schwinn-smartstart-youth-bicycles-201601

If most kids’ bicycles seem like high tensile steel tanks, it’s because most are. Particularly those found at the big box stores like Target, Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us. But, they sell many times more youth bikes that independent bike shops, so any improvement in them is certainly welcome. After all, have you ever tried to convince a non-cycling friend that it makes sense to spend $250 or more on a kid’s bike when they can grab one for under $100 while picking up their cereal and toilet paper?

Schwinn’s new SmartStart line remakes 12″, 14″, 16″, 18″ and 20″ bikes so they fit kids better, are easier to ride, and will grow with them for longer. And they start under $100 and are available at all three of those big box stores. Here’s what’s different…

schwinn-smartstart-youth-bicycles-201602

The main differences between these and kids bikes of old are numerous. The cranks have been moved forward slightly for improved leverage, making it easier to pedal. And, the pedals are moved further inboard, closer matching a kid’s hip width. The saddles were also redesigned to fit those little hips.

schwinn-smartstart-youth-bicycles-201603

Gearing has been changed to make them easier to start pedaling and limit top speed, which also helps you keep up with them once they get the hang of it. They’ve also reduced weight across the board, which not only makes them easier to get going but also to handle, particularly once those training wheels come off (which, if you haven’t heard of balance bikes, should be immediately upon receipt). The bikes come in various styles and colors, with and without streamers, including the sweet retro cruiser with banana seat shown up top.

SchwinnSmartStart.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
What?
What?
6 years ago

Thought this site was a bicycle site, not a dangerous toy site?

Maciej
Maciej
6 years ago

To all Americans out there. There is a huge cultural/technical gap here between you and Europe. Don’t buy your kid a 4 wheeled bicycle. NEVER. This is the most c*&^%y thing you can do to your child. It is frustrating and will not teach the kid to ride a normal bike in million years. Unscrewing the side wheels and going after your child with a stick is also a horrible idea. Buy a “Laufrad” instead. It is basically the same thing that a bicycle was at the very beginning. So a bike without any pedals or cranks. This teaches the child a proper balance and the transition to normal bicycle is natural and seamless.

boom
boom
6 years ago

If this means that kids who would have gotten this bike regardless are now getting a better product – then great! I agree that IBD bikes are better, the reality of our business is that department store bikes (especially for kids) grossly outsell IBD models. So I applaud Schwinn (Pacific) for updating their line.

slackers
slackers
6 years ago

Training wheels are not what kids should start out on. Get a small bike and remove the cranks, or get a strider bike.
But more kids on bikes=good.

Flatbiller
Flatbiller
6 years ago

(deleted)

Frank
Frank
6 years ago

I’ve found this site to be super useful, its convinced me that there are huge differences in design for kids bike, even among LBS bikes: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/

JR
JR
6 years ago

edge,

You are incorrect. The q-factor has been narrowed at least 25mm when compared to other brands. The slack seat tube angle equates to more leverage in the seated position.(This is commonly seen on comfort bikes for the same reason) Small saddles and grips are just common sense for small hips and hands.

chadquest
6 years ago

Stop with the 14″ and 18″ wheel sizes, it just creates frustrated parents when they can not find tires or tubes anywhere, and then the kids bike sits broken in the garge for months while the kid plays video games.

JR
JR
6 years ago
Reply to  chadquest

This article is actually incorrect, there are no 14″ wheels. There are only two 18″ models and they are at TRU.

Snickle Fritz
Snickle Fritz
5 years ago

How much do these bikes weigh? I keep reading that they’re lightweight but cannot find how much they weigh. Schwinn won’t even tell me.