|Wide handlebars enhance control. Think of it this way: would you be a better driver with a tiny steering wheel?|
The Scoot was launched in the US by WeeBikeShop in 2013 and since that time, a lot has changed and improved. The 14" version of the Scoot (called the Scoot XL) was launched about a year later, designed to fit the typical 4 year old son or daughter of parents who may have become aware of the balance bike craze a little later than others. This bigger bike solved a problem for many families, by rescuing 4 year olds from having to ride under-sized toy product with 50 lb weight limits, masquerading as real bikes. It's hard for an untrained eye to tell the difference between toy and real bikes, because they all market themselves as "bikes".. something the bicycle industry should take issue with, the same way that the dairy industry plans to do with "soy milk" and "almond milk". (If it's not from a cow, it's not milk! and if it's not safety tested as a bicycle, it's not a bike! but we digress..)
Back to the Scoot. It's recently been upgraded, changed and adapted for the US market. To wit:
- It now has an all-terrain tread pattern on the tire, by Vee Rubber, so it can be ridden safely on any surface. The previous tire was rather devoid of much tread, designed mainly for pavement.
- Scoot now has angled valve stems that make topping off the air in the tires much easier, regardless of the brand or model of bike pump.
- The hand lever for the brake was improved, changing from an all-plastic version to a much better alloy lever that loads the cable end from the side for better engagement of the brake wire.
- Aforementioned hand lever is now positioned on the right hand side of the handlebars by default, instead of the left (as is the custom in the UK, those wacky Brits!)
- The Scoot is now a co-branded bike in the US so you will observe the nifty WeeBikeShop logo on the rear tubes of the bike. This is intended mainly to filter UK version Scoots sold by unscrupulous rogue European sellers to the US. What this means is that WeeBikeShop, as the sole exclusive US importer, can avoid servicing warranty claims from the customers of the aforementioned unauthorized sellers. Make sure you're buying the "US Edition" whenever shopping for a Scoot. Otherwise, you will be left holding the bag if you need service, as it should be.
- Assembly tools are now included with every Scoot and Scoot XL- something that should have happened long ago, but which took some time for the WeeBikeShop folks to sort out.
- Touch up paint is now included with every Scoot balance bike, in an exact match. Like any paint material, it's potentially hazardous stuff, so please keep it out of reach of children. Making those scratches disappear is a nice feeling though, and a feature normally reserved for high end adult bikes.
Some bad news: Some colors were discontinued in the US, namely the matte black (both sizes) and the Lime Green 12" Scoot (still available for Scoot XL) One of the finer details of the Scoots is their paint job- they are quite pristine with a thick clear coat protecting the decals underneath- none of those cheap stickers that other brands put on top of the paint that get dog eared and filthy over time.
Did we mention there is no weight limit? While we're on the subject of weight, let's inform you about why ultra light balance bikes are not necessary. Flash forward 2 years. You are shopping for your kid's first pedal bike, the one that someone promised you they would ride immediately, without training wheels, after a couple of seasons on a balance bike. The bike has either 14" or 16" wheels (please avoid pedal bikes with 12" wheels) and weighs about 20 pounds (assuming you are spending $200-250 for it.. if you're going cheap, expect it to weigh 25 pounds) So.. realizing that junior was practicing his/her balance on a toy product that weighs 6-7 pounds, you now realize that this pedal bike weighs 3x to 4x more than the first bike. Sounds ridiculous! Let's think clearly about this.. It's the equivalent of practicing to ride a Harley, using a bicycle (which is not a motorcycle). To get ready for a Harley, you don't practice on a bike, and to get ready for a real bike, you should't practice on a toy. Long story short, a hyper light balance bike does not help your kid adapt to the real deal. Why even go there?
If any of this sounds like defensiveness of the weight of the Scoot and Scoot XL (weighing 11b and 12.5lb respectively) you are correct. But please consider that the protocol for bike weight that is most successful is for a bike rider to outweigh their bike by a factor of at least 3. For example, A Scoot recipient should weigh at least 33lbs and a Scoot XL recipient should weigh at least 37 lbs. Some discretion can be used of course for muscular, athletic kids, but these guidelines are pretty successful. As it turns out, most 3 year olds weigh 32-35lbs (perfect for Scoot) and most 4 year olds weigh 36-40lbs (perfect for Scoot XL)
Still not sure? Then please consider the seat height of the bikes you are considering. The Scoot has a seat range of 14" to 20", and the Scoot XL has a seat range of 16" to 22". It says so right on the box. Avoiding a tiny bike will avoid buyer's remorse, like when you observe your kids elbows digging into their torso because the reach to the handlebars is ridiculously small. No such issues with the Ridgeback Scoot. It was engineered for optimal fit and comfort for kids age 3-6, by a real bicycle company. Happy shopping! Thanks for reading.
|Brake cables are routed through the frame for clean lines.|
|The distance from the seat to the handlebars allows room for growing arms. None of that nonsense you get from the toy industry stuff. #realbikesnottoys is a thing!|
|Check it: the seat is finely upholstered with handsome stitching AND a convenient carrying handle (for you to use, not the kid)|
|This is the best brake lever on the market for little kids. Sized for small fingers and built to endure the abuse of any 3-6 year old.|
|The seat clamp is pretty basic, but can be upgraded to a premium quick release in one of 6 cool colors.|
|With welds like "stacked nickels" and evidence of it's genetics, the Scoot has the same appeal as a Land Rover, but for kids.|
|These new sneakers can go anywhere (sneakers=bike tires) The domed axle nuts perform double duty- they fasten the wheels to the frame and they keep the frame from touching the ground when the bike is sleeping. Scratches prevented!|