When choosing a scooter the most important thing to consider is what you want to do on it and where you want to ride it. You could use your scooter for either just cruising around town or for hitting tricks at your local skate park or street spot. Most entry level or folding scooters aren't suitable for extreme or skate park scooter riding, as the components, which make up the scooter are not strong enough for this advanced type of riding.
If you are looking for a scooter to ride around with your mates on, then a folding scooter like the JD Bug would be more than suitable. The first thing you will notice about a folding scooter is that between the deck and the head-tube of the scooter there is a folding mechanism. This keeps the scooter upright when riding but also enables the scooter to collapse for ease of storage and transport. This is fantastic if you want to be able to collapse the scooter when you're not riding but does have the disadvantage as not being as stiff and strong as a fixed deck or one-piece scooter.
The JD Bug is also great for the younger/new rider due to the adjustable height in the handlebars.
JD Bugs are a cheaper options, but still of good quality. You are also able to upgrade and add to your scooter and you improve to make it more suitable for extreme riding - Even then though, it will not be as strong as a one piece fixed scooter.
For the extreme scooter rider a fixed deck scooter is the only type to choose. The fixed deck/One piece deck has a welded on neck tube which connects the head tube to the deck. The advantage of this is that the fixed parts provide the rider with a strong base to perform tricks such as a bunny hop or for riding the ramps at skate parks. These scooters are not foldable and will not collapse.
We recommend that all riders wanting to learn how to perform tricks opts for a one-piece decked scooter. Remember attempting to perform tricks on a folding scooter may void your warranty!
The Grit Mayhem 2 is a great One-Piece Scooter.
Handlebars come in many different shapes and colours, but essentially all do the same thing. Most handlebars are made by welding two or more pieces of metal tubing together and are either made from steel or aluminium. Some are clamped or clipped together. Welded one-piece handlebars are the strongest that are available and once again, are recommend if wanting to perform tricks and for park riding.
There are 2 sizes in diameter - standard and oversized. Please be aware of which size you need. Most aluminium bars, although they fit on a standard size fork, they tend to be thicker (as aluminium is lighter) which means you will also need an oversized clamp. The Blazer Quad Clamp is suited for both sizes.
Headsets are responsible for allowing the fork and bars to turn.
Standard scooters, usually come with caged bearings. If these bearing are broken or corroded, they will cause your bars to seize and prevent you from turning. Sealed bearings should help avoid this.
There are 2 types of headsets, threaded or threadless. This is essentially how the headset is kept together.
The threaded system has 2 nuts which threads on the fork in order to keep the headset together. If these nuts become loose, they could make your scooter wobbly!! If this happens, you will need to tighten them to a good medium (but not too tight, so it locks the headset)
A threadless system will need threadless forks (also known as a compression system). Instead of the 2 nuts, it uses a long threaded bolt, which runs up through the forks into the handlebars. This pulls the bars down on to the headset compressing the bearings and cups.
Depending on the headset system you choose; you will need a threaded or threadless fork. The one to choose is a lightweight and yet strong fork, which should be thick and long.
Scooter wheels are made of two components. 1. The inner – The inner holds the bearings. They are usually made of either a cast dense plastic or a metal core. 2. The outer polyurethane - this sections is in contact with the ground.
Plastic wheels are best suited to cruise around on your scooter. If you want to perform tricks, you should opt for a metal core wheel. The forces put through a wheel when learning to do jump of a ramp for example can snap a plastic core wheel very quickly. The designs of metal core vary and come down to personal taste. Saying this, we strongly recommend metal core wheels to all scooter riders. More durable all round!
Wheel sizes -. The bigger the wheel, the quicker you can roll. The majority of wheels on the market have a diameter of 100mm and is the perfect size for most riders.
Flat spots – flat spots occur when the brake is applied very quickly with great force. The wheel stops very quickly and skids across the ground at its point of contact causing it to wear down very quickly. Continued use of the brake like this will begin to make your square off your wheel. Unfortunately these flat spots are unavoidable and not a fault with the wheel. Stopping quickly, or skidding should be avoided to help your wheels stay smoother for longer!
Bearings are the small round parts that slot into the wheel allowing you to roll and keep up speed. Most bearings come with an ABEC rating which stands for 'Annular Bearing Engineers Committee'.
Scooter riding gives a lot of force on the bearing and excessive force will cause them to break and fall apart. This is why it's important to choose a bearing which is strong and will last as long as possible. Ceramic bearings would be the strongest but good quality costs!
The most important thing you can do to keep your bearings running smoothly is to keep the away from water, keep them clean and well lubricated with a medium weight oil such as Bones Speed Cream or even a Lithium Grease suitable for bicycle hubs.
Brakes on scooters are very simple foot breaks that slide on the outer of the rear wheel causing friction and slowing the wheel. There are two main types, a spring brake and a flex brake.
The Spring Brake uses a small spring to release the brake from the wheel, whereas the flex brake is a much simpler system that uses the stiffness of the metal to release the break from the wheel. Both work well with the Flex Brake generally having a longer life.
Flex brake is design to lessen the chances of flat spotting the wheel, and has less noise as there is no moving pin or spring.
Grips and Grip tape
Handlebar grips are made of soft rubber or foam and are there to disperse vibrations caused when riding. They need to be kept in good condition at all times to ensure you are able to retain control of your scooter when riding.
Griptape is essentially self-adhesive sandpaper that is stuck to the top surface of the deck to ensure the rider can grip the deck below their feet. It will continue to work well throughout its life provided it is kept clean and dry, but will eventually wear down.
Pegs allow the rider to perform tricks such as stalls and grinds. For the cheaper peg, is it recommended to get longer axle bolt on the threaded side, as those pegs do not usually come with bolts and essentially installing a peg is the same as putting a space on to your axle, therefore using your original bolts is not good enough and can led to you loosing your wheel or be in an accident with that result!! 81 Custom has a set of pegs, which provides 4 long bolts which becomes the axle and integrate the peg, giving the result of a stronger and much more universal peg.