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 the price.
Equipped with an air fork with rebound damping and lock-out, Promax hydraulic disc brakes, and 2.35″ wide Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires, the woom OFF AIR offers everything your young rider needs, while still being light and nimble. If your child is ready to tackle some intermediate and advanced trails, the woom OFF AIR is one trail-worthy ride.
woom OFF AIR Overview
MSRP: $949, $999, $1,049
BEST FOR: Kids ready to tackle true mountain trails (but NOT large drops or gap jumping)
SIZES: 20″, 24″ and 26″
WEIGHT: 19.8 lb., 22.4 lb., 24.3 lb. (w/o pedals)
What we love about the woom OFF Air
- An amazing build for the price, comes standard with hydraulic Promax brakes and SRAM X5 shifters and derailleur
- Ridiculously lightweight and nimble
- Lightweight, fully functional air fork with adjustable rebound and lockout
- Great geometry for solid trail riding
- Solid Rocket Ron tires on lightweight rims with Schrader valves for easier fill-ups
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
- Both OFFs are hard to come by. Don’t hesitate to buy or order one the minute they come back in stock.
- Harder to upgrade than other brands – fork and cranks are not compatible with other brands
- There is no internal routing for a dropper post
- Cranks on woom 6 only can be problematic (see below)
- They are available in 3 sizes – 20″, 24″, 26″. Consult our Kids Bike Sizes guide to help you measure your child to ensure a perfect fit!
woom OFF Air Full Review – Results of our Test Rides
After giving the rigid Woom OFF a solid testing, we were super stoked to get out on the heavily anticipated Woom OFF AIR model which is the same bike with an air suspension fork.
If you want to check out our complete review of the woom OFF, click through to the link, but as a Cliffs Notes version, it’s a killer build for beginner and intermediate groms. So how does the OFF AIR hold up with an added air fork? While I was able to find a few small tweaks that I would make for our kids, it’s simply genius for advancing riders.
We tested both the woom OFF AIR 5 (24 inch) and the woom OFF AIR 6 (26 inch).
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. The added air fork will absorb impact as your grom tackles more roots, more rocks, and chunkier sections of the trail at faster speeds.
For the uphill, the downhill, and the flow trails in between, the woom OFF AIR is a smooth and stable ride for kids sticking to the green and blue trails, or even black trails without all the features. While you certainly could take the AIR on a jump line, that’s not what the AIR was designed for.
Realistically, the low weight of the OFF AIR is its primary selling point against its competitors. By comparison, Prevelo’s exceptional 24″ hardtail mountain bike is about 3 pounds heavier than the woom OFF AIR 5 24″ mountain bike.
The OFF’s super lightweight build is a huge benefit for kids who are lightweight themselves. While weight certainly isn’t the only thing you should consider in a kids mountain bike, it can be pretty important, especially if you’ll be attempting longer climbs.
But if you already know that your goal is to quickly develop your kid’s skills so they can join you on jump and drop lines, a slacker trail mountain bike with more modern geometry 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 $150 more and 3.4 pounds heavier than the woom OFF 5.
If your child doesn’t NEED suspension, then save some pounds and money and stick with the OFF. We know a suspension fork certainly looks cool, but that’s not the best reason to choose one bike over another. 🙂
Quite simply, the answer depends on the type of terrain you’ll be riding most often. If your kids will regularly ride rocky and rooty terrain, the suspension fork is worth the added 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, there was no negative impact on the bike’s handling characteristics. 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.
For those who don’t regularly hit up rocky terrain or plan on catching air when they can, then you should enjoy the benefits of losing a few pounds and gaining a few dollars in your pocket. The OFF (non suspension version) is a lighter-weight ride for those just getting a taste of the trails as well as more experienced riders with a love for flowy trails.
Lightweight and Nimble for Maximum Performance
As mentioned previously, with the addition of a suspension fork the Woom OFF Air 5 still only weighs in at 22.3 lbs., which is quite feathery compared to a lot of other 24 inch kids mountain bikes there. One thing we noticed on the Woom compared to our son’s Prevelo Zulu Four (which weighs 25.6 lb.) was how much faster he was on the climbs.
The Woom OFF AIR seems like it just wants to accelerate uphill. It was almost like my son was riding an e-bike and I actually had to work super hard to keep up with him on the climbs. He just kept wanting to ride farther and farther as if the bike were rewarding him with a prize for every mile he put in.
The OFF AIR gets through tight corners and switchbacks on climbs with ease and just seems to dance its way through tight technical spots. Its lightweight and short rear end make the bike easy to lift the front wheel up and over obstacles as well.
Obstacles are also made easy with the OFF AIR’s 2.35″ Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires with the performance ADDIX SPEED upgrade. Offering additional grip and mileage, the tires are a perfect match for AIR. Just remember not to over-inflate your kids’ tires so they get the full benefit of that extra width!
This will help the bike feel much more planted and supple and take out quite a bit of sting from the trails. My son loves hitting small drops and getting air where he can – doing that on this bike was a joy to watch.
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 the rigid woom OFF, and that’s a good thing. Brakes are hydraulic Promax stoppers with a 160mm front rotor and 140mm rear. Drivetrain is a SRAM X5 1×9 with a 28t front cog, and cassette on the woom OFF AIR 5 is 11-34t.
Nice short 110 mm cranks with a narrow Q-factor keep a kid-specific stance when pedaling. Kid-friendly contact points with ergonomic saddle and grips are high quality and well-thought-out. 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 Proprietary Suspension Fork
woom’s proprietary hydraulic air fork (made by RST) is light and keeps the same playful attitude of the rigid OFF. The fork also works! I have seen a lot of kids bikes with suspension forks and they are usually pretty worthless and just add unnecessary weight. This one is an air fork so you can adjust the pressure to the weight of your little rider.
Many other kids’ air forks I have seen seem to have issues after lowering the pressure down enough for them to work for a lightweight kid. What typically happens is the negative chamber doesn’t have much left to give and there is almost zero rebound.
The fork that comes on the woom OFF AIR seems to keep its rebound even when run at lower pressures. Travel specs are 60mm on the woom OFF AIR 4, 80 mm on the AIR 5, and 90 mm on the AIR 6.
The stanchions slide effortlessly through the lowers with a super smooth feel and little to no stiction (essential friction) as well. Other forks I have had on my other kid’s bikes end up needing to be lubed generously almost every ride to keep stiction at bay.
Descending, this bike tackles terrain at speed and loves corners. The bike can be pumped and pushed through corners very quickly and can pick up a lot of speed by pushing into the downhill side of jumps. Over smoother terrain and flow trails this bike rolls quickly and loves to go fast.
The OFF AIR does show its limits when trying to be pushed 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” 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 further on the jumps we have made in our 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 lightweight 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.
Crank Arm Issue on woom OFF AIR 6
The cranks on the woom OFF AIR 6 (26″ OFF ONLY) are susceptible to bending. We had two sets of woom crank arms bend while being tested by our smaller 12-year-old tester. The bend occurred while he was practicing 2-foot drops.
While the OFF AIR is not designed for the aggressive drops or jumps rider, it is designed to help kids to become confident in the sport. Because you can’t know how quickly your rider will develop, or just how much confidence they will gain, we would expect the OFF AIR 6 cranks to be able to handle the strain of small drops or air.
After the second crank arm bent, we did attempt to replace the cranks, but were unable to find non-woom cranks that were compatible with the woom OFF AIR.
Since then, we handed down the woom OFF AIR 6 to a less aggressive sibling who has no desire to be champion of the drops.
One thing that we felt could be improved with the OFF AIR is a wider bar. My son has been riding with the SDG Jr bar on his current 24” bike which is 650mm wide. The bar on the Woom OFF AIR 5 is only 600mm wide. He was far less stable on the downhills with the shorter bar and I could tell it gave the bike a bit of a twitchy, nervous feel.
The bar is always something you could upgrade if you wanted to and it wouldn’t be a very expensive one at that. But I feel out of the box a bike that is made for hitting the trails needs a proper bar with a more modern length to match its otherwise very capable geometry.
Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tires Not Tubeless Ready
While it may not matter for many kids, we do want to point out that the woom OFF AIR’s rims and tires are not tubeless-ready. If you’re having a problem with getting too many flats, or you just want to run tire pressure a bit lower, a tubeless set-up can be a lifesaver.
We upgraded our woom OFF AIR 6 to tubeless, which wasn’t super convenient because it wasn’t tubeless ready, but it certainly worked. On this bike, the Rocket Ron’s thinner sidewalls became problematic with the terrain we were riding, and going tubeless was a game-changer for us.
Not Internally Routed for a Dropper & No Quick Release
The other feature I would like to have seen for a bike this capable is the ability to run an internally routed dropper post. At this price point, I would not expect the bike to come with a dropper, but a lot of other 24” frames are offering the option to run a dropper post now.
Plus, if the bike does not come with a dropper or has the ability to run a dropper, I would at least like to see a quick release to be able to easily drop that saddle at the top of the descent. Adding a quick release is an easy fix though.
woom OFF AIR vs. Other Kids Mountain Bikes
|Features||woom OFF Air||Prevelo ZULU||Cleary Scout|
|woom OFF Air||Prevelo Zulu||Cleary Scout|
|Best For||A "do-it-all" bike, lightweight especially good for long climbs||Kids riding downhill and on steeper, rough stuff, slacker head angle helps||Taking and withstanding a beating with rough kids and rough terrain|
|Sizes||20", 24", 26"||14", 16", 20", 24"||24", 26"|
|24" Fork||Custom air suspension fork w/ 80 mm travel, adjustable rebound, lockout||SR Suntour XCR 24" Air Fork, 80 mm travel, adjustable rebound, lockout||Suntour XCR LO 24” Air fork, 80mm travel, adjustable rebound, lockout|
|Brakes||Promax hydraulic disc brakes, 160 mm front, 140mm rear||Tektro hydraulic with 160mm front, 140mm rear||Tektro HD-291 junior disc brakes with 160 front and rear rotors|
|Shifter||SRAM X5 trigger shifter||Shimano DEORE RAPIDFIRE Plus||Shimano Deore M6000 Trigger|
|Derailleur||SRAM X5 rear derailleur, 9-speed||Shimano Deore Shadow RD+ 10-speed with ON/OFF Clutch||Shimano Deore M6000 10-speed mid cage rear derailleur with clutch|
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 on the woom OFF AIR, it became the bike my son seems to gravitate toward every time we have gone out on a ride lately. I started to think about why he picks that bike over some of the others.
As far as components, they are all spec’d pretty similarly. But there are two things about the woom OFF AIR that I think are big contributors for kids squeezing out the maximum amount of fun.
(1) it’s super light overall weight
(2) the smooth stiction-free and quick-rebounding fork
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, Prevelo, and the Cleary, the best bike for your grom will depend a lot on their riding style.
PREVELO ZULU: This bike has the most modern and aggressive geometry of the three. When trails get a bit steeper and a bit more rowdy, I think the Prevelo is going to win here. The slacker head 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.
I 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. The Zulu comes routed for a dropper post and can even be order with a dropper post. Tires and rims are tubeless ready.
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.
The Scout’s big win is its steel frame that can absorb quite a bit of impact. Our testers have noted the Scout makes the ride smoother on bumpy terrain than the woom OFF AIR. The Cleary Scout also feels more solid and could take a bit more punishment than the woom OFF Air.
woom OFF AIR Bottom Line
Our verdict on the Woom OFF AIR is a good one. This kids hardtail mountain bike will allow your young one to tackle a lot of trails with confidence. 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.