With a lightweight aluminum frame and a rear mechanical disc brake, the Royalbaby H2 is an upgrade from other Royalbaby bikes. Read the review!
Royalbaby H2 Review
BEST FOR: Young, ambitious riders eager to take on pedaling. Its high center-of-gravity makes it less ideal for timid riders.
SEAT HEIGHT: 18.25″ – 20″
WEIGHT: 15.2 lb.
BRAKES: Dual Hand, No Coaster
- Grease-free belt drive
- Rear mechanical disc brake
- True threadless headset for increased maneuverability
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- High-set seat makes for a high center-of-gravity (harder to balance)
- Only 1.5″ of seat height range
Royalbaby H2 Review – Results of Our Test Rides
With a lightweight aluminum frame, a belt drive, and rear mechanical disc brake, the Royalbaby H2 packs several high-end features into a mid-range price. Coming standard with training wheels, the Royalbaby H2 is a solid buy for those who may choose to use training wheels with their preschoolers, as well as for those looking for a good starter bike for their balance bike graduate.
The Royalbaby H2 is available in 14″, 16″ and 18″ sizes. This review is specifically about the 14″ H2, but all sizes of the H2 are built with the same features and components.
Tall for a 14″ bike, the H2 has a seat height range of 18.25″ to 20″ and is a best fit for preschoolers with inseams ranging from 16″ to 20″. With only 1.75″ of seat height adjustment, the H2 has a very narrow range of fit and room for growth.
As a comparison, similarly sized bikes typically offer about 2.5″ to 4″ of seat adjustment, which allows kids to comfortably fit the bike for up to 2 years.
Use with training wheels: Kids with an inseam between 16″ and 20″ would be able to comfortably ride the H2 with training wheels. Because training wheels prevent a child from falling over, a shorter child may ride with training wheels and have only their tip toes touch the ground.
Balance bike graduates: Balance bike riders advancing to a pedal bike are better off being taller, with an inseam of at least 18″. Because they won’t be using the training wheels, they will need to be able to touch the ground with their foot flat when learning to start and stop the pedal bike.
As mentioned, with only 1.5″ of seat adjustment, the fit range on the H2 is extremely narrow, so kids are likely to only properly fit on the bike for a year or so. As a result, since kids using training wheels can ride the H2 starting at an inseam of 16″ and then ride until they have an inseam close to 20″, the H2 is a better buy for kids who plan on using training wheels versus those who do not.
RoyalBaby H2 Minimum and Maximum Seat Height
Our 41″ tall 3-year-old tester with an 18″ inseam found the H2 to be a great bike that’s easy to maneuver. With only a month of pedal bike riding under his belt, our 3-year-old tester had no problem hopping on the bike and riding away.
14″ vs. 16″ bike
With a minimum seat height of 18.25″, the H2 is fairly tall for a 14″ bike. In fact, the 14″ Joey 2.5 bike has the same size tires as the H2, but has a minimum seat height of 16.5″.
The H2’s minimum seat height is also pretty high as compared to many 16″ bikes. The 16″ Prevelo Alpha Two has larger tires than the H2, but has a lower minimum seat height at 18″.
As a result, if you are shopping for a new pedal bike for your toddler, be sure to consider 16″ bikes as well as 14″ bikes. 16″ bikes tend to offer much more room for growth than 14″ bikes. The larger Royalbaby H2 16″, however, is also larger for its wheel size with a minimum seat height of 20.9″.
Built with an aluminum frame, the H2 is one of the lightest bikes in the RoyalBaby lineup. Coming in at 15.2 lb., the H2 is lighter than many similarly priced bikes its size, such as the Raleigh MXR 12 which weights 17.3 lb. However, it’s heavier than more expensive, high-end 14″ bikes like the 11.2 lb. woom 2.
Our testers didn’t appear to have any issues with the weight of the bike and were easily able to pick up and start balancing on the bike without any concerns. A child’s bike should ideally weigh as close to, if not less than, 30% of their body weight.
With 14″ bikes, however, getting close to 30% is a challenge as toddlers are typically pretty lightweight themselves. This certainly makes finding a lightweight bike for young riders a challenge. Weighing in at 45 lb., the H2 was 34% of our 3-year-old’s body weight.
The geometry of a bike can make a huge difference in the bike’s overall performance and rideability. Bikes with a low center-of-gravity are easier to balance at lower speeds and are therefore ideal for young riders.
Bikes with a longer wheelbase typically allow the rider to sit “lower” on the bike, with the seat set lower on the frame and closer to the rear tire of the bike. In most cases, the lower the child sits on the bike, the lower their overall center-of-gravity.
With the H2 having a very high minimum seat height for a 14″ bike, as well as a shorter wheelbase, its center of gravity is higher than other bikes. While its geometry wasn’t a problem for our adventurous 3-year-old who is willing and able to tackle any bike thrown his way, we would anticipate the high-set H2 to be problematic for more timid riders.
As a comparison, the Prevelo Alpha Two has the same minimum seat height as the H2, but a much longer wheelbase, which results in a lower overall center-of-gravity. Although the seats on the two bikes are set to the same height, the seat on the Prevelo sits much closer to the rear tire than the seat on the H2. This seat position, along with the longer wheelbase of the Prevelo, makes for a lower center-of-gravity.
Seat Placement of H2 versus Prevelo Alpha Two
Longer Wheelbase = Lower Center of Gravity on Prevelo
Equipped with dual-hand brakes, no coaster brake, and a rear mechanical disc brake, the H2 offers plenty of stopping power. Both brake levers were easy for our young testers to reach and activate.
Unlike the back brake, the front brake is a standard v-pull brake versus a mechanical disc brake. This combination is pretty cool and unique, but we didn’t find the combination to be substantially better than bikes with dual v-brakes.
Another surprising feature on the H2 is its grease-free belt drive! Parents and kids both love belt-driven bikes because they’re essentially maintenance-free (we’ve never had a belt come off on a bike), and they are super quiet!
With a belt drive, gone are the days of getting your fingers dirty or even having to adjust or touch a chain at all! For extra protection, the belt drive is enclosed in a thick plastic guard.
To round out its higher-end features, the H2 also boasts a threadless headset to help increase maneuverability and maintain alignment. The comfortable padded seat, included kickstand, and bolt caps are additional benefits. Although seemingly minor, the bolt caps help to protect little legs from scratches.
RoyalBaby H2 vs. Joey 2.5
Royalbaby makes many different models of kids’ bikes, including the Joey 2.5 which also comes with 14″ wheels and an aluminum frame. The Joey 2.5 is slightly smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the H2.
With a seat height ranging from 16.5″ to 18.25″, a weight of 14.8 lb., and no coaster brake, the Joey is a great option for small riders ready for action. The Joey is sized more like a standard 14″ bike. Unlike the H2, the Joey has a regular chain and standard v-pull brakes in the front and the back.
Training wheels come standard on the Joey, as well as a push bar that connects to the seat post (not shown). The push bar is a great tool to help kids stay steady on the bike while learning the motion of pedaling.
In the mid-$200 price range, the H2 is most comparable to the Joey 2.5, as pointed out above, as well as the ByK E-250. All three bikes offer similar qualities of build but vary in size and features.
Royalbaby H2: The tallest of the three, but the best equipped, the H2 is best for young, ambitious riders who are less likely to struggle with the bike’s high center-of-gravity.
Joey 2.5: Small and coaster-brake free, the Joey is best for young, timid riders who would benefit from getting a little extra help from mom & dad with the push bar.
ByK E-250: Small and mighty, and featuring the widest seat height range. It also has a coaster brake which can be a challenge for young riders learning to pedal.
RoyalBaby H2 Comparison
|Feature||RoyalBaby H2||Joey 2.5||YeeToo|
|RoyalBaby H2||Joey 2.5||ByK E-250|
|Seat Height||18.25" - 20"||16.5" - 18.25"||15.7"- 18.1"|
|Weight||15.2 lb.||14.8 lb.||14.4 lb.|
|Brakes||No coaster, front v-pull, rear mechanical disc||No coaster, front and rear single-pivot brake||Coaster, front single-pivot|
The Royalbaby H2 is a fun, full-featured bike for eager young preschoolers, but it certainly comes with limitations. With its cool belt-drive and rear disc brake, the H2 has plenty to offer, but its high center-of-gravity may make it challenging for timid riders.
With just 1.75″ of seat height adjustment, the H2’s fit range is pretty limited – kids will likely only fit the bike for about a year. As a result, to get a fair amount of use out of the H2 without outgrowing it, we recommend the H2 for kids who will be riding it with training wheels.