ByK E-250

ByK E-250

Byk Award2

ByK bikes were designed for one main purpose, to make bikes safer for kids to ride. As a bike shop owner for 25 years, Australian Warren Key watched thousands of kids bikes leave his shops, but never realized how poorly designed those bikes were until he had kids of his own. “Sometimes it’s the obvious things that get neglected. Even though I have been surrounded by bikes for over 25 years, it wasn’t until I needed to help my son that the penny dropped; kids bikes were clearly lagging in design. The idea of an easier to ride kids bike pushed me. I knew there was a need in the market and more importantly my own children, especially one, needed it too.” After years of research and design, ByK bikes was born and have been a hit in Australia since day one. ByK bikes are now available in the US and are quickly putting smiles on kids faces.

What makes ByK bikes different? Lighter, longer and lower, ByK built their bikes around a child’s body. A lighter frame makes the bike easier to handle, a longer wheelbase provides more stability and a lower bottom bracket, allows the child to sit lower on the bike (in relationship to the wheels), lowering the overall center of gravity of the rider. As a result, ByK bikes are easier and safer for a child to ride.  To demonstrate the difference, ByK provided an E-250, their smallest pedal bike, which has 14″ wheels to facilitate this review. When compared to the popular 12″ Walmart bike, which is designed to fit the same size child, the differences between the two is visually significant.

ByK vs. HotWheelIn addition to making the bike easier and safer to ride, ByK went one step further and included a push bar for parents. With a large number of kids still relying on training wheels (also included with the E-250), the push bar provides a natural transition for kids who struggle once they are removed. We also found the bar to come in handy for kids who already know how to balance a bike, but are having trouble learning how to pedal. By supporting our three-year-old tester with the bar, he felt more comfortable practicing pedaling as he didn’t have to worry about loosing momentum.  Accidentally pedaling backwards (common for toddlers), also become a non-issue as the push bar prevented falls often caused by the unexpected activation of the coaster brake. Once a child is comfortable pedaling, the bar is easily removed by simply pushing a button, no tools needed.

ByK barThe gear-ratio of the ByK also makes them easier to ride.  With a smaller chain ring, it requires less effort to get started riding. For more aggressive riders, the lower gear ratio means they won’t be able to ride as fast, but for the average kid, the gear ratio was a perfect balance. To prevent greasy pant legs, the chain ring is fully enclosed, front and back, helping to prevent the chain from coming off the chain ring.

ByK chain ring

For added safety, ByK bikes also includes a pad to cover the threaded headset and a bell. The inset bolts of the headset, will additional protect from scratches when the pad is not in place. The bell on our test bike did brake relatively soon, which is typical with bells found on kids bikes.  The overall quality of the bike also isn’t a high-end as the WOOM or the Islabikes, but considering its lesser price tag, it is certainly reasonable priced.

ByK headset

Comparisons

Compared to other speciality brands, the ByK carves out a place of its own. While the WOOM, Cleary and Islabikes (not shown) all utilize a long wheelbase, light frame and low bottom bracket design, the ByK offers the lowest minimum seat height of the four at 15.7″ (Islabikes 14″ bike minimum is 17″). It is also the cheapest of the lot. The ByK bikes, however, do no offer a freewheel option (no coaster brake).  With the added push bar to prevent falls, the coaster brake is less of a problem with the ByK, as it would be with the other bikes. Lastly, compared to the Gecko, the 14″ wheels of the ByK allow for easier maneuvering and less rolling resistance.

The handlebar height of the three bikes is also a significant difference. The flat handlebars of the Cleary provides a much more aggressive body position on the bike, while the upright bars on the WOOM provides the opposite. The custom V-shaped of the ByK, make for a good in-between.

ByK 14 compare3

The variation in handlebar heights is particularly noticeable when comparing a child’s body position on a bike. For most kids, sitting upright is a natural, comfortable and preferable position, especially when just starting out on a pedal bike.  Sitting upright on top of a bikes however, makes a bike hard to balance, which is a the common problem with cheap bikes. Sitting upright lower on the bike (in relation to the tires), as shown below on the ByK and the WOOM, allows kids to comfortably and easily balance a bike.

12:14 compare2

Weight

At 14.4 lb. (14 lb. and 6 oz.) the ByK E-250 is lighter than the Cleary and the WOOM2, but is slightly heavier than the Islabikes CNOC 14″ (MSRP $309). Ideally, a child’s bike should be less than 30% of their body weight, but since kids can weigh as little as 30 lb., that’s generally not feasible. At 14 lb. the ByK is especially light, considering it has larger and heavier 14″ tires.

Byk Weights

The brakes of the ByK is certainly one item we would like to see improvement on.  While child-sized, the brake lever was almost too far for our three-year-old tester to reach.  As mentioned previously, we would also like to see a freewheel option, but since they are required on all bikes with a minimum seat post less than 17″, it would require selling a completely separate back wheel (which the user would have to install themselves, like the WOOM) or selling the bike with a extra long seat post and require the purchase of a shorter one (like Cleary).

Byk Brakes

Bottom Line

Light weight with a larger tire size and low center-of-gravity design, the ByK E-250 packs a lot of punch into its $229 price tag.  The “Best Bang for Your Buck” in bikes, ByK’s allow kids to ride easier, sooner and faster. Coming standard with a coaster brake, the ByK can be more challenging for balance bike graduates to learn to pedal, but the included push bar can certainly help to ease the transition.  With its low 15.7″ minimum seat height, the E-250 is suitable for kids in size 3T to 5T pants.

Where to Purchase

ByK bikes are available on Amazon and online directly through their US distributor, Cycle Force Group. In addition to the 14″ E-250, Cycle Force Group also stocks the ByK 16″ E-350 ($259) and the 20″ E-450 ($289).  For a complete list of all of ByK models (which are widely available in Australia and New Zealand, can be found at ByKbikes.com.

      • Nikki

        Thank you so much! This was very helpful. I’m not a bike rider myself, but my 3.5yr old has had a balance bike for 2 years now and was ready to move on. His grandpa purchased a terrible cheap bike and it has destroyed his riding… but I didn’t know why. Now I do! Thinking of getting this ByK. I am concerned about the brakes though.. you had a picture of them “after they were adjusted.” Is that something a bike shop could do? I don’t want to mess with it, I don’t think?

        • Thanks for pointing that out, I need to add that to the review. Adjusting the reach of the brakes is pretty easy to do, all you need is a small allen wrench. By simply tightening or loosening one screw on the brake lever will move out or in.

      • Reyesley

        My son is nearly 5, 46 inches tall and 45 lbs. (Haven’t measured his inseam but he has long legs.) While he has not ridden before he is excited to learn but still wants training wheels for now. We bought a big box bike and we have been underwhelmed as it is sluggish and he can’t get it going. We are now considering greater fit and quality. Is the E-350 the right size or too small? We are attracted to the price point and fittings. There is also a younger brother which could inherit the bike. Woom3 seems high quality but more than we want to spend. Don’t know enough about islabikes. Thoughts?

        • Glad to help. All three brands are great and they also have their pros and cons. Since he has already learned to pedal on a big box bike, then he will be used to a coaster brake, so that shouldn’t be a problem (they are on the Islabikes and ByK, but can be removed on the WOOM). Between the three, the WOOM3 and Islabikes CNOC 16 are both better quality than the ByK, but they do not come with training wheels or a push bar. They are also more expensive. The Islabikes has a smaller chainring, a coaster brake and one hand brake. It is best for lightweight kids who won’t get confused by a coaster. The WOOM is more upright and has a larger chainring, so it can go faster than the Islabikes and also has dual hand brakes. The ByK has similar geometry than the other two, but isn’t as high of quality, so it is cheaper. So which is best for you? Since they all have essentially the same minimum seat height, I would stick with the ByK since it is in your budget. If you want a faster bike, then I would go for the WOOM3, but if you want a lighter bike, then I would go with the Islabikes.

        • Elaine Vigneault

          You might also want to consider the Specialized HotRock Coaster.

      • Andrew

        Hi, just waned to ask why there is no direct comparison to the Hotrock 12? Looks like the other bike you recommend highly for short legs. Looking to get a bike for my tiny 2.5 yo twins. They mastered the balance bike, kickboards and 2 wheel scooters, but they only have a 13 inch inseam so very unsure what to get them …

        • You’re right, it would be a good comparison, but the Hotrock I used for my review was a loaner from my local shop, so I had to return it. With the minimum seat height on the Hotrock 17″ versus 15.7″ on the ByK, both are going to be too big, but the ByK is a lot closer. If you are looking to get a bike, you only option is the Cleary Gecko, whose seat will lower to 15″ if you purchase a lower seat post. If I had to choose for my kids, I would probably wait until next Spring when their inseams are closer to 13.5″-14″ (so that they can touch the ground with at least their tippy toes) and get the ByK.

      • Kiyoshi Masui

        Does anyone have any experience with the ByK e350? The general thought seems to be that it is lower and easier for smaller kids than most 16″ bikes, and I’m trying to figure out to what extent. I’m looking for a bike for our 3.5-your-old balance bike graduate and because of my location (Canada) I basically have to choose between 12″ and 16″ bikes; I can get the the e350 (not the e250) on Amazon. Is the e350 going to be to big? Picture below of him on the Ghost Powerkid 12″, which looks like he might outgrow quickly. I’ve put him on the Trek Superfly 16 which was much to big.

        • You are right in that it is going to be smaller than most 16″ bikes, but I still think it will be too big for your son. The minimum seat height is 18″ versus 19.5″ on the Superfly, so if the Superfly is much too big, the E-350 is going to be as well. You might be able to get the E-250 directly from Cycle Group Force (the North America distributer), but they only have it available in pink right now. Have you tried Norco’s 14″ bikes (https://www.norco.com/bikes/youth/14-inch/)? They are an Canadian company, so I assume they would be easier to come by.

      • Marisa Cannata

        My son is 3.5 yo and has 15″ inseam as he is a bit small for his age. I want to get him his first bike. I like the idea of starting with a balance bike, but friends say he will only use it for a few months. If that’s the case, the price tag for a good one is too high, particularly when you then add the cost of the pedal bike in a few months. I’ve been thinking of getting a Byk E-250 and using it as a balance bike without the pedals until he learns to balance. And then put the pedals on. Is this something you would recommend for him? I want him to have something that will last him a while.

        • With older kids, removing the pedals is the generally the method I recommend first, as for many kids, it works just fine. With kids younger than 5 however, the difference in weight between a pedal bike (without the pedals) and a balance bike, is pretty significant, making the bikes harder to learn to balance bike. Plus, in order to balance on a pedal bike, you have to be able to put both feet completely on the ground. If it takes him months (or even a year, which is typical) to master balancing the bike, by the time you put the pedals on the bikes, he may be almost too big for the bike, and if he isn’t, he is going to outgrow it very shortly. If, however, you son is athletic and you think he will master balancing quickly, then it could work for him. If not, it is actually cheaper to buy a balance bike now and a 16″ bike later, then buy a 14″ bike now and a 16″ bike later. In the end, it really depends on your son. If he is eager and adventurous, I would go for the pedal bike route, if not, then I would stick to a balance bike (even a cheaper one).

        • Elaine Vigneault

          Get a used balance bike. We picked up a used Strider on Craigslist when our son was a year old. It cost a whole $15! BEST $15 EVER SPENT. He rode that thing til he was 3 and then transitioned to a pedal bike in one day. No training wheels!

          (Now he’s ready for his 2nd pedal bike because he’s grown so much.)

          • Score! $15 well spent, gotta love Craigslist!

        • Kelsey Leonardsmith

          I gotta second Elaine on Craigslist. Though $15 would be a miracle steal. if you think your son will pick up the balance bike fast and transition out used is the way to go. Even if you pay $50 or $60, you can turn around and resell it for what you paid or more. A used bike won’t depreciate as much as a new one since being used seems to be the biggest factor in price reduction. I’ve amassed a little collection of used balance bikes this way (one strider sport and two tykesbykes 12″ which in total I paid $140 for-the same as our daughter’s early rider lite 12 brand new). I really need to stop because my wife is going to kill me if I buy another bike. It’s been really rewarding to lend them out and watch kids blossom on them and always have enough bikes for people. Not to mention making balance bike converts out of their parents. And I’m glad we have the tykesbyke for my rather big and heavy 2yo to transition to as she’s maxed out on the Early Rider now (transitioning into 4t clothes). Though I’m really glad we got her something small and light with an incredibly smooth glide when she was really small.

          • Wow, you got a used ByK in the states? That’s awesome, congrats! Plus, I love that you are helping to spread the word about balance bikes 🙂

      • Johanna Silva

        I am looking at the ByK brand for two kids. But sizing is puzzling me for both. My daughter will be 4. She is excellent at pedaling whatever she climbs on and has always been. Pedaling came naturally to her. She has never really enjoyed her balance bike though. She’ll walk on it a bit. But prefers to drop it and run. She is 38.5in tall with a 16in inseam; she is growing into 4T pants but most 3T still fit. I had her try my son’s Trek Jet 16 with the seat as low as possible (with reflector removed). She could straddle the bar; but her toes did not reach when sitting on the seat. The ByK website sizing would put her on an E-350. However, I’m having trouble getting my head around buying her a bike that big.

        My son is 5.5 years old and has a lot of trouble learning to ride on the Trek Jet 16. No, we didn’t start him out the right way initially; his first bike was a 12in parent push bike with training wheels. (Everything not recommended!) Unlike my daughter, learning to pedal was a challenge for him in toddlerhood. He’s quickly frustrated and nervous about riding whenever he tries without training wheels. I’m considering the ByK brand for him as well. However, the ByK website would put him on an E-450 for total height. — E-350 is for 95-117cm and E-450 is for 110-132cm — But based on inseam and the seat height you posted, I’d say the E-350. He’s 46.5in (about 118cm) with an inseam just shy of 20in. His 5T pants either fit perfectly or are a smidgen short. I simply cannot see him getting on the E-450 with a minimum seat height of 23.2in.

        What are your thoughts? Should I go smaller for each because that would be easier for them to learn, or would that be too small in this case? … Or is there another bike you’d recommend for either unique situation? (I’d prefer to stick to under $250 each.) Thank you!

        • Glad to help as I know the sizes can be really confusing. Many company’s don’t state the seat height or only give the overall child’s height as suggestions, making it really confusing. After going through this myself, I wanted to help simplify it for others, which is why I always try to post the minimum and maximum seat height (which is not industry standard to do so). The reason why they are recommending a larger bike also has to do with how bike companies measure bikes. In adults, as well as experienced kids, a bike fits best when you can only touch the the ground with your tippy toes. This allows for the proficient pedaling, but for kids who are just learning, being able to touch the ground with their whole foot makes learning to ride a lot easy and more natural. As a result, for beginners, I recommend getting a bike in which the minimum seat height is very close to their inseam. By industry standards, this would make the bike too small as to touch on just their tippy toes would allow a child to ride a bike with a minimum seat height about two inches taller than their inseam. By getting a bike in which they can touch the ground, they will, however, outgrow the bike sooner, BUT more than likely, they will pick up riding faster and more comfortably. For their second bike, I would stick to the tippy toe rule, so about two inches taller than their inseam.

          Since both of your kids are still learning to ride, I would certainly go with the 250 for your daughter and the 350 for your son. If you think he would be comfortable starting and stopping a bike with just his tippy toes, then I would go with the 450. Due to their geometry and lighter weight, the ByK’s are easier to ride than the Trek, so he could potentially do fine on the 450, but it really depends on his personality.

          • Oh, and for your budget, I do think the ByK’s are going to be your best bet.

      • Jan

        Hi Natalie, Thank you for such a great resource. Like Johanna, I’m confused by the sizing.
        My almost 5 yo daughter is really small– 39″ tall, 16″ inseam (without shoes), prob 32-33 lbs.

        She is great on her razor scooter and was great on her wood balance bike last spring. She was almost exclusively on her scooter last summer, and really wanted a “real” bike. We got a Jamis Miss Daisy for her second hand late last fall, which was way way too big for her, figuring she might grow into it by the spring (we had gone to a bike shop and they had recommended a 16″, but I really don’t see how). We’ve had a few warm days and she’s really into riding it though– but she literally has to climb up it to get onto it, and it weighs a ton. She can barely touch the ground with her tip toes and has fallen over a bunch (but climbs right back on). There is no way she could safely ride it without training wheels. I am thinking of getting her the ByK E250, but seeing the pics of your 3 yo son on it, I’m wondering if it will be too small for her? Should we go with the 350 instead?

        Thanks!!!! Jan

        • Glad to help. I think she might be better off on a 350. My son is now in 4T pants and will probably outgrow the 250 within a year. Here’s a picture of him on the bike months later than those taken above. His inseam is currenlty 17″ and he is 40″ tall. Notice how high the seat is on the 250. The minimum seat height on the 350 is listed as 18.1″, so my son would be able to sit on the seat and touch with his tippy toes. For your daughter, I think you could really go either way. The ByK is going to by much easier to ride and balance than the Jamis, so if she is eager to ride, I think she might be able to get away with the 350. Plus, it has the handlebar, so you could help he while she is still learning. If you think she will be turned off the bike because of it’s size, I would go with the 250, but she will likely outgrow within a year. The 350 is also essentially a 16″ bike, but due to it’s frame size, it really fits like a 14″ bike.

          • Jan

            Thanks, Natalie! We went ahead and got her the 250 since we have the Jamis that she can use next year and she has a younger sister who will probably be able to use it next year as well. She hopped on it right away and was pedaling without training wheels by herself within 20 minutes! The seat is already really high (we started it off at the lowest and just kept on raising it until she looked comfortable with her feet up on the pedals), so in retrospect (or for others looking at the 250 or 350), we probably should have gone with the 350 if we wanted to get more than a year out of it. I’m thinking we might have to switch out the seat for the Jamis seat (which is itself huge and maybe goes up higher than the ByK seat?) this summer if she has a growth spurt. But for now she seems really comfortable on the 250 and I’m glad we got it for her, rather than letting her keep riding the Jamis with training wheels/waiting for her to grow into it. Thanks again for all your work, I wouldn’t have even thought about the geometry if it weren’t for your site!
            Jan

            ps I thought the 350 was an 18″ wheel that fit like a 16″ bike?

            • Awesome, glad it worked out. You could swap out the seat on the 250, but if the seat gets too high, it will throw off the center of balance for the rider. As for the 350, you are right, it is a 18″ sized like a 16″, I mistyped in my comment.

      • Laurel

        My son is almost 4 and is great on his FirstBike. He has a 17″ inseam. Was looking at the Byk because my dh had heart palpitations when I mentioned $300 for a kids bike. I think he will outgrow the 250 too fast. With the 1″ difference between the seat height and his inseam he will still be able to put his feet down right?

        • Ha! I hope your dh has recovered :). With a 17″ inseam, I would go with the 350. My 4yo son has a 17″ inseam and will likely outgrow the 250 within a year. With a minimum seat height of 18.1″ on the 350, he will be able to touch with his tippy toes. For a lot of kids, this is an uncomfortable feeling as they feel off balance, but the included handlebar on the 350 should allow you to help him out if he does feel hesitant.

      • I have heard great things about Spawn Cycles and have been trying to get a bike of theirs to review for several years. I will certainly try again this year and they are supposed to the amazing.

      • Anna

        I found a killer deal on a ByK E-250 and just measured my son to see if it would be a good fit. He has an inseam of 16.5″ and he is 40″ tall weighing 42lbs. I did a quick check on the Islabike website to see what size he would fall into on their bikes and it looked like a Cnoc 16″ was better than the 14″. Going by his measurements would you recommend the ByK E-250 or 350?

        • He is right in between. If he has already mastered pedaling, I would certainly go with the 350 as it will provide much more room for growth than the 250. If this is his first pedal bike, then I would consider the 250. The 250 will allow him to place his feet flat on the ground when learning to ride, BUT he will also outgrow the 250 pretty quickly. For hesitant kids, they generally do much better when they can touch the ground with a flat foot like they are used to on their balance bike and pick up riding sooner as a result. On the 350, he will only be able to touch with his tippy toes. More adventurous kids do fine on their tippy toes if they know how to properly stop with a handbrake, as they often can’t stop with their feet. In the end, it’s really up to you. He will probably start off faster on the 250, but will be able to ride the 350 much longer.

      • Jennifer Anderson

        I just stumbled across your website in searching for a first bike for my son and it super informative. My issue, my son is 4yo, 39″, weighs 33lbs, and he is currently in 3T pants/shorts that fit perfectly. I’ve pretty much settled on ByK but I can’t figure out which to get the 250 or 350? I’ve read the the other comments and I am leaning towards a 350, but I am not sure he’ll be comfortable with being on his tippy toes.
        My son has only ever ridden a tricycle (loves) and a very, very short little tikes bike with training wheels (both rides given as hand me downs from friends).
        What is the max height for a rider on E-250? If that would last at least a year and give him the confidence to ride a two-wheeler, it may be worth it – plus he has a younger brother to hand it down to.
        I just can’t figure out which to get… Thanks!

        • If you have a younger son to hand the bike down to, I would certainly go for the 250. My son is currently in 4T pants and still fits on the 250, but probably only for this summer. Seeing as your son has yet to learn how to balance, the smaller 250 will be better for him as it is lighter and easier to manage. More importantly, the 250 comes with the handlebars to help him learn to balance, while the 350 does not. Depending on how quickly he progresses, there is a small chance that he will only be able to ride the 250 with training wheels before he outgrows it, but with some encouragement, he should be able to get it.

          • Jennifer Anderson

            Thank you so much!!! I think my husband was a little scared of the price tag that comes with byk’s – but I explained why it was important. However, after talking more on the subject, we are thinking of getting a balance bike for this spring/summer and then once he figures out balancing, then we’ll look at a true pedal bike.
            I was thinking of the Radio Flyer Glide & Go (price is attractive), but I am concerned about the cross bar ? (sorry don’t know technically term) – so I leaning towards the Charger 12″. I can see my son hoping off the seat and hurting himself on the RF.
            I am hoping we can make a decision and buy the bike tonight!

            • Sounds like a great plan. By the time he masters a balance bike, he could be ready for a larger pedal bike than the 250, so it is probably best to wait. Between the RF and the Charger 12″, I would go with the Charger if it is in your budget. A better bike and a lower top tube, which can help prevent injuries.

      • Aiyappan

        First of all thanks for taking the time to write these wonderful reviews. It has really helped me a lot to make the right decisions.
        My son is now 4 yo and weighs 35lbs and is 40″ tall with an inseam of ~17.5inches. He loves his strider sport balance bike and has pretty much mastered the balancing. I am looking for a pedal bike for him, and am torn between Byk E 350 vs. the priority f/w
        I want to keep the budget around 250 dollars and these two fit in that range. I know that the priority is more aggressive and might be tall for him but the Byk E 350 is not available currently and I have to wait a month or two. Also, the Byk E has the coaster brakes which I am not sure he will like or dislike since he will be used to the balance bike. He also knows pedalling from his tricycle so not sure if that would help. Most of our biking will be on paved roads at present. Any advice?

        • You’re welcome, glad to help! The coaster brake will certainly be problematic at first as he is learning to pedal, even if he has used a tricycle. My 4yo actually mastered pedaling on the CNOC 14 with a coaster (although it took months because of it) and now that he is taller, he is on a 16″ without one and is doing much better. When learning, he much preferred the more upright position of the CNOC 14 that had a coaster brake, so we stuck with that. My son is very timid, however, so that played a huge role in getting him on a pedal bike. If your son is more adventurous and eager to pedal, then he will probably be fine on the Priority. If you think he will be uncomfortable in an aggressive position, I would wait for the ByK.

      • G. Woodward

        After riding a Strider Balance Bike for 2 years, my 4 year old granddaughter spent 20 minutes on a ByK E250 this morning (without training wheels attached) and is riding without help. Where did you purchase the bike stand pictured in the top photo of your review. I need stands to hold 2 striders and a ByK E.

        • Honestly, I really don’t like the bike stand I used for pictures, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I use it because I already have it and the bikes only need to stay in it for a few minutes. If I were shopping for a real bike rack to store kids bike, I would go for a traditional rack like this one on Amazon, http://amzn.to/26NtHqt. It holds 5 bikes, but you can leave out ttow of the racks to make it a three bike holder. The one I have is much smaller and collapsable but it never stay together for very long! With any rack, when dealing with kids bikes, it is much easier to park the bikes backwards with the rear tire in the rack versus the front.

      • Umbreen

        Hi. Your website is amazing. Thanks.

        My son is turning 5 next week. He is decent on his Kazaam balance bike, but I’m not sure I’d call him a master. He does have pedaling down from his tricycle. He wants a pedal bike for his birthday. After a failed attempt at acquiring a Redline Pitboss off Craigslist, I’m looking at ordering the ByK E350. His inseam is currently about 17.8 inches, so almost at the seat height of the 350. Would this be a good choice?

        Also, once he gets his bike, do I hide the training wheels and encourage him to keep practicing on the balance bike? He knows what they are, and I’m pretty sure he’ll ask for them.

        • The ByK 350 would be the perfect size for him. With a minimum seat height of 18.1″, it will allow him to touch the ground enough to start and stop comfortably. Plus, since he is already experienced on a balance bike, I agree that hiding the pedals would be best.

      • Claire

        Hi there. We live in Australia and there is only a couple of the bikes that we can get over here. My son is 3 he has an inseam of 15″. He has been on a balance bike for over 12 months and is really good. I have started a bike search for Christmas this year. I feel like he will still be way too small for a 16″ bike in December so I am now thinking he needs a 12″. I would prefer not to do stabilisers if I can. What would you recommend for him. I don’t want to spend a fortune if a 12″ will only last 12 months and also feel if we need to get him a 12″ we may as well give it to him now. We can get the specialised hot rock, the Byk e250 and also the giant animators. What would you recommend or do you know any other good ones for Australia. should we do a 12 inch or wait until he can correctly fit a 16″ but think he will outgrow the balance bike way before then.
        I have managed to get my hands on a second hand 16″ mx ridgeback.
        Please help. Thank you.

        • Between those listed, I would go with the ByK. The Hotrock is going to be too tall for him right now and the Giant Animator doesn’t compete with these two. Is it heavier and has pretty bad geometry. I don’t know of any other brands available in Australia, but the ByK’s are great bikes for the price.

      • Akif Burak Tosun

        Hi, we just discovered this website and this is amazing! We were trying to decide on a good bike for our 4yr daughter and boom here is everything. After reading through your reviews we thought ByK has a good quality for the price (we want to stay in $200-$250 range) . Our 4yr’s inseam is 17″ and I’m afraid she will grow out e250 for next summer. And for e350 our concern is that it will be harder, need more power to ride 18″ tires (I saw somewhere below in comments you mentioned they are 16″ but in their website e350s are all 18″). And I saw in comparison list that you are reviewing e350 (in progress), what would be your initial comments on ease of ride (considering training wheels will be on for first couple of weeks this summer)? Thanks,

        • Yeah, glad you found us :). The e350 does have 18″, so I was mistaken in the comment you read. The e350 is sized like a 16″ bike, which is why I often consider it a 16″ bike, but it clearly isn’t. As for size, with a 17″ inseam, you daughter will outgrow the e250 pretty quickly. We do have the 350 here and it looks great, but it currently has a pretty bad hole in the tube and our local store was sold out of 18″ tires, so I won’t any pictures until I can order a tube. The e350 will be more challenging to get started as it has a gain ratio of 4 versus 2.45 with the 250. The gain ratio uses the tire size, crank arm as well as the cogs on the bike to calculate the gearing on a bike. The higher the gain ratio the farther the bike will travel with every pedal rotation and the more challenging it is to get the bike started. The good news is that a 4 gain ratio is still pretty low. My 4yo in 4T pants has not problems riding it BUT he is also experienced. He learned to pedal on a bike with a gain ratio of 3.1, which is higher than the 250. In the end, I would still go with the 350. Considering the gain ratios aren’t that much different, it is more important to worry about fit.

      • Sarah Swanson

        Hi – and thank you for the amazing reviews! We just bought the ByK E-250 for our son and are assembling it for his birthday next week. A confused question that we have puzzled about for hours: the brake seems to have come pre-affixed to the left hand handlebar, although it’s clearly meant to go on the right hand one. Has anyone else had this issue with the bike out of the box?!

        • The brake on the e250 is on the left because it is connected to the front tire. In the US, the rear brake is found on the right hand and the front brake on the left. The reasoning behind this is that kids are generally stronger with their right hand and braking with the rear tire is much safer than braking with the front. When a front brake is activated at high speeds, it can cause a child to go over the handlebars. On the 250, you will want your son to use the coaster brake as the primary brake and the front brake in conjunction with coaster brake, or for stopping at slow speeds. Technically you could move it to the right hand side, but that would increase his likelihood of using it at higher speeds. Sorry if this confused you, I realize now that I should have mentioned this is the review.

      • Christa McPherson

        Wondering if you can comment on the Kinder bike morph vs. the ByK E-250. Have a just turned 3 year old who has really mastered his strider run bike. He really wants to be on a peddle bike like his big brother, but only has a 15″ inseam. We have a Spawn Furi that his older brother learned on, but it’s still too big for him. The Cleary gecko sounds great, but gets very expensive to buy in Canada with the exchange rate/shipping fees, and would need the shorted seat post. Seems silly to buy another 14″ bike when we already have one, so interested in the kinder bike morph for it;s small size, but the ByK E-250 seems to get great reviews. Thanks!

        • I haven’t seem the Kinderbike Morph in person, but the ByK 250 is sized much more like a 12″ even though it is a 14″. As a result, it can fit smaller kids while still providing them the benefits of riding a larger tire size. Between the two, I would go with the ByK.

      • Jessica

        Hi I am currently looking for a byk e250 and can only find the pink or lilac styles in stock. Any idea where I could find my son a byk e250?

        • You are right, they are currently out-of-stock through Cycle Force Group, who are the US distributors for ByK in the US, which means they will be sold out everywhere. Sorry 🙁

      • Shannon

        I have a 3 year old who is about to be 4, she is small, but fearless. She has beyond mastered the balance bike, and is going down some high ramps at the skatepark. She likes to get going with speed. I am concerned with front brakes she is going to flip. But the only bike you have reviewed with back brakes is too large for her, this bike seems great. But… front brakes. Any suggestions?

        • So the Pello Romper is too big for her? It only has a rear brake and its minimum seat height is 18.5″. If you need a smaller bike, I would go with the Islabikes CNOC 14 Small, which has a minimum of 15″, but also has dual-hand brakes, so as long as she only uses the right hand brake (you could spray paint the right lever a bright color to help her remember), then she should be good to go :). If you really wanted to, you could also leave the front brake deactivated when she is first learning, but I would certainly enable it as soon as she is cruising so that she has the ability to brake with both hands in the event that she needs to stop really fast.

      • Ceridwen

        I have a very timid and relatively petite 3.5 year old. She’s 38″ tall with an approximately 15″ inseam. She absolutely loses her mind when we try to get her to try out balance bikes the second she realizes they can fall over. She also terrified of the bike trailer, but rides happily in a Yepp seat on my cargo bike or on a Tyke Toter on dad’s bike. She got a tricycle for her 3rd birthday and absolutely loves it and wants to take it out all the time but it’s a pain because she can’t pedal it up even small hills due to the geometry and direct drive. We finally convinced her, over the course of multiple trips to REI, to get on and pedal a bike with training wheels, and she’s pretty thrilled with that. I feel like the standover and seat height on the Novara are a little much for her though, so I’ve been contemplating all the other options. I keep coming back to the Byk. Do you think it would be likely to be a good match for her?

        • Ceridwen

          I know the advice is to avoid training wheels and get a balance bike but I just don’t see it as viable for her. She really wants to bike and is very pleased at having figured out how to pedal. I just don’t see a way we can get her to go for a balance bike and I figure that a bike with training wheels that she uses it going to be better than a balance bike she refuses to get anywhere near. We’ve tried to wait out this issue with a few other things in the past (the bike trailer being one, we tried rides at least once a month for 2 years with zero success) and it goes nowhere.

          • Every child is different and while most can successfully master balance bikes, in the end, if you believe training wheels will be the best route, then I would certainly try it out. The main draw back I see with training wheels is that they when she is ready to move up to a pedal bike, it will a much more difficult and harder transition. Training wheels teach kids to ride tilted to one side or the other and “catches” them from falling over. Once they are gone, they have to relearn how to balance on a bike as tilting to one side is no longer an option. Hopefully when she gets older, you will be able to reason with her more, but if not, the benefit of the ByK is that it does come with the stabilizer bar that you can hold to help her feel more secure. Plus, with a 15″ inseam now, you could have her start using it with the included training wheels and then once she gets taller, remove just the pedals and have her practice running on the bike (even with the training wheels on), and then remove the training wheels (while keeping the handlebar on) and see if she will then use it as a balance bike. With the ByK there are plenty of options, so I agree that it would be a great choice for her.

            • Ceridwen

              I’ve helped a few siblings transition off training wheels and found it really easy with the add on handle I bought to help one of my sisters. So I’m hoping that will make the difference. I’m hoping to convince her to do training wheel free rides off and on even early on to get balance practice in, with the handle to keep her from getting too freaked out. She was willing to hop on a Cleary Gecko (which honestly seemed a little small for her?) and pedal around a LBS without training wheels while I held the bike, so I think she may be receptive.

              I went ahead and ordered the ByK this morning, so I’ll report back how it goes for my timid little cyclist.

              • I agree, sounds like a great option. The bar can go a long way to give her the confidence she needs. Plus, not to worry, the Gecko is smaller than the ByK, which should be the perfect size for her.

              • Ceridwen

                We’ve had the bike about a week. We used it with just the handle and no training wheels for several days first to give her confidence without them on, then put them on because she was clearly not quite ready for the whole balance thing yet. She absolutely does not like the coaster brake. That is probably my biggest problem with the bike and one that I don’t think there’s any good remedy for unfortunately. We’re going to be trying to adjust the front brake more this weekend so it’s easier to pull, as she clearly understands the use of that and wants to use it but it’s too hard to pull enough to get any substantial braking happening. If I could change things about the bike it would be 1) give an option to replace the coaster with a hand-activated rear brake, 2) Make the brake lever easier to pull, 3) use a seat/post system where the angle and front/back position can be adjusted. I’d be willing to pay more for those upgrades personally, though I grasp that not everyone would.

                I have mixed feelings. I like the bike overall and for the price I think it was the best option. I’d love to be able to have a Woom or Cleary with a freewheel and two hand-activated brakes instead, but it would have been substantially more expensive. Especially since we would still have needed either training wheels or a parent handle or both. And she’s already able to keep up on family walks now and is very proud of her freedom and abilities on the bike, and not scared of us taking off the training wheels and just helping with the handle. So for confidence building for a timid rider I do think it’s really good. I’ll let you know how long it ends up taking us to transition her off the training wheels/handle. Right now she needs to learn more about steering at speeds higher than her trike before I’m willing to trust her! She’s had a few run ins with bushes that I hope are getting the point across.

              • Kelsey Leonardsmith

                I don’t know if it would fit, but you could try getting the WOOM 14″ freewheel kit. Someone mentioned that it worked on their islabike, so there’s a decent chance! EDIT: Nevermind! I didn’t realize there was only a front brake. Don’t do that.. obviously.

              • Ceridwen

                Yeah, sadly with no option to add a rear hand-activated brake I don’t think it’s a good idea to take the coaster away. I can understand why it doesn’t come with a rear brake given the parent handle it does come with, but it would be nice put on mounts for a rear brake so that it could be added once the handle was no longer needed.

              • Not to worry, I have made that mistake as well. Clearly a brake should never be removed if it is the only brake! I can’t image any parent actually doing that, but better to edit and restate than give someone the idea…

              • Couldn’t agree with you more about the ByK. A great bike for the price, but there are certainly room for improvements. The coaster brake is certainly a major issue. In fact, I spoke with many in the bike industry this weekend who are going to try to change to law, but that is a long shot. For now, everyone is trying to work around it. With some $ and a good bike mechanic, the coaster brake can be removed, but it’s probably not worth the investment. Once she gets comfortable on the bike, with time the coaster shouldn’t be a huge issue. As for the brake, where you able to adjust it to make it easier?

              • Ceridwen

                I adjusted it some and it seems a little easier, but still tougher than I’d like. It’s no problem getting it close enough to her hand but it’s just too difficult to activate. We’ve been doing drills on braking to get her to understand the coaster brake, and the difference between “pedal forward” and “pedal backward”, lol. That is helping a little bit. And then she totally shocked us by hopping on a Yuba Flip-Flop while we at the bike store today and walking it around the store! She clearly had a long way to go to understand the balance thing but that was the first time she didn’t scream and freak out when it started to fall over. So who knows, we might even pop the pedals off for a while and let her get a feel for balancing that way.

                I will say I’m really pleased with the size and geometry of the bike. We’ve put her on a few 12″ bikes, even nice ones like the Cleary and it’s pretty clear she’s getting too big for them. On the Byk she can comfortably have her feet flat on the ground (which she can’t do on many 12″ bikes) if we want to put the seat that low, but she also still has room to grow.

              • Kids are strange ;), but as long as she is enjoying a bike, it’s a win in my book :). As for the ByK 250, I agree, it’s size is MUCH better than a 12″ bike, not too big and not too small.

      • liz

        Hello. Thanks for all the fabulous advice so far – I’ve learnt so much in the last 24 hours just from reading your site. I have twins about to turn 4. My daughter is 42 inches and 18.5 inch inseam. My son is 39.5 inches and 16 inch inseam. They both love scooters and tricycles. They both hated their strider bike. My son was really good on a 12 inch pedal bike when we were on vacation. My daughter was more timid with the same bike. I think I’d like to get the Byk. I’m thinking 250 for my boy and 350 for my girl. Thoughts appreciated.

        • Thanks, glad to help! I would certainly get the 350 for your daughter, as she would be too small for the 250. The 350 does come with training wheels, but not a push bar. For your son, the 250 would be a better fit. It is a small bike, so the only downside is that he will outgrow it by the the time he is in size 5 clothes. My son in 4t clothes can ride both bikes, but is a much better fit on the 350.

      • J Tyler Pate

        Hey Natalie! My Wife and I have an eager little Cyclist who is asking Santa for a pedal bike and a trainer (My Wife and I both ride indoors as well as outdoors). She is 3, but is already vertically challenged like her parents. She is in 3T clothing, but is 36″ tall with an inseam just over 13″. She’s been on a Strider since she’s been able to walk and is ready to ride. Would the Byk E-250 be my best option here? I’m not crazy about the coaster brake, but I figure she’ll outgrow the Cleary Gecko and the Woom2 would be slightly too large. Then I wondered about the Islabike Cnoc 14″ SMALL??? The Cnoc 14″ Small has a coaster brake or no? Any info would be great!!! Also, anyone have any suggestions on the little bike on a make shift stationary trainer or something where she can spin in place indoors?? Thanks!!!

        • Glad to help! You are right in that the Cleary Gecko is really small and she will likely outgrow it very quickly. If she is on the taller end of 3T, she would actually fit on the WOOM2, but I believe they are sold out for the year. Your remaining options are the ByK and the CNOC 14″ Small. She will be able to fit on both of them, but the CNOC is much better quality than the ByK. They both have coaster brakes, so that is a bummer, but they both have good geometry for young riders. In the end, I would go with the CNOC if it is in your budget, if not, go for the ByK.

          As for a trainer, I have no idea! I think your best bet would be to conjure up something using the training wheels to prop up the rear tire. She would have no resistance, but would be able to ride indoors. If you wanted to take that route, the CNOC does not come with training wheels, but it does have the mount for them.