The description of every scooter on the market lists specs for the scooter wheels that come their model. They note the size, material and core material like it’s supposed to mean something to you. Expertly worded to make it seem like their scooter wheel dimensions are the best scooter wheels out there. On this website, my aim is to help you find the best scooter for your kid, so does any of it matter? While I can’t necessarily answer that for you, I can break down the pros and cons and look into what the specs mean to help you find the right scooter that matches your child’s ability and interest.
Scooter Wheel Size
Okay, let’s take a look at the most common sizes of scooter wheel you’ll see when you’re shopping around. You’ll note that they are almost always lists in metric millimetres (mm), and the range will be between 100mm and 125mm (3.9” – 4.9”). When it comes to scooter wheel size, it generally affects two things, speed and ground clearance. Manufacturers like Razor say that the smaller 98mm wheels on their Razor Beast, more about that model in our Best Scooters for 8-13 Year Olds guide, provide more stability for the kid who is new to riding a ‘pro’ style scooter practising jumps and tricks. The sacrifice is speed and ground clearance found in more advanced models. On the other end of the spectrum, a 125mm wheel will be less stable but will provide optimal ground clearance and speed for tricks to a more advanced kid. Typically stunt scooter wheels will be 110mm or larger. 100mm scooter wheels are very common on ‘out of the box scooters, although 110mm wheels are becoming more and more popular.
Scooter Wheel Material
Polyurethane (PU) is the basically the only material quality scooter wheels will be made of. There are different quality levels within the PU world of course, but for the really young ones, the differences will be minimal. However, the cheaper ones can gouge and crack more easily. Pro scooter models will give a description like “86A PU” like the Envy One Series, or 88A like the Fuzion Z300 meaning it meets a certain level of testing, in this case compression. Expert riders like a certain amount of ‘rebound’ from their wheels depending on the tricks they like to do. To a beginner, or non expert, it sounds great but really won’t make much difference to a kid until they become more experienced.
If you’re a parent of a young beginner who might be practicing indoors, be sure to look for a clear or white non-marking polyurethane wheel.
Some models have rubber, air filled wheels which, to me, presents a host of potential issues with constant maintenance, and some cheap scooter wheels will be made from hardened plastic, which will not stand up to continuous use on pavement.
Scooter Wheel Core
There are generally 3 types of core for scooter wheels. Take a look at the diagram to see where I mean. The polyurethane makes up the outer part of the wheel, the part that comes in contact with the ground, and the core provides the support and strength of the wheel which surrounds the bearing. Typically this will be made from a woven nylon in some sort of spoke pattern. More advanced riders will choose either a metal (aluminum) core, or hollow core scooter wheels, the latter being lighter and better for jumps and speed. Hollow and aluminum core are the best scooter wheels for aggressive riding.
I hope that helps clarify some of the mysticism around the specs companies list in their descriptions, and help you make a more informed buying decision.
Be sure to refer to our buying guide to help you find the best scooter for your kids.