Scooters are a great way for kids to keep active and find a new sport and hobby. But when buying your kid’s first scooter, it can be difficult to work out where to buy and what a good price is. While it is tempting to look for the cheapest option on the market, there are issues when choosing cheaper models. Today we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of cheap scooters!
With sedentary lifestyles becoming more common, children are becoming less and less active. Scooters are a great option to get kids active, involved in sporty activities, and can lead to an exciting career or hobby. Scooters are a great way for kids to unwind after school, rather than sitting in front of the TV or playing video games. They are the perfect way to break up study time or TV time and get your kids active.
Kids scooters come in both two-wheel and three-wheel models, so your kids feel comfortable, no matter their age or skill level. three-wheeled models are perfect for younger kids, as they build up their confidence and their balance. For older kids and more skilled riders, there’s a wide range of two-wheel scooters available to suit every skill level and their riding needs.
Pros of Cheap Scooters
There are, of course, pros when it comes to cheaper options. These include:
Great for New and Young Riders
Cheap kid’s scooters, like those found in shopping centres and toy stores, are great for young riders and those wanting to try out the sport. Many of them come in three-wheel configurations for those still learning to balance. They are also great for new riders to decide if they like the sport and want to continue. If they end up not enjoying scooter riding, you haven’t forked out serious cash for something to sit and collect dust.
Easy on the Hip Pocket
Kids go through whims and phases, which makes it difficult on the hip pocket. All too often we pay hundreds of dollars for something that ends up collecting dust a few months later. Cheap scooters are great as they let your kids decide if they like scooter riding, without you losing money.
Easy to Find, Buy and Replace
With most cheap scooters, you can either wander into your local toy store or shopping centre and walk out with a new scooter. Or you can jump on eBay and have one sent conveniently to your door. This makes it easy to source your kid’s scooters and get your kids riding as soon as possible. And, when your kids grow out of their current scooters, they are easy to replace.
Simple to Transport
The majority of cheap kids scooters feature a unique folding mechanism. This makes them easy to pack into the back of a car on trips or to carry home from the park. This is convenient both for parents who might be relied on to carry the scooter home after a long day of riding and make it easy to store the scooter safely in their room, a garage or other space.
Cons of Cheap Scooters
Unfortunately, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is as true for scooters as it is for other areas of life. Even cheap professional scooters can cause you to lose money in the long run.
The reason these scooters can be sold so cheaply is because they are made cheaply. The materials used include predominantly plastic and softer metals, meaning they’re more likely to break or get damaged while riding. And, unfortunately, unlike proper pro scooters, cheap scooters are unlikely to have replaceable parts that are easy to source. They are also a danger if your kid is riding or performing a trick when they break. This can lead to some pretty bad injuries. This is because critical areas of the scooter, including the wheels and fork, are made of materials that are just not up to rough riding pro and trick riders put scooters through. Even a beginner rider needs a scooter that can take a high degree of abuse.
As we mentioned above, cheap scooters are just not as durable as more expensive professional scooters. In the early days of the sport, many riders found that these cheaper, lightweight scooters were not up to the task of taking the major punishment and abuse that more aggressive, trick riding styles demanded.
Wheels in particular take a beating when trick riding, which means they not only need to be incredibly durable but also easy to replace. Cheap kid’s scooters and cheap professional scooters have wheels with weak, PVC based wheels. Pro scooters, however, feature aircraft aluminium wheels and professionally designed bearings to withstand the needs of pro and trick riders.
Dangerous Weak Points
One of the major weak points of cheap scooters is the folding mechanism that makes them easy to transport. While the mechanism is perfect for storage and transport, it is one of the most dangerous weak points of a cheap scooter. If a kid lands hard after a difficult trick, the mechanism can simply activate and throw said rider to the ground. But even without tricks, this mechanism can be dangerous. If the fork is not properly in place, the mechanism can activate even during street rides. It is an accident waiting to happen.
Professional scooters solve this problem with a bolting mechanism that adds much-needed strength to the fork. This small tweak became a real structural innovation that launched the scooters we use today. While cheap forks are made from thin aluminium, pro scooters utilise aircraft-grade aluminium to improve stiffness and construction.
Further, welding and other manufacturing processes like forging and extruding have become key components. This has helped create the best pro scooters on the market. There is also a lot more product and safety testing in professional scooters than cheap scooters. In fact, many riders obtain deals with pro brands to test out new scooters and offer feedback on improvements.
You Don’t Know What You’re Getting
Buying cheap scooters is also a risk insomuch as you don’t really know what you’re paying for. Often these scooters don’t have a good breakdown of what each part is made of and their strength, unlike professional scooters. This is especially so when buying from cheap sites like eBay. While you might get a general layout of what you’re buying, you don’t always know if the item is new in the box, if it has been used before, damaged before or worse when buying eBay scooters. Unless you’re buying from the eBay branch of an official store, you can’t be 100% sure what you’re buying is legitimate unless you know what you’re looking for. Aircraft aluminium can look the same as regular aluminium to the untrained eye, which means you might have a scooter that could wear down very easily.
Deck width is incredibly important for both balance and trick riding. Pro scooters come in a variety of widths and construction types to suit a wide range of riding styles and riders. Cheap scooters, however, don’t tend to come in a wide range of deck sizes. While the bars might be the right size, the deck length and width might be wrong for the rider. Trick riders tend to favour a narrower deck, while street riders look for a wider deck for better balance.
Like wheels, the deck of the scooter takes a lot of abuse from riders, whether they’re street riding or trick riding. Cheaper scooters simply don’t have the durability and lifespan of professional decks. They are more likely to break under the strain of riding as well as the weight of the rider. Cheap scooters can handle smaller, younger children but as your kid grows and develops more muscle, they need a deck that can handle their weight. Professional scooters have professionally designed and reinforced decks to withstand the abuse of hard riding and trick riding.
The bars and fork are also an important part of the scooter. As we discussed before, one of the weakest points of cheap scooters are the bars and fork, which feature a folding mechanism. This can be incredibly dangerous to the rider. They also tend to be made of cheaper plastic or aluminium that makes them subject to wear and tear. But the bar height is also an issue. While professional scooters can come in a wide range of bar heights, that can also be easily adjusted by the rider, cheap scooters don’t have these interchangeable parts. If your kid outgrows the bar height, you might need to keep finding replacements, which can get costly in the end.
If you’ve seen a cheap kids scooter before, then you’ve likely seen the cheap, foamy handgrips that they come with. While they might look and feel comfortable, their foam core nature makes them the prime area for wear and tear. As bits get scraped, chipped, and picked away, grips get uncomfortable and can cause blisters and bruising. Further, grips on cheap scooters are rarely replaceable, meaning your kid is left dealing with an uncomfortable scooter to ride. Professional scooters, on the other hand, feature specifically designed grips and grip tape to protect the hands and improve the grip. They are also easy and affordable to replace whenever necessary.
Design and Styling
One of the biggest questions we get asked is “is the scooter cool?” Coolness is a huge part of riding a scooter, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Cheap scooters are generally designed to target “safe” markets, like suburban families, and they tend to fall into a very small niche of colours and designs that won’t polarise adult buyers. Which means it might be difficult for your kid to find one they think is cool.
Pro scooters, however, utilise fantastic colours and graphic designs as a focal point of their designs and colour schemes. Further, riders can build their custom look scooter by mixing and matching decks, wheels, grips, bars, and grip tape. This allows your kid or teen to create a scooter is that is their epitome of cool.
Professional scooters are also created with specific objectives in mind. Whether this is trick riding or street riding, they are designed to fit the right need. Trick scooters feature shorter, narrower decks and lower handlebars, while street scooters might have a longer, wider deck and higher bars. And, of course, there is a wide range of combinations in between to suit each rider. Cheap scooter decks simply don’t cater to this large and diverse of a riding crowd.
Cheap vs. Affordable
All too often affordable is equated with cheap. But in the scooter world, you can get a good, affordable pro scooter, without resorting to cheap professional scooters. Affordable pro scooters are great for beginners and intermediate riders as they work and feel good while coming in at a price that won’t hurt the hip pocket. You can get a good, affordable pro scooter that will last for years, for only fifty dollars or more than a cheap scooter that you will need to replace more frequently.
Are you looking for the next great, affordable ride for your kids? Are you a pro looking to upgrade or update your current ride? Explore the Sacrifice Scooters range today to find the perfect new ride. From completes to parts, we have everything you need for the best ride possible.