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  1. #1
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    New Lightweight Kids Bikes

    Anyone checked out Pello Bikes? They are some guys from Virginia that are starting a new kids bike company specializing in high quality, lightweight bikes that really fit the way kids ride their bikes.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...-childrens-bic

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  2. #2
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    Good to see someone from here in VA taking up the slack for the kids bike market. These look comparable to the Islabike and Cleary brand.

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    Price and weight seem good, but you lost me at kickstarter.

    Coaster brake on the 16" is also a no go, but does make the sub-15lb weight more impressive.

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    Nice looking bikes, nice weights. I know coaster brakes are required on 14" bikes by law in the US, but it would be nice to see a hand brake added to the 14" model, as well as an option to buy a separate freehub kit. This is how Woom deals with the CPSC regulation.

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    At least for the 20" bike, it seems at quick glance to be indistinguishable from a IslaBikes Beinn. We have one of those, it's amazing and roughly the same cost as what I see on the kickstarter and you can buy one today and have it in a few days.
    Best of luck to these folks, I might just still not understand kickstarter, but unless it has some price or quality improvements over something already on the market, I am not sure why I would sign up for the risk (of not actually getting the product) and the delay in production (inherent in kickstarter projects).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonz View Post
    Nice looking bikes, nice weights. I know coaster brakes are required on 14" bikes by law in the US, but it would be nice to see a hand brake added to the 14" model, as well as an option to buy a separate freehub kit. This is how Woom deals with the CPSC regulation.
    I keep seeing people post this (at least wrt to 16" bikes), but I can walk into most any decent LBS and buy a freewheel equipped 16" bike. Personally I've purchased 2 of them my son, so it seems to be some sort of urban legend to me. Maybe some of the trail bike builders need to look into the regulation a little more closely, or maybe there's a different reason they seem to insist on putting coasters on kids bikes, but companies like Haro, SE, WtP, Cult, Stolen, Sunday, DK, and Verde, among others, all sell little-wheeled bikes in the US without coaster brakes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I keep seeing people post this (at least wrt to 16" bikes), but I can walk into most any decent LBS and buy a freewheel equipped 16" bike. Personally I've purchased 2 of them my son, so it seems to be some sort of urban legend to me. Maybe some of the trail bike builders need to look into the regulation a little more closely, or maybe there's a different reason they seem to insist on putting coasters on kids bikes, but companies like Haro, SE, WtP, Cult, Stolen, Sunday, DK, and Verde, among others, all sell little-wheeled bikes in the US without coaster brakes.
    Seat height is actually the governing factor, not wheel size although there's obviously a correlation. Any bike with a seat height lower than 22" is considered a "sidewalk bike," and thus required to have a coaster brake. The United States Consumer Protection Safety Commission doesn't use the term 'coaster brake', it uses 'foot brake;' here's the exact language excerpted from the FULL REGULATION (the pertinent section is pp 3-5, specifically p5.)

    (e) Sidewalk bicycles.

    (1) Sidewalk bicycles shall not have handbrakes only.

    (2) Sidewalk bicycles with a seat height of 560 mm (22 in) or greater (with seat height adjusted to its lowest position) shall be equipped with a footbrake meeting all the footbrake requirements of § 1512.5(c), including the specified tests except that the braking force transmitted to the rear wheel shall be in accordance with the sidewalk bicycle footbrake force tests, § 1512.18(f).

    (3) Sidewalk bicycles with a seat height less than 560 mm (22 in) (with seat height adjusted to its lowest position) and not equipped with a brake shall not have a freewheel feature. Such sidewalk bicycles equipped with a footbrake shall be tested for brake force in accordance with the sidewalk bicycle footbrake force test, § 1512.18(f). Such sidewalk bicycles not equipped with brakes shall be identified with a permanent label clearly visible from a distance of 3.1 m (10 ft) in daylight conditions and promotional display material and shipping cartons shall prominently display the words ‘‘No Brakes.’’

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    Quote Originally Posted by backinmysaddle View Post
    At least for the 20" bike, it seems at quick glance to be indistinguishable from a IslaBikes Beinn. We have one of those, it's amazing and roughly the same cost as what I see on the kickstarter and you can buy one today and have it in a few days.
    Best of luck to these folks, I might just still not understand kickstarter, but unless it has some price or quality improvements over something already on the market, I am not sure why I would sign up for the risk (of not actually getting the product) and the delay in production (inherent in kickstarter projects).
    +1 on the Islabike Beinn. I just bought a Beinn 20 Large for my daughter and it is a great bike. It boosted her riding capabilities significantly over the 28# Giant MTX she was riding. She now rides up hills she walked up before and has a bunch more confidence.
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  9. #9
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    New Lightweight Kids Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by backinmysaddle View Post
    I might just still not understand kickstarter, but unless it has some price or quality improvements over something already on the market, I am not sure why I would sign up ...
    The reason to back something is because it speaks to you emotionally at some deep enough level that you know you'll get some satisfaction from helping the product become reality.

    My son backs video games that appeal to him, and a few other things too that hit the right triggers for him. Most of what he backs doesn't appeal to me enough for me to bother. And that's ok.

    Recently I signed up as backer for another kids bike, the Priority Start from Priority Bicycles:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...drens-bicycles

    I like the design. Classic look. It appeals to me. My wife let me gift one to a friend whose daughter will be a perfect age when the bike ships.

    The Pello bikes look awfully nice too. Different style of bike. More in the mountain-bike style. I'm liking that 20-inch seven-speed model a lot. I wish I could see more kids on bikes like that, and fewer on those hulkingly-heavy, sub-$100 full-suspension models.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonz View Post

    (3) Sidewalk bicycles with a seat height less than 560 mm (22 in) (with seat height adjusted to its lowest position) and not equipped with a brake shall not have a freewheel feature. Such sidewalk bicycles equipped with a footbrake shall be tested for brake force in accordance with the sidewalk bicycle footbrake force test, § 1512.18(f). Such sidewalk bicycles not equipped with brakes shall be identified with a permanent label clearly visible from a distance of 3.1 m (10 ft) in daylight conditions and promotional display material and shipping cartons shall prominently display the words ‘‘No Brakes.’’[/I]
    Looks like this part gives an out.
    There's gotta be one, because the 16" bikes we've owned have seat heights well below 22", closer to 19". My sons 18" wheeled bike also has seat height below 22", as did his 20" mini race bike. Hell, my BMX bike seat is only 24" right now and I've got a little room to drop it. Typcial 18" wheeled micro-mini seat dropped all the way is well under 20" too. (You can get the top of the seat below the stop of the tire on these).

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  11. #11
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    Looks like the definition of sidewalk bike also gives an out.
    If you can raise the seat to 25" at it's highest point, it's not a sidewalk bike.

    "§1512.2 Definitions.
    For the purposes of this part:

    (a) Bicycle means:

    (1) A two-wheeled vehicle having a rear drive wheel that is solely human-powered;

    (2) A two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph.

    (b) Sidewalk bicycle means a bicycle with a seat height of no more than 635 mm (25.0 in); the seat height is measured with the seat adjusted to its highest position. Recumbent bicycles are not included in this definition."
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  12. #12
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    So what do you suppose is the logic behind requiring specifically a foot brake on a sidewalk bike? I can understand requiring a brake, but am surprised at the specific requirement of a foot brake.

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    I'm going to guess that they're making a general assumption about the typical age/skill level of someone that's going to be riding a bike that small versus the ability to safely operate hand brakes.

    I think there's also a way around it if you label the bike 'for competition use only' or something along those lines. Sorta like they do with motocross bikes.

    My son just made the jump to 26" wheels for mtb, so it's not an issue for me, but for those of you with young rippers looking for real bikes, I might try to talk to the people at the smaller companies and see why exactly they're sticking with the coasters. Maybe they don't realize that they've got options.
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  14. #14
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    I've honestly only taken a cursory look at the regulation and haven't tried to pick it apart. I'm sure some companies install a coaster even if there is a go-around just to cover their butts from potential litigation, and conversely some companies are just plain noncompliant.

    All I know is that my 3 1/2 y.o. has a 10" kick bike and a Commencal 14" pedal bike that both have hand brakes and the Commencal has a free hub - he can operate the handbrake without any trouble at all. I went with Commencal specifically because I thought it was the best value on a 14" that did not have a coaster brake.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I'm going to guess that they're making a general assumption about the typical age/skill level of someone that's going to be riding a bike that small versus the ability to safely operate hand brakes.
    I bet you're right. I wonder whether it's generally a valid assumption. My neighbor's three-year-old was struggling the other week with the footbrake. I could see the fear in the kid's face. Pretty sure he would have had more fun with a handbrake.

    I like that the 16" and higher models also have a handbrake. I don't mind the coaster brake, but I do like the addition of the handbrake on the 16er.

  16. #16
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    Good looking stuff
    Will be in the market in a year-year and a half
    Can't wait!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fanofcycling View Post
    Anyone checked out Pello Bikes? They are some guys from Virginia that are starting a new kids bike company specializing in high quality, lightweight bikes that really fit the way kids ride their bikes.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...-childrens-bic

    pellobikes.com
    I just don't see the "kickstarting" here.
    Better bikes are already available. Examples:
    Cleary bikes
    Spawn Cycles
    Early Rider
    Hoy Bikes
    Isla Bikes

    As someone mentioned before: coaster brakes are a cheap solution for cheap bikes. They don't make any sense while a very good alternative exists (The Tektro linear pull brakes on the Cleary Hedgehog, along with very short-reach levers, are way better than a coaster brake)

    The mumbo-jumbo about weight saving need to be backed by real figures; these guys never mentioned how much their bikes really weight.

    The tires are the CHEAPEST available - the same ones you can find on a 50$ toy bike.

    The gripshift on the "Rover" model indicates a serious misunderstanding of kids ergonomics. Just from searching this forum, you can easily discover that kids have a really hard time operating this type of shifter, and that trigger shifters work better for them.

    So: I don't see here any advantage over existing products. Just a marketing trick to sell low-to-medium-level off-the-shelve bikes, with no development and no special features.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by oren_hershco View Post
    I just don't see the "kickstarting" here.
    Better bikes are already available.
    Wow. Can't we just be glad for a guy who wants to provide nice bikes for kids? I'm pretty sure there's room in the marketplace for more options. The Pello bikes look quite nice and I'd love to see more of them around the neighborhood and fewer of the Walmart variety.

    As someone mentioned before: coaster brakes are a cheap solution for cheap bikes.
    He's got a handbrake on all but the smallest model. I can live w/that. Also think about the average parent. We enthusiasts may not want coaster brakes, but the typical parent might see the lack of them as a negative. Or maybe it comes down to controlling the unit cost so as to hit a price point.

    The mumbo-jumbo about weight saving need to be backed by real figures; these guys never mentioned how much their bikes really weight.
    There are numbers given in the specs on the Pello Bikes website. The Rover 20" 7-speed is listed as "sub-20 pounds". The Isla Bikes 20" 7-speed as a point of comparison is listed at 17.3 pounds. Same ballpark. The real contrast will be when you weigh a Walmart bike.

    Keep in mind that the Kickstarter marketing campaign is almost certainly aimed not at us enthusiasts but at the average person who's child is probably on a 40-pounder from the nearest Big Box store.

    The gripshift on the "Rover" model indicates a serious misunderstanding of kids ergonomics.
    I don't like grip shifts either. Every kid with a grip shifter who looks at my bikes with trigger shifters immediately wants triggers. And I mean every single time.

    Isla Bikes specs a grip shifter on their 7-speed. Must be a cost issue. Grips probably are cheaper. I do agree w/you though. I don't like 'em for kids.

    So: I don't see here any advantage over existing products. Just a marketing trick to sell low-to-medium-level off-the-shelve bikes, with no development and no special features.
    And this is different from all the other brands how? We all know how and where bikes are made. They are all "marketing tricks" differentiated by paint and geometry and component choices.

    This guy wants to start a business. He's identified bikes. He's carved out a niche. Sure there is competition, but he's going to jump in the fray and hopefully win a piece of the action for himself. That is how business works, and I hope he is successful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    Wow. Can't we just be glad for a guy who wants to provide nice bikes for kids?
    If this was just a press release about a new bike brand, yes we could all just be happy for them.

    But they're asking for you and me to front the money to start their business, to shoulder all the risk, with our only potential reward a bike at the end. I think it's appropriate to be critical here. Why would I spend $300 on a bike I may or may not get at some undetermined point in the future? Kids grow fast, and there is no differentiation between these and any of the brands people have listed above.

    And I'm guessing by the slow backing rate that most people feel the same.

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    Ok. Yeah. I see your point. I'm not bothered by Pello Bikes asking for support, but I do get what you're saying.

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    that light of a bike for the price of a 20" Specialized or Trek is worthy of a kickstarter, if someone has a kid that won't need it for a year, just to be sure. I would still want to buy a new crank for it, but that's my problem for living in hills. I wouldn't know where to go buy any of those brands you listed above, so maybe a kickstarter is fine if I have more than enough lead time.

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