The 2019 Eurobike show saw a slew of rad-looking kids bikes from a wide range of manufacturers. Most were scaled-down versions of full-size bikes, or at least recreations of popular adult bikes.
Early Rider, however, is one of the few brands that just does kids bikes. The range starts with balance bikes, and goes all the way to adjustable geometry full-suspension bikes.
Early Rider Charger and Bigfoot
The Charger 12 is a 12in wheel balance bike — while the Charger gets slick running tyres, there’s also the knobbly tyre’d Bigfoot 12. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The range, currently, starts with a pair of balance bikes, designed for children from 18 months to 3 years old, and with an inside leg of 30cm or more.
The Charger and Bigfoot 12in wheel bikes have an alloy frame with a low standover and, obviously, no pedals. The Charger comes with Vee Tire Speedster tyres, with a shallow file tread for maximum speed on tarmac. There’s no brake on this bike, with Early Rider believing that these bikes are best left without them.
However, the Bigfoot does get a rear V-brake, along with the smallest Vee Tire Crown Gem tyres we’ve ever seen. There’s a fair bit of volume in their 2.25in width, and the bike is clearly designed for kids who get kicks from the dirt at an early age.
To keep things safer, there’s a rubber steerer damper to prevent the front wheel from spinning. Finishing the package is a short stem and a super cool riser bar built specifically for Early Rider by Ritchey.
Early Rider split its pedal bike range into three families, to reflect the different requirements from different riders. Each family comes with 14in to 24in options, save for the Hellion bikes, which start at 16in.
Early Rider Belter
The Belter 14 is Early Rider’s smallest pedal bike. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The Belter is designed for kids keeping to tarmac paths and roads, whether it be mucking about with friends at home, or riding to school.
The bikes all feature 2in wide Vee Tire Speedster tyres with a low-cut tread for efficient riding. This range uses belt drives across all models which means minimal maintenance and no oiling; as such, they’re less likely to damage clothing and can easily be thrown in the back of the car.
The first three bikes in the range get an Early Rider designed ‘beltring’ and sprocket, while the largest Belter 24 gets a Gates C-drive system. All the cranks get external bottom brackets.
The Belter 14 and Belter 16 are single speed bikes, designed for kids with 37cm+ and 45cm+ inside legs respectively. Front and rear V-brakes give control, and steering is Early Rider’s Ritchey cockpit.
Early Rider has this rather cute custom Ritchey bar made for their range, which is matched with a stubby Ritchey stem. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The Belter 20 gets a Sturmey Archer 4-speed hub gear, with a gripshift style shifter. At the top-end, the Belter 24 gets an 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub and Promax hydraulic disc brakes.
The Belter 24 is built for razzing round urban areas, and comes with a Shimano Nexus hub. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The Nexux hub has 8 internal gears, while the belt drive system is there to keep kids clean. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Early Rider Seeker
The Seeker range is designed for those looking to be a bit more adventurous, perhaps venturing on to dirt tracks. With this in mind, off-road tyres are fitted to these rigid bikes.
The two smallest models get a belt-driven single-speed drivetrain, while the two larger bikes get a 10 or 11-speed SRAM drivetrain plus disc brakes.
Vee Tire Crown Gem tyres are increasingly popular and provide plenty of volume. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The Seeker 14 and 16 are the two smaller bikes. Vee Tire Crown Gem tyres, both 2.25in wide, provide traction and comfort, while V-brakes provide stopping power.
The Seeker 20, for kids with an inside leg of 54cm+ steps up to cable disc brakes, and a SRAM GX 10 speed drivetrain, with an 11-36t range.
The Seeker 20 gets a SRAM 10 speed drivetrain, including the X5 shifter. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Now that’s a proper drivetrain. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Topping the Seeker range is the Seeker 24, with its SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain and Promax hydraulic disc brakes. This bike is designed for children aged 8 years and up, with an inside leg of 63cm+.
Early Rider Hellion and Hellion X
The Hellion and Hellion X (pictured above) bikes are built for riders looking to get a taste for proper mountain biking. Knobbly tyres are joined by suspension forks, and on the Hellion X range, rear suspension too.
Yep, you can even adjust the suspension of the Hellion X 24 — either more enduro or gravity focussed. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The bikes feature dropper cable routing when the seat tube is long enough, as well as space to fit 2.6in tyres thanks to a redesigned yoke by the bottom bracket. The alloy frames are even triple butted, to save weight.
The range starts with the Hellion 16, with a singlespeed drivetrain, cable discs and tan-wall Crown Gem tyres. Though it comes singlespeed, there are cable routing options and a mech hanger. Should you wish to fit gears, the rear wheel also has appropriate spacing for a cassette.
The Hellion 20 sees the introduction of suspension, thanks to the RST SPEX fork giving 80mm of travel. Shimano provide both the hydraulic disc brakes and the Zee rear derailleur on this 10-speed bike. The bike is also ready to take a 30.9mm diameter dropper post.
Ready to take a dropper! Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The largest of the Hellion range is the 24, with 24in wheels. This comes with a 100mm RST F1rst fork and an 11-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain. The rear dropouts are adjustable in their length, and come in 142mm spacing.
The RST F1rst fork has a compression switch on top of the damper Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The Early Rider Hellion X 24 gets a Shimano SLX drivetrain Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Finally there are a pair of full-suspension bikes, though details are a little thin on the ground at present.
At the back there’s 90mm of travel, with 100mm up front from the same RST F1rst fork. The shock can be moved, altering the geometry and feel of the bikes, shifting it from an enduro-style bike to one with even more gravity-based intentions.
Deore brakes ensure your kid has plenty of stopping power Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
A Shimano SLX drivetrain and Shimano brakes complete the package.