Tricycles are adorable and a great first pedal bike, but there comes a time in every tricycle rider’s life when your legs are just going faster than the trike pedals can handle. And you realize that at last, it’s time to kiss three wheels goodbye and graduate. For the last few weeks, my three-year-old has eagerly and rigorously tested out his first “big kid” bike – the blue and white “Jet 16” from Trek Bikes. He has described it as “Awesome!” and “I’m like a jet!” but I thought I’d give you a little more detail about what makes the Jet 16 a great “big kid” bike.
The Details – The Jet 16 is a single-speed, coaster bike (which means you pedal backwards to engage the brakes) with 16″ wheels that also includes training wheels, a chainguard, pads, moto fenders and a number plate. The Jet 16 is geared for kids ages 4-6, but with the seat all the way down, my three-year-old is able to just touch.
The Company – Trek knows bikes. For the last 30 years, they’ve made bikes that have been used to win the Tour de France and Ironman. I wouldn’t recommend doing the Tour de France on the Jet 16, but I’m pretty sure it could stand up to the test.
Assembly – This isn’t an IKEA desk, but you will need a couple of tools and some direction-reading to attach the handlebars, wheels and flair to the frame. Halfway through the assembly, my husband stopped to tell me what good quality the materials were. “This is a really good bike,” I think were his exact words. A high compliment from Mr. Assembly.
The Look – I’ve researched a number of bikes and I can tell you that if you don’t want a superhero or cartoon character on your kid’s bike, your options are limited. A quick search of kid bikes at a certain big box store website leaves you deciding between Dora, Hannah Montana, Superman or Transformers covering your kids ride. If that’s not your taste, the Trek Jet 16 offers lots of style and big boy feel without sporting any Saturday morning advertisements. Available in red/white/black or as shown, the Jet 16 comes with a padded seat and hand grips and a few different pads and bike bling that you can attach or leave off.
Performance – My son had never touched a two-wheel bike before the Jet 16, but had no problem adjusting to the bigger (and faster) ride. The training wheels help keep him steady, the brakes were easy to master (after a few first crashes), and he’s had no problem steering and maneuvering around obstacles.
If you’re looking for a new way to get your little one out of the house this fall or a great gift for the holiday season, check out the Trek Jet 16, the pink and be-tasseled Mystic 16 or the brand new Float that promises to teach your kid to ride a bike without training wheels. Visit www.trekbikes.com to learn more about Trek bikes for the whole family and find a dealer near you.