Slick, fun, and fast, the Prevelo Alpha Two will take your child from beginning wobbles to a little shredder. With all-terrain tires and lower-set handlebars, this little 16 inch bike is a dream bike for adventurous kids who love to tackle the skatepark, pump track, and beginner dirt trails.
As one of the smallest 16 inch bikes on the market, the Alpha Two is ideally sized as a first pedal bike for many kids, offering much more room for growth than a 14 inch bike. But it may also be the second pedal bike for kids who transitioned to pedals at a very young age.
Read the review below to see how the Prevelo Alpha Two compares to other 16 inch bikes on the market, and if it’s the right bike for your child. **The Alpha Two has been updated for 2023! We are working on an update for this whole review, but have updated the stats (seat height, weight, gain ratio) to reflect the 2023 model.**
Prevelo Alpha Two Overview
BEST FOR: Beginning riders likely to advance to more adventurous riding such as curb jumping, pump tracks, or dirt trails.
SEAT HEIGHT: 17″ – 25″
WEIGHT: 14.4 lb.
BRAKES: Dual Hand Brake
FRAME: Aluminum Alloy
GAIN RATIO: 3.8
TIRE SIZE: 16″
WHEELBASE: 730 mm
- Lightweight, low step-through frame
- Low center-of-gravity for better balance
- Narrow Q-factor for maximum leverage on pedals
- Low handlebars allow confident kids to lean in and get aggressive
- All-terrain tires great for sidewalk, skatepark, or compact dirt trails
- Tektro dual handbrakes offer maximum stopping power
- NO COASTER BRAKE!
Prevelo Alpha Two Video Review
Want to watch our Baby Bike Tester in action on the Alpha Two? She’ll take you on a ride through Bentonville’s pump tracks and bike trails in our video review!
Prevelo Alpha Two Review – Results of our Test Rides
With an ideal combination of a lightweight, low-step through frame and a low-center of gravity design, the Prevelo Alpha Two is a joy to ride for both casual and aggressive riders.
Our confident, but not adventurous, 5-year-old tester eagerly rode it up and down mild hills and on paved and light gravel trails. Feeling how fast the bike was, he even extended his ride just to run some speed tests on the bike. 🙂 The Prevelo Alpha Two boosted his confidence and inspired him to be a bit more adventurous than usual.
Our aggressive and daring 3-year-old tester also dominated the local skatepark, Velosolutions pump track, and Bentonville bike parks on this little pony. The lower handlebars allow her to lean in for speed, and effortlessly maneuver over and through features and obstacles at the bike park. Rooty dirt trails? Up and over, baby!
As her second pedal bike (she learned to pedal on the smaller Prevelo Alpha One), the Prevelo Alpha Two has been the perfect tool for developing and advancing her riding skills. Nothing can stop this fearless three-year-old on her Prevelo!
And while her natural boldness played a factor in her success, the Prevelo Alpha Two was the real secret weapon. This little bike works with her, enabling her adventurous spirit with its perfect fit, lightweight frame, and exceptional design.
Weight and Geometry
At just under 15 pounds, the Prevelo Alpha Two is one of the lightest 16 inch bikes on the market. All of our testers felt at ease on the Alpha Two and wanted to ride faster, longer, and were willing to be more adventurous.
In addition to its low weight, the Prevelo has a low center-of-gravity design that makes it easier to balance. Compared to lower-end bikes, the bottom bracket (where the crank arms attach the frame of the bike) is closer to the ground. This allows the rider to sit lower to the ground which lowers the overall center-of-gravity of the bike.
With a low bottom bracket and low-rise handlebars, the Prevelo Alpha Two offers a comfortable body positioning for adventurous riders. It’s not too relaxed and not too aggressive. Compared to other higher-end bikes, the Alpha Two is mid-range in overall body position, making it a great bike for beginning riders who are likely to progress to more advanced, adventurous rides like curbs, groomed trails, or pump tracks.
A bike with an upright position, like the woom 3, is best for timid riders, or kids who will likely stick to casual neighborhood riding. Here you can see the difference in body positioning between the 16″ woom 3 and 16″ Prevelo Alpha 2.
Prevelo Alpha Two Body Position vs. woom 3
The Prevelo Alpha Two is a phenomenal first ride for kids in 4T or size 5 pants or experienced riders in 3T pants. For first time pedal bike riders, the seat height should be set so that the child can have both feet flat on the ground. Experienced riders should have the seat set so they can reach the ground with their tip toes when seated on the bike.
The Alpha Two 16 inch comes with two seat posts which allows the seat to range from 17″ to 25″ (if you take the rear reflector off the seat post.) We tested out the bike with a 3-year-old with a 17″ inseam, a 5-year-old with a 19″ inseam, and a 6-year-old with a 21″ inseam.
The 3-year-old (17″ inseam) transitioned to the Prevelo Alpha Two from the Prevelo Alpha One (14″). Because the Alpha Two was her second pedal bike, she was able to comfortably ride the bike with the seat post set to about 18.5″. The bike is a perfect fit and offers plenty of room for growth.
The 5-year-old (19″ inseam) fit on the Alpha Two with the seat height set to 21″ (he is an experienced rider). It was also a great fit for him, and still offers quite a bit of room for growth.
The 6-year-old experienced rider (21″ inseam) set the seat post to 24″. While he loved riding the bike, and rocked it around the neighborhood every chance he got, it was clearly too small for him.
Who is the Prevelo Alpha Two the Best Fit For?
As a result of our testing, we found the usable seat height range for the Alpha Two to be 17″ to 23″.
Experienced Riders: If your child has already mastered a pedal bike, it’s a best buy for kids with an inseam of 16″ to 19″. They can start riding with the seat set so that their tip toes touch the ground, and they’ll have maximum room for growth.
Beginning Riders: For beginning riders who are transitioning from a balance bike, the Alpha Two is a best for kids with an inseam ranging from 17″ to 20″. Remember, most kids need to have feet flat when first starting out on a pedal bike. You can raise the seat once they are confidently starting and stopping the bike.
For the youngest and smallest of riders, Prevelo also offers a 14-inch Alpha One with a minimum seat height of 15.6″.
16 Inch Prevelo Alpha Two vs. 20 Inch Prevelo Alpha Three
The seat height of the Prevelo Alpha Three (20 inch) ranges from 20.7″ to 25.5″ which significantly overlaps with the seat height range of the Prevelo Two which is 17″ to 25″. Both the 16 and 20 inch are smaller bikes for their wheel size and our 5 and 6-year-old testers were able to ride both bikes.
As a parent, it’s important to remember that just because a kid can technically ride a bike, it may not be the best fit for him. So which size bike is best for your child?
We found the 16″ Alpha Two to be the best for kids with an inseam ranging from 16″ to 20″ and the 20″ Prevelo Three to be best for kids with an inseam of 20″ to 24″.
In our tests, the 20 inch Alpha Three was too much to handle for our 5-year-old in size 5 clothes with a 19″ inseam. It required him to stretch out considerably to reach the handlebars. The shifters for the gears and overall larger size were also unnecessary for him as he generally sticks to basic neighborhood riding.
For kids like him, the 16″ Alpha Two is definitely the way to go. But if your child is the same size and more aggressive, the 20″ Alpha Three would be a fine “stretch fit” to help you get the most bang for your buck.
Prevelo Alpha 16″ and 20″ Sizing Comparison
For our adventurous 6-year-old rider in size 6 clothes with a 21″ inseam, the Prevelo Alpha Three 20″ was a much better fit as he easily reached the handlebars. While kids can happily ride bikes that are too small for them, in a best-case scenario this rider would have transitioned from the 16″ to the 20″ bike about 6 to 12 months prior.
Still need a little help determining which Prevelo bike is right for your child? Consult with our guide on Kids Bike Sizes!
The Prevelo has a gain ratio of 3.8, which places it in the mid-range of gain ratios for 16 inch bikes. Lower gain ratios make it easier to start pedaling. This makes them better for beginning riders but does limit the top speed of the bike.
Higher gain ratios are harder to get started pedaling and can take a couple of seconds longer to reach more stable speeds. But once they get going the rider has the advantage of reaching a much higher top speed.
The 3.8 gain ratio of the Prevelo is a perfect sweet spot for young, adventurous riders. It’s low enough that it’s still pretty easy to get started pedaling and tackle moderate hills, ramps, and pump tracks. But it’s also high enough so your child won’t be spinning their wheels in frustration to go faster and farther.
For kids who would benefit from an even higher gain ratio for speed and long distances, Prevelo offers a 2-speed auto shift rear wheel as an upgrade. This wheel allows a child to ride with the standard 3.8 gain ratio, and then when they hit 6.8 MPH, the bike will automatically shift to a higher gear. The higher gearing results in a 5.2 gain ratio.
Dual Hand Brakes (No Coaster Brake!)
Prevelo’s brakes stop quickly and efficiently. Our testers had no problems reaching or activating the dual handbrakes.
While many 16 inch bikes still come with a coaster brake, the Prevelo Alpha Two does not have a coaster brake! This allows beginning riders to naturally pedal backward when losing their balance, and all riders to properly position their pedals before take off.
As a high-end touch, the brake cable is internally routed in the bike’s frame.
Other High-End Features
Everything about the Prevelo Alpha Two is well-designed and executed. While we’ve already covered the major points, we did want to mention just a few additional components that speak to the exceptional quality of a Prevelo bike.
Three-Piece Cranks: Unlike most kids bikes that have 2-piece crank sets, Prevelo bikes feature 3-piece crank sets. These are stronger, lighter, and offer more adjustability (as well as the ability to repair if needed) than 2-piece crank sets.
Prevelo Alpha Two vs. Cleary Hedgehog vs. woom 3
Prevelo, Cleary and woom 16 inch bikes are all amazing. With all three bikes at our disposal for several months, we can honestly say that you really can’t go wrong with any of the bikes, but they are uniquely different. While all the bikes perform flawlessly around the neighborhood, each bike excelled slightly better in distinct situations.
Prevelo Alpha Two: Wide, lower handlebars make it more “mountain bike” style as it provides a wider base for the hands. This set up is ideal for adventurous young riders who are ready to hit the pump track, single track, or every curb between the park and your house.
Cleary Hedgehog: A slightly more aggressive geometry combined with a lower gain ratio of 2.88 makes it better for adventurous kids who are either riding around hills or are planning on hitting basic single track with mom or dad. The Cleary also has the ability to lower or raise the gain ratio within the range of 2.56 to 3.54. (This requires a separate rear cog.)
woom 3: The upright position makes it ideal for timid riders or those who are hesitant to start riding. The woom 3 is also a great all-around bike for the average rider who is planning on riding around the neighborhood or paved bike trails.
Prevelo Alpha Two Comparison
|Bike||Prevelo Alpha Two||woom 3||Cleary Hedgehog|
|Best For||Beginning riders likely to advance to more adventurous riding||Timid, beginning riders who plan on sticking to neighborhood riding||Eager beginning riders likely ready to tackle jumps, basic single-track|
|Seat Range||17" - 25"||19.1" - 25.2"||17.5" - 24.5"|
|Brakes||Dual Hand, No coaster||Dual Hand, No coaster||Dual Hand, No coaster|
|Weight||14.9 lb.||13.1 lb.||17.3 lb.|
|Read the Review||You're reading it!||woom 3||Cleary Hedgehog|
Prevelo Alpha 3 Bottom Line
The Prevelo Alpha Two 16 inch bike is a gold-standard bike for adventurous little ones. Best for young riders with a lot of ambition, the Alpha Two is sure to take your child from beginning wobbles to a little shredder.
If you already have a full on shredder on your hands, check out our review of the Prevelo Zulu Two 16 inch mountain bike.