hardware: scooters

For some areas of life we like things that aren't too serious - a boogie board instead of a surfboard, for example, for when the waves aren't serious enough for those carrying heavy equipment. Fun is the word.

In the wheeled line there are a few alternatives: Skateboards have been around for a long time, and are certainly fun (x-sk8ter here). Inline skates provide a different fun experience, being much faster for one thing. And then there's a sort of cross between them - the small scooters with inline skate wheels.

Leaving aside prejudices which might suggest that this thing is a compromise that maybe only 6 yo's should bother with, scooters can do lots of fun stuff if they're made right. We were interested in something that would provide a little basic street transport as well. As far as practicality goes, a skateboard or a scooter is easily carried when you don't want to use it but inline skates need to be taken off, a spare pair of shoes put on, and then the things need to be carried. Heelies don't do it for us but they might suit some places and people.

As far as looks go, many will say they all look ridiculous so we won't let that bother us ... and more power to anyone making their urban commute in an Armani suit and on a skateboard or scooter!

When we went looking for scooters we were faced with a large rack of the things and we set about riding them and examining their build quality. Some were so badly made that the headstock wobbled about and the clamps that set it in the upright position were loose ... not much checking going on at the Chinese factory gates.

After riding them all around and rejecting the ones we thought were woefully substandard in the riding experience (for different reasons but mostly to do with build quality) we ended up with three scooters. Then we noticed a sticker on one that said that this scooter wasn't suitable for half-pipes, tricks etc. We weren't planning to do that but we thought a rough road would easily duplicate the instant loadings a half-pipe might have, so what were these things for - 2mph on polished parquet? Or was that just the work of mealy-mouthed lawyers and accountants? We don't know!

But we do know that one of the three scooters didn't have the sticker (we might have missed it!) and this was the Micro ... and the Micro has a few scathing online reviews because of build unquality.

So, we ended up with the Micro, something called a Tribus which was a fairly close copy of the Micro but with different clamps, the Hudora, and Blue Heat which at least passed the basic test of getting around on a smooth floor without falling apart along the way, or threatening to. But we didn't buy any of them this time.

to be continued!

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