Our son turned 4 a few weeks ago and was absolutely delighted to be presented with a brand new E-350 from ByK Bikes on the morning of his 4th Birthday! A big step up from his old hand-me-down 12 inch kids bike, the ByK E-350 bike has been a huge hit because it is light weight and so easy to ride! ByK pride themselves on having the ‘best kids bikes on the market’ and from what we have seen we have to agree & we love the safety factor!
I should say from the start that our just-turned-4-year-old has been a bike riding fan since he could walk. He took much better to a pedal bike with training wheels than the balance bike, and was just over 3 when his training wheels were removed. When the ByK Bikes website indicated that the E-350 is designed for kids aged 4-6years, I actually went in to see the good folks at Bicycle Express on Halifax St before ordering just to make sure James would be able to reach the pedals/ground/seat etc. As with many parents, for a few minutes I considered whether I could stretch him up to the bigger E-450 to ‘make the bike last longer’, but better judgement kicked in. Getting a bike too big would have shattered my keen rider’s confidence and, since he is loving the bike riding so much, we didn’t want him to hit the brakes (haha, get it?) by buying a bike out of his comfort zone. The E-350 fits our reasonably tall, just-turned-4-year-old well. He could probably have been on it 6months ago but only just, as it’s the height of the middle bar that they need to straddle that would be the problem on smaller kids.
We picked up James’ new ByK E-350 bike on the morning of his 4th birthday and to say it has been a huge hit is an understatement. It has been very easy to see what a difference having a well designed bike makes – for younger kids especially. Before we got the new ByK bike I’d kind of figured that a bike was a bike and I’m sure I learnt on some second hand no name ride. But since we upgraded to the E-350 ByK our little rider has really progressed with his riding skills and, more importantly, with his confidence – and shown that a good bike can make a big difference. The folks at Bicycle Express actually built the bike for us and put the included training wheels on it when we picked it up, so on the first day the birthday boy rode it with training wheels on. That afternoon he requested we remove the training wheels and spent a day or so happily riding straight with a slightly wobbly turning circle due to the larger, unfamiliar frame. Once he had practised cornering a little more he was off and racing and has been riding almost every day since then.
When he first started riding the new ByK bike I actually wondered if it was the right size. The frame is a different shape than his cheap old bike, with bigger wheels and he leans further forward in a posture much more like the way an adult rides. As it turns out, this is all part of the great design of the ByK bikes -with the longer wheel base, larger wheels and better ergonomics making the bike easier to balance and handle for kids. ByK bikes are also super light weight (the E-350 is a lot bigger but a lot lighter than my son’s old toddler bike) and have a very low resistance which makes it easier to pedal and means little legs don’t tire so quickly. The quality design of the ByK bikes, with lower centre of gravity and lighter weight frames also makes them a lot safer – something I rate highly as my little 4 year old races around the tracks with kids twice his age! If he falls (which is far less often on the new ByK bike), the light weight bike is easy to pickup and get straight back on again – important to help kids get back up and try again especially when learning.
One week after getting his new ByK bike, our 4 year old rode over 8km along the beach pathway from West Beach to Grange and back – and two days later rode another 9+km to the Christmas Pageant and without complaining once! The E-350 has the same footbrake that most kids bikes have, but also has 2 handbrakes which is great for getting kids used to handbrakes as they get older and transition to a bike with handbrakes only. Our son has already started using these handbrakes on paved surfaces. While I’m here – a quick word about the ByK helmet (in matching blue for a very happy kid!). Easily the best fitting of the 4 kids helmets we have tried so far, the adjustable ByK E-50 helmet is light weight, easy to fit securely, has a great sun visor and a great safety rating!
Off the sealed tracks, our new E-350 has seen a jump in ability and confidence on the BMX tracks as well. He has been hitting the local tracks for the past few months, and the new ByK bike, having a lot less resistance when pedaling, has meant that he finds it a lot easier to get up the larger ‘jumps’ on the intermediate tracks. The photos above were taken at the BMX tracks on the corner of Greenhill Road/Unley Road – where the intermediate track is now a huge hit thanks to the smoother, easier ride. James is super happy to be able to ride the same track with confidence that he sees all the big kids on!
Overall, we have found the kids ByK E-350 Bike to be a fantastic bike for our just turned 4 year old. Already a bike fan, the E-350 has given him a huge burst of confidence on the BMX tracks and allowed our family to extend our rides to over 10km with the 4 year old pedalling the whole way without a single complaint about tired legs! The light weight and low resistance of the ByK bike helps make sure more energy is used on having fun and less on simple pedalling!
*This ByK E-350 bike was received by Kids in Adelaide, at our request, for the purposes of an unpaid review. All opinions and images are our own. For more info on ByK bikes including stockists go to the ByK Bikes website