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Ridgeback Scoot XL Review

With a larger frame, the Ridgeback Scoot XL balance bike is perfect for older kids who are too big for a 12″, but not yet able to manage a 16″ bike. Read the review below for all the reasons the Scoot XL is an exceptional bike.

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RATING: Exceptional

BEST FOR: Kids ages 4 to 7 who have not yet mastered a pedal bike.

SEAT HEIGHT: 16" – 21.5"

WEIGHT: 11.6 lb.

0
Tire Type

Air

Frame Material

Aluminum Alloy

Rating

Exceptional

Weight

11.6 lb.

Seat Height

16" – 21.5"

Tire Size

14"

Footrest

No

Sealed Bearings

Yes

Turning Limiter

No

Grips Bumper

Yes

Bolts

Exposed

Brakes

Hand Brake

Available Colors

Red, Blue, Green, Pink

$219.00
April 3, 2020 6:12 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
1 new from $219.00

Pros & Cons

PROS:
  • 14" tires - perfect for older kids
  • Wide, stable handlebars
  • Long wheelbase for stability and longevity
  • High quality and durable
  • 6" of seat height adjustability
CONS:
  • Too heavy for lighter weight kids
  • Exposed bolts

Ridgeback Scoot XL Review – Results of our Test Rides

4 year old riding green Ridgeback Scoot XL balance bike at skatepark, gliding down ramp

As one of the largest balance bikes on the market, the Ridgeback Scoot XL is the perfect bike for older preschoolers or grade schoolers who have yet to learn how to ride a pedal bike.  The Scoot XL is geared towards kids ages 4 to 8 who have no biking experience at all, who have only used training wheels (and can’t get rid of them), or who have outgrown their small balance bike but don’t yet have the desire or confidence to move up to a pedal bike.

Larger Balance Bikes: The Purpose

Larger balance bikes, such as the Scoot XL, are designed for older/taller kids who have yet to master a pedal bike without training wheels.  While the majority of 4 to 8 year-olds have the skill level to transition from a balance bike to a pedal bike (or the confidence to finally remove the training wheels), some kids just don’t!  The Scoot XL is the perfect solution for kids stuck in the transition gap.

The Scoot XL is typically a child’s first balance bike, but can also be an upgrade for taller preschoolers with a smaller balance bike who are not yet ready to transition to a pedal bike.

4 year old riding green Ridgeback Scoot XL balance bike through the forest

Another option for kids having difficulty transitioning to a pedal bike is to remove the pedals from a bike and have the child use the bike as a balance bike.  While this method typically works just fine for athletic and/or eager riders, it is not a feasible or fun solution for many kids.

Pedal bikes typically weigh at least double the weight of a balance bike, making them much harder to balance and maneuver.  In addition, by the time kids are ready to add the pedals back on the bike, they are often too big for the bike or quickly outgrow it.

Lastly, even for kids who have already mastered a pedal bike, they typically return back to their balance bikes from time to time.  Pedal bikes are fast, but they are very challenging for young riders on jumps, curbs and on winding dirt trails with uneven surfaces, all areas where balance bikes excel. Balance bikes encourage a more playful biking experience.

4 year old riding green Ridgeback Scoot XL balance bike at skatepark, feet in a scissors kick

Scoot XL Size

With a 14″ wheel, the Scoot XL is perfectly proportioned for kids who are too tall for a 12″ bike, but too short to handle the longer reach required by a 16″ balance bike or pedal bike with training wheels.  For young kids learning how to glide on a balance bike, the sizing of a bike can greatly increase or decrease their rate of their progress.

2 year old and 4 year old riding Ridgback Scoot XL balance bikes through the forest

Too small and they can’t properly lean in to gain speed or balance, too big and they can easily get overwhelmed because large bikes are hard to steer as their handlebars are often too high.  As one of few 14″ balance bikes, the Scoot XL provides plenty of room for growth for preschoolers in at least 4T clothes, without being too big or overwhelming. 

As you can see below, the Scoot XL is a much better fit for our 4-year-old rider than the smaller Strider, which is also marketed to 4-year-olds. For some hesitant preschoolers in 4T, the smaller and lighter Scoot may be better than the XL.

Scoot XL vs. Strider with 4yoSide by side comparison of Ridgeback Scoot XL and Strider with 4 year old. The Strider is more cramped.

 

Frame and Seat Height

While other brands that offer a 14″ balance bike simply put a larger tire on a frame designed for a 12″ bike, the Scoot XL frame is actually larger than the Scoot, as it is designed to fit an older child.  Like the Scoot, the Scoot XL’s frame is built with sturdy 6061 aluminum alloy and is strong enough to hold an adult!

Toddler Riding Scoot & 4-Year-Old Riding Scoot XL
2 year old and 4 year old riding Ridgback Scoot XL balance bikes through the forest

The larger, taller frame of the Scoot XL better compensates for longer inseams and has a seat range of 16″ to 21.5″.  The handlebar height on the Scoot XL is also adjustable.

Tire and Frame Size Difference Between Scoot and Scoot XL

Ridgeback scoot and Ridgeback scoot XL side by side

To put the XL’s sizing claims to the test, we had three siblings take the bike out for a ride: 4-year-old with in 4T pants, a petite 5-year-old in 4T/5 pants, and 6.5-year-old in size 6/7.

All three were able to handle the bike beautifully without any complaints. For reference, the 4-year-old has the seat raised a few inches above the minimum seat height.

We raised the handlebars slightly for the 6.5-year-old to make for a more comfortable fit. For him, while the bike is currently a great fit, he’s about maxed out.

The Scoot XL is a great Fit For Kids Ages 4 to 7Side by side comparison of 4 year old, 5 year old, and 6.5 year old on Ridgeback Scoot XL balance bike. They are all a great fit.

For kids in 3T whose parents expect them to grow quickly, the Scoot XL is still slightly too big (the handlebars are too high), but is manageable for really athletic kids if you request the WeeDropper seat lowering kit which lowers the minimum seat height slightly to help in situations just like this.

To allow for maximum room for growth, as your child gets taller, you can swap out the standard seat post with the extended seat post that is included with every Scoot XL balance bike. Overall, the Scoot XL is designed for years of comfortable use as your child grows from toddler to big kid!

Scoot XL Extended Seat Post and WeeDropper Seat Lowering RingTwo seat posts (including extended seat post) for Ridgeback Scoot and Scoot XL balance bikes

Saddle

The Scoot XL features a high-quality leather saddle that is thickly padded to keep little bums comfy. It also comes with an easy-to-use quick-release clamp for seat height adjustments on the fly. For an extra $10, you can upgrade to a premium colored seat clamp (as seen below) for an added pop of pizazz. 🙂

The rear of the saddle is a handle that allows parents to more easily carry the bike once your child has grown tired of riding.

Soft saddle on Ridgeback Scoot and Ridgeback Scoot XL

Tires

Featuring Vee Tire Speedster tires, the Scoot XL is best suited for hard-packed or paved trails. With low-rolling resistance on dry or wet days, the Scoot XL’s tires were made for speed!

Vee Tire Speedster tires on Ridgeback Scoot XL balance bikeBecause the tread is somewhat flat, if your child is going to be adventuring off-road often, you can easily upgrade to the knobbier, all-terrain Crown Gem tires, as seen here on the smaller Scoot.

Crown Gem tires on Ridgeback Scoot balance bikeAnd a small detail, but one that speaks to the overall awesomeness of the Scoot XL, is the angled tire vales. Because 14″ wheels are so small, it can often be difficult to fit a bike pump between the spokes. The angled valve solves this problem!

Brakes and Grip Bumpers

The internally-routed brake cable, easy-pull hand brake, and soft rubber grips with thick protective bumpers add additional appeal to the bike for both parent and child.

Internally routed brake cable and small-reach hand brake lever on Ridgeback Scoot and Scoot XLDuring our testing, the rubber grips did tear, but our kids are pretty rough with their bikes and throw them to the ground frequently! If you encounter this issue, Tikes Bikes (WeeBikeShop’s sister retailer) offers free part replacement and will quickly take care of you!

While we always recommend a hand brake for balance bikes, they’re especially needed on larger balance bikes. Kids this size tend to reach higher speeds and get a bit more aggressive, and that little handbrake is really necessary for safety!

4 year old riding green Ridgeback Scoot XL balance bike at the skatepark, putting feet up on frame to glide

 

Bottom Line

The Scoot XL is the perfect balance bike for taller preschoolers or grade schoolers who have not yet transitioned to a pedal bike.  With very few 14″ balance bikes on the market, the Scoot XL is ideal for kids stuck in the transition gap between a small balance bike and a pedal bike.  With a minimum seat height of 16″ and a max of 22″, the Scoot XL is sure to be a success with kids in size 4T to 8 clothes.

 

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review, however, the reviewed product was supplied by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC.  All content and images are copyrighted and should not be used or replicated in any way. View our Terms of Use.

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