If you do not live in a city where you can test ride adult kick scooters, such as a KickPed or one of Xootr’s multiple styles, you might have to order one through the Internet and hope for the best. No matter whether you can or cannot test drive an adult kick scooter before you buy, base your decision on five personal characteristics:
Your Height: A single scooter type will not satisfy all adult heights. The handlebar of a well balanced scoot should reach at least 3 inches above your natural waistline, if not higher. What is comfortable for a 5’10″ person, however, might be way to short for someone who’s over 6’3″. If the out-of-the-box handlebar height is too short, but everything else is OK, find out whether you can have a custom (longer) handlebar made.
Your Shoe Size: Scooter floorboards are various lengths, with some being only long enough for one shoe (without having to stand at an angle), and other’s long enough and/or possibly wide enough for the easy placement of two feet. If you plan on scooting for several miles, having a floorboard that easily allows alternate leg pushing as well as a place to rest both legs is a big plus.
Your Weight: Don’t exceed a scooters’ maximum weight limit! Not only might you crack the kick scooter, you definitely will throw it off balance.
Your Purpose: Do you plan on using your scooter for commuting (a task similar to non-stop bicycling), or for sightseeing (a task that combines kick scooting and walking). In the first case, you might look for speed, while in the second case, you might look for more stability (especially for going slow, and/or negotiating rougher surfaces).
Your Typical Distance Covered: Short distances, such as 1 to 3 miles, does not require the longest rolling capability, or the easiest kick propulsion, whereas regularly traveling long distances (say 5 to 9+ miles) might require better rolling and the easiest kick propulsion. In general, larger diameter wheels roll further, although the largest wheels might require more effort to kick.
Should you buy a scooter over the Internet? If you can’t find a dealer near you, buy your scooter from a company like NYCeWheels, which has a good reputation in the city it serves and a knowledgeable staff. Rather than pre-select the model you want, discuss your issues with a sales clerk, then let him or her make suggestions. If you call a dealer who has an uninterested or non-informed clerk, or only clerks who’ve never used scooters, find another store!
Here’s an example of what to say once you make contact: “I am a 5’11″ man, weighing 235 pounds, with size 13 shoes, who wants to buy a scooter to commute 1.5 miles to work over well-kept sidewalks.”