Prevelo Bikes – Our Chat With Jacob Rheuban

Meet the Rheuban family and Prevelo Bikes

Mountain Biking With Kids had the opportunity to chat with Jacob Rheuban from Prevelo Bikes. Based in California, Prevelo is a somewhat recent entry into to the kids’ bikes marketplace and they have established a firm footing in the industry. They’ve done this by offering great looking quality bikes for kids which are also innovative and reasonably priced. You can see our reviews for the Prevelo Alpha Two and the Prevelo Zulu One to learn what we thought about them. Read on to learn about one of America’s best new kids’ bike companies and how 2018 went for Prevelo.

Meet the Rheuban family and Prevelo Bikes

MTBK: As an entrepreneur, tell us why you chose to make kids’ bikes as opposed to choosing another venture.

The decision was driven a lot by my personal passions. I love bikes. I’m a dad and I love seeing my own kids on bikes. I’ve also always be attracted to product development. We like designing and building something tangible. I like the direct sales model – I like dealing directly with customers and I like eCommerce. We wanted a business that was wholesome and fun. I wanted something that my whole family could be involved in. I like traveling overseas and spending time at factories seeing everything get made. It’s fun working in a shop that smells like new tires and coffee. Prevelo really wraps up everything that I love and really wanted in one package.

Perhaps I should have focused more on good business judgement than following my passions. But it’s too late for that now.

MTBK: Can you describe what you’ve learned over the last 12 months. Throw in some highs and lows.

I’ve learned thousands of little things. I’m not sure where to start. We learned what an ISF filing is, how to align the heating element on a strapping machine, not to run untested code on a live site, and how to say “bottoms up” in Taiwanese.

In terms of larger business philosophy stuff – always stand behind your product and take excellent care of your customers. I want my customers to know that I have their back.

Beyond that, the experience has been humbling. I used to be a sort of armchair entrepreneur – I’d look at brands and think how I would do things better. Now that I’m in the thick of it, I have tremendous respect and admiration for the hard working founders of other brands.

Also, I should listen to Sarah (my wife and business partner) more. If I had we wouldn’t have run so short on inventory in 2018. Early this year I was focused on strategically feathering the throttle on our young family business and Sarah was like “Sell the house, make more bikes.” We ended up selling the house.

Sarah and Jacob Rheuban of Prevelo Bikes
Building up a kids' bike

MTBK: What do you want Prevelo to get better at?

I think there is a lot of work to be done in improving the direct to consumer bike purchasing experience. For example, since there is often no bike shop between Prevelo and our customer, we check and tune every bike prior to shipping it. But I think there is still work to be done to improve the entire experience – things like making unpacking and assembly easier and better website features to help people get a good fit on bikes that they can’t see in person.

MTBK: What are the ups and downs of running your own business in the bike industry?

Ups: Seeing a smiling kid riding a bike that we built. The look on a parent’s face when their kid first learns to pedal. Messages from parents saying they and their kids love our bikes. Posting goofy stuff on Instagram and Facebook and calling it “marketing”. The incredible community of supportive customers. The satisfaction of building something. Meeting so many great people.

Downs: I have to deal with international trade issues. Getting inventory right is always a challenge. Bookkeeping.

MTBK: What was your top selling model of 2018 and why do you believe that bike was so popular?

The Alpha Two is our top seller. I think it’s a size that doesn’t get a lot of attention from the mainstream brands. So there’s an opening in the market there that Prevelo and other kid’s bike specialty brands slot into.

MTBK: Are you going to tweak any of your bikes’ geometries for the next round of production?

We just finished a long year of product development with the Zulu Series. While we’re definitely not going to sit on our hands for very long, we’re going to take a breather before we dive back into product improvement. I might have a more satisfying response in a couple of months.

Prevelo Zulu Four - a 24 inch wheel kids' mountain bike
Working hard at Prevelo Bikes

MTBK: Tell us about the new Zulu Four.

We’re very excited about the entire Zulu Series. When we first started Prevelo, the Zulu Series was sort of a passion project within a passion project. I built the Zulu Three because my oldest son was asking for a mountain bike and I wanted him to ride a Prevelo. But I didn’t expect it to be a huge seller. It ended up being the first bike that we sold out of. So we were like ”Wow, people like our mountain bikes” and there’s a market for mountain bikes with kid centric design. We decided to really dive into it and try to make the best mountain bike we could.

We redesigned the Zulu Three and Zulu Four with a new stronger and lighter frame and modern trail bike geometry (67 degree headtube angle and 74 degree seat tube angle) but we kept our low bottom bracket. I built in features that we feel are really kid appropriate. Kids lay their bikes down a lot more that adults, so we kept the rear caliper protected by using a flat mount caliper and nesting it between the rear stays. Additionally, we made custom direct mount cranks with short crank arms and narrow Q factors. And we made the bikes available with features like a custom built air fork with a carbon fiber lower and thru-axles.

MTBK: Tell us about the new Zulu One and Two

We’re also pretty excited about the new Zulu One and Zulu Two. We listened to feedback from dads that wanted true trail bikes for very young riders. There are some fantastic 14-inch and 16-inch bikes on the market, but they almost universally have BMX/dirt jump type geometries. We designed the Zulu One and Zulu Two to be legit trail bikes. They have long, low and slack geo and hydraulic disc brakes. They are ultra stable and forgiving rides, which I think is useful when you have a young rider being challenged by terrain. We also wanted to make the Zulu Two available with an air fork. Some people were building up 16-inch bikes with 20-inch air forks. But we wanted a real 16-inch fork to keep the geo correct and the bike manageable for small riders. So, we had 16-inch air forks custom made for the Zulu Two.

Ripping a trail on a Prevelo

MTBK: You’re just like any other dad when it comes to watching your children grow and progress their bike skills. Are there any big accomplishments or benchmarks that have impressed you over the last year?

I’ve simply been impressed that my oldest (7 years old) can basically ride non-stop for 7 hours at the downhill park. My younger son (5 years old) melts my heart when he asks to join me on my rides.

But we get a pretty special bike family experience. My sons have had the uncommon life experience of being part of a family starting a kids’ bicycle company. It goes without saying that they were the inspiration for Prevelo (and are our primary prototype testers). But they have also become students of the bicycle industry.

Our business is simple enough for a child to understand (we make a product that children are familiar with and we sell it). Yet it touches on an incredibly diverse range of industrial topics: design, engineering, manufacturing, importing, warehousing, marketing, sales, fulfillment and customer service. These two boys observe a whole lot of it, are eager to be involved (as much as they can) and understand far more about how the bicycle business works than most kids their age. They have a sense of ownership in the company. They are proud of our product. I’m really proud of them.

MTBK: What are your plans and goals for 2019?

I’d like to ride more. I also want to try roasting my own coffee beans at home. I’ve heard the trick is to use a popcorn popper and pay close attention to the bean color.

The Prevelo boys
Prevelo Bikes
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Th Best Chair for Mountain Bikers: Helinox

Best Chair for mountain bikers: Helinox

Best chair for mountain bikers = Helinox: Mountain biking with your family gives you lots of opportunities to sit outside.  For example: pre and post-ride meals or drinks at the car, camping, and  watching  friends and family members participate in mountain biking events. For years, we used inexpensive camping chairs purchased from a big box store. However, we were constantly dealing with broken frames or torn fabric that made the chairs unusable. We felt terrible throwing away such large pieces of equipment.

Best Chair for mountain bikers: Helinox

Last Christmas, we decided to purchase some quality camping chairs as our family gift. Our two main criteria were durability and comfort.

After lots on online research we purchased Helinox Chair Two camp chairs for our family in the hopes that these chairs that would be durable and continue to be usable for years even as our kids grow.

We purchased 4 different colors (yellow, black, blue, orange) so everyone gets to take care of his/her own chair.

Some Of The Numbers

Weight: 2.6 lbs.
Size (set up): 21.5 in wide x 25.5 in deep x 33 in tall
Size (packed): cylinder; 18 in x 5 in
Seat height: 13.5 in
Weight capacity: 320 lbs
Manufacturer Warrantee: 5 years
Price: Click button below

Helinox Chair Two review - set up
Detail of Helinox camping chair
Storage bag attached to back of Helinox camping chair

Best Chair for Mountain Bikers: Helinox Chairs Are Comfortable And Durable

Compared to the popular Helinox Chair One, Chair Two is slightly wider, deeper and adds a taller back that gives comfortable back support. The tall back rest also means the carry bag can be filled with padding (clothing or a towel) and attached to the chair back as a neck pillow.


We’ve been impressed with the quality and durability of these chairs. They have survived almost an entire year of camping including a summer of solid use and abuse by a group of wild 11-15-year old boys. The thick nylon mesh fabric is built to last. The fabric on the corners is the thickest and stiffest where you connect the chair to the frame.


Everyone in our family agrees that the Helinox Chair Two is very comfortable. The back is supportive and allows you to sit comfortably while eating, sitting around a campfire or gazing at the stars. The storage bag can be used as a pillow if you put a t-shirt in it and use the Velcro to attach it to the head rest. These chairs are low to the ground, but they are not hard for us to get out of. We actually like being closer to the fire on cool camping evenings.

The Helinox Chair Two camping chairs are comfortable
Lake day with the Helinox Two camping chairs

The Helinox Chair Two Camping Chairs Are Easy To Set Up And Take With You

Our Helinox Two chairs are compact and light taking up about half the space of our old heavy foldable camping chairs. This  helps when we road trip in the minivan. Additionally, the size makes it possible to put them into a backpack for short hikes. The carry bag has two large loops and webbing ladder to attach to the outside of a pack if needed.

These chairs assemble easily. The single shock-corded design makes setup quick. Our kids can have their chairs built in less than a minute. They are also easy to roll back up and our kids fit their chairs back in the bags with no problems.

Helinox Chair Two chairs posing on the rocks
The Helinox Two Chair is compact and easy to travel with

The only factor that may influence your decision to buy the Helinox Two camping chair is the price. Don’t let this hold you back. Our old camping chairs were purchased from a big box store for about $20 each, so that makes these Helinox chairs more than 5x the cost. However, we have learned that the the durability of these chairs will pay off in the long run. We strongly recommend the Helinox Chair Two chairs for mountain biking families and kids. These chairs do an excellent job of balancing lasting comfort and ease of transportation.

If you’re looking for the best chair for mountain bikers and active families, we highly recommend the Helinox camping chair.

The Helinox Chair Two camping chairs are comfy

Check out our other favorite mountain bike gear and accessories on our Reviews page.

We’d love to see what MTB shenanigans your mountain biking kids and family are up to! Share your mountain bike adventures with MTBwithKids on Instagram or Facebook

Prevelo Zulu One Review

Prevelo Zulu One review - featured photo

Zulu One Review: The first item we took note of when we started our Prevelo Zulu One review was the Tektro HD M276 hydraulic disc brake set. The second feature we noticed was the internally routed rear brake cable. It spans a whopping 7.25 inches from port-to-port along the top tube of this 14 inch wheel kids’ bike. The third thing we liked on this bike right away was the bash guard protecting the 25t front gear ring and chain. With such a low profile, the addition of a the ring guard is a pretty smart move.

You can purchase one of these for your 3-5 year old on the Prevelo website.

Prevelo Zulu One review - featured photo

Assembling The Prevelo Zulu One

We love it when bike manufacturers include all the necessary tools to get your kids rolling. And, that’s the case with the Prevelo Zulu One. They include a pedal wrench and the appropriate hex keys to assemble the bike. Prevelo also makes sure that all the assembly that can be done with this bike- is done when you take it out of the box. This is a big deal if you have ever had to set up disc brakes. Not to worry with the Zulu One because the bolt-on wheels are already attached to the fork and BOXT rear drop outs.

At a minimum you only have to attach the pedals, and affix the handlebars to the stem. If your child is on the small end of the fit range for this bike, you can swap out the installed seat post for the included shorter option. If you get in early with this bike, it means it could fit your child for well over 18 months.

Our 12 year old got this aluminum/alloy framed bike ready to go. Then it passed dad’s QA testing. Mom exclaimed “Wow. I wish my bike was that color.” It’s true. The semi-luminescent gun-metal gray paint job with red accents make this bike a looker. The photos can’t quite capture the slight reflective paint job, but it’s attractive.

Where to adjust the Tektro brake levers

Perfectly Dialed in!

Oh yeah, did we also mention the reach for the brake levers is adjustable? Take a look at the illustration from Tektro to see where a 2mm hex key will allow you to adjust the distance your kiddo needs to wrap their paws around the brake levers.

The claimed weight for the Zulu One on the Prevelo site is 15.9 lbs. We confirmed this using the tried-and-true bathroom scale method. A 520mm wide Heir handlebar with 35mm rise and 25.4mm – 19mm taper will allow you to adjust the bars for your child’s reach. Kid-sized grips are also a feature of the Zulu One.

The Prevelo Zulu One, At-A-Glance Numbers

standover height icon


16in – 25in

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Single Speed

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14 inches

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15.9 pounds

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Approx. 3-5

The 14 inch aluminum wheels are paired with 2.1 inch wide Innova tires. The tread on the tires is impressive for a bike this small because they’re definitely not street tires. A 85mm long crankset was spec’d to accommodate your your 3-5 year old’s inseam.

The minimum seat height is 16 inches and the maximum seat height for the Prevelo Zulu One is 25 inches. Again, this is due to the 2 seat posts included with the bike. We strongly encourage you to check out the rest of the measurements on the Prevelo website . They are located under the Zulu One page’s SPECS tab to confirm this bike is the best kids bike for your child.

Tektro brake lever on the Prevelo Zulu One
Stem detail on the Prevelo Zulu One
Prevelo Zulu One, Innova tire detail
Rear hydraulic disc brake detail - Prevelo Zulu One
Bashguard crank and pedal - Zulu One
Internally routed brake cable on the Prevelo Zulu One

Riding The Prevelo Zulu One

After a few minutes of getting used to the Zulu One, our rider was standing up and pedaling like a pro. We even rotated the brakes on the handlebars so he could stand up at speed on the pedals in a race position.

Introducing the Prevelo Zulu One

Fit is paramount when selecting a mountain bike for your child. A proper fitting bike allows your kid to ride safely and utilize all the features a bike has to offer. The end result is more fun for everyone. And, that was certainly the case with this little guy and the Prevelo Zulu One. He definitely approved of the disc brakes and learned how to feather them evenly. He was crushing corners like a boss in no time.

Riding a curved bridge on the Prevelo Zulu One

Our test rider loved the Prevelo Zulu One right away because he is an experienced BMX rider. The combination of the bike’s features and our rider’s skill set were a perfect fit.

Like with full-sized adult bikes, the geometry of a kid’s bike is important. The ergonomics of the Zulu One’s frameset and crank length allowed our little shredder to comfortably ride in the saddle and dance on the pedals through the berms.

Standing up on the Prevelo Zulu One was comfy for our rider
The Prevelo Zulu One is coming at you
Taking a fast turn on the Prevelo Zulu One

The 2.1 inch wide Innova tires loved the pump track. They gripped the dusty wood features at the bike park without slips or slide-outs.

Son and dad riding together

Our Ultima Parola On The Prevelo Zulu One

Of course this single-speed kids’ bike can be ridden on the sidewalks and paved trails. However, the bike’s quality construction and build deserve more. Simply put, this bike wants to get messy. The disc brakes and grippy tires yearn to gobble up dirt as your family gets off-road for the first time. This bike will provide new experiences for your mountain biking family. We’re happy to state the Prevelo Zulu One is going to be a wonderful first mountain bike for a lot of children in the years to come.

More family time and more skills!

As an added bonus with this bike (if you don’t already know how), you may wish to learn how to change brake pads and bleed brakes with your kids. Owning this bike means additional maintenance and it introduces the opportunity to do yet another bike related activity with your kids. This is just another example of how owning and riding bikes together can help you bond with your little ones and spend some quality time together.

7 Of Our Favorite Mountain Biking Movies

7 Of Our Favorite Mountain Biking Movies

We had no idea mountain biking movies existed until our first Canada road trip close to ten years ago. Meanwhile, we were at a small café in Kamloops and Follow Me was playing on a wall-mounted monitor. The kids were nothing short of enthralled. Surprisingly, many of the movies from this genre are very well shot and produced. A lot of the entrenched mountain biking moms and dads are well-aware of Life Cycles and many other earlier films, but for us- this was like discovering pizza or sushi for the first time. If your history with these movies is on the short side, download one now and get started on your extended education.

Arrival, MTB movie by The Coastal Crew

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes


The Coastal Crew – Step into our world, as we bring you a raw look at the talents of the next wave of mountain bike riders and photographers. While you come face to face with our diverse styles as we take on new lines and new places. Indeed, ARRIVAL is all about what is happening…

Follow Me - Mountain biking movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

Follow Me 

Darcy Wittenburg, Jonathan Schramm, Darren McCullough, Colin Jones & Ian Dunn – The filmmakers who brought you the Collective, Roam and Seasons present a new mountain bike film, Follow Me. Straightaway, shot in high definition, Follow Me takes the viewer inside the action, capturing the unique perspectives and imagery the Anthill Films…

Life Cycles mountain biking movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

Life Cycles 

Ryan Gibb & Derek Frankowski – Surely, Life Cycles is a true adventure film. Evidently, over 5 years in the making, and using the bicycle as the vehicle, Life Cycles takes you on a journey through natures most beautiful, dramatic, and sometimes unforgiving landscapes. Shot in Ultra HD, and with…

NotBad mountain bike movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes


Undeniably one of our family’s favorite mountain biking movies. Darcy Wittenburg, Darren McCullough & Colin Jones – This is a tale of epic adventure. Basically a tale of seven brave riders who set out from the four corners of the globe to gather together under one roof in a town located at the ends of the earth. Generally, a tale with no beginning and no end but where a few things…

Seasons - mtb movie from The Collective

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes


Jamie Houssian & Darcy Wittenburg – Seasons is a film that follows seven of the world’s top mountain bikers through the course of four seasons of one year. Subsequently, the film explores what it means to be a full time rider as told through the lives of downhill racers, slopestyle competitors,…

Strength In Numbers mountain bike movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

Strength In Numbers 

Anthill Films – Previously, viewed at a distance, the world of mountain biking is a disjointed network of seemingly similar but disconnected communities. Freeride. Downhill. Big Mountain. All Mountain. Dirt Jump. Slopestyle. Emphatically, a sport of individuals, however equally defined by their…

unReal mountain bike movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes


Anthill Films – unReal is for those of us who like to escape. Unquestionably, a film that celebrates breaking free from the confines of reality and venturing into a boundless world. Surprisingly, this place isn’t remote or hard to find, and yet many never see it. Eventually, glacial walls transform into…