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- Age suitability: 3+
- Features: 2-stage design; adjustable handlebar; back foot brake
- Colours: Pink or Green
- Cost: £70
US company SmarTrike launched more than a decade ago and, while its products range from scooters to changing bags, it is most well-known for its namesake trikes.
The new SmarTrike T5 scooter is one of a range of new scooters from the company, which also includes the T1 scooter, suitable from 15 months, and the T3 scooter, from 2 years.
The T5 is suitable from 3 years and SmarTrike say this is ‘the perfect beginner scooter’ as it has two stages that cover the learning phase and more complex riding!
We tested the SmarTrike T5 scooter with our 4-year-old daughter Jaime who had previously been terrified of scooters but we managed to test it on pavements and park pathways and all throughout our house! Over time she’s really grown more confident on the scooter.
I thought the Smart Trike looked lovely – I really loved the design of it, there’s lots of rubber to prevent slippage and loads of different levels to adjust the handlebars so no matter the size of your child, there’s always a good height for the handlebars to be set at.
Top tip! The handlebars should reach your child’s belly button which is the perfect height. I thought there was a generous space between the front wheels of the scooter which made it feel nice and sturdy for my novice and very nervous scooter rider.
The scooter is sold on being a 2-stage scooter that’ll take your little one from three years upwards, but how long do you think it will last?
My 8-year-old happily had a go on this scooter, and was happily scooting away, and although the handle bar was a smidge too low for her, she managed to use it brilliantly, so I’m happy to say I think you’re going to get huge longevity out of the scooter.
Watch 5 things you need to know about the SmarTrike T5 scooter
Tell us about the 2 stages – what is the difference?
The 2 stages are basically about having the T-lock function…more on that below!
Tell us about the T-lock function
The T-lock on the front of the scooter allows you to switch from slightly tilting handlebars to locked handlebars. Lock is for novice riders, and to unlock it (twist to left) allows the handlebars to very gently tilt either way.
How does the ‘tilting’ work in the second stage?
When you twist the T-lock to the tilting option (to the left – this is for experienced scooter riders), it allows the handlebar to tilt slightly to either side for more movement – it makes it feel like the wheels tilt too, even thought they might not actually do so!
The difference between the lock and unlocked mechanism isn’t enormous at all, though, so if you wanted to unlock it sooner rather than later, it’s not something to fret about.
Jaime really did struggle with the tilting mechanism and does seem to only be able to go in straight lines at the moment, which was a problem – this might well be because she is still getting used to scooting, but I can’t help but feel actually twistable handles guiding the front wheel would have been better for her.
Tell us about the telescopic handlebar
There are 4 positions for the handle bar and you’re going to need a strong thumb to press the button in to move it up and down.
What do you think of the heights available on the handlebar and is it comfortable for little hands to grip?
The height options are great and you’d be hard pushed to not find a suitable one. The rubber handles are brilliant – perfect size and really comfortable – love the rubber texture too – they feel really tactile and comfortable.
How easy is it to use the back foot brake?
Jaime found it hard to find the brake easily – but she is really new to scootering and incredibly nervous so getting her to throw her back leg in the air and try to find it was it hard work. For my elder daughter who is 8, she had no difficulty finding the brake and using it.
What do you think of the rubber footplate – does it provide enough grip for your little one?
I LOVED the rubber footplate. We have another scooter and the footplate is made of a really rough, almost sandpaper textured cover. It’s so rough that my eldest daughter has scratched herself a few times on it, even though it provides a good grip.
So this rubber footplate was a really happy revelation – gentle if you whack your ankle on it, but rubbery enough to grip perfectly.
How heavy is the scooter – can your little one easily manoeuvre it?
2.9kg. It’s a good weight – not too heavy or cumbersome at all.
Does it handle all-terrains?
Not really no – you can really feel the bumps on unlevel ground, obviously can’t use it easily on grass either. But we used it easily on pavements and park pathways.
Is it value for money?
It’s a great, well made scooter – so yes, I think it’s not bad value for money.
Did your child enjoy using the scooter?
As she gets more confident, she’s enjoying it more and more. We just need to get her more used to the tilting mechanism to change direction.
What do you think of the design of the scooter?
I think it’s gorgeous – love the colours and the rubber, but really and truly would have preferred moveable front wheels rather than the T-lock mechanism.
Does it feel robust/durable?
Yes absolutely – it feels like a quality bit of kit. You could throw it in the shed or boots of your car and not worry about whacking it, or it breaking.
What’s in the box?
- Smart Trike T5 scooter
- Instruction booklet
Is it easy/hard to set up the product? Instructions useful? How long does it take?
There’s absolutely nothing to do but pull it out of the box, adjust the handle to the correct height (the button here is really stiff to push down), set if you want it at Stage 1 or Stage 2 by twisting the T at the front of the scooter, and you’re away.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the item?
That the front wheels aren’t steerable, but tilting.
Who would the product be most useful for?
All learner scooter riders and skilled ones too – from 3 years old and up.
What is the price? Is this good value for money?
It’s around £70 and no extras are needed except for a safety helmet.
I think this is a good scooter and having tested it, I’d say it feels very well made and really strong and durable. But the steering mechanism is a negative for beginners (my 4 year old could only go in straight lines!) and the price seems quite high too: it’s a similar price to the most basic model of scooter from the leading brand, Microscooter. But since my 4-year-old Jaime first used the scooter very nervously, she’s since grown so much more confident and happier using it.
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