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Kick scootering in the interim

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Kick scootering in the interim

Old 11-04-15, 01:41 AM
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Kick scootering in the interim

My main commuting folding bike needs extensive repairs, and so, rather than do a hash job over a weekend, I've decided to put it up on the stand and fix each problem properly.

In the mean time I thought I'd do the daily work commute using a kick scooter. I've never used one of these before so I'm sort of excited to be finally giving one a try. Also I thought it would compliment my HPV arsenal of presently a folding recumbent and folding bike. After much deliberation and confusion I bought the default choice, a Razor A5, over the weekend. It's on the way right now.

Kick scootering to work would still be possible as, even with the bike, I only ride about a mile to the bus stop, board the bus, offload at the other end, and ride another mile to work. The same back home, all on flat ground. So quite easy really.

Where I would really compromise I guess would be in storage capacity. I would miss the use of my single 25liter pannier for use at the groceries. I guess I will need to use my backpack only.

So right now I'm looking at accessorising, if that is even possible on a kick scooter. I guess a bell would not be amiss. But how about storage? Is wearing a backpack even advisable given that it could cause balance issues? Would it be possible to hang a backpack on the handlebars. Are lights necessary? Is it better to ride kick scooters on the road pavement or sidewalks?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Also I apologise if these questions are out of context in this forum section. Just to be explicit, I am car free, but this is not a big deal as Singapore's public transport is comprehensive and very good.
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Old 11-04-15, 02:53 AM
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There are several kids who use those things to go to school ... they're really good on them. One little boy sings at the top of his lungs now and then.

I'd go with a backpack, and get one with a waist band attachment ... that will help with balance. I would not think you could hang it from the handlebars, from what I've seen. I don't know for sure, but it doesn't look like that would be a good idea.

Lights and bell ... if you're planning to ride after dark that would probably be a good idea.

If what you're getting is the kind I'm thinking of, and not the kind like what was ridden on the PBP in 2003, I'd say sidewalk.


And don't apologise ... this sort of thread is an excellent addition to this forum. There should be more like this!
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Old 11-04-15, 03:42 AM
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I'm sure you could get a mile or two easily. There was a guy who did the PBP ride, 750 miles, on a push bike.

Putting a backpack on the handlebar strikes me as a little sketchy. I think it would cause more issues with balance and handling than wearing a backpack.
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Old 11-04-15, 12:50 PM
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I hope the A5 works for you. I had picked up one last year but - despite the weight limit - it was far too small for me.
I gave it to a friend's kids - no lights, but they've mounted a horn. You will definitely need to use a backpack but I think you could use a water bottle cage (the strap-on kind).
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Old 11-04-15, 12:58 PM
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I always wanted a scooter when I was a kid. I'm guessing the effort / speed is better than walking but slower than cycling with a nice trade off that it's more easily stowed?

How fast can you travel? Is it basically a sidewalk only form of transport? What are the legalities of using it on the sidewalk? I know a lot of towns around here don't allow cycling or skateboarding on sidewalks, but I don't know where they stand on scooters.
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Old 11-04-15, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I always wanted a scooter when I was a kid. I'm guessing the effort / speed is better than walking but slower than cycling with a nice trade off that it's more easily stowed?

How fast can you travel? Is it basically a sidewalk only form of transport? What are the legalities of using it on the sidewalk? I know a lot of towns around here don't allow cycling or skateboarding on sidewalks, but I don't know where they stand on scooters.
I tried one a few years ago but gave it up. It was too dangerous for me. A rock or very uneven concrete could send me tumbling when the scooter would abruptly stop and I go flying thru the air. With the right judgement and tendency to slow down in the right places I guess it's OK. But I decided to cut my losses because that was not coming naturally for this dude.
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Old 11-04-15, 01:39 PM
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Do they have brakes?
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Old 11-04-15, 05:13 PM
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Fun toy. In the longer term you may want to invest in a beater bike.
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Old 11-04-15, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
I'm sure you could get a mile or two easily. There was a guy who did the PBP ride, 750 miles, on a push bike.

Putting a backpack on the handlebar strikes me as a little sketchy. I think it would cause more issues with balance and handling than wearing a backpack.
I just looked up the Razor A5, and it is like the one the kids ride around here, but not like the one which the guy on the PBP rode. His was quite a bit larger with larger wheels. He was amazing to watch!
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Old 11-04-15, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I'd go with a backpack, and get one with a waist band attachment ... that will help with balance.

I would not think you could hang it from the handlebars, from what I've seen.
I've got a bike specific backpack (a Vaude) with a bit more ventilation on the back. But it's not very comfortable to wear, and so has not got much use. Maybe it needs wearing in a bit.

To avoid a sweaty back I was hoping to use a Basil Baseasy attachment to hang stuff from, maybe a basket, on the stem. But I guess I won't risk this until I've had some practice.
Looks like the following (courtesy of google images):



Originally Posted by Machka View Post
And don't apologise ... this sort of thread is an excellent addition to this forum. There should be more like this!
Phew! Thanks!

Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I always wanted a scooter when I was a kid. I'm guessing the effort / speed is better than walking but slower than cycling with a nice trade off that it's more easily stowed?

How fast can you travel? Is it basically a sidewalk only form of transport? What are the legalities of using it on the sidewalk? I know a lot of towns around here don't allow cycling or skateboarding on sidewalks, but I don't know where they stand on scooters.
Yes it's a compromise of sorts.

I should be able at least double my walking speed. If my calculations are correct I will save around 13 mins of travel time per trip compared to just walking. Works out to 26 minutes saved in a day.

The rules for sidewalks are a bit of a grey area here. Strictly speaking cycling is illegal on the sidewalks but the authorities turn a blind eye because the roads aren't very cycling friendly either - so inevitably sidewalks are used by many for cycling. In recent times electric scooters and e-bikes have become more common and since these are bulkier they've caused comment and discussion. But right now the general thinking seems to be to share, at least until better infrastructure is in place.

For my commute I use a mix of road and sidewalk, but mostly road. If I can build up a good speed I hope to keep to the same.

Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
Do they have brakes?
Yes, for the A5 it's a fender brake. Some models like the Oxelo Town 9 (which I came across while researching) have brakes controlled by bicycle style handlebar levers - usually only for one wheel.

Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Fun toy. In the longer term you may want to invest in a beater bike.
A couple of reasons why this would not work:
1. Full sized bikes aren't allowed on public transport. I would need at least another folding bike, and these are more expensive.
2. My wife would probably fuss if I bring yet another bike into our small apartment . With a workstand and whole cupboard devoted to tools and whatnot space is a luxury!

But on the pro-scooter side:
While the bus rules are easier, the underground subways (MRTs) only allow folding bikes during off-peak hours, which limits my use of the folding bike to only specific times. There is no restriction for scooters so this would open up that option.

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I just looked up the Razor A5, and it is like the one the kids ride around here, but not like the one which the guy on the PBP rode. His was quite a bit larger with larger wheels. He was amazing to watch!
This one? Very interesting. I wonder what it's called.
Attached Images
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Old 11-04-15, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
I hope the A5 works for you. I had picked up one last year but - despite the weight limit - it was far too small for me.
Was it a weight problem or foot space limitation?

Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I tried one a few years ago but gave it up. It was too dangerous for me. A rock or very uneven concrete could send me tumbling when the scooter would abruptly stop and I go flying thru the air. With the right judgement and tendency to slow down in the right places I guess it's OK. But I decided to cut my losses because that was not coming naturally for this dude.
I guess I'll have to pay more attention to the road surface now. For rough surfaces suspension models could help.
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Old 11-04-15, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
Was it a weight problem or foot space limitation?
Height. The handlebars aren't anywhere near high enough for me (I'm 6').

And I think the generic term for the scooter in your last post is kickbike. They're a lot pricier than a Razor, though.
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Old 11-04-15, 09:34 PM
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Okay, I have experience in this field. And it will be a pain. I rode a razor kick scooter to school a few days about 2 years ago, and it's not convenient.
Don't put significant wait forward of the handlebars. You're gonna end up getting off and the rear of the scooter will fly up into your crotch, and you'll miss your bus. A kick scooter also uses different muscles than riding your bike, and it may be quite a painful exercise if you're just used to cycling.
The roads or sidewalks: it depends on the roads. If the roads are smooth, you're fine, but if you even have your doubts about them you'll regret trying it. Your feet will hurt after 2 miles on a bumpy road. Also, either be ready to jump bumps and obstacles on both sidewalks and roads or put your foot down and carry the scooter over. While I was riding my scooter, I got jumping up and down curbs and stuff to an art.
Don't expect to be fast. At all. Especially if you end up walking. Avoid luggage, the more you have, the slower you'll go and the more you'll be in pain. And 1 mph makes more of a difference at an average of 6mph than 16. Don't expect to be a footbike. Those have wheels 15x bigger than your A5, and they'll go quite a bit faster with a better ride.
Most important, avoid public places where people can see you.
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Old 11-05-15, 12:16 AM
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I have a GoPed KnowPed that I used for picking the kids up from school for almost three years-- including transporting my daughter to pre-K and kindergarten with her starting on the platform in front of me. It's really all about the wheels. Bigger, wider wheels make using the scooter much less of a chore. The A5 is big for the Razor line, but I searched and searched to find one that has bars high enough to not have me leaning forward all the time (I'm 6'2".) I still get the KnowPed out every now and a again for the ~3/4 mile trip to the Post Office. It definitely does use different muscle groups from a bike, though. Oh, and don't hang anything from the bars on a kick scooter. Unless you like terrifying steering instability.
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Old 11-05-15, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
Height. The handlebars aren't anywhere near high enough for me (I'm 6').

And I think the generic term for the scooter in your last post is kickbike. They're a lot pricier than a Razor, though.
I had not considered the height aspect before buying. Fortunately I'm only 5"8.

Kickbikes look great, but perhaps are not so light and compact as a folded kick scooter.

One of the positives of the A5 seems to be the weight, at 8.5lbs. The "trolley" mode (pull along) feature is only found in more expensive models so fold and carry seems to be the economical way.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
It definitely does use different muscle groups from a bike, though. Oh, and don't hang anything from the bars on a kick scooter. Unless you like terrifying steering instability.
Thanks for the advice.

Originally Posted by Bugstomper2000 View Post
Okay, I have experience in this field. And it will be a pain. I rode a razor kick scooter to school a few days about 2 years ago, and it's not convenient.
Don't put significant wait forward of the handlebars. You're gonna end up getting off and the rear of the scooter will fly up into your crotch, and you'll miss your bus. A kick scooter also uses different muscles than riding your bike, and it may be quite a painful exercise if you're just used to cycling.
The roads or sidewalks: it depends on the roads. If the roads are smooth, you're fine, but if you even have your doubts about them you'll regret trying it. Your feet will hurt after 2 miles on a bumpy road. Also, either be ready to jump bumps and obstacles on both sidewalks and roads or put your foot down and carry the scooter over. While I was riding my scooter, I got jumping up and down curbs and stuff to an art.
Don't expect to be fast. At all. Especially if you end up walking. Avoid luggage, the more you have, the slower you'll go and the more you'll be in pain. And 1 mph makes more of a difference at an average of 6mph than 16. Don't expect to be a footbike. Those have wheels 15x bigger than your A5, and they'll go quite a bit faster with a better ride.
Most important, avoid public places where people can see you.
Thanks for the advice.

On the last line: I think it began with the folding bike, went on to wearing Vibram shoes, and then riding a recumbent. Life is easier when you are less concerned about what people think.

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Old 11-05-15, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
On the last line: I think it began with the folding bike, went on to wearing Vibram shoes, and then riding a recumbent. Life is easier when you are less concerned about what people think.


Have fun with the scooter. I still ride a sole skate sometimes; I'm sure people think it's weird for a middle-aged fat guy to ride one of these, but who gives a damn what others think? It's fun.
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Old 11-05-15, 08:39 AM
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The only ones I have tried were too small for me so I was a bit hunched and my feet were cramped and it was not particularly more appealing or comfortable than simply walking. Plus the wheels were smaller than on the Razor so there was always a risk of a sudden jolt or stop. Having said that, if this is a bit more of an adult size it might be fine.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
This one? Very interesting. I wonder what it's called.
Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
Kickbikes look great, but perhaps are not so light and compact as a folded kick scooter.
Yes ... like that one in the photo. He was able to get up some incredible speeds on that thing ... he passed me at one point. I'm not sure how he went on uphills, but I suppose if he got some good momentum from his descents that would carry him at least partway up the hill.

And no, I wouldn't think that kickbikes would be particularly light and compact. The ones I've seen are quite large, roughly the dimensions of a bicycle.


One other kickbike I've seen in action was attached to a pair of huskies ... she was training the dogs for dogsledding (down here in Australia!).


Anyway, as for the one you're getting ... if you've only got a mile to cover, it might be worth a try to speed things up a bit.
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Old 11-05-15, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
So right now I'm looking at accessorising, if that is even possible on a kick scooter. I guess a bell would not be amiss. But how about storage? Is wearing a backpack even advisable given that it could cause balance issues? Would it be possible to hang a backpack on the handlebars. Are lights necessary? Is it better to ride kick scooters on the road pavement or sidewalks?
I have a Xootr which is similar to your Razor A5. Here are my thoughts.

1. SPEED -- I've seen people ride just as fast as bikes using an adult kick scooter like your A5 - After a while, you'll develop the muscles needed to go fast. In fact, your legs will feel stronger and you’ll pick up speed walking. Try to keep this in check because it’s not if but when you will fall. I can easily reach speeds of 9-10 miles an hour or three times the speed of walking. Traveling on a slight downhill allows me to hit bicycle speed. Since you’re only traveling 2 miles, this is completely doable but I would not ride in rain or snow.

2. SAFTY ---- Attach a light to the handlebar and choose a good one. Now that it’s getting dark, you need to see the ground ahead of you because as other said, a rock or crack in the road can cause you to fall. Be wary they are not that high off the ground and you could very well come to a complete stop by running over some obstruction. Always wear gloves and a helmet. Put a light on the back of the helmet if you intend to ride in the streets. It might be a good idea to invest in knee pads. You can get them at any CVS or pharmacy. A reflective safety vest would also be a good idea. Helmet with rear light, gloves and front light are a must at night.

3. STREETS / SIDEWALKS -- Sidewalks can actually be more dangerous than streets if they are poorly maintained. I tend to use both at times. If the streets are broad with minimal traffic, why not use them? In general, you’ll travel faster using the streets. I use a protected bike lane during the weekend if I’m going to work.

4. TOOL FOR THE CARFREE -- I created a thread about this months ago about how the kick scooter can be a tool for the carfree. Only a hand full of members ever tried one but make no doubt about it, the kick scooter is very much as powerful a tool as the bicycle. Skate boards, RollerBlades and adult kick scooters are actually easier and better than a folding bike when trips are less than 2 miles. Also, they are far easier to board in the cabin of bus than any folder.


5. IT”S NOT ABOUT SPEED -- Always keep in mind, it’s not about speed but about fun. You’re only traveling 1 mile each why so walking or kick scootering is not going to save you hours of time. However, over a period of months, it will be significant.

I have a a Xootr and looking to upgrade next year to a MIBO MASTER! Have fun.

https://youtu.be/bEA_KpJszas
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Old 11-06-15, 12:14 AM
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If you want to use a scooter for transportation long-term (and I see a lot of people doing just that around here), you'd probably be better off with a Xootr. They're made to fit adults and they fold so you can carry them onto the bus or into businesses easily.

On a sort of related note, I have the folding cart that they also sell, and I consider it key to successfully being car-free. When I'm not traveling by bike I use it to transport groceries, computers, packages, and pet food and litter. The footprint is small enough to take onto the bus without blocking the aisle. When I go to the farmers market I strap one of those plastic Christmas wrap storage containers to it and I have a rainproof shopping cart.

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Old 11-06-15, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I have a Xootr which is similar to your Razor A5. Here are my thoughts.

1. SPEED -- I've seen people ride just as fast as bikes using an adult kick scooter like your A5 - After a while, you'll develop the muscles needed to go fast. In fact, your legs will feel stronger and you’ll pick up speed walking. Try to keep this in check because it’s not if but when you will fall. I can easily reach speeds of 9-10 miles an hour or three times the speed of walking. Traveling on a slight downhill allows me to hit bicycle speed. Since you’re only traveling 2 miles, this is completely doable but I would not ride in rain or snow.

2. SAFTY ---- Attach a light to the handlebar and choose a good one. Now that it’s getting dark, you need to see the ground ahead of you because as other said, a rock or crack in the road can cause you to fall. Be wary they are not that high off the ground and you could very well come to a complete stop by running over some obstruction. Always wear gloves and a helmet. Put a light on the back of the helmet if you intend to ride in the streets. It might be a good idea to invest in knee pads. You can get them at any CVS or pharmacy. A reflective safety vest would also be a good idea. Helmet with rear light, gloves and front light are a must at night.

3. STREETS / SIDEWALKS -- Sidewalks can actually be more dangerous than streets if they are poorly maintained. I tend to use both at times. If the streets are broad with minimal traffic, why not use them? In general, you’ll travel faster using the streets. I use a protected bike lane during the weekend if I’m going to work.

4. TOOL FOR THE CARFREE -- I created a thread about this months ago about how the kick scooter can be a tool for the carfree. Only a hand full of members ever tried one but make no doubt about it, the kick scooter is very much as powerful a tool as the bicycle. Skate boards, RollerBlades and adult kick scooters are actually easier and better than a folding bike when trips are less than 2 miles. Also, they are far easier to board in the cabin of bus than any folder.


5. IT”S NOT ABOUT SPEED -- Always keep in mind, it’s not about speed but about fun. You’re only traveling 1 mile each why so walking or kick scootering is not going to save you hours of time. However, over a period of months, it will be significant.

I have a a Xootr and looking to upgrade next year to a MIBO MASTER! Have fun.

https://youtu.be/bEA_KpJszas
All great information. And at least for some people, deciding to opt out on the danger is yet another option. I personally am fine with my bicycle or on foot. I tried the scooter. I like to go fast I guess. After a couple bad falls I could tell that it was just a matter of time till I did that in a really bad place rather than somewhere I can just roll thru the grass. If I have to go slow then I don't need a scooter.
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Old 11-06-15, 09:50 PM
  #22  
Dahon.Steve
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Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
If you want to use a scooter for transportation long-term (and I see a lot of people doing just that around here), you'd probably be better off with a Xootr. They're made to fit adults and they fold so you can carry them onto the bus or into businesses easily.

On a sort of related note, I have the folding cart that they also sell, and I consider it key to successfully being car-free. When I'm not traveling by bike I use it to transport groceries, computers, packages, and pet food and litter. The footprint is small enough to take onto the bus without blocking the aisle. When I go to the farmers market I strap one of those plastic Christmas wrap storage containers to it and I have a rainproof shopping cart.
Interesting. I like that folding cart by Xootr and I'm going to look into buying one. Thanks.

We never really discuss the various "shopping carts" available in the market. The old ladies shopping cart is the only one sold and they are cheaply made. Once the wheels fall off, you toss the entire cart in the garbage. There should be a company that sells a $75.00 dollar shopping cart or less that's robust and made to last.
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Old 11-07-15, 07:12 PM
  #23  
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I've got a Xootr and love it, mostly. I fell this week and broke a little finger in two places. My face looks like a Halloween mask. It happened at night. I still love scooters that fit adults.

There is a company in England that makes a folding scooter with larger wheels. They are called Swifty. It costs too much and the platform is just too high off the ground. Deck height matters when you're going long distances. I want a Kickbike City with a basket on the front. It comes with fenders too. These can be used on wet ground because the wheels are rubber instead of urethane.

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Old 11-07-15, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I have a Xootr which is similar to your Razor A5. Here are my thoughts.
Thanks for the good advice.

I've got good and powerful battery powered blinkies for the bike. So I'll just move them over to the scooter. Mount the red one on the helmet.

Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
If you want to use a scooter for transportation long-term (and I see a lot of people doing just that around here), you'd probably be better off with a Xootr. They're made to fit adults and they fold so you can carry them onto the bus or into businesses easily.

On a sort of related note, I have the folding cart that they also sell, and I consider it key to successfully being car-free. When I'm not traveling by bike I use it to transport groceries, computers, packages, and pet food and litter. The footprint is small enough to take onto the bus without blocking the aisle. When I go to the farmers market I strap one of those plastic Christmas wrap storage containers to it and I have a rainproof shopping cart.
The A5 is in fact an adult scooter (max weight 220lb).

I did consider the Xootr but they seemed quite a bit more expensive. The A5, while maybe not having as large a deck or suspension, is still lighter and seemingly as fast as the Xootr. The A5 seems like a lot of scooter for the money.

We use something like this for shopping trips:
FairPrice Trolley W/ Bag | FairPrice
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Old 11-08-15, 09:43 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
I've got a Xootr and love it, mostly. I fell this week and broke a little finger in two places. My face looks like a Halloween mask. It happened at night. I still love scooters that fit adults.

There is a company in England that makes a folding scooter with larger wheels. They are called Swifty. It costs too much and the platform is just too high off the ground. Deck height matters when you're going long distances. I want a Kickbike City with a basket on the front. It comes with fenders too. These can be used on wet ground because the wheels are rubber instead of urethane.

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Sorry to hear about your fall. One more thing I want to add to my post. If at all costs, never ride a kick scooter at night. Even with a strong light, you can still make a mistake and hit the ground. I have used the scooter at night with a headlight but won't be doing that again for a long while.
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