WOOM4

Pedal Bike Review

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What We Would Ride

The best all-around 20" bike we've tested. Rugged and nimble for moderate single-track riding, yet comfortable enough for street riding.

View on WOOM View on Amazon

Product Specifications

MSRP: $450

Recommendation: Exceptional

Seat Height: 19.7" - 27.6"

Weight: 17.5 lb.

Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy

Tire Size: 20" - geared

Brake Type: Mini V

Speed/Shifters: 8/Grip

Suspension: No

Handlebar:

Geared Bike Type: Street/Light Trail

Gain Ratio: 2.3/6.7

Wheelbase: 835

Available Online: Yes

Review

Overview

Buying your child’s first 20″ bike is akin to buying them their first car. Somewhere between reading about shifters, geometry, and gear-ratios you think, how did they get this old? With gentle rides in the park gone for good, speed, power, and performance are now top on your list as should be the WOOM4.

An amazing all-around 20″ bike, the WOOM4 is well equipped to handle long paved rides to mild dirt trails. Lightweight with a low-center-of-gravity, the WOOM4 provides an easy and comfortable transition for kids moving up from their 16″ bikes. With 8-speeds for a wide range of gears and grip shifters for shifting newbies, the WOOM4 is an excellent choice for kids needed a top-notch all-around bike.

Performance

The WOOM4 is more than your basic neighborhood bike. Capable of comfortably executing everything from 15+ mile paved bike rides to beginning single-track mountain bike trails, the WOOM4 is an amazing all-around bike for the average child rider. Throughout our tests, we found both beginning and more aggressive riders to be comfortable on the bike. The lightweight build (16.9 lb.), low-rise handlebars and low center of gravity frame create a comfortable and familiar ride for beginning riders while the responsive brakes, a slightly more aggressive position and a wide range of gears easily brought a smile to our aggressive rider’s faces.

WOOM4 Works Great for Various Types of Riders

WOOM4 20" bike on paved and dirt trails.

Size

At 19.7″ the WOOM4 has one of the lowest minimum seat heights for a 20″ bike. Maxing out at 27.6″, the WOOM4 is a good fit for kids aged 5 to 8. A child inseam, however, is king when fitting a bike. Experienced riders on 20″ should have the seat height set to 2″ to 3″ ABOVE their inseam to allow for proper leg extension while pedaling. A bike is generally a good fit for an experienced if they can only touch the ground with their tippy toes while on the bike seat.  As a result, the WOOM4 is ideal for experienced riders with an inseam ranging from 18″ to 24″ (regardless of age). The standover height of the bike wasn’t an issue for any of our riders.

WOOM4 Ridden by 5 and 6-year-olds

WOOM4 20" kids bike with 5 and 6-year-old riders.

We tested out the WOOM4 is a 5, 6 and 8 year old and found them all to be a good fit on the bike. Our very tall 6-year-old tester with an 23″ inseam and our 8-year-old tester with a 24″ inseam fit on the WOOM4 but it offered little, if any, room for growth.

Frame & Geometry

Designed specifically for kids (not just “small adults”) the WOOM4 frame is built narrower and shorter than the average 20″ bike. To properly fit under a child’s body, WOOM frames are built with smaller, narrower components to prevent kids from having to splay their legs out while pedaling. The “width” of the bike (the distance between the inside of the pedals) is known as the q-factor in the bike world. The q-factor width is equal to the distance kids must spread their feet to pedal. A bike with a lower q-factor provides more proficient pedaling as kids are able to extend more effort in pushing directly down on a pedal.

Narrow Q-factor on WOOM4

Narrow Q-factor on WOOM4 20" kids pedal bike.

Where the pedals are attached the frame of the bike is also plays a significant role in a child’s ability to balance and maneuver a bike. Pedals are attached to crank arms, which are attached to the bottom bracket of the bike frame. The lower the bottom bracket of a bike, the lower a child can sit in relation to the bike tires and the lower the overall center-of-gravity of the bike will be. The lower bottom bracket also creates more distance between the seat and the pedals, which provides more space for kids to properly extend their legs and to get more power out of every pedal stroke. Compared to low and mid-range 20″ bikes, the WOOM4 has a much lower bottom bracket and shorter crank arms which provides more space for proper leg extension when pedaling. The bottom bracket height of a bike can’t be change as it is part of the bike’s frame.

Bottom Bracket Height and Proper Leg Extension on the WOOM4

WOOM4 bottom bracket height, proper leg extension on 20" kids bike.

Fork & Tires

In addition to being lightweight and nimble, the WOOM4’s tires and fork help it excel in various conditions. The aluminum fork offers some dampening, but does not have a shock. While shocks can be extremely helpful for kids hitting the single-track or the pump track, for the majority of kids, it is more advantageous to skip the shock to help save on weight. In fact, most shocks on kids bikes are pretty worthless and act as merely eye candy. For those high-adventure kids looking for a front suspension bike, many big names bike brands have released light-weight 20″ with front suspension.

WOOM4 Tires and Rims

WOOM4 tires and rims.

Whether on paved or packed dirt trails, the WOOM4’s 1.5″ wide tires Kenda Small Block tires help provided plenty of traction for dirt, yet thin enough to prevent an significant increase in rolling resistance caused by thicker tires. Wrapped around WOOM’s super lightweight Soopa-Doopa-Hoops aluminum rims, the WOOM4’s wheel’s are well-prepared for a variety of surfaces.

Gearing and Shifting (Gain Ratio)

The WOOM4 has 8 gears ranging from a 2.3 to a 6.7 gain ratio. With a wide range of gears, the WOOM4 is ready to tackle hills as well as easily gain speed on flat rides. With one chain ring in the back and a cassette of eight cogs in the rear, shifting is done via grip shift on the right hand. Twisting up shifts to a higher gear while twisting down shifts to a lower gear. For riders just getting acquainted with gears on a bike, we have found grip shifters to be the easiest and most intuitive to use. For more advanced riders riding more aggressively on mountain bike trails, trigger shifters are generally better.

WOOM4 SRAM grip shifters and rear cassette.

Comparisons

The WOOM4 is comparable to several other higher-end bikes, including the Islabikes BEINN 20″, Prevelo Alpha Three and the Cleary Owl. While each bike has it’s specific strength, the WOOM4 is our top pick for all-around riding. Compared the Islabikes BEINN 20″, the WOOM4 has a wider gearing range and slightly wider tires for all-terrain riding. Islabikes’ rims are also only compatible with Presta valve tubes, which can be challenging to find. The Prevelo Alpha has trigger shifters and a more aggressive body position best suited for ambitious riders. Lastly, the Clearly Owl is a single-speed which limits its use.

Bottom Line

The WOOM4 is the best all-around 20″ bike we have tested. Rugged and nimble enough for moderate single-track riding, yet comfortable enough for street riding, the WOOM4 is the perfect bike to take your all-terrain rider.

MSRP: $450

By: Natalie Martins

Last Updated: January 30, 2017

FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation was provided for this review. For many, but not all reviews, products are provided by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate the review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC and should not be used or replicated in any way. The majority of, but not all, links provided are affiliate links. Two Wheeling Tots LLC is an affiliate of Amazon.com and WOOM US.

  • Anna

    I need help choosing between Woom 4 and Islabike Benin 20 large. My 6 year old daughter is 48 inches tall and has a 21 inch inseam. She has been riding a balance bike and but this will be her first pedal bike, although she can pedal on a tricycle. She is a very hesitant rider and takes a while to learn new skills. I was leaning towards the Benin large because it would last longer but I am worried she could not touch the ground with her feet to stop and have trouble balancing while starting and stopping. At the same time I am worried she may grow out of the Woom 4 a lot sooner. What would you advise would be the best choice for a beginner?

    • As her first pedal bike, I would go for the single-speed 20″ which will be much easier for her to use. The Islabikes CNOC 20″ or the Pello Reddi would both be great options that will provide her plenty of room for growth. If you prefer gears and considering she is a very hesitant rider, I would go for a the WOOM4 as it is will allow her to put more of her foot on the ground than the BEINN 20″ large.

      • Anna

        We got a Woom 4 and it’s a perfect fit for putting her foot on the ground. She learned to balance on her own fairly quickly, and the low seat design makes it so stable that it’s easy to learn to push off without falling. Thank you for your help!

        • Yeah! Glad to hear. They are great bikes aren’t they 🙂

  • Kasia Karapuda

    I too need help deciding on a bike for my almost six year old. She rode Cnoc 14 for the last two years and is very competent on it. Her inseam is 19″ and height is 42.5 inches. We tried her on Norco Mirage 20in since it is a bike our local bike shop carries and the geometry was just wrong, her thigh was all the way up her armpit. The bike shop could order an early rider belter urban for us, or I could buy something online, but am hesitant about the fit. I would like to get off the paved surfaces and try her on some easy trails and hills, so it crossed my mind to invest in a geared bike as well. And there are so many great options out there. Ideally I would spend around $300 and have something she wouldn’t grow out of next year already. Which bikes will have a comparable geometry to Cnoc 14 that I could order online?

    • The geometry of a 20″ bike is different from a 14″ as 20″ bikes aren’t designed for beginners, but some are better than others. Your best bet is probably the Pello Eover 20″, http://www.pellobikes.com/bike-shop/rover-20, but it costs $429. The ByK 450 would also have similiar geometry, but it isn’t geared and costs $289, http://amzn.to/2pQtVvT. If you preferred a geared bike, the Commencal Ramones 20″ is going to be your best bet in your price range but is going have a more aggressive geometry than the CNOC, you can find it here: http://shrsl.com/?g904.

  • Kels

    I was noticing that Woom now lists the minimum seat height for the WOOM 4 as 19.68in, same as the Supra. Do you know if that’s correct?

    • anon

      i would assume the official website is correct. you could always contact woom customer service to confirm.

    • Yes, you’re right. Thanks for the correction.

  • Josh

    My 6.5 year old son just mastered riding his 16″ 2 wheel (Giant animator) a couple of weekends ago. I had read your site prior to purchasing a 16″ bike, but let myself get convinced to get the cheaper bike (regrettably). Anyway, he is a little on the smaller side for his age, so I am thinking about a 20″ bike for him next spring (when he is 7) when he will be more comfortable with his seat higher up, etc. My question is whether to go with gears or single speed. I don’t want to buy a single speed only to wish in a month that I had bought the gears, but I also don’t want the move to a 20″ to be too complicated a jump because of the gears also.

    A little background to help you with your advice – My son was very comfortable on his balance bike from 2.5 on, but when he transitioned to a 12″ bike (specialized hot rock from LBS) around 3.5 we weren’t able to have him do it as much due to weight and size making it complicated to carry back and forth to his nursery school, so even though he rode 2 wheels for short distances a few times at 3.5 he then ended up not biking for a while and then getting on a the Giant Animator with training wheels at 4.5 and refused to let us take off the training wheels, until recently when i took off pedals and let him use it as a balance bike for a week and then got him to try pedaling and he was able to do it right away. He is currently very confident on flat ground and even takes on some minor potholes. He is a little intimidated by any decent incline or decline still. He is currently 45″ tall

    Thanks

    Josh

    • Andrew

      Hi, Josh – my son is also small for his age (47″, just turned 8), and he’s 2 days into his new Woom 4. He as on his Strider bike until his 6th birthday, because we couldn’t find a decent pedal bike that would fit him. Two years ago on his 6th birthday we gave him the Cleary Hedgehog 16″, and that has been a great experience. The Hedgehog has great forward geometry, and our son has ridden very confidently on all terrain. As he outgrew the Hedgehog I had assumed that we would move up to Cleary’s 20″, the Owl. However, the Owl is single-speed just like the Hedgehog, and that was the only real drawback of the 16″ Hedgehog – he would spin out easily on the flats, and there plenty of hills that he wanted to climb but couldn’t in that one gear. After lots of research and discussions with Cherie at Ready, Set, Pedal we bought the Woom 4. Well, today we did an hour ride including a paved path, gravel and a little muddy & hilly stretch – and we’re big fans. His position’s not as aggressive on the new bike, but that will change as he grows and the seat comes up, but this is a very well-conceived and executed product. My son also has smallish hands and not a strong grip, and the shifting (gripshift) was easy and intuitive. Hope that helps. -Andrew

    • anon

      At seven years old gears would most likely be a fine introduction, though if he’s still a bit timid there’s no harm in waiting.

      I could help you narrow a choice down if you could give me an upper budget and his inseam – to measure his inseam have stand up straight against a wall, slide a book up to his crotch, and measure from the top of the book to the floor. (I’d prefer if you do this barefoot/in socks, but you can also do it in the shoes he will usually wear riding – just tell me that’s how you did it.)

  • I was wondering if you’ve heard of anyone wanting to give the WOOM4 higher gearing? My 6 year old is always on the 8th gear. We only do street/sidewalk/path riding on flat terrain and rarely need to use lower gears.

    I’m probably going to take the bike into a shop to see if they can fit on a different front chain ring to give the WOOM4 higher gearing. I can’t imagine us being the first people to want this. Thanks!

  • Paul Eaton

    I don’t yet see a review for the Early Rider Belter 20 (Urban 3, in particular). Any thoughts on that bike? You gave the 16″ high marks, and I’m pretty keen on the advantages of the belt drive. My girls ride Islabikes Cnoc 14 (4yo) and 16 (6yo) and love them. I assumed our six year old would move to the Beinn 20, but the Early Rider caught my eye as an interesting alternative. I would love any thoughts either way, if you have them.

    As a parting comment, I want you to know that your site has been invaluable in our journey to introduce the joy of bicycles to our children. Both my girls did pedal bikes before their fourth birthday because of the great advice and high quality recommendations from Two Wheeling Tots (Striders to Islabikes). My brother-in-law is a former Olympian, and his boys power through on box store bikes due to their athleticism. My girls keep up with practice and high quality equipment. Thank you!

    Cheers!

    • anon

      The availability of the larger Early Rider bikes in the US is more recent, so it’s not that surprising there isn’t a review. Now I’m not Natalie, and don’t have as much practical knowledge, but I’d say the 20 is very good bike and certainly a great choice to move up to. Do think about your daughter’s readiness for gears and how much gearing would be best around your area, of course. Also, you might ask your daughter which bike she would like – you could include the Woom 4 in the lineup, as well. Letting her pick the model and color she likes best will help make it more hers.