With a child reaching age 10, the days of gentle rides in the park are long gone and it’s time to start looking at the options for their first real bike. Buying your child their first 20” bike is a major decision and with the choice of gear-ratios, shifters and geometry to take into consideration it can be daunting. But a little planning and a visit to woom bikes can make the process much less stressful.
Based in Austria, woom bikes are the brainchild of two dads, Christian Bezdeka and Marcus Ihlenfeld, who set out to design the ultimate kids’ bike. Their company, whose name derives from the German word for womb, is a family-owned business that started with its first bike in their garage and has since grown to include an office in Austin, Texas.
Their mission: “To inspire children and adults to cultivate their biking dexterity in a fun and safe way. To provide a high-quality and durable bicycle that is especially designed and built for kids.”
When it comes to kid’s bikes, there are many companies making them, but not all are created equal. Unlike adult bikes, which are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, kid’s bikes must offer a comfortable ride for small riders and be safe enough to help prevent crashes. To do this, they need to be lightweight and have low-pressure tires, which are more comfortable to ride and allow for greater maneuverability on uneven surfaces.
To achieve these goals, woom bikes use lightweight aluminum frames and components like hydraulic disc brakes that can be adjusted to suit young riders’ skill level. They also feature a special child-friendly front hub with a Shutter Precision SD-8 dynamo generator, which provides enough power to light the integrated LED lights and operate the hand brakes (which are also color-coded green for easy identification by young children).
Another great design element is their adjustable handlebar stem, which allows parents to adjust the height of the bars by rotating them on an axis. This allows parents to raise the handlebars up to 2” higher for taller children and lower them down for shorter riders. Their unique system works by threading black pieces shaped like number 8’s on either side of the white stem base and when the stem is raised, they rotate to push upward instead of back towards the rider.
For older kids, the woom NOW range features bikes that can tackle hills thanks to their single-chainring front drive and cassette of seven cogs with a 2.3 to 5.9 gain ratio. Shifting is handled with a grip shifter that’s simple for kids to operate and offers the same performance as an adult bike.
Perhaps the most important feature of a woom bike is its ability to grow with your child. The smallest woom NOW bikes are equipped with 16-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels, while each subsequent model in the NOW range adds an additional two inches to the rear wheel size. woom