Thu. Sep 19th, 2019

Off-Street Ultralight: Euro Youngsters’ Bike Model woom Hits US

The Austrian youngsters’ bike model woom, already ubiquitous in Europe, is tackling a trickier American market with its first off-road ultralight bicycle.

Household-founded in Vienna in 2013, woom — like “zoom” — makes a line of light-weight bikes for youths ages 1 and a half by 14. The colourful aluminum sequence, starting from a low step-through steadiness bike as much as an around-town 26er for teenagers, has caught on in Europe, the place using bikes is already an integral a part of life.

woom_off_girl-in-waterPhotograph credit score: woom

For perspective, woom is the preferred youngsters’s bike model within the German-speaking area, with a 35-percent market share in Austria. It’s forecasting 100 p.c year-over-year progress, and final month alone, woom Europe achieved the whole turnover of the earlier yr, in accordance with CEO Marcus Ihlenfeld.

Now woom, from headquarters in Austin, Texas, is after the U.S. market with the just-launched woom OFF, a modern, all-black, gravel-friendly, off-road bike. It would simply be a magnet for Individuals, who are likely to need extra weekend journey, and fewer on a regular basis commuter, of their bikes.

Plus, Ihlenfeld notes that the light-weight woom OFF is true on the cusp of rising momentum in youth mountain bike racing within the U.S.

woom_off_in-woodsPhotograph credit score: woom

Briefly: The woom OFF is presently obtainable in 20-, 24-, and 26-inch fashions beginning at $669 and topping out at $699. The worth level is larger than comparable youngsters’ bikes.

However the model delivers a number of options that may make the worth tag value it: extremely low weight, fully kid-specific geometry, and succesful parts made for little our bodies — and minds.

woom OFF Lightest Youngsters’ Mountain Bike

My son, 11, was one of some to check experience the primary woom OFF at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, Colorado. The very first thing he observed was the minuscule weight of this bike.

When evaluating the 24-inch woom OFF 5 ($679) to his present Big of the identical wheel dimension, his jaw dropped. He instantly tried lifting the bike above his head. At just below 19 kilos, the bike cooperated with ease.

Woom-OFF-5-light-weightPhotograph credit score: Logan Bonjean

In accordance with the model, the woom OFF is the lightest youth mountain bike available on the market. In truth, the typical woom bike is 40 p.c lighter than the traditional youngsters’s bike.

And weight issues in a baby’s experience. Whenever you’re little, it’s more durable to do all the pieces — climb, bounce, nook, push, and so on. — with an excessive amount of bulk. That may make the game more durable to study and typically much less enjoyable to do.

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Within the OFF, woom achieves a weight-conscious but extremely sturdy experience principally by a seamless aluminum body that’s hydroformed (formed) for top precision and mechanical power.

Extra weight financial savings come within the type of double-chamber aluminum rims, disc brakes, and an ultralight customized carbon fork, which weighs a measly 11.6 ounces.

woom_off_outsidePhotograph credit score: woom

We additionally observed that the woom OFF 5’s knobby Schwalbe tires and kid-specific design (low high tube, low middle of gravity, and lengthy wheelbase) made the bike experience “larger.”

And with a convertible stem that you simply flip to make longer and a quick-adjusting seat publish meant for youths as much as four’9″, we knew it nonetheless had some rising room. That meant my lean, reasonably tall tween was going to get one other full season or two out of it.

woom OFF 5 Put to the Check

My son examined the woom OFF 5 on grass, gravel, concrete, dust, sand, and a variety of park options starting from rocks and ramps to banks and drops. We tried to maintain up.

Voom-OFF-5-in-dirtPhotograph credit score: Logan Bonjean

The burden clearly made the nine-gear bike straightforward to deal with and climb up hills. Though the setup was completely different from his present bike, he rapidly found out the one-sided SRAM set off shifter.

Woom’s signature chainring “stops” additionally prevented any inconvenient drops. That may be a problem for somebody (who shall stay anonymous) who likes to shift on the mistaken occasions, particularly when standing up. And since the model develops 85 p.c of its bike components, there are kid-specific ergonomic parts from stem to crank.

Woom-OFF-balancingPhotograph credit score: Logan Bonjean

woom OFF 5: A Few Drawbacks

There have been only some downsides to this succesful off-road youngsters’ bike. First, the OFF has a really light-weight carbon fork, however it’s inflexible. So a child coming off a motorcycle with shocks will instantly discover much less play on technical terrain.

And in Colorado, most are used to bouncing round on harder stuff. (Woom is releasing an OFF suspension mannequin as early as spring 2020.)

Woom-OFF-on-featurePhotograph credit score: Logan Bonjean

Second, the Euro title woom is just a little laborious to wrap your head round. My son stored asking if it was a feminine physique half. As soon as I defined that, no, it’s simply Austrian for “zoom,” and even that it’d sound like “vroom,” he was cool with it.

Third, the styling is modern. Designed for an older little one, the OFF (in 20-, 24-, and 26-inch fashions) is available in matte-black solely. There only a few logos or markings.

Nevertheless, my son was coming from a fluorescent-green experience and determined he wanted some aptitude. Fortunately, each woom OFF comes with a intelligent sticker set for personalization. We added a turquoise strip to the highest tube and two matching stickers across the tire valves and — voila! — on the spot model.

woom_off_streetPhotograph credit score: woom

The woom OFF, beginning at $669 for the 20-inch mannequin, is available in three sizes and is out there for buy on-line solely. You possibly can preorder now, and woom will ship the bikes by late October. Ihlenfeld expects the woom OFF to promote out by the vacation season.

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