There was plenty on offer in the shape of small bikes at the London Cycle Show 08, and there’s plenty of choice out there without having to go down the route of the heavy-framed, cumbersome pigs that some of us remember riding as kids.
A decent bike at a young age must be a good thing to encourage riding when a child grows up.
Here are some of the highlights we saw at the show.
Ridgeback scoot: ridgeback scoot Matthew Cole/BikeRadar
Scoot bikes are recognised as being great learning bikes for children to go straight to ‘proper’ two wheelers without going down the stabiliser route. Children can walk, freewheel and gain balance skills using scoot bikes, as well as get used to braking with the rear brake.
Two seat posts are provided so that the bike can grow with the child, and the lightweight alloy frame should prove popular. It comes in a few colours too, so even the choosiest kid should be happy. £89.99
Ridgeback honey: ridgeback honey Matthew Cole/BikeRadar
Ridgeback’s girls bikes are also built to be easily adjustable to keep up with the child’s rate of growth. The Honey, priced at £129.99 is aimed at three to four year olds, and has a light aluminium frame with riser handlebars and an ‘anti skid brake modulator’. The £199.99 Harmony is for the six to nine year olds, and has a lightweight aluminium frame, RST suspension fork and Shimano easy shift gears.
Early rider: early rider Matthew Cole/BikeRadar
British company Early Rider also build scoot bikes, with a steering system that can be restricted to prevent overturning, and the balance of the frame material makes riding more simple. We’re not sure if the flames make the bike go faster or not.
The range starts at £84.99 for the Lite model and goes up to £99.99 for the Classic.
Kokua: kokua Matthew Cole/BikeRadar
This aluminium Kokua is suitable for children aged two and a half up to five years old, and comes with two different strength elastomers and two seat posts of different height – both allowing the bike to grow with the child. The 12” Schwalbe Big Apple tyres have puncture protection and reflective trim, and the bike is lightweight at only 3.4kg. At £125 it’s not cheap though.
LIKEaBIKE : likeabike Matthew Cole/BikeRadar
This is the ‘LIKEaBIKEJeansSpecialEditionMountain’ scoot bike. The frame and wheels are hand built in Germany from birch marine plywood, and it’s finished with non marking pneumatic rubber tyres, rubber handgrips and a special steering mechanism to prevent jack knifing.
As with the other bikes – which grow with the child – this one has four seat positions to suit two to five year-olds, and an extension seat post is available to allow another 30mm standover. It’s notably more expensive than the Early Rider at £149.00.