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For those of you that don't know much about scotters, and simply dismiss them as a childs toy, i should probably explain a few thing.
Yes indeed there were scooters in the past as toys, but these were much larger, and had bike style weeks, and could not fold, and were seen as toys. Then in switerland a design of what we now call the scooter was desgined in order to be used as a personal transport measure (in swiss, they have nice smooth roads, and in winter they need to have room to store their bikes etc). Enter, the micro scooter (and i use the term micro scooter as the brand micro, started this).
This was a hit when they first came out, as these scooters were fun, relatively cheap compared to bikes, and made out of aircraft grade aluminum. Sadly though, competitors tried to muscle in on the act. 2 main competitors were JD bug (which is now owned by micro anyway), and razor, but there were other cheap competitors that were just terrible. Scooters were now a sort of trend, and people started to use them in skateparks and the like, and found problems like the folding mechanism breaking. So then along came the stunt scooter, with even smaller wheels, and no folding mechanism.
Somehow, scooters then started to become a plaything, and now most scooters are sold to children. Look on the razor website (i dislike razor, i will come onto this shortly), most of the scooters they sell are aimed at kids as mindless toys, for a design that was, lets face it, genius.
What about this scooter. Well this was the scooter that really started it all off, made in switersland, to a very high spec, i still own and use this scooter today (only about 8 years later, with no problems!). Featuring independent rear brake, front suspension (although this is no longer on newer models, as it doesn't really work very well), and can fold to about the size of 2 shut umbrellas side by side. It has a catch to pull and fold, and i can hit heavy sprinting speeds with ease on the right surface. I should mention a few problems. Firstly, the handbars aren't quite tall enough for me anymore (for my preferance at least), and the wheels are a bit small for rough ground. To be fair considering this is mark 1 of the scooter, i think it has faired excellantly, but i wouldn't buy another today, as the scooter has come on. What i like about this scooter though is the idea, the idea that you can transport yourself anywhere, and fold it up and stick it on your back with the provided strap.
So whats better about this scooter than competitors? Ok i know micro is an expensive brand, but the really is quality in the work. If you just want a toy, go razor, and the reason i don't like razor is because they have broken down the whole idea of the scooter into nothing more than a kids toy. In some areas of europe, scooters are still used a lot as transport, its a shame we don't do the same here (i should probably add razor are american.. it figures).
JD bug really only makes the orignal scooter and a stunt version, basically older micro models under a different brand name, but these are more aimed at children. I would say if you are thinking of getting scooters for children, i would probably go with JD bug.
But micro these days do offer some "toy scooters", but they also offer what they call commuting solutions. Look at the micro white for example, larger wheels, lower footplate, higher handbars, everything that the original scooter could benefit from, and using different tyres and getting rid of the poor suspension gives it a nice ride to!
In summary then, the micro scooter (original, the pro just ads the weird bar thing at the back which actually does nothing if im honest other than give you somewhere to rest your foot) is actually a great invention, and i find it sad that very few people today see scooters for what they are, and dismiss them as toys. The micro brand are very well built (kinda like a swiss army knife), and i can vouch for that, after 8 years, the only thing i have replaced was the strap to put the thing on your back, which i kinda accidently broke myself, i've never even oiled it or changed the wheels! My bike on the otherhand which cost more when new (although i did get the scooter as a present) has since broken more times than i can count, and has cost me a fortune in maintaince.
However, although this is a very good scooter, if you were buying a scooter today, i would buy differently. If you want something for a child, i would go JD bug. If you are looking for something to do stunts on, i can't really help you there i don't know much about that. But for commuting, depending on budget, i would either go for a knowped if the ground is very rough (around 230), a xtoor if the ground is smooth and you want safety (around 170 quid), a micro white or black (same scooter, different colour) as a good all rounder (around 150). If these are all too expensive for you, check out the Hondura big wheel (around 70 quid amazon), or the Coxs swain super size (around 60 quid). Believe me, this scooter was genesis, and don't be fooled into thinking this is nothing but a useless toy.
Last summer there were DOZENS of aluminium scooters whizzing around the city. I was usually riding one of them but don’t hate me for it (although most commuters probably will). It all started when someone brought one into the office. On your typical office carpet tiles these things whiz around like you wouldn’t believe. Before you know it, the company had actually bought some of them and people were using them to get from one end of the office to the other, to the toilet, the photocopier, coffee machine etc. You get the picture. At the end of a particularly long day at work I decided to borrow, one thinking that it would get me home slightly quicker than walking would. Once outside the office, I unfolded it and scooted off to the tube station. Wow!!! A 10 minute walk was reduced to less than 5 minutes! Folding it up once more, I went through the ticket barriers and sat on the tube. Once folded up, the thing actually sits quite neatly between your knees especially if you leave the handles out. In actual fact it takes up next to no space at all, certainly no more than someone sitting there with a briefcase between their feet! Finally getting off the train (several changes later) I was a 15 minute walk from my house. Unfolding my trusty steed, I scooted off into the night. Unfortunately it had been raining. No more than 10 seconds later I was flat on the floor and busy making a mental note to be much more cautious on the scooter in the wet. Suffice to say that, even having stacked it outside the train station, my 15 minute walk home was reduced to about 5 minutes. After this I was hooked. This thing could save me 20 minutes a day (and any commuter out there will tell you how much 20 minutes is worth)!! It was no use, I was going to have to buy one. It was around summer last year that people started jumping on the scooter bandwagon and a whole raft of ‘copies’ came out, most of them
considerably cheaper than the original Micro scooter. I did look at them, but none had the same quick-folding, sturdy locking action of the Micro and all seemed to be of slightly inferior construction. Fearing that my weight may be too much for the cheaper models, I opted for an original Micro brand scooter, although I did opt for the ‘pro’ version. Why did I get the pro version? The main differences between the regular and ‘pro’ are that the pro has suspension on the front wheel and a ‘wheelie-bar’ at the back. Both have the now familiar nylon wheels, aluminium construction, ingenious back brake and foam covered handles. The suspension was my first thought. The standard Micro scooter didn’t have any, and I’d fallen off it with alarming ease when riding on a pavement. The slightest bump, twig or loose piece of grave in your way and you could be heading for the floor. I hoped that the front suspension would improve the ability to cope with minor obstacles. Secondly, the wheelie bar would give me somewhere to rest my ‘scooting’ foot once I had reached cruising speed. Were my assumptions correct? In the main, yes. The suspension DOES make it easier to ride along pavements, minor bumps and divots that would dismount you from a standard scooter are no longer an issue. It still won’t save you from vicious pieces of gravel that decide to lodge themselves under the front wheel, but it does give you an advantage. The wheelie bar DOES give you somewhere to rest your scooting foot and, if you are feeling really adventurous, you can even try pulling off some stunts with it. Am I glad I bought it? Most definitely, it saved me at least 20 minutes a day throughout the summer last year as I scooted to and from the station. It also got used to scoot into town for a quick bit of shopping (just make sure you have a rack-sack to carry stuff in, regular carrier bags and a sco
oter is a recipe for disaster)! Unfortunately it simply becomes too dangerous to use once the rain starts to set in. On a wet floor (or even worse a floor covered in wet leaves) the wheels just have too little grip to. You end up skidding all over the place and the fear with which you approach corners is amazing. So around September/October last year I stopped using it and haven’t used it since, not even this summer. Mainly because I have since changed jobs and the walk between the station and the office is so short as to make and reduction in journey time almost impossible. Having written this though, I think I may take it out around a car park this weekend, just to get back into the swing of things…
When I went out to buy a scooter I only wanted to get the MICRO so in some bike shop they had this new one so I thought what the heck. And it is alot better it is not only smoother faster but alot lighter and it has lights so you can ride it at night. You can pop it under your arm and not feel a thing. It is certainly much better than the old heavy ugly ones that you wouldnt want to be seen dead on. To sum it all up this streemline cute plank on wheels makes commuting much easier.