With knobby 16 inch tires and impressive components, the Pello Revo is a great starter bike for beginning riders who will likely tackle all-terrain trails, pumptracks, or the skatepark. Read the review!
Pello Revo Review – Results of Our Test Rides
Pello Revo Review
BEST FOR: Riders in at least 4T clothes who will ride everywhere from the neighborhood to dirt trails and pump track.
SEAT HEIGHT: 19.5″ – 23.5″
WEIGHT: 17 lb.
BRAKES: Dual Hand Brake with Coaster
- Upright positioning and narrow frame provide a comfortable and natural fit for beginning riders
- Wider, knobby tires for great traction and better cushioning on all-terrain conditions
- Seamlessly transitions from dirt to pavement to skatepark and pumptrack
- Mid-range gearing for maximum versatility of terrains
- High-end components – Cane Creek headset, dual Tektro hand brakes, and Kenda tires
- Coaster brake (but can be removed with freewheel kit)
Rugged, nimble, and lightweight, the Pello Revo is a top-notch bike for beginning riders. Built with “Ride-Right geometry”, the Revo’s semi-upright positioning and narrow stance provide a comfortable and natural fit for developing riders on paved surfaces. On the other hand, its wide, knobby tires are just begging for trail rides and single track as kids grow their skills and advance to more aggressive riding.
The Revo provides a unique combination of aggressive components with a semi-upright body position to more naturally serve young riders as they grow and develop their confidence and abilities on a variety of terrains.
From paved rides around the neighborhood with the family, to dirt trails outside the city, the Revo doesn’t skip a beat. It’s pretty hard to make a child-friendly bike that does both well, but that’s what Pello has done. If you’re never going to ride on anything besides paved trails, the Revo is still a fantastic bike, but it really fulfills its purpose for families who will be doing both paved and all-terrain riding and need one bike that can effortlessly do both.
Because the bike is lightweight and upright, paved rides come naturally. Then the wide, knobby tires allow for an easy transition to packed dirt or gravel trails. Leaning in and out of turns, our little rider rocked that bike like a pro.
Because the Revo comes standard with a coaster (back-pedal) brake, we highly recommend buying the optional freewheel kit that removes the coaster brake, allowing kids to naturally pedal backwards to regain their balance.
In our testing, our testers had a few occasions where they got frustrated with the coaster brake on aggressive terrain. As they moved more aggressively and their feet shifted around on the pedals, the coaster brake would slightly engage and disrupt their balance and momentum. This is a super easy problem to solve with a freewheel kit though.
(In case you’re wondering why the Revo even has a coaster brake, it has nothing to do with bike design and everything to do with governmental regulations that we won’t bore you with. As an end consumer you can remove the coaster brake, but Pello has to sell the bike with a coaster brake.)
With a seat height range of 19.25″ – 23.5″, the Revo is a great starter bike for kids in size 4T and 5 clothes. On the beefier side for kids in 4T, our experienced 4-year-old tester had no problems riding the Revo (especially due to its light 17 lb. weight), but might have struggled a bit if it was her first pedal bike. When riding uphill or in all-terrain conditions she was a bit more comfortable on the smaller 14″ Pello Romper because it’s smaller, slightly lighter frame was easier for her to maneuver.
However, from a longevity perspective, you would buy a child this size the larger 16″ Revo. It fits our tester well and provides much more room for growth. In the image below you can see how your child would look on the bike when they are almost maxed out at the seat height, like our boy rider on the right.
For older/taller riders with an inseam greater than 21″, the larger 20-inch single-speed Pello Reddi is likely a better choice as it provides more room for growth.
Frame & Geometry
The Pello Revo is unique with its geometry that places a child in a comfortable, semi-upright position. While this positioning is common on more “neighborhood” bikes like the woom 3 and Guardian 16, aggressive bikes tend to have lower handlebars that require a child to lean forward. This places a child in a more aggressive body position for leaning into turns and more aggressively maneuvering their bike.
The less-aggressive stance of the Revo doesn’t mean that kids can’t rock aggressive moves though. Look at our 4 year-old-tester below adeptly leaning into tight turns. We’ve also seen a kid completely dominate at the skatepark with the Revo.
While this point could certainly be argued multiple ways, many “aggressive” riders who are 4 to 6 years old don’t yet have the physical ability or confidence to go on rides that necessitate a very leaned forward position for tight maneuvering. The Pello Revo provides an “aggressive-enough” position that allows kids to grow into their aggressive riding style, and allows these young riders to sit up straighter, which is generally more natural and comfortable for developing riders.
Certainly there will be kids that are the exception to this – who at 4 years old are an Evil Knievel daredevil who wants to dominate the neighborhood or skatepark with friends and the trail with the parents. A more aggressive body position could be appropriate for a child like that, and some of our very aggressive testers have expressed a preference for bikes like the Cleary Hedgehog or Prevelo Alpha Two.
We spoke in length to the owner of Pello Bikes about the design intention of the upright geometry on an “aggressive” bike. We were thoroughly impressed at the research and thought that went into this design. He further clarified a few additional benefits of keeping kids more upright. These benefits include keeping kids centered over the bike to increase their confidence and control, maximizing their awareness by making it easier for them to see where they’re going, and optimizing the position of their spines during growth periods.
Pello Revo Body Position vs. Prevelo & Cleary
Additionally, the Revo’s handlebars can be rotated towards or away from the rider, slightly altering their body position on the bike. While the difference isn’t drastic, your rider may find rotating the handlebars inwards or outwards to be more comfortable based on personal preference.
Rotating Handlebars Affects Body Position
With 16 x 2.2 Kenda K-Rad tires, the Revo is seriously ready for any terrain your child may want to tackle. Compared to many other 16″ bikes, the Revo’s tires are much wider and also have a more all-terrain tread. Even the Cleary Hedgehog, which we highly recommend for all-terrain, aggressive riders this age, has a milder tread and 16 x 1.75 Kenda tires.
The more aggressive tread on the K-Rad tires will provide more traction on non-paved terrains while the extra width provides more surface area contact with the ground. This results in additional traction and more cushioning over rough terrain or even just curbs and cracks in the sidewalk.
While the K-Rad tires are certainly aggressive and knobby, the knobs are wider and shallower than the popular Kenda Small Block 8. This makes the K-Rad great for more packed dirt, while if you were going to be riding in mud or loose dirt on the regular and needed maximum traction, the Small Block 8s would be a good option. These shallower knobs on the K-Rad also make riding flat pavement a smoother experience.
With a gain ratio of 3.5, the Pello Revo is geared a bit higher than the more aggressive Cleary Hedgehog (gain ratio of 3.1), but lower than the Prevelo Alpha Two (gain ratio 3.8). This mid-range gain ratio will make it slightly harder to get started or to get up hills than the Cleary, but allows kids to get more power and distance with each pedal stroke.
This mid-range gearing speaks to the versatility of the Revo, designed not just for one type of riding, but to allow kids to explore and develop skills on many types of terrains.
The Revo comes with high-end Tektro caliper brakes on both front and rear wheels. Easy-to-use and easy-to-reach, the brakes are quick and effective. Older models of the Revo only came with a rear hand brake, but current models have dual hand brakes.
The Revo also comes with a coaster brake. As explained previously, it can easily be removed by purchasing Pello’s $20 freewheel kit.
Pello Bikes set themselves apart with their high-end components. Let’s start with the durable Kenda tires on lightweight wheels with smooth ball bearings. Then we’ll add the proprietary crank set design for optimal pedal power and Tektro v-pull brakes with great stopping power. Next comes a comfy, railed saddle, clever frame accents and a bell! Then to top it off… the best-of-the-best Cane Creek headset for consistent and responsive steering. If a bike is the sum of its components, you’ve got a formula for one sweet little ride.
After years and years of bike testing, it’s pretty easy to spot a high-quality bike from an imposter right out of the box. Pello is one of the kids’ brands that truly dominates in having the best of everything.
While the wider tires increase the overall weight of the bike, they allow the bike to excel on all-terrain conditions, as well as at the skatepark. The Revo’s semi-upright body positioning is awesome for most kids, but could limit aggressive maneuvering for really adventurous riders.
Pello Revo Comparison
|Feature||Pello Revo||Prevelo Alpha Two||YeeToo|
|Pello Revo||Prevelo Alpha Two||Cleary Hedgehog|
|Seat Height||19.25" - 23.5"||18" - 26"||19" - 26"|
|Weight||17 lb.||14.9 lb.||16 lb.|
|Tires||Kenda K-RAD||Kenda Small Block 8||Kenda All-Terrain|
|Read Full Review||You're reading it!||Prevelo Alpha Two||Cleary Hedgehog|
With top-of-the-line components and killer kid-specific geometry, the Pello Revo is a fantastic first bike for kids who will be tackling all-terrain adventures in addition to dominating the neighborhood. More upright than its counterparts, it’s especially ideal for kids who want to maximize their comfort and lean in when they choose to be more aggressive. We highly recommend spending the extra $20 to get the freewheel kit that removes the coaster brake.