Scooter Jargon Explained
Gone are the days when you just go out and buy a new scooter. My son had a great standard JD Bug scooter, but as he was getting older he started asking me for new parts to customise the scooter. First he wanted to upgrade his bars, we did some research and he was torn between new Slamm bars and 81-pro BMX bars. Then he moved onto having a new deck to go with it, a great looking metallic blue JD Bug deck caught his eye. As we were replacing the bars to go onto a JD Bug deck we needed new clamps. After totting all this up I was amazed that really he could just buy a brand new entire scooter for much the same price. In the end that's what he did, upgraded to a brilliant Slamm Rage Scooter, which he is over the moon with yet still wants to buy extra clamps for. What I am amazed at is just how many different bits can be changed on a standard kids scooter. Let me take you through some of it below.
When buying new bars you need to make sure they are compatible with the scooter deck, as some brands make oversized bars. Scooter Bars come in lots of different shapes from the standard t-bar to BMX looking bars. Consider the material the bars are made of also, as chromoly will be lighter than steel. Bars need to be strong especially on a stunt scooter as they take a lot of pressure from tricks and stunts. A new set of bars can make a big difference to the way the scooter looks as colour options are endless and with brighter colours a scooter will stand out from the rest.
Scooter Wheels are a popular choice to be replaced on scooters as wheels these days come in a big Varity of colours and designs. A good set of wheels are going to be made out of Urethane or Polyurethane, which is going to give you a wheel with long life due to the good wear factor urethane has. Urethane will also slide when you push but not skid all over the place meaning the rider has more control over the scooter. Some wheels come with metal cores which are also worth considering if you are big into performing tricks and stunts as a lot of pressure can be put on wheels when landing jumps. The standard scooter wheel is 100mm, but you can get them larger, just make sure they fit your scooter before purchasing.
Bearings fit inside the wheels and are rated from 1-9. The rating comes from ABEC which stands for Annular Bearing Engineering Committee. Most riders seem to think the higher the ABEC rating the faster their scooter is going to go, but in truth most quality scooters come with an ABEC rating of 5 and anything above this won’t make a scooter faster as all the bearing precision in higher rated bearings is lost in the way a scooter is used to ride. Bearings rated ABEC9 are going to cost a lot of money and unless you can ride faster than 300 miles per hour they will not improve your speed. Keeping your bearing clean and lubricated is something that will help with performance, and I would say that you only really need to replace bearings when they are worn or rusted.
Collar Clamps and Pegs
Adding new collar clamps to a scooter seems to be a bit of a status symbol in the younger generation with who has got the latest must have clamp to how many are stacked on to the bars. The collar clamp sits at the bottom of the scooter bars and provides reinforcement to this area when performing stunts. As they can be bought in various makes and colours and some are not too expensive, getting a new collar is a popular choice. Scooter pegs are also known as stunt pegs and are fixed at the back or front of the scooter on the wheels. Again they come in various colours and are used to perform new tricks and stunts. Quad clamps are currently the strongest clamps available and come as standard on the Grit Mayhem and Invader scooters.
Grip Tape and Decks
Grip tape is one of the most inexpensive ways of customising a scooter. It basically sticks over the deck of the scooter and can be bought in endless colours and designs, as it's really inexpensive riders replace grip tape all the time. New footplates or decks can be bought in different colours and by most of the major brands around today. When buying a new deck, just make sure your existing bars will fit. Most will unless you have oversized bars.