Today’s pro scooters are simple but powerful. Experienced riders can use them to perform complicated tricks and sequences, but only when they are well maintained. It does not take a lot of time to keep a scooter in top shape, and doing so can be the difference between landing the biggest trick of your life and wiping out in front of a crowd.
Get a Grip
Scooter grips are more than something to hold on to. They also absorb a lot of shock from drops and gaps. Because of this important function, grips will wear down over time. This causes them to be less effective shock absorbers. Worn grips can affect your performance and can also make scooter riding take a larger toll on your body because your body will be required to absorb that extra impact on landing. Regularly replacing worn grips is therefore an important part of scooter maintenance. The easiest way to pull off tight grips is with an air compressor. Stick the hose from the air compressor between the grip and the bar. Turn on the compressor to force air between the layers, making it easier to slide the old grip free. This same technique can also be used when applying your new grip.
Keep it Tight
There are not many points in a scooter that require routine tightening, but the ones that do are important. Wheel axles, clamps, brakes, and compression are all components that can loosen over time and need some attention. If you notice your ride has become wobbly, it only takes minutes to check these points, and in most circumstances a hex key is all that is required to tighten them. Scooter brakes often require a size 4 hex key, while all other components generally require a size 5 or size 6 hex key.
Lubricating your wheel and headset bearings is another important part of keeping your scooter at its peak performance. There are two bearings in each wheel and two bearings in your headset. These bearings each require regular lubrication with speed cream or a similar lubricant. To lubricate your wheels, simply place a drop on each side of the wheel in the bearing and give the wheel a spin to ensure that the lubricant spreads throughout the bearing. To gain access to your headset bearings, you must first loosen your compression and remove your bars and forks. This will expose your headset bearings, which will again need only a small amount of lubricant spread evenly throughout.
Keeping your scooter clean may seem unnecessary, but it can lengthen the life of your components and also keep your ride smoother longer. Gravel and other debris can get trapped between your scooter’s parts or lodged in the wheel bearings, wearing them down and affecting your performance. If you ride somewhere especially gritty, take the time to hose down your scooter before the end of the day. A clean scooter is a happy scooter.
Just because scooter maintenance is quick and easy does not mean you can overlook it altogether. Serious riders will always take a few minutes to keep their scooter in the best shape possible.