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Scooters seem to be an extremely popular accessory on the school run these days, especially the ubiquitous mini micro scooter in its range of colours. When we initially purchased a scooter for our son, when he was about three, we decided to go for something different, and cheaper, than the mini micro, not realising that there was a very good reason that everyone in our particular suburb of West London seemed to have bought them for their children (i.e. the fact that they were probably the best pre-school scooter on the market). So, when our son reached the age of six and needed an 'upgrade' scooter, the first brand we looked at were Micro Scooters.
* The Product *
We spent a while debating the merits of the Maxi Micro (the big version of the Mini Micro which again is a three-wheel scooter, low to the ground in a range of bright colours) before deciding that the two wheeled Micro Sprite was that little bit cooler and, potentially, would last him for longer. The fact that it is significantly cheaper than the Maxi Micro was an added bonus! The Micro Sprite is a two wheeled aluminium scooter designed for children over the age of five. It is actually suitable up to an adult weight / height, due to the adjustable height and the sturdy construction of the scooter which means that it can be used by an adult weighing up to 100kg. It comes in a range of colours - we opted for the black version for the simple reason that we felt it was more 'classic' and less susceptible to the changing fads of our six year old son. The design of the scooter is very simple - a relatively solid-looking base plate, two wheels and a long aluminium handle with padded handlebars. The handle height is adjustable, meaning that it is ideal for a growing child.
* Our Experiences *
My son was never particularly steady on his original three-wheeled scooter, although I always felt that was as much down to the poor design of that particular scooter as anything else. Therefore I was surprised at how quickly he grasped the idea of scooting on two wheels - literally the first time we took the scooter on the school run he was off and scooting confidently down the pavement. Since then, his confidence has grown and, apart from the occasional incident involving high speed and uneven pavements, he has loved riding this scooter. The low height of the base plate to the ground, and the design of the wheels, mean that the scooter seems very stable, even though it is a two-wheeler. The thing that impresses me most about it is the smoothness of the ride, and the quietness of the wheels on the pavement. There is none of the rattling wheel noise that you might associate with cheaper scooters and I feel that this is a reflection of the quality of the product. It also boasts 360 degree steering which makes it much easier for my son to take corners smoothly and enhances his enjoyment when riding it.
The handle height is easily adjustable too - at the moment we have it on a relatively low setting, but we have tried it on a higher setting (so that myself and my husband could have a go) and it was easy to move the handle up and down. It is also an added bonus that, unlike the Mini Micro, you can actually fold this scooter which makes it much more transportable. Literally the only negative I can see with the Micro Sprite is that if you carry it by the handle-bars (in the unfolded position), the 360 degree steering means that the base plate swings round and hits you in the shins - this is annoying, but not something that should put you off buying what is an excellent product. Since I originally wrote this review, we have purchased a carry strap for the scooter which makes it easier to carry as you can simply sling it over your shoulder while walking home from the school run. This is beneficial when trying to keep up with a slightly nutty three year old on a pink Mini Micro! Like the Mini Micro, you can also customise the Micro Sprite with accessories - so far we just have a bell on it (and the elastic bands round the front which seem to be ubiquitous amongst the scooter generation - if anyone knows what that is all about, please feel free to enlighten me!), but you can also buy drinks holders, bags etc.
* Cost and Value for Money *
We bought the Micro Sprite in black from Micro Scooters direct through their website for £54.00. This is not a product that seems to be discounted, although you might get lucky and find it sold through another retailer with a discount code. I feel that this represents very good value for money as, although it is a relatively expensive initial outlay, the quality is great and it should last for a long time.
* Final Thoughts *
The Micro Sprite is an excellent scooter for children over the age of five and I would definitely recommend it. I am really pleased that we opted for this particular model and would consider buying another one when my little girl outgrows her Mini Micro. For me, the major advantages are the height adjustability, the smoothness of the ride and the stability of the scooter when in use, plus the fact that a scooting child (or two, in our case) usually means that we get to our destination that little bit quicker!