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  • The scooter is the hottest innovation in self-propelled transportation since inline skates. Scooters are easy to use and anyone can learn to use them in minutes. This makes scooters the recreation vehicle of choice for both kids and adults. And since they're lightweight and usually fold up, they're a practical means of transportation as well. Scooters come in several styles, each adapted to different riding styles. They way that you plan to use your scooter is the most critical factor in deciding which model is right for you.

    There are a number of types of scooters available. Each of these scooter types is designed for a particular pattern of use. Some scooters may actually fit into more than one of these scooter category descriptions. The next several sections seek to provide an explanation and a brief description along with the uses appropriate for each scooter type. The following is a listing of scooter types:

  • Folding scooter
  • Executive scooter
  • Freestyle scooter
  • Skateboard scooter
  • Three-wheel folding scooter
  • Folding design
  • Gas motorized scooter
  • Electric motorized scooter

    Folding scooters

    Folding Scooters are the most popular style of scooter currently available. The standard folding scooter can be used to move around the neighborhood, commute to school or work, or even do some tricks. Folding scooters are specially designed to couple compact size and lightweight construction with a smooth and enjoyable ride. Once you are done riding, folding scooters can be collapsed in just a few seconds, making them small enough to carry easily on a bus, train, or car. Most of the two-wheeled models typically feature polyurethane wheels (like those on in-line skates, but larger), commonly about 100 mm. these types of wheels provide a smoother ride. Most folding scooters are made of lightweight aluminum or steel and have a fender brake that you simply step on near the rear fender until it presses against the wheel and stops the scooter. This type of break is pretty effective.

    Executive scooters

    Executive scooters are designed with efficient transportation in mind and are ususally built for adults or older children. Correspondingly, these scooters usually feature larger wheels--up to 180 mm--with thin polyurethane tires designed to glide easily and handle cracks and bumps in pavement smoothly. These large wheels make executive scooters faster. However, these scooters are not ideally suited for doing tricks, but are better for smooth rides. The decks on executive scooters are often a bit wider and longer to accommodate adult feet and most executive scooters have a handbrake just like those on bicycles. Although these models are larger, they usually fold just like standard folding scooters.

    Freestyle scooters

    Freestyle scooters are built almost exclusively for trick riding and stunts. The most significant distinguishing feature on freestyle scooters is the kicktail--a portion of the deck extends upward over the rear wheel. The kicktail provides the leverage you need to do tricks and to stay on and apply pressure to the deck with you feet. Also, most freestyle scooters have handbrakes since the kicktail prevents use of a fender brake. The handbreak still allows the user to stop.

    Skateboard scooters

    Skateboard scooters are a hybrid combining a four-wheeled skateboard with the handlebar feature from a scooter. Like freestyle scooters, skateboard scooters with the classic skateboard deck are especially suited to trick riding. Since skateboard scooters have smaller skateboard wheels, they are typically slower than other scooters. Skateboard scooter riders can steer by leaning to the left or to the right just like on a standard skateboard. The handlebars are fixed to the board, unlike other scooters that can be steered by turning the handlebars.

    Three-wheel folding scooters

    These scooters are a hybrid of the folding scooter and the skateboard scooter. Instead of four or two wheels, these compromise at three. Three-wheeled scooters use 100 mm in-line skate style wheels like a folding scooter, with two up front and one in the rear. These scooters typically feature fender brakes and fold up like a folding scooter. Like skateboard scooters, the three-wheeled style lets the rider turn by leaning to one side. The handlebar does not turn and may feature a ball-style grip instead of the typical T-bar style. Most three-wheel scooters are made of lightweight aluminum or steel and feature metal or wood laminate decks.

    Gas-powered motorized scooters

    The motor allows these types of scooters to achieve speeds of up to 15 m.p.h., though 10 m.p.h. is the norm. Because of their easy ride and increased speed, motorized scooters are great for running quick errands in congested areas, reducing pollution, and easily transitioning from on and off-road riding. Check with local authorities for riding guidelines and restrictions. Most of the models are not recommended for children under 12. Always wear a CPSC approved helmet along with knee and elbow pads for protection.

    Electric powered motorized scooters

    Like gas powered scooters, the motor in these scooters allows electric scooters to achieve speeds of up to 15 m.p.h., though 10 m.p.h. is the norm. The good feature about electric scooters is the battery is easily rechargable and often can be plugged into the wall. Most scooters can go between 8 and 12 miles on one electric battery. Check with local authorities for riding guidelines and restrictions. Most of the models are not recommended for children under 12. Always wear a CPSC approved helmet along with knee and elbow pads for protection.

    scooter components and construction

    This next section is designed to provide information on various parts and sections of a scooter to which you will want to exaimine carefully before buying and electric scooter to determine if it will suit the needs of the person that you are purchasing the scooter for. Here are a few sections / parts of a scooter to look at carefully.

  • Folding design
  • Wheels
  • Decks
  • Handlebars
  • Brakes

    Folding design

    Most scooters are designed to collapse so you can carry them easily. Typically, scooters have a folding mechanism at the bottom of the handlebar assembly. To fold, you simply unlock the mechanism, fold the scooter and re-lock the mechanism to hold the scooter in its folded position. The handlebar assembly usually includes a quick-release lever allowing you to collapse the handlebars before you fold the scooter. A typical folded size for a scooter is: W 4 in; H 7 in; L 23 in. Although the dimensions will vary slightly depending on the type of scooter you are looking at. Most scooters weigh approximately 6 lbs making them very light to carry when folded. On average folding scooters can support up to 350 lbs.

    scooter wheels

    Most scooters come with polyurethane wheels like those on in-line skates. Although, scooter wheels are usually larger than in-line skate wheels in order to make the ride smoother and faster. Like in-line skates, scooter wheels come with an ABEC rating for the bearings. The higher the ABEC rating, the smoother and faster your ride. The first type of wheel is the standard wheel. Standard wheels (usually around 100 mm) are typically made of solid polyurethane with a small hub in the center. These wheels will go moderately fast speeds and provide a reasonably smooth ride if they are clean and new. They are small enough that they won't be cumbersome if you want to do tricks. Large wheels, the second type of scooter wheel, on the other hand, (up to 180 mm) will clear cracks and bumps in pavement more easily, but are not well suited to doing tricks. These large wheels are usually constructed of a spoked metal wheel covered by a thin polyurethane tire. A third kind of wheel is a children's wheel. Some models of children's scooters come with large wheels with knobby tires for greater traction and safety. These children's wheels are typically much slower than standard polyurethane wheels.

    Decks

    The deck is the part of the scooter that you stand on top of when you are riding. Decks usually range in length from 16 in up to 23 in and most are made of lightweight aluminum or steel. However, some brands use wood laminate or a conbimation of wood and fiberglass laminate. Decks typically come with grip tape for better traction. You can always add grip tape later as needed. Some scooters include a urethane cushion between the deck and the frame to absorb shocks and make your ride smoother.

    Handlebars

    There are two basic types of handlebards; B and T shaped. Handlebars typically adjust in length from as low as 22 inches up to 36 inches. Most scooters feature a quick-release clamp ring or push-pin adjustments on handlebars and come with T-style handlebars that turn to let you steer the scooter. However, a few models come with a ball-style grip where a rubber ball replaces the "T" at the top of the handlebar. T-style handlebars are like the standard handlebars on bicycles and have two foam-covered grips extending from either side of the center stem. Most T-style bars turn to let you control the direction of your scooter. However, on some styles of scooters, the handlebars are fixed, simply helping you balance as you lean to turn the scooter. On the other hand, Ball-style handlebars replace the "T" at the top of the handlebar stem with a simple rubber ball-grip. These handlebars are always fixed and he bar helps you balance while you ride the scooter surfboard-style, leaning side-to-side to turn.

    Brakes

    Brakes can be one of the most important features that a scooter has. Most scooters have brakes to help you stop, especially from faster speeds. While the most common brake is a simple fender brake many scooters use handbrakes just like those on bicycles. Fender brakes are very simple braking mechanisms; you just step on the rear fender, which is mounted on a hinged spring and the fender presses against the wheel using friction to stop. On the other hand, handbrakes use a caliper mounted on the wheel that you operate with a hand lever mounted on the handlebars. Just as on a bike, when you squeeze the lever the brake pads pinch the wheel and stop the scooter.



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