@bushtrucker had the great idea to start a kid’s bike thread, i just saw this awesome new release:
This looks like a pretty sweet setup! I love the mullet availability
Sadly, it looks heavy which is hands down the biggest issue with bikes this size. The system weight to bike weight is a much larger ratio than adults have to deal with.
The other issue they will run into is that it is actually illegal to ship balance bikes with hand brakes to the US. Our archaic (written in the 70s) consumer protection regulations require a coaster brake, foot brake, or no brake at all.
Many companies circumvent this by selling the brakes separately but the CPSC is starting to clamp down on these distributors at the behest of the largest balance bike company in the world. This company is also pushing for updates tobthese regulations which will open up the market for more innovation.
Your comment about looking into regulations for a production batch got me curious: Have you ever done any CPSC or ISO testing on any of your bikes or heard of builders that have been forced to do so?
I vaguely remember there being a custom builder exception in CPSC1512 but don’t recall such an exception in ISO4210. A bit off topic but I’m genuinely curious if these regulations affect custom builders.
I completely agree, the technology has come a long ways and there are plenty of brakes for small hands these days.
I do not have kids but I spent 3 years as a kid’s ski instructor in college and loved it!
That bike looks pretty sweet, I think the price point might be a sticking point for some, but honestly I’m a little surprised it’s as cheap as it is. If I was looking for something in that price range it might be a tough call between that and the Specialized at the discounted price. I haven’t heard that there is an issue selling kids bikes with hand brakes, the issue I’m aware of is selling them without coaster brakes. However I can say that some companies companies do ship them without coaster brakes. It’s an old law that needs to go.
Our kids learned on a Islabike Rothan (which is now teaching a third kid how to ride). It’s 8lbs with a brake and fit our kids from 18mo to 3 years old, a big size window.
I think that the lighter weight of v-brakes is a win over the ability to swap wheels on Kid’s Ride Shotgun. At 18mo you want the lightest thing possible. The brakes on balance bikes are barely used, so rim wear isn’t an issue.
Oddly that CPSC rule about coaster brakes is based on minimum seat height. Some companies (Spawn, Cleary) get around it by shipping their bikes with crazy long seatposts then selling a cheap accessory post. Or Woom and Islabike sell cheap freewheel rear wheels to replace the coaster one (Woom’s wheel is $25 for a complete wheel including tire and freewheel).
Islabikes have worked really well for us, they are designed to be as light as possible. I always find used ones (since they aren’t sold in the US anymore). They are high quality and easy to work on. I thought I’d want to make bikes for my kids, but I think I’d spend more time making them than they would spend riding them since our kids seem to move up a size every 12-18mo.