Pello Rover Review
The ultimate multi-trick pony, the Pello Rover is a confidence-building 20-inch bike that excels in various types of riding. For those who need a bike capable of intermediate riding on and off the trail, the Rover stands ready. From its standard mechanical disc brakes to the optional front suspension fork, we cover it all in our review.
BEST FOR: Young riders needing a versatile bike that rides smoothly on paved surfaces as it does on single-track trails.
SEAT HEIGHT: 22.5" - 27.5
WEIGHT: 20.3 lb.
|Geared Bike Type||
Mechanical Disc, Dual Hand (No Coaster)
22.5" – 27.5"
Pros & Cons
- Lightweight frame with a longer wheelbase for stability on trails
- Kenda K-RAD tires with a flat knobby tread that excels on paved and non-paved surfaces
- Tektra mechanical disc brakes
- SRAM 7-speed grip shift
- Optional Spinner Air Grind front suspension fork
- Available in Orange or Pink
Pello Rover Review – Results of Our Test Rides
Not too street, not too trail, the Pello Rover is the perfect bike for kids transitioning to more technical riding, but who still need an easy-to-use bike for everyday riding. Moving up from a single-speed 16″ bike to a 20″ bike with gears, fancy brakes and various tire treads can be intimidating for both kids and parents! The Pello Rover offers a well-thought-out combination of technically capable, yet easy-to-use components that are suitable for 6 to 8 year-olds.
The Rover was designed to fit the gap between a fully specced out kids’ mountain bike, such as the Prevelo Zulu, and a high-performing everyday street bike, such as the woom 4. We’ve awarded all three of these 20″ bikes as “Exceptional”, but they’re each designed for a different purpose.
The Pello Rover has more features that make it better suited for trail riding than the woom 4, but not as many features as the Zulu to make it compatible for really aggressive mountain biking. The Rover is that perfect Goldilocks of a bike in the middle.
From packed dirt trails to half-paved/half-gravel bike trails, the Pello performed like a champ. Due to the wet conditions still here in Utah, we’ve yet to put the bike to the test on single-track. But based on our experience with Rover so far, our 7-year-old tester is eagerly waiting for his mountain bike class to start so he can get more miles on his beloved “orange bike”!
With several 20″ bikes in his stable, our main 7-year-old tester certainly has his favorite bikes, but the Pello quickly rose to the top. Why? As he’s gotten older, so have his biking ambitions. If there’s a ramp or small jump, he will find it. It there is a dirt path instead of sidewalk, he’ll take it.
Living in an area with many horses, we’re lucky enough to have miles of trails around us, but to make them multi-use, there’s a gravel or dirt trail for the horses next to all of the paved trails. When he was younger, the gravel scared him – now he aims for it!
With the dual nature of his riding style, from dirt to gravel (and eventually single-track), he quickly fell in love with the Rover. Because he’s not an experienced technical rider, the Zulu was overkill for him. But with his growing biking ambitions, he now needs wider and knobbier tires than his beloved woom 4.
In addition to the tires, the Rover offers upgraded mechanical disc brakes for extra stopping power as well as an easy-to-use 7-speed grip shift.
The Rover’s seat height ranges from 22.5″- 27.5″. With experienced riders, the seat height should be placed 2″ to 3″ higher than the rider’s inseam, so the Rover is a great fit for kids with a 20″ to 26″ inseams. The Rover was a perfect fit for our 7-year-old in size 6 clothes (in green shirt below) as well as our 8-year-old tester in size 7/8 clothes (in gray shirt).
For kids with inseams under 20″ the single-speed, 20-inch Pello Reddi is a great option to consider.
With a 23″ inseam, our 8-year-old tester is tall enough to fit on the 24″ Pello Reyes, which has a 25.25″ – 31″ seat height, but he felt comfortable and confident on the Rover. If he was purchasing a new bike, however, the Reyes would be better as it would allow for more room for growth.
Lightweight Frame & Optional Suspension
The Rover weighs 20.5 lb. without the suspension fork and 22.3 lb. with the fork. We tested the standard version without suspension and the weight wasn’t an issue with either of our testers. As a comparison, the Rover is heavier than the woom 4 (16.3 lb.), but lighter than the Prevelo Zulu (23.4).
These weights, however, are reflective of the components on the bike. The Zulu has hydraulic disc brakes and a suspension shock. The woom 4 has lighter-weight tires with less knobby tread and has v-brakes versus the mechanical disc brakes on the Rover. Additionally, the Prevelo Alpha, Prevelo’s street/all-terrain bike, also weighs less than the Rover at 18.9 lb., but comes with V-brakes.
For the experienced rider who is ready to take on more challenging rides, Pello offers a Spinner Grind Air shock for an additional $140. The shock comes fully installed on the bike and Pello will also include the original rigid fork free of charge to allow for future, less technical rides.
Not sure if your child needs suspension? From our experience, we believe it’s best to start a child off mountain biking without a suspension fork because it saves them almost 2 lbs. on weight. Once the child is proficient in the basics on mountain biking, the additional 2 lb. won’t be as much of a hindrance and the shock can be added.
The Rover places the rider in a semi-upright position that is comfortable for everyday riding as well as basic single-track. The positioning on the Pello Rover, woom 4 and Prevelo Alpha are all very similar. Of the three, the Prevelo Alpha is the most aggressive, but the difference is pretty insignificant.
The wheelbase of the Pello, however, is about an inch longer than the woom 4. The longer wheelbase does make the Pello better suited for single-track riding as it provides a longer base. The longer base helps keep kids more grounded when they shift their weight around on the bike.
Pello Rover vs woom 4
Wheels and Tires
The tires on the Rover play a major role in making it universal for on and off-road. The Pello Rover’s Kenda K-RAD tires are specifically designed to have wider and flatter knobs than traditional off-road tires. These knobs allow for great traction on compact dirt and gravel trails, while still being flat enough to provide a smooth ride on paved trails.
In the images below you can see the differences in the tires that come standard on the Prevelo Zulu (designed for all-mountain riding), the Pello Rover (for dirt and trail) and the woom 4 (for all-purpose riding, some dirt, mainly paved).
The Zulu has the widest tire with the most knobs, which are excellent on dirt but are loud and bumpy on paved surfaces. The woom 4’s knobs provide great traction for paved and some dirt, but without the extra weight that wider and knobby tires provide.
Lastly, the K-Rad tires on the Pello provide great traction on dirt, while still riding smooth on paved surfaces. They are, however, heavier which adds to the additional weight of the Rover as compared to the woom 4. For reference, the Prevelo Alpha‘s tires are similar to the woom 4’s.
As an added benefit, the tires and the rims on the Rover are tubeless ready. Switching to a tubeless system allows the tires to ride with less air pressure, thereby making the tires more flexible and able to conform to the trail and provide more traction.
Gearing and Shifting
The Rover has 7-speeds with gain ratios ranging between 2 and 5. Geared slightly lower than woom 4 (2.3/6.7) and Prevelo Alpha (2.1/6.7), the Pello’s lowest gear really helps kids power up hills.
The woom 4 and Prevelo Alpha do have 8-gears, versus 7, which allows for the higher gear up top. The higher gears are mainly used on longer paved rides.
During our testing on longer paved rides, our 7-year-old mainly stuck to the higher gears on the Pello, which worked great for him. If your child really likes to crank out the speed on flatter distances, the higher speeds offered on the woom 4 and Prevelo Alpha might be worth looking into.
Built for more aggressive riding, the Rover has more aggressive brakes. Equipped with Tektro mechanical disc brakes, the Rover’s brakes are very responsive and offer more stopping power than standard v-brakes.
While mechanical disc brakes don’t offer as much stopping power and modulation as hydraulic disc brakes, they are much easier to maintain and provide plenty of stopping power for your average weight kid.
Headset & Saddle
“Oh, this bike rides smooth!” After riding the Rover for the first time, our 8-year-old tester was thoroughly impressed with its responsiveness. From tight turns around our neighborhood circle to zigzags on the bike trail, the Rover happily obliged without any delay or hesitation.
While several different features work together to create the responsiveness of a bike, the bike’s headset plays a major role. The headset is the component that connects the steer tube (the tube that comes up from the fork) to the handlebars of the bike. If there is any wiggle room or play in the steering on a bike, the headset is the first thing to check.
To ensure the ultimate ride, all Pello bikes feature Cane Creek headsets. The leader in headsets for over 10 years, Cane Creek headsets are known for their precision build, durability, and renowned performance.
In fact, we once had a major bike manufacturer send out a new fork for one of our adult bikes when they learned that the fork didn’t fit properly with a Cane Creek headset. They knew that the odds of their fork being manufactured wrong was way more likely than a Cane Creek headset being made wrong.
Made with thick padding and grooved for extra comfort, the saddle on the Rover drew no complaints from our testers.
The Pello Rover is unique in that it is designed to fill the niche between an all-around street bike like the woom 4 and Prevelo Alpha and a true mountain bike like the Prevelo Zulu. All four bikes are amazing and well-loved by our testers, but each bike excels better in different circumstances. Which bike is best really depends on what you’re looking to get out of the bike.
|Features||Pello Rover||woom 4||Prevelo Alpha Three||Prevelo Zulu Three|
|Bike (link to review)||Pello Rover||woom 4||Prevelo Alpha Three||Prevelo Zulu Three|
|Best For||Ambitious riders rotating between packed dirt to paved trails||Great all-around, excellent for the average neighborhood rider||Aggressive neighborhood riders and basic trail riders||True mountain rippers needing the ultimate riding machine|
|Weight||20.5 lb.||16.3 lb.||18.9 lb.||23.4 lb.|
|Seat Height||25.25" - 31"||22.1" - 28"||20.7" - 25.5"||22.8" - 28"|
|Shifters||7sp/SRAM Grip||8sp/SRAM Grip||8sp/Shimano Trigger||10sp/Shimano Trigger|
Pello Rover: Best suited for adventurous riders who plan on riding everything from paved bike trails to single track mountain bike trails or pump tracks. With wider, grippy tires and a mechanical disc brakes, the Rover is ready for action. The Rover is also available with an air suspension fork.
woom 4: The ultimate ride for neighborhood riders as well as those who plan on riding longer paved trails. The lightest of the bunch, the woom 4 is also best suited for timid riders.
Prevelo Alpha Three: While not as equipped for mountain biking as the Rover, the Alpha Three is more aggressive than the woom 4 and is best suited for neighborhood riders who are eager to tackle any jump or pump track they come across. Featuring trigger shifters, versus grip shifters, shifting on the Alpha is typically quicker, but takes more time to learn than the grip shifts on the Rover.
Prevelo Zulu Three: The ultimate ride for the true mountain biker. With front air suspension, wide, knobby tires, and hydraulic disc brakes, the Zulu is a true mountain goat.
The Pello Rover is the ideal riding machine for young riders ready to tackle gears and trails for the first time. With premium stopping power, grip shifters for easy learning, and a lightweight quality build, the Rover stands ready to take on whatever your young ripper can throw at it.