Siberian Huskies love to run, but the unfortunate truth for most of us is that we aren’t able to hitch ours up to a sled for most of the year…or even ever, in many cases. So the next best thing is to look at wheeled alternatives.
Today we’re just focusing on dog scooters, there are a number of other options available of course, such as rigs and adapted bicycles. We’ve taken what we believe to be the top-five most popular makes of bicycle scooter (here in the UK at least), and will be giving you the pros-and-cons of each.
To most people Pawtrekker are ‘the original’ dog scooter, or at least, it’s the brand they are most familiar with. Pawtrekker are a company established specifically to provide dog-powered scooters.
- Choice of smaller and larger wheel options
- Full-Suspension option
- Comparatively low-cost
- Many second-hand sales
- Acquiring spares and replacements is easy
- Many models include integrated brush-bow so no additional antenna required
- Most models are comparatively heavy
- All relatively low-spec components (no upgrade option)
- Smaller-wheeled variants suited to smoother terrain only
Dax Scooter produce the most popular foldable dog-scooter currently in the UK. Their major selling-point, as you may have guessed, is that they are foldable and are much easier to transport.
- Foldable – simply remove the wheels, fold the frame and bars inward
- Large and grippy footplate – benefit to those with poor balance, it’s basically a skateboard-deck mounted to the frame
- Options of both spring-antenna or brush-bow to keep lines out of the wheel
- Hugely customisable with many in-house options and upgrades
- Easily-adjustable height (handlebar/stem)
- Recent models include mounts for water-bottle and mud-guards
- Smaller wheel format suited to smoother terrains
- Heavier than many alternatives – although not unexpected given the folding ability
- Users have quoted the foot-plate height as a possible flaw; it being less suited should you do a lot of manual scooting to aid your dog(s)
Often quoted as the racers-choice. Kickbike offer a huge range of adult scooters for all types of terrain and riding style. Only their Cross-MAX range is dedicated to mushing and dog-scooters, but what they do offer contains technology developed within more advanced scooter-sports.
- Lightweight – varies depending on configuration, but all are around the 10kg mark
- Frame Technology – largely regarded as one of the best frames available
- Components conform to many popular mountain-biking standards, making spares and upgrades easy to come-by
- Three well-balanced equipment levels available in the standard Cross-MAX series to suit most requirements
- Fat MAX and Cross 29er models available for rougher terrain use or faster racing setups correspondingly
- Cost – they are on the more expensive end of the market
- Component quality – on the lower-spec models, some equipment may not be recommended for competing and higher-speed training
- Requires purchase of additional antenna attachment
- Narrow foot-plate
Closest rival to Kickbike in terms of quality, setup and overall offering. They also are not dog/mushing specific and have developed their products within more advanced scooter-sports.
- Wide foot-plate
- Component quality – although on lower-spec models Kotka also suffer the same questionable components as Kickbike, on the higher-spec versions, it could be argued that they exceed Kickbike in their like-for-like offerings
- Visual aesthetic – anodised wheel hubs and interesting powder-coat options make for a a striking look
- Custom antenna attachment slot and line-attachment-point for a cleaner setup
- Cost – matches Kickbike for cost in some areas, and in others exceeds it
- Frame quality – although comparable to the Kickbike, several users have noted minor issues, although few and far between
- Currently few UK stockists, although this is improving gradually
We view Gravity Scooters as the big-hitters of the scooter world. They started off developing scooters to compete on extreme downhill mountain bike courses, and they haven’t strayed far from their roots.
- Phenomenal build quality
- Huge foot-plate
- Very sturdy feel and geometry to aid skill and confidence
- Value for money (within reason)
- Suitable for stronger / additional dogs
- Weight – with stronger build comes added weight
- Agility – being heavier and sightly longer than it’s main competitors, it can feel a bit saggy in the corners
- Some components are questionable, although largely acceptable
Well, it really depends on your requirements. But if we were asked to choose out of a few common scenarios this is what we’d go with:
I am an experienced musher looking for an advantage
I am experienced but looking for something more versatile
I want to run a larger numbers of dogs
I need a scooter that is easy to transport
I am looking for an upgrade from my beginner scooter
I am a complete beginner and don’t know where to start
If you cannot make up your mind and want to know what we’d do in your situation, leave us a comment on this post, or drop us a message on our Facebook Page.
If you’re not sure that scootering is the right thing for you, checkout Bikejor and Dog Rigs as possible alternatives.
There are many other manufactures that we have not included here simply because they are either hard to come-by in the UK, or because we don’t feel like we’re able to give a properly impartial review on their offerings. We would recommend always purchasing scooters from an authorised dealer, or buying second-hand under advise of a seasoned musher. If you are unable to do either, always research the brand of scooter you are looking to buy, and ensure that they are a well established and provide a thoroughly tested product. There are many home-made ‘dog scooters’ that appear for sale in various classified ads and auction websites. These are largely unsafe and should be avoided for both safety of yourself and your dogs.
Please remember that dog-mushing in any format is not without it’s risks and we would always advise seeking advice from local or national groups, many of which can be found online including a number of well-addressed Facebook Groups.
You can remind yourself of what conditions are considered safe for your dogs to run in on our article; Running Conditions.