black mountain bikes safety
Kids will fall off bikes, we all know that – and in a way the odd cycling scrape or bang is part of childhood, but at Black Mountain we still want your kids to ride as safely as possible. The key to safe riding is to learn well and early, on the right size bike, and to learn the instinctive “quick-draw” foot-to-floor reaction that having learnt on a balance bikes give you.

Our EPOK technology was invented on this philosophy: Learn in balance bike mode, gaining confidence on a bike which is dialled-down to fit your child, which then grows with them, rather than them learning on an oversized bike.

We also focus on the key aspects of safe design:

black mountain bikes lightweight

1: Lightweight design & innovation:

Every 200g of weight saved on a kid’s bike is the same as saving 1kg on an adult’s bike. So a cheap steel kids' bike weighing in at over 11kg, is about 70% of a 5 year-old’s body weight - which would be like an adult trying to ride a 50kg bicycle!

Weight is critical for safety - if your child does have a tumble and the bike falls on top of them. But also for confidence – making it easier to pick the bike up and get back on. A lightweight bike also is easier to get moving, more manoeuvrable and makes all the difference when there is even the smallest incline or false flat. Our innovative hydro-formed,T6 aluminium frame combined with a careful choice of components means that our EPOK bikes are up to 50% lighter than most ‘high street’ bikes, and our little Pinto weighs in at a class-leading 5.7kg.

black mountain bikes brakes

2: A braking system designed for kids:

It’s an obvious point, but good safe breaking is crucial on a kid’s bike, but also really important for confidence. When kids are learning to ride, the sensation of speed can make them panic or want to stop pedalling. But when they can use their brakes to slow and stop the bike, they gain the confidence to keep riding. We give them this confidence by using short, close-reach brake levers that their small hands can easily reach (we also use small diameter handle bars and grips). Then we pair these with extra long-levered v-brake arms to maximise the braking force on the rim, and we use high-quality stainless steel brake lines in low friction casing, to create a very easy-to-pull braking system. Our brakes surpass the ISO test for kids’ brakes (see below) allowing the wheels to be fully braked even with just two fingers on the levers. (It also means even the youngest kids can learn to do skids our bikes – which is just great fun!)

black mountain bikes safety grips

3: Grips - a crucial safety point:

One of the most over-looked safety features kids bike are the grips. When a child falls off or crashes a bike, they don’t have the experience to get away from the bike, and they sometimes land ‘on’ the bike. That’s why our soft rubber grips have extra large mushroom ends, and vitally provide a wide, soft impact area should the child land on the end of the bars in a fall. (This is part of the safety standard which our bikes surpass – but many kids bike brands overlook this critical feature, favouring sleeker looking grips.)

We also plug the end of our bars (inside the grips), which stops the bars puncturing through the grips when kids ‘drop’ the bike – a handle bar puncturing through the grip would present a real hazard to a child. The mushroom end is also designed to stop the young riders hands coming off the end of the bars. Our brake levers are free from pinch traps, our top tube is wide and smooth, so it can be sat on without hurting or causing injury)

black mountain bikes safety ISO

4: Tested - to the highest standard:

Unlike many kids’ bikes (even from some the well know specialist kids’ bike brands) all our EPOK bikes are fully tested, and approved to the ISO standard for kids bikes. This is an internationally recognised standard - ISO 8098-2014 Cycles – Safety Requirements for Bicycles for Young Children – which rigorously tests over 60 aspects of the bike – from the effectiveness of the brakes, toxicity, sharp edges and protrusions, to the strength and durability of the cranks, pedals bars and frame.

We were so confident of the performance of our patented UP:SCALE frame design, that we then also subjected the frame to the gruelling 100,000 cycles test for ADULT bikes, and we were chuffed that out little, growing frame passed the two frame loading tests.