This thing is wild… and probably tons of fun! The new Mondraker Grommy is a twist-throttle electric motorbike for tiny tots just working on balancing on two wheels. We can debate what this new category of eMTB should be called – Mondraker calls it an e-balance bike – but aimed at fueling early interest in riding bikes or even e-bikes in small kids, this looks like it would be a blast to ride…
Mondraker Grommy electric-assist kids’ balance e-bike
Let’s get the inevitable e-bike backlash out of the way, real quick. No, this isn’t a bike. Yes, this is an electric motorcycle. These aren’t going to crowd our trails, even if they might tear up a few pump tracks.
(Parents… buy a shovel & rake when you get one of these, please.)
And the Grommy also isn’t going to teach your grom that she needs to pedal up the hills either. You’re going to have to wait for their first proper pedal bike for that. Instead, the idea is to get the kids hooked on two wheels, and probably to sprout some adrenaline junkies at the same time.
Mondraker says their Grommy is the first e-balance bike from a proper MTB brand, assuming you can probably get some PowerWheels scooter from your neighborhood big box store. With their mountain bike background though, Mondraker promises quality that will stand up to your kids abuse, and a level of design & detail meant to hook & inspire a “new generation of riders with riding skills and passion”.
As a parent with two young (and pedaling) mountain bikers, it’s clear that the balance bike was a key first step to them developing basic balancing & handling on two wheels from an early age. Many feel this is a good time to figure out hand braking too, without worrying about pedaling. Mondraker figures that taking it to the next step with a twist throttle and motor-assist (with parent-adjustable speed levels), the Grommy can speed up those early steps, especially in the dirt, ensuring that kids take to the joys of mountain biking quickly.
Grommy – Tech details
To do that, they’ve electrified two sizes of Grommy balance e-bikes with either 12″ or 16″ wheels. Both share a centrally located 250W bottom bracket motor with an enclosed chain drive to put the power to the rear wheel.
A quick-release, quick-charge 80Wh/4Ah battery pops in and out much like cordless power tools, delivering a claimed 40-60 minutes of runtime, and another 60 minutes to charge back up to full to go again. The electronics are IPX4-rated which means splash-resistant, but also that you should keep the kids out of creek crossings or bottom bracket deep puddles to keep your Grommy running.
The Grommies are built with “Superlight Mondraker Alloy” 6061 aluminum frames & tapered steerer forks, and feature post mount 140mm Tektro mechanical disc rear brakes, internal cable routing, internal headset, and wide 2.25″ Vee Crown Gem tires. The balance e-bikes get a big integrated composite footrest to plant your feet as you zip along, with inspiring words for grip, like ” Full Gas, Enduro, Jump, Stealth & Dirt”.
Overall Mondraker builds the Grommy up with proper MTB components – think riser bars, short 30mm stems, 27.2 seatpost – in kid-specific sizing, to ensure confidence and make the young riders feel cool, just like mountain-biking mom & dad. Mondraker doesn’t go into detail on Grommy geo, but does say they share the same “Forward Geometry” of their progressive mountain bikes – so we’re gonna call ’em long, low & slack just for good measure.
Balance e-bike – Power modes & speed control
Both Grommies share the same three power modes that regulate the level of e-bike assist available at your kid’s finger tips, and keep their speed in check. The first Balance mode has a top speed of 8.1km/h (5mph), Fun mode steps it up to 12.1km/h (7.5mph), then finally Advanced mode tops out at 17.7km/h (11mph), quite a bit lower than typical adult eMTB assist of 25km/h.
Mondraker says the righthand twist throttle assembly includes a push button mode selector and display that also shows battery level, so it might be hard for parents attempting to keep inexperienced riders a bit more under control. But there also is a power-assist power switch (and you can always pop the battery out to shed weight) so you can use it like a normal balance bike.
Electric-assist Grommies – Pricing & availability
The Grommy’s two sizes – 12″ for kids 3-5 years (saddle height 37-47cm) & 16″ for kids 5-8 years (saddle height 43-58cm) – are designed to smooth your grom’s transition up to a proper mountain bike. eMTBs don’t come cheap, and the Grommies are no exception, starting from $900 / 750€ with 12″ wheels, or $950 / 800€ with 16″ wheels.
Both e-balance moto-things are relatively lightweight for an e-bike (12″ 7.5kg, 16″ 8.5kg) and likely to be a lot of fun. But parents be warned, Mondraker sets a max rider weight limit of 40kg, so they’re for the kids only.
Go get your Grommy (I mean for your kids, of course), available globally from next week – July 22, from your local Mondraker dealer.