Kick scooter

A kick scooter or push scooter is a small platform with two or more wheels that is propelled by a rider pushing off the ground. The most common scooters have two hard small wheels, are made primarily of aluminium and for children, and fold for convenience. Some kick scooters have 3 or 4 wheels, or are made of plastic, or are large, or do not fold.

Models and history

Early scooters

Primitive scooters have been hand-made in industrial urban areas for at least 100 years. One common homemade version is made by attaching roller skate wheel sets to a board with some kind of handle. Steering is provided by leaning, or by a second board connected by a crude pivot. The construction was all-wooden, with 3-4 inch (75-100 mm) wheels with steel ball bearings. An additional advantage of this construction was loud noise, just like from a "real" vehicle. An alternative construction consists of one steel clamp–on roller skate divided into front and rear parts and attached to a wood beam.

Aluminium scooters

In the late 1990s, a sleeker, narrower folding version of the kick scooter was created by Wim Ouboter of [ Micro Original Scooters and kickboards] in Switzerland. His invention was then copied by JDBug (or Razor) and many others as the aluminium scooter became wildly popular in Japan. In 1999 and 2000 they became popular in the United States, in a wide variety of colors and styles. Popular brands include Razor and Micro, which are still produced and are popular with children and with a niche market of young adults who use the scooters to perform stunts. The most commonly bought stunt scooters are the Razor pro model and the discontinued Razor 'old a'. These scooters attract riders because of their strength and their ability to have their folding mechanism bolted. These stunt riders have swelled in numbers over the previous few years.

The average aluminium scooter has a 18-24 inch (45-60 cm) long deck, with collapsible handlebars, a folding / locking mechanism, 10 cm (4") wheels, and a friction brake. Stunt riders often reinforce and replace many parts of a scooter, sometimes to the point where the deck is the only part left of the original scooter.

"Adult" folding scooters

Folding kick scooters intended for adults generally have more durable parts, and are designed with wider and longer decks, hand brake and larger wheels, for smoother transportation. An example is the Xootr, which incorporates 180 mm (7.1 in) wheels and a deck sized for a standing adult [ [ Xootr review] ] .

Big wheels

Scooters made for racing use bicycle wheels and do not fold. Some are used in dense urban areas for utility purposes, being faster than a folding scooter and handier than a utility bicycle. Some are made for off-road use. Popular brands include Sidewalker and Diggler but since the development of the Kickbike in Finland from 1994 this type of scooter has changed the way scooters are viewed. The kickbike has a large standard size bicycle front wheel and a much smaller rear wheel. This combination generates a much faster ride.

Besides commuting, sports competition and off road use, large wheel scooters are a favorite for Dog scootering where single or team dogs such as huskies pull a scooter and rider in the same way that a sled is pulled across snow. Today variations on the kicksled with scooter design features are also available, such as the Kickspark.

Compared to bicycle

Unlike a kick scooter, a bicycle has a seat and drive train, which bring more speed, cost, weight and bulk. At the end of a journey a folding scooter can be more easily folded and carried indoors than a folding bicycle or even a portable bicycle. Even a non folding scooter is easier to bring into crowded places, since it lacks pedals which jut out. Thus a bicycle has advantages on longer journeys and open spaces, while a kick scooter on shorter and more crowded ones. Kickers seldom have a luggage rack, so the rider usually carries any cargo by backpack or other bag.

At minimal speeds a bicycle is difficult to control while pedalling, which is why bicyclers sometimes kick their way through dense traffic or other conditions where they cannot take advantage of the speed of their machine. Thanks to the superior low-speed stability of a kicker, it is allowed on many footpaths where riding a bicycle is forbidden.

Since the feet are lower to the ground, it is easier to step on and off a scooter than even a step-through frame bicycle, hence the rider can alternate walking and pushing as energy and route dictate. Large wheel scooters such as the Kickbike are a more effective cross training workout than standard bicycles as the whole body is engaged in the effort of kicking. Pushing or kicking a large wheel scooter places less stress on the knee joint than does pedalling a bicycle. Although the bicycle is a very effective long distance machine especially as it is ridden while seated, in 2001 Jim Delzer pushed a kick bike across the United States [ [ Delzer trip] ]

ee also



External links

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