Product Type: JD Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... just be warned that if you rely on pushing down on the front then it may mean you're leaning over. However, this is only a little niggle... more
Is it a Transformer? No, just a clever, sturdy scooter! Beep beep, coming through!
JD Bug Big Wheel Scooter
Member Name: pmcds
JD Bug Big Wheel Scooter
Advantages: Sturdy, reliable, fun, adjustable
Disadvantages: Handlebars can sink with hard pressure, grip flakes a little: minor gripes
The JD bug is that you often see teens on doing tricks, and while this one isn't most kitted out trick scooter, it has proven to be enough for our little man to handle. Visually, ours is a mix of metal grey and blue, and functions just as a normal scooter would. There are only the two wheels, one at the front and one at the back, another step up from our previous 3 wheeled one. This has meant better chance of going at increased speeds for our son and has also resulted in more enjoyment for him.
The strong metal frame also bears enough weight so that my wife and I have also been able to have a go on it, and I was impressed by the adaptability of the scooter. The frame adjusts up and down with quite a large degree of change available, a strong locking mechanism ensuring that using the handlebars for support as well as steering doesn't push it down. If you do push hard, however, it will slowly sink a little bit, so just be warned that if you rely on pushing down on the front then it may mean you're leaning over.
However, this is only a little niggle, as it was me pushing down and leaning my body weight on it that resulted like this, and our 7 year old won't generate that much pressure and so it's be perfect for him. The handlebars themselves are padded, which provides comfy grip, although if you get a bit sweaty then you do get that residue you often get with grips, where tiny flakes can come off. It's very comfy to hold, though, as my son keeps pointing out to us!
Does it go? Well, we took it out on a nearby walking/cycle trail recently, and on the downhill bit, our little adventurer was zooming off at speed, so excited, trying to do little tricks that had us putting our hands over our mouths and calling out. It really can go. It's not going to be as fast as a bicycle, but it can build up quite a bit of speed, and the wheels will carry forward the momentum on the flat or uphill with the pushing that you'd do with your trail leg. Some scooters have a tendency to be inefficient when it comes to transferring leg power to the wheels, but not this one.
The body will also rotate 360 degrees. It won't keep going round and round, but the design will let you flip it round once. Our son isn't aware of this yet, and we'll probably wait until he's a bit more confident and able with it before even suggesting he tries things like that. I've seen kids do a trick with flipping the base round before landing on it again, and sneakily and without success I have tried it myself, but I can see how it could be dangerous, so before he tries that, we'll pop some elbow and knee pads on along with his bicycle helmet, I think.
Naturally, this protection doesn't come with the scooter, but I do recommend having them in case you have a zoomer user like we do. It's for peace of mind as much as safety, but it would be easy to see how they could come flying off by one over zealous turn or a stumble, and the results could be serious at speed. Luckily, we already have these, so it wasn't an extra cost we had to factor in, but it's certainly something to be aware of.
The scooter also comes equipped with a brake, applied with the back foot. It's merely a metal pedal that hovers over the wheel arch at the back, coming off the foot plate. You merely need apply pressure to it with your trail leg, and it'll operate just like any other brake. It's not a sudden effect, though, which has more good points than bad. It does mean that immediate stopping when travelling at velocity is unlikely, but it also means that a sudden stop likely to fling you over the handlebars is equally unlikely.
Transportation has also been thought of. Along the front frame that ends with the handlebars and starts at the front wheel, there is an adjustable strap, along with a lever that means you can fold the frame down so it's in line with the base. This provides you with a flat unit and you can put the strap easily put over your shoulder as you would do wit a backpack. It's not quite as comfortable, as you have the metal scooter against your shoulder and back, but it's much better than having to potentially strain and carry a cumbersome object. The handlebars also fold in flat, preventing them digging in to you and sticking out.
It's very well thought out, overall, and is proving to be very durable on top of all this. My son has put it through its paces and it's taken some off road beatings as well as smooth track flying, and it's still running smoothly. We're very impressed with it indeed. It cost my wife's folks around the £30 mark, I believe, and seemed to be about twice as much as the cheapest similar option. However, this didn't seem anywhere near as reliable, flexible, portable and sturdy as the one we finally got, and we're exceptionally pleased with what he's ended up with, as is he. We alternate between taking this and the bike out with him, and he's happy with either. The scooter just takes up less room in the car! Recommended!
Summary: Excellent scooter, adaptable for different uses and folds down for portability
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