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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 09-05-14, 04:13 PM   #1
Smallwheels
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Yesterday I Rode My Bike For The First Time In Months

Yesterday I rode my bike for the first time in months. I have been using my Xootr all of this time. My legs weren't accustomed to doing the pedaling motion. The bicycle felt heavy and each push on the pedals seemed like work when going up even the slightest of inclined streets.

The bicycle while going slowly was still going about as fast as I would move on the Xootr at regular speed, which is between seven and ten miles per hour. On the Xootr my average speed is just over eight miles per hour without a headwind. It takes me just about twenty-eight minutes to go four miles to the big grocery store I use. The trip is mostly uphill but the incline for most of the trip is very slight. Going home takes twenty-six minutes with much less pushing.

I'm now split between wanting to use the Xootr or the bicycle. I really prefer the physical motion of scooting. It took me a month to get into good enough shape to do it well. Each push requires a knee bend so that I can lower my opposite foot to the ground to do the push. Imagine doing a couple of hundred tiny squats on one leg at a time. In the beginning I would do four to five pushes to get up to speed. Now I usually do just three before I reach the best cruising speed.

I've owned the Xootr for over ten years but only used it for very short trips in the past. When I started using it to travel more than one mile at a time that is when it became more difficult. Though I'm in much better scooting shape there is room for improvement.

Scooting seem to be closer to the natural motion of walking. Maybe that is why I like it so much. I can move along at a quick jogging pace without having to feel the constant jarring of my body with each stroke of the leg.

I need to find a Kickbike or other brand of scooter owner to learn if they are faster than Xootrs. They weigh more than Xootrs but they have real bicycle wheels and tires. The ride should be smoother but with that extra weight I wonder if they are worth the expense.

Some people even tour on Kickbike style scooters.

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Old 09-05-14, 11:58 PM   #2
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Looks like you're getting full body exercise there.
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Old 09-06-14, 04:51 AM   #3
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+1

People think the kick scooter is for kids which is unfortunate. I use mine in conjunction with public transit especially during the weekends when service drops off. It enables me to take any bus that's going in my direction because I can always kick scooter the last mile or two back home. No bike rack needed and you can board with one on any train or bus.

There’s this one woman I see on the train every so often who uses her Xootr every day of the week! She’s in her 50’s and you can tell by the use and abuse of her Xootr that she puts lot of miles on hers. She’s addicted!

For trips under one or two miles, it's highly ideal and you don't have to worry about it getting stolen or vandalized. When I think about it, you travel at 60% the speed of a bicycle. It’s actually more durable than a bicycle and last a long time.

I will admit that I'm afraid of using it at times because you can really pick up speed going downhill and the front brake is underwhelming. If you Google on the net, you'll find numerous people who have suffered injuries on them and even one who was killed. If you're going to buy one, please wear gloves, helmet and maybe knee pads!

I was looking at other kick scooters and found the one I'm going to buy next year. It's called Mibo Mastr and made the Czech Republic of all places. I like the fact that it has a low platform because a high one will hurt your knees. The larger pneumatic tires and real brakes make it much safer to use at higher speeds.

MIBO scooters


I like this one from NutnFancy.

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Old 09-06-14, 05:32 AM   #4
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I tried a similar scooter a couple years ago. The small front wheel kept coming to a virtual stop on rocks, broken pavement, etc. I'd try to ride across. Then I'd go flying. I gave it up after some near and actual injuries because I kept misjudging and having that problem.
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Old 09-06-14, 12:44 PM   #5
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For a full body workout on a scooter, I prefer a Whymcycle. It's a scooter with the rear hub placed off-center, which results in the rear end going up and down as you roll. Propulsion is primarily by rhythmically pumping, although a bit of pushing off the ground with a foot may be necessary on some inclines (depending on the amount of off-set of the hub as well as the length of the floor board).
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Old 09-07-14, 04:24 PM   #6
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The size and composition of scooter wheels does make a difference in their ability to roll over rocks and twigs. At the time I learned about the Xootr brand, one of the arguments for getting one was the size of the wheels. The very dense polyurethane tires meant that less energy would be used while rolling. Those big wheels with less rolling resistance really made the Xootr a standout in the scooter world.

These days there are other brands with large diameter hard wheels. Razor makes the A5 with eight inch wheels. There are some European brands that have similarly sized wheels. These are now just as fast as the Xootr brand. The differences are in the deck sizes and folding mechanisms.

Today I would choose a different brand for much less money. The Razor A5 costs just $99 at retail prices but can be found for $75 if you shop around. Buy some ceramic bearings for another $75 and you'll fly down the road at a much lower cost than a Xootr. The The Go-Ped Know-Ped model is one I like very much, though it would be a little slower than the others due to the hard rubber wheels that have more rolling resistance. I like it because it is super durable with a very wide deck just like the Xootr brand. The Know-Ped is expensive though.

The Mibo brand from Czech Republic is very expensive but they have great (though ugly) models for sale.

I like the Swifty Scooter brand but won't buy one until I'm either wealthy or just crazy. They have a wonderful folding scooter for $668 plus shipping from England plus import duties.

Both the Mibo and Swifty Scooter brands use pneumatic tires which should give a very smooth ride compared to the hard wheeled scooters, but one of the European brands of hard wheeled scooters actually has rubber suspension joints. I don't know anybody with a scooter to get their opinion of them but imagine having a nine or ten pound scooter that folds and can be carried over your shoulder giving a smooth ride almost as good as a large wheel scooter. I would like to try one of those.

Did everybody hear on Nutnfancy's video where he said he travels at twelve miles per hour according to his GPS unit? (It might have been on his second Xootr video.) I find that difficult to believe. If he is that fit and fast then he is really a strong scooter user. I sprinted once in front of a radar unit parked on the side of the road and barely hit eleven miles per hour at maximum speed. I couldn't average ten miles per hour if I wanted to in my current physical condition.

Through my research on a few web sites I could only find a couple of references of scooter speed. One said a fit person could travel twenty miles in two and a half hours. That is eight miles per hour. Another site or two said that scooters travel at 60% of bicycle speed. For me that is an accurate statement. Sixty percent of fourteen miles per hour is eight and four tenths miles per hour. Both of those articles were about pneumatic wheeled scooters. If that is so then I really don't need to buy one. I can keep my Xootr or get a Know-Ped and be just as fast with a fraction of the overall size of a full size scooter. Being able to take my Xootr with me inside stores is a HUGE benefit to using one. That makes them convenient just like folding bicycles but at just ten pounds.

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Old 09-07-14, 07:41 PM   #7
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The Mibo brand from Czech Republic is very expensive but they have great (though ugly) models for sale.

I like the Swifty Scooter brand but won't buy one until I'm either wealthy or just crazy. They have a wonderful folding scooter for $668 plus shipping from England plus import duties.
I was thinking about the Swifty Scooter but changed my mind after a number of reviewers mentioned the high deck height. If the deck hight is high, the leg on the board will have to bend alot while your other foot kicks off. If you knee has to make a high bend, it quickly becomes uncomfortable.

I look at the kick scooter as another tool instead of having to lug a folding bike that really is too big for the bus or jitney van. In fact, the reason you don't see folders being taken on board (buses/jitney vans) is for this very reason.
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Old 09-07-14, 09:46 PM   #8
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Yesterday I rode my bike for the first time in months. I have been using my Xootr all of this time. My legs weren't accustomed to doing the pedaling motion. The bicycle felt heavy and each push on the pedals seemed like work when going up even the slightest of inclined streets.

The bicycle while going slowly was still going about as fast as I would move on the Xootr at regular speed, which is between seven and ten miles per hour. On the Xootr my average speed is just over eight miles per hour without a headwind. It takes me just about twenty-eight minutes to go four miles to the big grocery store I use. The trip is mostly uphill but the incline for most of the trip is very slight. Going home takes twenty-six minutes with much less pushing.

I'm now split between wanting to use the Xootr or the bicycle. I really prefer the physical motion of scooting. It took me a month to get into good enough shape to do it well. Each push requires a knee bend so that I can lower my opposite foot to the ground to do the push. Imagine doing a couple of hundred tiny squats on one leg at a time. In the beginning I would do four to five pushes to get up to speed. Now I usually do just three before I reach the best cruising speed.

I've owned the Xootr for over ten years but only used it for very short trips in the past. When I started using it to travel more than one mile at a time that is when it became more difficult. Though I'm in much better scooting shape there is room for improvement.

Scooting seem to be closer to the natural motion of walking. Maybe that is why I like it so much. I can move along at a quick jogging pace without having to feel the constant jarring of my body with each stroke of the leg.

I need to find a Kickbike or other brand of scooter owner to learn if they are faster than Xootrs. They weigh more than Xootrs but they have real bicycle wheels and tires. The ride should be smoother but with that extra weight I wonder if they are worth the expense.

Some people even tour on Kickbike style scooters.
If you're going 7 to 8 mph on a bicycle with lots of effort, you're doing something wrong. Either you didn't pump up the tires or the brakes are sticking, or some other major mechanical problem. Sorry, but a bike is just faster, easier, more comfortable--in a word, BETTER--than those kiddie toys.

EDIT: Upon rereading this post, it seems harsh and judgmental--not what I intended. I do get the main message of this thread that scooters are more than kiddie toys. I'm sure they can be useful tools for some carfree people. But I don't think they're as practical for most people as a good old fashioned bicycle.
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Old 09-08-14, 11:18 AM   #9
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I know that certain sects of the Amish are big into scooters. Some groups allow bikes and some don't. I only mention it because they are also using them as transportation rather than toys so perhaps they know a little bit about what makes for a practical scooter.
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Old 09-09-14, 11:40 PM   #10
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I know that certain sects of the Amish are big into scooters. Some groups allow bikes and some don't. I only mention it because they are also using them as transportation rather than toys so perhaps they know a little bit about what makes for a practical scooter.
There is an Amish company that makes adult size scooters. They are set up for standing very upright. Which means they aren't for going fast in the scooter realm. I have seen these for sale on a couple of web sites. They are cheaper than other brands.
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Old 09-11-14, 06:58 PM   #11
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I can ride my bike at 23mph for a decent amount of time. For a full body work out I like swimming.
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Old 09-11-14, 09:58 PM   #12
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Today I remembered that I know a couple of people who prefer walking to places. My friends dad would sometimes walk about twelve miles to work or walk home from work. I don't think he did both in the same day. This guy had huge calf muscles. There is another guy in my neighborhood who walks into town and walks home daily. That is four and a quarter miles one way. He just likes it.

For them it isn't about the speed. It couldn't be. They like the physical movement of walking. They know about bicycles and cars. They see them daily.

For me the movement needed to propel the scooter is enjoyable. It is comfortable. I like swinging my leg up and making long pushing motions. For the times when I need to travel faster I'll use the bicycle. It makes sense. When snow comes the bicycle will rule because it has studded tires.

The adjustable handlebar height of the Xootr came in handy last week when I went to the store. There was a ten mile per hour headwind. I lowered the bar to near the bottom of its travel and that helped get my body bent forward and more aerodynamic. It added a shoulder workout to my trip.

Has anybody reading this thread wanted to try a scooter? If you can get ahold of one for a few minutes (even a childs model) give it a shot and see how it feels. For short trips they are the best vehicle, though skateboards are convenient too. I still want to try inline skates; but even the ones that clamp on to regular shoes must take a while to put on and take off.

How often must I ride my bicycle to remain a member of the Living Car Free section of Bikeforums?
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Old 09-13-14, 04:40 AM   #13
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How often must I ride my bicycle to remain a member of the Living Car Free section of Bikeforums?
You've been banished! ;-)

You are on a bicycle forum right? Most people on the forum believe being carfree requires becoming bicycle dependant. The truth is totally different. The majority of the carfree in this nation, use the bus as their vehicle of choice. Around the world, the carfree are using foot power and nothing more.
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Old 09-26-14, 07:28 PM   #14
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I decided to bumb up the thread again because there was a new folding scooter that can really benefit the carfree. I really like the Micro PedalFlow that actually has pedals! I attached a video of some kids doing tricks but this should be marketed to adults because it really has alot of potential. Especially for the carfree!

Unlike a kick scooter that requires you to kick off with one foot, you actually pedal with both feet like a bicycle. The speeds the kids are going tells me this is just as fast as a bicycle.

Folding size is not that small but just right for the bus and much smaller than a folding bike. It reminds of of the "Runbike" but much less expensive.

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