If you are looking for a bike for a timid, beginning rider or simply want a bike that will essentially guarantee a good first riding experience, look no farther than the WOOM3.  Amazingly built for child-specific needs, the WOOM3 is our top pick for timid riders.

Upright Positioning

Perfectly designed for the beginner rider, the WOOM3 features upright positioning, a lightweight frame, a low bottom bracket (for a lower center of gravity), color coded safety brake levers, a narrow q-factor for minimal splay and a gentle turning limiter.  Weighing a mere 13 lb. is much easier for children to handle than the common 20+ lb. bike, but its unique rider position on the bike make it significantly easier to ride than most 16″ bikes.

To learn to walk, kids learn to center their body weight over their hips. This position is very natural, which is why it is much easier for a child to learn to ride a scooter versus a bike.  When designing the WOOM3, the frame and components of the bike were selected to allow a child’s weight to be centered on their hips, thereby making their bikes easier to balance and to learn to pedal. Bikes with a more aggressive, forward position are better for aggressive riders, but can be daunting and difficult to balance for timid kids.


The WOOM3 is also narrower than most 16″ bikes, which allows kids to pedal straight down versus at an angle. Asking kids to walk with wide steps is awkward,  just as asking them to pedal at an angle is.  Built to address children’s kinesiology, many of the unnerving first impressions kids often feel on bikes won’t be experienced on the WOOM3.


Safe Braking

Beyond just feeling good, the WOOM3 is also built safe.  When learning to pedal, kids naturally pedal backwards. When losing their balance on a bike, adults instinctively pedal backwards as well.  Most adult bikes don’t have coaster brakes (back pedal brakes) so it generally isn’t a problem, but most kids bike do have a coaster brake.  As a result, upon pedaling backward to regain their balance, coaster brakes quickly and unexpectedly stop the bike, which usually leads to a crash.

Determined to address the needs of children, the WOOM3 does not have a coaster brake, but rather easy-pull, dual-hands brakes.  One of the problems with dual handbrakes, however, is the potential for kids too quickly with the front brake, causing then to fly over the handlebars (endo).  While rare on 16″ bikes, learning to brake with their rear brake will prevent future accidents. To facilitate proper technique, the right-hand brake lever, which is attached to the rear brake in the US, is green to help kids to remember to brake with that brake first.  Its corresponding brake pad on the rear brake is also green.


To make pedaling easier from a standstill, the WOOM3 is also geared lower than most 16″ bikes.  With a 3.34 gain ratio, the bike is easy to pedal, but requires kids to pedal fast to gain a lot of speed.  The prevent kids from steering too sharply, the WOOM3 has a removable, elastic turning limiter than gently corrects oversteering to prevent jack-knifing.


WOOM3 vs. Islabikes

The bike most comparable to the WOOM3 is the Islabikes CNOC 16.  It is also lightweight at 13.2 lb., but has a longer wheelbase, lower handlebars as well as a coaster brake.


While still an amazing bike, we found the WOOM3 to be preferred my more timid testers, while the Islabikes was better suited for hesitant riders who will likely graduate to more advanced riding.


Bottom Line: The WOOM3 is our hands-down favorite bike for timid riders. Lightweight, easy to ride, and with color coded safety brake levers it is sure to be loved by parents and kids alike.

Where to Purchase: Available in six colors, the WOOM3 can be purchased through Amazon or directly from WOOM Bikes USA for $369.

FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation was provided for this review.  All opinions are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC.  Two Wheeling Tots LLC is not an affiliate of WOOM Bikes USA but is an affiliate of Amazon.  A demo WOOM3 was provided by WOOM Bikes USA to help facilitate this review.

      • Brandyn

        I am trying to make a decision between several bikes and I’m not sure which is the best way to go. Mine have been riding the islabike Rothan for several years and are very comfortable on the balance bike. While I wouldn’t call them aggressive, they love going down grass hills and over bumps. We spend most of our time on the road but occasionally go on trails and a small compact dirt bike track. That was one reason I went with the Rothan, because of the tires and brake. They have an inseam of 17 in. but on tip toes they are at 20 in. I would like a bike they could ride but also grow into. I would also like a bike that could go on both road and hard packed dirt. My thoughts were the woom 3 (maybe 4), ridgeback dimension 16, stampede and Norco. What do you think, is there another you think would best?
        Thank you

        • brandyn

          there is also the priority f/w

          • Glad to help! First off, the WOOM3 and the Sprinter 16 are sold out until 2017, so if you are thinking of getting one for the holiday season, that limits your option. With a 20″ on tippy toes, the WOOM4 is going to be too big, but the Islabikes CNOC 20 would fit. It is a beginning single-geared 20″ bike that would be a good option. If you wanted stick to a 16″, then Ridgeback Dimensions would be an awesome pick if your wanted a fast bike on flat ground, but it would be more difficult to ride on hills. The Stampede is a great all-around bike that would be better on hills than the Ridgeback. Lastly, the Norco is in line with the Stampede, but a little smaller. The Priority is great, but really aggressive. If you haven’t seen this post about 16″ bikes, be sure to take a look: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ultimate-16-inch-kids-bikes-comparison/ Hope that helps!

            • brandyn

              I have read the ultimate comparison chart. I guess what I’m looking for is a bike that’s not for the timid or the aggressive, but in the middle, as well as neither just for the road or the trails but both!! I would also like the bike to have a drive train and brakes that are made very well, and one that fits them. (Is that too much to ask for in a bike! 😉 I have seen the woom and know that it is made well and assume based off the Rothan that the CNOC is too. I have also seen the Norco and don’t believe it’s drive train is as made as well. That being all said, what would be the one or two you would recommend, even if it is unavailable at the moment!!

              Again thanks a ton.

              • The CNOC and WOOM are both exceptional bikes and have a much better drive train than the Norco. If you are looking for a bike in the middle, I would go for the CNOC. The WOOM3 is certainly designed for the more timid rider, while the CNOC has a lower handlebars which doesn’t inhibit kids as much as they become more aggressive. The Dimensions is a great option as well, but not if you ride on hills and the gain ratio is really high. In addition, if you want the best performance out of brakes, I would go with the CNOC as we have found their brakes to be more responsive than WOOM. The last bike I would recommend is the Pello Revo. It’s components are top-notch, from drive-train to brakes, but it does have wider, knobbier tires, which increases the overall weight of the bike.

              • Brandyn

                Thanks so much for your advice. Have a very merry Christmas.

      • Since you have been incredibly helpful and helped us decide to purchase the Cleary Gecko for our daughter we are now ready for the next step up. She’s 4.5 and 44″ tall with an 18″ inseam. She has ridden a classic big box 16″ bike and did well over the summer. Obviously she has now outgrown her gecko completely and we are looking for her next bike. Can she jump to a 18/20 bike or should we stick with a 16? We mainly want this bike for riding on the 10 miles of bike paved trails we have in our neighborhood. Thanks again!!

        • It really depends on your budget. If you can afford it, I would recommend a high-end 20″, such as the Islabikes CNOC 20 ($419) or the Pello Reddi ($349), as they are sized like a 16″, but offer much more room for growth. They are both great bikes. If you are looking for a more affordable bike, I would go for a larger 16″ such as the Stampede Sprinter (currently sold out 🙁 ), the Commencal ramones 16 or the Pello Revo.

      • Lyn

        Hi Natalie, Thanks for all the great information on this site. I’ve been looking at it for months now as my nearly 4yo is ready for a new bike. He already knows how to ride a pedal bike, but the ones he has now are hand me downs or inexpensive ones that we’ve gotten from bike swaps – heavy, too tall for him, etc. He will do a mix of road and off road riding, has an inseam of 15.25″ and is 41″ tall. I’ve gone back and forth about the Woom3, Woom3 automatix, and like the cnoc the best except for the coaster brake (his current bikes have them and they are a real pain). Also, he’s growing quickly so I wonder if a 20″ bike makes sense for him at all? I’d rather he be totally confident riding and get him a new bike in a couple years. He currently can’t start or stop, but rides well and steers fairly well. Hills are inevitable where he’ll be biking. Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

        • We have tested out all three of the bikes you mentioned extensively and I can say that they are all amazing, but the gearing on them doe make a difference. The gearing on the WOOM3 is pretty low, so it isn’t ideal for longer rides as he will have to pedal pretty quick to keep up. With hills around, the WOOM3 Automatix would be a great choice as it would certainly help going up hills, while still allowing him to gain speed normally without spinning the wheels too much. The bike shifts once they get going, which was a huge help to my son on longer, flat rides. Since the WOOM3 automatic won’t be available until late Spring, the CNOC would be a great option as it is geared higher than the WOOM3, but not too high. While hill will still be challenging, longer rides will be more enjoyable as he won’t have to pedal as fast to keep up. Hope that helps!

          • Lyn

            Thanks for your response! I’m really hesitant about the cnoc since the coaster brake. After more research, I’m really liking the Spawn Banshee since it seems to do great on road and off road riding AND on hills. How do you think it compares to the Woom3 with automatix?

            • They are both great bike but for difference purposes. The WOOM3 isn’t ideal for off-road riding since it has a more upright body position. Even with hills involved, I would go with the Banshee if you are planning on doing any trail riding.

      • MG

        Hi — Wanted to add a question here — Woom told me they will be getting in the rear wheels to convert the Woom3 into Automatix bikes later this year similar to their freewheel option — my son just turned 4 and has been amazing on his woom2. We are going to get a second bike (we travel extensively and the shipping costs of a bike are more expensive than a second bike) and I’m struggling between the Woom3 and the Islabike CNOC (we can get the EU version w/out the coaster). Is the main difference you state between them the gear ratio? And does that resolve w/ the Automatix? My son is not an aggressive personality — I don’t expect him to become a BMX biker or single track fanatic — but he is coordinated — mastering the Woom2 in literally 9 minutes and ability to self start/stop in one day. He’s a hair under 41″ so the second bike should be a 16″ — but really want to understand whether the automatix tire would resolve your comments about Woom being less suitable as children gain more confidence — I want this second bike to last him – and he wants to keep up w/ his 6/12 year old cousin. Given how much he is liking the woom2, I’m wanting the Woom3, but ONLY if that makes sense — but not if he’s going to “outgrow” it as he gains confidence. Otherwise, we’ll just get the CNOC 16 and be done w/ it.

        Thanks for the input.