Welcome (or welcome back)! A few updates on what's new or new again. I'm putting the Envy One back on the list (even though I don't care for the 2-piece bar), and adding the Dominator Sniper (ugh on the naming).
But first, the background...
"What is the right entry level pro scooter for my kid?"
We get a lot of questions in our Redmond, WA, scooter shop about the best entry level scooters. A good question so thought it would be good to provide some input. Let's start with defining what 'entry level' or beginner scooter means.
We define a 'pro scooter' as having these characteristics:
- Metal core wheels - can be solid core, honeycomb or spoked. Just as long as they're metal
- Sealed bearings in the wheels and the headset
- Solid state - meaning they don't fold up, the bars don't adjust
Most of the time, this question comes from the parent/parents of the younger riders, say 7-11 years old, with little or no scooter experience. For the most part, the entry level scooters are capable of performing the same tricks as the mid- and higher end scooters. The difference can be in the size of the bars, usually lower (shorter) and not as wide (for the slimmer shoulders on younger riders).
Another difference is usually the scooter wheel size, which is generally 100mm on the entry levels. The larger scooter wheels, 110mm and 120mm, offer a little more speed and higher clearance from the ground to the scooter deck. The wheels can be customized, allowing the entry level rider to make simple changes that set their scooter apart from their friend's scooters.
NOTE: While newer decks and forks generally support larger wheels, if you're not sure, just ask. Some older decks and forks, and some smaller completes, may not support 120mm wheels.
For bar height, defined as where the top of the scooter bars hit the scooter rider, in general they like the bars to be between waist and belly button when standing on the scooter. Younger riders can ride with slightly taller bars, allowing for them to grow with the scooter. Here's another chart that gets more specific.
Read the chart like this:
- Average distance between the bottom of the front wheel to the bottom of the bars is 9-10".
- Add to that the height of the bars on the scooter (example: 20")
- This number is the total distance, in inches, from the wheel to the top of the bars. (example: 9" + 20" = 29")
- Now measure your kid from bottom of shoes up 29"
- This is where the top of the bars would reach on your kid
Finally, I'm giving you averages and generalizations. Some kids are ok with shorter bars, some like taller. The best thing to do is have your kid try out the different sizes.
Let's talk about prices. No surprise, but the entry level scooters are less expensive than higher end scooters. But that doesn't mean less quality. The decks are rugged and have great looking designs. Some brands even come with a 'sticker pack' so your rider can customize his or her scooter. Bars and grips are also well made and look good, but again, these can be customized (replaced) on most scooters.
Quick highlights, and then I'll fill in details over the next few weeks as the new products arrive. But don't feel like you (or more likely, your young shredder) needs to have the latest and greatest. What I see most often year over year are subtle changes to previous year's models. Maybe a new bar style, or hollow core wheels, or an improvement in a design. I'll call out changes so you're in the know.
Let's get to the scooters. The Lucky Recruit has a some minor changes that I like, with the 110mm hollow core wheels being the most significant. Wow, 110mm hollow cores on a mini! Impressive. The colors are still what I'd refer to as 'masculine'...nothing flashy here. But quality...they nailed it.
The Sector5 scooter, also by Lucky Scooters (did you know that?), is still a good beginner. Weighing in at 8lbs so a tiny bit heavier but solid quality at a respectable price. 19.5"x4.25" deck is small-feet friendly. The bars are 22" tall by 20" wide; slightly taller than some others but not too tall. The only downside to this scooter is that the fork does not have the integrated compression screw hole. It uses the 'old style' starnut which might, over time, require some adjustment or replacement.
Envy One has been on and off my list over the last couple year. Solid scooter for the beginner and from a very reputable brand. Two small things that bug me (no, I'm not five); 2-piece bar and the decal set. Bars first...kids don't need another thing to tighten or lose. Parents don't either. End of story. The second thing, the decals. Kids are big, big fans of decals, so that's good. But these are a bit on the cheap side, in my opinion. They don't stick super well, and the long one that goes on the bars...forget trying to make it smooth. Other than that, solid, solid beginner scooter.
Lucky Scooters - entry level Crew is revamped for 2019! The single most interesting change is in the weight. This new version is 2lbs LIGHTER than the original. And nothing compromised in the quality or sturdiness. How did they do it? Lighter fork (going from HIC to IHC) and aluminum bars. The black neochrome is picture here, but comes in four other tasty flavors.
Dominator scooters has been on and off the list, just like the Envy One. I'm bringing on the Sniper (unfortunate name for sure) because I like the simplicity of it. Simple design, simple colors, sturdy design.
And if you've been following along for the last several years, I like to end with my favorite mini...the Havoc mini in three super cute colors! 5.9lbs, 17" tall by 16.5" wide bars, 16" long by 4.5" wide deck. Mini is right.
One last thought. As a scooter shop owner, I'd love to 'upsell' you to the next level scooter. As a parent of three kids, I wouldn't spend more on an upgraded scooter until I knew my kids really enjoyed scootering and grew with the sport.
Hope this helps!
Pro Scooter Shop
Envy Scooters and specifically the crazy popular Prodigy. (NOTE: The Prodigy isn't necessary what I'd call an 'entry level' scooter. If you have an above average in height kid, then it is a good option). A couple of new colors, including gold bandana and splatter. My favorite change, though, is an improvement to their rear wheel spacers. I'm always happy when a manufacturer acknowledges an issue, and takes steps to fix it.