There is nothing more pleasing to hear than the unbridled laughter of children. It doesn’t matter if it’s your child laughing or someone else’s, it just fills us with joy. I learned a lesson about children – based on the reaction / action of my own in this case – and their determination to have fun. And it all had to do with my passion: the bicycle.
Late in 2014 Downtube introduced our belt drive mini model. In early 2015 we decided to go out to a park to do a photo shoot with these new models. My daughter, seven years old athte time, asked if she could ride the 16" wheel mini. As a protective parent I said, “No.” I simply thought she was not ready. However, she was persistent, very persistent. So, at the end of the shoot I let her try the bike with my fingers crossed. I decided I would run alongside her just in case she needed help. Oh, sometimes we parents underestimate the power of children’s desires. She was amazing on the bike. In no time she was whizzing around the park - and daddy couldn't keep up. I was astonished and proud at the same time. She looked like a natural. My fears were unfounded. We took an awesome photo of her on the bike. Here’s one of them. Look at how happy she is!
After I posted this photo on our website I got a lot phone calls from parents who were looking for a one-bike solution for their child. They didn’t want to have to buy a new bike every couple years as their children grew. We ended up selling a bunch of mini's thanks to my daughter and her curiosity.
For parents looking to use a folding bike please make sure of the following:
1. FYI there are two different sized 16" wheels.Purchase a 16" ( 305 mm ) wheel bike. 16" ( 349 mm ) may be too big for the younger kids.
2. While it is important to put the saddle all the way down, you need to make sure the saddle pipe does not hit the road underneath. If it does, you will need to get out the hacksaw and cut the saddle post down an inch or two.
3. You should also push the saddle forward as much as possible. This will bring your child closer to the handlebars for more comfort and better steering.
4. Rotating the handlebars so the 'rise' portion is facing the saddle shortens the top tube on the bike. This too will make it easier for your child to ride the bike safely and comfortably.
5. If you plan to make modifications change the cranks. Normally folding bikes use 170mm cranks, moving closer to 155mm would be better for a child.