Buying kids bikes can be seriously painful for the wallet as they outgrow each size every couple of years, and although we wish we could afford expensive Islabikes every time that kind of investment is rather chunky.
For kids just setting out on their cycling journey cheaper options can often do the job, yes, they are more disposable than a more expensive bike that can be passed down to multiple other little rugrats as they grow and develop, but if they get your children learning to ride and loving it then in a sense they have done just as good a job.
The Robot 500 from Decathlon brand B’Twin is as cute as a button and ideal for a boy taking his first steps on his cycling journey.
This is a simple little machine, but it has taken our son from a three-year-old balance bike rider to a fully-fledged cyclist. In the initial stages the stabilisers are not ideal as they are in line with the bottom of the tyre, so any undulations mean that the tyre rises above the surface and the bike loses pedalling power.
The stabilisers are best discarded then, we opted to remove the pedals and get our son riding the Robot 500 as a balance bike in the initial stages, getting used to using brakes along the way. The levers are easy for young hands to handle as they are tapered in to reduce the amount of reach to get to them and you don’t have to apply too much pressure to initiate a stop.
As a pedal bike the Robot 500 is much heavier than a premium child’s bike, but on a par with other budget options. This means it takes a bit of power to get it rolling but once up to speed the weight can help with momentum.
As with any kids bike the Robot 500 has taken its fair share of use and abuse but the sturdy construction, including a chainguard has fared well. It feels less brittle than a more expensive bike and we are less worried about our son damaging it because of the low initial cost. We have not had to maintain the bike at all, even though it has been used most days come rain or shine, especially during lockdown. We’re happy to say everything still works as expected.
If you’re looking for a budget bike to take your youngster from balance bike rider to cyclist and you’re willing to accept a bit of weight and somewhat average components, then the Robot 500 is a great option at a superb price.