So you want to build a pro scooter? No doubt you don’t want to simple assemble a complete out of a box but really build you own custom pro scooter and you don’t know where to start. You’ve come to the right place as this page is going to show you exactly what you need to buy and have on hand to build yourself a fine scooter for throwing all types of tricks.
Before you start building you will need the right tools. Make sure you have Allen keys for tightening bolts, you’ll need a wrench set to tighten bolts, some zip ties for sliding on the handle bar grips, razor for cutting the grip tape (never use a razor without your parents supervision or help) and finally some patience.
Your tools won’t mean anything unless you have the parts to use them on. When it comes to scooter components the basics that you’ll need are:
Handlebars, deck, grips, bearings, a headset, a clamp, grip tape, wheels and a fork. The aforementioned items are necessary if you want to have a ride-able scooter but there are other things you’ll need or have the option of having like: a brake, pegs and bar ends.
It’s been said that the spice of life is variety and let’s face it everyone likes things their own way. Pro scooters are no different from any other action sport that loves customization. Building a custom scooter allows for any rider to make things just so or how they like it. You might like your scooter as light as possible with 23″ tall bars and I might like my scooter with a little more weight and 25″ tall bars. Someone else’s preferences might be more centered around appearance than performance and they might love Gold Scooters with clear grip tape and 120mm wheels for more speed.
The possibilities are endless with so many different brands producing scooter parts. You could select Envy Reaper Bars, Apex headset, AO forks, Odi Bar ends, Tilt clamp, Ride 858 wheels, Fuzion Deck, River Flash Flood bearings ,Envy brake, Hella Grip and Affinity hardware.
Before you can create a custom build, you’ll need to select which compression system you want to run because this will eliminate certain parts from being able to fit on your scooter.
Scooter compression is ultimately the way your bars, fork and deck are all joined together. With this being the case I’m sure you would agree that your compression is very important in fact it is often overlooked being its typically hidden. But every rider has their favorite compression, being around a lot of riders SCS seems to be the compression system of choice among the industries elite.
The first step to setting up your custom complete is selecting a compression system. This is a crucial point because if you select SCS compression you can only run certain forks, clamps and bars.
Standard compression system was created by the owner of Proto Scooters, SCS is believed to be the strongest compression system on the market. When it comes to SCS there isn’t much you can say negatively about it besides weight. Out of all the available compression options SCS is the heaviest.
Hidden Internal Compression system was the first true compression system created and the reason it’s still around today is due to the fact that it is reliable and flat out work. HIC is over sized so it requires oversized bars to work correctly. HIC is extremely light and relatively problem free
ICS has the highest downside and upside; the reason being is that it is the lightest compression option. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum it is also the weakest. Riders who use ICS (very few ride it anymore) aren’t shocked when their compression just snaps about. Another headache that comes to ICS is that you need to remove the front wheel from the fork to set it up.
Decks are the glamour part of your scooter, it draws the most attention and at this point and time has the undergone the most innovation in the industry. Forged necks and headtube cut outs used to be rarities now have become the norms. Selecting your deck is the next step, decks are very important because they make up over 50% of the scooter. Deck width and length is important for actual foot placement and tricks. Short decks work well for deck spinning tricks and flips. Longer decks work well for grinds and slides on hand rails and coping.
Sizing is also very critical when it comes to the size of the rider. Larger feet are going to need more room for foot placement and riding. A larger individual is going to be able to throw around a larger deck much easier than a smaller kid is. Since certain decks only come in certain sizes, it’s common place to see a rider get their deck cut down to the desired size.
Scooter decks intended for park riding are typically shorter and narrower than one used for street riding. The ends of the scooter will usually be cut-away to save weight since this surface area isn’t needed for certain coping tricks.
Street decks are long wide, and majority of the time have boxed straight ends for grinds and coping tricks. If you ask a park rider to ride a street set up they are going to complain about how large and heavy, it is.
Like skateboarding grip tape is an important factor for scooter riding too. Grip plays an important part in being able to catch tricks once you throw them. Without grip take you’d easily slip off your deck. A high-quality grip tape will last longer and not tear under typical use.
Not all grip tape is created equal, there are different finishes. Typically, most grip tapes are going to have an 80 grit finish. The finishing corresponds to the coarseness off the grip tape, for those who want the grittiest grip tape a finish of 60 is going to be extra coarse. Extra coarse grip is going to be great for catching tricks and riding, but it will wreak havoc on your shoes. You are going to be going right through pairs of Dunk SB or Janowski SB.
This see through grip is perfect for showing the graphics off on your deck. These days with all the minute details and graphic wraps clear grip tape is only going to gain popularity.
Graphics on grip tape is all the craze now, you very rarely see anyone who goes to a pro scooter shop looking for new grip tape leaving with plain grip tape. Positively they are going to leave with envy galaxy grip, Sloth Hella Grip or “Friendly” Grip. AO scooter a few months back dropped signature grip tape which we thought was an extremely cool idea. More brands are going to jump on this trend coming up soon we are positive.
Handle bars can make or break a scooter set up… shorter bars can make executing spinning and flips tricks easier. Scientifically speaking leverage is on your side with shorter bars. Taller bars make riding longer distances more comfortable which makes sense for street riding.
For years the Aluminum bar was the lightest on the market, the Envy Reapers and District aluminum were among the most popular. The downside to aluminum bars is that they sacrifice durability. Aluminum bars especially the reaper bars by Envy are known for being snapped, however riders know that, so they realize getting bars this light comes with disadvantages.
Titanium scooter bars are relatively new in the scooter industry and are considered premium. While they make a scooter set up extremely light they can be expensive retailing for upwards of $300. Vault pro scooters recently dropped a $159.99 set of titanium bars.
Chromoly steel is probably the most used steel on pro scooter bars. Steel has it advantage in its strength but on the flip side the weight that makes it less desirable. Most lower tier entry level complete pro scooters come with chromoly bars. These bars are going to be durable and reliable but for push the limits of scooter riding chromoly is only going to limit an advanced rider.
The steer tube is the component of the pro scooter fork which holds the scooter bar at the very top. Virtually all freestyle scooters include a;1/8″ diameter steer tube. The duration of the tube may fluctuate among scooter brands and determines compatibility between pro scooter deck and fork!
The scooter fork crown is at the bottom of the steerer tube. It retains the “crown race”, that’s the bottom most portion of the headset.
Together with Zero Offset, your wheel is straight beneath the steering column. That means it is a lot easier to do bar spins, nosies and “hang fives”.
Threadless pro scooter forks are popular amongst all riders. They have a smooth steerer tube and also are generally lighter and stronger compared to threaded forks. They call for a threadless scooter headset and a compression system leading to a stronger, or “dialed” pro scooter.
Threaded pro scooter forks are found on less costly scooters. They have threads on the top of the steerer tube and also are less desirable because they require threaded pro scooter headsets. Threaded headsets are more challenging to maintain and are typically not sealed. The variety of threaded headsets for pro scooters is limited.
Threadless pro scooter forks are known as threadless only since they don’t have any threads on the outside of the steerer tube. In fact, virtually every “threadless” fork requires threads to produce a compression method function.
Many threadless pro scooter forks have threads in the very top over the inside of the steerer tube. If they don’t, threads may be added by installing a star nut within the steerer tube.
Numerous kinds of compression bolts and bolt/caps have been shown from the image.
ICS pro scooter forks are occasionally truly “threadless”. Yet a threaded bolt is used to give compression.
See compression phase within this glossary for more information on pro scooter compression systems.
Pro Scooter Fork Crowns are at the base of the fork steerer tube and supply a “seat” for the headset crown race. This crown race usually must be pressed onto the fork crown, which requires a special tool to perform it correctly.
Taking away the headset crown race may likewise be quite hard.
To produce the headset crown race simple, a few pro scooter forks have one which is integrated together with the fork crown. This really makes installing your fork much simpler. The drawback is that these forks are just suitable for threadless headsets.
Pro Scooter Forks from various brands come with distinct steerer tube lengths. Scooter Decks from different brands come with distinct head tube lengths. It follows that, depending upon your compression method, perhaps not each fork will fit nicely on every pro scooter deck.
Scooter clamps are a small part of a scooter set up, but they are arguably one of the most important. Without a strong clamp your bars won’t stay attached to your scooter and that is not what you want. When it comes to pro scooter clamps there are a few varieties that are available depending on the type of compression you ride. If you’re riding SCS compression, then your clamp options are going to be strictly SCS. SCS style clamps have the most surface area and can therefore be the most stylish.
IHC and ICS clamps are more traditional and come in a wide array of different styles. You’ll see forged, double, triple and maybe even quad clamps. What a lot of people don’t know is that the styling of your clamp might be less important than the hardware used in your clamp. Lots of riders and their parents have often opted to go to a local hardware store like Home Depot or Lowes Home Improvement to replace clamp bolts with larger stronger bolts.
Pro scooter wheels are awesome and come in many different sizes (in overall diameter and width) However, that’s not the only variable that is important in scooter wheels. Hardness or softness of the polyurethane makes for an interesting debate. Harder PU will allow for more superior speed while softer PU is going to allow for more grip and absorption when landing.
When you select wheels a nice place in-between hard and soft are going to be more pleasing, but this depends on your style of riding.
Eye catching patterns and colors are what’s hot in the scootering wheels scene. We think Envy did a great job making their wheels stand out by simply adding a reflective sticker to a full core wheel. Before this innovation the “Air Wheel” or “Hollow Core” style was all the craze. Where these wheels did well was that they utilized the surface area of the hub to serve up metallic treatments and hypnosis color ways.
120mm wheels have become more accessible as of late, before the high prices and low availability made seeing 120’s at the skatepark a rarity. Now with more brands taking the plunge and making 120mm wheels they are becoming more and more popular.
Handle bar grips are another often overlooked yet important component of a scooter set up. Most scooter grips are branded as “soft” but that is not the only qualifier of a good pro scooter grip. The best grip is going to be comfortable which denotes some softness but not too much. Another factor that is important for grips is the length and thickness of the grips, grips too thick will be uncomfortable and too thin will cause blisters.
Grips also need to be made of the right formula of urethane, the idea formula will react to sweat in a way that they won’t get slippery. Slippery scooter grips will make for a scooter that is tough to handle when flowing through a skatepark.
A pro scooter headset should be smooth and flow effortlessly for tail whips. All scooter decks are created with the same diameter, so headsets are universal. Headset quality is determined by the bearings. Bearings are going to perform at their best when they are maintained properly, so you won’t want to get them wet and keep them lubricated.
Once you’ve created your dream set up sometimes it doesn’t feel how you imagined it would and that’s completely fine because you can always make tweaks. The scooter industry is also moving at a lightning fast pace, so your dream part might not even be out yet. Think about some of the parts that have been released in the last few months. Crazy innovations like the boxed ends inserts from Envy and the YGW Gyro with handbrake that has been floating around the market for a while could be up next.
On a pro scooter the brake has gone through quite a few different phases. A few years ago a flex brake was standard and just about every set up had one. Then the market went towards the shorty brake that more or less acts as a shield so a riders foot doesn’t touch the wheel. At the moment it seems that most brands are trending towards the nylon brakes with metal inserts. This style of brake has some nice advantages over the past styles.
Nylon/Plastic Scooter Brake Advantages:
When you dial your scooter it’s going to perform better and a pro scooter that performs at the optimal level is going to a lot more fun to ride. Once you catch your tricks and land you’ll hear a crisp “gong” sound verses the “clank clank clank ” sound. Dialing your scooter takes diligence and time but its worth the effort.
Here is what you’ll need to dial your scooter: tools to be able to disassemble your scooter, a light lubricant and some elbow grease.
There you go, you’ve picked a dope custom complete and gotten it dialed.
Hopefully we’ve given you all the info you need to be able to build your own pro scooter. However, if you are ordering all separate components and building your own pro scooter we will suggest that you visit a pro scooter shop and consider having them put it all together. Sometimes when you put everything together without having experience there could be some issues.
That’s it! Get your parts and make your dream scooter!