February 20, 2021 9 min read
We can't answer the question of which pro scooter bar is best for you until we know a couple things about you: what is your budget, how tall are you, what compression system do you want to run, and are you looking light weight or durability, are you primarily riding park or street? When selecting the best bars for you, you need to answer each of those questions. Let's dive into each of those topic areas and then we'll help you pick the best pro scooter bars for you.
PARK OR STREET?
Determining whether you will primarily ride park or street heavily determines which type of bar you will ride. Park bars are primarily aluminum bars and have a Y bar design. Most street bars are primarily steel and have a T bar design.
We recently wrote a blog post on scooter compression and why it is the most crucial decision that you can make prior to building your custom scooter. Since we went pretty in-depth into scooter compression, we won't get into it again here but, if you are not familiar with scooter compression, we encourage you to read about it here before reading on. Now that you are well versed on scooter compression, you need to decide if you want to run SCS, HIC, or IHC compression. Each pro scooter bar that we sell is compatible with specific types of compression.
SCS bars - SCS is the most effective compression on the market. SCS bars will NOT have a slit, which is why the compression is so effective. Your SCS clamp will compress your bars and forks independently. Because the bars are not being compressed around the forks, as in other compression systems, the compression is infinitely more effective. The top 2 bolts from your SCS clamp will compress the bars and the bottom 2 bolts will compress your forks. You can purchase either oversized or standard SCS bars; just make sure that the SCS that you purchase is compatible with the outer diameter of the bars that you purchased.
HIC bars - HIC bars are very popular among pro riders because it is a very light setup. While not as effective as SCS compression, it is still a very popular option. HIC bars are OVERSIZED OUTER DIAMETER bars WITH A SLIT. Please note here that ALL HIC bars are steel or titanium bars. While aluminum bars do have an oversized outer diameter, they have a standard inner diameter and will NOT work with HIC bars.
IHC bars - IHC bars can be either standard steel bars or aluminum bars WITH A SLIT. IHC compression has become the go-to compression system for many manufacturers, as the compression is built directly into the bars. You simply need IHC bars and a clamp to pair with your IHC forks.
We carry pro scooter bars that range in price from $39 to $250. The average price of a scooter bar in 2021 is $79 and $39 and $250 are definite outliers. $250 bars are made titanium, which is extremely light AND durable and are perfect for the PROrider. Titanium bars are awesome but the expense isn't going to be justified for most riders. We have one set of bars for $39 but keep in mind, if you are purchasing the lowest price point bar, the cliche holds true: "you get what you pay for". Warranties on aluminum bars are only 30 days and you most likely will be disappointed with the lowest price bar, as quality tends to suffer. The vast majority of bars that we sell fall in between those two extreme price points. With so many bars in the $69 - $89 price range, it can be difficult to narrow down the choices to the perfect one for you. However, by answering the next couple of questions, we'll help you narrow it down to a handful of choices and make some recommendations for the best BUDGET BARS money can buy!
Many of our customers purchase pro scooter bars for their kids or grandkids without ever looking at bar height or width. Because every kid comes in a different size, scooter bars are made with different heights and widths and are not ONE SIZE FITS ALL. Bars can range in width from 22 - 28 inches wide and 22 to 30 inches tall. Don't buy 30 inch tall bars for your 6 year old or 22 inch tall bars for your 6'2" teenager. As a general rule, scooter bars should hit the rider at belly button height or slightly higher. When buying bars, we recommend grabbing a scooter, whether yours or a friends, and seeing where the bars sit in relation to your belly button. Then measure the bars. If they are 22" bars and sit an inch below your belly button, you need 23" to 24" bars. Now, with all that said, there is one adjustment that you need to make is you are purchasing SCS bars. If you are running SCS compression, an SCS clamp will raise your bar height 1.5 - 2 inches. So, in our example above, your 23" to 24" tall bars would only need to be 22 inches if you are running SCS.
MATERIAL - WEIGHT OR DURABILITY (OR BOTH)
Until a couple of years ago, you had to choose whether you wanted a light bar or a durable bar. Aluminum bars are extremely light weight but tend to break because the welds are not nearly as strong as on a steel bar. If you are looking for a very light weight setup, you want aluminum bars. Aluminum bars typically only carry a 30 day warranty so we don't recommend them for aggressive park riders. Steel bars, on the other hand, are extremely durable. In fact, some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their steel bars - they are that durable. The downside is weight. They are significantly heavier than aluminum bars, adding up to a pound of weight over aluminum bars. With that said, they are virtually indestructible. If you have an unlimited budget, we highly recommend titanium scooter bars, which offer the best of both worlds. They are as light as aluminum bars but nearly as durable as steel bars. But that comes with a price, a very steep price. Titanium bars can be as much as 3x more expensive than aluminum or steel bars.
HOW TO PICK YOUR PRO SCOOTER BARS
How you answer the above questions will narrow down your list of bars that you can purchase pretty quickly. As you answer the questions, use the filters on the left side of our home page to apply filters to narrow down the list of bars that are available to purchase for your specific needs.
1) Do you want to ride park or street? From our main menu, go to Parts/Bars. Then filter to your specific RIDING STYLE.
2) What compression system do you want to rider. Now filter down to the compression that you want in the COMPRESSION TYPE filter. You should see the list of available bars narrowing down as you hone in on your specific riding style.
3) Next you will want to dial in to your desired ride height and width by using either the BAR HEIGHT or BAR WIDTH filters.
4) At this point, you can select the bar material that you are interested in by selecting the MATERIAL filter.
5) Finally, use the PRICE filter to narrow down the price to your available budget.
Answering these 5 questions will quickly narrow the list of available bars for purchase to your specific scooter riding needs. Now that you know how to pick out the bars that best suit your needs, we'll tell you which bars we think are the best deals in each of the above categories.
In most categories, we're just going to tell you what we think is the best pro scooter bar in that category. In other categories, such as BUDGET, we will give you several options.
Affordable SCS bars - Affinity Basic T Bars
SCS - If you ride SCS, then you want to ride Affinity Pro Scooter Bars. Affinity makes beautiful SCS pro scooter bars that are 2nd to none in fit and finish. Chris Gascgoine plays around with different color ways and offers more unique color ways than any other manufacturer. Affinity is owned and run by riders so they have a true passion for what they do. There are laser focused on producing bars only and have succeeded in delivering the highest quality pro scooter bar that money can buy.
HIC - We'll admit that we are partial to SCS bars due to the overall effectiveness of the compression but there is an HIC bar that we do absolutely love: Root Industries AIR RP Titanium Bars. The AIR RP bars are titanium bars, which are massively strong AND light. They're pricey but they are one of the best HIC bars that money can buy. And, in a black finish vs the raw titanium that everyone else does, these HIC bars look the part!
IHC - Sometimes a specific scooter part obtains a cult like following and that holds true for the Envy Reaper V3 bars. Reaper bars are in their 3rd generation and combine quality, price point, killer graphics, and versatile ride height to be a rider favorite year after year. If you are looking for a super light weight pro scooter bar that looks great, look no further than our best selling aluminum bar - the Envy Reapers.
If you are a really tall rider, it can be really hard to find bars that fit. Most bars are 26" or less but Proto bars specializes in tall bars from 28" tall in the Slayers to an insane 30" tall in the Retro Lites. If you are 6'0" or taller, check out Proto bars. Proto only makes SCS bars so you may be limited to SCS compression if you are a taller rider.
STEEL - Smokin Scooters is heading into our 10th year and Tilt scooters has been part of our collection since day 1. Tilt bars are simply some of the best steel bars ever made. Tilt is also made in the US and has a wide variety of steel bars for park and street. Quality is extremely high and Tilt offers a lifetime warranty on SOME of their bars. Any manufacturer that offers a lifetime warranty is worth purchasing! Tilt bars look great and perform like no other!
TITANIUM - We're aware that we sound like a broken record in this blog but Affinity really does make some of the best pro scooter bars on the planet and their titanium bars are no exception. We only get them in a few times a year and they disappear almost immediately. If you ever get a chance to grab some, do it quickly because Affinity does scooter bars right!!
PARK BARS - If you ride park, you want aluminum Y bars and there simply isn't a better park bar on the planet than Envy Reaper V3 bars. Envy is an industry leader and their Reaper bars have obtained cult like status. Reaper bars are super light weight and look great and have been our best selling aluminum bar for almost 10 years running. The Envy Prodigy S8 is our best selling scooter and sports the Reaper bars for a reason - they're that good!
As you have seen, there is no one best scooter bar to purchase. It really does depend on your riding style, compression, height, budget, and bar material. We hope this guide helps you dial in which pro scooter bars you need and, as always, if you have any questions about your bar purchase, please email us at email@example.com before you purchase your next set of scooter bars.