“ Brand: Flite / Type: Bicycle / Size: 16 inch / Tyre size: 16 x 1.9" / Model: FL003 „
OK, my son is spoiled where it comes to motorbikes. We currently own 2 quads and a scrambler, but the last was free, they get them as fix up projects. But the fact is, the places they can ride a motorbike are pretty limited and they spend a great deal more time on bicycles then on motor bikes. For years my son has asked for a motorcycle bike, but they tend to be very expensive with prices up to £300 when we looked before. I'm sorry, but for £300 I do expect a motor and a good one at that. Even used some of thee were selling for up to £180, and in pretty rough shape on Gumtree.
So when this came up in the sales after Christmas last year, and I was lucky enough to have some extra cash, I snapped it up, along with a smaller one for my youngest son. I do think I paid £80 for this but I am not certain. It then spent the next 10 months in the attic waiting for Christmas to come again. Tesco currently has it at £90 which is still quite fair and amazon sells this is as well, but it is showing as unavailable at the moment.
This bike comes in a number of sizes, the one I am currently reviewing is the 160, which has a 16" wheel and the number 16 on its fairing. Size is really an issue with these bikes, and you really need to measure carefully. Unfortunately the Amazon description for the smaller bike has the ages guidelines wrong and this has caused some difficulties with many buyers. The bike shown above is the correct bike for a 5 year old, with an age rage of 5 -7 1/2 set by the manufacturer. The seat for this bike measures 22 1/2" (56 c ) from the ground. this puts it just a bit higher then most other bicycles with a 16" wheel. So if your child can just barely reach the ground on a standard 16", this may be a just a bit too high. Also I find this bike to be just a bit top heavy. These means a child trying to balance on tip toe may be more prone to fall. Also if you are planning to use this with stabilisers, but the child is too small to touch the ground I would expect more accidents. You can not adjust the seat height like you could with an ordinary bicycle. My son is 5 years of age and this fits him perfectly. I expect this will do until he is about 8-9 , as another boy in our estate has a similar model and still loves it at age 8. Of course you would want to buy the larger model for an 8 year old or over child.
This bicycle come with stabilisers, but we did not use these. We also left the front and rear reflectors off, using wee lights instead. The brakes on the bike took the boys a bit of getting used to. The front brake uses a hand lever, but the rear brake is a foot brake, which means you pedal backwards to stop. This is different from the other bicycles we have owned, and I would advise getting the child to stop and go several times on a flat surface before they race off down a hill and forget how to stop at the bottom. I was not home when my husband put these together, but he said it was very simple and straight forward and he was finished far sooner then he expected.
I do think this bike is very sturdy and well made, as far as this type of bicycle goes. I have seen the fairing crack on many a real motorbike, and they do use a much heavier material, so it only stands to reason that the plastic on this could crack as well with enough force. The plastic is not especially thick or reinforced in any way. I also think this bike is very realistic looking and really liked the addition of a working shock absorber spring. I also like that the chain is completely covered, as this means nothing can get caught in. I still remember catching laces in my bicycles chain as a child.
The opinion that really matters here is my son's though. He absolutely loved this, and was terribly disappointed that it did not work very well in deep snow and ice on Christmas Day. That did not stop him trying of course, but after enough tumbles in the snow he finally gave up. He then attempted to ride it indoors, but his wicked mother (me) put a stop to this. When the rains finally came a few days later, he ended up outdoors at 10pm at night whizzing around through a freezing cold drizzle until he was nearly blue with cold. This bike is definitely a big hit and I am sure will get even more use as the weather warms up.
My son is quite impressed with and thinks it really does look like a real scrambler. i like the fact that instead of buying petrol or batteries he is getting some real exercise on this.
I can't really find any major faults on this, and my son thinks it is perfect. The only thing I would change is that a stand would have been nice. Since he does not use the stabilisers we will have to buy one, but I think this is common for most bikes in this size range. I would have liked a thicker more durable plastic, but this is about the same as on other similar models that I have seen. Overall, for the price of it, I think it is a brilliant wee bike and I am glad my son is so happy with it. 5 stars from both of us and my full recommendation.