Does your kiddo like to ride their bike to school? Has your family ever been bike touring?
With the Woom NOW they can do both of those things and more! Cargo bikes have become a major segment in the bicycle industry and for good reason.
Being able to carry all our gear under our own power is a rewarding feat that is not only good for our environment, but our individual physical health and well-being too. Our family has drastically cut back on the amount we drive, doing most of our trips around town by bike. But until now, our son didn’t have a cargo bike of his own.
The Woom NOW is a downsized version of a popular style of cargo bike, the “cargo truck,” that is quite popular in other parts of the globe. With the ability to carry gear in the front, back and mid frame, your budding cyclist won’t be without any of the gear they need for school, sports, or heading to their friends houses.
Thanks to the NOW’s quality build, components, and ample cargo space, it’s also possible to use the bike for touring. When you can pack your sleeping gear and food out into nature, the sky is the limit for adventure.
Review In A Nutshell
- Ability to carry all your child’s gear
- High quality components
- Integrated light system and Dynamo hub
- Child appropriate geometry
- Wide, comfortable tires
- Grip-shift can be a challenge
- Heavier than the Woom original and gear adds weight
- woom NOW 4: 20”/ 16” – $749
- woom NOW 5: 24”/ 20” – $799
- woom NOW 6: 26”/ 20” – $849
A Frame But For Adventure
Often in our reviews, we tend to focus on the component build as the frames are quite similar. This is not the case with the Woom NOW.
This frame is completely unique and ready for some one-of-a-kind adventures. This bike has the capability to be a school commuter, bike packing rig, touring beast, or anything in between.
The large headtube, combined with a smaller front wheel (20” front and 24” rear), provide space for a specially designed front basket. This mixed wheel design is often seen in Asia, and is increasingly being incorporated into adult cargo bikes being sold in the N. American market.
Thanks to the bosses on the chain and seat stays, the NOW can have a rear rack mounted to it. (It does not come with the rack but can be added after the fact).
Woom has also designed a included frame bag that mounts to the front of the main triangle of the frame. It’s quite small, so if you’re using the bike for touring you’ll probably want to add a custom frame bag. Fortunately, there is plenty of space to do so.
If your kiddo likes to bring all the stuff, then this bike is definitely for them. The biggest factor holding your kiddo back will be how much weight they want to load in their bags to carry on the bike.
Lightweight Build But Cargo Adds Weight
Bikes that are lightweight yet still durable help all riders adventure more efficiently. Weight is a key component to a rider’s success and the littlest riders tend to have the highest bike to body weight ratio.
Luckily, Woom builds their bikes at far reduced weights compared to the competition. This is particularly important on a bike like the NOW where you are going to add the additional weight of racks and gear.
The Woom NOW 5 we tested measures on the scale at a reasonable 26 pounds unloaded with the front rack mounted. The advertised weight is 26.5 lbs, so we were a bit under.
While the bike itself is reasonably light, the issue you may run into is the weight of the bike once loaded with cargo. As an avid cargo bike user myself, I’m a big fan of the e-assist. Unfortunately, the Woom NOW does not have an e-assist, so you’re going to have to be careful with how much you actually give your child to carry.
When we loaded the bike with too much gear, my son had difficulty making it up on the steep hill we live on.
Weight Compared To The Competition
Is that good? Well, there are not really any other kids bikes to compare the NOW to. It’s that unique.
Still, for comparison sake, my son’s full suspension mountain bike weighs 27 pounds. So using the Woom NOW for touring would be like loading a mountain bike for bike packing.
It’s also worth comparing it to the Cleary Meerkat, another capable touring rig. The Meerkat weighs around 28 pounds without racks added, so the Woom NOW is definitely a lighter weight option.
That said, the Woom NOW is still quite a bit heavier than the Woom Original, so unless you have a really compelling reason for the NOW (cargo or touring), I’d stick with the lighter weight model.
Components and Geometry that Fit
The Woom NOW is similar to the rest of the Woom lineup in that they build all of their bikes with high quality, kid specific components. The handlebars, cranks, seats, pedals, you name it–every component is sized down to properly fit kids.
The frames are meticulously designed to offer geo specs that offer stability, comfort, and efficiency. As always with Woom, there is a low stand-over height. This helps kids get on and off the bike easily, and also helps with handling if the bike is loaded with gear.
The NOW fits the bill and sports durable components that are made to endure countless miles. The NOW is unique in it’s design and will certainly catch the eye of other enthusiasts.
The NOW comes stock with a Microshift 26 8-speed drivetrain. It functions as is intended and has not given our son any issues to date.
The bike has a 28 tooth chainring and a cassette ranging from 11 to 32 teeth. If you’re a bike nerd, this equates to a gear ratio between 0.9 and 2.5 and a gain ratio between 2 and 6.
This means your kiddo can make it up the hill and down the other side without being over or under geared.
The cranks are sized at 130 mm on the NOW 5, and as all Woom bikes do, have a narrow q-factor (the distance between pedals). These factors combined mean that the NOW is easy to pedal and offers an efficient transfer of power
Like the Woom original bikes, the NOW has grip shifters as opposed to trigger shifters. Trigger shifters can sometimes be a challenge for young riders to learn to operate, but tend to be the most common and efficient form of shifters found on modern bikes.
We’re not huge fans of grip shifters for kids. Although they can be easier to learn with, grip shifters tend to be cumbersome and more challenging to operate. For that reason, the grip shifter is easily our least favorite component on this bike build.
Disc Brakes Handle Heavy Loads
The Woom NOW has Promax FI 140mm hydraulic disc brakes. They function well and provide easy stopping power even when heavy loads have been added to the bike.
If Woom were to stock rim brakes or even a coaster brake on this bike, it would not really be safe with heavier loads. Disc brakes are a great option and make this bike safe and durable.
In most situations where kids are riding, disc brakes are not a necessity. Those rotors and calipers definitely help with stopping duty once the racks and bags are loaded to the max.
Promax may not be a huge name brand, but they are cost-effective, work well, and get the job done. We have used them on other kids bikes as well and have never had a complaint.
Wide Balloon Tires for a Wide Variety of Terrain
The NOW is stocked with Schwalbe Big Apple tires. The front wheel has a 20-inch tire and the rear wheel has a 24-inch tire.
The tread pattern is designed for paved use, but the 2.15 width and overall bike’s ability would be fine on smooth, off-road surfaces. The Big Apples in conjunction with the Alex rims create a quality interface between the bike and the road.
The NOW is a versatile bike, and although rigid, could definitely serve as a bikepacking rig with a quick tire swap to something knobbier. As previously mentioned, the bike has the ability for light duty off-roading with the stock tires but we’d want something with more tread for sustained off-road riding.
What Really Makes the NOW Unique
We’ve always recommended Woom bikes to parents interested in bike touring because of the ability to mount a rear rack. Well, move over Woom original bikes, because the NOW 5 can carry loads front, rear and in the middle!
The NOW comes stock with a front folding basket/rack that mounts to the headtube. This design necessitates the need for a large headtube and smaller front wheel.
The basket is custom made and features a cinch strap to secure any loads. It also folds out of the way when not in use. It’s large enough to carry a significant amount of gear–backpack, soccer ball, sleeping bag and tent, or whatever else you can imagine.
Woom also designed a custom, mesh frame bag to carry all of the kiddo’s goodies. It’s not huge, but big enough to stash snacks or treasures found along the road.
The rear end has mounting bosses for a rear rack like the Woom Pickup Rack. We didn’t test the bike with a rack, but its feasible you can add panniers as well.
With all of this storage space, the bike becomes an ultimate cargo-carrying machine.
Built In Light System To Keep Kids Safe
In addition to all of the gear hauling capacity, there is an integrated light system built into the bike. Both the front and rear lights are wired through the fenders and internally down the rigid fork to the front hub. The front wheel hub is a Dynamo SD8.
These hubs are typically found on custom built wheel sets for racers of the long-distance bikepack variety. This is a VERY unique, cool feature to see on the NOW and aids in your child’s safety on the bike.
The lights add visibility for around town riding, but also again make the bike a good candidate for touring. Because your child’s pedaling powers the lights, you don’t have to worry about charging the lights or bringing extra batteries.
Size and Fit
Kids grow at different rates and reach different heights at various times. A Woom 5 might fit a certain 6 year old, but not another 7 or 8 year old. The average age for a kiddo to fit a Woom NOW 5 is around 7 years old.
A great way to measure your child’s fit rather than age is height and inseam length. Your son or daughter should be at least 49″ tall and have an inseam of 24″. (The minimum seatpost height is 26.4″ and the standover height is 24″). ?????
Because *most* kids slow down growing around this time, the Woom NOW 5 should last your child much longer than their earlier pedal bikes. (Another reason to invest in a good bike).
Kickstands For Everyone
In my time as a child, kickstands were cumbersome pieces of junk that none of myself or neighborhood friends used. As my cycling enthusiasm grew, bikes (mountain bikes specifically) did not have a need for a kickstand. Well, my cargo bike needs one and so does the NOW!
Woom has designed a lightweight kickstand that is easy to use, doesn’t flop down on its own, and most of all, has a spring-loaded height adjustment feature. You can customize the kickstand to your (kiddo’s) preference.
A kickstand on the Now is certainly a welcome feature. If you’re looking to save weight it can be removed, but I would suggest keeping it on this bike.
Another unique feature of the Woom NOW is the integrated bell. It’s included in the left grip and operates much like a grip shift, twisting to ring.
The bell is quite loud and effective at alerting other cyclists and pedestrians in congested urban areas.
Surprisingly, however, this was the one feature our son took issue with. He kept accidently ringing the bell and it bothered him. That said, your child might love the bell feature.
Fenders Make Year Round Riding Possible
Chances are if you’re buying the NOW for your child, you are–like us–a family that chooses to ride a lot more than your choose to drive. This means riding year round even in the rain or snow or slush.
The Woom NOW comes with included fenders, something that not many kids bikes do. These are quite robust and do a great job of protecting your child from spray.
Other Stuff Worth Mentioning
- Pedals. Woom stocks great pedals. They work in most scenarios. If you’re an avid enthusiast that wants something a little more for your kiddo then check out our favorite pedals.
- Grips. I tend to ride with Ergo grips on all of my bikes. I love them. Woom has designed their own ergonomic grips for kids. The Woom original has them and the NOW does too. They perform better and are more comfortable than your run-of-the-mill grips on the market.
- Quick releases. Both the front wheel and seatpost have quick releases. This makes tire changes and seat height adjustments quick and easy. The rear wheel, however, does require an Allen key to remove.
- Internal cable routing. The internal cable routing helps keep things clean and tidy.
The Build In Summary
The NOW is truly a unique bike that includes a lot of little details most parents or their kids might not notice. From tidy cable routing to the Dynamo hub powering the lights, there are cables and wires hidden in the fenders and fork making a clean looking steed ready to pedal.
Though the fork is rigid, off-road riding is possible due to the wide tires and gear hauling capacity. The NOW screams touring in every facet available.
The biggest challenge will be to not over-load the bike. It truly is a unique ride with all the various ways to haul gear and make adventures happen.
This is not a mountain bike. It’s not a beach cruiser.
The NOW is a capable, mullet-cargo-commuter bike. It can haul gear and do so with efficiency and style.
This bike can go on tours, providing light in the dark while bringing the tent and sleeping bag along. The Now can carry the backpack full of books in addition to the tuba for band practice.
Who Do We NOT Recommend The Now To?
The NOW is a very unique bike and is best suited for families that have a very specific need–commuting around town or touring.
If you just need a neighborhood cruiser, get them the Woom Original. It’s lighter and more versatile for everyday riding.
If you want to mountain bike or ride signficant distances off-road, get the Woom OFF. It’s better suited for dirt than the NOW.
That said, if your kiddo is hauling lots of gear to school or wants to go touring with you, the NOW is the key to success.
Second Hand Market
Like all Woom bikes, the NOW is not cheap. It is a unique bike and many parents will balk at the pricetag.
That said, there is nothing else on the market like this for kids and Woom is servicing a unique market segment. There are families out there that need a quality bike like this for their young riders.
Between the dedicated Facebook groups for Woom Buy and Sell to the popularity and demand of their bikes, it should be a breeze to resell the bike once your kid(s) have grown out of it.
|Top tube horizontal||20.3″|
|Seat tube angle||72.5°|
|Minimum saddle height||26.4″|
|Maximum saddle height||32.3″|
|Crank length||130 mm|
|Weight limit||175 lbs|
|Frame||AA 6061 aluminum|
|Headset||Fully-integrated 1″ Aheadset|
|Handlebars||58 cm width|
|Grips||Custom Woom ergogrip|
|Tires||Schwalbe Big Apple 20” and 24”|
|Wheels||Alex Rims/ Dynamo hub on front wheel|
Bottom-Line: A Unique Bike That Can Carry Everything
The Woom NOW is a bike that fills a pretty specific set of needs. Commuting by bike is huge across the world and has been gaining traction in North America.
The Now makes commuting easy. The NOW makes touring easy.
With the bike that can haul all of the gear, the possibilities are wide. From school supplies to camping gear, the NOW is ready for every adventure your kiddo can think of. Hopefully we get to come along too!