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Comments on the Mibo Folding Scooter

These edited comments are from my  discussion contribution to  the Kickbiking eGroup. Topic: folding scooters.
As you suggest you need to get a folding scooter that fits your frame. That's lesson Number 1 But the Mibo Comfort Folding Scooter  cuts out at a certain height. That's where the (taller) Master appeals.

The Comfort is also a heavy for a small size scooter and if you can get lighter then go for it. (Ques: so do you go with mudguards? Depends if you ride in a suit.)

I'd really appreciate a scooter that is lighter by a few kilograms so that portage is easier up stairs and in and out of buses and trains and has a easier balance on the lift (as the kickbike does). But that presumes expensive alloy mixes.

The Mibo strictly speaking is a two fold scooter if you want it compact. Whereas I fold it once without also unlocking the handle bar stem. I like to quickly get going after portage. Consequently the folded pack the way I do it has these handle bar over hangs.The scooter also rusts a little in places as the steal mix isn't state of art stuff.So it is very much an 'Iron Curtain' steal build.

(I used to own a CZ motor bike so I know Czech industrialism -- heavy but good.).

But the design -- height , tracking, ergonomics -- is superb, and the scooter works extremely well in an urban setting.

In my view the marriage between owning a Kickbike and a 12 inch wheel folding scooter is the way to go as the kickbike doesn't pack so well. They roll equally as well by the way and I wouldn't trade either.

The Mibo is also a better pavement to street device than the kickbike which is more a roadster/cruiser.

You ride them a little differently too...You straight leg more often on the Mibo.

My feeling is that the Czechs know their scooter requirements (They are obsessed with scooters. It is a scooter nation.) -- and handle design issues very well....

I originally thought that I'd be using the Mibo for short trips to the shops and stuff, but I actually do a lot of distance on it: 15, 18 kms in a session is not unusual as I use it to cross suburbia when I'm 'in town'.

Next time I fly I'll be taking it interstate with me although it will have to travel in the luggage.

My first scooter was a home-build on BMX wheels and it was very heavy. Great glide, comfortable ride but its weight -- and BMXers weigh heaps -- was a complication. The weight doesn't matter for scooting travel  at all as once you start up momentum it is  on your side. But lifting by hand is where you notice the extra kilograms. Stairs especially -- when the scooter's advantage over a bicycle is that you can easily climb stairs portaging it. The kickbike is a one hand lift and so too is the Mibo Folding. Although the Mibo is more cumbersome at height as the running board and back wheel is a pull on your arm when you lift at the front stem and the back wheel end will swing left and right.

In contrast the Kickbike is a balanced lift. 

One drawback with the Mibo is that it is a youth magnet. The local homies are indifferent to the Kickbike but the Mibo generates envy. So with all due respect to youth, the Mibo is a a potential theft waiting to happen if you don't protect it. I mark mine with a lot of stickers and always lock it of course. The irony is that the adults relate to the kickbike and the skate bowl crowd warms to the Mibo...

Folded it is also too cumbersome to carry into stores, museums, cafes and such --  but technically I could assert my right to wheel it in because it is merely a pram sized thing without baby on board.

However, single-folded what hangs off may cause people to trip so the challenge is to rest the folded package upright. Unfolded, and when standing in an entrance way on a train (as we can here), other passengers see you standing there but don't always look below your waist and when walking through may not see the running board and rear wheel. So if the train is full, you need to fold for safety sake.

As I suggested, I bag my Mibo now in a post bag and that works OK but the extended handle bars hang out the bag. The bag that you can get with the Mibo requires you to dismantle the handle bar stem -- which I don't do when folding-- and it's a cheap, poorly made bag that I never use.

When not holding a scooter, the post bag scrunches up easily so I can insert it into my backpack. The custom bag won't do that so it isn't useful at all.

I also know that I can replace any part of the Mibo  from local generic stocks.

So them's the tips --off the top of my head.

Furthermore...

The main question about a folding scooter is why do you want to fold it? There has to be a lifestyle reason, right? A small scooter will fit in the boot of a car OK so for non transit use the fold isn't essential. It is also the case, as far as I am concerned, that the fold doesn't drastically alter the strength of the build but I suspect it does contribute (through reinforcement) to the weight.

But with folding and smaller size, you'd think that some trade offs are involved. My view is that the Mibo  Comfort is a scooter in its own right that negotiates the urban environment as though it were indigenous. The kick board is at a much better height than the Kickbike's for streetscape,  so that gutters, sharp rises , speed bumps, are easily negotiated. As Kickbikers know, the most annoying thing about the kickbike is that under carriage scrape.

Because of the smaller wheel the Mibo is easier to push up hill as the smaller wheel rotations are more frequent for less effort.. In contrast with the Kickbike you need to shorten your stride the steeper the ascent. As you do so your speed collapses so that by the time you crest a long steep ascent you may as well walk.

That said, and while  I do the distance on my Mibo, it is not so useful as a training or exercise device. The body engagement is less even, stilted in fact,  and even without customisation you are  haunched -- as an adult -- over the frame and your posture, your ergonomics, are not as fluid. I think the exercise and physio research on the Kickbike is pretty conclusive as to its efficacy. 

Nonetheless, it has been on the Comfort's Mibo close  cousin -- the Crazy -- that Czechs have logged massive distances -- for instance, across Australia coast to coast; Europe south to north, etc.

While you can get a little basket to go with the Mibo really there is no where to carry stuff on the scooter. It's too small. You need to back pack always. I wear a big basket on the front stem of my Kickbike and rely on it for shopping, and pick ups.

Nonetheless, in the Czech Republic they seem to prefer the small wheel scooters.

There must be a reason for that trend.

The Kickbike deals with the rule that the bigger the wheel the longer the vehicle by having one very small and one very big wheel. It's a design sweet build. An engineering niche. If both were large and the same size then the scooter would be very much longer and turning would suffer. When I built my original scooter from two cannibalized BMX bikes, the machine was much longer than a Kickbike because of requisites of the wheel diameter -- so it took up more space in train carriages and would not fit in a car boot.

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