Built with trigger shifters and a wide gear range, the 24 inch Prevelo Alpha Four is ideal for adventurous riders who need a technical bike for basic trail riding or aggressive neighborhood riding. We cover everything from drivetrain to geometry in our review.
Prevelo Alpha Four Review
BEST FOR: From aggressive day-to-day riders to those just getting started on single-track, the Alpha Four is a high-quality bike with a wide range of uses.
SEAT HEIGHT: 25.8″ – 31.2″
WEIGHT: 21.2 lb.
GEARS: 8-speed with Trigger
BRAKES: Tektro Dual Hand Brake
- Lightweight, low step-through frame
- Low center-of-gravity for better balance
- Narrow Q-factor for maximum leverage on pedals
- Top quality components
- Limited color options
- Trigger shifters challenging for some kids
Prevelo Alpha Four Review – Results of our Test Rides
Following in the footsteps of Islabikes, WOOM and others, Prevelo bikes are designed specifically for kids. Far from a mere scaled down version of an adult bike made with off-the-shelf components, Prevelos are designed for kids using kid-specific geometry and parts. Built on lightweight frames, with a lower bottom bracket for a low center of gravity, in the words of our tester, the Prevelo Alpha Four truly offers a “smooth” and comfortable ride.
Weight and Geometry
With his first ride on the Prevelo, our 8-year-old tester in size 10 clothes was in love. From paved bike paths to compacted dirt trails, he felt at home on the Prevelo. The lightweight frame helped him easily cruise up and down hills. Weighing 75 lbs. and with the Prevelo weighing in at only 21.2 lbs., the bike is just under 30% of his body weight, which is the ideal percentage often hard to achieve for kids’ bikes. As a comparison, the similarly sized, equipped, and priced Trek Kids’ Neko is 3.5 lb. heavier, weighing 33% of his body weight.
An ambitious rider, the low bottom bracket height of 9.9 inches provides a lower center-of-gravity, helping our tester maintain his balance when shifting his weight around corners. In addition, child-specific components provide for a narrow Q-factor (essentially width between pedals) of 6.5″, preventing leg splay and allowing our tester to get maximum power of on each pedal stroke. The custom made crank arms are absolutely straight, with no bend, to maintain the low Q-factor.
More in-depth explanations of the importance of a low bottom bracket and a narrow Q-factor can be found in our article Best Kids Bikes: The Authoritative Buying Guide.
With a minimum seat height of 25.8″, the Alpha Four is a great fit for kids with at least a 23″ inseam. Kids with inseam less 23″ would be better off on the 20-inch Prevelo Alpha Three.
The Alpha Four has a Shimano ALTUS 8-speed drivetrain with a gain ratio ranging from 2.2 to 6.8. Unlike WOOM and Islabikes, Prevelo has trigger rather than grip shifters. While there are pros and cons to each system, for kids old enough to ride a 24″ bike, it really comes down to personal preference. Grip shifters require kids to twist the shifter forward or back to shift, while trigger shifters require kids to use their pointer finger to shift up and their thumb to shift down. In general, although triggers require less effort to engage than grip shifters, kids need either a lot of practice or good hand-eye coordination to comfortably shift with a trigger shifter.
Tektro front and rear v-brakes smoothly bring the Alpha Four to a stop. With a small reach, they were easy to pull and activate for young hands,
While there are multiple factors that determine the geometry of a bike, the height of the handlebars plays an important role. The Alpha’s handlebars are set slightly slower on the frame of the bike, which requires the rider to lean forward more to reach the handlebars. While we wouldn’t classify the Prevelo as an aggressive bike, the rider’s position on the bike will make it less comfortable for timid riders.
Prevelo Alpha vs. Prevelo Zulu
Prevelo bikes offer two lines – the base Alpha, for everyday riding and light cross-country, and the Zulu, for advanced trail riding. The Alpha line has a shiny aluminum frame with a matte black fork, while the Zulu bikes come in several different colors. We’ve also reviewed the Prevelo Zulu Four.
|Feature||Prevelo Alpha Four||Prevelo Zulu Four|
|Prevelo Alpha Four||Prevelo Zulu Four|
|Best For||Everyday riding, light trail riding||Advanced trail riding|
|Sizes Available||Balance bike, 14", 16", 20", 24"||14", 16", 20", 24"|
The Prevelo Alpha series is an exceptional line of bikes for eager young riders. Lightweight with a low-center-of-gravity, the Alphas are fun and easy to ride. With trigger shifters and a lower handlebar, the Alpha Four is best suited for eager riders, aged 7 to 10, ready to tackle whatever trail lies in front of them.