While e-bikes have exploded in popularity over the last few years, the one noticeable gap has been in kids bikes. In N. America, up until now, there have been virtually zero options for kids electric bikes.
Finally, the Woom UP is here to help address that gap. This e mountain bike comes in two models: the Woom UP 5 (24″ wheels) and the Woom UP 6 (26″ wheels).
Like all Woom bikes, the build is top notch. The UP offers adult bike quality, in a pint sized package.
Our family has been testing the Woom UP for the past month and a half, and have been blow away by what a game changer it is. The bike has allowed us to go further, faster, and higher (with fewer tears) than ever before!
Read on to learn more about our experience…..
Review In A Nutshell
- Electric assist allows kids to go faster, further, and higher
- Good range on motor
- High quality air sprung suspension fork
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- Thru axles front and rear
- Not legal/allowed everywhere
Price: $3,599/$3,749 (Woom UP 5/Woom UP 6)
Reasons You May Want An E-Bike For Your Child
Some families really love bikes. We are one of those families. Our vacations revolve around visiting new mountain bike destinations, we choose friends who also love bikes, and we’re always dreaming of the next big adventure….with our bikes.
When your kiddos are still growing and inundated with busy school schedules and social calendars it can be challenging to get them out on the next big adventure with the rest of the family. They are also slower (and more prone to whining on big climbs) than the adults.
An e-bike can alleviate that stress. An e-bike allows kiddos to go faster, farther and, in-turn, have more fun!
Imagine going for big alpine rides with lots of vertical. Or, tripling the number of laps you can do at the local bike park. And imagine these rides ending with a big smile and no whining or tears.
Being able to go for “adult” sized rides without the pain and discomfort that can accompany those ride will entice your little ones to continue wanting to mountain bike with mom and dad. Really, an e-bike is a gift for the parent who no longer has to tow their child, listen to whining along the trail and hear about how they wish the ride was just over.
If you live near trails that allow e-bikes, like to adventure deep into forests or just want an urban pedal mate then the Woom UP can certainly fit the bill.
A Note On The Woom UP As An Urban Commuter
The Woom UP is a mountain bike. Still, we’ve been using the UP as a city bike as well as a trail bike, and we know there are other families that will be interested in it for this purpose as well.
We have two electric cargo bikes (the Radpower Radwagon and the Bunch Bike) that we use for daily commuting and we rarely drive anymore. While we can throw the kiddo on the back of one of these bikes, it’s nice for him to be able to ride his own bike occasionally as well.
We happen to live at the top of a steep hill and it’s tough to bike up it. For other families that are car-free or car-lite, live in a hilly city, or have other reasons to put your kiddo on an e-bike for city riding, the Woom UP is an attractive option.
Unfortunately, for city riding it is a bit much. You don’t need a suspension fork or high-end components for biking to school. It would be nice to see a paired down electric bike option for families that need an e-bike for city riding.
Of course, the other thing to consider is that an electric bike (even a class 1 e-bike like the Woom UP) may be illegal for kids in your area. While it’s doubtful to be enforced, you should be prepared to deal with an overzealous cop should it ever come up.
Fauza Electric Drive System Is A Game Changer
In the past few years, the interest in e-bikes has increased ten-fold, and in the last year over one quarter of all bike sales were e-bikes. That’s enormous growth! So, what is the Woom UP and how does it fare against other e-bikes?
The Woom UP is a hardtail mountain bike similar to the Woom OFF Air. In fact, many of the components on the two bikes are identical.
The major difference, of course, is the Fauza electric, pedal-assist motor. The Fazua Evation Drive System is comprised of 5 main components: the drivepack, bottom bracket, remote, battery, and charger.
The drivepack is the actual motor unit which is housed within the bottom of a down-tube sleeve that also houses the battery. The bottom bracket contains a “keyed” tri-shaped interface that connects to the battery/drivepack and also contains a speed sensor that functions in conjunction with a spoke magnet.
This design makes it a “mid-drive” e-bike system. The remote has a very sleek design – housed in the front end of the top-tube and easily accessed. The remote contains a power button, power input touch pad and user interface lights to indicate what mode the bike is in and how much battery the bike has remaining.
The bike is easy to use, and my 8-year-old figured it out on his own in seconds. We did have to access the manual to figure out what colors of lights indicated each power mode. White is zero motor input, green is 100w of input, blue is 210 w of input and pink is the full 250 w of input.
Now, unlike adult, mid-drive e-mountain bikes this bike has a max speed of 12.5 miles per hour. It is only a 250-watt motor and is not as powerful as adult e-bikes. That doesn’t mean that your kiddo can’t fly up the hill though.
It is a class 1 e-bike that requires pedal assist to generate motor input. There is no throttle……or the throttle is the pedaling. Haha.
The motor and battery can be plugged into a computer or connected to the Fazua App and range/battery adjustments can be made from there. We have yet to limit anything as the factory settings seemed to work fine. In fact, my trying to keep up on my hard tail has been some of the most challenging riding I have ever encountered.
That said, while the factory settings worked okay for our son (who’s a very strong rider), parents of younger or slower riders will definitely want to play with the settings. That’s because the higher the assist mode, the more power output the child riding needs to engage the assist. If a child isn’t putting out enough watts on their own, then the assist will never kick in.
As far as range goes, we have yet to max out the battery. We’ve done several rides in the 2-3 hour range, and our little guy hasn’t drained more than 20 percent of the battery on a ride.
When the battery is ready to be charged, charging is easily done by removing the downtube unit and plugging it in. When the charger lights say it’s done the unit is reinserted into the bikes downtube and off you go!
There is also an empty down-tube sleeve one can purchase to ride the e-bike as a Woom Off. This is an attractive option if you have nearby trails that don’t allow e-bikes, and you don’t want to buy more than one bike. (More on that topic later).
Our overall impression of the Fauza drive system has been positive. The system is quiet (you have to be VERY close to notice it’s an e-bike), has great range, and thus far has sustained plenty of abuse (including lots of spring creek crossings).
While Fauza doesn’t have as much of a presence in the US as it does in Europe, Woom has assured us they’ll be handling customer service issues for the system so you don’t have to worry about support.
High Quality RST Air Fork
Like the Woom OFF Air, one of the primary components that sets this bike apart from others is the quality RST fork. Black stanchions and silver lowers give this fork a great look that matches the rest of the bike.
This is an air sprung suspension fork with 80mm of travel on the 24” version of the UP (and 90m on the 26″). Adjustments include a compression knob that allows a full open setting through a few clicks to a locked-out position. The other adjustment is a rebound knob that allows a few clicks to set rebound to a comfortable setting.
We like the RST forks that Woom specs on their mountain bikes. They are easy to use and work well.
The PSI is set with a shock pump. We leave the compression knob on the open setting and fine tune rebound. Once those settings are dialed our kiddo never seems to complain about any harshness and seems to track well down the trail. He is using full travel and getting some great use out of the fork on some of the biggest rides he has ever done.
Thru-Axles Provide Stability And Safety
In 2021, mountain bikes better have through-axles! The demands of harsh trail features necessitate the need for some of the changes the industry has seen over the last decade.
Tapered head-tubes, dropper posts, wider handlebars and larger through axles have been integrated into most adult mountain bikes with kid’s frames following suit. These items are burly and can withstand the beatings that rough trails can dish out.
Woom’s engineers understand the increased weight of an e-bike in combination with off-road riding is an extremely harsh environment for bike parts. They knew that this bike would need through axles that are more robust and ready to resist flex in the wheels while offering a more stable ride.
The front end has a 15mm quick release through axle while the rear end houses a 12mm bolt style through axle. This feature allows for rough rides and helps to keep the wheels true.
Top Shelf Drivetrain And Appropriate Gearing
Most kid’s bikes are stocked with lower end drive trains that have limited gear range. Not the Woom UP. Sporting a SRAM NX 11 speed drive train, this sweet whip has the same drive train as my Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail. A 28 tooth chainring paired with a cassette ranging from 42 teeth to 11 teeth on the small cog provides more than enough power from the pedals.
The SRAM trigger shifter does a great job of providing an easy to shift gear system. Shifts are clean and concise, and the clutched derailleur does a great job of holding its position. The shifter fits great in conjunction with the optimized brake levers as well.
The bike also has appropriately size cranks–130 mm on the Woom UP 5 and 150mm on the Woom UP 6. The distance between cranks (the Q-factor) is also appropriately narrow, although wider than on the Woom OFF.
For all the gear nerds out there, here are the gear and gain ratios for the Woom UP 5 and the Woom UP 6.
|Gear Ratio||Gain Ratio|
Hydraulic Disc Brake Offer Plenty Of Stopping Power
The brakes on the UP are Promax Solv3 ST with a 140mm rotor in the back and a 160mm rotor on the front wheel. The hydraulic disc brakes provide a powerful stop along with easy modulation thanks to the appropriately sized levers and quality construction. As mentioned above, the brake levers fit well with the shifter and there is room for a dropper post lever thanks to the “one-by” front chainring.
Out on the trail, our son was able to easily feather the brakes and glide down some extremely steep descents. Urban riding is much quicker on the e-bike, and he had a few instances where he needed to lay down on the brakes pretty hard for some pedestrians. Every riding situation has been an absolute joy with this bike thanks to the quality build and thoughtful changes like the smaller brake levers.
Beefy Tires And Lightweight Wheels
Like the Woom OFF, the Woom UP has Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.35 tires and Woom Disco Tec Rims. We’ve been rocking these combo on the OFF Air for the past year, and have been really pleased with their performance.
While we haven’t upgraded the Woom UP to tubeless (yet), we did on the Woom OFF Air with great success. We plan to do that on the UP as well to save a little weight and prevent flats.
Modern Mountain Bike Geometry
The Woom UP has thoughtful, modern mountain bike geometry with slack angles, wide handlebars (600/680mm) and a long wheelbase. The frame also has a low stand over height which makes it easy for kids to maneuver on the trail.
Sizing: Woom UP 5 vs Woom UP 6
The bike comes in two sizes: 24″ (the Woom UP 5) and 26″ (the Woom UP 6). The smaller bike fits kids as small as 4’2″ and the larger fits kids 4’6″ and up.
For reference, our son is 8 years old, 4’4″, and wears a size 8 pant. He was comfortable on the Woom UP 5 with PLENTY of room yet to grow.
Bike Is Expensive, And May Not Work As Your Child’s Sole Bike
Despite the growing popularity of e-bikes, they’re still not allowed everywhere. In fact, in our hometown of Boise, ID, most of the trails close to our house are closed to e-bikes.
This means that your child may need a second bike to use if not all the trails near your house are legal for e-bikes. Additionally, there are other times you may want a traditional mountain bike rather than an e-bike.
For instance, our son rides in a local mountain bike club twice a week. He can’t use an e-bike for that, so he still relies on his regular mountain bike.
You can remove the battery pack and replace it with a cover which will save you 7.5 pounds and allow the bike to function as a regular mountain bike. However, that still amounts to a pretty heavy bike especially for a hardtail.
For a bike that may not be able to be your child’s sole mountain bike, the Woom UP is expensive! If you can afford two bikes (or can figure out a way to make the Woom UP your child’s sole bike), then no big deal.
For everybody else, the price of the Woom UP may be a deal breaker.
Weight May Be A Hinderance…Especially For Jumps!
The biggest con, in my opinion, is that the Woom UP is heavy. While Woom has done a good job of keeping the weight down, the bike is still significantly heavier than the Woom OFF Air, for instance.
On the uphills, this difference is weight is largely negligible thanks to the electric assist. But on downhills and more technical terrain, the weight is noticeable in kid’s ability to throw the bike around.
We took the bike to our local skills park, for instance, and ran laps alternating the Woom UP with our son’s Trailcraft Maxwell 24. He was able to go noticeably bigger on the jumps on his Trailcraft thanks to the lighter weight. (That said, he was still catching air on the UP!).
And while I was fully expecting the kiddo to drop all interest in other bikes after getting the UP, that actually wasn’t the case. Even on a big, multi-hour ride we did this past week, he chose his Trailcraft over the UP because he felt that it was more playful and he wanted to jump on the downhill.
One Of Your Only Options (In N. America)
If you’re in Europe, there are quite a few options in terms of kids e mountain bikes. Unfortunately, the same isn’t true in the U.S.
In fact, for a 24″ bike, your only other real options are the Commencal HT 24 Power and the Mondraker F-Play. For kids who are ready for the Woom UP 6, you could also consider an XS Pivot Shuttle.
Other Things Worth Mentioning
- No quick release seatpost collar. The Woom UP does NOT have a quick release seatpost collar. This is one of our biggest pet peaves on kids mountain bikes. The Woom UP can get your kiddo to the top of that big climb, but you’re going to have to get out a tool to drop their saddle for the descent. I’d highly recommend upgrading to a quick release seatpost collar OR adding a dropper post which is what we’ll probably do. That said, the bike doesn’t have routing for a dropper so it will have to be externally routed dropper like the PNW Pine 27.2.
- Great stock pedals. Most stock pedals at our house end up in the donate bin, but not those on the Woom UP. These are high quality kids bike pedals. They’re nice and thin, offer a wide profile, and have enough pins to keep feet planted firmly on the pedals.
- Grips. Great little lock-on, anti-slip grips.
- Saddle. The saddle on the Woom UP is the same as the one on the Woom OFF. It is ergonomic and comfortable but no overly padded.
- Kickstand. Interestingly, the Woom UP comes with a kickstand. While this might be a nice feature if you’re using the UP primarily as an around-town commuter, it’s nothing but extra weight for those of us using the bike for serious mountain bike. If that’s you, remove the kickstand right away and save some grams.
- Stem. Like other Woom bikes, the UP has a flip-flop stem. This allows you to raise (or lower) the height of the handlbars by flipping the stem.
A Word To The Haters
There’s so much controversy around e bikes and even more about e bikes for kids. If you’re super anti e-bike, I’m probably not going to change your mind, but here are my two cents on the topic regardless.
One of the biggest arguments I hear against e bikes for kids is that it’s going to make them fat and lazy. In my experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Our son has been riding a bike almost daily since he was two years old. At eight, he is strong, fit, and far faster than many adults.
Still, he’s a kid. He doesn’t like to suffer. He hasn’t found the particular pleasure in climbing 5,000 feet of vertical under his own power.
What he does like is to rip the downhills and have fun. The Woom UP helps make that possible.
For our family at least, the Woom UP isn’t there to make a 2 mile ride to school easier. It’s there to make a 20 mile alpine ride possible. It’s there to let our family tackle the big rides, without mom having to tow him uphill with the TowWhee, and without tears.
We’re still at a point where we’re trying to make biking all about fun, and the Woom UP does that. In fact, since getting it, our son has been asking to ride MORE than he did before. And he certainly hasn’t gotten fat or lazy.
You don’t like the idea of an e mountain bike? Cool, don’t buy one.
|Woom UP 5||Woom UP 6|
|Motor||250 watt, 55 Nm torque||250 watt, 55 Nm torque|
|Battery||250 Wh||250 Wh|
|Frame||6061 T6 aluminum||6061 T6 aluminum|
|Drivetrain||SRAM NX 11-speed||SRAM NX 11-speed|
|Fork||RST Air Fork, 80mm travel||RST Air Fork, 90mm travel|
|Weight||35.6 lbs (without pedals)||37.3 lbs (without pedals)|
|Brakes||Promax Hydraulic Disc, 160/140 mm||Promax Hydraulic Disc, 160/140 mm|
|Wheels||Woom DiscoTec, 24″, 100 x 15 mm front / 135 x 12 mm rear thru-axles||Woom DiscoTec, 26″, 100 x 15 mm front / 135 x 12 mm rear thru-axles|
|Seatpost||27.2 x 250 mm||27.2 x 300 mm|
|Tires||Schwable Rocket Ron 24” x 2.35″||Schwable Rocket Ron 26” x 2.35″|
|Handlebars||600 mm (width), 20mm (rise)||680 mm (width), 20mm (rise)|
|Top tube horizontal||20.9”||22.5″|
|Seat tube angle||67°||70°|
|Stand over height||25”||27″|
|Minimum saddle height||28”||30.9″|
|Maximum saddle height||33.5”||37.4″|
Bottom-Line: A High Quality E Mountain Bike That Will Transform You Family’s Experience On The Trail
The Woom UP has transformed our family’s ability to tackle BIG adventures, and it will transform yours as well. The bike isn’t cheap but it is a big investment in time spent together as a family doing what you love most.
If you’ve been waiting for an electric e mountain bike for your kiddo, the Woom UP is finally here. Yes, it might be one of your only options for a kids e-bike, but fortunately it’s a GOOD one.
We can’t recommend the Woom UP enough.
More Stuff You Might Like
- 9 Best Kids Electric Bikes For Toddlers To Teens
- Best Kids Mountain Bikes: 15 Brands that Deliver
- 5 Best Kids Bikes Helmets & How To Choose!
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!