The woom 5 24 inch bike is a best-in-class kid’s bike that is as beautiful as it is functional. Designed for tackling everything from long paved rides to basic dirt trails, the woom 5’s versatility, lightweight, and high-end components put it in the “dream bike” category that excels in a wide variety of riding conditions.
With 8-speeds for a wide range of gears and grip shifters for easy shifting, the woom 5 is sure to deliver both smiles and top performance for any kid lucky enough to take a ride. To better appeal to older riders, the new 2021 the woom 5 also has a handful of fun updates, including new colors, squared-off tubing, as well as some technical advancements to the drivetrain.
In this review, we put the latest woom 5 model to the test to see how it stacks up to the competition.
woom 5 Overview
BEST FOR: Your average rider on a wide range of terrains and distances, from simple neighborhood rides to longer paved trails and basic singletrack.
SEAT HEIGHT: 26.4″ – 32.3″
WEIGHT: 20.3 lb. (with included kickstand and pedals); 19.5 lb. (without kickstand)
- Lightweight with a low minimum seat height
- Wide range of gears (8-speed) for tackling various terrains and elevations
- Low center-of-gravity geometry for better balance and maneuverability
- Easy-to-use grip shifters and other high-end components
- Ergonomic grips to ease strain on wrists during long or bumpy rides.
- Gorgeous, and with a nice variety of colors available
- Rear-placed kickstand included
- Headset not as durable for really aggressive riders
woom 5 Video Review
Check out our video review to see our testers in action on the woom 5 and see for yourself why it’s our favorite all-around 24 inch bike. The red woom 5 shown in this video is not the latest 2021 model with the squared-off tubing, but the information in the video still applies to the current 2021 woom 5.
woom 5 Bike Review – Results of our Test Rides
Over the last 7 years, we have tested multiple versions of the woom 5. Every new model has been an amazing, confidence-building bike that simply performs like a dream. With its lightweight build paired with high-end components, the woom 5 makes riding smooth and effortless for all levels of riders.
Improving upon near-perfection, the 2021 woom 5 is as fun to ride as it’s ever been! From toughing out neighborhood hills to riding through bike parks or root-strewn trails, the woom 5 has a magical ability to spark or reignite a love of biking in older kids.
What type of rider is the woom 5 best for?
The woom 5 is an exceptional all-around bike that is best for the average rider riding on paved or mild dirt trails. Its lightweight and ease of use also make it our favorite bike for timid kids aged 8 to 10 who need a bike that will help boost their confidence.
With a wide gear range and easy-to-use grip shifters, the woom 5 is also a great option for kids planning on covering extended distances on paved surfaces. While not designed to be a pavement-pounding road bike for kids, the woom 5 is incredibly fast and efficient. We’ve also had riders confidently conquer basic all-terrain riding on the woom 5.
Really aggressive riders who love to lean into their bikes and tackle every jump and curb in front of them are likely better off with another bike. A bike with more aggressive geometry, disc brakes, and wider tires is better suited for really adventurous riders.
What size child fits on the woom 5?
With a 6″ seat height range of 26.4″ – 32.3″, the woom 5 fits a variety of kid sizes and has plenty of room to grow with your child.
With the seat set 2″ – 3″ above a child’s inseam (so they can touch the ground with their tiptoes), the woom should fit kids with inseams approximately from 23.5 to 30.5″. Setting the bike seat this way allows for optimal leg extension while pedaling. As with any bike, it’s better to buy the bike when your child is on the lower to mid part of the spectrum so they have more time to grow with the bike.
The main tester shown throughout this review is a 53″ tall 9-year-old with a 25″ inseam.
While inseam is king when determining the best fit for a kids bike, a child’s height can also be used if needed. The woom 5 is designed to fit kids 49″ to 57″ tall. If your child is taller than 55″, woom recommends their 26 inch woom 6 as it will provide more room for growth. If they are less than 49″ tall, the 20 inch woom 4 would be a better fit.
The woom 5 is packed with amazing features (warning this is a long review :-))! But if we had to choose just one standout feature, it’s the woom 5’s lightweight, quality build.
The woom 5’s listed weight is 20.3 lb., but that weight includes the kickstand and the pedals. With the kickstand removed, on our scale the woom 5 came in at a just 19.5 lb.
As a comparison, the similarly priced Cleary Meerkat comes in at 28.8 lb. and the Guardian Original at 23 lb. On the low end of the price spectrum, the sub $200 Huffy Scout comes in at 36.4 lb.!
Aesthetic Changes for Older Riders
In order to appeal to older riders, woom now offers their 24 and 26 inch bikes in 4 mature colors versus their standard 5 bright primary colors. The woom 5 is now available in navy blue, mint green, gray, and red.
For a more modern upgrade to the frame, the 2021 woom 5 features square tubing on portions of the frame. While subtle, in-person it certainly adds a level of “maturity” to the bikes. Below you can see the mint green 2021 woom 5’s square tubing as compared to the previously rounded tubing on the blue woom behind it.
The chainstay (the white portion of the frame with the #woombikes decal on it) is also squared off.
woom 5 Geometry and Adjustable Stem
Far too often 24 inch bikes are heavy and “clunky”, forcing kids to apply a lot of power to get the bike started and keep it moving. woom bikes, however, are built with lightweight aluminum and with smaller, narrower components to allow the bike to fit more naturally under a child’s smaller frame. Whether as a girls bike or a boys bike, the woom 5 fits kids exceptionally well.
The woom 5 places the rider in a semi-upright position on the bike. Not too upright, yet not aggressive, its “goldilocks” position allows the rider to be upright enough as to not put strain on their neck, yet lean-in enough to allow them to comfortably shift their weight around on the bike when needed.
As shown below, you can see how the Trek Precaliber 24 positions the rider in a slightly more leaned-in position as compared to the woom 5. Designed specifically for a more aggressive rider than the woom, the Trek’s positioning allows aggressive riders to more easily tackle jumps and lean into turns.
One geometry is not better than the other. These two bikes are simply designed for different types of riders. Neighborhood riders almost always prefer a more upright position like the woom 5.
Adjustable Height Stem
The ability to adjust the height of a child’s handlebar is a common concern that many parents have, and for good reason. As kids get taller, it’s easy to raise the seat height of the bike, but raising the handlebars often isn’t an option.
To maximize comfort for small kids who barely fit on the bike as well as those who have almost outgrown the bike (and everyone in between), the woom 5 includes a clever, adjustable stem.
Depending on the preference of the rider, woom’s adjustable design allows the handlebars to be raised or lowered. Our 9-year-old tester below, who is on the lower-end of sizing for the woom, preferred the lower set handlebar position shown on the left.
The lower position allows his hands to be level with hips, which he prefers. As he grows taller and his seat height raises, the handlebars can also be raised to allow his hands to stay at his hip height.
Some kids may prefer their handlebars to sit higher or lower than their hips. The adjustable stem gives you the flexibility to adjust them to whichever height your rider prefers.
The design of the adjustable stem also moves the handlebars forward an inch or so when they are raised. This slightly increases the size of the cockpit, which is another benefit for the taller rider.
There are three basic steps to rotate the stem:
- Loosen the bolts with an Allen wrench (size 5) and then pull up on the bars until they reach the desired height.
- Twist the entire handlebar until the horizontal mark on the front of the handlebars is clearly visible (shown below). Due to the design of the grips (more on this below), it is important to ensure the handlebar is not rotated too far forward or too far back.
- Retighten the bolts.
woom 5 Drivetrain
Gearing and Shifting (Gain Ratio)
The woom 5 has 8 gears ranging from a 2.1 to a 6.0 gain ratio. With this wide range of gears, the woom 5 can do everything from flying down long paved roads to tackling steep hills. The gearing system features one chainring in the front and a cassette of eight cogs in the rear, with a grip shifter on the right hand for gear changes.
While there’s a continual debate about the merits of grip shifters versus trigger shifters, we prefer grip shifters for riders who are still mastering how to shift gears on a bike. Unlike the standard Shimano Tourney grip shifter found on almost all geared kids bikes, the woom 5 comes equipped with the much better SRAM X4 grip shifter.
In addition to providing smooth, reliable shifting with little resistance, the SRAM X4 has a much narrower diameter than most grip shifters. Its narrow design makes it easier to shift, without interfering with the child’s ability to firmly grasp the grips while riding, which is a common problem with larger grip shifters.
The SRAM X4 also features a viewing window that clearly displays the gear the bike is in. The SRAM X4 shifter is paired with the X4 derailleur for fast and efficient gear changes.
As with all geared kids bikes, it’s important to review proper shifting procedures with kids. First, make sure they never twist the shifter when the bike is at a standstill. In order to extend the life of the shifter and the derailleur, the gears should only be changed when the bike is in motion.
Second, remind kids to always place the bike down with the derailleur side up. If they drop the bike down on the derailleur, it could bend one of several components which could affect the bike’s ability to shift properly.
Why It Matters
Have you ever been riding with your kids and all of a sudden their chain falls off? Depending on your ability to fix a bike, this could be a minor inconvenience, or a huge problem! And if kids are riding by themselves, it’s definitely more likely to be a huge problem!
While chains can come off a chainring for many reasons, the woom 5’s unique “narrow-wide” chainring helps prevent one common cause. Gapping between the chain and the chainring teeth can cause the chain to jump, slip, or shift out of place.
How It Works
How does a narrow-wide chainring work and why does it fix the problem? Let’s break it down.
The chainring of a bike is the front cog that the chain wraps around. A “narrow-wide” chainring refers to a specific style and design of the chainring. Narrow-wide chainrings are more expensive and are usually only found on high-end technical bikes.
To understand how a narrow-wide chainring works, let’s first take a close-up look at a bike chain. The way the links on a chain are connected creates different amounts of spacing on the inside portion of the chain. Some links have a “narrow” gap (shown in yellow), while other links have a “wide” gap (shown in orange). This is how all bike chains are constructed.
A standard chainring has one size tooth that is small enough to fit in both the narrow and wide gaps in the chain. While this tooth size fits perfectly in the “narrow” gaps, it leaves a lot of play in the “wide” gaps, which can cause the chain to shift around, slip, or jump, thereby causing the chain to come off.
A narrow-wide chainring has two different sizes of teeth – a “narrow” and a “wide”. These teeth alternate on the chainring to match the narrow-wide pattern on the chain, allowing the chain to grip the chainring more tightly as it wraps around. As a result, the chain has much less play on the chainring and essentially eliminates the potential for the chain to slip and come off.
woom 5 Components
Brakes – high-powered, easy-reach
The woom 5 features high-end, dual Mini V-Brake handbrakes that offer plenty of stopping power for riding at fast speeds. The levers are specifically designed for small but growing hands to reach and engage.
Make sure to remind your young rider NOT to brake with just the left (or front brake) when riding at fast speeds. Braking with just the front brake, especially on a fast, lightweight bike like the woom 5, can cause the front wheel to lock up and potentially buck the child off the bike. When stopping at high speeds, the child should brake with the rear brake (right hand lever) and then the front brake (left hand lever) if extra stopping power is needed.
Tires have versatile tread
Mounted on woom’s super lightweight Soopa-Doopa-Hoops aluminum rims, the 1.85″ wide Schwalbe Little Joe tires have an excellent grip that works well in wet or dry conditions while also featuring a smooth roll enhanced by the sealed bearing hubs.
The axle bolts on both wheels are uniquely shaped to allow for easy, snap-on installation of woom’s fenders. While we didn’t have a chance to test them out, if you happen to live in a wet area, we can speak from experience that fenders are a lifesaver in order to prevent additional mud and dirt from flinging up onto you as you ride.
Ergo Grips and SRAM Grip Shifter
As huge fans of ergonomic grips on our adult bikes, we were thrilled to learn that woom has now included ergo grips on all their bike models. Ergonomic grips help to ease tension and strain on the wrist by providing a wider base for the palm of the hand to rest on.
Saddle & Seat Post
The woom 5’s saddle is probably more like an adult bike’s saddle than anything your child has previously taken for a ride. The saddle is narrow to to provide proper support to a child’s sit bones while still offering plenty of padding.
To aid in comfort and fit, the saddle can adjust slightly forward and backward as well as tilt up and down.
If your child complains about the seat being uncomfortable, make sure the saddle is level with the ground. Using a bubble level can help determine whether the saddle needs to be tilted. Loosening and then tightening the bolts along the red arrows can help to adjust the saddle angle.
Setting the seat post correctly can also make a huge difference in the efficiency of a bike ride. Experienced riders should set their seat about 2″ to 4″ inches above their inseam.
To help maintain the proper seat height as a result of the seat shifting or after another child rides the bike, the woom 4, 5, and 6 models come with a measuring scale on the back of the seat post for easy re-adjustments.
But wait, there’s more! The woom 5 comes with a kickstand. Unlike regular kickstands, woom’s included kickstand is positioned near the rear of the bike, which prevents it from getting in the way of the pedals.
Ease of Assembly
Unwrapping the woom from its careful packaging was the hardest part of assembling the bike! The actual assembly took about 5 – 10 minutes and was very simple. All tools are included for assembly. woom bikes ship from Austin, TX, where the woom team prepares and checks every bike before shipping it to you.
woom 5 vs. Competitors
The woom 5 is comparable to several other higher-end bikes designed for 7 and 8-year-olds, including the Frog 62 and Prevelo Alpha Four. We love all of these bikes and each has specific strengths, but the woom 5 is our favorite pick for all-around riding.
woom 5‘s combination of a more upright position, a wider gearing range and slightly wider tires make it ideal for beginning to intermediate riders on various surfaces.
Prevelo Alpha Four is the best of the lot for really aggressive riders. With trigger shifters and a more aggressive body position, it’s better suited for jump-loving adventurous neighborhood riders or beginning mountain bike riders.
Frog 62 is the most adaptable of the bikes as it comes with two sets of tires (road and street tires), mud flaps, and a bell. Riders can choose which set of tires to use as well as whether or not to install the mud flaps. Like the Prevelo, it comes with a trigger shifter, which is better suited for intermediate or more aggressive riders.
woom 5 Comparison
|Features||WOOM 5||Prevelo Alpha Four||Frog 62|
|Bike (link to review)||WOOM 5||Prevelo Alpha Four||Frog 62|
|Best for:||Great all-around, best for riders of various mild terrains||Intermediate trail riders||Ambitious neighborhood & light trail riders|
|Weight||20.3 lb.||21.2 lb.||20.3 lb.|
|Seat Height||26.4″ – 32.4″||25.8" - 31.2"||26" - 32.5"|
|Shifters||8sp/SRAM Grip||8sp/Shimano Trigger||8sp/Shimano Trigger|
woom 5 Bottom Line
The woom 5 is easily the best all-around 24 inch bike we’ve tested. Rugged and nimble for moderate dirt trail riding, and plenty fast and comfortable for neighborhood or paved trail riding, the woom 5 is the perfect bike to take your all-terrain rider anywhere they want to go.