Zoomy, we offer ongoing customer support if something should happen to your scooter or you need spare parts or new accessories. We are just on the other end of the phone, as well as providing a handy spare parts store for all our scooters. Postage is even included!
ZOOMY LEISURE SCOOTERS
We have three different types of scooters for every age and stage of rider.
Small 3 Wheel Mini Scooter with Adjustable Handlebars
To ensure your child won't outgrow their scooter too quickly. This scooter is very versatile; it's great for either short or tall kids. Suitable for kids from 2-5 years old.
Large Folding Maxi Scooter with adjustable Handlebars
For children who have outgrown the Mini scooters and are ready for a larger scooter that's stronger and faster while maintaining the safety and durability factors of the smaller scooters. This scooter features adjustable handlebars and folds for easy transportation and storage. Suitable for kids 4 years and older.
Kids Two Wheel Scooter with Light Up Wheels
Our 2 wheel scooter is built stronger and faster than our 3 wheel scooters and feature a solid metal plate along the length of the underside to provide additional strength and durability for older kids who need a scooter they can ride everyday but is also rugged enough for the skate park.