Kick scooters as we know them today started as a plank of wood placed on roller skate wheels. The idea of a self transportation that relies on only one leg at a time took about a century to actually became popular. Throughout history, bicycles and skateboards were in the spotlight but finally in the 90s that changed. The man responsible for this was Wim Ouboter. His sister needed a mode of self transportation that allowed her to move around town more easily due to one of her legs being shorter than the other. Wim saw the opportunity and created a sturdier version of the conventional kick scooter. Today, kick scooters are quite popular among adults who like to lead a more active lifestyle.
Is a Kick Scooter Good Exercise?
Riding a kick scooter for fun or using it s your daily commute is considered to be better than cycling and jogging. The exercise you get from riding a kick scooter activates multiple muscle groups such as your belly, thighs, calves and buttocks. A kick scooter can also help you with your weight loss goal.
Anatomy of a Kick Scooter
The headset may not be the most notable component but it is a very important one. A headset connects together multiple scooters parts such as the deck, wheels and bars. The headset is comprised of bearing cups, fork face, the bearings themselves and a top cap. They sometimes come with a compression ring too. Headsets provide a smooth rotation of the fork and come threaded or threadless and sealed or unsealed.
This is the platform where you put your feet. The deck also contains the headtube, often called the down tube or steering tube, which holds the scooter’s main steering column and neck. There is also a U-shaped area known as the dropout at the rear of the deck where the wheel is mounted close to the brake.
Kick scooter wheels consist of a core and urethane material. The core is basically the inner part of the wheel whilst the urethane material is the outer scooter part that surrounds the core. The wheel diameter is strictly related to the size of the deck and fork.
The fork is the metal bar that goes from the front wheel, through the headtube and to the bars. A fork supports all three of these components and like a headset it also comes in a threaded or threadless version.
Bars & Bar Ends
The bars are where you place your hands to steer the scooter. They only requirement they have when choosing a kick scooter is personal preference – how they fit you is how you’ll know which bars to get. The bar ends are plastic caps that go on the end of the bars to keep scooter grips in place.
Grips are placed on the bars for rider comfort and once again totally depend on your personal preference. These are not the same as motorcycle grips since they have larger throttle-side grip. BMX style grips can be fitted instead.
Brakes are the most important scooters parts when it comes to safety and kick scooters have it at the rear wheel. Scooter brakes can be spring-loaded, rubber mount-resistant and spring steel flex-resistant.
The clamp is responsible for securing the bars onto the fork so that both can rotate at the same time. A clamp can be put together with a compression system which ties the fork and bars more together.
Types of Kick Scooters
The foldable kick scooter was what Wim Ouboter introduced back in 1996. This type of portable transporter could be brought in coffee shops and carried up and down stairs. Although a foldable kick scooter can be quite heavy, still its unique capability makes it the most portable type of scooter.
As the name suggests, these kick scooters are used to make tricks. A stunt kick scooter is a stronger and a more contemporary version of the foldable scooter which brought in a new sport called freestyle scootering or simply scootering .
These scooters are made for children since they are easier to ride and offer increased stability. Three wheel kick scooters were first made in 1999 with two wheels at the front and one at the back. The reason for this was because people tend to stand closer to the front of the scooter than the rear.
The first version of a kick scooter was a four wheel design since it had roller skates for wheels. While the early version had more of a skateboard design to it, today’s four wheel models are geared more towards stability with a design that is further away from a skateboard.
Kick scooters with big wheels are equipped with 200 mm or bigger diameter wheels. Their advantage? They can travel much further than a regular kick scooter and faster too without putting as much effort into your ride. Big wheel kick scooters are heavier though because of their flagship feature.