Ridgeback Dimension 16″
Pros & Cons
- Great combo of speed and comfort
- Dual hand brakes and no coaster brake
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Padded saddle
- Aggressive enough for adventurous riders, yet comfortable enough for beginning riders
- Too aggressive for timid riders
- Gearing will make it a challenge in hilly areas
A well-thought-out mix of components and geometry, the Ridgeback Dimension is the perfect bike for young riders who are eager for a fast ride and comfortable ride. With dual Tektro hand brakes, NO coaster brake, slight rise handlebars and a lightweight frame, it’s aggressive enough for adventurous riders, yet comfortable enough for beginning riders. When put to the test our timid 4-year-old testers enjoyed the comfort and speed of the Dimension, while our adventurous 5-year-old testers quickly began pushing the boundaries on the bike.
Compared to other bikes in the same price range, the Dimension has a slightly more aggressive position, but certainly not too much. Weighing in at 16 lb., the Dimension is lighter than most 16″ bikes on the market, but its drivetrain is where it really shines.
There are many factors and opinions at play when determining how “fast” a bike is, but one common method used is the gain ratio. Calculated using the tire size, crank arm length as well as the number of teeth on the chainring and the rear cog, the gain ratio measures how far a bike travels forward when pedaled. A bike with a gain ratio of 3.2 will move forward 3.2 inches for every inch the pedals rotate around. A 4.5 gain ratio will move forward 4.5 inches for every inch the pedals rotate. A high gain ratio will be more challenging to get started but will require less pedal spinning to get going. A low gain ratio will be easier to get started but will require more spinning of the pedals to ride faster.
With a 4.5 gain ratio, the highest of all the 16″ bikes we have tested, the Dimension truly is a fast bike. While not ideal for timid riders who may need a low gain ratio to allow for easier pedaling from the get-go, the Dimension was easily started by our two experienced riders and allowed them to reach higher speeds faster than bikes with lower gain ratios. The slight rise handlebars also allowed our more advanced tester to lean in and out of turns more comfortably than on bikes with low-rise bars.
From the saddle to the metallic paint, the Dimension also looks as good as it performs. Our testers loved the feel of the padded saddle, while the optional seat post clamp and brake barrel (available in six colors from WeeBikeShop) provided that extra pop of fun.
Bottom Line: An amazing mix of speed and comfort, the Dimension 16 is a great starter bike for adventurous riders who feel the need for speed! Best for mild terrains, the high gain ratio will fly in flat areas, but will be a challenge in hilly areas.