Teaching a kid how to ride a bike is tough enough without mechanical problems, flat tyres and messy chains. It's high time someone built a smarter learning bike -- and now, one company has.
Last year we wrote about Priority Bikes, a lightweight, low-cost commuter bike designed to be "maintenance free." Its Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded, it delivered the bikes on time, and customers seem really happy with them so far. 5000 bikes later, Priority is now setting its sights a little lower. You know, for kids.
Priority Start is the second product for the NYC-based bike company, and it's designed to make teaching your kid how to ride a bike suck less. An ambitious goal, but from what we've seen so far, it looks like Priority Start might actually pull it off.
For starters, the bike uses the same grease-free belt-drive system found on the original Priority bike. That means less scrubbing your kid later. Good. It's also got that same light-weight aluminium frame which should keep it from rusting.
Priority has also solved the problem of under-inflated tyres -- by using air-free tyres. They have holes in them for shock absorption, so you don't ever need to pump them up. At all. I kinda want that for my bike.
They have come up with a slick training-wheel system that is easily adjustable by hand too. They're calling it the Priority Start System. It has three positions: Position 3 is for beginners, with the training wheels just barely off the ground. Position 2 brings the wheels up a little higher, so the rider can start working on balance. Level 1 is higher still, so the kid can rely on his or her own balance but still have a safety backup. And you can also just remove them altogether when they're ready. This is all done with a simple knob you can turn by hand.
The bike also has a wide, cushy saddle with a built-in handle so you can hold onto them while they're just starting out, and supposedly the whole bike takes just 15 minutes to set up. It will come in two sizes: One with 12-inch wheels for two to four year olds, and one with 16-inch wheels for four to eight year olds. The smaller bike will be $US200 during the Kickstarter campaign -- then $US250 after it ends -- and the larger one will be $US210 during the campaign or $US260 later.
As always, you have to be cautious with Kickstarter projects, but these guys came through with flying colours last time, so hopefully this one will run just as smoothly. The campaign starts today and will go for the next 30 days. So, who's buying one for their kiddo? [Priority Bicycles]