It’s a problem that children grow out of their bikes rapidly. So you end up buying a bike that’s a bit too large for them, wait for them to grow into it then leave them riding it with half-extended legs once they’re really too big for it. It doesn’t lead to the best or safest experience of learning to ride.
So Black Mountain has launched a bike that gets larger as your child grows. But it says that it’s not just that they grow, but also that they get more confident, stronger and more able. It says that its design will typically last between one and two years longer than a conventional design before the child will grow out of it.
Black Mountain’s first two bikes are the Pinto and the Skog. It says that the Pinto replaces a 12 inch and a 14 inch bike for ages three to five, while the Skog will suit children from five to eight, who would usually ride a 14 inch or a 16 inch bike.
Both bikes can be configured without pedals, as a first balance bike, then swapped to small pedals and finally to large pedals. Black Mountain has patented its design, which allows the frame height to be increased as the child grows. It also uses a single speed belt drive for low maintenance, lighter weight – and as it’s oil-free, no messy trouser legs.
The In:Gear rear sprocket is swappable, so that you can also increase the gearing as the child’s strength and confidence increases. Black Mountain uses child-sized components, like a smaller saddle which can be dropped extra-low for smaller kids. Its bars and brake levers are also kid size and it uses Kenda Small Block Eight knobbly tyres for traction and Tektro brakes.
>>> Child on board: A guide to child bike seats and trailers
Weight for the Pinto is 5.7kg, while the Skog has a claimed weight of 6.1kg. Both retail for £329.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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