Pro Scooter Buying Guide

October 13, 2014

The sport of freestyle scooter riding has taken off in the last decade, and with that, kids around the world have been looking to join in on this new, hot commodity. However, before you just jump into buying a pro scooter, you may want to do your homework first! This buying guide will break down the individual components of a scooter and explain their functionality, in order to help you make the right decision when buying your first scooter!

Pro Scooter Parts
There are 8 main components that make up a pro scooter, all of which will contribute to the overall look, feel, and performance of your personal scooter. 

  • Bars: The bars that you put on your pro scooter are very personal and will determine the type of feel that your scooter will have. Your bar dimensions come down to personal preference, as does your style and type of bars. The majority of pro scooter bars are made out of steel tubing, but bars made out of aluminum tubing are fairly common as well. The Standard (STD) diameter of a scooter bar is 1 ¼". The majority of scooters use an Oversized (OS) bar, meaning they have a diameter of 1 3/8". Both of these bar types require a compression system, as well as a clamp that fits them. Pro scooter bars also come in various styles, which will slightly alter the feel of your scooter, but the functionality won’t vary greatly. Most scooter riders customize their scooter bars by choosing a specific bar, grip and bar end color to accentuate the personal look of their bars! Check out our pro scooter bars.

  • Fork: Much like a bicycle fork, the pro scooter fork is a very critical aspect of your scooter. Your fork is the direct link that runs through your headset, connecting your bars, deck and front wheel to one another. A compression system is required, in order for the fork to firmly attach to the scooter bars. Most high-end pro scooters use a threadless fork, as opposed to a threaded one, to ensure maximum strength and performance. It is important to make sure when choosing your scooter fork, that you also choose wheels that will fit that fork size. Pro scooter forks come in all different weights, strengths and styles, which is why it is crucial that you find out what kind of fork you prefer. This will enhance your overall scooter riding experience! Check out our pro scooter forks.

  • Deck: The pro scooter deck is the single most significant component of your scooter. It comes in various different lengths, widths, concaves and styles, so, as you can imagine, it is important that you choose the correct deck. The industry’s current standardized decks have one-piece bodies and head tubes. Also, most pro scooter decks have either an integrated or non-integrated headset. Integrated headsets are ready to use without the insertion of another aftermarket headset because the bearings are already installed. This is the recommended purchase for most freestyle scooter riders. The non-integrated headset is for riders who wish to change their headset type, in order to meet specific personal preferences. The scooter deck is the main piece, in which the rest of the scooter is built around. It is designed to provide a well-balanced, high-performance feel under your feet, while also withstanding the daily abuse of freestyle scooter riding.  The vast majority of high-end scooter decks on the market today are produced with aircraft-grade aluminum, to ensure a lightweight, durable design that is reliable enough for scooter riders of all styles and sizes. Here are all our pro scooter decks.

  • Headset: The headset is another vital contribution to the overall performance of your pro scooter. The quality of your scooter’s headset determines the feel of all of your pro scooter tricks. Each headset consists of bearings, bearing cups, fork race, and top cap, all of which add to the general functionality of the headset. The headset is essentially what allows the fork tube to smoothly, silently rotate within your head tube, allowing you to steer your scooter, as well as, perform scooter maneuvers. High-end scooters will have a sealed headset that requires a threadless fork and a compression system, which will allow for much smoother operation. The difference between integrated and non-integrated headsets is, integrated headsets provide bearing cups already installed into the head tube, which offers a much better fit for the headset and will ensure perfect alignment for smoother fork rotation. This is the recommended route, simply because tampering with headset installation is not an easy task. We offer several different scooter headsets.

  • Clamp: The pro scooter clamp is the glue that securely holds the bars and the fork together, so that they can rotate in unison, while simultaneously, not slipping apart from one another. Most pro scooter clamps on the market today are available as Double, Triple and Quadruple clamps. Each name refers to the number of bolts that each clamp comes equipped with, which tightens the bars down onto the fork tube. Pro scooter clamps also tend to vary, in terms of performance, based on their manufacturer and design specifications. Choosing a reliable, high-performance scooter clamp is a key element in the scooter building process. Check out our scooter clamps.

  • Wheels: The wheels that you choose to put on your scooter will have a major influence on the overall look and feel of your scooter. Pro scooter wheels are made up of two parts: the urethane and the core. However, almost every scooter wheel on the market today is produced with a different urethane compound and core design, giving every wheel a different feel. Most entry-level wheels have plastic cores, which are not very durable once you enter into more advanced scooter riding. Metal core wheels provide much more support amidst the carnage of freestyle scooter riding. They are also more resistant to breakage. Most wheels will come in 100MM or 110MM sizing. The sizing chosen by the scooter rider is a personal preference, but there are several benefits to the larger wheel size. The larger wheel runs faster and smoother because of the increase in urethane. However, it is crucial that you choose the correct wheel size, in order for it to fit in your fork. The huge variation in color ways that scooter wheels come in also allow you to add a personal touch to the overall aesthetic of your own scooter. Be sure to check out our pro scooter wheels.

  • Compression: The compression system is the system that holds your bars and fork together onto your deck, while also allowing you to fine-tune your headset to dialed, perfection. This process is essential because if there is no stable connection between your bars and fork than it could result in broken scooter parts or even injury. The majority of entry-level scooter riders will use a threaded compression system, which clamps the bars directly onto a threaded fork. This system is simple to build, but not as reliable for advanced freestyle scooter riding. More advanced freestyle scooter riders will use different types of compression, which include HIC (Hidden Internal Compression), ICS (Inverted Compression System) and SCS (Standard Compression System). All of these compression systems, in their own way, offer more stability, durability and performance compared to threaded fork systems. 
    • SCS Compression-

    • HIC Compression-

  • Brake: The brake is a small, but integral part of a pro scooter. The brake is attached to the rear of the scooter with a bolt or screw, depending on the model. The majority of scooter riders run a flex or spring-loaded brake, however, most mid to high-level scooters riders will have a flex brake because of it’s high level of performance in the field. The flex brake is a piece of steel, shaped to fit the rear of the deck, while simultaneously, but comfortably, hugging the rear wheel. This brake is essentially silent and will provide you with all of the braking ability that you will ever need.


In Conclusion:

This break down of all of the separate components of a scooter will hopefully help you on your quest to purchasing your first pro scooter. One thing that is important to keep in mind when purchasing scooter parts, is that, although everything may seem costly at first, the cost of continuously replacing cheaper parts will eventually add up. That is why investing in a high end, pro scooter from the beginning, is more cost efficient. If you have purchased a pro scooter or individual pro scooter parts in the past than hopefully this guide can assist you in finding higher quality, longer lasting scooter parts this time around. If this is your first time buying scooter parts and the process seems overwhelming, you might want to consider purchasing a complete pro scooter. They come equipped with all of the necessary components, pre-assembled, so you don’t have to tamper with building your scooter. However, if you are looking to customize your scooter to your own specifications, than purchasing individual parts and assembling them yourself is the way to go.

Written By: Blake Bailor

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