Ask ScooterDad - Volume 4

Ask ScooterDad - Volume 4

Do you have a question for ScooterDad? Send me an email at, post on Facebook at, or message me on Twitter at

It's Ask ScooterDad time again! If you missed the other volumes, you can find them here: Volume 1Volume 2, and Volume 3

If you have any questions or topics you'd like me to cover, just let me know. Send me an email at, post on Facebook at, or message me on Twitter at Look for more installments to come!

Why do some scooter decks have different headtube angles?

The angle of the headtube on a scooter deck affects a few aspects of the way your scooter feels. First, and perhaps most significantly, the headtube angle affects the way that the scooter whips. The steeper the angle (larger number), the more the deck whips on a flat plane with less resistance. Second, the headtube angle affects the steering. The smaller the number, the larger the rake (angle of the fork), which makes steering easier. Third, the rake also affects the pullback on the bars. That is, the smaller the number for the headtube angle, the further back your bars will angle toward your body.

Older riders typically like steeper headtube angles (measurements closer to 90 degrees) and younger riders typically like flatter headtube angles (measurements further from 90 degrees). As riders start doing multiple whips, they need a flatter plane of deck rotation. Also, as bars get taller (with taller riders), the bars end up too far away from the headset with a flatter headtube angle.

How can I remove grip tape?

Try to peel back as much as you can with your hands. The more you can keep in one large piece, the easier it will be to remove. If it gets stuck or breaks, FIND AN ADULT FOR HELP and CAREFULLY use a razor blade to use it to peel back the grip tape. Once you get all of the grip tape removed, if there is any sticky residue remaining on your deck, you can remove it with a solvent like Goof Off or lighter fluid. Both of these fluids are flammable, so be very careful!

What height and width should my bars be?

This is very much a personal preference, but I most often see new, young scooter riders with bars that are too high. Use your own preference as a guideline, but here are some general rules to get you started: For height, stand on your scooter and set your bar height at approximately where your belt would be. For width, the width of your hips should be just a little more narrow than your shoulders, and that's a good starting measurement.

Can I use threaded forks with an integrated deck?

Nope! Integrated decks are always threadless headsets. Trying to use a threaded fork with a threadless headset can damage your headtube and headset and you will have a very difficult (if not impossible) time trying to get your headset rotating smoothly and dialed.

Can oversized bars work with a threaded headset and forks?

Generally, no, but I've heard that the new Lucky HIC shims allow you to run oversized bars on threaded forks. I haven't tried this, so be sure to check with Lucky or your retailer for specifics.

What are some easy sponsorships for freestyle scootering?

You know that saying "you get what you pay for"? Well, that applies to a lot of things in life. If a scootering sponsorship is easy to get, it's probably not worth it. Sponsorship is like a job. You have to earn the experience to get the job and then you have to work hard to do your part of the job. Sponsorship is not the end game of scootering. Ride for fun, try your hardest, and let all the complicated stuff come naturally.

How much shorter do I need to cut my bars for SCS compression?

SCS compression clamps add some height to your setup because the bars do not slip over your fork. The additional height is typically 1.5"-2". To determine how much height your SCS clamp adds, take your clamp and drop your compression cap in the top. Now measure on the inside of your clamp from your compression cap to the top of the clamp. That measurement will tell you how much to cut off your bars for the same height. For example: if you measured 2" inside your SCS clamp and you want to run 20" heigh bars, then cut your bars to 18" high. You need to cut the slit off your bars for SCS, so this usually isn't a problem.

Can I install a flex fender brake, like a Phoenix Switchblade, on a District deck?

While I haven't done this personally, there's no reason why this wouldn't work and I've seen people on the internet post about doing this. You'll need to drill 2 holes in the top of your deck for the mounting bolts just like you would when mounting a Switchblade on a Razor Ultra Pro.

Can you buy replacement axles and bolts at a hardware store?

Yes and no. You may not be able to find the exact replacements that came with your parts, but you can often find much harder, longer lasting axles for really cheap. I buy all of my replacement axles at Ace Hardware. I buy hardened steel bolts and nylock nuts. These are stronger, last longer, don't strip as easily, and the nylock nuts help prevent loosening of your axles.

Can I use an SCS clamp for HIC compression?

Sorry, it doesn't work like that. Even if the upper half of your SCS clamp can accommodate oversized bars, like with a Proto SCS, the lower part is only large enough for your forks, not including a shim and bars like you would need for HIC compression.

Can you scooter at Camp Woodward?

No. Err...kinda. Sometimes. Woodward, as of the writing of this article, is not open to scooters on a regular basis. They do sometimes open for scooter camps, but those are typically only once or twice a year. Other camps, like Ohio Dreams, may have different rules regarding scooters.

What type of compression does a Razor Ultra Pro come with?

That's a trick question! The Razor Ultra Pro doesn't use a compression system because it comes with a threaded headset and fork. While a threaded headset and fork provides the same function as a compression system in securing the fork to the deck, it's technically not a compression system. That is, the Razor Ultra Pro does not come with SCS, HIC, ICS, TLC, IHC, or any other type of compression system that you can think of.

Can you install threadless forks on any scooter deck?

Threadless forks can only be installed on a scooter that has a threadless headset. The good news is that you can install a threadless headset on most scooters. (Actually, I can't think of any that you can't install a threadless headset on, but there might be one weird one out there.) Removing the old bearing cups and installing new bearing cups is a HUGE pain in the butt, however, so you should have an adult or a bike shop help you do this step.

What compression system should I use with an integrated scooter deck?

An integrated scooter deck has the bearing cups built in to the headtube, so it's just a regular deck with a threadless headset that is "integrated" into the deck. An integrated deck his HIGHLY preferable over a non-integrated deck for ease of installation, maintenance, and for ensuring proper headset alignment for smooth rotation. You can use pretty much any compression system that your bars, fork, and clamping mechanism can support because an integrated deck will be running a threadless headset.

Can I upgrade the bars on my scooter that has a threaded headset and fork?

Yes, as long as the new bars are standard diameter bars with an outside diameter of 1 1/4" and an inside diameter of 1 1/8", then they should fit on to your fork without any problem. Some stock bars will have threads inside the bars, but this is unnecessary if you have a good clamp. On the other hand, it's always a good idea to upgrade to a threadless headset, threadless fork, and new compression system if you don't already have it and can afford it.

Should I start scootering?

YES! Absolutely! :) Scootering is great exercise, it's fun, you get to meet great people, and it can help regulate kids who have dysregulatory issues, like Asperger's Syndrome, ADD, ADHD, and other autistm-spectrum disorders. Scootering has been a great influence on my kid's life and it has given him self-esteem to feel good about himself and be confident in other aspects of his life. Grab a scooter and a helmet, head out there, and have fun!


How do you cut the slit off bars? And how do you remove the MGP Hothead HIC clamp from batwing bars? Mine are stuck!

By Tom Febrer (not verified)

To cut off the slit in your bars, you can use a pipe cutter, a chop saw (for cutting metal), or an angle grinder with a cutting wheel. Be very careful and get help if you need it. Sorry, I don't have a video or article on this topic yet.

To remove your clamp, use the penny trick to expant the clamp so that it slips off:

By Kenny

Just a couple of notes. I myself never found any problem running a threaded for with threadless headset. you just compress it with the locknut. secondly, a lower head tube angle actually makes whips easier, i guess due to more leverage. a HTA closer to 90 is actually notably harder to whip

but otherwise good stuff :)

hi i have been scootering for about a year now and the thing thats really ticking me off is that it seems like all the kids that i know that have been scootering for not as long as me can do like way better tricks than me do you have any tips

By dawson (not verified)

Hey Dawson,

Everyone progresses differently. depending on age, athletic ability, and famiiarity with other sports. Stick to the basics. Don't get hung up on trying to bri-flip if you can't tailwhip and 360. Just work on the basics and get really, really good at them. As you grow and gain strength, you'll be able to do more with the scooter. Also, ride with people who are better than you: it will help you push yourself and you can learn from them. Most of all, stay positive and encourage others! Good luck!

By Kenny

so what basics should i be working on if i am stuck on tailwhiping

By dawson (not verified)

Perfect your tailwhips, then work on 360s and barspins. Good luck!

By Kenny

Are bearing spacers needed for scooter wheels?

By Alex (not verified)

Yes, you definitely need bearing spacers. Check out this article about wheels and bearings: Tips for Installing Wheel Bearings

By Kenny

how do i get my cut down scooter bars to grip my forks?

By sam (not verified)

I'm not sure exactly what you mean. I'll have a video soon about cutting bars, but that doesn't help grip your fork unless you currently don't have a slit and you need to add a slit.

By Kenny

Can you use thread less bars with threaded forks

By Dean (not verified)

Nearly all bars are threadless. Only a few old cheap Razor bars (and maybe some other off-brand bars) had any threads in them. As long as the bars fit and you have the proper clamping mechanism, you should be fine.

By Kenny

I want to upgrade my razor a1 to an a3, just so i can add 125mm wheels. I'm not a freestyle rider, I just use it to get around my college campus quickly. I know it would be cheaper to buy an a3 or a5, but it seems more fun to swap out parts. I was hoping that the bigger wheels would allow me to maneuver over speed bumps, cracks, and uneven pavements better. So far the only fork that I know fit those wheels is the blazer pro fork. I was wondering if there are any other parts that would make the ride smoother and faster. I still need it to be able to fold for when I'm in class. I have 2 razor a1 scooters that I would like to upgrade, one from 2000 and the other from around 2006.

By Rpy (not verified)

Unfortunately, I can't offer much advice as I only deal with freestyle scooters which only run 100mm or 110mm wheels. For the purposes of freestyle, we try to get kids off A1, A2, or A3 models as fast as possible because they don't hold up to tricks and large impacts. There is a Razor scooter called a "cruiser" that comes with larger wheels and has a wooden portion of the deck that flexes. I think that would be your best bet for a comfortable ride. This would not only give you larger wheels, but add an element of suspension to your ride. Plus, it's still a foldy. Check it out:

By Kenny

How come every time I try to barspin, I barspin but I don't get any air and my feet come off the deck. How do I prevent this?

By Luke Bacopoulos (not verified)

Try getting lots of air and do a half-barspin really late. Then work on doing a full-barspin, also late. If you try to barspin coming off the lip of the ramp, you'll lose all upward leverage on your scooter. All tricks are dependent upon getting good air, so if you sacrifice air for your trick, it's going to be more and more difficult, plus you'll have less time to do the trick without big air.

By Kenny

hey im currentky working on my setup but i cant seem to raw down my apex clamp please help?

By luke (not verified)

Sorry, I can't help you. I've never rawed anything, so I have no idea what the best ways to do it are. I like my stuff painted and shiny. :)

By Kenny

Do you have to have compression for threadlese forks

By blake (not verified)

Yes, threadless forks require compression to hold them tightly to the headset. Without compression, there is no way to secure the fork and the headset together.

By Kenny

I've stripped my the axle on my forks and I can't get the axle off. How do I get the axle off?

By Trev (not verified)

Try using a Dremel or similar rotary tool to cut a slot in the head of the bolt so you can use a flathead screwdriver to remove it, similar to this method:

By Kenny

I have viper bars and I tried to use HIC on it and just the bars and the clamp moved what should I do.

By Marvin (not verified)

Do you have standard Viper bars or HIC (oversized) Viper bars? HIC won't work with the standard sized bars. You'll need to use an SCS.

By Kenny

Hi, I am looking to buy some new scooter wheels but have NO idea what to get. I wanted some Proto Grippers, but with shipping and bearings, its over $100! Can you make any recommendations on a good solid cheap scooter wheel?
Thanks in advance, Jon

By Jon (not verified)

Hey Jon,

Unfortunately, you pretty much get what you pay for with scooter wheels. The best wheels we've used have been Phoenix wheels, but they are expensive. I've heard mixed reviews on Proto wheels. Some people love them, other people say they don't last very long. Lucky wheels are good for the price. Scooter Zone's wheels (Demon, Pro Comp, Epic) are pretty good for the price too. But like I said, the Phoenix wheels are the best we've used. They last a long time and we've been through 4 or 5 pair without any dehubbing or chunking.

By Kenny

Do you need a slit for HIC compression? I've cut off my slit for my SCS and i want to try HIC. (My bars are oversized)

By Euan Russell (not verified)

Yes, you do need a slit for HIC. Unfortunately, your bars will probably be too short for HIC since using them with an SCS adds 1.5-2 inches of height. Going back to HIC after cutting off the slit will make your bars shorter.

By Kenny

How come people put hairspray on the scooter bars when they change them?

By Jack (not verified)