BM: I suppose, the first question should be, how did you come across us? Had your son ridden a balance bike or pedal bike before that point?
Gareth: Yes, Lewis had a secondhand balance bike and was getting pretty good on it by about three and a half so we knew we had to get him a pedal bike. But all the kids’ bikes we saw seemed so wrong – they were upright and heavy when you could see he just wanted to go ahead and ride. I tried to buy time by getting an old bike from a charity shop, and although he could pedal it, things went as badly as you'd expect... (check the video below!).We were aware of the more expensive brands, but he had outgrown two balance bikes already and we weren’t keen to pay a lot of money for something that might only last a year. So we searched for advice from people like Cycling Weekly and GMBN and they were both raving about your bikes. It was a bit of a Eureka moment.
BM: So you went for a SKØG...
Gareth: Yes as soon as we saw it we wanted one, and when he saw the videos of the kids on their SKØGs Lewis was sold too. It just had that winning look about it – the logic of the light weight and the growing frame came afterwards.
We wanted the bigger SKØG rather than the PINTO so it would last longer, but we were worried that Lewis wasn’t quite big enough for it. Lauren at Black Mountain was great in reassuring me we could swap the SKØG for a PINTO if he couldn’t get on it. But it was incredible just how far the SKØG could shrink. I asked Lewis to try it out on the drive, but within a minute he was heading for the park and I was running after him.
Lockdown apart, he’s cycled to and from school most days since the start of Foundation stage (at age 4).
BM: Lewis is, as of recently, on a HÜTTO. Why did you come back to Black Mountain? Did you look elsewhere?
Yes and he loves it. We didn’t look elsewhere because the logic of light weight and growing frame is just as important as it was the first time. We actually visited the Islabikes factory when my wife bought one of their adult bikes. Lewis had a look at their kids’ range, but I think he feels the Black Mountain look is something that’s special to him. It always creates a stir when he arrives in the playground!
BM: How did you judge that the time was right to move on to a HÜTTO?
Gareth: We had been going for longer and longer rides as a family and loving it, but with the single gear on the SKØG it was getting harder to find routes that were long enough but without too much uphill. By his sixth birthday the SKØG still fitted him, but those hills were calling…
BM: How did Lewis adapt to the new, bigger bike? Was the transition as smooth as you hoped?
Gareth: Yes he just got off one and onto the other. We built the HÜTTO in the hall together, put it in fourth gear and off we went. It did take a few weeks for him to get the hang of the gears though. Now I just need to get round to selling the SKØG.
BM: You mentioned in a review that you were covering 25 miles / day with your son on holiday. They’re impressive numbers…
Gareth: Thanks – well 25 miles was the longest ride we did. We were in Suffolk, where there are miles and miles of gently rolling quiet lanes and bridleways as well as cycle-friendly cafes. We’d just set out in the morning, and every so often we’d look at the map and I’d ask Lewis if he wanted to add an extra loop to the route. I have to admit though that the 25 miler was ice-cream-assisted.
BM: Finally, how many more years do you think your son will be on the HÜTTO? This should give us a deadline by which to launch our bigger bikes!
Gareth: Well quite a while I’d hope! But the sizing guide has been spot on so far, so I hope we have two or two and a half more years at least. But he’ll still be growing and we’ll still need his bike to do the same!