Best Cheap Scooters
Published on By Maralyn Edid
Razor A Kick Scooter Review
(From $27.00 Best)
Known as the original kick scooter, this durable, sturdy model consistently pleases most young riders and their adult handlers. It's lightweight, easy to use, easy to store, and the best choice for a first two-wheeled scooter.
Known as the original kick scooter, the Razor A (starting at $27, Amazon) is sturdy, reliable, and fun. Razor A reviews reveal it's used by riders of many ages, from pre-schoolers to teens and even a few adults (so long as they weigh less than 143 pounds). Although the manufacturer's recommended starting age is five, reviews on sites such as Walmart and Amazon indicate that plenty of younger children quickly (as in a couple of hours) master the art of this two-wheeled form of transit. Parents note the scooter is low to the ground, which seems to lessen the fear of falling, and once the easily adjustable handlebars are set to the child's height, he or she is off and rolling. Kids use this low-cost scooter to zoom around the house (is this OK with you?) and the neighborhood, say scooter reviews, and many families report owning multiple units. The choice of black, blue, red, green, or pink makes it easy for children to stake their claim -- boys apparently avoid riding their sisters' pink models -- and the folding mechanism ensures easy portage when scooting isn't practical. The Razor A weighs six pounds and sports a rear brake and two nearly four-inch urethane wheels.
The companion Razor A2 (starting at $37, Amazon) is another favorite of riders and their parents. With its springless shock system (making bumps on the sidewalk less noticeable) and a wheelie bar to entice trick-happy novices, this model appeals to a slightly older crowd, according to Razor A2 reviews on Target. Comments posted on Walmart, however, indicate that the Razor A2 also finds fans among the elementary-school set. Razor A2 reviews on Sports Authority praise the design and construction, but one dissenting voice says the wheelie bar is too close to the rear foot brake. The Razor A2 folds for easy storage and portability and features adjustable handlebars and inline-style wheels that are just shy of four inches. It weighs seven pounds and comes in black, blue, red, green, and purple. As with the Razor A, the weight limit is 143 pounds.
Both the Razor A and Razor A2 garner scores of glowing reviews. Their popularity is a reflection of low price, solid build, and durability. There's a self-reinforcing element at play here, as well: all the kids have one, so yours needs one too. Kids get a kick out of these cheap scooters, and whichever model you choose, it surely won't languish on the sidelines.
Razor E100 Electric Scooter Review
(From $91.00 Best)
For children starting at about age 8, the electric Razor E100 is reliable, user-friendly, and a convenient mode of transportation. Speeds reach up to 10 mph and the rechargeable battery is good for about 40 minutes of straight riding time.
Electric scooters are considerably more expensive than non-motorized kick scooters and give riders a decidedly different experience. As Razor E100 reviews note, you can scoot along at what seems like warp speed and you barely lift a foot to keep the wheels moving. Moreover, as one review on Kmart reports, the rider's status in the neighborhood quickly rises. Quite a few scooter reviews, obviously written by kids and posted on Sears, attest to its cool quotient, leavened by a large dose of fun. The typical age of riders seems to fall within the pre-teen years, but adults, too, get their jollies from this electric scooter; we read reviews reporting use by parents out for a quick spin - some of whom exceed the 120-pound weight limit - and college students commuting between campus and home. For the most part, reviews say the E100 is reliable, but a few grumble about batteries that, within a year of purchase, either won't charge or hold a charge; one reviewer says he finally opened the deck and discovered a loose connection that was easily fixed. When the batteries are fully loaded, though, reviews agree the scooter runs just fine.
The Razor E100 (starting at $91, Amazon) features a twist-grip throttle and a chain-driven motor, hand-operated front brake, eight-inch pneumatic front tire and a 125mm (4.9 inches) urethane rear wheel. Once the rider gives it a good kick or two and the motor engages, the scooter cruises at speeds of up to 10 mph, which many parents posting E100 reviews on Amazon consider perfect. The two 12-volt batteries (included with purchase, along with a charger) should provide up to 40 minutes of continuous ride time and will need up to 12 hours of charge time; if presenting as a gift, one parent suggests charging the scooter first. This scooter weighs 29 pounds and comes in pink or red.
The Razor E100 is designed for kids eight years and up, although a few reviews indicate that slightly younger children manage without difficulty. It provides youngsters the kind of freedom that comes with a measure of motorized mobility but offers arguably less exercise than what they'd get with a kick scooter. Kids will tell you it beats walking by a mile, and the lure may be enough to entice a child to put his or her own pennies toward a down payment, at least.
Radio Flyer My First Scooter Review
(From $34.00 Good)
With three wheels and a wide deck, the Radio Flyer My First Scooter is a safe and well-liked entry-level model for toddlers. It collapses for easy storage but its wide turning radius makes it hard to steer.
This three-wheeled scooter keeps the youngest riders safe, assert Radio Flyer My First Scooter reviews on Amazon. The two widely-spaced front wheels and wide footboard that tapers in the back ensure stability as children acquire the necessary scooter skills of balance and control. Reviews on Diapers.com say kids thoroughly enjoy this scooter, which gives child and parent alike a measure of comfort with a design that minimizes the chances of falling or hitting the back wheels while kicking. Parents consider this Radio Flyer a good training scooter in anticipation of graduating to a two-wheeled model, although some gripe about a wide turning radius and generally say it's hard to steer. Still, as some scooter reviews on Walmart point out, little kids feel like big kids when zipping around on it; one parent, however, reports that her three-year-old son spurns the My First Scooter in favor of the regular scooter the family owns. This situation is not uncommon, as other parents note the appeal of the My First Scooter wanes as children age out of toddlerhood.
The recommended age range for this model is two through five, although we read numerous Radio Flyer My First Scooter reviews indicating 18-month-olds get the hang of it pretty quickly. The weight limit for the rider is 50 pounds, and the scooter itself -- made of metal (20%) and plastic (80%) -- weighs a hefty 12 pounds. It sports a handle that folds with the push of a button, six-inch front wheels and a five-inch rear wheel. The only color choice is red.
If you're looking for an entry-level scooter for a very young child, this one fits the bill. The Radio Flyer My First Scooter (starting at $34, Amazon) is easy to use, looks bright and shiny, and can take some abuse. Reviews say it rolls easily once it gets going, which may take a bit of extra effort, but it wins points for stability; caregivers also report it serves as a good indoor diversion. Just don't count on the My First Scooter finding favor with a child for too long.
Many children eagerly anticipate their first ride on a scooter (look, Ma, freedom!) when they can begin cruising around the neighborhood in speedy and stylish fashion. Although you can spend hundreds of dollars on a tricked-out scooter, there are plenty of cheap scooters bearing two-digit price tags in an assortment of styles and colors that will keep youngsters happy and active -- and away from all those couch-potato alternatives. Moreover, cheap scooters seem to be a gender-neutral interest that's as popular with girls as with boys.
Cheap Scooters Buying Guide
Cheap scooters come in two forms: the traditional foot-powered type, best known as a kick scooter, that go for less than $40; or a motorized scooter powered by batteries that can be had for less than $100. There are also gas-powered scooters, but at a minimum of several hundred dollars apiece, these are way beyond the Cheapism niche. To be sure, an electric scooter can easily top $200 and a kick scooter can run well past $100. What you'll get for these higher prices are models engineered to handle stunts and tricks with upgraded shocks, advanced braking systems, and extra-strong frames. The youngest riders can go the luxury route with a model like the Swiss-designed Mini Kick Scooter (starting at $80), with its three Italian-made wheels and a steering mechanism controlled by leaning rather than by turning the handlebars. But if jumps and twists and high-style aren't on the child's agenda -- or yours -- a good cheap scooter will more than suffice.
Before deciding between a cheap kick scooter and a cheap motorized scooter, you'll need to consider the child's age. Two-year olds might start out on a three-wheeled scooter and graduate to the standard two-wheeled variety at age 4 or 5. Motorized scooters are meant to be ridden by older children; manufacturers' specs for the cheap electric scooters we researched all recommend 8 as the minimum age. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children younger than 8 should always be supervised while riding a scooter of any type, a stance echoed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which further advises that motorized scooters should be reserved for children at least 12 years old. Age aside, most kids master the scooter thing quickly. We read reports from parents and former pre-school teachers attesting to their value in boosting kids' self-confidence, coordination, and balance.
Razor dominates the kids' cheap scooter market with a lineup that includes entry-level scooters for tots and whooshes all the way to electric models with seats designed for teens and up. It's the cool brand and kids who are old enough to recognize such markers of status may refuse to ride anything else (or so we've been told by several young scooter aficionados). Radio Flyer is another well-known brand that focuses on traditional kick scooters for the pre-school and elementary-grades set. X-Treme Scooters specializes in electric and gas models. Other producers include Fisher-Price and Huffy, which target young riders with child-pleasing themes like Cars, Toy Story, and Spider Man.
Cheap scooters are pretty basic: a couple of wheels, a deck, and handlebars. The wheels are often hard urethane and the handlebars on many models adjust to different heights. Hand brakes are standard on electric scooters, and kick scooters meant for school-age children usually come with a foot-operated rear brake; entry-level kick scooters rely on a little foot stepping off the deck to serve as the brake if the scooter hasn't already come to a stop on its own. Seats are reserved for higher-end motorized models that go faster and farther than the cheap scooters we researched and are recommended for older (i.e., minimum 13 years) riders. A scooter's performance is best judged by ease of use and durability. That is, how easy is it to push off and keep going? How much abuse can the scooter take before it just gives out?
Our picks for best cheap scooters include the Razor A (starting at $27), a kick scooter noted for its durable construction, smooth ride, and high marks on the coolness scale, and the Razor E100 (starting at $91), an electric scooter that scores with kids and adults for the same reasons. We also like the Radio Flyer My First Scooter (starting at $34), a three-wheeled model that is well-built and designed for toddlers just launching their scooting careers; reviews indicate, however, that this one is tough to steer.
Parents and caregivers, heads up here: Make sure the child always wears a helmet when riding. Experts also recommend knee pads and elbow pads. Also note that cheap scooters should be used on hard surfaces that are clear of debris like rocks and pebbles.
Features Comparison Buying Guide continues below table
Kick Scooters, Motorized Scooters
Kick Scooters.A kick scooter, sometimes known as a push scooter, is a very basic form of transportation: a narrow deck with two small wheels, one in front and one in back, and steering handlebars affixed to the deck by a long mount. Just kick off with a foot, roll, push off again, roll, and so on; speed is controlled by the strength and momentum of the rider's kick. The best cheap kick scooter we found is the Razor A (starting at $27), an easy and dependable ride for youngsters ages 5 and up. The next model in the Razor lineup is the A2 (starting at $37), which is one of the few cheap kick scooters capable of executing at least one trick; this model features a bar in the back that lets the rider pop a wheelie. Another Razor, the Pro (starting at $50), is designed for stunts and freewheeling with grip tape on the deck and a reinforced head tube. One model beyond our price range for kick scooters that bears mention is the Pulse Kick 'N Go (starting at $74), which features a T-shaped bar at the rear of the deck that the rider kicks to accelerate rather than using their foot. Entry-level scooters for tots have three small wheels and a wider deck, as well as steering handlebars. The third wheel provides added stability and the wider platform usually can hold two little feet side by side, both features that make it easier and safer (fewer tip-overs) for young children learning to ride. Our pick for best entry-level kick scooter, the Radio Flyer My First Scooter (starting at $34), sports two wheels in front and one in back. The Razor Kiddie Kick (starting at $28) takes the opposite approach and puts two wheels in the back and one up front. One configuration isn't necessarily better than the other, although parents' assessment of the Radio Flyer is more positive; critiques of the Razor Kiddie Kick center on difficult push-offs and very slow speeds, which together seem to frustrate youngsters.
Motorized Scooters.A scooter powered by an electric motor means a lot less work for the rider but higher cost for the buyer. Just turn on, push off, and roll away. The variable speed on most kids' motorized scooters tops out at 10 miles an hour and is typically controlled through the hand grips or a thumb trigger. The deck is wider than a regular kick scooter in order to accommodate the motor, which is secured underneath on our favorite cheap electric scooter, the chain-driven Razor E100 (starting at $91), and at the rear on the belt-driven X-Treme X-140 (starting at $100). Although 8 is the recommended minimum age for stepping up to a motorized scooter, some parents seem to ignore the advice; we read reviews that indicate 6- and 7-year-olds are tooling around on these little machines. The motor on an electric scooter is powered by batteries. Specs on both the models we researched call for two rechargeable 12V batteries, which are included. Both motorized scooters also come with chargers. Manufacturers specify the batteries' range differently. With the Razor E100 you can expect about 40 minutes of uninterrupted scooting and then up to 12 hours of charge time. With the X-Treme X-140, you should be able to travel about six to eight miles and then have to wait six to eight hours for a full recharge.
Kids Scooters Weight Limits, Design
Scooters Weight Limits.Once you've decided whether to go electric or old-school foot power, you'll need to consider the child's weight. Some cheap kids scooters can handle the heft of an adult, but others are clearly built to carry children. The maximum weight on the Razor A and Razor A2, for example, is 143 pounds. For entry-level kids scooters, the weight limit drops significantly: 50 pounds for the Radio Flyer My First Scooter and 45 pounds for the Razor Kiddie Kick. Electric scooters are made with older kids in mind and typically accommodate heavier riders. The X-Treme X-140 can tolerate up to 200 pounds although the Razor E100 is good only up to 120 pounds.
Scooters Wheels.The wheels on a scooter vary in size and composition. Entry-level kick scooters usually feature wheels made of hard plastic, and parents' reviews indicate they don't damage floors when children ride them indoors. The three wheels on the Kiddie Kick are 98 millimeters high, or just shy of 4 inches; the two front wheels on the Radio Flyer My First Scooter are 6 inches high and the single rear wheel stands 5 inches tall.
The two kick scooters for older kids that we researched, the Razor A and Razor A2, also feature hard urethane wheels that are a tad short of 4 inches high. The motorized Razor E100 boasts a relatively large 8-inch pneumatic tire in the front and a urethane rear tire that's about 5 inches in diameter. The X-Treme X-140 comes with two 6-inch wheels -- hard rubber on the front and hard rosin on the rear -- that some reviews indicate might be able to handle small bumps but may give a harsher ride.
Scooters Design and Construction.The best cheap kids scooters are colorful, lightweight, and foldable. Some also have handlebars that can be adjusted to suit the rider's height. Tot-size kick scooters don't take quite the beating meted out to kids scooters used by older children and often are made with lots of plastic. (By way of contrast, the Dora Three-Wheel Scooter is made entirely of metal and starts at $25) The Razor Kiddie Kick features a plastic body that weighs 6.5 pounds; it comes in pink or blue. Specs for the Radio Flyer My First scooter indicate it's 80% plastic and 20% metal, a combination that may account for its 12-pound weight. Both models fold for easy storage and portability.
Cheap two-wheeled kick scooters and electric scooters are built with metal. In the case of the Razor A and Razor A2, that means aircraft-grade aluminum. The Razor A weighs six pounds and comes in an assortment of colors, including red and green. The Razor A2, with its springless suspension and wheelie bar, weighs in at seven pounds and is available in purple, among other colors. Both models fold and feature adjustable handlebars. The motorized E100 weighs a hefty 29 pounds while the X-Treme X-140 is a comparatively svelte 19 pounds, a weight that appealed to a family of girls who need to carry the scooter up three flights of stairs. Again, both models fold and have adjustable handlebars and offer a couple of color choices.
A few kids scooters, like the Radio Flyer My First Scooter, come fully assembled; others require minimal assembly, a task that reviews say can be accomplished in minutes. Where a tool is needed, it comes in the package.
Scooter Reviews, Best Scooters
According to the scooter reviews we read, the hallmark of the best scooters is the quality of the ride and the model's longevity. We also noted in scooter reviews on a variety of websites that Razor scooters far and away outrank other labels in the hearts and eyes of young riders. Some models with cartoon themes by makers like Huffy earn decent reviews, but parents casually comment in posts how their children have been lusting after a Razor like those used by older siblings or kids in the neighborhood. Our picks for best scooters reflect this widely reported sentiment.
Scooters Ride.For young riders in particular, ease of use is critical. We read many scooter reviews noting how eager toddlers are to imitate older brothers and sisters, and three-wheeled scooters fit the bill perfectly. The Radio Flyer My First Scooter is a hit with parents and children alike. Scooter reviews on Amazon, for example, note how safe the Radio Flyer seems: the wide deck and well-spaced front wheels provide stability and the relatively slow rate of travel ensures the child will be able to maintain control. A review of the best scooters at Target points out that the single back wheel design makes it unlikely that the child will hit his/ her foot while kicking. On the other hand, the wide turning radius on the Radio Flyer is a turn-off for some parents, who note in scooter reviews that it's hard to round corners in the house; a few also say the relatively slow speed saps some of the fun. The Razor Kiddie Kick finds plenty of fans for its two-back-wheel configuration, again because of the stability it ensures. Scooter reviews on Meijer say little children quickly learn scooting basics on the Kiddie Kick but add that they'll quickly outgrow this model, which can't be adjusted for height. Parents also report in scooter reviews on Toys R Us that the Kiddie Kick is slower than you'd expect for a tot's scooter, requires too much effort to get going, and doesn't coast very far, even on a slight slope. The best kick scooters for older children score for their easy riding performance. Safe and smooth are adjectives used to describe the Razor A in scooter reviews. Parents commenting on Walmart report that 5-and 6-year-olds learn to ride almost immediately, and the low deck gives confidence to children who might otherwise fear falling. This scooter handles well and apparently gets lots of indoor workouts during winter months, with no telltale marks left on floors. The Razor A2 likewise earns accolades, with scooter reviews on Sports Authority saying youngsters take to it so quickly and regularly that they wind up getting plenty of exercise. Some riders use the Razor A2 for entry-level tricks, like jumping, but one parent reports having removed the wheelie bar because it blocked easy access to the brakes.
In the motorized scooter department, Razor lands on top again with its E100. Scooter reviews on sites like Drugstore.com comment on the speed with which kids learn to ride and the thrill of their newly acquired mobility. Other reviews note the success of the Razor E100 as gifts, in part because it elevates the rider's cool status within the neighborhood posse. The X-Treme X-140 runs quietly and is lighter than electric Razors and thus easier to maneuver, according to reviews of the best scooters on Amazon. On the downside, says one parent, the solid rubber front tire makes for a slightly rough ride.
Scooters Durability.Given the simplicity of design and construction, there's not much that can go wrong with the best cheap kick scooters. And those on our list -- the models made by Razor and Radio Flyer -- pass the durability test without much sweat. Many scooter reviews say the Razor kick scooters are sturdy, relatively long-lived, and seemingly impervious to being kicked around. We did, however, come across a report about rusting joints on the Razor A2 in a scooters review on the Target site, and another report on Sports Authority about sharp edges. The Radio Flyer likewise proves solid, well-built, and durable, according to scooter reviews. The one caveat concerning the two entry-level scooters we researched, the Radio Flyer and Razor Kiddie Kick, is that tots quickly outgrow them in terms of size (length of deck and height of handlebars) and appeal (after a while, they just seem babyish). Aside from a few comments about the battery on the Razor E100 running down quickly, and one report on Walmart about its inability to hold a charge within a year of purchase, scooter reviews say this electric scooter boasts a solid build and overall quality construction that holds up for at least several years. The X-treme X-140 doesn't fare quite as well on the durability front. A scooters review on Amazon reports the drive belt broke on the scooter's second outing and the replacement failed quickly, as well. Another says the scooter arrived with a broken on/off switch, and a third says the electrical wiring failed after the scooter was thrown to the ground. Other reviewers, however, like what they term the scooter's solid build.
Additional Products We Considered
Razor Kiddie Kick Review
(From $28.00 )
The Razor Kiddie Kick (starting at $28, Amazon) is a three-wheeled scooter designed for the youngest scooting newbies. Parents posting Razor Kiddie Kick reviews on Meijer, for example, say the stability provided by the two rear wheels help tots learn scooting basics while developing balance. On the other hand, parents' reviews on Toys R Us say riders have to work too hard to get the wheels rolling; one reports it doesn't even coast on a slight downward slope and another says kids outgrow this model by the time they're three, which happens to be the manufacturer's recommended starting age. Still, many parents do consider it well-sized, durable, and a good value; a scooter review posted on WayFair.com calls it a "stepping stone" to the two-wheeled variety and another notes it's a good substitute for a tricycle.
Like other Razor scooters, the Kiddie Kick folds for convenient storage and portage. It weighs 6.5 pounds and can accommodate children who weigh up to 45 pounds. The body is plastic and the deck is slip-resistant; the wheels are a tad smaller than four inches. Buyers have their choice of blue or pink.
An entry-level scooter, no doubt, but one that a child might use for just a few months before being ready to move on. A few reviews say some youngsters happily ride the Kiddie Kick alongside older siblings, but others say the slow-motion wheels put off young riders and the inability to adjust the height of the handlebars limits its usable lifespan. Some parents suggest skipping over this three-wheeled model and letting children learn to fly on a traditional two-wheeled scooter. The decision is yours, of course, and will depend on your comfort level as well as your child's demonstrated coordination and tolerance for risk.