Cycling teaches kids the benefits of exercise, helps them grow stronger, and does a wonderful job when it comes to teaching balance. Some of the best days out with the family will be on bikes. Too often in the past, the cycling industry just didn’t get children's bikes right. There are a lot of low quality children’s bikes on the market, and too often you find bikes in bike shops and big box stores that are:
- Poor quality materials
- Not built from factory well
- They have bad geometry making them uncomfortable
- They often break under little use
Ready, Set Pedal was founded on the idea of providing the best riding experience for kids. We only offer the best bikes for kids. Fortunately, these days there are several bike manufacturers that now focus solely on making kids bikes such as Woom, Prevelo, Clearly, Frog, Commencal and Strider. In this piece we'll cover some of the key differences between three of today's top kids bike brands.
The Woom bike range can cater from ages 2 all the way to 8+. Woom comes in many shapes and sizes, and the models range from the Woom one all the way to Woom 6. The models progress as the age range goes up. For example, the Woom 1 is for 2-4 years of age, and the Woom 2 is 3-5 years of age. With age going up, so does the capability of the bike. The Woom 1 is balance bikes. The Woom 2 is a pedal bike, and the Woom 4 has gearing, and so on. This is great for properly progressing your kid's bike as they get better at cycling.
What makes the Woom stand out from other children's bikes?
Lightweight aluminum frame. Children's bikes are typically very heavy, and many of them are made from steel. They use aluminum as it is much lighter. It’s just as strong, making it much easier for children to use them.
Brakes front and rear on all models. With balance, bike brakes are often neglected, which we think is crazy as it is a vital part of learning how to ride a bike. Even on the most basic models, they equip them with brakes to ensure safe stopping.
Proper children’s geometry. Bikes are not as simple as just a saddle, handlebars, and wheels. Getting the sizing right is vital, and the Woom has been made to suit children of each age perfectly, so they don’t feel uncomfortable cycling.
A model for all goes and sizes. Compared to other bike manufacturers who will use age sizing from 2-6 years old, they change the sizing for every two years to ensure young riders are on the correct size bike. Woom does make an excellent bike and will work well for children.
Prevelo has been known for making children's bikes, and they do cater to a large range of ages. The two main bikes in their range are the Alpha and the Zulu. They offer different crank sizes for ages and lots of fantastic add-ons. The Alpha is made for tarmac and mixed terrain riding. It comes with rim brakes, smooth tires and comes in a few different colors. It is perfect for cycleways and local parks. The Zulu, unlike the Alpha, is made for off-road riding. It has suspension forks and disc brakes and is ready for some forest trails.
What makes the Prevelo bikes unique?
Hydroformed aluminum frame. The frames are made from hydroformed aluminum, which is very lightweight and strong.
On and Off-Road options. Prevelo offers road and off-road options. We feel it gives the bikes great adaptability and makes them suited to the terrain.
Customizable options. What makes Prevelo really special is the customizable options you get. Want a dropper post on the MTB? That can be done. Would you like your child’s name on the bike, custom grips, and even a kickstand? These all can be offered at an add-on price.
Crank Sizing for size. One feature of Prevelo is the crank sizing for different ages. This means that your child is getting properly sized cranks that don’t overstretch their knees.
Frog is a leading manufacturer of award-winning lightweight kids’ bikes. Built with bespoke componentry and a full range of size, Frog accommodate the specific needs & anatomies of any kid. The ergonomic range comprises balance, first pedal, hybrid, road, MTB & track bikes, for all ages, abilities, and disciplines.
We love Frog bikes because they are lightweight and easy learn on and there is actual research behind their designs. Brunel University’s Centre for Human Performance, Exercise and Rehabilitation has tested some 250 children of all sizes from age 2 to 16 on a uniquely designed and purpose built bike fitting rig. The objective of the independent study was to identify the ideal position for kids to give them ultimate comfort as well as an efficient position on the bike. This pioneering study showed results which were at times unexpected. Frog has taken these results and embedded it into some unique design features on their bikes. In other words, the geometry of Frog’s bike frames pay specific attention to children’s unique body dimensions, which include the following:
A more comfortable reach. In response to the findings of this study, Frog has reduced the length of their top tubes to ensure that every child will be able to achieve a comfortable reach in accordance with the results of this study. As before, longer stems are available, allowing each bike to grow with the child.
Changeable handlebars. Somewhat surprisingly, the study found that there was no correlation in children between the most comfortable hand position and shoulder width. The most comfortable position varied widely amongst the group studied. To accommodate the individual nature of the most comfortable handlebar width, we recommend that, if needed, Frog riders ask their local Frog dealer to swap the handlebar to accommodate their preference. Frog’s brakes and gears can easily be repositioned on the handlebars for the small minority of children who would benefit from a narrower hand position.
Optimized crank length. It’s important that kids can put power into their pedals throughout the life of their bike, from when they first start riding it to when they have nearly grown out of it. Frog bikes has slightly shorter cranks thus giving kids a more efficient and comfortable riding position. Another consideration is that children’s legs grow at a faster rate than the rest of their body. To accommodate this, Frog Bikes uses the same type of crank across their entire hybrid range, and has large cranks available from their stockists to swap as a child grows
Narrow “Q” Factor. As children have shorter legs than adults, the distance between the two pedals needs to be narrower. If the distance between the two pedals (“Q-factor”) is too wide, the riding action will become less efficient, which is likely due to a large proportion of the pedal forces being directed outward rather than in the direction of the movement. To accommodate this, Frog bikes are equipped with patented, straight-shaped cranks, whose Q-factor is up to 20mm narrower compared to traditional cranks.
Where Should You Buy?
In many cases you many be able to order from the manufacturer directly, but you also may want to consider why buying from Ready, Set Pedal might be easier and frictionless. No matter who you buy from when buying a kids bike on online ensure the following:
Service during and after the sale. When you buy a kids bike online you can’t wheel it back into a shop if something is not right. You’ll need to ship if back for a return or exchange. Make sure customer support will be there for you through this process. Compare return and exchange policies. Ready, Set, Pedal has a solid return and exchange policy and is easy to reach if there is an issue during or after the sale.
Bike Availability. The global supply chain crisis will continue to impact manufacturing and shipping of bikes from overseas. Too often bikes are listed available on sites that are not in stock. Ready, Set, Pedal ships most of it’s bike direct from our warehouse the next day and if it says it is in stock on our site it means it is. Additionally, we have the largest selection in the US of kids bikes. We can also ship your kids bike to over 150 different countries. Contact us if you are ordering from abroad.
Shipping Costs. We’ve shipped thousands of bikes over the years and it’s not cheap to ship a bike. But, because we ship thousands of bikes we have the lowest bike shipping rates in the industry and we pass those savings on to you. Ready, Set, Pedal does not markup shipping and in some cases we have such good rates we will ship for free.
Accessory Selection. Ready, Set, Pedal is your one stop resource for all things kids bikes. We not only carry all the same bikes the manufacturers sell direct, but we also carry the best selection of kids bike accessories, clothing, helmets and protective gear.