Top Pick

Prevelo Alpha One

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With high-end components, sophisticated, yet kid-specific design, and durability to last through several kids, you'll be wishing you were small enough to ride the Alpha One.

RATING: Exceptional

BEST FOR: The smallest young balance bike graduates who are likely to advance to more adventurous riding.

SEAT HEIGHT: 15.6" – 17.5"

WEIGHT: 14.4 lb.

0

$359.00

Rating

Exceptional

Geared Bike

No

Seat Height

15.6" – 17.5"

Weight

14.4 lb.

Tire Size

14"

Gain Ratio

3.7

Frame Material

Aluminum Alloy

Brake Type

Dual Hand (No Coaster)

Hand Brake Type

Tektro V-pull

Pros & Cons

PROS:
  • 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
CONS:
  • Only 2" of seat height range limits room for growth
  • Coaster brake (can be removed with a freewheel kit)

Full Review

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.

Performance

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!

Size

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 or the CNOC 14″ 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.

Weight

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.

Prevelo Alpha One is Designed and Built to Fit a Child’s Small Frame

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.

Prevelo Alpha One Places a Child in Comfortable, Upright Position

High-End Components

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.

Color Options

The Prevelo Alpha One comes in two colors – silver or purple.

Comparison

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 ($359): 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.

Islabikes CNOC 14″ Small ($420): The CNOC is as cream-of-the-crop as it gets for kids’ bikes. It also has a 4.5″ seat height range, vs. the Prevelo’s 2″ seat height range, allowing for more room for growth. The CNOC does not however, have a freewheel kit that allows you to remove the mandatory coaster brake, while the Prevelo does offer a freewheel kit.

ByK E-250 ($269): 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 ($286): 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.

Bottom Line

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.

 

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review, however, the reviewed product was supplied by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC.  All content and images are copyrighted and should not be used or replicated in any way. View our Terms of Use.

Disclosure: The majority of links provided are affiliate links we receive a small commission on sales made through them (including Amazon).
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