The birth of the SportPed

SportPed pic

Recently I set out to customize a GoPed KnowPed into an ersatz KickPed, such as were being sold by NYCEWheels on Manhattan. As nice as the result was, it had a problem (shared by the actual KickPed): I had cut down the wide footboard to approximately the width of a Kickbike® deck, but with the non-slip material on top it was impossible to pivot my foot for a leg change, though it looks good.

SportPed in SUV trunk

The SportPed lives in the trunk of this SUV. Click for full picture

The NYCEWheels’ footboard, while slightly different, was also narrow with a non-slip top. Now if you watch a kid on a Razor, they’ll always kick with one foot (unwisely, but they’re kids, right?). Well, Manhattanites probably do the same on their KickPeds (again, unwisely, but they’re … Manhattanites =D). (Disclaimer: I misspent my wild youth on Manhattan.)

I thought I might turn over the deck, leaving the smooth wood on top, but the scooter turned out to be too wiggly even for normal Kickbike®-style foot-changing. The original wide KnowPed deck, on which one could stand with both feet, was probably the best solution (yes, the way GoPed designed it). One could kick with one leg and then the other without having to pivot one’s feet. So, putting it down to a lesson learned, I set out on the internet to purchase an original deck.

But since I am an inveterate tweaker (and because it turned up in the “goped decks” search), I sent for this beauty, in natural aluminum color. (I hate anodized aluminum parts.) It has the advantage over the stock deck in that water won’t harm it (Some Amazon commenters said the original wooden KnowPed deck was insufficiently sealed) – and it looks awesome, dude!

And even with the $70 cost of the new billet deck added to the $150 that I found the original KnowPed for, the project still came in $20 under the $240 price of NYCEWheels’ KickPed – and is an improvement. I call it the Scooter-Sport SportPed.

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18 Responses

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for posting the update, was the Knowped too wiggly for a “hop-switch” foot change too?

  2. Yes, but standing on it with feet side-by-side is fine. You just have to relax, and it’s fairly fast, and very smooth and quiet.

  3. Pete – I don’t experience any difficulty pivoting on my Knowped, and I alternate between pivoting and hop-switching. It took a little practice to hop-switch and land in the center of the wide board, and for some reason hopping onto left foot was more difficult at first, but now it’s become second nature. When I scoot in wet conditions, say after a rain, I’m very glad to have the non-slip material on deck. Guess different strokes for different folks. Your deck does look cool though. Don’t know why you took off front brake. I find it very useful and have been trained by years of bike riding to always apply both front and back together smoothly to avoid sudden front tire lock-up. Takes just a little practice to do it smoothly.

  4. I took off the front brake to simplify the bike, in emulation of NYCEWheels’ custom KickPed: they said the one consistent repair and adjustment they made with customers’ KnowPeds involved the front brake. With the KickPed and my SportPed, the scooter won’t go fast enough to not be able to be slowed by the fender brake alone. And I think on such a short-wheelbased, small-wheeled scooter, the danger of faceplants is too great from over-braking the front wheel. I agree with you about braking on large-wheeled scooters and bicycles.

    Remember, Albert Einstein said, “Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler.”

  5. About hop-switching in general: I kick for pleasure, so I’m never in a hurry on the scooter (except when trying to catch a pretty girl on a beach cruiser). When I first got my Kickbike® I learned to hop-switch and did it all the time – until I missed landing on the deck once. That cured me for good.

  6. No, for some reason I’ve never had a skarking incident (as duggy might put it) even on the wide deck of my Footbike street, let alone the “SportPed” (though I would like to cut down the Footbike’s deck, or have it done). I haven’t checked out many more of the GoPed aftermarket parts, but it’s tempting. I guess the press-in bearings would make the biggest difference in rolling, but the billet wheels do sound tempting…

  7. i still like a front brake as a back up to the all important rear…that said. .keep the fingers the heck off the front brake lever…if you hit a severe enough bump or drop off, you can instaclench the left hand and lock the front brake. ..use it only when you absolutely positively must

  8. So, Pete….Have you smacked your ankles on the sides of that new billet deck? You must need to kick in a pretty wide stance to avoid it. If it’s not a problem, then I might consider one for my Knowped. Have you checked out the flashy billet alloy wheels available for these scooters? I’m thinking they might roll a bit faster than the stock plastic jobs.

  9. Pete, I’m thinking about buying this deck for my Know Ped because I don’t like the wide and thick wood deck. There’s no specs for the billet deck available, so could you tell me if it is just as wide as the original wood or not. It appears to be thinner so I’m not concerned about that.

  10. JT, it’s the same size (but, as you say, thinner) and bolts right on. I prefer it to the original wood deck as it won’t degrade from being wet and the cutouts give it a certain non-slippiness, though not like the aggressive non-slip original surface.

  11. Pete,

    I currently have a couple of stock Know-Peds and have recently had a NYCeWheels KickPed. I have never had a problem switching feet. I wonder if you are trying to slide or wiggle them out of the way? In the hop switch the foot just jumps off before the other one lands. All the same, I love your new aluminum deck, but for me the grip tape presents no problems with moving feet around or doing a hop switch.

  12. By the way, Bob’s your uncle, now.

  13. He totally is.

  14. Hi Pete, I’m really tempted to buy the Ada racing billet deck. May I ask how thick is the aluminum deck? Thanks.

  15. Clodus, it’s 1/4 inch.

  16. I have a vague recollection that someone modified a skateboard deck
    for a foot deck on his knowped. Of course, working with fiberglass might be tedious.

  17. is it for sale

  18. Sorry, no; it’s too useful–but you can make your own with the aftermarket deck linked to in the article above under “this beauty” and get a KnowPed to put under it–it’ll still be cheaper than the KickPed.

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