Looking for the VERY BEST bike for your 3 year old? Look no further than the Woom 2.
This little 14-inch bike is our absolute favorite first pedal bike for young children thanks to its child-specific geometry, high-quality build, and extraordinarily light weight.
For anybody who is looking for a REAL BIKE for their 3 to 4.5 year old, I would highly recommend the Woom 2. It makes the transition from a balance bike to a pedal bike painless and exciting, and helps little ones turn into happy, confident riders.
This is the bike we started our son on when he was 3 years old (more on that in a moment). Since then, the bike has gone thru several iterations, each improving on the bike even more. This is the bike that we recommend to all of our family and friends, and we’ve helped many kids get started riding on this bike.
Review in a Nutshell
- Lightweight and child-appropriate geometry
- Color-coded dual hand brakes and freewheel kit option
- Quality components (adult-bike quality in a child’s size)
- Woom trade-up program / high resale value
- Removable steering limiter
- All-terrain Schwalbe tires
- Included kickstand
- Too big for the very youngest riders
- Weight: 12.3 lbs (with coaster), 11.2 lbs (with freewheel option)
- Age: 3-4.5 years old
- Seat height: 16″-19″
Turns Your Child Into a Confident Pedaler Overnight (Our Family’s Experience)
Several years ago, when our son was still tiny, we were anxious to get him hooked on riding. He started on a balance bike, mastered it, but then stuggled to transition to pedals.
He began riding on pedal bike (the Specialized Hotrock) without training wheels at 2.5 years, but still prefered sticking to his balance bike. The Specailized was too heavy and the coaster brake was confusing to him.
Enter the Woom 2. When it arrived, P was so excited to try it out that he was literally shaking. Luckily, it only took about 10 minutes to install the pedals and adjust the handlebars, seat, and brakes—and we were off.
I’m not sure who was more impressed, me or the kiddo. Every time we passed someone on the inaugural ride, P would stop to tell them about his “cool new bike.”
As for me, I was always blown away by how much faster, confident, and joyful he seemed riding the Woom 2. This bike fixed our problems with transitioning to a pedal bike as he never asked for a balance bike again once since he got it.
Light Weight and Child-Specific Geometry Make Learning to Ride Easy
The fact that children do so well on the Woom 2 is a result of the bike’s lightweight and intelligent design.
The engineering behind the Woom 2 is what really makes it stand apart from other kids bikes. Every detail has been considered.
The low bottom bracket and long wheelbase provide excellent stability. The standover height is low enough that kids can get on and off the bike easily and touch the ground with both feet when at a stop.
The Woom’s geometry and wide, upswept handlebars allow for an upright riding position. This provides young riders with maximum control of the bike, easy steering, and the ability to focus on upcoming obstacles.
Perhaps even more important than the geometry of the Woom 2 is its weight. Tipping the scales at just over 12 pounds, the bike is manageable for most young kids and weighs significantly less than nearly all other bikes on the market. P’s Specialized Hotrock, for comparison, was a whopping 15 pounds–which is exactly half of his body weight!
The Woom 2 boasts 14” wheels which seem to be the perfect size for a first real pedal bike. Compared to the 12” wheels on the Hotrock, the 14” wheels make a a big difference in kid’s ability to ride up and over obstacles. If you are trying to decide between the two wheel sizes for similarly sized bikes, I would definitely recommend picking the larger wheels.
Coaster Brake vs Freewheel
All Woom 2 bikes are outfitted with dual (front and rear) hand brakes. From there, you have the option of choosing between a coaster brake or a freewheel.
Per U.S. law, the Woom 2 comes standard with the coaster brake, but for an additional $19 you can also purchase a replacement rear wheel with a freehub. I would highly recommend doing this.
For us, we decided to forgo the coaster completely. We already knew that P was capable of using a handbrake (his balance bike had one), and the coaster on the Hotrock both frustrated him and caused skidding when riding off-road.
If you need help in deciding which option is most appropriate for your child, read this article outlining the pros and cons of both.
Color-Coded Brake Levers are Genius
I almost squealed with delight when I first saw the color-coded brakes on the Woom 2. The right (rear) brake lever is green, as are the rear brake pads. The left (front) lever and brake pads are black.
For young kids who are just learning the technique of braking, and who may not fully grasp right and left yet, this color-coding could very well prevent an over-the-bars experience. This feature is genius and shows that Woom has really thought everything thru in the design of this bike.
The brake levers are also well-designed for little hands, and even very petite kiddos capable of reaching and pulling them.
The saddle on the Woom 2 is a step above anything else I’ve seen on other kids bikes. It is comfortable, attractive, and well-constructed. (Even after a few years of use by multiple kids, the saddle will still look new).
We also appreciate that the seatpost has a quick release collar. This means that you can easily adjust the seat height up or down, without needing any tools.
Tires Work Well in Any Terrain
The tires on the Woom 2 are brand-name (Schwalbe) and are designed to work on pretty much any surface. They provide the width and traction required for riding off-road in dirt, gravel, or grass. And for around-town riding, the low profile allows the bike roll with minimal resistance.
They also have a reflective sidewall which provides additional visibility when riding around cars.
Drivetrain Makes Pedaling Easy (Under Most Conditions)
The Woom 2 has appropriately sized (80 mm crank arms) and a narrow Q-factor (the distance between the pedals) that fit a child’s body in a way that many inferior kids bikes do not. This is the kind of gnitty-gritty detail that many parents never even think to pay attention to–but it matters!
As for the gearing on the Woom 2 it has a 18 tooth front chainring and a 10 tooth rear cog. If you care to get geeky, this makes for a gear ratio of 1.8 and a gain ratio of 4.0.
This gain ratio is higher than previous versions of the Woom 2 and means that kids can go a little faster without getting spun out. It also means, however, that it’s harder to make it up hills and may make it harder for little kids just learning to ride to get started.
The chainguards on most kids bikes are clunky, heavy metal contraptions. The chainguard on the Woom 2, on the other hand, is lightweight and unobtrusive.
This chainguard has been improved from the last version (which we did hear some complaints about). It does a good job of keeping kids safe and their pants clean.
If you want to remove it (for good) or just temporarily to lube the chain, it’s easy to do so.
Because Woom only sells their bikes online in the U.S., some assembly is required when you get the bike. I’ve assembled a good deal of kids bikes, and the Woom bikes are some of the simplest.
The bike goes thru assembly and a pre-ship checklist at the warehouse before it ships so you can rest assured that the bike is safe and ready to ride when you unbox it.
High-End Price But Worth Every Penny
For parents on a budget, $359 for a kids bike can be a bit tough to justify. My first bike in college was $300, for goodness sake. Plus, we are talking about a bike that is going to be outgrown in a year or two.
All that said, I truly believe the cost is worth it. Just seeing how much my little boy’s riding improved after getting this bike made me realize why Woom can charge what they do.
The second day after getting the Woom 2, he rode close to 10 miles. We had to peel him off the bike at the end of the night. To see that kind of enjoyment and enthusiasm in my child, I’d pay the $359 plus some.
Attention to Detail
Although the Woom 2 is spendy, the quality of the bike justifies the high price. While I’m most concerned about the weight and geometry of a kids bike, this bike doesn’t stop there.
The paint job is beautiful. I’ve received more than one comment from complete strangers on what a nice looking bike it is.
Upcycle Program And Resale Value Make This A Good Investment
Further justifying the price tag, Woom’s Upcycle Program allows you to trade-in your Woom bike for the next size up in their lineup once your child has outgrown theirs. Once you’ve ordered and received your new Woom bike, you send in the old bike and receive a check for 40% off the price of the new bike. Considering that Woom’s entire lineup is top-notch, this is a great deal.
Similarly, you can always choose to sell the bike once you’re done with it. Because Woom has become so well known for their quality and durability, there is a thriving second-hand market for these bikes, including a Facebook group dedicated to Woom buy and sell.
Other than cost, the only other (minor) con I see with this bike is that it doesn’t fit the tiniest riders. Although we are only talking about a small number of kids, some precocious toddlers are ready for a pedal bike around 2.5.
If this is the case for your child and you don’t want to wait until they are 3 to get a pedal bike, consider the Cleary Gecko instead.
Removable Steering Limiter
Steering limiters are quite common on (higher end) balance bikes, but not quite as common on pedal bikes. Since the Woom 2 is designed for very young preschoolers, we appreciate that it includes this feature.
A steering limiter keeps your child from over rotating their bars (which consequently results in a crash) . The steering limiter on the newest version of the Woom 2 has also been upgraded to be more durable than the older one and less likely to come undone.
Once your child has more experience and is confident on the bike, you can remove the steering limiter.
Includes A Kickstand
The Woom 2 comes standard with an included kickstand. It’s both more durable and more conveniently located that most kickstands.
It mounts on the chainstay (rear section of the frame of the bike) well out of the way of the crank arms/pedals.
In addition to their rockin’ bikes, Woom also has adorable accessories you can purchase to complete the look. They sell helmets, gloves, bike locks, and more.
Woom 2 Vs Other 14 Inch Pedal Bikes
After testing plenty of 14-inch pedal bikes, I can safely say that the Woom 2 is THE BEST option on the market. That said, if you want to do some more research, you may also want to check out our list of the best 12 inch and 14-inch pedal bikes for kids ages 3 to 5.
Other Things Worth Mentioning
- Ergonomic grips. The new custom grips on the Woom bikes are awesome! (They remind us of the grown-up Ergon grips). They are ergonomic, grippy, and have a nice wide bar end to keep little hands planted firmly on the bars.
- High-quality bearings. Unlike many cheaper kids bikes, the Woom has sealed bearings in the headset and hubs.
- Ahead headset. The Woom 2 has an integrated ahead headset. If you don’t know what this means, just know its way better than the quill-style stems found on many cheaper kids bikes.
- Seat tube insert. The new model of the Woom 2 has a plastic insert in the seattube to help prevent the seatpost from getting scratched as you raise and lower it.
- Recessed or rounded bolts. All the bolts on the Woom 2 (like those on the wheels and the stem) are either fully or mostly recessed to protect your child.
|Top tube horizontal||14″|
|Seat tube angle||67°|
|Minimum saddle height||16″|
|Maximum saddle height||19.1″|
|Crank length||80 mm|
|Weight limit||130 lbs|
|Frame||AA 6061 aluminum|
|Headset||Fully-integrated 1″ ahead|
|Handlebars||19mm diameter, 50cm width|
|Grips||Custom Woom ergogrip|
|Tires||Schwalbe Little Joe 14” x 1.4″ – woom edition|
|Wheels||Custom Woom SOOPA DOOPA HOOPS|
|Brakes||Custom Woom v-brakes (sold with coaster which we recommend swapping for the freewheel), Jagwire cable|
Bottom-Line: You Can’t Do Better Than This!
The Woom 2 is an intelligently designed, beautifully built bike for kids ages 3 to 4.5. The bike is a bit spendy, but in my experience, it’s worth every penny and then some.
Compared to other bikes in this size range, the Woom 2 is a huge step up. If you are looking for a quality bike that is lightweight, easy to maneuver, and that your child will love, you can’t beat the Woom 2.
More Resources to Help You Pick the Best Bike for YOUR Child
Picking the best bike for your unique child can be the difference between having fun on a bike and quitting in tears. Here are some more articles to help you make sure you’re picking the best bike for your child.
The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.
Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.
If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!