The ideal mix of technical brawn and delicate simplicity, the woom OFF is the ultimate gateway bike for young groms just getting started. From its hydraulic disc brakes to its carbon fork, we cover it all in our review.
- Ultra lightweight
- Rigid carbon fork with through-axle for added stability
- Wide Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires for maximum grip and cushioning
- Trigger shifters for rapid shifting
- Adjustable stem and handlebars
- Promax hydraulic disc-brakes
- Studded pedals to prevent foot slipping
woom OFF Review – Results of our Test Rides
Finding the perfect mountain bike for your child can be tricky. From geometry to drivetrain, there is a lot more to consider when riding trails as compared to riding around town. How much experience your child has on the trail also plays a larger role in finding the “best” bike for your child. Wanting to put the woom OFF to the ringer, we put it through two rounds of tests. The first round was with beginning mountain bikers and the second with more experienced. In the end, both groups of riders loved the woom OFF!
Beginner Riders: Performance
By Natalie Martins
Our 7 and 10-year-old riders were able to test out woom’s recently released OFF edition mountain bike and they are in love! Having just completed another summer of mountain biking classes, they were eager to head back out on the trails and the woom OFF didn’t disappoint.
Built for the beginning to intermediate rider, the OFF is extremely lightweight and nimble and is well equipped with hydraulic disc brakes and a SRAM 9-speed X5 derailleur with trigger shifters. It’s an amazing choice for young groms who are just getting started in the sport as well as intermediate riders looking for a solid pony willing and able to lead the way.
The woom OFF is available in 20″, 24″ and 26″ wheel sizes. We tested out the 20″ woom OFF 4 and the 26″ woom OFF 6 with our 7 and 10-year-old testers. As advanced beginner mountain bikers, the OFF was the perfect bike for them – not too much (no suspension to save on weight), but not too little (plenty of gears and powerful hydraulic disc brakes).
7-year-old on woom OFF 4
Like all woom bikes, the woom OFF excels at all the essentials and then kicks it up a notch. First and foremost, it has an ultralight aluminum frame paired with a rigid fork. Yes, a rigid fork on a mountain bike! Why? Because forks often add a lot of unnecessary weight to the bike, especially for our beginner riders.
10-year-old on the woom OFF 6
In addition, most suspension forks simply can’t provide sufficient dampening for lightweight kids. Yes, they provide some, but for most riders the additional weight the suspension forks adds (about 2 to 5 lbs.) does not compensate for the small gains in cushioning.
To compensate for the lack of a shock, the woom OFF comes with cushioning 2.35″ wide Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires. Having ridden his 24 lb. Islabike Creig with an RST adjustable air fork for two years now, our 10-year-old tester had no complaints about the lack of air fork on his 20.5 lb. woom OFF 6. The OFF bike rode equally smooth on its rigid carbon fork with wide tires as did the Islabike with an air fork and 2.1″ wide tires.
More aggressive or advanced riders, however, may prefer the additional weight of a shock for the benefit of a front suspension fork. For those groms, the OFF will be available in 202o with an air shock for an additional $200.
Intermediate & Advanced Riders: Performance and Components
By Kelly Jorgenson
Made specifically for trail riding, the OFF bikes share very little, if any, components with woom’s traditional bike line up (such as the woom 5 and 6). From the SRAM X4 setup and wide bars to the longer, more stable wheelbase, the OFF has something to offer for both beginning riders as well as more advanced riders ready to push themselves a little further.
Straight out of the gate, the two major selling points of the OFF that stood out to me are its weight and price. The OFF is significantly lighter and cheaper than most of its competitors. For example, the 20” OFF comes in at a feathery 17.2 lbs. with pedals and 2.3″ wide tires, while the well-received Trek Wahoo 20″ weighs in at 19 lb. with 1.95″ wide tires. When it comes to price, all models of the OFF are priced under $700!
Add to that a kid-centric frame design that mixes the perfect balance of confidence and stability, while keeping steering and maneuverability responsive and quick. The woom OFF bikes climb, descend, and tackle cross country terrain with ease.
7-year-old on woom OFF 4
The woom OFF line-up has been well designed with kids in mind. They have focused on size-specific geometry and smart and well-thought-out, kid-specific features. But one of their biggest differentiators from other kid brands has been keeping off the weight that plagues so many bikes out there for the little ones. So, when we got ahold of the new woom OFF bikes to test, it was no surprise that they had left OFF a ton of weight compared to some of the other kids’ mountain bikes out there.
How much weight are we talking about? Well, woom states the 26” woom OFF 6 hits the scales at a very svelte 20.5 lbs. with pedals. In comparison, some bike shop bikes in the same size are weighing in between 35-40 lbs. I can hear some parents out there now saying, “who cares?” For those of you saying this, let’s do a comparison.
My 11-year-old weighs about 75 lbs. So if he is riding a bike that weighs around 35 lbs, then the bike is about 46% of his body weight. So if you are a 170 lb. adult that would be equivalent to you riding a bike that weighs about 79 lbs. Can you honestly imagine trying to pedal an 80 lb. mountain bike? Not a chance! Ok, rant over.
Brakes and Drivetrain
Let’s talk about specs for a bit. The parts have been well thought out for little hands and bodies. Promax hydraulic brakes have good stopping power but also great modulation, giving kids good control over braking. Some hydraulic brakes can stop kids a bit too abruptly causing them to skid and lose control – not the case here. The brake levers are ultra-responsive and can be modulated to your child’s preference.
The drivetrain works great. The Q factor is nice and narrow, meaning your kid is not going to be cranking their pedals out in too wide of a stance. The woom 6 has 28 tooth narrow-wide chainring in the front and an 11-36t cassette out back. There is plenty range of gears to get up and down.
With as light as the bike is, there is less need for a bigger 42 or 46 tooth cog on the cassette for climbing. The smaller woom 4 OFF has a bit less range with a 28t chainring and an 11-32 tooth cassette.
All three sizes of the OFF feature 9-speeds with SRAM trigger shifters and an X5 derailleur. While learning to use the double thumb shifter on the SRAM took the beginner testers a few neighborhood rides to master, our experienced testers got right on board.
Handlebar & Saddle
Grips are small for little hands and super grippy and comfortable. Bars are 680 mm wide with a 20mm rise. It’s good to see people putting proper wide bars on kids’ bikes these days. The bars can also be rotated forward or back 10 degrees to tilt the handlebars away or closer to the body. The 50mm stem can be also be flipped to adjust the bar height.
The saddle is high quality and ergonomically designed to fit a child’s pelvis.
I was super pleased to see such a nice set of tires come on a kid’s bike at this price point. 26 x 2.35” Schwalbe Rocket Ron’s front and back give tons of traction with plenty of rolling speed and good shock absorbing qualities – as long as you run the pressure correctly. And through most terrain, the bike was fast and easy to throw around. Getting through corners was noticeably easy and the bike stayed stable at faster speeds, at least when smooth.
Make sure you are running your kids’ tires nice and low to allow the tires to get maximum traction and give some bump compliance. I ended up running these at about 16 lbs. for my son that weighs 70 lbs., and about 15 lbs. on the woom 4 OFF for our lighter riders.
As far as geometry goes I’d say it fits right into the XC/trail category. The geometry is set up to make the bike feel really balanced and give little riders a lot of confidence. This is great for new riders as well as more skilled riders that want to start trying new things or just increase their speed on trails.
Headtube angle is 69 degrees, giving the rider some confidence on the downhill by making the bike feel stable and controlled. This helps them feel like they are not going to go over the bars at any time.
Wheelbase is fairly long at 1066mm (on the 26″) giving kids stability at speed and more confidence. The bike sits pretty low giving a more “in-the-bike” feel rather than being perched up on top of it. This again gives the feeling of confidence. Notice a trend here? The woom OFF mixes the perfect balance of confidence and stability while keeping steering and maneuverability responsive and quick.
Climbing with the woom OFF is easy due to a comfortable seat tube angle which puts the rider over the bottom bracket. It’s also super easy to climb thanks to how light these things are. There is plenty of range in the gears to climb most green and blue rated trails out there, and the light weight gives the OFF a huge advantage over a lot of bikes out there. Kids can easily make their way up significant climbs and effortlessly move around or up and over obstacles.
One thing that woom didn’t have a measurement for were the chainstays. I am assuming they are pretty stubby by the ease of getting the front wheel off the ground. My son was easily able to get the front tire off the ground to get up and over obstacles. He had a blast riding wheelies around the neighborhood too.
Descending on the woom was great. The bike had plenty of traction from the Rocket Ron tires. And through most terrain, the bike was fast and easy to throw around. Getting through corners was noticeably easy and the bike stayed stable at faster speeds at least when smooth.
For more aggressive terrain, the bike could have benefited from a suspension fork upfront. Through rocky, chunky, technical terrain my son started getting bounced around quite a bit. For kids just getting into biking that are taking things a bit slower or are just riding mellower trails this would be a non-issue. But for more advanced riders this could end up holding them back a bit.
Currently, the woom OFF comes with carbon fork to keep it ultra-light while the larger through-axle helps keep the fork rigid. I reached out to woom during the test and they said they were working on a suspension fork that would come on the bike starting late summer of 2020. They also said that due to the headset/headtube, there are currently no known aftermarket suspension forks that will work with the woom OFF in any of the sizes.
Stunningly built from top to bottom, the woom OFF mountain bike is a killer choice for any young grom ready for a steady, sturdy, and lightweight steed to lead them on grand adventures. Loaded with the essentials without being weighed down by a suspension fork, the OFF will dominate those cross country trails.