With high-end components and sophisticated, yet kid-specific design, the Prevelo Alpha One is an impressive (and tiny!) little bike. Read the review below to see how this 14 inch bike compares to other top brands.
Prevelo Alpha One Review
RATING: Highly Recommended
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: 15.6″ – 17.5″
WEIGHT: 14.4 lb.
BRAKES: Tektro Dual Hand, No Coaster
- Lower rise handlebars make shifting weight around a breeze for adventurous riders
- Responsive, easy-pull, dual-hand brakes
- Low center-of-gravity for better balance
- Top quality components
- Lightweight, low step-through frame
- Only 2″ of seat height range limits room for growth
- Coaster brake (can be removed with a freewheel kit)
Prevelo Alpha One Review – Results of our Test Rides
The Prevelo Alpha One is one impressive and tiny bike for the smallest and most eager balance bike graduates. With high-end components, sophisticated, yet kid-specific design, 14″ tires, and durability to last through several kids, you’ll be wishing you were small enough to ride it.
New to a pedal bike, our 3-year-old boy tester (size 3T pants) was ecstatic to get on the Alpha One – his first “big-boy” bike! Super lightweight and designed to make it easy for small kids to balance and maneuver, the Alpha One is an ideal choice for kids that have just mastered a balance bike.
Our 3-year-old girl tester (16″ inseam and size 2T/3T pants) had already been riding a small (and very heavy!) 12″ pedal bike, but had been struggling to get it started with each ride because of its weight. (I lifted it up, and seriously, it was well-proportioned for a 3-year-old but weighed a ton!) The moment our girl tester got on the Alpha One, she pushed off the ground balance-bike-style, glided with ease, and began pedaling. She was all grins and actually refused to get back on her old bike when I requested to see her ride it!
With a seat height range of 15.6″ – 17.5″, the Prevelo Alpha one is one of the smallest 12″/14″ bikes we’ve seen, and is made for the youngest and smallest balance bike graduates. A 2″ range of seat height adjustability is a bit narrow, especially at this price point. Other high-end 14″ bikes, such as the woom 2 have over 4″ of seat height range. The Alpha One, like all Prevelo bikes, boasts a premium quality frame and components, so while it may not last a single child too long, it will surely last through several children.
If your child’s inseam is over 17″, we would recommend moving up to Prevelo’s 16-inch Alpha Two. With a seat height range of 17.7″ to 25.0″ it will provide much more room for growth.
Weighing in at only 14.4 lbs, (or 13.45 lbs with the freewheel kit installed), the Prevelo Alpha one isn’t the most lightweight 14″ bike on the market, but weighs less than the vast majority of other bikes its size. Its light weight makes it super easy for small kids to get it started and to maneuver. Outside of the realm of high-end kids’ bikes, 12″/14″ bikes often weigh over half a child’s body weight, making it very difficult for a small child to move without great effort, and also preventing a child from riding confidently and independently. Lightweight bikes cost more, but are worth every penny if you can afford it. I mean, look at that smile!
Geometry and Body Position
The images below show one of the primary reasons why a bike like the Prevelo Alpha One is so much more expensive than any 12″ bike you’re going to buy from a big-box store. Our tester on the left looks so natural and comfortable on the Prevelo, especially compared to our tester on the right who’s riding a 12″ Huffy. Our Prevelo rider is sitting “in” the bike, rather than being perched on top of it. Her arms are extended at a length that’s both comfortable and maximizes her ability to control her steering. The length of the Prevelo is far more stretched out than the Huffy, giving the rider adequate space for comfort, growth, and maneuverability.
All of this is a result of Prevelo being a kids’ bike brand with bikes designed specifically for kids and being built with kid-specific parts. Shockingly, most kids’ bikes aren’t actually built like this, with the kids’ bikes being more of an afterthought for a bike brand who also sells adult bikes.
Being designed for the youngest and smallest balance bike graduates, the Alpha One’s bike geometry places the child in a comfortable, upright yet slightly leaned forward position. This position is the most natural for young riders who are just learning the ropes and is common with high-end, kid-specific bike brands, like woom which is seen below. The Cleary Gecko, which is meant for the same size rider as the Alpha One, places a child in a very leaned-forward, very aggressive position. While the Gecko is a high-quality bike, it’s best for very adventurous and confident riders.
The Prevelo Alpha One features Tektro front and rear v-brakes with small reach brake levers. While it comes with a coaster brake (required by law), you can buy an optional Freewheel kit to remove the coaster brake (which we definitely recommend for balance bike graduates).
Alpha One Features Dual Hand Brakes and Internally-Routed Cable
The Kenda 14″ x 1.5″ tires with tread suitable for varied terrain, coupled with a gain ratio of 3.7, make the Alpha One suitable for basically any terrain your tiny rider may want to tackle.
Kenda 14″ x 1.5″ Tires are Suitable for Varied Terrains
Ease of Assembly
The Prevelo Alpha One comes 95% assembled. All you’re required to do is install the handlebar, seatpost and pedals. I assembled it myself in a matter of minutes, while my neighbor waited outside with her child who was eager to ride it. As an added bonus, as is typical with other high-end bikes, the Prevelo comes with all the tools you’ll need for the minimal assembly.
The Prevelo Alpha One comes in three colors – silver, purple and their newest color – blue!
There are very few bikes on the market that have a minimum seat height as low as the Prevelo Alpha One to accommodate the tiniest riders. There are three that we know of and that we also recommend.
Prevelo Alpha One: 14″ tires, high-end components, upright body positioning, a lightweight aluminum frame, and a freewheel kit to remove the coaster brake make the Alpha One a winner in our book. Our one reservation is the narrow 2″ range of seat height adjustability. – If your child has not used a balance bike, be sure to check out Prevelo’s Alpha Zero balance bike.
ByK E-250: A more budget friendly option, but the components aren’t nearly as high-quality and the bike only has a coaster brake – no freewheel kit.
Cleary Gecko: As mentioned above, this bike has a very aggressive body position that is ideal for adventurous and aggressive riders, but not recommended for average or timid riders. Its very small size makes its lifetime with your child limited. In our experience, kids rarely fit well on this bike past 6 months of use.
Our young tester’s refusal to get back on her old bike pretty much sums it up. The Prevelo Alpha One is loved by kids because it’s made specifically for them! Its light weight, kid-friendly design, and top-notch components makes it a joy to ride and makes the transition from a balance bike to a pedal bike seamless. As one of the smallest pedal bikes we’ve seen, it should be high on your consideration list for your very small balance bike graduate. One thing to remember – it has a limited useful lifetime for a child due to its narrow seat height range. However, its quality is beyond reproach and will last through several children.