As summer arrived last year, getting a pedal bike was the talk of the town in our house. Our two and a half year old had been riding his balance bike for almost a year. And all he could talk about lately on our bike rides was when he would get pedals. “When will my bike have pedals?” “Can I add pedals?” “When I get a little older, I’ll have pedals on my bike, just like you!” etc. We had talked about trying to get a pedal bike around his 3rd birthday as a gift. So I started looking in summer time and, let me tell you, bikes were scarce last summer! New bikes, used Woom 2 bikes, nope. Nothing! I put a pre-order in to Woom in July. I finally got notified in September that it would be soon! And the bike arrived in October. So here’s our Woom bike review of the Woom 2, almost one year into owning it.
Deciding on Woom Bikes
I did a ton of research on pedal bikes. As a younger and small rider (not quite 3 years old and a little under 36″ tall) we wanted something he would be able to ride easily and that would grow with him. For his balance bike we had the Strider Sport and it was great. He learned easily and he’s put a ton of miles on it. But since a pedal bike is a bit heavy naturally with the pedals and brakes etc, we decided that we were willing to spend a bit more.
Woom 2 vs Strider 14x
We briefly looked at the Strider 14X but decided against it because of the small pedal size and bike size. It seemed much more geared for an older and larger kiddo to learn the balance bike part and then slap wheels on it. While I didn’t know how long it would take him to learn to pedal, I figured the Strider wasn’t worth the price savings for our family if he learned to pedal and then outgrew the rest of the need of this bike in like 2 months. Ultimately, it would have been a more expensive option for us.
A few neighbors have the Woom kids bikes, from the Woom 1 balance bike to the Woom 2 and Woom 3. Their kids all loved the bikes, and the bikes seem to still have a great resale value, so great that I couldn’t even find any used ones. So we decided on the Woom as well. We put a pre-order in for the 14″ Woom 2 (without the freewheel kit). And waited for our order updates.
Woom Pre-Orders and the Long Wait
Next up, waiting for the Woom bike updates and making no promises to our kiddo. We told him that we were on a waitlist and talked about getting a bike in the fall. So he asked about it but didn’t know too many specifics. The last thing I wanted was to talk about the bike not being here yet every. single. day. in 2020. The wait system seemed to change slightly from when we first got on the list.
I finally I got the email that we could actually check out and buy the bike. Then it was just waiting for it. It felt a little odd that we had to pay upfront vs it being a hold on the card and then charged just before shipping, but in the end we got the bike so it worked out. We also had to pay for shipping and when you’re buy a $300 kids bike it just rubs you the wrong way. I mean raise the price of the bike $20 and say it’s free shipping. It just is one of those things that is annoying to me!
The Bike Arrives! Our Woom 2 Review
The bike finally arrived and the setup was easy and pretty much ready to go out of the box. It’s kind of amazing how much bigger this bike is than his balance bike in comparison. We lowered the seat almost all the way (and ended up raising it back up a bit so he could have pedal power) and we were off. He walked it around the block and we held onto him while he tried to get the hang of pedaling. We also realized he has had no experience really with the circular motion of pedaling. While we had a handled push trike for awhile, the strange design of it meant that his feet never did end up reaching the pedals! So he spent a day trying to pedal the Woom 2 bike around while we held him upright. And I was wondering how long this pedaling would take.
The next morning, his bff came over, and she had just gotten a pedal bike too (The Spawn Cycles Yoji 14″ bike). She ran along side him and while I held onto the hood of his vest and off he went while I ran along side and her cheering him on “you’re doing it! you’re doing it!” It was one of the sweetest things of all time. And just like that, he was off on his first pedal bike ride! My heart!
The Woom 2 is 12.3 pounds, in comparison to 6.7 pounds of the Strider 12 Sport balance bike that we were moving up from. So this is a significant weight increase if you’re moving up from a balance bike.
The Strider Sport seat height was 11-19″ and we were at about 15″ when we moved to the Woom 2. The Woom 2 minimum seat height is 16″, with stand over height of 14.2″. However, we found that having the seat at the lowest setting was handy for getting on the bike, but not high enough for them to get the right angle for pedaling momentum.
And the handlebar height of the Strider is 18-22″, while the Woom2 is 24.6″. (Strider says inseam of 12-20″).
The Woom 2 also features a plastic chain guard that keeps the chain away from legs and getting things caught in it. Super cool feature.
Unlike the Strider 12 Sport, which has quick release clamps for the seat and handlebars, the Woom 2 needs a tool, but it’s still really quick to do.
Hand Brakes / Brake Lever Color Guide
Woom 2 has both front and rear hand brakes and color codes the rear brake as green to teach them to use rear for safe stopping. The hand brakes are also adjustable so you can move them closer to the grips for smaller hands.
The Woom 2 has 14″ x 1.4″ air tires with reflective striping. These tires are a little thinner and more city bike than our friends’ Spawn Cycle bike which is more mountain bike feel. But overall comparable to the Strider, but the Woom has better stopping and road grip.
The geometry of the Woom is what most parents love. It’s great for smaller riders especially, being lightweight and a lower “entry” point than many first pedal bikes on the market.
Back Pedal / Free Wheel / Coaster Brake
As much as everyone warned that we’d really need the Freewheel and not to use coast brake because it’s harder for kids to learn how to pedal a bike… spoiler alert: it worked out fine. He learned to pedal in 2 days after just turning 3 years old that month. And without having any pedaling experience (like from a trike etc). I attribute this to his love of riding his balance bike. So maybe if you’re starting from scratch with a first pedal bike or if a child isn’t really into the idea of learning the bike. But in our case it was fine. And we’ll deal with no coaster brakes when we get the next size up.
The kickstand on the Woom 2 was a surprising feature that we love! I love the independence that it’s creating. Our little guy loves to kick the kickstand up and down. We’ll probably wear it out! Ha! But this is an item that not all 14″ pedal bikes have, so worth mentioning.
9 Months Later – First Pedal Bike Success!
3 months in, we were trading back and forth with his Strider bike and his Woom 2. 9 months in, and he rides the Woom bike about 90% of the time. It’s been the best first pedal bike for our three year old! We still take the Strider balance bikes for off-road type trail biking in Forest Park, when we’re camping or going somewhere with more limited space, or when it snowed here in Portland and he wanted to do “fat tire” biking. But most of the time, in the neighborhood, he wants to ride his pedal bike. He can get himself started from a full stop by pushing off with one foot. And in the last few months, he’s also watched other kids “stand up pedal”, so he’s been really excited to practice that skill too.
He’s learning to use the back pedal brake and hand brake. One of the [probably not] surprising things is just how much faster they can go on a pedal bike. Where I’d be fast walking or jogging after the strider, sometimes now I’m in a full out sprint along side him. So we’ve definitely had to talk a lot more about safety and cars. Our neighborhood is pretty slow, but still the most nerve wracking is probably driveways and people backing out without looking. So we have to be really on top of that.
So now on our street we have a little Woom Bike gang, with 2 other little ones his age out on their Woom 2s. Pretty adorable. We’re loving this bike so much that we’ll definitely be upgrading to the Woom 3 when he outgrows this one. Next up, he’s after a bike bell and a bike basket for his Woom bike. I hope you’ve found this Woom 2 review useful, and if you have any questions, please let me know!