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Kids Scooters Buyers Guide

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Thinking of getting a scooter for your little one? Take a look at our buyer's guide to kids' scooters to help you pick the right one.

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The kick scooter, or scooter for short, has been a mode of transport for well over 100 years. Starting out as a plank of wood with roller skates attached to the bottom, modern scooters are now made of steel, aluminium and in some cases titanium and even carbon fibre.

With hundreds of makes, models, sizes and varieties to choose from, getting the best scooter for your child (or even yourself!) can be challenging. This scooter buying guide is designed to cover all of the decisions that need to be made when purchasing a new scooter, as well as providing some tips and tricks to help you get value for money.

What's so good about scooters?


Well, they're great fun for a start! Way quicker than walking and requiring a similar amount of effort, they're an excellent way for both kids and adults to get around. Scooters are also easier to master for younger children and a great way of teaching them about speed and balance, with no pedals or saddles getting in the way. Scooters are also incredibly easy to maintain and don't have all the complicated things like chains and gears that you'll find on bikes.

What types of scooter are there?


Not all scooters are of the two-wheeled variety. With lots of innovative manufacturers in the market, there are more than a few types and varieties of scooter, with each offering their own advantages and scooting styles to suit all types of rider.

Beginner scooters and three-wheeled scooters

Small children may struggle with the balancing required to both steer and push a two-wheeler, so a three-wheeled scooter may be a better option for younger or less confident kids. With three-wheel scooters, most of the steering is done easily by leaning and bigger decks (the part where the rider stands) mean that it's easier to put one foot on the ground without the other slipping off the side. Some beginner scooters, like the brilliant Micro Mini 3 in 1 scooter, come with seat and handle add-ons in the box, so tired legs can have a rest while Mum or Dad does all the hard work!

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Stunt scooters

Stunt Scooters are the small, usually metal-framed scooters that you may have seen at the skate park. Unlike some scooters, stunt scooters don't tend to fold away, so they can survive bigger impacts thanks to a lack of folding parts and more solid build quality. With a lightweight design and tough wheels, they are designed for tricks and stunts, including going over ramps and grinding on rails and kickers. Stunt scooters may suit older and more adventurous kids who want to show off to their friends, or adults who fancy getting an adrenaline rush from whizzing around the park!

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Folding Scooters

Folding scooters usually feature metal frames, hard rubber wheels and a mudguard-style brake on the back. Similar to stunt scooters, folding scooters are a miniaturised version of the conventional chunky-wheeled scooters that have been popular for many years. The big bonus with folding scooters is that they can be stored in cupboards, car boots or even bags, making them a great alternative to bikes and skateboards.

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Electric scooters

Trading push power for a battery, electric scooters are a more sophisticated mode of transport for riders who don't want to push themselves along by foot. Electric scooters are still plenty of fun however, feeling more like a motorbike than a traditional scooter.

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What size scooter should I get for my child?


Every scooter will need to match its rider to ensure both a comfortable and safe ride. Smaller children may not be able to handle larger scooters designed for older kids and small scooters may not be able to handle heavier riders. The key things to look out for are:

Generally, a scooter should come up to the rider's hips or waist, which will make riding more comfortable and boost their confidence. The best way to make sure your buying the best scooter for kids is to test it out. Staff at your nearest Halfords store will be happy to let your or your child have a test-ride with plenty of help, so you can make sure you're buying the right scooter.

What is the best scooter?


There's no easy answer to this. With literally hundreds of scooters in the Halfords range, you'll have to consider several factors when making a purchase. The following are key things to look out for:

Ability and age

Younger riders who haven't mastered balancing yet may not be ready for two wheels. Consider buying a scooter designed for your child's specific age range if you aren't sure if they are ready for a bigger scooter. We sell scooters that are suitable for ages from 1+, 3+, 5+, 8+ and even scooters just for adults!

Colour and designs

Every scooter has a colour scheme, with loads of opportunities for styling on the wheels, handlebars and deck. For younger kids, a scooter may seem more exciting if it is covered in recognisable characters from their favourite movie or TV show, whereas older children may want to pick their favourite colour or even choose custom to create their own unique design.

Weight

Most scooters will have a maximum rider weight, which you'll find on the packaging or documentation is included. Going above this can not only affect performance, but potentially cause damage to the deck, axles or handlebars. Check your child's weight against the maximum to ensure they aren't too heavy for the scooter you're thinking of buying.

Top Tip: Don't forget that kids grow fast, so it might be worth looking at the next size up if they're close to the weight limit or handlebar height limit. Just don't go too big too quick, as this may end up compromising safety.

Skill level

Teenagers who are starting to pull off more daring and complex trick and stunts may prefer a lightweight stunt scooter over a sturdier two wheeler. Ask their opinion, or even better, take them to your local Halfords store and we'll help you to find the right scooter for them.

Cost

If you're buying a high-spec stunt scooter for a true enthusiast, it might be work investing in a more expensive model packed with features and enhanced construction materials, which will ultimately improve performance and durability. If it's a standard two wheel scooter that will be used when the sun is out, then a more mid-range option may be sufficient. The best scooters don't necessarily cost the most money however and it's worth checking out the reviews before splashing the cash on a top of the range scooter.

Which is the best kids' scooter?


There are plenty of scooter manufacturers out there, with each one offering something different. The following companies all make scooters that are durable and made from high quality materials, beating cheap imitations hands down.

Micro Scooters

Designed for the school run, Micro Scooters specialise in durable, easy to handle scooters that can be folded away for easy storage or carrying. Many Micro Scooters can be adjusted as your child grows too, so you can invest in a scooter that they won't outgrow any time soon. They're a great choice if you're looking for a long-lasting scooter that features durable materials.

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Razor

Razor are all about high performance scooters, with models designed specifically for speed and handling. From Razor A5 scooters that are built for urban environment to the E series of electric scooters, Razor scooters are a good buy if you're looking for something that can keep up with the pace.

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JD Bug

JD Bug scooters create scooters for all ages and sizes, but are most famous for their stunt scooters, with lightweight frames, adjustable handlebars and a compact, folding design for easy carrying and storage. Most JD Bug scooters are highly customisable too, with additional coloured scooter handlebar grips and wheels adding some style to your scooter.

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Madd Gear Pro

If you're looking for high end stunt scooters, then Madd Gear Pro / MGP scooters are a great choice. A little bit pricier than some scooters on the market, these stunt scooters feature premium parts and build materials, as well as fully customisable wheels, decks, handlebars and even stunt pegs.

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Character scooters

Scooters for kids often feature famous TV and movie characters to help younger ones to feel more comfortable with what may be a daunting new toy. Halfords stock a gigantic range of character scooters, featuring the likes of Batman, Fireman Sam, Peppa Pig, Thomas the Tank Engine and the My Little Pony gang. They'll definitely be more excited if they know their hero is with them as they scoot!

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Where can kids try out scooter tricks?


The pavement outside the front door may not be the most inspiring or safe playground for wannabe scooter World Champions, so a trip to a skate park may be more useful. There are loads of indoor and outdoor skate parks around the UK, with huge ramps, kickers, verts, bowls and rails to grind. Some even hold lessons and competitions, helping kids to up their game and compete against other riders.

If you're struggling to find a skate park for them to try out nearby, then you could always build one for them! You'll find plenty of scooter stunt ramps at Halfords, such as the Nitro Circus Fourway Funbox Ramp, bringing explosive extreme sports to a garden near you!

Our top 3 must-learn tricks


The bunny hop

Borrowed from the world of BMX, the bunny hop involves the rider jumping in the air, with both wheels leaving the ground. Bunny hopping over obstacles or off the top of a ramp is a popular trick, but sticking the landing is the key to success. Get them to start off with small, stationary jumps before moving onto bigger challenges.

The manual

Also known as a wheelie, this is where scooter riders lift up the front wheel as they scoot, gliding along on just the back wheel ? and looking pretty cool while they're doing it! A manual requires plenty of balance and they'll need to practice getting the front wheel at the right height so they don't end up planting their front wheel down straight away or tipping the scooter too far backwards.

The tail-whip

A much more complex trick, the tail-whip involves flicking the deck (the part where they stand) a full 360 degrees as you glide through the air. Your child will need to have mastered the bunny hop to pull this one off and they may need some help from a ramp or vert to get enough air to be able to manage a full rotation. Start them off by getting the flick right by bunny hopping on the ground; don't worry if they don't stick it first time, but just get them to practice getting the deck around quick enough so they stand a chance of getting their feet back on before they land!

Can kids ride their scooters on the pavement?


In short, yes! Scooters are welcome on pavements and as long as your child rides sensibly and doesn't speed or pull off tricks when other pedestrians are around, they won't run into any problems. If you or your child is riding an electric scooter however, they aren't allowed on the pavement. You'll need to find some private land.

What are the best scooter parts and accessories?


Many scooters can be customised with everything from stunt pegs to front baskets that will make rides more exciting. There are also some essential accessories that will help to keep riders safe, especially on public paths and when close to roads. We'd recommend the following accessories as absolute must-haves, as they'll protect riders during falls, or make them more visible and audible to cars and pedestrians.

Scooter helmets

Easily the most important scooter accessory, as they'll protect scooter riders from head injuries if they fall hard or collide with objects. Helmets may be unpopular with some kids, but different colours, shapes, styles and designs (including some pretty cool helmets with children's characters on them) may help to persuade them to wear one. Remember that grown up should always wear a helmet too!

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Scooter safety pads

Scrapes and bumps are part and parcel of riding scooters, but decent scooter knee pads, elbow pads or wrist protectors can help to guard against cuts and bruises. Again, there's a massive range to choose from, including protective gloves what will keep skin safe without getting in the way.

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Lights

Essential for longer winter nights, lights for scooters can be attached to the handlebars or handlebar column, back brake or even the deck. For a very quick and cheap fix, you could add a helmet light ? well worth it if it means more people can see your child!

Bells and noise makers

Adding a scooter bell to the handlebars is a super-cheap, super-easy way of making other pavement users aware of your presence. For a more exciting and fun noise maker however, you could add a motorbike noise maker. This great bit of kit will make kids think they're on a high-powered beast, while letting others know that they're coming through.

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Additional non-essential accessories


Carrying

A scooter carry strap is useful for taking scooters onto the bus or train or getting them up steps.

Decorations

Smaller kids will love our decorative scooter heads, scooter handlebar baskets and handlebar ribbons.

Stunt accessories

Make grinding rails and landing tricks easier with our wide range of scooters stunt pegs, deck grip tape, handlebar grip tape and scooter clamps that hold the handlebars in place on stunt scooters.

Scooter repairs and servicing


Keeping your scooter in top condition means it will perform better and last longer. We'd recommend using a small amount of cycle oil on wheels and axles and on the parts that move on folding scooters. This will stop any stiffness when folding and will prevent wheel friction (which will eventually slow you down). Replacing wheels when they start to wear is another quick fix that will boost speed and replacing grip and handlebar tape will make it easier to stay on your scooter, especially if you're doing tricks.

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If all of this seems daunting, then Halfords can do all of this for you in-store! Our dedicated scooter servicing costs just £5 per service, which includes a full safety check. If you're a Micro rider, then you'll be pleased to know that our stores are authorised Micro service centres too, so you'll get parts and servicing that are fully endorsed by Micro!

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