Ridgeback MX14

Ridgeback MX14

Ridgeback MX14 3

Built like bikes, not like toys, the Ridgeback series of bikes offer great quality bikes at family friendly prices.  With their light weight aluminum frames, front and rear coaster brakes and NO coaster brake, Ridgeback’s pedal bikes are the perfect upgrade from any balance bike.

“I want to ride the blue one, so I can ride in the gravel!”

This was my 4.5-yr-old daughter’s statement when I asked her which of several bikes she wanted to take out for a ride. The Ridgeback MX14 Terrain’s wide, knobby tires and steady handling helped my daughter feel stable even in lightly packed gravel. Truly a bike and not a toy, the MX14 Terrain is an excellent choice for the adventurous preschooler’s first pedal bike.

Ridgeback MX14 Terrain review1

Ridgeback offers a full line of kids’ bikes, from 12” to 24,” ranging in price from $249 to $495. The MX14 Terrain is unique among the already less-common 14” size because it has two handbrakes and no coaster brake. This is the only 14” kids’ pedal bike we know of that has been able to pull this off, and it’s a big advantage! Especially for balance bike graduates who are already accustomed to a handbrake, the coaster brake can be jarring, as kids find themselves stopping unexpectedly with any backwards pedal movement. Not so with the MX14. The alloy V-brakes were easy to engage for all the testers who used them and provided excellent stopping power, even at higher speeds.

Ridgeback MX 14

With a minimum seat height of 18.5” and a maximum of 21.5” the MX14 Terrain is a good fit for most preschoolers and balance bike graduates, with still plenty of room to grow. Our 4.5-yr-old tester pictured here is 40” tall with a 17” inseam. An experienced pedal biker, she hopped right on the MX14 Terrain and rode off without even a wobble. The lower handlebars and overall geometry made the bike stable, comfortable, and easy for her to maneuver. The MX14 also features a comfortable, padded seat (with an extra piece of molded plastic for easy carrying) and a full chain guard to prevent any contact with the chain.

Ridgeback MX14 Terrain review3

Another testers, a 5-year-old in 4T clothing, also loved the bike, especially compared to her 12″ big-box bike.

Ridgeback MX14 2

Weighing in at 17.2 lb. without the included training wheels, the MX14 may be too much bike to handle for the most petite kids, but was well received by our average weight testers.  Although similar in weight, the geometry of the MX14 make it far superior to cheap big-box bikes. With a longer wheelbase and lower handlebars, the MX14 has a lower center of gravity, thereby making it much easier to ride. The lack of a coaster brake makes the Ridgeback much easier to ride as well.

Ridgeback MX14 Terrain review5

For those kids outgrowing Ridgeback’s Scoot balance bikes, the MX14 is the perfect for kids currently on the Scoot 12″ while the MX16 would be a better fit for kids on the Scoot XL.

Ridgeback MX14

BOTTOM LINE

The MX14 is the perfect bike for balance bike graduates.  In addition to being lightweight, the lack of a coaster brakes makes it ideal for kids just starting off. With a seat height ranging from 18″ to 21″ and weight of 17.2 lb., the MX14 is a great fit for kids almost out of 4T to size 5 or 6 clothes.

Where to Purchase

The MX14 as well as Ridgeback lines of bikes that vary from 14″ to 24″ are available at WeeBikeShop.com.

 

      • Kelsey Leonardsmith

        I think the Commencal Ramones 14″ also has no coaster, yeah? $250 is a nice price. I wonder how our compares to the Woom. I

      • Kim

        Hi! I was wondering if you’ve reviewed the Commencal 14? Also have you had any experience with Dawes bikes? Thanks 🙂

        • Not yet, but we have ordered a Commencal 16″ for a review that should arrive shortly. The 14″ and 16″ are very similiar, so we won’t review both, but we will certainly be able to comment on the build and performance of the Commencal versus other top brands. No plans yet to review the Dawes as there isn’t much interest in them in the US as they aren’t readily available. I have heard that they are a great bike for their price though.

      • Kim

        Hi Natalie! If you have time, can you check this out and let me know your opinion? http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/dawes-blowfish-boys-14-bike/rp-prod128128

      • I think it looks a lot like a big-box bike is make and design for the price tag. Not seeing the bike in person, I could be wrong, but the frame looks short while the handlebars look too tall. In other news, we got out Commencal Ramones 16″ in and it is amazing. So far we like it better than the Trek and Specialized bikes we are comparing it to.

      • Kim

        Thanks Natalie.. you’re awesome as usual! I can’t wait to see your review on the Ramones.. I love the way everything I’ve seen (on the computer) about that bike.. I’m in such a predicament over my son, who is great on his balance bike but a little skeptical about pedals.. He’s 4.5 and small for his age (wears 4t clothes). I’d prefer to get a 16″ just to get more use, but also would like him to enjoy and learn! If you have any tips on which way to go let me know. Have a nice Memorial Day weekend 🙂

        • We are really loving the Ramones so far, but have found it is more of an aggressive bike, making it great for fast adventurous riders. For early trail riders it is awesome and we like it a lot more than Trek and Specialized bikes, but for beginning, more timid riders, they tend to love the bikes with a more upright body position that places their weight over their hips, which is a more natural position for them. My son is also in 4t and isn’t too adventurous, so he likes the WOOM3, but our friend (in 5t) who is a daredevil loves the Ramones. After comparing all these 16″ bikes, we’re finding that there isn’t one best bike all around, but they are certainly best bikes for different types of riders. Here’s my guy on the Ramones 16″ and the WOOM3.