Taller and longer than most 12″ balance bikes, the Ridgeback Scoot is ideal for taller toddlers or preschoolers who need room to grow! Read the review below for all the reasons it’s an exceptional balance bike!
Ridgeback Scoot Review
BEST FOR: Kids ages 3 to 5 needing a great fitting, high performing bike.
SEAT HEIGHT: 14″ – 20″
WEIGHT: 10.5 lb.
BRAKE: Hand Brake
- Air tires and hand brake
- Wide, stable handlebars
- Long wheelbase for stability and longevity
- High quality and durable
- 6″ of seat height adjustability
- Too big/heavy for petite riders
- Exposed bolts
Ridgeback Scoot Review – Results of our Test Rides
From its sturdy heirloom-quality frame to its highly adjustable seat height, the Ridgeback Scoot is perfectly proportioned for maximum comfort and control for older toddlers and pre-schoolers. With a longer wheelbase and handlebars than most other balance bikes, the Scoot allows kids to more easily gain and maintain control of the bike.
We’ve been riding and testing Ridgeback Scoot balance bikes for the last 5 years, and it continues to be one of our favorite bikes of all time. With great quality components, air tires, a handbrake, and ample room for kids to stretch out and run, our testers love riding the Scoot.
Straight out of the box, the Scoot is always a hit. After one ride, a four-year-old tester begged to ride the Scoot to preschool every day, while a three-year-old tester declared the bike “his” and took off across the nearest open field. From country trails to city sidewalks and skateparks, the Scoot has effortlessly tackled any terrain we throw at it.
Longer and taller than other 12″ balance bikes, the Ridgeback Scoot is perfectly proportioned for children who are starting their balance bike journey as older toddlers and pre-schoolers. Our very tall 2-year-old in 3T pants was a great fit at the Scoot’s minimum seat height, while our 4-year-old in 4T pants and even our very petite 5-year-old in 4T/5 pants fit the Scoot very well.
While many 12″ balance bikes (such as the uber popular Strider) come with extended seat posts to fit a very wide range of ages, their small frames don’t allow older riders a lot of room to move around and maneuver the bike comfortably. Because the Scoot has a longer frame and higher handlebars than these smaller bikes, it’s an ideal fit, rather than just a “will do” fit for these slightly older riders.
You can see the difference below with our barely 4-year-old tester on the Ridgeback Scoot as compared to the Strider Sport. Two full inches longer than the Strider, the Scoot is one of few balance bikes we’ve found that has comfortably fit kids ages 3 to 6-years-old.
Each Ridgeback Scoot comes with two seat posts, which allows for a full six inches of seat height adjustment, from 14″ to 20″. The seats on balance bikes are typically set 1″ to 1.5″ lower than a child’s crotch, so the Scoot is best fit for kids with at least a 15″ inseam.
If your child needs a balance bike now and is on the cusp of almost being big enough to ride the Scoot, not to worry! WeeBikeShop offers (for free!) the proprietary WeeDropper seat lowering kit, which drops the seat down about half an inch. Just be sure to request in upon ordering and it will come pre-installed on your bike’s seat post.
In order to prevent the seat post from hitting the ground when used in its lowest position, the longer seat post should be reserved for older riders with inseams greater than 18″. Swapping out the seat post is as simple as removing one screw below the saddle and swapping the posts.
To aid in quick height adjustments, every Scoot is equipped with a quick-release seat post clamp. As seen in the image below, you can upgrade to a premium seat clamp available in a ton of different colors for a fun color pop.
Additional features of the saddle include a handle for easy carrying and extra-thick padding for extra comfort for little bums.
Built with durable 6061 aluminum alloy, the Scoot is built to last. Strong enough to hold an adult rider, yet nimble enough for preschoolers, the Scoot’s frame is heirloom quality for passing down from one kid to the next. For added cosmetic durability, the decals are protected underneath a clear coat.
Being larger and more durable than the standard 12″ balance bike frame, the Scoot is also a bit heavier. Weighing in at 10.5 lbs we recommend the Scoot for kids weighing more than 33 lbs. (It’s ideal to keep the bike weight less than 30% of a child’s weight.)
The Scoot’s wider handlebars and longer wheelbase, however, do help to better distribute the weight of the bike, making the Scoot easier to balance than many bikes lighter than 10.5 lbs.
Built and designed by an established bike company, the Ridgeback Scoot is designed for stability and maximum control. With a longer wheelbase and more upright handlebars, the Scoot provides a more comfortable and natural riding position.
When learning to walk or run, kids instinctively learn to center their weight over their hips, so when learning to ride, the Scoot allows them to do the same. With their weight centered over their hips, balancing becomes more natural on the Scoot.
The longer wheelbase also provides ample space for growth. The Strider and the Scoot shown below are all marketed to 3, 4, and 5-year-olds, but only the Scoot provides plenty of room for comfortable growth.
Tires, Bolts and Bearings
To help keep your child rolling smoothly, the Scoot comes with heavy-duty 12” air tires. Wide and grippy, the Scoot’s air tires have low rolling resistance to offer amazing speed and traction on packed dirt or paved surfaces. Even with the risk of flats, air tires are still essential for active balance bikes riders as they provide much needed cushioning and traction for trail riding or even just going down curbs or gripping the pavement at the skatepark.
If your child will frequently be adventuring off-road, you can upgrade to the Crown Gem tires for even more cushioning for bumps and jumps along the way. The Crown Gem tires are what you see on the Scoot throughout this review. A set is $40, but they come installed if you order them with your bike.
One minor feature of the Scoot that is insanely helpful is the angled air valves on its wheels. 12″ tires can be very difficult to inflate because bike pump heads are often too big to fit between the spokes. With the valve angled outwards, it’s very easy to attach the bike pump and that problem simply goes away!
The Scoot has rounded bolts on its axles that pose a potential scratching hazard when worn. The bolts, however, are slightly set back in the frame, so the risk is minimal and none of our testers were scratched by the bolts.
Handlebars and Grips
Another unique feature of the Scoot is its extra-wide handlebars. Over four inches wider than the Strider, the additional length provides older riders with a more natural riding position and increased handling.
The Scoot’s grips are soft and easy for small hands to hold, without producing hand fatigue. The grips bumpers on the end did tear during our testing, as our nutty toddler tends to throw her bikes on the ground regularly. WeeBikeShop offers free replacement parts though, so if you have an issue, they will definitely take care of you.
The brake lever on the Scoot is scaled to fit the youngest hands. Most kids generally develop the hand-eye-coordination to regularly use a hand brake by the age of three, so it’s especially important for these larger balance bikes to have handbrakes. Because older riders tend to ride much faster and are more adventurous, a handbrake is a must-have feature in our eyes.
The internally-routed brake cable is also a nice high-end touch.
Scoot vs. Scoot XL
For older kids in size 5 to 7 clothes, the Scoot’s older brother, the Scoot XL (link to our review) is a better fit as it has a slightly larger frame and has 14″ wheels versus a 12″.
Eager or aggressive kids in 4T also typically do great on the Scoot XL, while timider or lightweight kids in 4T do better on the smaller Scoot. For kids in 3T clothes, the Scoot is perfectly sized for them from day one and will provide plenty of room for growth until they are ready to transition to a pedal bike.
|Weight||11.3 lb.||12.5 lb.|
|Seat Height||14" to 20"||16" to 22"|
The Ridgeback Scoot is the perfect balance bike for preschoolers or for taller toddlers with at least a 14.5″ inseam and who can handle a heavier bike. Built to last, the Ridgeback is a great investment for growing families who are looking for a bike to hand down to younger siblings. The Scoot is also a great fit for families who have two kids of different ages ready to ride a balance bike.