Fun shouldn’t end as you get older, and that is absolutely true for scooters. If you’re an adult trying out the sport for the first time, or you’re a pro rider who has outgrown their old scooter, you can still find the perfect ride for your needs. Whether you want a commuter scooter, or have fun in the park or streets, there are a number of scooters out there to suit your needs! Today we’re going to discuss how to choose the best adult scooter for your needs!
What Type of Scooter Should I choose?
Most adult riders will choose a kick scooter for their ride. This is because they make a fantastic commuter scooter as well as a great trick ride. It basically fulfills the role of two scooters. Adult kick scooters are practical and convenient, perform great, and are comfortable to ride. But there are a range of features to consider when picking the right adult kick scooter. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of these features will help you pick the perfect ride to suit your commuting and trick riding needs. The major features to consider when choosing an adult scooter include:
- Wheel size
- Deck size
- Deck height
- Build Quality
Adult Scooter Wheel Size
Wheel size is one of the most important features of an adult kick scooter. Most kick scooters have wheels – or can be fitted with wheels – that are made of plastic core embedded into polyurethane thread (PU). This is a fantastic material for urban surfaces. They are commonly used on scooters, in-line skates, roller skates, and skateboards. PU is light, wear-resistant, has a reasonable grip in dry weather, and great rebound (this means it can return to its original shape after compression due to weight or pressure).
Choosing larger wheels – 180-230mm in diameter – gives you a longer glide distance per push which means better rolling efficiency. They also provide better shock absorption and more chance of rolling safely over objects or obstructions on the ground. Larger wheels are best matched with a larger deck to provide the most comfort. However, large wheels are heavier to carry around and tend to be more cumbersome, which can be a problem if you use public transport. It can also take more effort to speed up or slow down, and are less agile.
Smaller wheels – 100-145mm in diameter – are lightweight and easier to speed up or slow down. This makes the scooter more agile and nimble, giving you a smaller turning radius. They are also less bulky and cumbersome when using public transport. However, smaller wheels on an adult scooter have a shorter glide distance with each push. They also transmit more vibration from the ground, which can be uncomfortable on long rides. There is also more of a chance that the wheels will catch on something while riding. While smaller wheels are good for convenience, are more portable and agile than larger wheels, they are slower and less comfortable.
Each kick scooter wheel has two bearings, mounted in the centre of each wheel. When choosing an adult scooter, the higher the bearing rating equals better performance. There really is no downside to choosing a higher bearing rating when choosing a scooter or scooter wheels. Bearing ratings are known as ABEC, the Annular Bearing Engineering Committee. The rating is named after the body that established the standard. ABEC ratings, from lowest to highest, are 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Most adult scooters feature bearings from 5 to 7. However, Sacrifice Scooters carry ABEC 9 rated bearings to provide the highest precision.
The higher the precision, the lower the rolling resistance will be. Lower resistance means a longer glide distance for every push. This is how you can judge whether a scooter feels fast or slow. Further, the better quality the bearing, the better the performance. A high-quality ABEC 7 will perform better than a poor quality ABEC 9. Bearings can also be easily replaced and high-quality brands, like Sacrifice Scooters, carry a range of high quality, highly rated bearings to replace your current bearings.
Adult Scooter Deck Size
Deck size for adult scooters is generally proportional to wheel size as well as the size of the rider. The larger the wheels are, the larger the deck will be. A larger deck is easier to stand and balance on, especially over long distances, which makes them great for commuter scooters and street riding. They are also more comfortable as you can shift your weight better and change foot position. However, larger scooter decks tend to be heavier and it can take more effort to speed up or slow down.
A smaller deck size is less comfortable for longer rides but is more agile when it comes to trick riding. They are also easier to speed up and slow down. However, you need to ensure that the deck isn’t too small for you to properly balance and position both feet on. Smaller decks are also more portable than larger decks.
Deck height is basically the distance between the surface of the deck to the ground. It is one of the biggest influencing features of a comfortable adult scooter, though not many people know this or consider it. In general, the lower the deck, the more comfortable it is to push. A lower deck means you don’t have to bend your knees so much when pushing the scooter. In fact, many people choose a lower deck without realising it, because it is more comfortable to push. It also increases your stability as it has a lower centre of gravity. However, a low deck does risk scraping the bottom of the scooter against the ground when you encounter raised surfaces, like a speed hump.
Scooter Bars for Adult Riders
Height is a big factor in choosing the right scooter for your needs. Generally, scooter bars should sit at hip or waist height when standing on the deck. Choosing the right bar height is important for balance, performance, and comfort. If your bars are too high you might struggle to control the scooter. Bars that are too low make the scooter uncomfortable to ride, especially when using a commuter scooter. Bar height also depends on your type of rider. Shorter, smaller bars are great for trick riding while higher bars are good for street riding. If you are choosing a scooter for both commuting and trick riding, choose bars that suit the type of riding you do the most.
Bar width is also important, and all riders have different preferences. But in general, it is good to choose bars that are the same width as your shoulders. However, if you focus on technical tricks when trick riding, you might want to go with slightly narrower bars. You can also order bars that are slightly wider than your shoulders so you can cut them down to suit your needs. Narrower bars make trick riding easier, while wider bars give you more stability and comfort.
Finally, bar diameter is an important consideration when it comes to adult scooters. Bars come in two main diameters, standard and oversized. Standard bars have a general, internal diameter of 28mm and an outer diameter of 32mm. They work best with ICS, ISC, IHC, and SCS compression setups. They also fit standard clamps and forks, making them easy to customise and replace.
Oversized bars have an internal diameter of 32mm and an external of 35mm. they are made primarily for HIC compression but they can also work with SCS compression clamps. Oversized bars work with both oversized clamps and forks, as well as standard forks.
Adult Scooter Suspension
Suspension basically refers to the shock absorption mechanism on a scooter. For adult kick scooters these are generally spring-based. However, since 2016, most adult kick scooters do not feature suspension. It is generally only a feature on lower quality, low priced scooters you can find in shopping centres, rather than high-quality brands like Sacrifice Scooters. In these cheaper scooters, generally suspension is only installed at the front of the kick scooter, though some will include suspension in both the back and front of the scooter.
Unless you are riding in old city centres or suburbs with unpredictable surfaces – like cobbles – there is really no reason to choose an adult scooter with suspension. Suspension exists to absorb the “micro-shocks” that come from rolling over odd, bumpy surfaces. For commuters, street and park riders, this is not a concern. It also adds a lot of weight to a kick scooter which can be detrimental in trick riding, which requires the lightest scooter possible. There are also more moving parts that require upkeep and replacement than a high-quality adult kick scooter from brands like Sacrifice Scooters.
Overall Scooter Build Quality
Other features aside, the overall build quality of your scooter has a huge impact on the performance and quality of your ride. High-quality brands, like Sacrifice Scooters, ensure their scooters are well-made, from the highest quality materials, and are durable. Cheap, unbranded scooters from shopping centres, and big retailers are lower priced because quality is not a priority. They rely on you breaking the scooter so you’ll come back and buy another one. High-quality brands, however, have durable scooters and a wide range of replacement parts to ensure your scooter lasts a lifetime. Low-quality scooters tend to have a variety of issues, including:
- Parts that don’t fit tightly together, making the overall build very flimsy
- Folding mechanisms and telescoping steering columns that greatly affect safety and stability
- Rattling and squeaking sounds from loose-fitting/poorly fitting parts
- Low-quality bearings so the roll distance is low
- Parts that feature screw threads that need frequent tightening and strip quickly
- Chipping, low-quality paintwork and raw metal parts that rust and tarnish easily
- Overly heavy and cumbersome to transport
High-quality scooters might cost more but they save you money in the long run. You won’t need to replace parts – or the entire scooter – as often as low-quality scooters. You can also customise high-quality scooters, like those from Sacrifice Scooters, to suit your needs and style, while low-quality scooters can’t be customised at all.
Consider Convenience, Comfort, and Performance
The kind of scooter best suited to you depends on how you want to use it. Using the guide above, you should be able to choose the perfect adult scooter for your needs. It is also important to consider what you need most – convenience, comfort, or performance.
If you are looking more for convenience as part of your daily commute, then a light-weight, portable scooter will suit you best. Look for a high-quality build, from a high-quality brand, with smaller wheels. Smaller wheels are especially important if your commute is short and/or you need to carry your scooter on public transport.
However, if you’re looking for comfort, choose a scooter with a large, low deck. Choose a scooter from a high-quality brand, like Sacrifice Scooters, with larger wheels and a higher bar height.
Finally, if you’re looking for a high-performance scooter where speed is important, look for an adult kick scooter that is lightweight overall. Look for something with large wheels, a low deck, and high-quality bearings. If you are into trick riding, look for a shorter deck and shorter bars.
And remember, you get what you pay for. A high-quality scooter will last for years, which is why we recommend you explore Sacrifice Scooter’s range, today. We carry a wide variety of durable, high quality completes as well as all the parts you need to build the perfect custom ride.