Handbrakes on Small Urban Kick Scooters
While larger kick scooters (often called “foot bikes”) have handbrakes, most small urban scooters do not, although happily, this trend is changing.
Some people think that kick scooter wheels are too small for handbrakes because commonly, they have slim 7.1-inch (180 mm) to 8-inch (200 mm) wheels, with one exception, the Go Ped Know Ped, which features thick 6-inch wheels.
All small urban scooters have some form of friction brake under their back fenders. To activate, you simply press one foot on the fender while the other remains on the deck. A drawback to this setup is that when you need to remove your foot from the fender brake while still underway, you immediately lose the means to mechanically control your speed.
The presence of a handbrake improves kick scooter stability because it provides an additional means of speed control. When using one, you do not have to stand one-legged for long periods of time. Use of a handbrake also frees the position of your “kick-leg” so you can better balance, as well as dismount in a hurry.
Small Urban Kick Scooters with Handbrakes
The following models of small urban scooters with handbrakes are currently available world-wide. Not all handbrakes work on the same principle, so be aware of the differences when shopping for one that suits your needs.
Xootr manufactures a variety of adult scooter styles with 7.1-inch (180 mm) wheels, all of which come with a handbrake that controls the front wheel. An optional back stomp brake is available and under all conditions, when you purchase a Xootr, make sure to buy the rear brake! Having a rear brake offsets the potential of accidentally applying too much pressure on the front brake which could cause you to go over the handlebars.
Xootrs are readily available in the USA from the manufacturer, select bike shops, and online. It is exported to Europe where shipping and import costs add to its price.
The Oxelo Town 9, which has 8-inch (200 mm) wheels, is manufactured in France by Decathlon and is sold worldwide through Decathlon stores, but not directly in the USA.
This scooter, which is the only one in this group with suspension, can be obtained in the USA through Amazon and eBay at the price of the scooter, plus shipping and importing (approximately a $150 premium). Its handbrake controls the back wheel via a dedicated friction device. The back fender itself provides additional friction when pressed. Brakes can be applied at the same time or separately and both work well alone or together when slowing the vehicle down from a high speed.
The Kleefer Pure Kick Scooter, which has 7.1-inch (180 mm) wheels, is built in France and can be imported into the USA from the manufacturer or purchased through eBay. As of this writing, a second version of this scooter is being introduced in the USA and I’ll add information about it to this article when I know more.
Kleefer’s handbrake slows the front wheel and its fender brake slows the back wheel. They can be applied at the same time or separately and both work well alone or together when slowing the vehicle down from a high speed.
The Go Ped “Know Ped,” which has 6-inch, thick rubber wheels, is manufactured and sold in the USA through its website, Amazon, and possibly eBay. It features a caliper front brake and a friction-type rear stomp brake. These brakes can be used at the same time or separately, depending on need. As its front brake is exposed, owners need to periodically check that the front brake is properly aligned.
The Fuzion Cityglide with Handbrake, which has 8-inch (200 mm) wheels, is sold in the USA through its website, Amazon, and eBay.
Unlike the other small urban scooters with handbrakes, the Cityglide’s handbrake controls the same braking mechanism used by its fender brake. Users report that the handbrake is effective in controlling travel at a moderate speed, while pressing the fender applies very strong stopping power at any speed.
Although the handbrake and the fender brake control the same braking mechanism, you can use both at the same time. The advantage to doing this is when you go downhill and you need to remove your foot from the fender brake, but do not want to give up your speed control, your handbrake takes over.
Article by Karen Little, photos from manufacturer websites. Posted November 18, 2015 on www.LetsKickScoot.com. Request permission to copy any part or all of this article from “Scooter” – Karen@LetsKickScoot.com.