Scooters offer easy transit, some exercise and hours of recreational play. If your child is clamoring for a scooter this holiday season, picking the right model for him or her requires consideration. Among the factors to note when purchasing a scooter, scooter size, speed, distance, type and cost rank high.
For exercise, basic kick scooters provide the most calorie burning, although you will have to power yourself up hills. Some non-electric models fold up for easy transit, making them commuter-friendly. In general, an electric scooter has a heavier carbon footprint and will require regular battery charges to function. The battery, when charged, offers less than one hour of riding time. Electric models come in two types: stand-up units that are similar to the kick scooters and sit scooter bikes that resemble motorbikes. The latter type is only appropriate for older children or teenagers.
Regardless of scooter type, size is a factor. Younger children will need a kiddie scooter or a scooter with adjustable handlebars, so they can ride safely. Smaller models are portable and make it easy to grab, go and stash when not using. If your apartment is tiny, they may be your best bet. Motorbike-style electric scooters may require a garage or cellar for storage. Always make sure the person you’re purchasing the scooter for will be able to carry it and ride it safely.
Speed is less of a concern with kick scooters; they will go an average of 10 to 15 miles per hour, depending on how fast the rider pushes. For an electric scooter, speed becomes a consideration. The stand-up type of electric scooter may also top out at 15 mph, so if faster speed is desired, you will have to swing for a motorbike model. These cost more than the stand-up types and are not suitable for young children.
As mentioned, the electric models generally offer less than one hour of riding time. Other factors do affect the riding time, including the weight of the rider (with heavier riders receiving less battery time because the scooter’s motor has to work harder). An empty battery requires an average of four to six hours to fully charge.
You may want to purchase a backup battery if you plan to choose this type of scooter, but the rider will have to carry along the backup battery. This may not be a suitable option for young children who are likely to forger or misplace the battery. Riders can still use an electric scooter with a dead battery, but will have to manually push the entire way.
Push scooters are by far the least expensive, but they are no-frills compared to the electric models. With an electric scooter, it can be tempting to purchase the low-end model, which may be under $100. These units do work out of the box, but don’t have the durability and material strength to really last long. You’re better off investing $200 to $300 in a model that is well made by a reputable scooter manufacturer. For motorbike-style scooters, expect to pay more than $325. When estimating your scooter budget, think about add-ons, extras or custom features that could drive up cost. Consider shopping around and taking advantages of holiday sales to get the best deal for this toy.
No matter the type of scooter that you decide to purchase, they can be a fun and functional addition to your garage. You may even decide a scooter could enhance your commute.
Holly is an Indianapolis native who enjoys blogging on behalf of brands like Sears. In her spare time, she loves running and baking every cookie recipe she can get her hands on.
Picture Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Children%27s_scooters.jpg