David Weiner refused to buy his son a bike. His objection wasn’t the cost or concern for his kid’s safety. After all, Weiner founded New York City-based Priority Bicycles to provide average Janes and Joes with easy-button bicycles that would encourage people to ride more. But shopping for his toddler son, Jake, he discovered a sea of heavy, overbuilt clunkers that seemed more like a ball and chain than a ticket to freedom.
“There has been virtually no innovation in children’s pedal bicycles for generations,” he says. “We essentially teach our kids to pedal on the same bikes that we learned how to ride on.”
While adult models have become more sophisticated than ever, using lighter materials and ever-better components, development in kids’ bikes, with a few notable exceptions, like Strider Bikes, has remained stagnant. That’s true not only at big-box, low-cost retailers, but also among reputable bike brands, which cite low sales margins for necessitating money-saving manufacturing norms.