As part of our Customer Q&A, we spoke with Sam, mum of Arthur (@littledevonexplorer), to pick her brains on family cycling and buying a bike for a little’un.
BM: How did you come across Black Mountain?
Sam: A friend based in Wales told us about Black Mountain when we were searching for a better light weight bike for Arthur. He was 2 and riding a pedal bike but it was too heavy for him and he struggled to use the brakes which meant I often had to run after him grabbing the back of his t- shirt or hood to help him stop!
BM: What bike does your son / daughter currently ride?
Sam: Arthur currently has the SKØG.
BM: Are you a “cycling family”?
Sam: I would say we are an active outdoor family but before having a bike mad 18 month-old, no, I wouldn’t have said we were a cycling family! As soon as Arthur was old enough to sit on a bike seat I did take him out on bike rides as it was a way for us to get from A to B, and also for me to exercise with him, so I think this may have been where the love of biking stemmed from. As soon as he could walk he would gravitate towards anyone with a bike!
BM: How does your Black Mountain compare to other bikes you child has used?
Sam: The bike is light weight meaning Arthur can handle it himself - lift it up steps and generally feel confident pushing it as well as riding it. Also the brakes were a game changer for us, as soon as Arth was on the pinto he was able to immediately use the brakes independently which meant I could then ride, rather than run, alongside him. We tried several bikes prior to this and Arth was never able to stop on his own.
BM: Where do you tend to take your child and their bike? Any favourite riding spots?
Sam: We used Haldon Forest a lot as it’s close to us and off road, but we also try any smooth routes we can find as bumps are quite tricky with little wheels and a lot harder work for little ones. We also go to River Dart Country Park and some skate parks nearby and Arthur has recently been riding his SKØG at the local BMX track. We go where we can we join friends on their bikes - Arth loves to ride with other kids so we have been to pedalabikeaway a couple of times to meet others. We’d love it if there was some mtb groups locally for kids but at the moment there isn’t anything set up - fingers crossed for the future!
BM: And finally, any advice for other parents looking at buying a kids bike?
Sam: Make sure you get the right size bike. Basing the bike on website measurements is tricky so it’s worth doing a bit of research eg. speak with the guys at Black Mountain! (NB., no, we didn’t tell Sam to say this – thanks Sam!)
Consider the weight of the bike and the size of components eg. brakes, saddle and pedals. Having children’s sized parts makes a real differences and encourages them to be more independent which means less carrying of bikes as a parent!!
Finally, get a good helmet - you won’t ever regret this!