One of the things I loved most about my childhood was the freedom to ride around on my bike in the Summer. We’d go around the neighbourhood knocking for friends and taking our bikes wherever we pleased. I loved having my own set of wheels to take me places and that feeling of independence.
My boys are still a little young to be able to do that at the moment but I know it won’t be long before they’ll be spending their Summers hanging around with their friends.
E received his first bike on his 5th Birthday. It was a really cool Transformers Bike but we found that the frame was too heavy and he’s subsequently grown out of it. We’d been looking at replacing it with something that was lightweight so it would be easier for him to handle. He’s currently still not confident enough to ride without stabilisers as yet so we also needed something that would allow for these to be fitted on.
M has had a balance bike since he was 2 and he’s been zooming around on it (very) confidently and at speed ever since. He’s learnt how to balance brilliantly on it but we now needed to get him familiar with using pedals and building up the strength in his legs to be able to pedal properly.
We’ve been working with Ridgeback Bikes over the last few months and they very kindly sent E a bike to road test. We couldn’t have M miss out either, so we purchased him one too so they could both put their new bikes through their paces together.
You may already be familiar with Ridgeback Bikes as they’ve been building bikes since the early 1980s. They have a reputation for innovation and quality and have a wide range of products available. From touring bikes to commuters bikes and course, children’s bikes.
For E, we received the Ridgeback MX20 in Black which arrived fully built in a huge box.
The bike features:
- Lightweight 6061 series Aluminium frame
- Shimano 6 speed gear system with Revoshifter
- Alloy V brakes and levers
- Alloy rims with off-road tyres
M’s bike arrived separately and came in pieces which meant we had to put it together. Having not built a bike before I was surprised that there were no instructions in the box. However, I think this is because it came direct from the warehouse.
We managed to assemble the wheels, pedals and brakes together but found the seat part a little tricky. After being resourceful on YouTube, we realised where we went wrong and finally managed to put the bike together in one piece.
The boys were absolutely ecstatic with their new bikes and couldn’t wait to test them out.
We took them to Brooklands Community Park, a local park which is known for their open space for bike riding and away they went!
The bikes are made from lightweight aluminium which makes them easier to pedal and adjust your balance with, compared to those with a heavier frame. It’s also great to know that they meet ISO safety standards too.
It’s taken E a while to get used to changing the gears and understanding how to use them properly (you twist a lever to adjust) but I have no doubt that with more practice it’ll be like second nature.
When I asked him what he liked most about the MX20 mountain bike he told me “Because it looks cool!” and it really does!
Note: Stabilisers can be attached to the MX20 with additional the use of a Stabiliser Derailleur kit. We bought ours from Halfords for £5.
The Ridgeback MX14 is a fab little bike which has been the perfect first pedal bike for M. It comes fitted with removable stabilisers and is well made. The chain is enclosed for safety and the seat is well padded and is a comfortable fit for young children.
This bike would suit younger children aged from age 3-4 and can be adjusted as they grow.
Having been used to a balance bike, it took a short while for M to get used to the pedals. He loves to go fast and didn’t initially have the patience to pedal and just wanted to scoot along with his feet!
We explained that he needed to build up the muscles in his legs to ride “super fast” and before long he got the hang of it.
I particularly like the fact that the bikes have been designed with all the same features as an adult bike but have been adapted to suit children perfectly. I think both bikes have a design that not only looks great but won’t look dated in years to come either.
I would love nothing more than to go on a family bike ride with the boys so I think both Mr H and I would need to invest in some bikes too.
Ridgeback has ranges to suit the whole family so I think Mr H and I will be looking to join the boys and purchase one. I would also love a Brompton bike so that I could split up my commute to work with cycling some of the way instead – wishful thinking I know but at least it would keep me fit!
We’re looking forward to getting out and about over the Summer holidays to see if the boys can build up enough confidence in their riding to crack riding on two wheels. We’ll keep you updated with how they get on.
You can find out more about the Ridgeback Bike range here.
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* We received the MX20 Bike and a discount for the MX14 in return for this review.