A Loop of Central Park on a Xootr MG Kick Scooter

For anyone not familiar with the Xootr kick scooters, their defining feature is definitely the ultra low-resistance polyurethane tires mounted on lightweight but rugged die-cast aluminum rims, a real difference from, say, a KickPed which features a much beefier but slower-rolling rubber wheel.

Harrison on the Xootr MG

Harrison on the Xootr MG (got snow the day after the Central Park ride)

Because of these Xootr wheels – and the sealed bearings within them – the Xootr is pretty much the fastest kick scooter available (before you start getting into Kick Bikes, with their full-size pneumatic tires, truly the liger of the kick scooter/bicycle world).

The Xootr’s fast-rolling wheels, however, also come with a few tradeoffs. Somewhat less stability on uneven surfaces, for one. More road vibration, another. Neither of which are a real problem under ideal kick scooter conditions – on a dry summer day, for instance, when the roads are clear and you have 14+ hours of dazzling sunlight. But on a dark winter night, the road peppered with chunks of ice and dustings of salt and sand, one is best advised to use caution.

So when I grabbed a Xootr MG kick scooter after work last Wednesday – snowbound again and feeling more than just a little antsy – I thought it best to do my scooting in Central Park. Here the roads were clear and smooth, the streetlights bright, the traffic minimal. In other words the conditions were ideal for a little winter scooting on a Xootr kick scooter.

Entering at 90th Street on the east side I built up my momentum on the long, flat straightaway which runs alongside the old reservoir. Whizzing by the snow-blanketed woods and fields on the Xootr kick scooter, I only slowed when I reached the big hill at the north end of the park. Here a slight incline leads to what feels (on a kick scooter anyway) like a genuine precipice – a drop from a rocky overlook all the way down to the swimming pool-cum-hockey rink. Approaching that hill felt a little like disembarking a chairlift at the summit of a ski mountain – the surroundings suddenly altered and eerily calm, the challenging descent to come both thrilling and a touch nerve wracking. I had never gone down anything so steep on a kick scooter.

But the Xootr handled the downhill – more than handled it. This was like running a luge, or a slalom course. This was a lot of fun. Coming around the first bend I rode my brake (both of them), as for safety and splash protection I’d grabbed a Xootr with a fender brake attached) but soon I found a better way to moderate my speed, by doing a slight snowboard-like weave on the kick scooter.

Except for those occasional exhilarating downhills of course, riding a kick scooter really is less like downhill and more like cross country skiing. This is an endurance sport. What thrills you get you really work for. And on the back side of the park – the west side heading south, with its rolling hills one after another – I certainly found this to be true. What keeps you going up each hill on the kick scooter is the thought of a downhill of an equal length and steepness lying somewhere just over the crest.

When I reached the bottom of the park, at Columbus Circle, I had pretty much had it. This part of town – with its jam-packed sidewalks and streets full of jockeying cabs – is no place for a kick scooter, not during rush hour. Plus I was tired. I had just ridden the Xootr kick scooter approximately 5 miles. I had earned a metro-card swipe and a lift home.

Fortunately the Xootr MG had a carrying strap attached. I opened the quick-release and dropped the handlebars, then pulled the pin on the bottom of the kick scooter and folded it down. That was it, the fold complete, simple and easy. I slung the Xootr carrying strap over my shoulder and the whole thing was no more burdensome than a messenger bag, even on a packed rush hour E-Train.

About Harrison-L

Harrison is a bike guy that was introduced to the world of kick scooting when he started working at NYCeWheels. Harrison very quickly understood the value of a kick scooter for urban commuting.
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  • Matthew

    Hi,

    Any chance you’ve ridden both the Mg and the Ultra Cruz? I’m trying to decide between the two, and would love some feedback from someone who can talk about their differences (if any).

    Thanks!

    • http://www.nycewheels.com Jack R.

      Hi Mathew, the biggest difference between the Mg and the Ultra Cruz is going to be the lightweight magnesium deck on the MG. In addition to weighing about two pounds less, the magnesium deck is going to feel more sturdy and it will be a bit faster. The Ultra Cruz also has a handbrake which is not included in the MG. If you wanted that feature, you could also check out the City Kicker: our custom version of the Xootr Mg, which has both the magnesium deck and the hand brake. Here’s a link to check it out: http://www.nycewheels.com/citykicker-kick-scooter.html Best- jack

  • KongJunior

    Thanks, Harrison, and thanks for letting me and my stepson try the Kickped when we came into NYCEwheels a couple of weeks ago.
    I own the Xootr Ultra Cruz, and I wish I had found this website last year when I bought it. The articles really let you know when where and how to best use a kick scooter. BTW I rode that hill in Central Park on a bike long ago, but I’m gonna tackle it on my “Zoot” first chance I get.

    • http://www.nycewheels.com Jack R.

      Hi Kong, let us know when you tackle that Central Park hill on your Zootr, bound to be a good ride! Keep in touch- Jack

  • KongJunior

    P.S., I gotta come in and get my brakes adjusted first!!!

  • zeev

    i’m a long time urban kick scooter afficionado. i’ve been to nyce wheels multiple times and bfold bikes carries them .

    i’m interested in long distance kick scooters. i’ve been thinking and researching and talking to people and i know what attributes i like.

    light weight, not too much vibration, breaks quickly without doing endos, bomb proof, fast, and kick efficiency ( low drag and rolls without too much effort at high speed) .

    i’ve imagined a few design features. for one, urban kick scooters need to fold for commuting, but they don’t NEED to fold if you only use them for speed and distance.

    so 1)—eliminating the folding capability–eliminates weight, weak points, and complexity.
    2)—a disc break is need on the back wheel to stop at the high speeds that this scooter is intended for.
    3) —-needs 10 inch non-pneumatic wheel. very fast very strong, low rolling resistance. far larger than 7-8 inch diameter typical of the urban commuter kick scooter
    4) needs shock absorbance IN the board , ( complex suspension is a weak point in design—bomb proof suspension is built into a flexible board, also a complex suspension would probably require a high deck height, low deck height is necessary. )

    i would like to find someone to design this thing, and then i’de invest money in creating the protoyping and finding money for an initial production run.
    i live in manhattan.
    zeev …..

    • http://www.nycewheels.com Jack R.

      Hi Zeev, we don’t do a lot of custom work here at NYCeWheels, but good luck, it sounds like an interesting project. Best- jack