Friday, 28 October 2011

Review - Byk250

The Byk250 is marketed as being different to other kids' bikes. Our son (the middle child) has had one since about age 2.
They claim that's it's lighter; the frame is aluminium and not steel. That's undoubtedly true; I reckon it's a kilo or two lighter than a typical kids' bike. They claim it's easier to pedal, presumably because it has narrow slick tyres. Hard to say for sure, but I can believe it. It has slightly bigger rims that usual along with the skinnier tyres, so the overall diameter is about the same as on a standard 12". The rims are aluminium these days, which makes a nice change from steel.
I gather it has shorter crank arms than normal. I don't quite know what that's all about. They have apparently done all funky stuff with the geometry. The seat tube is quite short, which means low stepover. This is a good, good thing for small kids. A lot of 12" bikes won't let smaller kids' feet touch the ground.
It's got a hand-operated front brake, which could come in handy as they get older; coaster brakes aren't ideal for speed control.
The seatpost bolt is quick-release; that's a nice touch. It comes with a detachable handle too, which is good; you will be called on to push.
It's not cheap, unfortunately, at about 250 AUD. I'm reliably informed that bikes can be had from the tip shop for $3 if you don't mind fixed gear bikes with solid plastic wheels and solid tyres. The idea of a 2yo on a brakeless fixie doesn't thrill me, though.
In some ways, a trike or a pushbike is a better idea. Trikes are stabler and lower-geared. Pushbikes are better for teaching balance, plus they cope better with uneven ground. These are criticisms of the general concept, though; the Byk is a very good example of a small kids' bike.
The ultimate test: what's the rider reckon? He loves it.

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