It’s not often that a kids mountain bike sells out within hours of its release, but after testing the woom OFF AIR, we aren’t surprised. The AIR is simply a magnificent beast that “floats like a butterfly (and) sting(s) like a bee”. Lightweight and responsive, it’s a magnificent rig for a wide range of riders.
Not just an adult bike shrunk down, the woom OFF AIR was meticulously designed for young riders by woom’s engineering team in Austria. Beneath the shadows of the ALPS, woom’s team built a capable bike that enables young riders to fearlessly take on elevation, while still being capable on the rugged downhills. If your child is ready to tackle anything from flowy beginner trails to chunky advanced trails, the woom OFF AIR is one trail-worthy ride.
woom OFF AIR Overview
MSRP: $999, $1,099, $1,199
BEST FOR: Kids ready to tackle true mountain trails (but NOT large drops or gap jumping)
SIZES: 20″, 24″ and 26″
WEIGHT: 20.3 lb., 22.7 lb., 24.7 lb. (w/o pedals)
FRAME: 6061 T6 Aluminum Alloy
FORK: Air suspension fork, adjustable rebound, lockout function, 60/80/90 mm travel (increases with bike size) with thru-axle
BRAKES: Promax hydraulic disc
DRIVETRAIN/SHIFTERS: SRAM X5 derailleur and trigger shifter, 9-speed
TIRES: Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.35″ wide
HANDLEBAR: 570/585/665mm width, 20mm rise
What we love about the woom OFF AIR
- An amazing build for the price, comes standard with hydraulic brakes and SRAM X5 shifters and derailleur
- Ridiculously lightweight and nimble
- Lightweight, fully functional RST-built specific air fork with adjustable rebound and lockout
- Great geometry for solid trail riding
- New 2023 models come tubeless compatible (ready for conversion, but rims are not taped), and dropper post compatible
What you should know before you buy
- The woom OFF and the OFF AIR are exactly the same, the OFF AIR just has a suspension fork
- The woom OFF and OFF AIR are cross-country/trail bikes, not aggressive downhill bikes. They are designed with climbing being as much as a priority as descending.
- The fork, cranks and grips are not compatible with other brands and can only be replaced with woom parts
- They are available in 3 sizes – 20″, 24″, 26″, all of which are slightly larger than Original (non MTB) woom bikes. Consult our Kids Bike Sizes guide to help you measure your child to ensure a perfect fit!
woom OFF AIR 2023 Updates
In summer 2023, updated OFF Air models debuted in the U.S. The geometry of the bikes remains the same, along with overall performance, but there are a few small upgrades that add up to some significant improvements. Here’s a highlight of the changes, and we’ll go into more detail on each of these in the review.
- TWO COLORS: The woom OFF is offered in two colors – the original black, and the new terra coppa (copper colored)
- TUBELESS READY – All OFF models now come with rims and tires ready to convert to a tubeless set up. Presta valves replaced schrader valves.
- DROPPER POST READY – The OFF 5 and 6 models come ready to add a dropper post with partial internal routing.
- SMALLER GRIPS – All OFF AIR models have smaller-diameter grips for small hands. As a result, the handlebar ends are also narrowly tapered.
- UPDATED BRAKES – The OFF AIR 5 and 6 models have larger 160mm disc rotors in both front and back (previously 140mm in the back)
- UPDATED SUSPENSION FORK – The OFF AIR 5 and 6 have an upgraded air fork, featuring the most current updates from RST
- SADDLE – Each size of OFF AIR now has a uniquely sized MTB saddle to better fit the size of the child who will be riding. The seat post is now quick release clamp.
- CHAINSTAY – All models now feature an integrated rubber chainstay protector that incorporates seamlessly into the frame
woom OFF AIR Full Review – Results of our Test Rides
Over the last four years, at least 10 of our kid testers have spent many hours testing and riding the woom OFF AIR 4,5, and 6. From Park City to Fort Worth to Bentonville, Arkansas, we’ve given these ponies a thorough evaluation!
So how does the OFF AIR hold up against other premium kids’ mountain bikes? We’ll cover everything you need to know in the review below, but as a Cliffs Notes version, it’s a killer build for advancing groms, especially those consistently tackling elevation.
If you want to check out our complete review of the rigid woom OFF (no suspension fork) click through to that link.
Who is the woom OFF AIR best for?
The woom OFF AIR is a cross-country mountain bike designed for the intermediate to advanced rider who is ready to experiment with more technical terrain. On the climb up, the OFF AIR’s moderate 69º head tube angle and feather light construction help to take the edge off, while its kid-specific air fork and tubeless capable Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires provide plenty of cushion and traction on the way down.
Compared to the non-AIR OFF air fork upgrade is a godsend as it eats through the chunkier sections of the trail at faster speeds. Just keep in mind that the woom OFF AIR is a cross-country bike and is not designed for kids eager to hit up every jumps line or catch air at the bike park. While it certainly can be jumped, the OFF AIR is most at home on single-track trails plenty of climbing.
The woom OFF AIR is also a phenomenal option for timid or petite riders who would benefit from the svelte weight of the woom. By comparison, Prevelo’s exceptional hardtail mountain bikes are about 2-3 pounds heavier than the woom OFF AIR models, while offerings by Cleary and Commencal are even heavier.
If your goal is to develop your kid’s skills so they can join you on jump and drop lines, a slacker trail mountain bike with more aggressive geometry, however, would be a better choice for you, even if it’s a few pounds heavier. Check out our review of the Prevelo Zulu if you think that might be more up your alley.
Woom OFF or Woom OFF AIR?
The woom OFF AIR is heavier and more expensive than the woom OFF. For example, the woom OFF AIR 5 is $200 more and 2.6 pounds heavier than the woom OFF 5.
If your child doesn’t NEED suspension, then save some pounds and money and stick with the rigid OFF. We know a suspension fork certainly looks cool, but that’s not the best reason to choose one bike over another. 🙂
So how do you know if your child NEEDS suspension? Quite simply, the answer depends on:
(1) Elevation gains you’ll be attempting
(2) The type of terrain you’ll be riding most often
(3) Your child’s age and weight
woom did a solid job of keeping the weight of the fork and the frame down, so even with the added weight of an air fork, we’ve found no negative impact on the bike’s handling characteristics.
However, weight will always affect a child’s ability to climb, so if you will be tackling a lot of elevation, a lighter weight rigid bike may be most beneficial. (Especially on a 20 inch mountain bike when kids are still so lightweight themselves.)
If your kids will regularly ride rocky and rooty terrain, the suspension fork may be worth the added weight. woom’s proprietary and kid-specific air fork definitely works well enough to provide a lot of benefits to the rider, taking out a lot of trail chatter and the resulting hand and arm fatigue. Lowering the PSI of the tires, especially with a tubeless set up, can also help with this.
Younger Kids – Especially 20″
And what about a child’s age and weight? Over the years, we’ve found that kids small and young enough to ride a 20″ mountain bike generally find the most success on a rigid bike. For them, the potential benefits of a suspension fork just don’t outweigh the drawbacks of the added weight of that suspension fork (even the lightweight fork of the woom OFF AIR 4).
With a woom, you have a huge advantage that you can buy a rigid woom OFF now, and later upgrade to an air fork if you feel your child needs one.
Lightweight and Nimble for Maximum Performance
As mentioned previously, with the addition of a suspension fork, all woom OFF AIR models are still impressively lightweight. For example, the Woom OFF AIR 5 still only weighs in at 22.7 lbs. (without pedals), which is quite feathery compared to a lot of other 24 inch kids mountain bikes there. (The only lighter hardtail is made by Trailcraft, but the price point is much higher.)
Our 12-year-old boy tester on the woom OFF AIR 6 is a textbook example of how a lightweight mountain bike can benefit a kid. We quickly noticed that on the woom, he was much faster on the climbs compared to his Prevelo Zulu Five (which weighs 27.5 lb. about 3 lb. more).
The OFF AIR seemed like it just wanted to accelerate uphill. The bike chews through tight corners and switchbacks on climbs with ease and just seems to dance its way through tight technical spots. It was almost as if he was riding an ebike and we actually had to work to keep up with him on the climbs.
Its lightweight and short rear end also make the bike easy to lift the front wheel up and over obstacles. Having completed the same trail with him on his beloved Zulu Five, he was quick to point out benefits of the woom while climbing. He felt the bike was faster and easily to maneuver.
Descending, the woom didn’t hesitate and felt right at home through chunky terrain and bermed corners. Our testers also felt the lighter weight of the woom made it easier to jump and pop over roots and rocks.
On the flip side, when it came to really steep and technical downhill sections, our tester felt much more confident on the more slack Prevelo Zulu Five. Considering the Zulu is designed to be a “trail” mountain bike and the woom OFF AIR a “cross-country” mountain bike, it was great to hear that his feedback matched the intended design of the bikes.
woom OFF AIR Sizing and Weight
woom OFF models are sized a tad larger than woom’s Original city bike series. As a result, if your child barely fits on their woom Original, they may not fit on the same size woom OFF quite yet. Be sure to always measure your child’s inseam prior to ordering a bike to ensure a proper fit as well as plenty of room for growth. woom also has a sizing quiz to help to determine the best size bike from their lineup.
If you are coming to woom from another brand, be aware that the sizing of woom bikes (as well as other specialty kids bikes) can vary greatly from other brands. While woom’s 20″ OFF bike is on par with, or smaller than, other brands, their 24″ and 26″ bikes are actually larger.
woom OFF AIR Sizing
|Bike||Seat Height||Weight (lb.)|
|woom OFF AIR 4||22.8" - 28.7"||20.3|
|Prevelo Zulu 3||22.8" - 28.5"||22.96|
|Specialized Riprock 20"||25" - 30"||22.6|
|woom OFF AIR 5||28.3" - 34.3"||22.7|
|Prevelo Zulu 4||26" - 31.5"||25.3|
|Specialized Riprock 24"||27" - 32.5"||24.7|
|woom OFF AIR 6||30.7" - 38.2"||24.7|
|Prevelo Zulu 5||28.6" - 34.2"||26.6|
As shown in the seat height range comparison chart above, the woom OFF 4 20″ bike is significantly smaller than the Specialized Riprock 20″, while woom’s 24″ OFF 5 is significantly larger than the Specialized Riprock 24″.
When compared to Prevelo’s Zulu series, the jump between sizes on the woom OFF models is greater, which results in woom’s 24″ and 26″ models being significantly larger than Prevelo’s. In fact, you’ll notice that the Prevelo 26″ Zulu 5 has the same seat height range as woom’s 24″ OFF 4.
Across all sizes and brands, however, the woom OFF’s stand out for being ridiculously lightweight.
woom OFF AIR Components Round-Up
The components on woom bikes really knock it out of the park, and are light years ahead of what you’ll find on cheaper recreational mountain bikes for kids. Woom has stuck with the majority of the same components as they have on the rigid woom OFF, including front and rear thru axles on all models of OFF and OFF AIR.
Promax Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Brakes are hydraulic Promax stoppers with 140mm front and rear rotors for the OFF AIR 4, and larger 160mm front and rear for the OFF AIR 5 and 6. Promax is growing in popularity, and in our four years of using these bikes, we have never had any issues with the brakes not performing on point.
SRAM X5 Drivetrain
Drivetrain is a SRAM X5 1×9 with a 28t front cog and cassette that gets increasingly larger depending on the bike’s size: 11 – 32/34/36 for OFF AIR 4/5/6.
The trigger shifter is a double thumb set-up that is easy to the touch and sensitive enough for smaller hands to manage. That said, in our head to head testing against the Prevelo Zulu’s Microshift shifter was slightly easier to engage.
Nice short cranks (110/130/150 mm for 4/5/6) with a narrow Q-factor create a kid-specific stance when pedaling and when standing with level pedals. They offer the perfect balance of wide enough for a steady base, but not too wide as to be uncomfortable for a child’s narrow hips.
woom OFF AIR Proprietary Suspension Fork
woom’s proprietary air fork (made by RST) is lightweight and keeps the same playful attitude of the rigid OFF. The fork also works really well! It offers adjustable compression (an absolute must, especially for lightweight kid riders!), adjustable rebound, and lockout.
Is this surprising? Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of kids bikes with suspension forks that are pretty worthless and just add unnecessary weight. The woom OFF AIR fork is one of the most responsive we’ve seen.
Luckily, high-quality air forks are getting better and better for kids. But the main issue for cheaper air forks is that lowering the pressure down enough to work for a lightweight kid can result in a fork that doesn’t have enough air in the chamber to extend or rebound.
The fork that comes on the woom OFF AIR keeps its rebound even when run at lower pressures. The stanchions slide effortlessly through the lowers with a super smooth feel and little to no stiction (essential friction) as well.
Travel vs. Other Brands
Compared to some other high-quality kids mountain bikes out there, the woom OFF AIR models have less travel. That said, they offer plenty of travel for most trails, but are not ideal for bigger drops or jumps.
Keep in mind the woom OFF AIR bikes have a 1 1/8″ – 1″ baby taper steerer tube, which doesn’t allow you to swap out their air fork for another brand.
woom AIR Fork Performance
The OFF AIR does show its limits when trying to be pushed downhill through steeper rockier terrain. The front fork does a good job at eating up stuff on the front end, but the lightweight stiff rear-end gets tossed around quite a bit, proving that it is still a hardtail.
There are some pretty rad full suspension 24″ and 26″ bikes out there if riding rowdier downhill trails is on your list, but do you really want to pay for a full suspension for a kid this age? Honestly, for most kids, a hardtail will do just fine through most green and blue rated trails, and even some black trails.
While we want to reiterate that the OFF AIR is NOT designed for truly advanced shredders who seek out large jumps and drops, less advanced, developing riders will undoubtedly begin to attempt smaller jumps and drops. So of course, we tested how the air fork handled these situations too.
Our woom OFF AIR 5 tester was able to jump quite a bit higher and farther on some homemade jumps in his backyard. He ended up pushing one of the landings back by about a foot and a half on one of the gap jumps we built because he was overshooting the landing on the woom OFF AIR 5.
Drops became a bit easier as well due to the light weight of the bike and the short chainstays. The fork never had any harsh bottom outs either, but still used up about 90% of the 80 mm of travel.
Very Narrow Grips for Kids’ Hands
One small but effective change to the 2023 OFF AIR bikes is its tapered handlebar that allows for smaller diameter grips. These smaller grips make it easier for smaller hands to grip them more securely and comfortably. Here you can see the difference on the woom OFF AIR 4 bikes.
In addition to being more comfortable, the new grips feature a bumper at the end to help protect hands in a crash, to prevent hands from slipping off as well as to help encourage proper hand placement on the grips themselves.
While our testers loved these super small grips, however, their small sizing (due to the tapered handlebar) does make it difficult to upgrade them to a different brand or color.
Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tires Now Tubeless Ready!
The OFF AIRs come equipped with 2.35″ Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires with the performance ADDIX SPEED that provided plenty of grip and cushioning. Over the last several years, our testers in Utah have put hundreds of miles of riding on the Rocket Rons without any issues. While our testers in Texas did have some issues with the thinner sidewalls of the Rocket Rons, converting the bikes to tubeless solved their concerns.
With the new 2023 woom OFF AIR models, converting the tires is tubeless is even easier. With the rims and the tires tubeless compatible, you’ll just need to tape your rims, replace your Presta valves, fill your bike with sealant, and then you’re off! Here’s what we used:
As with any bike, just remember not to over-inflate your kids’ tires so they get the full traction and cushioning benefit of that extra width! Keeping tire pressure low will help the bike feel much more planted and supple, and take out quite a bit of sting from the trails. Our kids love hitting small drops and getting air where they can – doing that on this bike was a joy to watch.
Routed for a Dropper Post
The frames of the OFF AIR 5 and OFF AIR 6 allow for a partial internal routing of a dropper post. woom doesn’t offer a dropper post, so you will have to make the upgrade yourself.
While we’re all for the potential to customize a mountain bike to your child’s unique riding ability and style, keep in mind that the vast majority of kids do not need a dropper post. It’s great that you can easily add one, but don’t think that means that your child needs one.
Some young riders may welcome the added complexity of adjusting the height of their saddle mid-ride as they reap the benefits of getting low on the downhill (whether for short sections or long descents). Whether or not your child is capable of this is up to you, but is more likely on the OFF AIR 6.
However, even if your child could benefit, you need to remember that installing a dropper post will affect the seat height of the bike. Because kids’ bikes have smaller frames, a dropper post when fully extended will probably be much taller than your child can manage until they are in the medium to high sizing range for the bike.
If a shorter child were to accidentally engage the dropper post to full extension mid-ride, they potentially couldn’t touch the ground with their feet, or even the pedals. Not safe!
Also remember that because kids have shorter inseams, even if you install a dropper post, travel will be minimal. As a result, dropper posts will typically only work well for taller kids who fit on the woom OFF 6.
Integrated Chainstay Protector
To prevent dents and dings from chain slap, the new woom OFF AIRs come with an integrated chainstay protector. The rubberized protector blends seamlessly into the frame and covers the entire length of the chainstay.
Stock Pedals Work Well
The OFF AIR even comes with a decent pair of pedals with some non-life-threatening pins, while still providing plenty of grip – especially when wearing a pair of 5-10’s or Ride Concept flat pedal mountain bike shoes.
woom OFF AIR vs. Other Hardtails
While there are a lot of great kids bikes out there, woom bikes have been particularly loved by our kids. After putting in some time riding on the woom OFF AIR, it often becomes the bike our kid testers seem to gravitate toward.
The OFF AIR’s lighter weight keeps kiddos from getting tired quickly. It also allows them to climb hills more easily. And when it comes to getting a bit of air time, the bike is easy to pop off jumps, roots, and rocks, or just send it off the curb in the local streets.
The fork being able to work smoothly and rebound quickly means it’s actually soaking up the bumps and taking the sting out of mini-sized hands and arms.
That said, comparing the woom with other hardtails, the best bike for your grom will depend a lot on their riding style and how much you want to spend.
PREVELO ZULU: This bike has the aggressive geometry of the three. When trails get a bit steeper and a bit more rowdy, the Prevelo is going to win here. The slacker head tube angle on the Zulu is going to feel more stable through higher speed downhill sections of trails and will provide more confidence on steeper, rougher stuff.
We would suggest the Zulu to the kid who is jumping a little bit higher, going a little bit faster, and riding stuff that is a little bit steeper and rougher.
CLEARY SCOUT: The woom and the Cleary will feel similar as far as geometry goes, however because the woom OFF AIR is so much lighter, it’s going to feel more quick and snappy. Kids will have an easier time riding the woom on longer climbs and just riding in general.
While the Cleary Scout feels more solid and could take a bit more punishment than the woom OFF AIR, it is the heaviest of the options we’ve talked about. Unless you’re going to be riding exclusively downhill, the extra weight is a hard sell.
TRAILCRAFT: While woom OFF AIR bikes are impressively lightweight, Trailcraft hardtails are actually even more lightweight. That said, they are also quite a bit more expensive.
With a price tag that will give you a bit of sticker shock, you’ll have to decide if shaving even a few more pounds off your child’s bike is worth it. Trailcraft’s other major benefit is that they are highly customizable – from choosing your chainring tooth count to your drivetrain brand and quality level, Trailcraft is for parents who want a choice for every spec.
woom OFF AIR Bottom Line
Our verdict on the Woom OFF AIR is two enthusiastic thumbs up and two big fist pumps! This kids hardtail mountain bike will allow your young one to tackle trails with confidence and less fatigue. It’s an outstanding climber and a joy to ride on the downhill as well. Unless your kid is going to be riding the bike park with lift served access, this is a great pick for a do-it-all kind of trail bike for kids.