FEBRUARY 17, 2016 BY
Last year we got Mtn Papa a fat bike for Christmas. Since then, the kids have been asking about a kids fat bike that is more their size. Fat bikes in general are still a fairly new market, and kids’ ones are even harder to find. They virtually don’t exist for anything smaller than 20″, but I honestly don’t think kids smaller than that would have the strength to successfully ride them. They tend to be heavier, and fighting more resistance through the snow makes it really quite different than riding a “regular” bike.
To clarify – fat bikes aren’t JUST for snow. They work great on sand, mud, dirt and hitting up trails all over. We will be continuing to test out and review this bike as the weather changes too. As always, we’ll update our review as necessary.
TykesBykes makes THE most affordable alloy framed 20″ fat bike on the market. For comparison, Walmart sells some fat bikes now, but they come in at around 40 lbs which is a HUGE jump in weight. Specialized also makes a fat bike for kids, but it costs over twice as much as this one ($770). The Fat Byke also boasts disc brakes and easy shifting.
This is also their first round making the Fat Byke. So slight improvements are already in the works.
So, here’s the quick specs:
– Built for kids aged 7-12. We were a little worried J would be too small on it, but it works…and will be even better later this year for him.
– Minimum inseam height is 22”
– Maximum seat height is 30”
– Adjustable handlebars
– Custom sized grips
– Easy to reach brake levers
– Smooth & easy shifting
– Weight 30 LBS
– Alloy frame, Steel fork,
– 20” x 4” All Terrain tire to tackle anything
– Drilled Alloy rims
– Custom Lock on grips,
– Easy reach brake levers and easy to use gear shifter
– Front and Rear disc brakes for awesome stopping power
– Shimano Tourney 7 Speed Drive-train
– Alloy components to reduce weight and increase durability
– 85% Assembled, includes reflectors
We’ve been spoiled with super lightweight bikes in recent years, so the weight really did surprise J right away. To be honest, his bike is heavier than his dad’s bike. BUT, again, we know that we are sacrificing some weight for a better price point. I love my kids, but the likelihood of going out and spending almost $800 on a bike isn’t that high. At least for a quickly-growing 6 (almost 7) year old. However, the lightest we can get at a more affordable price point is ideal – we want him to have FUN on it, not see it as a burden.
He (and we) also noticed that it just takes some getting used to being on fat tires and softer snow. He just isn’t going to be pushing through a few inches of powder or heavy snow, at least at his size and strength. I’ll be interested to see how that improves as he gets older and stronger. He is most definitely at the small end of fitting the bike. He stands over it fine and reaches it fine, but we’ve found that snow bikes in particular tend to be a little easier when they are on the smaller side in relation to the rider. Again, something we knew going into the review, but will update as time (and growth) allows.
We wish it came with some lower gears to make going through the snow, etc. easier. When I talked to TykesBykes they let me know that this was actually the plan and didn’t turn out how they intended on a first production run. Going forward they will have either 7 or 9 speed options with at least a 34 tooth in the rear and 32 up front. We think this will make a huge difference, and we will be retrofitting ours with a rear freehub set at least (and, again, will update review).
We think the geometry and components are spot-on and can’t wait to take it out on some trails this spring and summer. For now, it’s a great fun challenge for J to be trying something new.
Finally, we found that at the beginning, it was really helpful to have him ride on downhill trails/roads. That way he could focus more on learning how to handle the bike on the snow and less worrying about uphills and extra effort. Again, the idea is for him to be excited about it and have fun, not JUST to say he rode a snow bike!
Try one out!
Tykesbykes are going to be at the National Fat Bike Championship in Ogden Utah on Feb 27th and will have demo bikes available for anybody to try out – so if you’re local to that area, this is your chance!
They are on sale right now at Amazon for $360. A rockin’ deal for a fat bike. Thanks for clicking through that Amazonaffiliate link too! TykesBykes is also having their winter sale and their Fat Byke is 30% off (so $350). A great opportunity to snag one!
The Bottom Line
While we think some slight improvements will really make a big difference, the is a great bike for the price. And the potential is huge for riding – snow, trails, sand, etc. Unless you’re willing to spend upwards of $600+ on a snow bike for your kiddo, THIS is the bike you want!
TykesBykes generously provided us this bike in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here. If you’ve found this review helpful, you always appreciate you supporting us (see the top of the right sidebar for directions on how to make a donation for our efforts)! Thank you!
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