Transition Scout Review

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Mountain biker Teagan Heap shows off her Transition Scout

Transition Bikes was born in 2001 and the company has grown to become one the industry’s favorite brands among mountain bikers because of its ability to cater to riders within its region of origin and beyond. That’s a beautiful thing when your testing grounds are one the world’s best places to mountain bike. If your family is ready for rocks, roots and ruckus, you’ll have to put the Transition Scout on the list for your kids’ next bike. Get the build options, live pricing, and availability from the Transition Bikes website.

Mountain biker Teagan Heap shows off her Transition Scout

Transition:  Website | Instagram | Facebook

Who Is The Transition Scout For?

The bike is designed to get your family up, across, and down aggressive trails. Its 27.5inch wheels, low geometry and availability in a x-small frame size means the Scout will fit riders as short as 4ft 10in tall. Keep in mind that Transition is headquartered in Bellingham, Washington. The owners of the company live there and the Scout was created to thrive on the area’s terrain and trails. The full-suspension bike was built for steep, loamy descents, roots, tight turns, and jumps.

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Transition Scout review - rear triangle
Linkage detail - Transition Scout Review
Transition Scout V3 - Geometry Illustration

Updated Geometry For The V3 Scout

Billed as longer, lower, slacker – the SBG (Speed Balanced Geometry) for the Scout is its foundation for fun. Not everyone can dash through the trees or send freeride lines like Hannah Bergermann. That’s why this generation of the Scout has angles and measurements suited for agility and stability at varying speeds.

X-SmallSmallMediumLargeX-Large
A. REACH410435460485510
B. STACK577590604617631
C. EFFECTIVE TT LENGTH534564593623652
D. SEAT TUBE LENGTH350360390430460
E. EFFECTIVE ST ANGLE78.2°77.7°77.2°76.8°76.4°
SADDLE HEIGHT FOR EFFECTIVE ST ANGLE560600660720780
ACTUAL ST ANGLE72°72°72°72°72°
SEAT TUBE OFFSET AT BB6363636363
F. HEAD TUBE LENGTH95110125140155
G. HEAD TUBE ANGLE64.0°64.0°64.0°64.0°64.0°
H. CHAINSTAY LENGTH430430430430430
I. WHEELBASE11531185121712481280
J. BOTTOM BRACKET DROP1818181818
K. ESTIMATED BB HEIGHT337337337337337
L. STAND OVER HEIGHT665665673686698
M. FORK OFFSET3737373737
Side view - Transition Scout Review

As with other bikes in the current Transition line-up, the Scout features acute angles along the length of the frame’s tubes. This is achieved through the expanded polystyrene molds during the bike’s fabrication and carbon lay-up process. We can’t recall this design approach before. Aesthetics can be bound to one’s own preferences, but in our opinion, it’s kind of bold and different. And, it works.

Front triangle - Transition Scout
Transition Scout

Set up from the factory to run 140mm of travel in the back, the Scout is also compatible to run at 150mm. For most on a bike in this category, 150mm of travel in the front is plenty. On their website, Transition says you can swap out the fork for +/- 10mm but anything beyond that will affect the bike’s handling.

Riding The Transition Scout – By Teagan Heap

My Scout it custom built. I have some super rad sponsors who make the best gear out there, so I started with a small frame.

Transition Scout Review - three quarter view

DVO takes care of my suspension and they custom built the internals to my weight and riding style. It’s optimal to have suspension that works when you are a small human. A Deity stem with Speedway carbon bars, saddle, grips and pedals are on my Scout along with Maxxis tires. The TRP brakes provide a ton of control and power, which lets me run them really close to the bar. I also use their 12 speed drive train with a 32t Wolf Tooth sprocket.

Getting power from the pedals is done through 155mm Canfield cranks – pretty rad that they make such short cranks! I run Onyx hubs. They rooooollll for days. The engagement always being right there and not having any drag, especially when you barely weigh anything is something else. Headset and spacers are taken care of by Wolf Tooth, which is a super sick way to tie in all your colors. Plus, my dad likes the headset. Something about the dust seal keeping him from having to clean it all the time.

Air time on the Transition Scout

Even though the Scout hails from the PNW, it works all over the place. For this write-up, I put it though its paces in Sedona. We ended up picking some sweet exposed trails to ride with some slippy technical features. I’ve ridden there before on some of my old bikes, and the Scout was so much better. I’m beyond stoked on how sick it handles everything I throw at it.

Controlling the Transition Scout on a technical climb

When choosing my trail bike for this pedal season I had a couple of choices from Transition and decided the Scout was the best option. The reason I chose to go with the Scout was due to it being slightly shorter travel, making it super efficient on climbs, while it still keeps a super slack head angle. For me, the bike needs to feel pretty close to my downhill bike. You never know when you’re going to have to get sendy! A 29er is just too much wheel for my riding style and the longer travel trail bikes start to get too deep into the downhill bike category.

The Transition Scout is an excellent trail bike for kids 4'10" and taller
Getting the wheels of the ground aboard the Transition Scout

The Scout pedaled up very well making the techy climbs not as difficult and the steep bits easy – probably because of how slack the bike is! I have ridden this bike all over Bootleg as well. It’s super poppy when you have to bunnyhop and miss rocks, or just bump jump a trail section for fun.

My Scout has a 175mm dropper post. I could probably have a 200mm because the seat tube on the Scout is designed to be long. This is so you can actually get your pedal height AND get the seat out of your way completely on descents! The Transition Scout is definitely my all-time favorite pedal bike. It lets me keep that DH fun but in a way that lets me pedal it everywhere, too.

Sendy in Sedona - Transition Scout Review
Teagan Heap - Mountain Biker

We owe a big thanks to mountain biker Teagan Heap for helping us with this review. Follow Teagan on Instagram @teaganheap to keep up with her adventures throughout the season. Teagan would like to thank her sponsors: Transition Bikes, DVO Suspension, Maxxis Tires, Canfield Bikes, Onyx Racing Products, Deity Components, TRP Cycling Components, Wolf Tooth Components

Bontrager Avert Women’s Mountain Bike Rain Jacket Review

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Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket Review - featured image

Lightweight enough to toss into your pack with your other gear, but with enough protection from the elements, the Bontrager Avert Women’s Rain Jacket will keep you dry on rainy days and warmer on those slightly crisp rides. MSRP is $169.99 USD and you can get it on the Bontrager/Trek website.

Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket Review - featured image

Available in three different colors, olive, black and cardinal red, as well as an array of sizes ranging from extra small to double extra-large – this women’s jacket was designed for durability and comfort.

Water beading upon the Bontrager Avert Women's Stormshell MTB rain jacket
Hydration pack on the Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket
Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket Review

It’s made of Stormshell waterproof fabric that has a 37.5 membrane that keeps you dry. The material is very breathable, ensuring that you won’t overheat on those hot, muggy days. With that said, the light protection that it provides makes the Stormshell jacket a great warm outer layer should the weather cool off a little while you’re out riding. After all, it’s rated for between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the temperature down even more with a a base layer like the Bontrager Vella Women’s Thermal Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey.

The jacket weighs less than half a pound. Normally, I just stuff it into my hydration pack, but it folds up well into the built-in pouch, too. The hood is compatible with various helmets, so you don’t have to make a decision between keeping your head dry or protected. The roll and click BOA adjustment system is a great amenity for this women’s rain jacket.

Hood over mtb helmet on the Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket
BOA hood adjustment system - Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket

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Hood down detail - Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket
YKK Zipper and seal tape detail - Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket

There are two pockets that both zip shut, giving you an extra place to keep your valuables. Plus, the semi-fitted style allows for plenty of movement without bulk, so you won’t have to worry about the jacket getting bunched up when moving on the bike. It’s comfortable when I wear a hydration pack as well.

On the bike with the Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket
The Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket is flexible and comfy

My Experience With The Bontrager Avert Women’s Mountain Bike Rain Jacket

I have been using this jacket all season long and it’s been my favorite for cycling, running, and walks when the weather has been less than ideal. It’s small and light enough that I hardly notice it when it’s in my hydration pack. During a couple of NICA team rides that ran a bit past dusk late in the season, I simply dug this out when the temperature fell and was comfortable on descents at elevation.

During a heavier than expected rain storm in Moab last spring, the jacket performed very well. The YKK AquaGuard zipper and taped seams stopped water from getting inside and I really like the over-sized hood. The elasticized sleeves and waist cord are still springy.

Thanks to the Bontrager Avert Women’s Stormshell Jacket, you won’t have to wait for those perfect sunny days to head out on the trails.

Camelbak Flow Belt And Podium Bottle Review

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Podium bottle, 21oz - and Flow hip pack

It’s crucial to stay hydrated while riding. The main problem with water bottles is that they’re hard to access. You often end up having to stop mid-trail in order to remove them from the holder on the frame of your bike before you can take a drink. This makes it less likely that you’ll drink enough water during your excursion. The Camelbak Podium Flow Belt 21 oz takes care of that problem. The MSRP is $44.95 USD.

Podium bottle, 21oz - and Flow hip pack

Camelbak is known for their hydration solutions. They make both backpacks and belts, like this one, that are utilized by mountain bikers, hikers, runners, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Made of proprietary waterproof materials, Camelbak bags often have a built-in bladder that holds water, or they have an ingenious pocket and an easy to access water bottle, like this model.

The bottle does not wiggle around on this Camelbak accessory belt
Camelbak Flow Hip Pack and Podium Water Bottle

Camelbak Podium Flow Belt Specifications

Dimensions13 x 44 x 11cm / 5.1 x 17.3 x 4.3"
Gear Capacity2L / 120in³
Fits Waist / Hips28-46 in / 71-116 cm

The Camelback Podium Flow is a lightweight belt that attaches around the waist. It’s easily adjustable, thanks to the nylon strap and buckle system. Along with the built-in zippered pockets, there’s an elastic sleeve that securely holds a water bottle (included with the belt), that slips in and out easily. You no longer have to awkwardly reach for a frame-mounted, water bottle holder.

Flow label on Camelbak hip pack
Interior of Camelbak Flow hip pack

Both of the included pockets were designed with utility in mind. The top zippered compartment contains handy spaces that hold the various tools that you may need in order to adjust your bike on the side of the mountain or other trail, while the front, smaller pocket holds keys, energy gels, and more.

Racing with the Camelbak Flow/Podium hip pack

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Here's how the Camelbak Podium bottle opens and closes
There's a lot of extra belt on the Camelbak Flow hip pack

Even when fully loaded with a full water bottle and plenty of tools, it will stay in a comfortable position around your waist. Plus, the mesh back panel is breathable, limiting sweat from building up when you wear it.

The Camelbak hip pack is comfy and functional

Available in several different colors, including all black, a camo combination named camelflage and brown seal, and a lighter mineral blue and silver, you’ll be able to choose the shade that best matches your bike, riding gear, or protective clothing. No matter the color, the Camelback Podium Flow has built-in reflective patches that make it easier for vehicle and other bikers to spot you in the dark. Camelbak really thought of everything when they designed this hip pack, waist pouch… whatever you want to call it.

Camelbak Flow / Podium hip pack

Keep It Rolling With The Camelbak Podium Flow Belt

Both our lads like this accessory a lot. We had to pick up one for our youngest when our oldest was flaunting it on rides and at races. The bottle stays put in its pouch because there is a quality elastic holding it in place. These have been put through the wringer over the course of a season. The zippers are durable and have not broken down. Overall, this is just a well-designed product that works great for both the lads. They carry snacks, tools and extra tubes in them – sometimes a packable rain jacket.

Prevelo Alpha One Review

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Prevelo Alpha One Review

Your child’s first pedal bike will need to be designed so it’s “easy” to ride. It will need to have the right saddle height, reach, and bar width. The cranks, wheels and pedals all need to be the proper dimensions. If you have a child who is about 3-5 years old and ready to pedal – look no further than the Prevelo Alpha One. This single-speed 14inch wheel bike retails for $359.00 USD on the Prevelo website.

Prevelo Alpha One Review

Prevelo:  Website | Instagram | Facebook

Your little one has mastered the balance bike and perhaps has a friend or sibling who can ride a pedal-powered bike. For many, the Prevelo Alpha One is going to be your kid’s second bike. It has the geometry and build that are two of the keys to learning how to ride a real pedal bike. Your child’s ability and will are going to help turn those keys and unlock a fun, new world of riding bikes together.

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Overview Of The Prevelo Alpha One

standover height icon

SADDLE HEIGHT

15.6 – 17.5 inches

drivetrain icon

DRIVETRAIN

Single Speed

wheel size icon

WHEEL SIZE

14in

weight icon

WEIGHT

~13.45 lbs

Set Up For the Prevelo Alpha One

Of course the Alpha One has kid-sized everything. From the cranks to the brakes, the bike is set up for smaller feet and hands, shorter arms and legs. As opposed to the Alpha Zero, Prevelo’s balance bike, the Alpha One has a front brake as well. This is a great additional opportunity and natural advancement for building one’s skills and bike control. We also like the bashguard on the front chainring as well as the quick-release seat post collar.

Prevelo Alpha One bike badge
Hand on bar - Prevelo Alpha One
Prevelo Alpha One saddle
Prevelo Alpha One rear dropout

Be Sure To Get The Freewheel Option When Ordering The Prevelo Alpha One

The Alpha One comes with a coaster brake installed as the default build, but a freewheel option is available and perhaps preferable to most customers. Our kids had coaster brake bikes when they first learned to ride. That was over 10 years ago and we simply didn’t know any better. But in our opinion, going from a coaster brake bike to freewheel bike could be a cumbersome switch or unfavorable learning curve for children who have balance bike experience.

Add-Ons And Color Options

All the add-ons and options for the Alpha One include: a kickstand, the aforementioned freewheel kit, custom color grips, a bicycle bell, rider name lettering, USB rechargeable lights, the Prevelo Trade-Up Club Membership, a riser bar, and a 13t or 15t rear cog. The bike ships with a 14t rear cog.

Internal cable routing, clean welds and optional colors make the bike visually appealing to both parents and kids. Available colors for the Alpha One include: Speed Silver, Power Purple, and Braap Blue.

The Prevelo Trade Up Club

Learn About The Prevelo Trade Up Club

Prevelo also offers a Trade-Up Club Membership. As of this writing, the cost is $69.00 USD. The program allows you to save money when sizing-up while your kids continue to ride a Prevelo. Get all the detail and terms by visiting the Prevelo website.

Prevelo Alpha One - Rear Tire/Wheel

Geometry/Numbers For The Prevelo Alpha One

Prevelo Alpha One Geometry Illustration

Click the photo to enlarge it

A Wheel Size14"
B Wheelbase26.3 in / 667 mm
C Effective Top Tube Length13.7 in / 349 mm
D Head Angle69°
E Seat Tube Angle70°
F Chain Stay Length10.7 in / 271 mm
Weight (including pedals)14.4 lbs / 6.5 kg (13.45 lbs / 6.1 kg with freewheel kit installed)
Minimum Saddle Height15.6 in / 397 mm
Maximum Saddle Height17.5 in / 445 mm
Bottom Bracket Height6.7 in / 170 mm
Gain Ratio3.7
Standover (ground to top of top tube)14in / 355.6mm

Prevelo Alpha One – Specifications

FRAME6061 heat treated aluminum alloy custom formed tubing
FORKAluminum alloy blades with chromoly steerer tube - 35mm rake
SEAT CLAMPAluminum alloy with toolless adjustment
FRONT BRAKETektro aluminum V-brake
REAR BRAKETektro aluminum V-brake & coaster brake
FRONT BRAKE LEVERTektro aluminum short reach
REAR BRAKE LEVERTektro aluminum short reach
CRANK SETPrevelo anodized alloy 3-piece square taper with 85MM crank length.
SPROCKET25T with double chain ring guard
BB SETSealed cartridge
HEAD SET1 1/8" threadless
RIMAluminum with grinded sidewalls
FRONT HUBLightweight alloy 1-piece forged CNC with low profile rounded hex bolts
REAR HUBSteel with integrated coaster brake - 14T cog
TIRE & TUBEKenda Small Block Eight Pro 14 ×1.5
SADDLEPrevelo small kid saddle
HANDLEBARPrevelo Aluminum - 470mm wide x 50mm rise - 22.2mm to 19mm taper
HANDLEBAR STEMAluminum 30mm extension
GRIPKraton rubber
PEDALSComposite with 9/16 chromoly axle
Prevelo Alpha One pedal, crank, bashguard
Quick release seat post collar - Prevelo Alpha One

Riding The Prevelo Alpha One

We found the perfect candidate to ride our Prevelo Alpha One. Derek’s a lad just shy of 5 years old who had never pedaled a bike on his own who had a year of balance bike riding under his belt. This was truly the perfect applicant for the job.

Inspecting the Prevelo Alpha One

After inspecting the bike for a moment, we adjusted the saddle height using the quick-release seat collar and Derek mounted-up. We were sure to play it safe and have the saddle low enough so the rider could easily plant both feet on the ground. He pushed around with his feet on his own for a bit so he could get used to the bar width, kid-sized grips, and the hand brakes.

The reach is an important fit factor for kids' bikes
Hand on bar - Prevelo Alpha One
Foot on the pedal - Prevelo Alpha One

Our first task was to see if Derek could coast down a gentle slope with raising his feet off the ground and then resting them on the pedals when he felt safe and confident. Getting his feet off the ground was easy enough. His balance bike experience enabled him to do this on the third try. Getting Derek to rest his feet on the pedals only took another 5 minutes or so.

Next was pedaling. This concept can tough for a kid to grasp initially. When you take a moment to think about it – it’s foreign at the very least. The physical motion that takes place when pedaling a bike involves alternating the force exerted from left-leg to right-leg in a constrained circular motion. This is one of those things that you really have to simplify when instructing.

Getting both feet on the pedals

Watching this take place in-person with a new rider who’s ready to try this and figure it out is really rewarding. Derek and his mom were both shocked when he got a couple of full rotations on the pedals. From there, it’s just a matter of maintaining forward momentum while safely controlling the bike.

Pedaling for the first time - Prevelo Alpha One

With each attempt, Derek was able to go farther and farther without having to put a foot down. We were on a paved bike path and our demo rider soon learned how to use both hand brakes evenly while making turns and even climbing slight hills.

Taking the Prevelo Alpha One to dirt

Our next location with the bike was a small skills park. We were excited to see that Derek was ready to take the Alpha One to dirt and build upon his skills.

Riding the Prevelo Alpha One

He rode the bike with confidence. As opposed to being on a wide-open paved trail – some of the terrain was bordered with weeds and sagebrush. The Kenda tires did a fine job on the dry, loose dirt and our rider was able to handle weaving the bike through the channels of trails.

Inspecting the repair stand at the skills park

It was great to see how Derek was able to brake evenly with both front and rear brake on the Alpha One. This being his first experience with handbrakes, he simply took it as fact and used them as instructed.

Prevelo Alpha One Summary

We were beyond stoked to see a kid ride a pedal bike on his own for the first time with the Prevelo Alpha One. Derek’s mom was always close by and she shouted with joy when he took off on his own.

Due to your child’s size and abilities, your kid’s first pedal bike may not be the Prevelo Alpha One. The company also offers bikes with 16inch wheels and 20inch wheels. Although they’re different sizes, they still serve the same purpose: enabling kids to have fun on bikes. The Alpha One is definitely the right tool for the job if you have a young child who’s ready to give it a shot. If you want to ensure success, start with a balance bike such as the Prevelo Alpha Zero. This will properly prepare you daughters and sons to build the foundation necessary to advance to pedaling.

Taking off on the Prevelo Alpha One

Introducing The Specialized Carbon Hotwalk

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Specialized Carbon Hotwalk - Balance Bike for Kids

Would you pass up the opportunity to make something like this if you had the resources to do so?

Specialized Carbon Hotwalk - Balance Bike for Kids

From Specialized…

The team at Specialized just built the ultimate first bike. Full carbon and only 2.1kg/4.63 lbs… Now don’t you wish you were younger?

On December 3rd, cycling fanatics will be able to share their love of carbon race machines with the future performance rider in their lives. The new super lightweight Hotwalk Carbon features a purpose built carbon frame for better handling and more control. No details were spared on this build, including a lightweight FACT 9r carbon frame, fork, and handlebars. The wheels are carbon, too, and feature Rhythm Lite tires with super-light casing. The grips feature a 38% smaller diameter, offering a better grip for little hands. And to top it off, the Hotwalk Carbon is equipped with a Low friction Body Geometry Saddle, with an integrated carrying handle.

Starting as a daydream napkin sketch, the Specialized team quickly took action and utilized their decades of knowledge in carbon layups to bring this bike to life. Because, hey, if the parents get to play around on the best bikes all day, why shouldn’t the kids!

And yes, of course it’ll cost you, just a cool $999 USD. What was that about the N+1 rule? Gotta start ’em young 😉

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Specialized Carbon Hotwalk in the shop

Chill – It’s Still Just A Balance Bike

The first real, good kid mountain bikes were one-offs created by parents, designers and/or craftspeople who had the skills, tools, and materials to bring an idea to life. Our son’s first quality purpose-built kid-sized bike was made out of a need from moms and dads who worked at major bike brands.

The sport has aged well, and with more and more 1st generation mountain bikers having families of their own – the market is growing for quality bikes and gear for kids.

Obviously, this bike was designed and created as project that can be akin to a concept car that that graces the pages of Motor Trend or Car And Driver. But like all things in the mountain bike world – if you have means, then there is a premium product for the having.

Riding the Specialized Carbon Hotwalk

Prevelo Alpha Zero Review

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Prevelo Alpha Zero - Review

Can you imagine the beginning a long, enjoyable story that will take several decades to consume? If the equivalent to this saga is the start of your little one’s enjoyment of cycling, then the preface can take place upon the Prevelo Alpha Zero.

Prevelo Alpha Zero - Review

Prevelo:  Website | Instagram | Facebook

The Alpha Zero is Prevelo’s 12-inch wheel balance bike/run bike engineered for kids who, on the entry side, are about 18 months old and up. It has a standover height of just 7 inches and a minimum saddle height of 11.5 inches. The maximum saddle height for the bike is 14.6 inches. MSRP for the Alpha Zero is $199.00 USD.

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A Quick Overview Of The Prevelo Alpha Zero

standover height icon

SADDLE HEIGHT

Min ~11.5 inches

drivetrain icon

DRIVETRAIN

None – It’s Push-Powered

wheel size icon

WHEEL SIZE

12in

weight icon

WEIGHT

~8.5 lbs

The Prevelo Alpha One Is Minimal. And That Makes It Huge.

When we normally do a bike review, we pour over the specs in order to inform readers of all the details. In this case, the facts are minimal because the bike is minimal. The drivetrain consists of your kid’s feet, legs, and gumption. In the beginning, slowing down the bike and braking will be done with the aforementioned items. After the beginning, your little one will learn how to use the rear Tektro v-brake on the bike controlled by a hand lever on the right side of the bars. The cable for the brake streams neatly from the lever and it’s internally routed through the down tube. It’s nice looking.

Seat collar on Prevelo Alpha Zero

Colors And Add-Ons

The bike’s looks are classic and will appeal to both girls and boys. Color options for the frame include Speed Silver, Power Purple, and Braap Blue. When shopping on the Prevelo website, you can also add optional: colored grips, a bike bell, rider name lettering, or USB rechargeable lights.

The Prevelo Trade Up Club

Learn About The Prevelo Trade Up Club

Prevelo also offers a Trade-Up Club Membership. As of this writing, the cost is $69.00 USD. The program allows you to save money when sizing-up while your kids continue to ride a Prevelo. Get all the detail and terms by visiting the Prevelo website.

Hand brake detail - Prevelo Alpha Zero
Prevelo Alpha Zero - Top Tube Badge

Start With This Balance Bike Instead Of A Pedal Bike With Training Wheels

The Prevelo Alpha Zero is made to introduce your kids to the concept of balancing on a bike without the distractions of pedals or the safety net of training wheels.

The same will or gumption that drives your children to propel themselves along by walking or running the bike as they’re firmly planted on the saddle is going to allow them to progress.

Once comfortable with the physical demands of achieving basic angular momentum, your child will discover that if the thrust is increased, she/he will be able to keep both feet off the ground longer and glide greater distances without their feet touching the ground. In our experiences, this has been the most important skill that enables a young rider to safely transition to a pedal bike with confidence.

Having the right tool for the job is important. Again, that’s where the Prevelo Alpha Zero comes in. It’s made to fit small, young children. It’s made to help them succeed.

Cockpit view - Prevelo Alpha Zero
Rear end - Prevelo Alpha Zero
Tire tread detail - Prevelo Alpha Zero

Geometry For The Prevelo Alpha Zero

A Wheel Size12"
B Wheelbase22.9 in / 581 mm
C Effective Top Tube Length11.6 in / 295 mm
D Head Angle67°
E Seat Tube Angle69°
F Chain Stay Length8.9 in / 225 mm
Prevelo Alpha Zero Geometry Diagram

Click the photo to enlarge it

Prevelo Alpha Zero – Specifications

FRAME12"
FORK22.9 in / 581 mm
SEAT CLAMP11.6 in / 295 mm
REAR BRAKE67°
REAR BRAKE LEVER69°
HEAD SET8.9 in / 225 mm
RIMAluminum with grinded sidewalls
FRONT HUBLightweight alloy 1-piece forged CNC with low profile rounded hex bolts and sealed hub
REAR HUBLightweight alloy 1-piece forged CNC with low profile rounded hex bolts and sealed hub
TIRE & TUBEKenda 12 x 1.75
SADDLEPrevelo balance bike specific saddle
HANDLEBARPrevelo Aluminum - 375mm wide x 50mm rise - 22.2mm to 19mm taper
HANDLEBAR STEMAluminum 30mm extension
GRIPKraton rubber

Riding The Prevelo Alpha Zero

It isn’t complicated. It’s just fun. Our rider rode this bike for better part of the summer and his confidence grew as the season went on. The Prevelo works on grass, concrete, pavement, gravel, and dirt. The absence of a top tub on the bike makes it super easy to get on and dismount. The quick-release seat post collar allows one to adjust the saddle height as needed without the needing a hex key.

The Prevelo Alpha Zero even works on grass

Getting familiar with the Prevelo Alpha Zero in safe, controlled surroundings.

Taking on a pump track with the Prevelo Alpha Zero

Little kid – big world. You gotta have guts to hit pump track. Think about it. If these rollers were scaled up for adults, these would be serious obstacles. The right fitting bike makes all the difference.

Dressed to the nines on the Prevelo Alpha Zero

With a proper sized bike for this age category, your rider should be able to straddle the bike with both feet planted firmly on the ground.

Climb mode on - Prevelo Alpha Zero
Getting ready for the next leg of the ride
Looking good on the Prevelo Alpha Zero - a balance bike for kids

Riding Off Aboard The Prevelo Alpha Zero

If you have a young one who is ready, or soon to start cycling, the Prevelo Alpha Zero is a must-have balance bike. It’s sized right. It’s priced right. It is made so children can begin to learn the fundamentals of riding a bike. The kid sized saddle, handlebars, and grips are specifically designed to make your kid comfortable when they take the plunge into the world of bikes.

Following dad's lead on singletrack aboard the Prevelo Alpha Zero

Shred Til Bed Book – From Kids Ride Shotgun

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Reading the Shred Til Bed book

From the makers of the Kids Ride Shotgun bike seat comes the most captivating page-turner of the year: Shred Til Bed – The MTB Animal Alphabet.

Reading the Shred Til Bed book

A-B-C… Don’t worry. We won’t ruin the ending. This hard-cover book has 52 pages of wonderful illustrations featuring members of the animal kingdom mountain biking across terrain that would send Curious George back to the hospital.

Shred Til Bed - Cover
Shred Til Bed - Gg

Written by Kids Ride Shotgun Co-Founder, Dan Necklen – along with art by Mike Hearsey, the book cleverly pairs mountain biking vernacular with animals that begin with the same letter.

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The illustrations are a a lot of fun and you can keep your kids engaged with the sport rain or shine while introducing and/or reinforcing a tad of extracurricular learning.

Shred Til Bed book - Kk
Ll - Shred Til Bed book from Kids Ride Shotgun

PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 Dropper Post And Loam Lever Review

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PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 dropper and Loam lever review

We subjected a PNW Rainier Gen 3 Dropper Post and PNW Loam Lever to a 13 year-old lad who does his best to put his bike through the wringer over the course of a season. This trio of participants rode hard from Virgin to Bend to Port Angeles. Not one of them gave up. Click the jolly red buttons below to get a live price. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 dropper and Loam lever review

Ahhhh… the dropper post. Over the last few years, this accessory has become mandatory for mountain bikers. With the press of a lever, you raise your saddle to get optimal leg extension on the pedals and then a couple of seconds later – another quick actuation, and the saddle is out of the way for the descending. Doing this over-and-over along a ride adds up. Doing it over the course of a season for avid riders and the count is easily in the tens of thousands if not billions.

PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 dropper post detail

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Right off the bat, we have to let you know that PNW has differentiated itself from other brands by integrating a tool-less travel adjust system. Over the range of 30mm in 5mm increments, you can reduce the travel of the Rainier Gen 3 post. This is cool because as you know, kids grow. Yes – of course you can raise the post out of the seat tube to adjust the height until the minimum allowance of the post is in the seat tube. But if you get the post for your kid early enough, you get over an extra inch over the course of a growth spurt. Very cool.

How The Rainier Gen 3 Tool-less Dropper Adjustment Works

Like your office chair with a similar feature, you just want the dang things to work. Sure, we don’t subject our chairs to dozens of up-and-down cycles over the course of a rigorous shift at the desk, but you get the point. Maintaining a dropper is to be expected, so we were sure to use the dropper for several months before letting you know what we thought about it.

PNW Components Loam Lever Review

How To Install Your PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 Dropper

The Rainier Gen 3 Dropper

With a number of diameters and travel lengths to choose from, it’s simple to find the right model – say one with a 30.9 mm diameter and 150 mm travel. The post consists of a sealed air cartridge designed to hold up to plenty of use. It has internal cable routing, as well as a shortened overall length, meaning that you won’t have to worry about it being too long for the seat tube of your bike.

Installing the Rainier Gen 3 was simple. We liked the fact that the head of the derailleur cable gets attached to the base of the post instead of the lever. This makes it a lot easier to measure, cut and just crimp a cable tip.

PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 Dropper Post Review
PNW Components Loam Grips and Dropper Lever

The Loam Lever

The Loam Dropper Lever is both stylish and functional. It comes in your choice of colors, as long as they’re gray, red, black on black, or even a cool black with seafoam teal accents. It has an ergonomic handle that features an injection-molded pad. It adjusts in two different ways, ensuring that you can comfortably move your seat to the correct height. The lever weighs a mere 32 ounces without the clamp and is compatible with several popular droppers other than the PNW Components Rainier Gen 3. Get bonus style points by adding matchy-matchy PNW Loam Grips to the ensemble.

On the pedals with the Rainier Gen 3 dropper and Loam lever from PNW Components
Descending with the PNW Components dropper and lever

You Will Like This Dropper Post And Lever

The PNW Rainier Gen 3 Dropper and Loam Dropper Lever have held up very well for our kid across six months of heavy use in the desert heat and PNW moisture. We have had no issues with the post sagging, slowing down when traveling, getting stuck in place. It just works. The Loam Lever is still buttery-smooth and has even survived a couple of above-average crashes. We have not had to do any maintenance or adjustments and we are looking forward to seeing how the combo continues to perform. If you’re done with bleeding a dropper or having reliability/maintenance issues with other brands, the offerings from PNW Components are definitely worth a look.

Best Bikes For Kids 1-3 Years Old

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The best bikes for 1 - 3 year olds

Looking for the best bikes For kids 1-3 years old? These 12-inch wheel bikes are made for the smallest riders. Our list includes four balance bikes and one pedal bike. Why? A balance bike is an excellent first step to help your kiddo learn balance and steer on two wheels. No pedals means that your rider will have an easier time learning to balance and will build confidence quickly. For more info on balance bikes check out The Glory of Balance Bikes.

The best bikes for 1 - 3 year olds

Balance bikes

If you are looking for a first bike for your 1-3 year old, we’re true believers in the magic of the balance bike. Balance bikes are the best first step to help your kiddo develop the coordination to balance and steer without having to think about pedaling. Most important, be sure to choose a balance bike that will fit your little one. Be sure the minimum seat height is low enough for your kiddo to sit on the seat with both feet touching the ground. First, measure your child’s inseam length to determine minimum seat height. Then look for a balance bike with the largest diameter wheels that will accommodate your child.

Pedal bikes

If at 2-3 years old, your little rider has already mastered the balance bike, but is still small enough, the Cleary Gecko 12 is an amazing first pedal bike.

Note: Taller 2-3 year old kids may fit better on a 14-inch or even 16-inch wheel bike. Check out our lists of Best 14-inch bikes and Best 16-inch bikes before making a purchase.

Here is an overview of our top five 12-inch wheel bikes 1, 2 and 3 year old kids

Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the size, cost and other data in one place.

Prevelo Alpha Zero

The Alpha Zero balance bike is a great ride to help little ones learn balance before they jump on a pedal bike. Firstly, the Alpha Zero features a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame. Secondly, the Alpha Zero comes with Tektro rear v-brakes with small reach brake levers. This will help your kid learn to brake before they learn to pedal.

As expected, Prevelo goes the extra mile to engineer bikes for kids to be confidence inspiring, easy, and fun to ride as possible. Above all, Prevelo bikes feature low minimum seat heights and low bottom brackets. This geometry places the rider close to the ground (lowering the center of gravity) to help kids feel more confident, learn easier and ride better.

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height11.5in - 15.6in
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame Material6061 Aluminum/Alloy
BrakesRear V-Brakes
Claimed Weight8.5lbs

Strider 12 Classic Balance Bike

The Strider 12 Classic is the traditional entry-level balance bike. There are no unnecessary bells and whistles on this simple and durable balance bike. The Strider Classic 12” balance bike is lightweight to help make learning to ride easier for first time balance bike riders. Importantly, the Strider classic utilizes basic characteristics as the top-selling Strider 12” Sport at an affordable price for the budget-minded family.

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height11in
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesNone
Claimed Weight6.7lbs

Vitus Smoothy Balance Bike

The Vitus Smoothy balance bike is one of the lightest, most durable and stylish on the market. The Smoothy features a unique cast Magnesium frameset that features a useful carry handle and integrated footrests for coasting. The headset upper and lower bearings make the steering control smooth and reliable. Fine tune the height of the handlebars.

Vitus has a specially designed balance bike saddle that features a ‘scoop’ shape so your child will be sat in the correct position all of the time. This ensures they can steer effectively and are positioned perfectly, giving themselves the best possible change of balancing effectively. Also, the seat-post is fully height adjustable allowing room for growth

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height12 inches+
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame MaterialMagnesium
BrakesNone
Claimed Weight7.1 pounds

Woom 1 Balance Bike

The Woom 1 Balance Bike features a high quality and light weight frame and components. Most importantly, the Woom 1 has an extremely low step-through height and an adjustable seat height to fit the smallest riders. Specifically, Woom designed this bike for ages 18 months-4 years or height 32″-39″. In addition, the Woom 1 comes with high quality V-brakes to enable easy braking at an early age.

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height10.2in - 14.5in
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesV-brakes
Claimed Weight7.4lbs

Cleary Gecko 12 Single Speed

The Gecko 12” single speed bike is an great option for introducing cycling to your little one. Firstly, this tiny kids pedal bike is light. In fact, it weighs just 15 pounds for the coaster brake or 13 pounds for the freewheel option. Secondly, the Gecko single speed includes front and rear child-specific hand brakes on both coaster brake bike, and freewheel option. Thirdly, the saddle, grips, handlebars and brake levers are designed for little riders. Fourthly, Cleary designed the bike geometry to enable riders to sit on the seat with their feet safely planted on the ground. Both seat height and reach to the handlebars are adjustable with one bolt, to easily optimize the fit.

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height?
DrivetrainSingle Speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesV-brakes
Claimed Weight13lbs

Comparison chart: Best 12-inch wheel bikes for 1, 2 or 3 year olds 

Prevelo
Alpha Zero
Strider 12 Classic
Balance Bike
Vitus
Smoothy Balance Bike
Woom 1
Balance Bike
Cleary Gecko 12
Single Speed
Saddle Height11.5-15.6 inches11 inches12 inches10.2-14.5 inches?
Drivetrainbalance bikebalance bikebalance bikebalance bikesingle speed
Frame6061 aluminum alloyaluminum alloymagnesiumaluminum alloyaluminum alloy
Brakesrear V brakesnonenoneV brakesV brakes
Claimed Weight8.5 pounds6.7 pounds7.1 pounds7.4 pounds13 pounds
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Best Bikes for Kids 3-4 Years Old

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The best bikes for 3-4 year old boys and girls

Bikes for Kids 3-4 Years Old: There are lots of kids bikes available online. However, many of these bikes are super heavy with cheap full-sized components which make them hard to ride safely. MTBwithkids recommends choosing a bike designed specifically for 3 and 4 year old riders. Our list of best bikes for 3-4 year olds includes balance bikes, pedal bikes and bikes that are designed to transform from balance to pedal bikes. These bikes all have 14-inch wheels and span experience and skill levels from true beginners to little rippers.

The best bikes for 3-4 year old boys and girls

Balance bikes

If your 3-4 year old is just starting to ride, we’d highly recommend choosing a 14-inch wheel balance bike for their first bicycle. Balance bikes are an excellent first step to help your kiddo develop the coordination to balance and steer without having to think about pedaling. When choosing a balance bike, it’s important to be sure that the minimum seat height is low enough. Your kiddo should be able to sit on the seat with both feet touching the ground. You’ll want to measure your child’s inseam length to determine minimum seat height and then look for a balance bike with the largest diameter wheels that will accommodate your child.

Pedal bikes

If at 3 or 4 years old, your little rider has already mastered the balance bike, there are a few manufacturers designing 14-inch wheel kids bikes that are well made, lightweight and fun to ride.

Note: kids on the taller side may fit on a 16-inch wheel bike, so you might want to check out our list of Best 16-inch bikes  before making a purchase.

Here is an overview of our top five 14-inch wheel bikes for 3 or 4 year old kids. 

Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the data in one place.

Strider Balance Bike 14x Sport

Strider 14x Sport Balance Bike

The Strider 14x Sport is an amazing bike that designed to grow with your child. Firstly, the 14x comes with a fully adjustable seat and handlebars to grow with your growing kid.  The 14x starts off as a balance bike, which helps riders gain confidence and balancing ability. Importantly, once your kiddo is ready to pedal, just attach the Easy-Ride Pedal Kit. Converting the 14x from balance bike to pedal bike is quick and easy. The Strider 14x Sport will fit riders 37-49 inches tall (Inseam (16-23 in). This is one of the classic bikes for kids 3-4 years old.

Buy this 14″ wheel kids bike from:

Saddle Height16-23 inches
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame MaterialSteel
BrakesNone
Claimed Weight12.5 pounds
Prevelo Alpha One kid bike

Prevelo Alpha One

The 14″ Alpha One is the smallest pedal bike in the Prevelo lineup and fits most 3 to 4.5 year olds. The Alpha One is packed with features to get little riders off to the right start. Firstly, Prevelo included confidence inspiring low and narrow geometry. Secondly, this lightweight bike is made of 6061 aluminum frame with custom formed tubing with an aluminum alloy fork with chromoly steerer. Finally, stopping is easy with Tektro front and rear v-brakes with small reach brake levers and a rear coaster brake (removable with optional freewheel kit). You will appreciate this kids bike!

Buy this 14-inch wheel kids’ bike from:

Saddle Height15.6-17.5
DrivetrainSingle speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesTektro aluminum V-brakes & coaster brake
Claimed Weight14.4 pounds
Woom 2 kid bike

Woom 2

The Woom 2 was developed specifically for kids that are new to or have only recently begun pedaling. Importantly, this bike is designed with short cranks and a low bottom bracket to enable your child to put their feet on the ground without losing balance. The Woom 2 is a great transition from balance bike to pedal bike and enables fast learning. Woom 2 was designed to fit kids 37″-43” inches tall. A separate freewheel kit is available for purchase.

Buy this 14-inch wheel kids’ bike from:

Saddle Height16-19 inches
DrivetrainSingle speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesCoaster and v-hand brakes
Claimed Weight12 lbs 3 oz.
Prevelo Zulu One kids' bike

Prevelo Zulu One

This bike has to be seen to be believed. It is truly one of the bikes for kids 3-4 years old. See our Prevelo Zulu One Review for photos of this bike in action.  The Prevelo Zulu One packs high performance mountain bike features into a tiny 14-inch wheel size package. Each component is carefully chosen to provide the best performance for young riders ready to mountain bike with mom and dad.

Specifically, the Prevelo Zulu One comes with front and rear disc brakes! Your kid will be safely able to modulate speed and stop quickly when needed. In addition, this amazing little machine features a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and BOXT™ rear stays and forged rear dropouts. Additionally, this 14” bike ships with a bonus short seat post. This adds options for height adjustment. All things considered, you can’t go wrong with the Pevelo Zulu One.

Buy this 14-inch wheel kids’ bike from:

Saddle Height16-25 inches
DrivetrainSingle Speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesTektro hydraulic disc
Claimed Weight15.9 lbs
vitus kid 14 blue best 14 inch wheel bike

Vitus Kid 14

The Kid 14 from Vitus is designed with child specific geometry. This bike is is optimized for agility and control to give your 3 or 4 year old greater confidence. First, the Vitus Kid 14 features child friendly components. This bike boasts short reach adjustable brake levers, smaller diameter handlebar grips and a bespoke chainset. Second, the Kid 14 features single speed gearing and Tektro V-Brakes for easy operation and reliable braking. Third, the Vitus 14 features a reduced Q Factor. This brings the pedals close to the center of the bike to improve pedaling efficiency, Fourth, the 14 features 14″ wheels and all-purpose Vee Speedster tires. Finally, this little bike is equally at home on hard pavement or off-road trails.

Buy this 14-inch wheel kids’ bike from:

Saddle Height16.5-19.5 inches
DrivetrainSingle Speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesTektro V brakes
Claimed Weight13.3 lbs

Comparison chart: Best 14-inch wheel bikes for 3 and 4 year olds 

Strider
14x Sport
Balance Bike
Prevelo
Alpha One
Woom 2Prevelo
Zulu One
Vitus Kid 14
Saddle Height16-23 inches15.6-17.516-19 inches16-25 inches16.6-19.5 inches
Drivetrainbalance bikesingle speedsingle speedsingle speedsingle speed
Framesteelaluminum alloyaluminum alloyaluminum alloyaluminum alloy
BrakesnoneV brakes and coasterV brakes and coasterhydraulic discv brakes
Claimed Weight12.5 pounds14.4 pounds12.2 pounds15.9 pounds13.3 pounds