Kick Scooting FAQ

A few questions and answers about myself and Scooting. If you have any questions you wish to ask or any suggestions for a question and answer to include on this FAQ, please use the Contact form above to send them in. Thank you.

Why did you purchase a Swifty kick scooter?
Having looked a number of adult kick scooters from around the world, I settled for the Swifty Scooters for a number of reasons. Firstly, they’re a quality product designed and produced here in the UK. Secondly the Swifty Air it’s capable of being used off-road and lastly it simply just looks right. The large 16″ wheels were also important as I wanted something that would easily cope with different surfaces and I particularly liked the yellow colour of the Swifty Zero.

Are you affiliated with Swifty Scooters?
No, this is an entirely personal blog and I don’t receive any agreed remuneration from Swifty Scooters for writing about their scooters. Everything I write here is honest and direct and from personal experience. If there’s a fault I’ll say so and won’t hold back in any way. I am a member of their affiliate program which means I get a small percentage of any sales via the link on my homepage.

How long have you been riding Swifty scooters?
I bought my first Swifty scooter, a Swifty Zero in sunrise yellow, in September 2018 and purchased my second Swifty scooter, this time a Swifty Air in hero blue, in November 2018.

How much does a Swifty scooter weigh?
Out of the box, a standard Swifty Zero weighs in at around 8.2 kg (or just over 18 lb in old money). Adding mudguards, a bell, lights and larger tyres obviously adds a few grams but is barely noticeable. The Swifty Air is slightly heavier.

Why did you not buy a Swifty One folding scooter?
Before purchasing the Swifty Zero, I looked long and hard at which model to go for. The folding Swifty One is a great idea but as I’m not going to use it for commuting, it was not really necessary for my situation. I also liked the simplicity of the non-folding Swifty Zero which I could easily carry in the car should the need arise. The Swifty One is not recommended for off-road use.

Does a kick scooter require a lot of maintenance?
A kick scooter is very simply to maintain. Before every ride I always check tyres for pressure and damage, test the brakes are working and that everything is tight and secure. I look at brake adjustment regularly and an annual check of wheel hubs and headset bearings for wear and play. None of these tasks are very difficult but if you are not technically minded a local bicycle shop will be able to assist.

I’m nearly 60 years old. Should I ride a kick scooter?
I’ll start my answer to this question by stating that I’m also approaching 60 years old and I ride a kick scooter. Having said that I’m reasonable fit, not overweight, enjoy walking and cross-country mountain biking, and also a bit of coastal fat biking as well. My advice would be to take it easy at first, consult your doctor if you have health issues or are overweight and don’t bother about what other people think. With a kick scooter, that last one is important.

Can I ride a kick scooter in the pavement?
Here in Scotland we have something called the Scottish Access Code that allows you to walk, cycle, canoe and ride a horse just about anywhere within reason. You cannot ride a bicycle on the pavement but you can ride on a footpath, trail, road, path or the like. Kick scooters are not mentioned, though if you follow the guidelines in the Scottish Access Code for other modes of transport and use some common sense, I think scooting on the pavement should not cause any issues. Always giving way to pedestrians is a good idea. Note, this is just my personal opinion, not legal advice and laws outside Scotland may be different.

What is so good about kick scooting?
Well, you can get a great work out if you want or simply scoot along at a gentle pace. You don’t have to bother about oily chains and changing gears as you do on a bicycle. You can (as far as I can determine) safely scoot along pavements if you use common sense with other users. And finally, it’s simply just great fun.

Can I fit mudguards to my Swifty scooter?
Yes, Swifty Scooters offer mudguards for all models in their range. I have a set installed on my Swifty Zero and they work very well. My Swifty Air does not use mudguards as I’ve fitted much larger tyres and there’s not enough clearance for mudguards.

I’m confused, push scooter, kick bike, kick scooter?
Okay, the Swifty scooters in the images on these pages is both a push scooter and a kick scooter, both terms are the same. A kick bike is like a kick scooter on steroids and looks more like a bicycle, with a larger or full size front wheel and a smaller rear wheel but still missing the pedals and gears. They tend to be designed for going faster than a kick scooter.

Should I wear a helmet, gloves and protective clothing?
The obvious answer to this question is yes, of course. Having said that I do not personally wear a helmet, neither for kick scooting or cross-country cycling. (I do wear one when road cycling). I always wear cycling gloves to protect my hands should I fall or brush against bushes and the like.

What kind of clothing should I wear for kick scooting?
Well, just about anything really. Though it’s usually a good idea to dress according to the location, time of year, type of terrain and how much effort you are planning to put into your scoot. I prefer lightweight clothing with multiple layers for easy temperature regulation.

I’m worried about punctures. How do I prevent them?
Well, like any pneumatic tyre human-powered vehicle, punctures are always a risk and while you cannot prevent them entirely you can reduce the risk. Use a tyre with some form of inbuilt puncture protection, only use good quality inner tubes, next inject puncture sealant into the inner tubes and look after your tyres, checking for thorns and checking tyre pressures regularly.

Is a Swifty kick scooter any use off-road?
From personal experience, the Swifty can manage most reasonably smooth surfaces, such as grass, graded gravel trails and compacted earth, even well compacted sand. However, deep mud or loose gravel, rocky trails and very uneven ground is a challenge, particularly when going uphill, going downhill is not so difficult. I have two Swifty scooters, a Swifty Zero for on-road use and a Swifty Air for off-road use.

What would your ideal kick scooter be like?
My ideal kick scooter, would be manufactured by Swifty Scooters because of their reputation for design and build quality, the frame and forks would be polished titanium, it would have Avid BB7 160 mm disc brakes front and rear, Surly Ultra New hubs, Schwalbe Big Apple 16″ x 2.00″ tyres and enough fork clearance for mudguards and with the ability to fit racks front and rear. And finally, a side stand, so I can pose the Swifty for photographs.

How kind of distances can you ride a kick scooter?
You can ride a kick scooter, like a Swifty, for any distance you care to think of. Some brave adventurers have scooted 1000 miles across Japan or from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, around 900 miles or so. Others just scoot along to the local shops or commute a few miles to work. My advice is start with short distances and build up your stamina, it gets easier the more your scoot. Many of my rides are around 10 to 15 miles or so, with 5 miles taking about an hour, depending on how many photo stops there are.

Where can I ride my Swifty scooter?
You can ride a your Swifty scooter just about anywhere, within reason, including footpaths, cycle ways, canal tow paths, public parks and gardens, woodland trails, farm tracks, city streets, even quite roads are all scootable. Off-road footpaths, way-marked trails and even quad bike trails can also be ridden but you really need the Swifty Air for these conditions.

Copyright ©2020 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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