The ByK (pronounced “bi-kay”) range is an Australian designed bike that is specially designed for kids. Built with a smaller person in mind, with a lighter frame, a wheel and seat height ratio for a lower center of gravity for kids to balance easier and a seat-to-handlebar for comfort for the younger rider.
All this to make riding a bike easy, the easier it is - the more enjoyable it is for them, and the more the kids want to get out and practice their new riding skills, engaging in a fun physical activity either for transport or for just for fun.
We have been given the opportunity for our 5 year old to try out the geared ByK E-450x3i. Sounds like a model of a car, well the ByK range does have a straightforward size and range system of 250, 350, 450, 540 then the subsequent letter and numbers will indicate gear type and number of gears. See the ByK site for height recommendations as their wheel diameter and seat height is quite different to regular bikes from department stores.
My son is already a fairly experienced rider, from being on our bike in a child seat, to riding his own balance bike, then his first pedal bike, a (second hand) ByK 250, and now on his first geared bike.
When he started going from a balance bike to the pedal bike, he had only a few days with the training wheels, which he demanded on, (as they come with the bikes - so he assumed that was the norm), but an episode of Peppa Pig “Bicycles” (season1, episode 12 - Here on YouTube) turned him around and he requested the "stabelizers" be removed. Soon, he was zooming along faster than ever, and I was hard up trying to keep up with him while pushing the stroller with his younger brother.
He has mastered balancing, pedaling, steering and braking. He outgrew his old bike, and he often complained about an uphill, and now, he gets to use the internal gears on the 450-i3!
When we first collected the bike he was too nervous to ride, he didn't feel confident enough to get going, so it was a slow walk home from the bike store (Oma Fiets, Sydney). The following week, we were able to shift the seat down as low as it would go and he had a trip to our local park with his dad. He came home hours later with the biggest and proudest smile on his face, (his dad too).
His second outing with the bike was the morning commute (approx 2km) ride to his daycare centre. Which included the hill he always used to complain about. He rode safely and with confidence on this bike, which looks massive under his 5 year old figure, with an equally massive smile. As the bike is much bigger than his last ByK, he looked a little clumsy when maneuvering at intersections, struggling to get into position to cross as well as getting a little flustered while attempting to get the pedal in the correct position to take off.
On the return journey, only his third ride on this bike, we stopped off in a park/playground where he rode around the small circuit. Another mum was amazed at how well he rode, and could not believe when I told her this was only his third ride on the bike!
His confidence is getting better, and he is able to get the bike and pedals into position with ease now, and he is fast, really fast. He has had a few tumbles, with a little cuddle and some encouragement, he got straight back on his bike.
I can really appreciate that this is a beautifully engineered bike with quality components, and I believe that my son and his brother will get many enjoyable years out of this bike.
Out at the bike park with a buddy learning to ride on his new ByK 350 - these boys are the same age and height, so this was good to see the size comparison, and I am glad we went with the 450 size.
Kids will love to ride the ByK and who knows, you may even have a future yellow jersey or gold medal winner in your family - perhaps the next Cadel Evans, Matt Goss, Anna Mears, or Caroline Buchanan.
When kept in good working order, this quality bike can be passed down through a few kids in the family and they hold a pretty good resale value too.