KickPed and Know-Ped Family Reunion

By Jeffrey the Barak

A search for the word scooter on the-vu.com will reveal my passion and obsession for this type of vehicle. I much prefer scooters to bicycles, even though I have to admit I won’t be tackling a hundred mile charity ride on one.

I have this year reviewed the KickPed, an amazing kick scooter. I mentioned in that article that I once owned its ancestor, the Know-Ped, briefly in the early 00s, but it was lost to a burglar before I had a chance to put many miles on it. This week I reacquired a Know-Ped, in the same color, blue, and have had a chance to compare it side-by-side with my KickPed.

Both are made by Patmont Motor Werks, but the KickPed is sold exclusively by New York City’s jewel of a bike shop, NYCeWheels. They took the standard Know-Ped and had some made just for them, with subtle changes.

The differences are:

  • The KickPed has a deck that has been shaved to an arguably more efficient narrow shape, so that by sacrificing the ability to stand with your feet side by side, you have a closer arc available for your propelling foot, and free space instead of wood, where your passing ankle needs to be. It is also upgraded to marine plywood so it can take a few rain soakings without delaminating.
  • The KickPed frame is finished in clear lacquer, showing the patina of the welded steel, whereas the Know-Ped comes in an assortment of powder-coated colors.
  • The KickPed does away with the arguably unnecessary front caliper brake, which likely leaves you with nothing to adjust or maintain for the life of the scooter.
  • The KickPed is available in tall (42″) or regular (38″), the latter of which has the same handlebar height as the original Know-Ped.

Height

In the photos here you see my tall KickPed (42″ high with a 39″ bar height measured from the deck) beside a blue Know-Ped. I am five feet seven inches tall, and I bought the tall KickPed, however the short KickPed and the original Know-Ped (38″ high with a 35″ bar height measured from the deck) are actually about the right height for me. I would say that if you are five feet ten or taller, then the tall KickPed is better, as the seller clearly suggests, but it is not a huge height difference. Stand on the floor and while holding a tape measure in your hands about 12″ ahead, observe where 39″ and 35″ are and that will show you which bar is more suitable for you. Your hands should be lower than your elbows. If you ride with small children, look at the smaller Grow-Ped for them.

Width

The Know-Ped first appeared as a human powered version of Patmont’s combustion-engined Go-Ped. The Go-Ped Sport was this very same vehicle with an engine propelling the back wheel. You did not have to kick a scooter with an engine, so it was nice to place your feet side-by-side and face forward into the wind for an hour or so.

This wider deck is not a disaster on the Know-Ped, and it can be fun at lower speeds to change foot positions easily, and to cruise downhill with feet together, but NYCeWheels point out that the deck’s width can be a hinderance to efficient scooting, and you can possibly knock your ankle on the deck as you scoot.

Brake

The front caliper brake on the Know-Ped is another throwback to its roots as a motor vehicle. The rear spoon brake is usually all you ever need for the human powered Know-Ped, even on a high-speed steep downhill scary run, and that is why the KickPed simply left it off. The front brake is also an item that may occasionally require adjustment, so the KickPed becomes truly maintenance-free. The front brake can actually be a little bit too aggressive and I recommend that Know-Ped riders use it with caution, shifting their weight accordingly.

Options

The blue Know-Ped that I acquired this week is almost exactly the same as the one I briefly enjoyed owning a decade ago. The hook that used to secure the folded bars to the spoon brake for carrying has been replaced by the same strap that I have on my KickPed, but that is the only difference/improvement I can spot. They have always been available in blue and red, but at times there have been yellow, pink, black and bright-green limited editions, and they now have a new color, flat-black. All look great, as does the Kick-Ped’s clear lacquer.

Only the KickPed has the bar height options, and only the Know-Ped has the frame color options.

Price

The Know-Ped has been around since 1997 so you may find a used one on eBay or Craigslist. They are so tough that it is likely to be in great condition. As for new scooters, (at time of writing), NYCeWheels.com charges $239 plus shipping for either size KickPed. You may find much lower prices on new Know-Peds, as low as $154 (at time of writing).

Customization

If you are a handyman or a woodworker, then you could always find a lower priced Know-Ped, and shave the sides of the deck down, and remove the front brake. But if your time is worth money, (about $100), and you prefer the thinking behind the KickPed, just get a KickPed and be done with it. It is still good value compared to many much worse designs out there. Whichever you get, you just pull it out of its shipping box, raise the handlebar, letting the spring push the sleeve over the hinge, then step on and ride. There is nothing to adjust and nothing to inflate. Repeat daily and you’ll be happy.

Update, a month later.

Since the bars on my KickPed seen in this article were for a person taller than myself, I sold it and acquired a second Know-Ped. Having had an opportunity to deliberately switch back and forth from one to the other many times over, I just felt happier with two feet on the Know-Ped. Now I have two the same, (one for my wife), and I continue to love the scooter.

Jeffrey the Barak has a scooter where his brain should be, and he likes espresso and to laugh at nothing in particular.

 

 

24 thoughts on “KickPed and Know-Ped Family Reunion”

  1. I just replace my ancient red Know Ped with a new blue Know Ped. I never found the deck too wide or the bars too low. But I agree you just neeed the back brake. Never seen both together until your pictures. I like the original mo better than the KP.

  2. I ride my red Know-Ped a lot and have never found the deck to be too wide. I like the wide deck and it makes foot switching easy. I have used the front brake quite a bit also. I would get another Know-Ped before choosing the KickPed.

  3. I am saving up to buy a knowped but maybe I will now consider kickped. I have a used xootr but it is very old and worn out and rattles and skids too much. Its a good article. I found it on Google.

  4. I was comparing these two for months before I finally bought a Know-Ped (gloss black). I Just don’t see the extra value in the KickPed and it costs almost $100 more if you add in the shipping and consider the many deals around on stock Know-Peds. I have not found the need to replace the deck, shave the deck or uninstall the front brake, so I think my preference is justified, however if I was 5′ 11″ or taller I would have gone with the tall KickPed. But I’m 5’7″ and the lower bars are perfect for me. So your two KickPed comparisons on this site are both excellent, but I have to disagree regarding which is the better scooter.

  5. I am getting the KickPed (small). I think it is worth the extra for that deck alone. My fried got his Know-Ped deck wet and it was ruined.

  6. They are both good. They are both better than Xootrs, better than Razors, better than Black and Whites. The tires are the key to why they are better rides. I think that the KickPed design is clever, but some will prefer the classic original, especially if they don’t need the tall bar. Plus you could buy a taller bar as a spare part. That guy on the KickPed videos cannot even get his feet onboard. He needs the bigger deck! And it has to be said, there are daily deals for the original Know-Ped on Amazon that make the KickPed seem expensive. When my old Know-Ped gets worn out I’ll probably be getting the same again, perhaps in another color for a change. I am 5’8″ and I ride a blue one!

  7. You get an extra level of service with your KickPed, although if you buy online from outside of New York City it may be impractical. But they give you free service for the life of the scooter, and they probably check it’s all tuned and tight before they ship it also. With a Know-Ped or Grow-Ped, you are on your own and your bike shop may not want to touch it if you need anything.

  8. I have a Xootr MG and it is no fun. Very rattly and rough and really cannot go on rough pavement. Having looked at this post and the peoples feedback, I am going to go for a Know-Ped. Thanks.

  9. Came across this site when Googling for a portable and found all the kick scooter articles. Glad I did. I am buying a Know-Ped on Amazon today. Thanks for saving me from narrow polyurethane tires and other buying mistakes.

    One day I may go for a big-wheeled air-tire scooter as well. My road-bike seat is such a pain in the butt. You should revisit those scooters as there is an expanded choice since you went there.

  10. @Robbie
    Yes that guy Peter NYCeWheels, when he shows you where to put your feet in the YouTube KickPed video, his left toes are curled up on the frame in front of the deck, and besides his toes, his entire right foot is resting over the back brake beyond the back of the deck. That darn deck has no room for his feet. Its one shoe wide and one and a half shoes long. Who on Earth can ride like that? So….Know-Ped beats KickPed.

  11. I have a yellow Know-Ped. I bought it in used, like-new condition last year, and I think it is an early model with the hook instead of the strap. I would not swap it for any other scooter out there. It is perfect.

  12. I have ridden Know-Peds for 7 years. I’m on my second. I like the deck and the front brake. I just don’t get the KickPed. I keep looking for a better folding scooter, just in case, but so far I still have the best scooter in my opinion.

  13. Thank you so much for your informative article. After reviewing many different scooter models I did decide to go with the Know-Ped!

    I got an excellent deal in one in blue through Amazin and it arrived today. I never actually saw one before and boy, this really is a tank! It’s not really that heavy though, folds nicely, and will be really great to bring with me on the local transit bus to close the gap between my last stop and where I work. Although I’ve only given it a quick ride in my kitchen, I know already that I made the right choice.

    Now, I do have be question for you. When I put up the handlebar there is a _very_ slight wiggle in the upper bar (feels like a little bit of a gap between the outside diameter of the bottom shaft and the upper bar). It’s not anything serious, and barely noticeable, but I thought I’d ask if this is normal for a Kow-Ped. I do think that then sliding mechanism to lift up and lock the bar is brilliant! I remember struggling with jammed release latches on my kids’ Razors many years ago.

    Also, in my web hunting for details on scooters, I did find a UK company selling a “surf style” replacement deck for the Know-Ped which is awefuly similar to the Kick-Ped design (http://www.lineonedist.co.uk/Goped_Surf_Style_Slim_Deck_for_Know_Ped.asp?CID=180). I wasn’t sure if you knew about this. Honestly, if I think I need the deck thinner, I’ll pull out the woodworking tools and make my own custom job, but it’s worth knowing that this exists.

    Again, thank you! Your review really helped me to swing toward the Know-Ped and I’m sure that I made the right choice.

    Todd CC

  14. Hi Todd.

    Yes there can be some movement in the bar. It is more on some Know-Peds than on others. One of mine has no movement but the sleeve-tube is very hard to pull up so there is a happy balance somewhere. If you ride with a relaxed grip and only pull the bars to surmount pavement cracks etc., it should not be a problem, but in a quiet kitchen you will hear every sound. I would not consider changing the deck until you have ridden many miles with the standard design.

    Jeffrey

  15. Thanks Jeffrey! I thought that this would be the case. I will wait on modifying the deck. I gave it a good spin around the block yesterday and it does appear that I have to lean a bit to one side as I kick. I am very right foot oriented and have a tendency to kick only with that leg. I could see the advantage of having a bit more of a “straight down” push off, but as you recommended, I’ll hold off on the deck mod for now especially since I have short, but very wide feet (size 9 but EEE).

  16. Todd,

    Just stand closer to the centerline to dramatically improve your stability, and practice hopping about and switching feet every two or three kicks. You will soon get the hang of it and will be doing all of that subconsciously. All you need to do is ride, and then ride some more until you suddenly realize you have it mastered.

  17. These ride okay on their bigger rubber wheels, but they do not have the tiny folding/stowing convenience of the Razor type with the skate wheels. I would get a big scooter like an Amish scooter to replace a bike and then a little Razor for buses and trains etc. The Know-Ped is in an in-between class that can be bridged.

  18. Hello everyone, I’d like to acquire a know-ped but I can not find in France or Europe and shipping from usa are prohibitive.

    What a shame

  19. Great reviews. I just bought a know ped. But i’m afraid about the packing size for travel. How to pack the know ped/kick ped in a suitcase for travel? The handlebars are welded? I saw that Xootr Mg handlebar can be disassembled to fit a 32inch suitcase.

    Oh, by the way, another question: where to buy a spare wooden deck for the know ped? So we can cut it to a narrow shape as the kickped and have 2 decks.

  20. You could keep the suitcase for your suit, or your traveling clothes etc., and take the scooter as-is, wrapped in cardboard, or in cling wrap and tape, or in a duffle bag. Your starting point to look for decks could be http://www.gopednation.com/

  21. I personally prefer the kickped due to my past experiences with razor scooters. No front brake, and a very slim deck. To all those having problems riding a thinner deck, your kicking foot should be lightly on the brake when coasting. Also both feet sideways like a snowboard is a good option too. I am 5′ 8” and don’t have a problem with the taller kickped, and am still growing as I am a teenager.

  22. John, Unless you want extra exercise, it is better to keep your foot off that fender brake to be sure you are never applying any braking whatsoever. It will still be there when you need to use it.

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