Hailing out of Canada, Park Cycles is a new and growing kids bike brand gaining a lot of excitement with parents. With a family and brand mission to provide great kids bikes at affordable prices, Park Cycles bikes are an insane bang for your buck. The Park Cycles 14 Inch features kid-friendly geometry and a low center of gravity similar to our other favorite bikes on this list…and is also lightweight, coming in at 16 lbs!
Park Cycles keeps costs down by featuring more basic components, but those components are still kid-friendly and are much better quality than anything you’ll find at a big-box-store. If you’re a family on a budget, but are serious about getting your young rider started off on the right foot, Park Cycles is a fantastic option. If you’re interested in a 16″ bike, keep reading the review below. The 16″ Park Cycles is the same as the 14″, just bigger!
Park Cycles 14 Inch Review
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Kids transitioning out of 2T to 4T clothes
SEAT HEIGHT: 16.75″ – 19.75″
WEIGHT: 16.1 lb. (with pedals)
BRAKES: Dual hand
WHEELBASE: 663 mm
GAIN RATIO: 3.11
- Kid-friendly build at a parent-friendly price
- Natural, upright body position optimal for kids learning to ride a pedal bike
- Multiple tweaks can be made to make the bike more aggressive as kids develop their skills
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Tektro dual hand brakes
- No coaster brake!!
- Wide, knobby tires for varied terrains
- Available in several fun colors
- Grips are basic and hard
- Pedals don’t have much bite for foot traction
- Assembly a bit tricky for some parents
Park Cycles 14 Inch Review – Results of our Test Rides
We’ve been waiting to get our hands on a Park Cycles bike for months now. With lots of buzz online, and really positive feedback from parents, we were pretty stoked when the Park Cycles 14 arrived on our doorstep. It’s not everyday that you get to test a bike from a new and buzz-worthy kids’ bike brand.
In short, the Park Cycles 14 lived up to its hype. Our little bike testers, both newer to pedal bikes, rode the Park Cycles 14 with ease. They navigated the skatepark, tackled ramps big and small, and ventured through the forest like brave little explorers.
These little bikers have the luck to ride some of the best tiny bikes in the world. From woom to Prevelo, Pello, Guardian, and Spawn, they are no strangers to excellent bikes. While not as refined as these more expensive brands, the budget-friendly Park Cycles 14 can absolutely hold its own in their company.
For reference, this little rider is 2 years 11 months old, is almost 40″ tall, and has a 15.5″ inseam (in a diaper). As a proficient rider, this seat height is raised about 1″ above its minimum.
With a seat height range of 16.75″ – 19.75″, the Park Cycles 14 Inch is sized similarly to other kid-specific bike brands like the Guardian 14, woom 2, and Pello Romper. Seat heights in this range are meant for young balance bike riders who graduate to a pedal bike at around 3 years old.
Precise sizing on a 14″ kids bike is particularly important because 14″ bikes typically have less room for growth, all at a time when kids are growing quite quickly. When your child is first learning to pedal, their feet need to be able to reach the ground with feet flat. This allows for better control, safer stopping, and easier starting.
For maximum growth and to get the most for your money, the Park Cycles 14 Inch is a best buy for new pedal bike riders with an inseam of about 16.5″. Once your child has gained confidence on their pedal bike, you can raise the seat an inch or two to achieve optimal leg bend and pedaling efficiency.
Our 4 year old tester was also a fantastic fit, with the seat set at its maximum height of 19.75″. But at about 41″ tall, she would be an even better fit on the Park Cycles 16″.
To determine which size of Park Cycles bike is the right fit for your child, check out our easy-to-follow kids bike size guide!
Here’s a sizing comparison between Park Cycles 14″ and 16″.
|Spec||Park Cycles 14"||Park Cycles 16"|
|Seat Height Range||16.75" - 19.75"||18.5" - 23"|
|Weight||16.1 lbs.||16.5 lbs.|
With a lightweight aluminum frame, the Park Cycles weighs in at 16 pounds. While not as light as the more expensive woom 2 (11.2 lbs.) or Prevelo Alpha One (14.4 lbs.), it’s still very lightweight for a kid’s bike, and much more lightweight that any bike you’ll find on Amazon or at a big-box store.
Honestly, at this price point, we were shocked that they managed to keep the weight this low! It’s definitely light enough to make the transition from a balance bike a smooth and positive experience for your little rider.
Geometry and Body Position
With one of the longest wheelbases and longest reach (the distance between the saddle and the handlebars) the Park Cycle 14 Inch has a more aggressive geometry than most 14″ bikes. With a 74 mm longer wheelbase and a 45 mm longer reach than the woom 2, the Park Cycles places the rider in a more “leaned-in” position on the bike.
However, this lean is not drastic and is still semi-upright to make the position comfortable and natural for beginners. Additionally, its flippable stem and rotating handlebars allow for quite of bit of customization for all types of riders (more about this below).
The head tube angle of the Park Cycles is also much higher than other 14″ bikes. The higher head tube angle places the front tire more “under” the handlebars of the bike, while a lower head tube angle places the front tire more “in-front” of the bike. For some kids, the higher seat tube angle can lead to more twitchy steering. Our little testers did experience some twitchiness when getting started, but it wasn’t significantly greater than on other bikes.
|Bike||Wheelbase||Reach||Head Tube Angle|
|Park Cycles 14 Inch||711 cm||400 cm||72|
|woom 2||637 cm||355 cm||68|
|Prevelo||667 cm||349 cm||70|
Flippable Stem for Body Position Adjustments
Out of the box, the bike comes with the stem installed so that the handlebars are higher (pic on LEFT below), placing a child in the more “upright” body position. After a couple of weeks of testing, we flipped the stem to the more “aggressive” position (pic on the RIGHT).
The more upright position was preferable when the bike was new and helped our little ones feel more at ease. Flipping the stem down a few weeks in was a simple modification that lowered the handlebars about an inch, as you can see below.
A more leaned-in body position won’t be necessary for most riders this age, but certainly can be helpful if your child is adventurous or riding more aggressive terrain. The handlebars can also be rotated forward or away from the rider to affect their body position.
Although a seemingly slight adjustment, the body position of our rider was clearly noticeable from flipping the stem, as you can see in the image below. With a month of pedal bike experience under her belt, our confident, tall 2 year old tester was able to ride happily in both positions.
The tires on the Park Cycles have a versatile, knobby tread that will enable your little rider to explore everything from your neighborhood to the skate park and beginner trails. At 2.125″ wide, they are wider than your typical tires, which can be help smooth the way on bumpier terrains. As a budget-friendly bike, the tires are a basic off-brand, but similar in tread, traction, and width to the Spawn Yoji.
With a gain ratio of 3.11, the gearing on the Park Cycles 14 is a bit lower than other bikes in its size range. As a comparison, the Prevelo Alpha One and woom 2 both have a gain ratio of 3.7.
Lower gain ratios are easier to get started initially and easier to climb hills, but aren’t able to reach as high of speeds. However, in our testing experience, the actual difference here is minimal. Our little riders rode the woom 2, Prevelo Alpha One, and the Park Cycles 14 with no noticeable difference.
While many of the components of this bike are basic to keep costs down, we were pleased to find this little pony rigged with Tektro dual handbrakes and NO coaster brake! The Tektro v-brakes have fantastic stopping power and often left skid marks on the pavement. The brake levers are easy to reach and easy to engage for little hands.
If you read other reviews about this bike, it’s worth noting that these handbrakes are new on the 2020 model and are an upgrade from the 2019 design.
No coaster brake is a big deal on a 14″ bike. Coaster brakes (or back pedal brakes) are quite common on bikes this size. Even some significantly more expensive bikes come with a coaster brake, but can be converted to a freewheel as an optional upgrade. The freewheel is standard on the Park Cycles 14, which is another impressive feature for this price point.
Adjustable, Tiltable Seat
The saddle on the Park Cycles 14 is adjustable to allow for slight tweaks to a child’s body position. The saddle can move forward or backward on its rails to make small adjustments to the child’s distance from the handlebars. It can also be rotated up or down to adjust the sitting angle to be perfect for your rider.
Grips, Bolts, and Pedals
The grips, pedals, and bolts are an area where Park Cycles kept it basic to keep costs down. The bolts are exposed and not recessed. Certainly not a big deal, but just less “finessed” than more expensive brands.
Grips, on the other hand, can make a big difference in the comfort of the rider. The Park Cycles’ grips are a bit hard, lacking much grip or dampening. That said, our testers never complained about them.
The pedals don’t have much bite, which caused our testers’ feet to slip off of them occasionally. Not the best, but certainly not a deal breaker.
Ease of Assembly
If you’re a bike parent familiar with components and bike maintenance, you should have no problem assembling the Park Cycles 14. If you are not, you should probably take it to a bike shop.
There is a detailed assembly video available on Park Cycles’ website, and most of the assembly is pretty straightforward – attaching the seat post to the saddle, attaching the pedals, adding on the handlebars, inserting and tightening the front wheel. But the front brake has to be adjusted, which requires a lot of tweaking that is generally best left in the hands of a professional.
Given the lower price point, this amount of assembly is fair. While other boutique brands come 95 – 98% assembled out of the box, they are also more expensive.
What’s the Bottom Line?
If you’re a biking family on a budget, Park Cycles may just be the answer you’ve been looking for. With kid-friendly geometry and components at a very fair price, Park Cycles makes rad little kids’ bikes more attainable for many families. We especially appreciate its versatility in child’s body position to accommodate both beginning and aggressive pedal bike riders.
If you’re shopping for a little girl who loves traditionally girly colors, the Park Cycles 14 is available in pink or teal. You can also see other girl bikes options on our page all about it!