Our favorite balance bike made bigger, the woom 1 Plus has all the benefits (and more!) of the popular woom 1, but for kids ages 3 to 5. Read the review below for all the details.
woom 1 Plus Review
BEST FOR: The perfect mid-sized balance bike for kids aged 3 to 5. Big enough to provide plenty of room for growth, yet small enough to provide a comfortable riding experience for the most timid riders.
SEAT HEIGHT: 14.8″ – 18.7″
WEIGHT: 9.5 lb
BRAKES: Dual Hand
- Larger, mid-size frame provides a perfect in-between size for ages 3 to 5
- 14″ air tires provide cushioning and low rolling resistance
- Lightweight and nimble with a low-step-through frame for easy entries and exits
- Removable turning limiter
- Removable footrest platform provides a place for standing and doing “tricks”
- Dual hand brakes for optimal stopping power
- Footrest too large for small toddlers, but is removeable
woom 1 Plus Review – Results of our Test Rides
One of the best balance bikes made bigger, the woom 1 Plus has all the benefits of the popular woom 1, but for kids ages 3 to 5. The big brother to the woom 1 (which is ideal for ages 1.5 to 3), the Plus is the perfect bike for kids starting off their balance bike journey as preschoolers versus toddlers.
With large 14″ air tires, a removable “surfboard” footrest and turning limiter, DUAL hand brakes (a rare find in balance bikes), and a maximum seat height over 3″ above the woom 1, the woom 1 Plus is the ultimate full-featured larger-scale balance bike. Just like all woom bikes, the woom 1 Plus is exquisitely crafted to make learning to ride easy.
Size and Weight
Larger than the woom 1, the Plus was added to the woom line for preschoolers or tall toddlers new to balance bikes, as well as for those young riders who have outgrown their woom 1 and aren’t quite ready to transition to a pedal bike. With a seat height ranging from 14.8″ to 18.7″, the Plus is a great fit for kids in size 3T to 5 clothes. The 3-year-old shown below just moved into size 4T pants and has a 16″ inseam.
|Features||woom 1 plus||woom 1|
|Bike||WOOM 1 Plus||WOOM 1|
|Weight||9.5 lb.||6.6 lb.|
|Seat Height||14.8" - 18.7"||10.1" - 14.37"|
Compared to other larger balance bikes with 14″ and 16″ tires, the Plus’ 19″ maximum seat height is a bit lower. The Scoot XL, Stampede Charger 16″, and the Strider 14x all have maximum seat heights that are over 20″. The Plus, however, is significantly lighter, weighing in at 9.5 lb (the others weigh over 11 lb.).
The lower maximum seat height of the Plus makes it best suited for lighter weight preschoolers who need a larger bike that feels and performs like a smaller bike, but less ideal for grade schoolers who need the extra height.
What is the largest size child that can fit on the woom 1 Plus? Our six-year-old tester in size 5 clothes (almost size 6), who normally rides a 16″ woom 3, was slightly too tall for the Plus, but still throughly enjoyed riding it. With an inseam of 21″ and the maximum seat height set at 19″, the Plus offers no room for growth for him, which is why we max out our age recommendation for the Plus at 5 years (or kids with a 19″ inseam).
Six-year-old in Size 5 Clothes on woom 1 Plus and woom 3
Straight out of the gate, the woom 1 Plus was a hit. “Mom, this bike is really speedy!” With the slightest push, the Plus begins to roll and effortlessly keeps on rolling as its precision build and sealed bearings go to work. Brilliantly engineered, the Plus was easily maneuvered down ramps, hills, and around the neighborhood. With an increased weight and a taller center-of-gravity, larger balance bikes can feel harder to control and balance, but the Plus is light and nimble and was easily controlled by even our newly three-year-old tester.
While we didn’t have a chance to test the bike on dirt, we’re confident it would perform equally well on various terrains, such as dirt trails and pump tracks, that older balance bike riders are often drawn to.
woom 1 Plus in Action
The woom 1 Plus‘ true beauty is in its fine-tuned, detail-oriented components.
14″ Air Tires
Larger and taller than the 12″ tires found on the woom 1 and on most balance bikes, the Plus’ 14″ tires provide more room for a child to grow without being too big for preschoolers to handle. 14″ tires also have slightly less rolling resistance than 12″ tires and can more easily tackle curbs and bumps.
Dual hand brakes with color-coded brake levers
A fast bike requires fast stopping. The Plus comes with dual hand brakes that provide powerful stopping power. In fact, it’s almost too much stopping power if not used correctly! To help train kids to brake correctly, the Plus has a green brake lever on the right-hand side.
When starting off on the bike, parents should teach kids to brake with just the green brake. The green brake lever is attached to the rear brake with a matching green brake pad. When stopping only with the rear brake, the bike will stop quickly, without the risk of the back tire coming up off the ground.
Color-coded Dual Hand Brakes on the woom 1 Plus
If a child were to stop with just the front brake (on any bike, not just the Plus), the back tire could come up, potentially causing the bike to buck the child off. In order for this to happen, however, the child must be going really fast! We’ve never actually seen a child get bucked off by a balance bike due to braking, but the concern is always there.
It’s also best to train kids to brake safely and correctly from the get-go! Once a child is riding quickly and is old enough to understand left from right, you can teach them to brake with both brakes, but braking with just the left hand is never an option.
For new riders, also be sure to instruct them NOT to use the brake when walking the bike. Our 3-year-old tester kept complaining that the bike was slow as she was trying to walk the bike while squeezing the brake levers :).
Removable Turning Limiter
A turning limiter limits how tightly a child can turn the handlebars of a bike. When the Plus’ limiter is on, the child will begin to feel tension on the handlebar when they are turning too sharply. Most turning limiters abruptly stop the rotation of the handlebars while woom’s elastic-based limiter gently corrects with tension.
As kids get older and no longer need correction, the limiter can be removed. Once removed, the limiter’s elastic ring can randomly find a way to reconnect itself, but since kids never NEED to turn very sharply, we’ve never had a problem with the turning limiter always being on.
Removable “Surfboard” Footrest
For kids who love to glide long distances, the “surfboard” footrest on the Plus is easy and fun to use. The wide, wood platform is easily accessible while on the go and covered in grip tape to keep feet firmly in place. Based on our experience, older riders love the additional challenge and opportunities to do “tricks” provided by a footrest. From standing on the platform to gliding across curbs, the “surfboard” brought out our six-year-old tester’s adventurous spirit.
woom 1 Plus Footrest in Use
For our newly three-year-old tester, the footrest was slightly too big. While the smooth edge of the footrest didn’t scratch or bother her legs, her legs did make contact with the footrest as she walked. Thinking through every possibility, woom made the footrest removable for just such kids. To remove the footrest, a size 3mm Allen wrench is required, which is currently not shipped with the bike.
What age child will use the footrest? We’ve seen kids as young as 2 use footrests, but we’ve found that kids don’t typically begin to stand up and do tricks on the footrest until they’re closer to age 4.
woom 1’s “Surfboard” Footrest is Fun, but Not Ideal for Smaller Riders
With only a handful of 14″ balance bikes on the market, the woom 1 Plus is our favorite 14″ balance bike for timid riders, but with its removable limiter and footrest, it can really shine with any type of rider. Much smaller than the larger Stampede Charger 16 as well as the Scoot XL, the Plus does not provide as much room for growth but also doesn’t overpower beginning riders with a bike that’s too big.
With more upright geometry than the similarly priced Scoot XL, the Plus puts the rider in an upright position, which is better suited for timid and hesitant riders. More athletic preschoolers who aren’t afraid of adventure but are getting a later start on riding a balance bike, are likely better off on the Scoot XL.
woom 1 Plus vs. Scoot XL
Another benefit of the Plus is woom’s Upcycle paid membership program (a one-time $59 fee) that allows you to trade in any woom for 40% off a new larger size when your child outgrows it. To qualify for the Upcycle program, the bike must be purchased directly from woom and the Upcycle membership must be purchased within 2 years of buying a woom.
WOOM 1 Plus Comparison
|Features||WOOM 1 Plus||Scoot XL||Strider 14x|
|WOOM 1 Plus||Scoot XL||Strider 14x|
|Best for:||Timid 3 to 5-year-olds in size 3T to 5 clothing just starting out on a balance bike.||Athletic preschoolers aged 4 to 6 who are new to balance bikes or have outgrown their 12 balance bike.||Budget-minded families looking for balance bike for their 4 to 6-year-old. Can convert to a pedal bike with optional conversion kit.|
|Seat Height||14.8"- 18.7"||16" - 22"||15" - 22"|
|Weight||9.5 lb||11.6 lb||12.5 lb|
|Handbrakes||Dual Hand||One Hand (Back)||No|
Not too big and not too small, the woom 1 Plus is the perfect bike for timid preschoolers just starting off on their balance bike adventures. Tall enough to provide room for growth, yet small and nimble enough for any 3 to 5-year-old to handle, the Plus is sure to help young riders get up and rolling on two wheels.