Month: May 2016

Review: The Zippr Kick Scooter for Mobility Challenged and Healthy People Alike

The Zippr™ kick scooter is designed to improve mobility for people with back, hip, and knee problems. It also provides a pleasant ride for healthy people who seek a “human powered vehicle” that lets them ride standing or seated.

The Zippr was invented by Duvall Hecht, a former competition rower and Olympic champion, for use in maintaining an active lifestyle after injuring his back. It worked! As of today, he continues to be active in his mid-80s. For more of his experiences, plus reviews from his customers, see the Zippr website, OneMobility.com.

Who should ride a Zippr?

I tested the Zippr as a partially mobility-challenged person myself, but one who has had extensive experience with traditional adult kick scooters.

My primary problem deals with meniscus tears in both knees. This type of injury limits the force I can muster with my legs when kick scooting and limits the time I can stand without support. Based on my experiences with several 3-mile test rides on a Zippr, I recommend it for the following people:

  • All healthy people, especially those who seek a comfortable ride over rough terrain and wish to switch between standard kick scooting and sitting.
  • Many people with back problems who can walk, but not stay on their feet for long periods.
  • Some people with knee injuries who can walk and have strength in their knees, but need a bit of assistance.

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Under all conditions, riders must have a good sense of balance and can catch themselves if they feel a slight jostle.

Note that the Zippr can move like a creeper, with its rider inching forward, but that would not be its intended use.

Preparing the Zippr

To check preparedness, properly inflate your tires, then turn your Zippr upside down and spin each wheel. A wheel is out-of-adjustment if it wobbles, spins for only a short time, and/or it rubs against a brake pad.

Make sure that the wheels are true, and brakes, hub and headset (fork stem) bearings are adjusted correctly, (probably best done by a bike mechanic), before riding.

A scooter unpacking video is on the OneMobility.com website.

Recommended replacements

For the lowest rolling resistance which will make kicking easier, we recommend that the stock tires be replaced with:

Smooth-tread, high pressure tires (Chen Shing 12.5 x 2.5″ high pressure Slicks perform well), along with use of a right-angle air pump adapter (Topeak Pressure-Rite Anti-Air Loss Connector, from Amazon). 

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We also recommend purchasing a gel bike seat, such as those made by Bontrager.

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Adjustment suggestion

We found the rear brake to be difficult to adjust, as no matter what we did, it kept dragging on the wheel, causing it to increase rolling resistance. To finally address the issue, we removed it and now depend on the front brake exclusively. Should you follow this suggestion, make sure you are comfortable with the stopping power of the front brake.

Seat height

Adjust your seat so that you can place your feet flat on the ground while sitting on it. If your seat is too high, even by an inch, you’ll put too much pressure on your crotch. If too low, it might take more effort to propel the vehicle.

The picture below shows me sitting.

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When you ride, at least one foot will always be on the floorboard. Like on a bike, you must roll fast enough to stay balanced. Do not try switching legs when riding slowly, pushing uphill, or feel any hint of tipping.

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Riding the Zippr

Propel a Zippr by pulling it forward with your heel, as shown in the photos below. On a conventional “standing” kick scooter, you use your toe.

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To switch legs when riding, travel fast enough to support balance. When you achieve balance, place your kicking leg on the platform. Once secure, reach out with your opposite leg to resume kicking.

Speed and brakes

Depending on your effort on a level path, you can achieve speeds similar to a conventional 12″ kick scooter, although not faster.

If your path slopes uphill, get off and walk, then resume scooting as your path levels. This is the same as you’d do on any standard kick scooter.

Traveling downhill is fun, but you must be in control of your speed at all times. If you cannot control your speed, such as slowing down or holding it at a steady pace, you risk an accident.

Specifications

  • Weight: 23.5 pounds
  • Length of vehicle: 45 inches
  • Floorboard top to ground: 2.5 inches
  • Wheels: 12 inch pneumatic tires
  • Brakes: caliper
  • Exclusive Dealer: OneMobility.com

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About this article

This review was prepared by kick scooting experts, Karen and Phil Little, owners of the website www.LetsKickScoot.com. It was published on May 1, 2016 on www.Littleviews.com, with all rights reserved by Littleviews.

Karen at karen@littleviews.com will be happy to answer your questions.