Last year, we started to let Angel learn to cycle on a two-wheel bicycle. I don't think there is a 'right' age to learn cycling but I just thought she was ready to move on. Some people have told me that all it took was one session for their kid to master how to cycle, and all they had to do was to hold the bike, run along with the kid for a while, let go and the kid will learn to pedal on his own. In fact, one of them told me that half an hour was all I needed.
It sounded too good to be true and indeed, it didn't work out as such in our case. At the end of each of the first two 1-hour sessions, I was exhausted, my back was aching, my leg were tired, and my girl still had not learnt how to pedal and balance on her own. I didn't want to give up but I didn't want to force her into doing it it, so we decided to take things slower and we went back home to let her practise more on her balance bike for the next couple of months.
Although she could already ride her balance bike, I asked her to accelerate a bit more, let her conquer steeper slopes and made sure she was able to control the bike and not let it control her when winding round turns. When she seemed to be more confident, we went to the park again to rent a two-wheel bicycle to try.
By this time, I was already heavily pregnant and despite the hubby's advice, I went on to follow my big girl, helped her to start off, steadied her when she started pedaling and lo and behold - after a few tries, she took off and did it on her own! It was amazing to see her do it and I had this immense sense of satisfaction in me when she rode past the daddy and the little sister who were building sandcastles by the beach. "That's my girl! She can now cycle! Woohoo!", I said to myself as I jumped for joy. It was yet another precious milestone which I will remember for a long time.
So, the next step was for us to own a two-wheel bike so she could continue to practise! Considering that my girl was still not very skillful in turning and that she is not tall for her age, I thought that her first real bicycle had to be two-wheeled yet not too bulky, tall or hard to maneuver. So when tikes N bikes sent us the new KinderBike Morph, one look told me that the size was just right.
To have a hybrid bike that converts easily and quickly from a balance bike to a pedal bike, you are getting the best of both worlds. So, we tried the KinderBike Morph and here is our take on it.
What we like about KinderBike Morph
1) It grows with your child from 3 to 6+ years old and fits heights between 90cm and 120cm.
That also means that if you have more than one kid, they can share the bike or the elder one can pass on to the younger one when he/she progresses to a bigger bike.
2) Unlike EVA foam wheels, it features pneumatic air tyres which mimics a real bike in terms of a cushioned ride. This means there is more traction and suspension.
I actually like my girl to use a bike that feels like the real thing but the downside about this is that the bike will be heavier and harder to carry.
3) Converts easily using an innovative technology called v channel lock system with minimal assembly.
All you need to do is to loosen two screws with the provided allen key, slide out the back wheel portion, slide in the other wheel (one has pedals attached and the other doesn't), screw back tightly and you are done! If I can do it, anyone can do it too!
4) Adjustable handlebar height
At 110cm tall, Angel found it hard to pedal initially as her knees kept hitting the handlebar when she cycled. Then we discovered that the handlebar height was adjustable and when we put it to the highest, it worked perfectly for her.
5) Padded saddle seat which is height and angle adjustable
The padded seat feels comfortable and more importantly, it can be raised or lowered (12.4" to 21.5" tall) quickly using a snap release. You can also unscrew to loosen and tilt the seat based on your child's preference.
6) Includes a front reflector
While we do go cycling at night, we seldom do it on the road. Nonetheless, we still attach front lights to the kids' bikes and it helps that the Morph comes with a front reflector too.
7) Two length seat posts
Having long and short seat posts means you can easily adjust the height of the seat to suit your child's needs.
8) Coaster brake (pedal backwards to brake)
At first, we were puzzled by the pedals which could not go backwards like normal bikes. This made it hard for Angel to learn to start off since she had some difficulty moving the pedal to the top position. However, then we realised it was because once you pedal backwards, you brake - which actually makes it easier for the kid to learn to brake and helps to prevent accidents.
9) Lifetime warranty on the frame and one year on parts
Besides the warranty, another good news is that the parts of the bike can be obtained from a normal bike shop and you do not have to go back to the supplier.
10) Easy assembly
Putting the bike together is quite straightforward and if yours is pre-assembled, our advice is to make sure that all the screws are tight and everything is intact. This was because the handlebar and pedals on ours were loose and came off after a while, however, once we tightened them, everything worked well.
What we don't like so much about KinderBike Morph
1) Not as lightweight as we thought
At 8.5 pounds, or nearly 3.9kg, it is not as light as our previous balance bike and thus the kids are unable to carry it on their own. However, this is mainly because of the aluminium body and the fact that it uses air, not foam, tires.
2) Relatively narrow handlebar grips
After a couple of tries, Angel mentioned that her hands felt a little painful and we realised that the handlebar grips were almost too short for the width of the palms. To solve this problem, she had to wear a pair of gloves which was something that delighted her. You can also try getting new grips from a bike store. We've brought this point up to the supplier, who did a check and mentioned that KinderBike HQ will be able to supply bigger hand grips too.
3) Small 12" wheels
For a pedal bike, this one is petite and while it fits young children who are not too tall or confident to cycle, it also means that they won't be able to go too fast on these 12" wheels. It can be a good or bad thing and the way I see it, Angel is going to progress to a 16" wheels pretty soon and this bike will be passed on to Ariel.
Overall, we are pretty pleased with the KinderBike Morph and the kids have been wanting to go out often to cycle and ride ever since we received it. You can see them in action here!
Here's Ariel trying out the balance bike.
Here's Angel enjoying herself on the pedal bike.
For now, I'm definitely looking forward to the day when we can go cycling together as a family!
For those who are keen to win a KinderBike Morph for your kid, good news!
- This giveaway is open to all readers residing in Singapore only
- Please take part only if you have a child aged 3 to 6+ years old and is between 90cm and 120cm in height
- Prize will have to be self collected from tikes N bikes (2 Jurong East St 21 #02-154 IMM Building Singapore 609601. Open on Saturdays 10am-4pm; Tue-Thur 10am-6pm, please call 64255279 in advance for weekday visits)
- Winner can choose his/her desired colour (red/ blue/ green/ purple) and this is subject to availability
- This giveaway ends on 9 Mar 2359hrs. Results will be announced here and on Facebook the next day. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 72 hours to reply, or a new winner will be picked.
To participate, leave a comment in this blog post with your name, email address and choice of bike colour. Indicate in the Rafflecopter widget that you have commented and to increase your chances of winning, you can choose to carry out the rest of the options. Best of luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: We received a Kinderbike Morph from tikes N Bikes in doing this review. All opinions are our own.