Wide, fold-up scooter

My commute is the typical metro mix: walk to train, take train, walk to work (25 min. of walking; 20 min. of train). There had to be a better waym and I found it: the Xootr MG scooter. This is no kids scooter. Made from lightweight magnesium, the scooter weighs a mere 9.9 pounds and folds up small enough to take on public transportation and easily store at home/work. Unlike the Razor, the Xootr sports a big front wheel, which makes it less likely to get stuck on a sidewalk lip and pitch you forward — though you still have to be careful! The wheel is also a hard, smooth, thin black rubber, which tracks in very little dirt (unlike inflatable grooved tires) and loses less energy than skateboards or lesser scooters. I chose the MG model, since its deck is lower and 7.5 inches wide (my feet are size 13). Unlike the previously-reviewed K-2, the Xootr’s handlebars are full, two-hand handlebars with agile steering that is the same as a bike. I actually replaced the grips with thicker more absorbent ones from Ergon (I’m a software developer and don’t want to screw up my wrists). The Xootr also has a familiar bike-style front brake for when you need to stop in a hurry. You can also push down on the rear fender, but I’m not in the habit of using that method and have read it may wear down the tire more rapidly. The brakes basically don’t work in the rain; there’s a real loss of friction/stopping power, so I don’t recommend riding in those conditions. When it’s not raining, though, this scooter makes getting around sans car not a drudgery, but efficient and fun. I’ve found I can go about 8mph with the Xootr. It’s a workout.

-- Jeff Winkler 08/6/08

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