As the name itself suggests, the Pro class offers the best of all scooters, produced by Kostka. Our regular readers remember the short announcement, that Kostka Hill Pro is in the hands of our editor, so it´s the right time to come out with full review!
Translation: Martin Grill
To avoid the counfusion: „Hill“ in the name doesn´t dedicate this scooter to any off-road or down-hill use. But sooner or later, you will realize it for yourself, because the clearance is lower than 5 cm.
Of course you can use it for your trips on the dirt track (fields & forests), however this can be done but (almost) all the scooters. You´ll see, that the natural envirinment for Kostka Hill Pro, are long asphalt roads…
As you might notice, two twenty inch wheels were – quite unusually – chosen to carry the weight of Hill Pro. Only three other scooters has the same wheelsize (Kostka Trip Mini Cross and both of Vella´s – Speedboard & Offroad.)
Firstly we have to say that Hill Pro isn´t small scooter. Wheelbase lenght is 1050 m, which is more than the same dimension of some folding bikes. It´s only 20 mm less, than the same dimension of Kostka´s biggest model, Racer. The message is clear: It´s very comfortable carriage.
Hill Pro is based on the concept typical for all Kostka´s scooters – it´s made of welded steel pipes. Although it sounds a bit raw, it´s very elegant, also because of some tricks, just like sinked quick-release lever of rear wheel, nice pipe-caps or laser-burnt scooter in the brace beetween the neck and head-pipe. After the years of development, Kostka finally have functional foldable stand.
In comparison with standard scooters, the Pro models are equipped with differently shaped, longer foot-plate. Formerly used aluminium rivets were replaced with stainless steel plates, with laser-burnt Kostka sign. However the former solution was good enough, the present one is even better and good looking.
If you turn Hill Pro upside down, you´ll see welded pass on the pipes of foot-plate. The reason is to avoid damaging pipes throught collisions and to avoid bending of foot-plate when is loaded.
We´re moving from up to down as usual. Now it´s time for my only objection to this quite awesome machine – I´m bit upset because of used stem and handlebars.
Was really necessary to spoil elegant look of this scooter with awful BMX handlebar, with really expendable horuzontal bar? And why are the handlebars mounted on the oversized BMX stem? Kostka kmows how to make nicer ones… Second point is the ergonomy of steering, which is not as ergonomic as this scooter deserves, because of used components .
OK, let´s move to more pleasant findings. As you can see on the photographs, manufacturer allows you to shorten the steering rod – count of spacers shows you that you might have you grip 4cm lower.
BBB FoamFix grips are our favourite at Přibližovadla.cz, so I don´t have any other choice to repeat my words again: They´re great! This year model can be delivered also in light & dark grey and also in white colour, which is the best choice for Hill Pro.
However the Shimano Deore (BL-M595) brake levers aren´t the hottest model for hydraulic brakes, it´s classic and proven component.
Let´s have a look to the best and most expensive part on Hill Pro. Disc brakes itself aren´t usual on scooters at all, but this model is equipped with hydraulic ones!
As well as the levers, also the brake calipers belongs to the Shimano Deore family. Only the 160 mm diameter brake discs were delivered by BBB. It´s braking as good as hell!
Also the wheels itself are real high-end, entirely made by Remerx. Hub is their own construction with industrial bearings are beautiful and well-serving. Total Strong rims (406 x 18) are equipped with twenty-four flat aluminium spokes. Combination of white spokes and red hubs is so heartbreaking! Scooter-riders also appreciate Schwalbe Marathon Plus (35-406) tires, which can be filled with air pressure of 95 psi. There´s no doubt about how great is the rolling the scooter with this configuration…
Tested piece has extra mudguards made by german manufacturer SKS. As you can see on the photographs, they´re very solid.
By one word: It´s perfect. As I wrote before, it´s very comfortable carriage, which „floats“ on the road like a limousine. Twenty inch wheels are big enough to absorb bumpinesses of the road, foot-plate is really huge, comfortable during the down-hill ride and also on the plain. When you´re lifting the scooter, you need to count with longer rear, but the centre of mass is, quite surprisingly, in the front part of foot-plate. The weight is over 10 kilograms, which is good for inertia on plain parts of ride, but you need to kick more during climbing up the hill.
I have to mention the hydraulic disc brakes efficiency. If you aren´t skilled in using of it, you propably didn´t get familiar with the fact, that you can slow down by using only one finger, no matter how steep the hill is. Forget the tiredness of your fingers, which is normal during the braking with common used V-Brakes. Just deal with the fact, that you will don´t want to get back to V-Brakes, when you try this…
Most demanding users should know, that Hill Pro is bit more springy, than other scooters. It´s caused by the long wheelbase and (of course) long foot-plate. Hobby riders may be glad for this, because this scooter won´t shake their soul outside their body, but professionals should perform a test, if it will not be another source of kick-energy lose.
I´m impressed. Yes, I wasn´t satisfied with handlebars, but in whole overview it´s minor problem. Maybe you want to ask me, what is so great about the scooter with the wheels of same size, if almost all other producers offers front wheel bigger, than the rear one. The fact is, that I like the way it looks. Kostka Hill Pro is one of the most beautiful scooters I´ve tried. Of course this reason isn´t racional, but the question is: Why it couldn´t be racional?
Specific ride performance is another thing, which force my mind to make another „non-scientific“ conclusion. I can´t find correct words to describe the way this scooter rolls – it´s just different ride, than on the others, mainly because of the well-predictable behaviour.
Finally the third statement brings you at least one practical reason, why you might choose this kind of scooter: If you´re fan of long trips and you need to count with spare parts, with this type of scooter you can save some space, because the tires and tubes are the same size.
I know you´re waiting for my comment about the price. Yes, 17 000 CZK is huge amoutn of money, there´s no doubt about it. Please, don´t think that I was OK when I saw the price tag for the first time. But the final amout is only grand total of prices of used components. Hill Pro isn´t overpriced. It´s simply luxury equipped scooter.
I can understand that most of people can´t pay more than 2 000 CZK for the scooter (and we can see it on the roads, pavements and tracks), but I also believe there´s some enthusiasts, who will be familiar with the price of Kostka Hill Pro. They will simply want to have this machine…
Pros and cons
Excellent ride performance
Quality of manufacturing
Higher actual price (however it isn´t overpriced)
KOSTKA – kolobka, s.r.o.
788 33 Hanušovice
phone: +420 583 231 025
Kostka Hill Pro scooter was photographed at Starling studio.