Image: Royal Scout Pro Complete Dirt Scooter (Amazon)
What Is A Dirt Scooter? Dirt Vs Scooter, Kick, Stunt or Micro
Kick scooters and especially the ones in our list of best kick scooters follow the classic designs that have been around for for many years. That's why it's no surprise that the more recent pimped-up designs of these off-road dirt versions have created a real trend. Off-road scooting is pretty much the most fun you can have on a kick-powered ride-on and so dirt scooters have really taken off as they are a nice progression from the plain-old kick scooter.
Buy the Royal Scout Pro 2 Dirt Scooter (around $264)
Regular Kick Scooters
In the old days early scooters were made by attaching a pair of roller skate wheels to a board. Today’s regular scooters are primarily made of two small hard wheels and computer designed with an aluminum, steel or magnesium body. Therein lies the major difference with dirt scooters.
Most regular kick scooters on the market today fold for convenience, but a dirt scooter usually won't be of the folding type. The folding joint can be a point of weakness and the dirt scooter needs extreme frame strength to withstand the knocks of off-road riding. Dirt scooters have this in common with stunt scooters which also need a high-strength stem for tricks.
All kick scooters currently fall into one of four types:
- Adult kick scooters
- Kids kick scooters
- Stunt scooters
- Dirt scooters
A typical kick scooter will have two wheels but there are kids kick scooters with 3 or 4 wheels like the Micro Scooter designed for children and most are made with a flexible plastic deck.
Large folding scooters for adults come with parts that tend to be more durable and their design include wider decks, hand brakes and larger wheels to facilitate smoother transportation. With more recent developments in manufacturing technology, brands like Razor and Royal Scout have brought in stunt and dirt scooters.
The newer dirt scooter types are perfect for teens who like riding through rough terrain or performing jumps and tricks. We looked at one of the most popular in detail with our Razor RDS Phase Two Dirt Scooter review.
So let's take a look at the dirt scooter phenomenon
Dirt Scooter Design
Today’s dirt scooter designs are an innovative variation on kick scooters that have seen some significant developments on the original designs. Pro riders like John Radtke from Team Razor have had a lot of input into their products and the results are a real pro-type look and solid build.
A tough product that allows you to perform tricks on dirt BMX tracks or any other street or off-road. With a fully-welded aluminum construction, a dirt scooter can be used for more extreme tricks that the traditional kick scooter.
Where Can A Dirt Scooter Be Used?
Since a dirt scooter is designed with a number of variations on kick scooters, they is suitable for a number of environments. Unlike a kick scooter that’s designed for riding on smoother surfaces, a dirt scooter is built with high performance body and fat air-filled tires that re ideal for use in dirt jumps, on grass tracks and trails.
So, go right ahead and punish your dirt scooter in parks, dirt trails, streets or any off road surface. Usually fitted with superior parts, the dirt scooter offers excellent performance regardless of the surface on which you’re riding. They are not ideal for street use, but are by no means difficult to use on a sidewalk or concrete surface.
The multi-terrain use is largely made possible with the help of high pressure inner-tubes and tires, brakes that utilize advanced cartridge braking systems and sturdy handle bars and stems. Along with the dirt scooter’s durable aluminum frames, they’re strong and durable enough to give you virtually unlimited rides through the bumps and jumps.
Difference in Dirt Scooter and Kick Scooter Features
If you’ve been looking forward to taking your scooter ride to the next level, then grabbing a dirt scooter is the best way to go. Just like any high-end stunt scooter, a dirt scooter has a number of features that will make your ride more enjoyable.
Here are some of the features that make a dirt scooter superior to a kick scooter. The only real drawbackbeing that they don;t usually fold and are normally heavier than a regular kick scooter because they need to be stronger. Dirt Scooters are not meant for 'folding and carrying' on a train or bus!
Buy the Razor Pro Black Label Dirt Scooter on Amazon (around $179 discounted from $299)
1. Wheels and Tires
While majority of the kick scooters features small hard wheels, dirt scooters are made of high pressure tubes and tires. The tires are knobbly like an off-road bike and allow for aggressive traction in dirt. A smooth center rib on the tire is especially for rolling on pavements. Advanced dirt scooter designs have a two-piece split core wheel hub that makes tube and tire maintenance easier. I.e. The wheels are really easy to split apart to take the tires off.
All dirt scooters are fitted with high-pressure and all-terrain dirt tires that incorporate a hydro formed design which can run over different surfaces easily. What’s more, the wheels of the latest dirt scooters like the Razor Phase Two Pro Dirt Scooter house an advanced braking system which make for a swift stop or slow-down at speed.
John Radtke Razor Phase Two Dirt Scooter [Video]
2. The Handlebars
Just like most stunt scooters, the over-sized handlebars on dirt scooters are designed with HIC (Hidden Internal Compression) compatible stem and bars. While some dirt scooter brands adopt a Y-bar riser others take a flat handlebar approach. just use your own judgement for which tye you prefer. The wider bars are generally better for stunts. The majority of dirt scooter handlebars are fitted with softer grips allowing for a firm and comfortable grip when riding over bumps.
When shopping for the right model, be sure to find a scooter whose handlebars are positioned well enough to allow you to control it easily from a standing position. Generally, dirt scooter handlebars are comfortable, durable and offer high performance.
3. Construction and Deck
No matter the type of surface you choose to ride on, a dirt scooter is designed for great performance. Most of the dirt scooters on the market today are fitted with a hydroformed down tube together with larger stem clamps to ensure a rigid joint. Other top features include:
- Aluminum decks that vary in width and length, choose the one that you are comfortable with
- Impact resistant decks plugs which are installed in the cut-outs to protect your ankles
- Non-plunged down-tube welded parts connecting the deck and the bars
- Down tube with a direct bonded connection to the deck’s internal X-brace
- Deck construction should also provided a superior surface for grip
Razor Phase Two Pro Dirt Scooter (around $235)
Advantages of Riding a Dirt Scooter Compared To a Kick Scooter
Apart from the fact that a dirt scooter comes with a tough and high-performance design, there are plenty of benefits that come with riding it. First of all, dirt scooter designs are sleek and tend to be more interesting than regular kick scooters. Secondly and most important, have I mentioned that they are perfect for riding in dirt environments?!. In summary, dirt scooter scooters are:
- Faster than kick scooters over rough terrain because of high-pressure tires
- Suitable for riding on many different surfaces (on and off-road)
- Sturdy and stable allowing for easy balance and minimize falls when riding
Dirt Scooter Drawbacks
- Majority of the dirt scooters are a little noisy because they are meant to be roughly ridden
- The designs are generally heavy and can be cumbersome to carry around
- The tubes can puncture and may need replacement after a short time because of extreme use
- More expensive than a regular kick scooter
Buy the Luxury Royal Scout Complete XT Dirt Scooter (Around $525)
While most kick scooters are ideal for both kids and adults to ride on at skate parks, the trend is that more and more people are trying out dirt scooters.
Kick scooters might be well constructed for regular use but a dirt scooter comes with a stronger and more durable build that will not let you down when the road gets rough.
From the high-pressure tubes and tires to the HIC-compatible bars, to the unique braking system and the stronger aluminum welded decks, the quality of dirt scooters is incomparable with their lighter-weigh cousins. Hence the higher price!
Add to that the superior cartridge braking system, a dirt scooter can stop in the wet and the mud with ease. So if you’re looking for a high quality, strong and safe scooter design to ride on all surfaces, look no further than a dirt scooter.
Dirt scooters are the best kick scooter for maximum fun on trails and dirt roads. With a dirt scooter, you have the freedom to ride wherever you want!