Prevelo Alpha Two Review

Slick, fun, and fast, the Prevelo Alpha Two is a first rate bike for the smallest of riders.  With a lightweight frame and low minimum seat height, this 16 inch bike is superbly built with impressive quality and attention to detail.

As one of the lightest and smallest 16″ bikes on the market, the Alpha Two is an excellent first bike for balance bike graduates ready to get pedaling! In fact, it’s actually smaller than many 12″ and 14″ bikes on the market!

From specs to components, in this review we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Prevelo Alpha Two, including what’s changed in the 2023 model and how it compares to other 16 inch bikes on the market.

Young rider on a red prevelo alpha two bike

Prevelo Alpha Two Overview

RATING: Highly Recommended
MSRP$429
BEST FOR: Petite or young riders who need a small 16″ pedal bike
SEAT HEIGHT: 17″ – 25″
WEIGHT: 14.4 lb.

BRAKES: Dual Hand Brakes (no coaster!)
FRAME: Aluminum Alloy
GAIN RATIO: 3.8 (or 2-speed automatic shifting hub 3.8/5.2)
TIRE SIZE: 16″
WHEELBASE: 730 mm

PROS:

  • Lightweight, low step-through frame
  • Top notch, responsive dual hand brakes for quick braking (no coaster brake!)
  • Narrow Q-factor for maximum leverage on pedals
  • All-terrain tires great for sidewalk, skatepark, or compact dirt trails
  • Frame can support tires up to 2.1″ wide
  • 2-speed automatic shifting rear hub available
  • Available in 4 fun colors!

CONS:

  • The bike’s geometry, specifically its small cockpit, can be limiting for aggressive riders

2023 Prevelo Alpha Two Updates

The newly updated Alpha Two features a completely redesigned frame and saddle, leading to some significant changes. We will review all these changes in detail throughout our review. Updates to the Prevelo Alpha Two include:

  • Reduced weight! New bike weighs 0.5 lb. less than the older model
  • Slightly higher handlebars (0.75″ taller from ground to grip center) providing a more upright and less aggressive body positioning
  • Frame allows the bike to run wider 2.1″ tires (older version maxed out at 1.75″)
  • One seat post! – No need to swap the saddle from a short to long seat post as your child grows
  • New Colors! – Purple has been retired and pink and red have been added. Silver and blue remain.

Prevelo Alpha Two Review

Lightweight, fun, and fast, the Alpha Two is a speedy little bike for kids ready to ride! Whether your little one is ready to graduate from a balance bike or move up from a 14″ pedal bike, the Prevelo Alpha Two is a top notch companion for the job.

What type of rider is the Prevelo Alpha Two best for?

  • Balance bike graduates ready for their first pedal bike with an inseam of at least 17″
  • Kids who have outgrown their 12″ or 14″ pedal bike with inseams of at least 16″
  • Timid riders who need a lightweight bike to help them build confidence on a pedal bike
  • Riders sticking mainly to neighborhood riding

Who is the Prevelo Alpha Two not a good fit for?

  • Experienced riders with inseams greater than 19″ (they are likely a better fit on the larger Prevelo Alpha Three)
  • Aggressive riders who want to take on every curb, lean into turns, or go over every jump (see geometry section below)
  • Young groms ready to take on single track (Prevelo Zulu Two is a better option)

What size rider is the Prevelo Alpha Two best for?

The Prevelo Alpha Two has a seat height range of 17″ to 25″, making it a great fit for beginning riders in 4T or size 5 pants, or experienced riders in 3T pants.

Yes, 3T pants on a 16″ bike! The small size of the Alpha Two really makes it unique, even compared to other high-end 16″ bikes.

Alpha Twowoom 3Pello RevoCleary Hedgehog
Seat Height17″ – 25″19.3″ – 25″19″ – 25″17.5″ – 25″

While the Cleary Hedgehog’s minimum seat height is only 0.5″ higher, it is almost 3 lbs. heavier, making it a bit more challenging to ride, especially for petite riders. (It also requires the purchase of an additional seat post to achieve that super low minimum seat height.)

On the high end, all four of these bikes max out at 25″, which is due to CPSC regulations which legally require any bike with a maximum seat height less than 25″ to have a coaster brake.

(To learn more about why these brands intentionally go out of their way to avoid the required coaster brake, read our article – Coaster Brake Bikes: Why Hand Brakes Are Better for Kids!.)

BEGINNING RIDERS ON THE ALPHA TWO

For first-time pedal bike riders, the seat height should be set so that the child can have both feet flat on the ground; as a result, the child’s inseam will need to be at least 17″. This allows them to easily start and stop the bike in the same manner as their balance bike. Once they are confidently pedaling and starting and stopping the bike, the saddle can be raised.

young rider walking on the 16" Prevelo Alpha Two bike
Walking the Prevelo Alpha Two with seat height set to 17″

If your little one has an inseam less than 17″, the 14-inch Alpha One (link to our review) with a minimum seat height of 14.8″ is likely a better choice.

EXPERIENCED RIDERS ON THE ALPHA TWO

Experienced riders should have the seat set so they can reach the ground with both of their tip toes when seated on the bike; their inseam can be closer to 16″. With the seat height set above their inseam, their pedal stroke will be more efficient.

Same rider as above, but with seat height raised to 19″

PREVELO ALPHA TWO (16″) OR LARGER ALPHA THREE (20″)?

With a max seat height of 25″, the Alpha Two has a good amount of room for growth, but like almost any kids bike, riding the bike at the max seat height isn’t ideal.

As shown below, our 5-year-old tester with a 23″ inseam is riding with the seat set to 25″ and fits on the bike. However, the handlebars are pretty low in relation to the seat height for her to be able to comfortably ride the bike for longer distances.

5-year-old riding bike with seat height set to the max of 25″

With the larger 20″ Alpha Three having a minimum seat height of 21.5″, it is often a better fit for experienced riders with inseams greater than 19″. Keep in mind, however, that the 20″ is a geared bike, which can be a big step up for young (and especially timid) riders.

For a visual comparison, here you can see our 44″ tall 4-year-old with a 19.5″ inseam on the Prevelo Alpha Two 16″ (older model) and Prevelo Alpha Three 20″

Side by side size comparison of 4 year old on Prevelo Alpha Two and Prevelo Alpha Three

Alpha Two Geometry Changes

The biggest and most notable change to the 2023 Alpha Two is its frame geometry. While the Alpha Two is still a phenomenal bike, these changes make it less ideal for aggressive riders than the previous model.

While there were several changes to the frame design, they cumulatively resulted in two main geometry changes for the rider. These differences can be seen in the comparison picture below.

  1. The steeper seat tube angle creates a much smaller cockpit (the space between the saddle and the handlebars – shown by the yellow arrow).
  2. The saddle is now positioned much more forward on the bike in relation to the rear wheel. In the image below, the saddle heights are both set to 19″, but the rider’s weight on the older model (silver bike) is more over the rear wheel than on the newer red bike.

2023 Alpha Two (red) versus older Alpha Two (silver bike)

The combination of these changes places the rider’s center of mass much more forward on the 2023 Alpha Two (red bike). With the child’s weight shifted forward, leaning into the bike quickly became problematic, as when doing so, our riders began to feel off balance and sat back up to compensate.

Overall, we found this new Alpha Two is more sensitive to a child shifting their weight around on the bike (leads to twitchy steering or the rider feeling unbalanced), which can limit an aggressive rider’s progression.

So while we still think the Prevelo Alpha Two is a phenomenal little bike, we don’t believe it is the best choice for aggressive or adventurous riders like the old model was.

Aggressive riders really need a bike that will help them to comfortably push their boundaries, whether it be leaning in for speed, standing up, or leaning into turns. Kids sticking to traditional riding around the neighborhood, however, should do just fine on the Alpha Two.

Weight

At just under 15 pounds, the Prevelo Alpha Two is one of the lightest 16 inch bikes on the market. Compared to other high-end bikes, the Alpha Two is considerably lighter than the Cleary Hedgehog, but isn’t quite as light as the more expensive woom 3.

Between the Alpha Two, the woom 3, and the Pello Revo (which weighs about the same as the Alpha), their differences in geometry and gearing (outlined below) should be emphasized over weight when determining the best bike for your child.

Alpha Twowoom 3Pello RevoCleary Hedgehog
Weight14.4 lb.13.1 lb.14.6 lb.17.3 lb.

Gearing

The Prevelo Alpha Two has two gearing options. The standard Alpha has a gain ratio of 3.8, which places it in the mid-range of gain ratios for 16 inch bikes. There’s also a 2-speed rear hub option (an additional $75) that has a gain ratio of 3.8 and 5.2.

Lower gain ratios make it easier to start pedaling, which 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.

Girl riding Prevelo Alpha Two down a dirt path towards a bridge

The 3.8 gain ratio of the Prevelo is a perfect sweet spot for young riders. It’s low enough that it’s still pretty easy to get started pedaling on moderate hills, but it’s also high enough so your child won’t be spinning their wheels in frustration to go faster and farther.

For kids riding more aggressive hills, the lower 3.2 gain ratio on the Pello Revo or the 3.1 on the Cleary Hedgehog may be beneficial. But keep in mind that regardless of gain ratio, most kids on 16″ bikes simply don’t have the strength for long or steep climbs (that’s what tow ropes are for😊).

The Alpha’s 2-speed option shifts automatically from 3.8 to 5.2 once a child reaches a certain speed. We have tested other systems like this, but have not have a chance to test Prevelo’s option personally.

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.

a small child holding onto the grip of the Prevelo Alpha Two 16" kids bike

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.

Higher Max Tire Width: The new Alpha Two frame has additional tire clearance than the older model, so that it can hold up to 2.1″ wide tires. If you select wide trail tires at checkout, the Alpha Two will come shipped to you with 2.1″ wide Kenda Small Block 8’s.

Screenshot of online checkout process for Prevelo Alpha Two

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.

BMX Forged Dropouts: Dropouts shroud the rear axle, protecting them from the beating they often take when kids carelessly drop their bike. These dropouts also prevent the bike from being compatible with training wheels.

Forged BMX dropouts on the Prevelo Alpha Two kids bike

Easy to Remove Chain guard: Durable, yet easy to remove if necessary, the chain guard on the Alpha Two is sleek and streamlined. The frame of the bike has custom, easy-to-reach chain guard mounts that make the chain guard easy to remove. It does rattle a bit when the bike is set down, but is not noticeable during rides.

Custom chainguard on the Prevelo Alpha Two

Matte Black Fork: To add a pop of modern styling, the fork on all colors of the Alpha Two are painted a matte black. It’s a simple change that oozes in cool factor.

matte black fork on the 16" kids Prevelo Alpha Two

Prevelo Alpha Two Comparison Chart

Prevelo PellowoomCleary
MSRP$429$389$449$378
Seat Height Range17″ – 25.1″19″ – 25″19.3″ – 25.1″17.5″ – 25″
Weight14.4 lb.14.6 lb.13.1 lb.17.3 lb.
Gain Ratio3.83.23.883.1
Tire Width1.5″1.5″1.5″2.125″
Handlebar Height24.5″26″27″24.5″
ReviewPellowoomCleary

Prevelo Alpha Two Bottom Line

The Prevelo Alpha Two 16 inch bike is a solid little bike for small riders who would benefit from an early start on larger 16″ wheels.  With its low minimum seat height, upright body positioning, and featherlight build, it’s a high-quality option for neighborhood riders.

If you’re looking for a true mountain bike for tackling trails, check out our review of the Prevelo Zulu Two 16 inch mountain bike.

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.

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