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Old 21.04.2014, 21:50
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Those little scooters..

My trip to work each day consists :
Bus (3k downhill) > Train > Bus (1k downhill) > Tram (3k uphill)

And of course the opposite in return.

So I was thinking about getting a little scooter to replace my downhill sections. Just because summer is coming and for fun, not to save cash or anything.

It's been a while since I've driven a wheeled vehicle other than a car so I was wondering..

Is it actually fun or a pain in the ass after doing it twice?
Is it easy like standing on the bus or will I need to get a shower at work?
The little brake thing you stand on to slow down, does it wear out (replaceable)?
and will it cause friction that will burn my foot?
Anybody had trouble from the law for driving on the sidewalk?


Something like this i was thinking about, but probably a second hand one in case i totally hate it.

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Old 21.04.2014, 22:00
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Re: Those little scooters..

Unless you are a fearless daredevil, you'll get through a pair of shoes (technically only one) a week melting soles, braking continually on a 3km hill.

Both my kids have worn holes in the metal rear mudguard/brake just on a 100m hill going to school.
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Old 21.04.2014, 22:11
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Re: Those little scooters..

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Unless you are a fearless daredevil, you'll get through a pair of shoes (technically only one) a week melting soles, braking continually on a 3km hill.

Both my kids have worn holes in the metal rear mudguard/brake just on a 100m hill going to school.
Hmmm I kinda suspected that.
For those who know Geneva, I'm talking about Grange-Canal > BelAir .. Pretty steep downhill all the way to Rive then flat to Bel Air where I'd turn lazy and get the bus up to the station.
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Old 21.04.2014, 22:26
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Re: Those little scooters..

I don't know if it's just me being an inexperienced rider but I rode my son's micro scooter back home from dropping him off at a friend's place which involved a downhill stretch of about 400m. Trouser-changingly scary.

The brake thing at the back sort of works but it as well as the wheel was hot when I got to the bottom (well, actually, I didn't get all the way to the bottom before I bottled it and carried the feckin' thing the rest of the way to the flat bit...).

I would make sure you get a helmet, pads and check your personal and third party insurance is up to date, and maybe you keep a spare pair of trousers with you...
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Old 21.04.2014, 22:33
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Re: Those little scooters..

Well bugger.. I thought it would be quite easy. I see people get on the train, smart suit, FT under the arm, scooter. They must be scooting 100m from the station along the flat!

Maybe I try it around the village first, on a quiet sunday morning when nobody can see me.
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Old 22.04.2014, 01:13
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Re: Those little scooters..

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Well bugger.. I thought it would be quite easy. I see people get on the train, smart suit, FT under the arm, scooter. They must be scooting 100m from the station along the flat!

Maybe I try it around the village first, on a quiet sunday morning when nobody can see me.
Try it around the lake first, or you can slowly test going down the Rue de la Colombiere towards the lake, which is about the same angle slope as in GE from Cornavin towards Bel Air.

I had it years ago, it was easy, never tired the break too much nor got messy, but I only used it for transport, not for nifty tricks kids do on it or heavy use like that. You will obviously need a backpack for work stuff (and for a jacket, one gets warm on it).

The model you posted looks better than what I had, bigger wheels, more grown up looking.
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Old 22.04.2014, 01:20
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Re: Those little scooters..

If you want to do 3km downhill forget those little solid wheeled scooters. There are many options with inflatable tires and one or two hand operated brakes. 3km downhill on one of those little ones and your buttcheeks will be welded together, your shoe melted, your fillings rattled loose, and your hands will buzz for like 2 hours.
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Old 22.04.2014, 09:50
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Re: Those little scooters..

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The model you posted looks better than what I had, bigger wheels, more grown up looking.
I wouldn't worry too much about how it looks. Buy it for suitability, not cool-factor.

Also, at the speeds reached on a 3km downhill stretch, whatever you buy will be a blur and a whoosh of wind to anyone nearby so they won't notice if you're clinging onto the latest bells and whistles version or a Hello Kitty model...
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Old 22.04.2014, 09:59
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Re: Those little scooters..

Micro is a good brand, but big wheels a must.
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Old 22.04.2014, 10:20
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Re: Those little scooters..

If you're serious about this then you'll probably need to order online, maybe outside of Swissieland, for something substantial and specialised (and more expensive).

Years ago (maybe 10), we bought one with inflatable rubber tyres and even twin shock absorbers, and a really solid alu frame and mudguard/brake. Brand was Top Gun Scooter (marked as TGS) and cost about 200 chufs, when a basic scooter cost about 80ish. Just had a quick google, but couldn't see anything relevant.

Another, cheap and cheerful one, we had later, had a handlebar mounted lever brake, which pulled the the mudguard onto the back wheel for slowing down - not so good for a quick stop, but can always be supplemented with a bit of foot pressure.

Things to look out for.
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Old 22.04.2014, 11:46
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Re: Those little scooters..

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Micro is a good brand, but big wheels a must.
For what my two cents is worth, I think grown men on scooters looks ridiculous at the best of times.

.... but if I had to choose, I would definitely look for the option with larger wheels.

The reason is because there is less "rolling resistance" with a larger wheel diameter, and therefore less likely to have a stack if you hit a small rock.

The only thing worse than being a grown man on a scooter, would be being a grown man having an accident in public on a scooter.
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Old 22.04.2014, 12:00
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Re: Those little scooters..

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For what my two cents is worth, I think grown men on scooters looks ridiculous at the best of times.
I kinda would forgive a possible deficit in the cool factor, if they have fun. Grown men having guts and fun always look good. Even on ridiculous vehicles.

Scooters are still ok, I used to think they were unmanly, but seeing so many grown ups in suits working these so well, not being crammed in annyoing GE transport, it's easy to get the hang of it. I still think the folding bikes are a bit overkill.

Last edited by MusicChick; 22.04.2014 at 12:17.
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Old 22.04.2014, 12:24
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Re: Those little scooters..

Just for the record, I'm not trying to achieve coolness at all! I would likely be a bit shy first couple of times out thinking everybody is laughing at me. But I really don't care who thinks what so that would be fine.

I'm also not trying to achieve high speed! Far from it. I'm a lazy bugger and was hoping to get from A to B by basically standing still instead of walking with a little fresh air and sunshine, instead of sitting on the bus.

With the words of wisdom so far though, it seems like these things build up a fair speed which could be rather undignified in the center of Geneva. I can picture me hitting a tram line and ending up in a messy pile on the ground surrounded by tutting locals. My 3km run from home to train station could still be a goer though, it's a much more gentle slope than Route de Chen in Geneva!
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Old 22.04.2014, 12:34
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Re: Those little scooters..

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Grown men having guts and fun always look good. Even on ridiculous vehicles.
Is this what you had in mind?
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Old 22.04.2014, 12:41
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Re: Those little scooters..

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Is this what you had in mind?
Hahahaha.....you made my day. Yeah, there are some body weight correlated to speed issues, sure, when one is on the scooter. But it really is not that hard.

The good news is, it is nicer to scoot around and be active, than sit your butt in the combo of couple of buses, train, tram, etc. In any city, tbh. Can be a total drag in GE.
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Old 22.04.2014, 14:50
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Re: Those little scooters..

I'm a grown man and I used a kick scooter in Portugal for some years. The looks I got (here in Switzerland it is much more common, I get much less of the surprised looks).

Original questions: scooters are very, very easy to ride. I would say almost anyone can do it.
It is very hard to actually fall in regular riding because you can easily "jump out of it" and you almost always have a free foot next to the floor anyway. The main exception is if you are going really fast, which is almost only possible downhill.

It rattles quite a lot if the floor isn't smooth.

I always found it pretty fun, and much better than walking (I dislike walking - you stop as soon as your feet stop moving - anything with wheels is much better). If you are not going downhill, it is still much faster than walking but it is also more tiring (uphill in particular, which you can do). It is actually the supporting leg that gets tired faster (at least for me, but I think in general), you should try to get used to using both legs as supporting leg from the start. Most people will have a better side (probably right leg as support for better balance) but it isn't hard to get used to the opposite side if you persist.

As others have pointed out already, the usual scooters have a metal fender which acts as a brake. That thing gets really hot even in relatively short stretches of continuous braking - enough to wear down the metal fast and to melt your soles. So you may need a more specific one with brakes.

Inline skates could be an option but you will need to learn, and it would still eat through the wheels/brakes even if you could zig zag downhill.

Would a foldable bicycle be a reasonable option for you?
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Old 22.04.2014, 15:22
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Re: Those little scooters..

This is what you need from BEA Verlag/Mondo catalogue:

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Trottinet blau/gelb

Der bewährte Klassiker wie Kinder ihn lieben. Stabile stahlrohrkonstruktion mit rutschhemmendem Trittbrett und eingebautem Ständer. Mit wenigen Handgriffen von Erwachsenen zusammengestellt.

Grösse ca. 110 x 80 cm
Von ca. 4 - 10 Jahren
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Old 23.04.2014, 10:09
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Those little scooters..

This is what you want. It's a scooter for "adults":
http://www.xootr.com/kick-scooter-mg.html

Dan
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Old 23.04.2014, 11:40
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Re: Those little scooters..

Actually that reminds me, if you do decide to buy a kick scooter... Get one with a long enough shaft.

(I'm wide open to "That's what she said" jokes now)

Seriously though, this is an important check. If you are tall and get a short one, the handles will be too low and you will be hunching while riding which is not comfortable and probably unhealthy.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that riding can be a bit rough on the knees.
Try to get used to a kicking technique where you slide the foot, instead of actually kicking it.
In uneven floor the vibration propagates up the support leg as well.
There are some scooters with wooden decks which purportedly absorb the vibrations, but the one I tried didn't really absorb that much and was heavier and harder to fold than the all-metal ones I use.
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Old 23.04.2014, 11:43
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Re: Those little scooters..

http://www.xootr.com/Merchant2/graph...te_350x440.jpg



I like these. Would have to import though.
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