The ultimate rig for eager young riders, the Prevelo Zulu One is the best 14 inch mountain bike we’ve ever encountered. Read why it stands out against its competitors in the review below.
BEST FOR: Young riders ready to graduate from a balance bike straight to single-track all-terrain madness
SEAT HEIGHT: 16" - 25"
WEIGHT: 15.9 lb.
|Hand Brake Type||
|Geared Bike Type||
16" – 25"
Pros & Cons
- Lower rise handlebars make shifting weight around a breeze
- Front and back hydraulic disc brakes for ultimate stopping power
- Top quality components
- Extremely low weight for spec'd out bike
Prevelo Zulu One Review – A True Mini-Mountain Bike
This review was written by Kelly at Haven Outdoors, our resident mountain biking dad.
This is a serious off-road 14” mountain bike! In fact, I’ve yet to find a 14” off-road bike this rad! Complete with hydraulic disc brakes and proper knobby tires, this little bike will make all the other bike nerd dads jealous. Fitting right in with the other Zulu bikes, this little 14’’ ripper keeps up with it’s bigger brothers with low, long and slack geometry. This little pony has a 66-degree head angle and a 74-degree seat angle.
The Zulu One is a one-speed rig with a 25t sprocket up front and a 14t in the rear end. I think this is a great gear ratio for this bike. It’s not like kids this small are going to be climbing up and big trails anyway. It’s better to just keep it simple and help your little one on the way up by packing them and the bike up the hills or giving them a tow.
Despite the burly build, the weight is only 15.9 lbs. without pedals. Some people might question a bike of this caliber not having a suspension fork, but if you’ve got experience riding with kids this small you will know that they won’t really be able to take advantage of suspension anyway. Kids this size are too light and won’t be riding rough enough trails with enough speed to need it. A suspension fork would just add unnecessary weight.
Tires are a 14 x 2.1 Innova with proper treads. These will keep your young one on the trail in soft loose conditions or hardpack. A 2.1 tire is pretty wide on a 14” bike. It’s kind of like an adult riding a 27.5 x 2.8 sized tire.
The Zulu comes with powerful hydraulic front and back disc brakes. The little brake levers fit her tiny hands perfectly and they were super easy to pull and had plenty of power with enough modulation to not chuck her over the bars into the dirt.
I put my 3-year-old daughter on this bike just a week after learning how to pedal. She was able to stay on the trail and ride it out the whole way down with confidence. The bike sits low enough for her to put her feet down flat when she felt nervous but allows her to get plenty of leg extension while pedaling. Other kids bikes put the kid up way to high off the ground and then you end up having to lower the seat all the way which ends up creating an extremely awkward pedal stroke. The house brand saddle fit her little body perfectly.
I also had my 4-year-old nephew take some laps on this bike as well and he was dropping into some pretty steep little drops with ease. He ended up putting his 16-inch Norco Samurai away for the day and riding this. He was having a blast on this thing and he felt way more confident with the Zulu One.
If you are looking for a serious fun machine for your kids first real mountain bike the Zulu One will fit the bill.