February 18, 2021 5 min read

What is the first thing that you need to know BEFORE building your custom pro scooter?  NOT ALL SCOOTER PARTS ARE COMPATIBLE.  Most of the returns that we receive are not because the customer was dissatisfied with the part that they received but rather that there was a compatibility issue with the parts that they purchased.

This article is going to be filled with tons of CLICKABLE LINKS.  As you read the article, if you want to see examples of what we are talking about, click on the links and we'll show you what bars, forks, or compression systems we are talking about.

YOUR SCOOTER BUILD SHOULD REVOLVE AROUND SCOOTER COMPRESSION

Before you can effectively build your custom scooter, you need to understand what scooter compressionis.  Your scooter forksand bars are separate parts but need to work as a team.  If your bars aren't compressed around your forks, they won't spin together and your bars will be pointing one way while your fork and front wheel are pointing another.  By the way, that's not good.  Scooter compression enables your forks and bars to spin as a single unit and is the most important part of your scooter, as well as the first part that you should pick out when starting your custom scooter build.

WHAT TYPES OF SCOOTER COMPRESSION ARE THERE AND WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?

While there are a couple of other types of compression out there, 3 main compression systems exist and we're going to focus on those: SCS, HIC, and IHC.

SCSSCS compression is hands down the most effective compression system on the market.  It independently compresses bars (without a slit) and forks, creating the most effective type of compression.

Pros

  • Most effective compression on the market
  • Needs to be re-tightened very infrequently, if ever

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavier than alternative compression systems

Compatible parts

  • SCS compression system 
    • Verify that you know the outer diameter of your pro scooter bars before selecting an SCS compression system. 
    • We recommend picking up an SCS compression system that has a shim, which allows you to use oversized or standard outer diameter bars
    • Oversized bars require an oversized SCS
  • Standard or oversized bars WITHOUT A SLIT
  • SCS Forks - forks that are compatible with SCS compression systems

 

HIC - HIC stands for hidden internal compression system.  HIC compression requires oversized outer diameter bars with a slit.  Please note that ALUMINUM BARS, while they do have an oversized outer diameter have a standard inner diameter and DO NOT WORK with HIC compression.   You must also use an oversized clamp.   

Since oversized bars don't mate up with forks, which all have a standard diameter, you need an HIC compression system to bridge the gap.  The HIC shim is a plastic or metal shim that slides over your forks and is attached via a compression screw.  This allows your oversized outer diameter bars with a slit to fit properly over your forks.  Now all you need is an oversized clamp to compress your bars around the HIC shim and forks.

Pros

  • Much lighter than SCS
  • Used by many pro riders on their park setups due to the light weight
  • Much less expensive than SCS

Cons

  • Requires more frequent tightening than SCS compression systems
  • Must remove bars when tightening

Tips

  • Pick up some LocTite Blue from your local hardware store and apply to the threads of the compression bolt that screws through the top of your HIC shim into your HIC forks.  LocTite greatly reduces the frequency with which the HIC shim will have to be tightened.  Also apply it to the thread bolts of your clamp.

Compatible parts

  • HIC compression system
    • Please note (link above includes IHC -> HIC compression system).  Do not purchase the conversion kit unless you have IHC forks and HIC bars.
    • We recommend purchasing an HIC compression system that comes with the compression cap and compression bolt.  If you purchase an HIC shim without the compression cap and bolt, you will not be able to install the shim unless you already have a compression bolt and cap.
  • Oversized outer diameter bars with a slit
  • Oversized clamp

IHC - integrated headset compression is a relatively new compression system and has been adopted by many manufacturers as their conventional compression system.  It is called "integrated" because the compression is built directly into the forks.  A compression bolt that screws through the top of the forks compresses a shim over the fork steerer tube onto the headset.

 Pros

  • Very effective compression system
  • Since compression is built directly into your forks, it is very cost effective

Cons

  • Requires more frequent tightening than SCS compression systems
  • Must remove bars when tightening

Tips

  • Pick up some LocTite Blue from your local hardware store and apply to the threads of the compression bolt that screws through the top of your IHC forks.  LocTite greatly reduces the frequency with which the IHC compression bolt will have to be tightened.  Also apply it to the thread bolts of your clamp.

Compatible parts

WHICH PRO SCOOTER COMPRESSION SYSTEM SHOULD I BUY?

Ok, so now that you understand what types of compression systems exist, which one should you buy?  We'll rank them in order for you.

1) SCS -  We understand that not everyone is going to want to fork out $50 -$70 for a compression system.  However, the cliche stands true - "you get what you pay for".   If you fork out the dough for SCS, you won't be disappointed.  We love to cook down in Texas and, when we smoke our brisket, ribs, or pork butt, we love to "set it and forget it".  The same holds true for our scooters as our BBQ.  SCS is the "set it and forget it" compression system.  It is so effective that, once you tighten it, you will probably never have to tighten it again.  If you don't like constantly "dialing" your whip, go with SCS compression.

2) IHC - IHC slightly edges out HIC for one reason only.  Since IHC compression is built directly into your forks, there is one less component that you need to purchase.  For IHC, you just need the forks, bars, and clamp.

3) HIC - HIC is a great compression system but falls to the bottom of the list for two reasons.  With HIC, you need the HIC compression system, forks, bars, and a clamp so.  If you're looking for the lightest possible setup, go HIC.

BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line is that most of your scooter parts are highly dependent upon the compression system that you purchase.  Your bars, forks, clamp, and compression system must all be compatible.  

So....pick your compression of choice - THEN pick out everything else and make sure that the rest of your parts are compatible with your compression system.


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