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Sales of electric bicycles are skyrocketing. But is the kids version a good idea?

The regular series “That’s Debatable” addresses the controversial issues of the day and presents two lively discussions in favor and against.Previous articles in the series Here..

Bike on a flat street Children in Kirkland, Washington is a children’s play for children in Ilya Bukstein. Both are under 10 years old. But in the summer, when the family heads to a villa on the hillside of Kreelm, Washington, 80 miles east, the ride becomes a difficult battle. Bukshteyn, 49, general manager of Microsoft, said: To make up for this, he recently purchased a children’s Woom UP e-bike for storage in the garage. “Bikes provide them with additional support without leaving the exercise,” he said. “Now they want to ride every day and 10 or 20 miles longer.”

Designed for young riders, these expensive new electric bikes have different features than adult electric bikes. A small frame sized for a short body and a motor that limits speed to less than 20 mph. Also, there is no throttle-only option. That is, the child needs to pedal to insert the battery.

Woom Up 6 (pictured) has child-specific safety features such as the motor stopping when the child exceeds 12 mph.

As the popularity of electric bikes continues to skyrocket, even traditionalists are finding value in the tie-sized version. “My stores are all human-powered sports, but electric bikes are the future,” said Mike Schwartz, who owns BackCountry, an outdoor sports store in Truckee, California. Schwartz sold two electric bicycles for children. Recently, we are waiting for the enthusiastic parents of the mountain bike family and new inventory. “For parents who want to ride longer on a mountain bike, it makes sense to take their kids,” he said.

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For children’s electric bikes, such as adults, you can turn off battery-powered pedal assist completely, leaving the traditional bike behind. When the battery is working, pedaling children will benefit from convenient assistance such as parents sitting behind their seats when teaching their offspring to ride. This makes it easier to manage the slope. That simple pleasure may keep them riding even after they are licensed to drive a crossover or SUV. “Historically, as teenagers reach their driving age, they use less bicycles,” said Adam Williams, owner of SloHi Coffe & Bike in Denver.If they are armed with electric bikes instead of the standard model, he says, “They [it] Always. “

No, it’s a bad idea to give too much power to an immature cyclist

After finishing your preperations You may need to brake to start shopping for your bike. Each state has its own safety guidelines, so people under the age of 16 are banned from riding in vehicles in about half of the country. The global supply of children’s electric bikes is already limited, and in its complex US market it can be difficult to find electric bikes in stores.

Some in the cycling community say that children with free access to their family’s electric bikes are already a problem. Catherine Downson, executive director of Friends of Pathways, a non-profit organization advocating multipurpose trails in Jackson Hall, Wyoming, said: It’s a serious problem for a person running 25 miles an hour to pass by when riding a virtually quiet e-bike for an adult. Electric bikes designed for kids are slower than adults, but no one wants to see a teenager play Willy at 15mph and collide with something or someone. ..

For young riders who lack the skills to ride a busy bike or are unaware of proper bike etiquette, getting faster is by no means the right answer. Janine Fitzgerald, co-founder of Buddy Pegs, a youth bike program based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said: If your child is just starting to pedal, giving them an electric bike can make it even harder to get fundamentals. down.

Other knocks on electric bikes are more practical. Local bike stores may not be familiar with operating batteries and motors, so it can be difficult to find someone to request repairs outside the big city, especially when buying online. Kat Andrus, a youth program manager for the non-profit People For Bikes, recalled working with Preteen as a bike mechanic. “You can tell your child to put the bike on the ground 7,000 times with the drive side up, but the kids don’t always remember it.” Annoying repairs on a regular bike are electric bikes. It’s a much more expensive repair, and it can cost up to 18 times more in the first place.

Juicy boy

Battery packing kids bike to consider if you chose to go that route

Commencal Meta HT 24

This French brand electric bike features 10 speed options and can handle everything from suburban streets to tricky hillside off-roads. Riders 50-59 inches tall can use pedal assist to reach up to 18 mph and return home before the streetlights turn on. These display screens on the car’s dashboard allow riders to quickly read battery charge levels, speeds, odometers, and maintenance alerts. $ 2,999, commencalusa.com

Woom up 6

This consumer Austrian brand hides the removable battery of the bike in a frame for a streamlined look. The larger 26-inch wheels accommodate tall riders up to 65 inches, but the bike’s motor stops when the pedaling kid exceeds 12 mph. A simple control pad allows the rider to choose from three levels of assistance, and a colored LED tells you that you’re running out of juice. About $ 3,749, us.woombikes.com

Mondraker F-Play 26

Spanish designers have reduced the elements of the brand’s highly capable adult mountain bike to this little kids e-bike. This includes a full suspension frame to remove puncture wounds from the most dangerous off-road terrain. The bike is designed for rough riding and the battery is fully integrated into the frame, so it remains protected but can be difficult to service in the future. $ 4,299, zeitbike.com

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Sales of electric bicycles are skyrocketing. But is the kids version a good idea?

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