WOOM2

Pedal Bike Review

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What We Would Ride

The WOOM2's unique combination of bike geometry, frame design, and brake design creates a natural, fun riding environment.

View on WOOM View on Amazon

Product Specifications

MSRP: $339

Recommendation: Exceptional

Seat Height: 17" - 20"

Weight: 11.7 lb.

Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy

Tire Size: 14"

Brakes: Coaster, Dual Hand

Handlebar: Medium

Gain Ratio: 2.95

Q Factor: 5.25"

Wheelbase: 659

Available Online: Yes

Review

Watching kids ride has taught me a lot about bikes, but learning which bike they prefer, has taught me more.  In the beginning, they often choose their favorite color (or cartoon character), but once the initial excitement of the bike fades, performance almost always trumps looks. Kids want a bike that is fun to ride, not merely fun to look at. But what makes a bike fun to ride?

**If you are interested in the WOOM3 16″ bike, please read our new WOOM3 review.**

Over the last two months, essentially all of our testers have singled out WOOM bikes as their favorite amongst other high-end bikes.  When given the option between the Cleary, Islabikes and Early Rider, one-by-one they individually chose WOOM. When asked why, their answered ranged from “fun” to “fast”, but they were certain that the WOOM was their top pick. Upon first glance, the WOOM doesn’t appear to be that different that the others, yet according to the kids, it was.  So what was so different about the WOOMs? After additional observations and several emails exchanges with WOOM, we found WOOM’s success to be based in their unique combination of bike geometry, frame design and brake configuration.  When working in unison, these attributes create a natural riding environment for kids, which makes not only easier, but a lot more fun as well.

WOOM award

Bike Geometry

A child’s body position on a bike plays a huge role in how comfortable they are on the bike.  During research and development, WOOM found that kids naturally want to center their body weight on the seat of bike. Like when walking or standing, they are comfortable and familiar with an upright body position. This is especially true with younger kids, who are learning how to balance on a bike.  As a result, the WOOM’s balance bike, 14″ and 16″ pedal bikes, all place a child’s center of gravity over the seat. When compared to other bikes of the same tire size, the difference in body position in quite clear.

WOOM3 compare2

An upright position helps kids to naturally balance the bike and also prevents them from straining their neck to look forward.  As our 5-year-old tester in 4T clothes demonstrates below, both the 14″ WOOM2 and the 16″ WOOM3 have more upright body positions than their competitors.  In order to help maintain their natural body position, the WOOM’s also have a narrow q-factor, which prevents kids from having to splay their legs out in order to pedal (further examples of q-factor shown here).

WOOM vs. Isla, ER

The Frame

While an upright geometry is more comfortable for kids, it also produces an overall higher center of gravity for the rider. Previously, we found that a higher center of gravity makes a bike more difficult to balance and therefore, should be avoided (as explained here).  To counteract the high center of gravity of the rider, WOOM made some clever changes to their frame.  First, they built the bike on an extended wheelbase. As demonstrated by essentially all big-box store bikes, a bike with a short wheelbase and an upright rider are challenging and uncomfortable to ride. In addition to cramping the rider into a small space, the narrow base of the bike leads to a twitchy and unstable ride.WOOM3 vs. next riders 2

Secondly, they lowered the seat tube of the bike, which places the rider lower on the frame of the bike.  The is particularly noticeable in the 5-year-old tester’s pictures above.  By comparing the position of the seat to the rear tire, you can see how much higher he sits on the Next 16″ vs. the WOOM3.  Lowering the seat tube also allows for a lower minimum seat height.  The minimum seat height of the WOOM3 is 18.8″, but is 22.9″ on the Next 16″.  Lower minimum seat heights also allow younger kids to ride a larger wheel size, which additionally helps to increase the overall stability of the bike.

WOOM2 vs.3 updated

**The current WOOM2 weighs 11.7 lb. and the WOOM3 weighs 13 lb.**

Lastly, they lowered the top tube of the bike.  In addition to providing more space for kids to get on and off the bike, it also lowers the overall center of gravity of the bike itself.

Brakes

Wanting to provide the best for kids, WOOM bikes include dual, easy-reach, V-pull hand brakes. Essential to stopping quickly and efficiently, dual hand brakes gave our testers confidence to ride faster as they knew they could stop faster.  As a word of caution, be sure to teach kids to only use their right hand (which is attached to the rear brake) when braking really hard. Braking with their left hand, or front tire brake, can cause them to fly over the handlebars.  As required by the CPSC, the WOOM2 comes with a coaster brake (back pedal brake). The updated WOOM3 does not come with a coaster brake. A nuisance to all riders, coaster brakes are not only inefficient, they often delay a child’s mastering a pedal bike.  When learning to pedal, kids (and adults!) naturally pedal backwards at times.  With a coaster brake, however, the backward pedaling motion quickly activates the brakes, creating an unexpected stop. In addition to loosing all the momentum they gained, kids are often not prepared to stop and often fall as a result.  Luckily, WOOM sells a $19 Free Wheeling Kit that allow you to “deactivate” the coaster brake.  The Freewheeling Kit is actually an entirely separate rear tire and that is fitted with a freewheeling hub, which allows kids to pedal backwards without stopping.

Other Features

In addition to its unique low center-of-gravity design, WOOM frames are made of 6061 aluminum tubes are are lighter than many bikes their size. While not as light as their high-end competitors, their low center-of-gravity made them easier to handle and maneuver.

WOOM2 and 3 weight

**The current WOOM2 weighs 11.7 lb. and the WOOM3 weighs 13 lb.**

A rare find on pedal bikes, the WOOM’s also have an elastic, removable steering limiter. While not necessary for confident riders, the gentle correction they provide is a great help to beginning riders. The quick-release seat post clamp is also a huge plus, while the seat height windows easily prevent over extension of the seat post.

WOOM features 2The lightweight “WOOM-SOOPA-DOOPA-HOOPS” alloy rims are connected to industrial bearing hubs by stainless steel spokes. The tires are also wider than most (50 mm) to provide extra cushioning and also have a reflective safety strip for added visibility. The stem and handlebars are positioned at the appropriate reach and height to maintain the proper body position while still being adjustable to allow for fine tuning.

WOOM vs. Islabikes

One of their biggest competitors, there are several noticeable differences between the Islabikes and the WOOM.  While their frames have a similar wheelbase, the WOOM2’s top tube is an inch shorter, which allows for a minimum seat height of 16.7″ vs. CNOC’s 18.5″.  The handlebars of the CNOC are also much lower than those on the WOOM, which leads to a more aggressive riding position.  The Islabikes CNOC 14″ is also 1.5 lbs. lighter than the WOOM2, but does not have a rear hand-pull brake. The coaster brake on the CNOCs are not removable.  Kickstands are also available for $15 on the WOOM2 and 3, but are not available on the CNOCs.  The last major difference between the two is their gear-ratios.  The Islabikes have a higher gear ratio which makes it easier to get pedaling the bike, but doesn’t allow kids to gain as much speed.  The WOOM has a lower gear-ratio, which makes it slightly harder to start pedaling, but allows the rider to gain more speed once moving.

WOOM2 vs. Islabikes2

The Upcycle Program

Upcycle_grande_grande

Another rare, and impressive feature of the WOOM bikes is their Upcycle Program.  By purchasing a one time $59 membership fee, you will be entitled to trade in your outgrown WOOM for a refund of 40% off your original purchase or the a credit of your original purchase price towards the purchase of a new WOOM bike.  All trade in’s must occur within 24 months of the purchase date of the bike. The program allows has no limits to the number of bikes you can trade in, but the bikes need to be in “good” condition upon return.  More information on the Upcycle program can be found on WOOM US website.

Bottom Line:  Well loved by all of our testers, the WOOM2 and 3 are our top picks for 14″ and 16″ bikes.  Especially beneficial for hesitant riders, the WOOM make riding more natural, more fun and a lot easier.

MSRP: $339

By: Natalie Martins

Last Updated: January 30, 2017

FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation was provided for this review. For many, but not all reviews, products are provided by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate the review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC and should not be used or replicated in any way. Two Wheeling Tots LLC is an affiliate of Amazon.com and WOOM US.

  • Melissa

    We are set on 16″ bikes (with our Cleary Hedgehog), but for the benefit of other readers, would you say the Woom 3 is worth the price premium of $100 above the cost of Hedgehog (once you add the cost of a freewheeling kit)? I do think the gear ratio on the Hedgehog (which I think is similar to the CNOC 16) is low for anyone who lives in a predominately flat area. My son hits maximum velocity pretty quickly. My son has never complained about the riding position. Ironically my husband, who rides a road bike with drop bars, is the one who says it looks uncomfortable. We considered the Woom 3 last summer, but the anticipated delivery date was in October and we wanted to get our son on a 16″ as soon as possible.

    Also, based on what you’ve seen so far of the Woom bikes, do you have any thoughts on the Woom 5 vs a Beinn 24?

    • First, sorry for my delay in getting back to you. It’s finally warm around here, so we’ve spent a lot more time outside and I’ve gotten behind on responding to comments. As for the WOOM3 vs. the Cleary Hedgehog, they are both great bikes, but I’ve found all riders more comfortable on the WOOM3 than the Hedgehog, BUT more aggressive riders do just fine on the Hedgehog. So for more hesitant riders, I would say the WOOM3 is worth the extra money, but probably not for more adventurous riders. The lower gearing and more aggressive body position of the Hedgehog also makes it better for single track vs. the upright position and higher gearing of the WOOM.

      For the WOOM5 vs. the Beinn 24, I should be able to let you know in a week or two. We already have a Beinn 24 that we bought for my daughter and are receiving WOOM5 Supra and a WOOM4 this week to test out. Seeing how much the WOOM’s were loved, I assume they should perform equally as well as the Beinn, if not better, but we will see!

      • sahara

        I’m excited to hear your upcoming reviews for the woom5 Supra and woom4. Also, have you tested the Trek superfly 20? I’m curious about that bike and would love to see a review on it. What are your thoughts on the Trek bikes?

        • We are as well. We actually just unpacked the WOOM5 Supra and WOOM4 today as so far they look great, but we’ve been having a lot of rain, so I won’t be able to have an real feedback for a while. As for Trek bikes, I really don’t prefer their younger kids bike (12″ to 16″), but the Specs on the Superfly 20″ look really good. I have yet to see the bike in person, but after I get more comfortable with the WOOM5, I will certainly make a point to try and track one down to see in person.

    • Dani

      Hi Melissa,
      I just wanted to weigh in on your question. We own a Cleary Hedgehog and my daughter is pictured above on the WOOMs (in the pink stripes). We love our Cleary, and when I bought it the WOOMs were not available yet. That said, we had the WOOMs for testing for over two weeks, and in that time the Cleary gathered dust while my daughter and her friends rode the WOOMs almost exclusively. She never complained about the Cleary’s position until after riding the WOOMs — she was clearly more comfortable on them. Now that we don’t have the WOOMs any more, she’s back on her Cleary and hasn’t complained, but if it’s in the budget, I would buy a WOOM. It’s more comfortable and like you mentioned, kids don’t max out their pedal stroke nearly as quickly with the WOOM’s larger chain ring. I think it would be particularly preferable for smaller or more timid children.

      • Thanks, Dani! Love your input, as always.

  • Thomas Jey

    Dear Natalie,

    Firstly – thank you for this great website! It’s been an invaluable resource. I got a Ridgeback Scoot balance bike for my 3yo daughter based on your reviews, and my daughter has become a big bike fan now. And, the bike always turns heads on the streets!

    I’m thinking of moving to a 14″ pedal bike now, and wanted to know what you would suggest I consider when comparing the Ridgeback vs the Woom2. My daughter’s inseam is 17.5 and she’s around 41-42 inches tall. Both look great, and their reviews have been good, though I’m attracted to the nice seating posture possible with the Woom2.

    Thanks again! – Thomas

    • If it is in your budget, I would go with the WOOM2 over the Ridgeback as, although they are both great bikes, the WOOM2’s is slightly lighter, has a minimum seat height of 17.5: (perfect for your daughter) and was much preferred by our testers. Both have upright body positions, but the WOOM has a much lower center of gravity than the WOOM and will therefore, be easier to balance,

      • Thomas Jey

        Thanks Natalie!

  • JRE

    What are your thoughts on the old Schwinn Pixie bikes? I was searching Craigslist and came across a couple of them. The size and geometry seems similar to the newer generation of kids bikes. Could this be a cheap alternative?

    • You’re right, they bike does look like it has a longer wheelbase than today’s bikes. Perhaps it could be a cheap alternative! Could you possible post a picture of the bike in the ad? Based on other pictures I have seen online, my only concern would be handlebars, as kids are generally much more comfortable when the grips are pointing to the side of the bike (so that they can keep their elbows up), versus pointed inwards (which requires them to have them down).

  • Yasmin

    Hi there! Thank you so much for your wonderful reviews and insight on kids biking. We have an (almost) 4 year old who has been biking on a (second hand, about 8kg) Scott 12″ since he turned 3. Before that he started on a KOKUA balance bike at age 2.
    As you have mentioned, a 12″ doesn’t have much longevity, so for his upcoming birthday we will be purchasing another bike, probably 16″, since we hope to get more use out of that.
    We live in Germany, so my first thought was to buy the KOKUA 16″ (LikeToBike), but after reading your reviews I’m contemplating buying a Woom 2. Do you have any thoughts? Which bike would you purchase? (Price being a lesser factor, since we have younger kids who will inherit the bike and good quality/longevity of the bike is paramount) And also…14″ or 16″? (my kids are all average height and build)
    If I do go for a Woom…any discounts you know of?

    • Based on what I can see online, the KOKUA 16″ has a lot of similarities to the WOOM3. They essentially weight the same (the WOOM is slightly more), have a drop down frame, a dual hand brakes and a larger gear ratio. Without the wheelbase measurement of the KOKUA, it’s hard to compare the geometry of the two, but from what I can tell, the KOKUA looks like a great bike as well. Since both have a minimum inseam of 19″, it’s hard to say which would be better, but since I have seen the WOOM3 in action and have heard kids rave about it, I would probably go with it.

      • Yasmin

        Hi Natalie, thanks for your response. Upon recommendation from a friend, we drove out to a store that carries KANIA bikes. Our son test rod the “sixteen” and a huge grin spread across his face. When we left without purchasing, he kept asking why we weren’t taking “his” bike.
        Now we have two really good options and are still no closer to making a decision. Woom3 or KANIA sixteen… One thing is for sure, we won’t be able to wait until his birthday in September to give him the bike!

  • Catherine

    I have a very small 9 year old with very short inseam – she is 48″ tall and has a 21.5″ inseam(she is in 7/8 clothes with pants anywhere from a 5T to an occasional 6x). She is currently riding a 16″ specialized hotrock which has never fit her well but now is definitely too small but I have gone to bike shops and big box stores and no one seems to want to discuss the fact that she has a very small inseam. She has looked uncomfortable on every bike she has tried. She learned to ride initially on a balance bike and would like to be able to put her feet down flat on the ground because the seat has to be so high to allow her to pedal. All this makes her unsure of herself something she did not experience on the balance bike(and because of that she would love to go back to a balance bike). The woom bike looks like it might work for her but looking at the specs on the website, she seems to be between a 3 and 4. I hate the idea of ordering things like bikes online because it costs to ship them and then they difficult to return. Any thoughts or ideas on what would be the best bike and or size for her.

    • Melissa

      My daughter has been on a 20″ bike since she was 45″ tall. She had a 19″ inseam when we bought her Islabike Beinn 20 Small. She still likes to ride with the seat farther down than is optimal but she gets good leg extension and speed thanks to the lower bottom bracket height. She’s 51″ tall now and has a 23″ inseam and the bike still fits. If I were you, I’d look at the 20″ Beinn Large or the Woom 4.

      • Melissa, thanks so much for adding to the discussion and sharing your experience, I really appreciate it!

    • Melissa

      Also, have you looked at Electra Bikes? I wouldn’t recommend them because of the weight (the 20″ bikes are steel frame) and the fact that they don’t have gears, but if flat foot is of paramount importance, they might at least be worth looking at.

    • You’re right, she is right in between sizes, plus, there is a big difference between the 3 and the 4 as the 4 has gears, while the 3 does not. If she is really hesitant, I would go with the 3, but if she is willing to be a little more adventurous, I would go with the 4. Due to WOOM’s unique design and low-center of gravity on the bike, I assume she will be more comfortable on the WOOM, and with time, not as hesitant, even is she can’t touch the ground. Another option would be to purchase the Upcycle program when purchasing a WOOM3 as once she masters that bike, you could send it back for 40% off the WOOM4.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the great website and resources. I am a cyclist but would not even had considered some of the bikes I am now looking at if it was not for your website. My son is 4.5 and has outgrown his strider as he has no trouble balancing and was quite good with balance on skis this year as well. He is 41″ tall with a 17″ inseam. After doing all the reading on your website, I was really leaning towards a Cleary Hedgehog because it had no coaster brake, I like the forward aggressive position because it supports the theory of an athletic stance and leaning forward for skiing as well and I liked that we could use it on the street and also go to a pump track as well. Having now read more about the Woom I am really torn and in looking at the Woom sizing, I am wondering whether he could be on a Woom 3 now and would then have more time on the bike as well. What are your thoughts on his sizing on a Woom 3 and choosing between the Woom and Cleary?

    • They are both great bikes, but I must say that all of our testers preferred the WOOM2 over the Cleary. In case you missed it below, the mom of the girl standing on all the bikes (who owns the Cleary Hedgehog) wrote this comment about comparing the two,
      “Hi Melissa,I just wanted to weigh in on your question. We own a Cleary Hedgehog and my daughter is pictured above on the WOOMs (in the pink stripes). We love our Cleary, and when I bought it the WOOMs were not available yet. That said, we had the WOOMs for testing for over two weeks, and in that time the Cleary gathered dust while my daughter and her friends rode the WOOMs almost exclusively. She never complained about the Cleary’s position until after riding the WOOMs — she was clearly more comfortable on them. Now that we don’t have the WOOMs any more, she’s back on her Cleary and hasn’t complained, but if it’s in the budget, I would buy a WOOM. It’s more comfortable and like you mentioned, kids don’t max out their pedal stroke nearly as quickly with the WOOM’s larger chain ring. I think it would be particularly preferable for smaller or more timid children.”

      So considering you can purchase a free wheeling kit from WOOM to disable the coaster brake, I would go with the WOOM over the Cleary. BUT, I must add that if you are planning on doing riding mainly on a pump track, the Clearly aggressive stance of the Cleary would be better, but if he is mainly doing street and trail riding (mainly flat stuff), I would go with the WOOM.

      • Mark

        Natalie, thanks for the response and Melissa’s comment is actually what made me wonder about the Cleary vs. Woom. Do you think the Woom3 with the seat dropped all the way is still too big for him and Woom 2 is the better bike size wise?

        • With the seat all the way down, the WOOM3 is still going to be slightly too big and while he will be able to reach the pedals, he won’t be able to touch the ground with his full foot. For most kids, this is a scary feeling as they are used to stopping with their feet, which makes them much more hesitant to ride. For some really outgoing kids, it doesn’t bother them too much, but they have trouble stopping, which can be a safety issue. Considering the Strider does not have a hand brake, your son may have trouble stopping the WOOM3 since he can’t touch the ground with his feet. So, unless he is really adventurous and you think he can pickup on the use of a handbrake quickly, I would go for the WOOM2 over the 3.

          • Mark

            Wow. Thanks for the response and the detail. Very helpful and really love your website and appreciate your insights.

  • Marissa Haynie

    Hello,
    I’m trying to figure out whether the 2 or the 3 would fit my son better. He’s 43.5″ tall, and wears a 5t (17.5 inseam, I think). The woom website says the 2 is for kids up to 43″ tall, but you said the 3 was for kids with a 19.5″ inseam… Help?

    Also, is there a better bike to look at? I want the hand brakes as he’s been riding a firstbike.
    Thanks!

    • Peter

      Just following this thread. We are in a similar situation. My son is only just turning 3 next week but is already 41″ tall with a 16.5″ inseam. Looking at the Woom website, it looks like his height pretty much qualifies him for the Woom3, even though he is 2 years younger than they expect. I want to buy him a bike that is going to last as long as possible but I don’t want to overstretch him and hold back his progress (the Upcycle program is a nice idea, but after 40% rebate and $59 membership, you are only getting around $75 back on a $340 bike). He has been riding a balance bike for over a year and he is an animal on it already! His older sister has a Specialized Hotrock 16 that he can pedal with the training wheels on (I know you hate training wheels but I just wanted to see if he had the strength/coordination to pedal!). Thanks for any input!

  • Andrew K

    Many thanks for this fantastic website!! it helped us decide on our first balance bike and now we are ready for more =)

    Our son is a little over 4yrs old. He only has used the balance bike for 3-4mo (we got the bike at 2yo, but he had no interest until recently!); we think ready to move to a pedal bike since he is manoeuvring up and down hills, bumps, and turns with ease now? Not sure whether to go for the WOOM 2 or 3… he seems to qualify for both based on height (105cm)? His inside leg measurement (based on the Islabike sizing page) is 40cm. Both measurements are without shoes.

    We want him to get the most out of the bike, but are worried about a harsh transition from his FirstBike. Also to consider, he has a younger brother (1yo) who will eventually inherit the WOOM (and FirstBike). Your recommendation? Thank you!

    • With a 40cm inseam (about 15.7″), the WOOM2, which has a minimum seat height of 17.5″, will be a much better fit than the WOOM3 with a minimum inseam of 18.9″. Right now, the WOOM2 will be a little too tall for him, but if he is used to using a hand brake and is on the adventurous side, then he should be able to start on the WOOM2. He won’t be able to touch the ground with both feet (which is recommended for beginning riders), but if he can touch with one foot and is willing to give it a go, then it is worth a shot now.

  • Teresa

    Would you still suggest a WOOM for a 4yo, 40 inches, 15.5 inseam that likes to ride on a pump track, dirt trails and features at the skate park? He currently rides a hotrock 12 (purchased before I found your website) and we are looking for something a little bigger and lighter.

    • The WOOM3 and 4’s are really designed for kids who are learning to ride. Due to their geometry, they are easy and fun to ride, but they certainly have a more upright geometry which isn’t ideal for an experienced rider on pump track or a skate park. With a 15.5″ inseam, I would probably stick to the Hotrock for a while or if he is really pushing the limits, I would look at the Spawn Furi, http://spawncycles.com/bikes/spawn-cycles-furi.

      • Teresa

        Thank you very much!

  • Liz

    Natalie–thanks so much for all the great information. I just had the pleasure of watching my 4.5 year old (43″, 18″ inseam) pedal away solo on his WOOM 3 over our uneven, cracked sidewalk literally 10 minutes after getting on it for the first time.

    The price was a little daunting but we figured that his younger brother will also use it eventually, and we really wanted his first pedal bike experience to be as easy and fun as possible, since he has a tendency to get frustrated with himself. Apparently we succeeded! He is so thrilled and is currently on his fourth ride of the day.

    We had one setback when there was a problem with the threads on the left pedal crank of the bike we ordered, making it impossible to screw on the pedal, but Mathias at WOOMbikes USA was super helpful and sent a complete new crank set by express mail as soon as I called about it (he offered to send a completely new bike, but I didn’t think that was necessary).

    We got the freewheel kit and I expect that will improve the experience even more as soon as we get to the bike shop to have it installed, since my son is used to a handbrake from his Ridgeback Scoot (also purchased on the basis of this site’s recommendation and which was the ideal first balance bike for my tall then-3-year old).

    • Awesome! Glad he loved the bike. I agree that the price point of the WOOM’s is daunting, but after watching his delight, you can hopefully understand why they cost more. 🙂 Thanks for reporting back.

  • Melissa

    Natalie, when do you anticipate having the review of the Woom 5 Supra vs the Beinn 24? We will be needing to make a birthday buying decision soon.

    • Hopefully next week. We have a ride planned for Wednesday to compare the two. So far, I can say that the WOOM5 Supra is generally better for mountain biking, while the Islabikes 24″ is better for road. Both are great and actually have the same tires, but the lower center of gravity of the WOOM so far, seems to perform better on obstacles than the Beinn 24. The WOOM also comes with a Trigger shift, while the Islabikes a Grip shift. For kids under 8, we’ve found the grip shift to be easier, but it really depends on the child.

      • Amanda

        Hope your ride went well! I’m so in love with bikes having grown up on them, despite not being a parent, I love seeing kids riding appropriate bikes. My Daddy remains dejected that I’m a mountain bike nut, but oh well. I’m getting to try a Beinn 24″ this weekend, as in buying my new baby, the owner mentioned his kid has one. I’ll gladly share my review if you’d like. I do love my LBS who doesn’t snicker at the tiny one wanting a fat bike, and who offer to let me try small bikes. So YAY to test riding a Beinn and getting a Surly Ice Cream Truck. Why did I not get one before, they have an XS!

        • Yes, please share! I would love to hear how you like is as compared to the WOOM5. As I mentioned above, we’ve found it to be more of a city bike than a mountain bike, but every kids who gets on it, loves it.

          • Amanda

            My review from a short adult – this was a pretty heavily modified version, tires looked more aggressive than stock, rebuilt to a trigger shifter and to disc brakes. Overall, I liked the Isla bike better. It handled better overall, it’s not a hyper aggressive bike, but it rode like it wanted to behave. It’s a nice city/paved trail bike. Only thing I noticed is it felt a bit small for a 24″ bike. Not outrageously small, but noticeably to me.

            A difference might very well be the Isla is a bike owned by a serious mechanic and the WOOM was a store bike. The mechanic mentioned looking at a WOOM but felt they needed a lot of facing so he went Isla. He said he had some metal facing, particularly in the bottom bracket, but mostly was just excess paint. Plus, obviously, a store tester is going to feel very different than an owned and modified well loved bike.

            However – kid borrowed my Rockhopper. She loved it hard core. For a kid who is experienced and wants to go more than cruiser type rides – go with Specialized. Yes, it’s just a shrunk down adult bike. But the expanded kids learning bikes aren’t going to handle what the Rockhopper can either. I do like the Isla over the Trek 24″ I have tried.

            My order for a more aggressive rider – Rockhopper, modified Isla, Trek.

            For a more timid rider or more cruiser – stock Isla, Electra Townie, possibly a modified WOOM if you can knock it’s mountain bike leanings down.

      • Melissa

        I’m inferring from your response above to Amanda that your six year old is able to ride the 5 Supra. Can I ask how tall he is? I was looking at the specs. and geometry again and despite the fact that my daughter meets the overall height requirement of 130 cm, I’m doubtful that she will be comfortable riding it in the near future. Last time I measured her inseam a few months ago, she was at 23″ and it looks like the minimum standover for the Woom 5 is 24″ and the minimum seat height is 27″ so she would be on tippy toes trying to touch the ground while on the seat. I’m also a little perplexed by the inclusion of 165 mm cranks on the Woom 5. That’s an adult length crank. None of the other 24″ bikes I’ve looked at (that list the crank size) have a crank that long–Isla is 155, Felt F24 is 155, Fuji Ace is 152.

        • My son is quite tall for his age, so I doubt many other 6yo’s would fit on the WOOM5. I will try to measure him tomorrow morning, but he does were size 7 pants and medium shirts if that helps. As for the crank arms, I went out and measured our Islabikes Beinn 24″ and the WOOM5 Supra, and I believe they are both 140mm cranks, so I am assume that the 165mm is a mistake on their website (Isla is listed as 140mm on their site, http://www.islabikes.com/us/bike_pages/pdfs/product_specs/Beinn24-USA.pdf). On WOOM’s European website the WOOM5 is listed as 140mm as well, http://www.woombikes.com/collections/startseite/products/5. You can also see in these comparison shots with my 6yo on both bikes, that the cranks are very similar is size.

        • I was able to measure him this morning. He is 50″/127cm tall with a 24″ inseam. As a comparison, here he is on the WOOM4.

          • Melissa

            Thanks for the information and especially the pictures. I’m glad to hear the crank length is a mistake on the website–that seemed so inconsistent with the emphasis on child-sized components. And you’re correct that the Beinn 24 has 140mm cranks–somehow I was looking g at the Beinn 26 spec when I got that information. I measured my daughter again yesterday and in stocking feet she is 50″ tall and has a 23.5 inseam, so your son is a pretty good comparison. She’ll be 7 in September. I’ll be interested to read your full review/comparison,

          • I contacted WOOM and is was a mistake on their site and they have since corrected it.

        • Amanda

          The 5 crank arm did feel shorter than my usual 26″ bikes. On their website, I’m wondering if something got screwed up in translation. I didn’t measure the length, but I’d guess it was 140-145mm. That’s a very, very rough guess!

  • Amanda

    My trial with a WOOM was not positive. Granted, I am a short adult who can ride a 24″ comfortably. But I’m used to very aggressive bikes. The WOOM 5was extremely hard to balance, and I routinely am on a 27″ bike without problems. Even if I adjust a crappy 24″ bike to a more upright position, those are easier to balance. Probably because I expect to be fighting the crap vs a WOOM. But no 24″ bike should be harder to balance than my possibly idiotic riding of a friend’s big freaking Surly Pugsley beast. Haven’t tried the Beinn, but do ride a Specialized Rockhopper 24″ most days.

    • Thanks for your feedback! I am in process of reviewing the WOOM4 and 5 and their geometry is certainly one of the aspects I was going to focus on. Their upright positioning of their smaller models was certainly a favorite for beginning riders, but I agree that a more experienced rider would be more comfortable on an aggressive frame. I find it very interesting that you found it harder to balance regardless of the geometry. Do you recall anything else about the bike that may have made it more difficult? Shorter crank arms, higher-gear ratio, narrower handlebars etc. Any additional feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks!

      • Amanda

        I actually liked the shorter crank arms and narrow handle bars – I’m really between sizes on bikes, but other than my Rockhopper, I can’t find many (any) decent enough 24″ bikes, so I have my 26″ & 27″ pack instead. Part is my tendency towards various potentially stupid things like racing on gravel where the bigger diameter helps. But the geometry on the 5 was just off. I’ve ridden crap bikes before – I have a very sad BMX 20″ who gets to suffer much abuse on the playa yearly. My big issue I think is riding, it felt more like my lazy smooth paved trail cruiser in geometry, but it wanted to handle like my big 27″ gravel eating mountain bike. While both bikes have their place, they don’t work together well. However, I am an adult who grew up on a modified pedal bike, then had a dad who removed the coaster brakes early and I got my first shop bike 30 years ago and I’ve never looked back. So my expectations on how much I can throw at a bike is radically different than a kid who is just starting. But to me, an Electra Townie would be a better option for a timid rider. Yes, they’re heavier, but it’s a cruiser who acts like a cruiser, and it’s easy to drop your feet down flat on the group in them.

        I did think the WOOM had sloppy brakes, but it would be an easy enough fix for me.

        • Good call on the Electra, for adults, but not so much for kids. I actually had my two older kids out testing the WOOM5 Supra and the Beinn 24″ today and while they are both great bikes, there were some noticeable differences. One being the brakes like you mentioned. The both seamed to prefer the brakes on the Islabikes. The geometry between the two, however, where that much different, but they were certainly more upright than some of their friends Hotrock and Cannondales. Then again, the WOOM and the Islabikes are designed for more neighborhood riding, while the higher-end big name bikes are generally geared towards trail riding, so they will have a more aggressive geometry. All in all, I would agree that the WOOM5 appear to ride more like a cruiser than a mountain bike.

      • Amanda

        Plus – erm. The green 5. It has a dinosaur with an eye shooting a star shaped laser. Trust me, I wanted to love that bike. Sigh. Dinosaur. With laser eye. Sigh. Why can’t adult bikes get the fun details also?

        • This might just be my favorite comment ever. That dinosaur is pretty awesome and is my 6yo’s pride and joy, as a result, the WOOM5 Supra can do no wrong in his eyes.

          • Amanda

            I’m very jealous! The dinosaur was almost enough for me to buy it, then yank it apart to fix everything. And I know better than buying a bike because the decals look awesome. Yes, I am a big dork, and I like it.

          • Amanda

            The dinosaur just won. Because I do think the 5 Supra is a good bike, but I’m going to need to modify the bike from stock. It will learn to be a cruiser which means my too big for me cruiser can find a new home, where she’ll been ridden enough. Or I just bought a high end bike for a Walmart bike reason – the sticker is that awesome.

          • Luckily, that awesome sticker comes with some pretty cool features :). I’d love to hear how you are modifying the Supra. Keep me posted!

          • Amanda

            Starting with assembly, facing the frame. I believe my LBS and suspect part of the poor handling related to a lack of facing. Yanking the SRAM bits for Shimano because I’m far more used to Shimano. Wheels depend on how they look and how brakes fit. I’m between just swapping out rubber if the wheels set up nicely to yanking the whole wheel to put different ones on, including disc brakes. I’m admittedly particular about my brakes, so they may set up fine for normal riders, but I’ll hate them because I’m fussy. Plus I think cruiser rubber will help fix it’s aggressive gripping.

          • Good call. I much prefer the Shimano shifters to the SRAM, can’t live without shifting with my index finger. Totally understand the brake preference as well, but am really curious to see if facing the frame will make a difference, it certainly won’t hurt though, so it is worth a try.

          • Amanda

            Yeah, it’s an aluminum frame. I’ve yet to meet one that didn’t need to be chased and faced. How the tester rode, I don’t think the BB sat squarely and thus was a monster. I know the SRAM are excellent parts, and I get why kids who are new to trigger gears would do better with them. But I’ve used Shimano for so long, I don’t get how to shift without my index finger. The brakes were so bad, but I’m not going to say what part is the problem until I get everything rebuilt to my standard. Because if the frame wasn’t chased and faced, I don’t figure anything was built to my standard.

            Granted, I doubt most kids will ride a city friendly bike to the point of worrying about the BB. Especially in a bike most kids out grow in a few years. Since I think 5’1 or so is the start of clearance for most 26″ bikes. Or I can just tippy toe touch in a 26″ bike. 24″ goes to 5’3 or so. So thus, I’m in the gap between them. Thusly, abuse a 24″ bike beyond most normal wear. Even if I don’t throw em on the ground.

          • Gotcha. I can see where you are coming from now. When my husband assembled the Supra, he also mentioned that the bike needed a good amount of work tuning up (especially compared to Islabikes). The brakes where especially bad and the shifters where placed way to low on the handlebars. Since I didn’t see the bike before he tuned it, I didn’t notice the issues with the brakes (yep, I test out the brakes these bikes as well), but since the bike is way to small for me (I’m 5’10”), it’s hard to get a good feel for the bike since it just feels too small to begin with. Regardless, I’d also love to hear what you and your mechanic think about the bike once he’s finished up with his work.

  • Melissa

    Natalie, thank you a million times for this site! I bought the WOOM 2 for my son who is turning 3 next week, and I watched in amazement tonight as he rode it on the first try! He’s still a bit wobbly and can’t start the bike on his own, but he improves every time he gets on it. We had a FirstBIKE for him that I bought thanks to your review, and I bought the WOOM thanks to your review. Without you I would have had him on the normal tricycle and bike with training wheels regiment because I wouldn’t have known any better!

    The WOOM 2 is a truly an amazing bike. My son is 39.5″ tall with a 15.5″ inseam and he can just barely flat-foot it on the lowest seat setting. I almost bought the WOOM 3 because I know he’s going to grow this summer and I wanted to be able to use it longer, but I’m so glad I didn’t. It is giving him so much confidence to be able to pedal his own bike, and he loves the hand brakes. We had the coaster brake removed before we gave it to him, and I’m already convinced that was a great decision.

    It was tough to justify the price of these two bikes in the span of a year, but it was absolutely worth it. Riding is something the entire family can enjoy together and it’s great exercise. Plus it’s incredible to see a child so young riding without training wheels.

    Our WOOM did not come with the seat post window. Not sure if ours is an older model or what, but I was a bit surprised. I still love though. I noticed that Amazon carries these bikes now, which was a shocker. We got ours direct from the company and the service was excellent.

    • Yeah! Thanks so much for reporting back. I LOVE hearing stories such as yours, plus knowing that he would have missed out of the golden balance bikes years, makes it even better!

      I’m also glad to hear that you are loving the WOOM2. It is certainly a favorite around here, especially since they are so fast! Although he may outgrow the WOOM2 sooner than you would have liked, from there he can just up to a 20″, so in the end, considering how much he loves the bike, you know you made the right choice.

      Thanks again for your feedback!

  • Sandra

    Love your site! It helped us choose a stride bike for our daughter 2 years ago. She is a little on the hesitant side so we knew that we would need to put in time with her learning to bike. However, my husband is an avid mountain biker and he was more than willing to spend the time with her, teaching her what he loves. Her kinderbike mini has been amazing. We got her on it young, started in the hallway of our house, and now (almost 4) she flies around the park. My husband had loosened the hand brake until she had gotten more confident and now she can use it no problem (saving her shoes, thankfully!). She has been asking for pedals lately, and since she’s looking a little big on her strider we thought it might be time. We did a quick trip to a local bike store, but that didn’t go well. The bikes were exactly how you describe them on your site. She could touch on a 12″ frame but the pedals seemed hard for her to push down because of how they aligned on her body. It just looked awkward and she didn’t enjoy it at all. A bit of a let down after she was so confident on her strider. That event sent me right back to your site hoping you had as much info on “first pedals” as you did on striders….and YOU DID!

    So here is my question. I’m looking at the WOOM Bikes. Her inseam is 15.5″ and she is 39.5″ tall. We are about to turn 4. I want to get one that she will get the most life out of. From WOOM’s sizing chart she falls at the end of the Woom2 and not quite at the Woom3. But reading all the various personal stories about the bike I’m getting mixed ideas. What would you suggest? It’s alot of money and I’d be frustrated if we only got a year out of the bike (she is the oldest so we would hand it down when it comes time but still I’d like her to have it for a few years). We think it won’t be a quick transition and want to let her have her strider still as she switches over. Should I wait a year and get the woom3? Or am I wrong to think we are on the way out of the woom2? Or would you suggest a different bike for us? Thanks in advance.

    • Thanks for coming back! Having transitioned my two older kids from balance bikes, I knew how challenging it was to find a good bike, so we’ve moved up to reviewing pedal bikes as well. With a 15.5″ inseam, you have some options. You could wait until she was taller and was able to fit on the WOOM2 or 3. For most kids, if they are simply cruising around the park, running is more efficient than pedals, but if she is eager for pedals, I would try to move her up sooner. Since your daughter is already proficient with a pedal brake, she technically could ride on a pedal bike in which the minimum seat height is greater than her inseam. Coming from a balance bike, kids are used to stopping with their feet, so putting them a bike in which they can’t touch the ground can be dangerous as they may not be able to stop on their own. Being confident with a hand brake, she would be able to stop if she couldn’t touch the ground, so the WOOM2 would be a possibility. If she is on the hesitant side, however, then only being able to touch the ground with her tippy toes could make her nervous and not want to ride. The WOOM3, however, with a 18.9″ minimum seat height is going to be too big. Plus, she should be fine on the WOOM2 for two years and then can probably move up to a 20″.

      Another bike to consider is the ByK E-250, which we are currently reviewing. It is cheaper than the WOOM2, at $229 and has a lot the same features of the WOOM’s, longer wheelbase, lower-set frame. The one downside of the ByK is that it does not have a freewheel option (you can’t uninstall the coaster brake). As a result, your daughter could have trouble getting started as kids often pedal backwards when they are learning how to pedal, which makes them stop suddenly when a bike has a coaster brake. As a reference, here is picture of my son in 3T clothes on the ByK. He is not riding yet, but can easily walk it and can easily touch the ground, even though it is a 14″ bike.

      Hope that helps!