“Where’s my number three Woom?” After an eleven hour road-trip, my four year-old nearly exploded from his carseat as we pulled into the driveway. Never mind that we had just returned home from a week away, or that it was bedtime—this kid needed his much anticipated new Woom 3.
I abandoned the idea of unpacking, or getting the kiddo to bed, and headed to the neighbor’s house to pick up the package he had been holding for us. Fortunately, assembly was quick and easy, and in no time my little guy was riding the bike in the house. (Judge away).
Despite the number of bikes that he has, the Woom bikes always come out on top—both for him and for the neighbor kids who make full use of our quiver of bicycles. After riding the Woom 2 for the last year, P was ready to move up to the Woom 3 (or as he calls it the “#3 Woom!”). He was particularly excited to have gears—the Woom 3 can be ordered with an optional Sram Automatix hub wheel (more on that later).
The excitement was justified. The Woom 3 is an extremely well-designed, well-built 16” bicycle intended for kids in the 4 to 6 age range. While the price tag is high, if your family values cycling or quality, the Woom bikes can’t be beat.
Review in a Nutshell
- Well-designed, child-specific geometry
- Woom trade-in program
- High price
Price and Where to Buy
- $389 at us.woombikes.com
Detailed Woom 3 Review
All of the Woom bikes have been well-designed to work for children rather than against them. The upright geometry provides kids with balance, security, and easy-handling. For kids who haven’t already learned to pedal, they will take off easily on this bike. For kids who are already speed demons, they will be able to take their riding to the next level on the Woom 3.
The best judge of how well a bike is designed is how motivated kids are to ride it. We consistently have neighbor kids abandon their bikes in our yard to grab the Woom 2 and Woom 3.
As someone who cares about the environment and who tries to minimize my consumption in general, I try to buy higher quality items that will last a long time. The Woom 3 has that sort of quality. Unlike a Walmart bike, a Woom bike isn’t going to end up in a trash pile. It will last one child’s use and abuse, and still be ready for the next child in line.
Not only does the Woom 3 have components that will last a long time, they also have components that just make it a really nice, enjoyable ride for your child. From Kenda tires to the easy-to-reach brake levers, each part is top-notch.
One of my favorite things on the Woom 3 that is totally unique is the color-coded brake levers. The right (rear) brake lever is green. This gives kids a great, easy-to-remember reminder to use more rear brake than front. (A big handful of front brake can cause an over-the-bars crash).
The Kenda Small Block tires hit the sweet spot where they work well on or off-road. They are knobby enough to provide traction at the bike park but skinny enough to ride to school on pavement.
A removable steering limiter is ideal for kids just learning to ride, as it keeps the handlebars from over-rotating. For my son, who already has developed good bike handling skills, we took the steering limiter off.
Other items of note include a quick-release seat post collar, lightweight Soopa-Doopa-Hoops aluminum wheels, all-aluminum frame, 95mm cranks, and ergonomic saddle.
Sizing and weight
The Woom 3 is advertised for kids 4 to 6 years old. For reference, my 4.5 year old (who wears a 4T pant) fits comfortably on the Woom 3 with the seat in its lowest position.
Of course, the best way to determine which size bike your child needs is to measure their inseam. The Woom 3 has a minimum seat height of 19.29” and a maximum seat height of 25”. You can also judge which size bike they need pretty well off of your child’s height; Woom recommends the Woom 3 for kids that are between 41” and 47” tall.
The Woom 3 is incredibly lightweight which is so important for a child’s enjoyment of riding. At a mere 12.3 pounds, the Woom 3 weighs only a fraction of what big-box-store bikes do, and much less than some of its nearest competitors. (See my section below on how the Woom 3 compares to some other top brands).
Sram Automatix 2 wheel
Note: As of fall 2017, SRAM has discontinued the Automatix hub and Woom is no longer able to provide this option. The Woom 3 is still a great bike even without the 2-speed hub.
By 4 or 5, many kids are riding long enough distances or aggressively enough that gears become helpful. Unfortunately, they don’t really have the eye-hand coordination or cognitive ability yet to operate shifters or understand when they need to shift up or down. Enter, the Sram Automatix 2 speed hub.
This innovative wheel automatically shifts for kids when they get going around 7mph, no manual shifting required. It took a little bit of getting used to for my son; he stopped the first few times that it happened, so it is definitely noticeable for the child. Woom argues that this is actually a good thing: “When they feel the bike change gears, children are passively learning how to time their shifts.”
What has been clear is that the 2-speed hub allows kids to go much faster. On long, flat bike rides, our son has sped up considerably. Where he used to be spun out, he’s now moving quickly. Score one for impatient parents; and score one for the kiddos who can now enjoy SPEED.
The Woom bikes are extraordinarily nice, but there are some other really nice kids bikes out there as well (Islabikes, Spawn, Pello, etc). The cherry on the sundae for the Woom bikes, that gives them the extra little oomph over some of their competitors, is the extras they throw in. The Woom 3 comes standard with a bell and a kickstand. While not big things, they are the final little things that prove that the Woom 3 is the total package and as nice as they come.
No coaster brake, no training wheels
Woom has the true best interest of kids in mind. Unlike other brands that have cowed to parental pressure when it comes to coaster brakes and training wheels, the Woom 3 offers neither. This is because coaster brakes and training wheels are NOT in the best interest of the young rider.
The Woom 3 is $389. While that is undeniably expensive, the quality of the Woom 3 justifies the pricetag. Compared to the comparable Islabikes Cnoc 16, the Woom is actually a little cheaper.
Woom also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you get the bike and don’t think it was worth the price (which you won’t), you can always return it.
Comparison to Other 16” Kids Bikes
Convinced that the Woom 3 is nice, but not sure if it’s the right bike for your child? See how the Woom 3 stacks up against some of my other favorite 16” bikes.
Woom trade-in program
A huge draw to buying a Woom bike is their trade-in program. Kids grow fast which can make buying them quality bikes an expensive proposition. The “Upcycle system” allows you to send in your child’s too-small Woom bike, and receive 40% of the orginal purchase price toward the the next-size-up Woom bike. You can learn more about the Upcycle system on the Woom website.
When other parents ask me to recommend a bike for their child, I nearly always recommend Woom. The only time I don’t is if they have a real budget constraint, and even then I might suggest that they try to find a used Woom bike from someone in the community.
For 4 to 6 year old kids, the Woom 3 offers a comfortable, lightweight, and fun ride. If you want a high-quality, top-of-the-line bike for your admittedly spoiled (ahem, privileged?) child, get them the Woom 3.
- $389 at WoomBikesUSA.com
Note: Woom Bikes USA provided me with a Woom 3 to facilitate this review. I am also an affiliate of Woom, meaning if you click thru and buy a bike after reading this review, I get a percentage of the purchase. That said, I am a sincere and loyal ambassador of Woom because I really believe their bikes are amazing.