Kick scooters are used to get from a point A to a point B, so it’s perfectly normal to ask questions about the speed you can travel with. To find out more about this subject, keep reading !
A rough estimate of average kick scooting speed would be a 5x walking speed multiplication. 2 miles per hour or 3.2 kilometers per hours (for those outside the us) being a normal person’s walking speed, this would give us around 10 mph or 16 kph as kick scooting speed. So in order to travel 1 mile on a kick scooter you’ll need about 6 minutes.
If you want to know more about fast kick scooters, you might consider the following factors.
Factors impacting kick scooter speed
The perfect surface to ride a kick scooter on is a straight flat road or street with no obstacles (hopefully with no people chilling on your path) and no uphills.
Let’s not focus on the obvious fact that you won’t be having the same speed uphills and downhills. In fact the steeper the hill, the harder the climb will be.
The texture of the surface is also an important factor playing; you won’t get the same cruising speed on a rough uneven road as on a smooth polished surface. This is simple physics: in order to move your scooter you hit the ground with your feet, the kick energy is transformed into movement until your scooter eventually stops. And guess what is the cause of the mouvement break-off ? Different kinds of friction, but here in this context we’ll focus mainly on friction of your kick scooter with the ground, namely friction with the rough or less rough surface you’ll be using.
Let’s not forget to mention if you’re cruising against the wind or having it on your back, that can literally be a game changer.
Do not forget limitations dictated by the law. Obviously, you technically aren’t allowed to speed over the speed limit of the area you’re traveling in, especially in crowded places!
As you might already have suspected, premium kick scooters brands often mean better performance and less hurdles when it comes to usage. This is true in part because these companies have put more resources and time into designing, testing and manufacturing better devices with top-grade materials, which comes unfortunately with often pricier devices.
Regardless of the brand, the following elements are to be considered before purchasing your kick scooter:
- Handlebar height: improper posture will certainly impact your scooter’s speed. This might be caused by an inadequate handlebar height to your body. When giving a kick to the ground, make sure you neither push down nor pullback when holding the handlebar.
- Tires: Different materials are used in tires, from solid tires (full rubber, or polyurethane) to inflatable ones (pneumatic with inner tube). When using the latter, a deflated tire will definitely decrease the cruise speed.
No matter what they say but size does matter, with bigger tires comes greater speeds! Taller tires also have a better ground clearance which means that dealing with off-road terrain, potholes and bumps is easier. However, going big is not always the best option when it comes to climbing hills as it gets more difficult with big tires.
Tires maintenance is primordial: you might check its surface condition to see if there are traces of damage.
- Bearings: those are the elements that make the rotational movement of the wheel possible. Bearings are also used because of their low friction, which makes a smooth cruise possible. You might take your wheels off the ground and rotate them to see if they move smoothly, if not you probably will need to clean the bearings and lubricate them or change the bearings altogether.
- Scooter deck’s grip: the whole concept of a kick scooter relies upon a moving foot (which kicks the ground in order to push the scooter) and a sturdily set foot on the scooter’s deck that will make the transmission of the pushing movement to the scooter. If the latter foot is slipping or sliding on the deck, energy is lost and the cruising speed will be diminishing. If the deck lacks grip, one easy solution is to update it with an anti-slip pad.
You, the rider of the kick scooter
When it comes to the kick scooter user, the good news is that most of the time, speed affecting factors can be worked in order to improve riding speed.
- Body Posture: in order to make using your ride easy, your legs should be slightly bended while placed on the scooter’s deck, and the body should be leaning forward. Shoulders and arms should also be loose.
- Kicking technique: strong kicks increase speed. Alternating legs is another hack especially for long rides and for more advanced users.
- Physical fitness: the idea that riding a kick scooter for during daily commutes is a sport, is not so far-fetched. In fact experts estimate that in order to propel yourself with a kick scooter at a steady pace, you’ll burn around 450 calories of energy per hour. Taking into consideration that 2000 calories is the daily energy input of an average adult, you can see that kicking your scooter is physically quite demanding. This shows how much physical fitness can play a role into improving your cruising speed!
- Your weight: obviously weight plays a major role in the potential speed of your favorite commuting vehicle. The more load you put on it (you+what you carry) the more effort you’ll need to propel it.
- Right shoes: make sure to wear the right footgear when kick scooting. The ideal pair of shoes are flexible pliable ones, as they permit better movement of the feet especially when kicking the ground unlike rigid ones that will not only hurt but won’t enable energy efficient movements. Another important point is the grip offered by the shoe without which your kicks will slide on the ground.
But what is the top speed you can reach using kick scooters?
Given the right conditions and the right training (you’ll probably need an extensive sprinting training), you can reach speeds of up to 35 to 40 kilometers per hour (about 22 to 25 mph) on a kick scooter, but only for a few moments. The fitter you are, the longer you’ll be able to keep riding at the top speed.
Here is a table to give more detailed insight about max speeds and who they are suitable for:
Speed in km
0 to 5
0 to 3
riders in busy locations
5 to 15
3 to 9
riders on flat surfaces plus some hills
15 to 20
9 to 12
users in ideal conditions, with very few obstacles
20 to 30
12 to 18
persons who want to kick scoot as a physical excercise
30 to 40
18 to 25
users with fast sprinting capabilities
40 to 120
25 to 75
ivy-leaguers with fast sprinting capabilities, excellent control and coordination on a downhill ride