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For my son's birthday this year I was a little stumped about what to buy him because he has so many toys. I finally decided to buy him a bike as the one he got the year before from his Dad lived in his Dad's house and so he didn't ever get the chance to ride it really as I think riding a bike is just one of those skills children should learn. I had a look around various online sites before finally deciding to purchase the Sonic Boom 16" bike from amazon which cost me £49.99 from memory but is currently selling for £61.74.
==Ordering and delivery==
As I have very little storage space in my house and certainly nowhere where I could hide a big bike box from my son's prying eyes I decided to order the bike to be delivered to my Mum's house which is just on the next street to me. The process was very simple through amazon and despite the fact that I opted for free super saver delivery the bike was delivered to my Mum's house just two days after I ordered it which I thought was excellent service!
==Building the bike==
I will hold my hands up immediately and admit that I am pretty rubbish when it comes to building things! For this reason I was quite worried about putting the bike together because obviously it needs to be safe for my son to ride!
I decided to build the bike at my Mum's so she could fetch it down for me the night before my son's birthday and then it would be a real surprise for him. The bike was packed in a large box as you would expect and it seemed to take me forever to get in to the box and remove all of the pieces for the bike.
Assembly wasn't actually too bad and perhaps took us around forty minutes from start to finish but I would say that the instructions really aren't clear at all and they seemed rather jumbled and so for points my Mum and I would just sit there looking at the bike and wondering what to do next. In terms of actually getting the bike built though I was happy really because with my son's last bike my Dad actually helped us build it and he is much more capable at manual things and it was actually harder work building that one! With this bike you needed to pop on the handle bar and seat, pedals and that was pretty much it. Perhaps the trickiest part was lining up the brakes so that they worked effectively and in the end a family friend really tightened these up for us so they were as effective as they could be.
Stabilisers do not come with this bike and so I purchased some universal ones from amazon for around seven pounds and they were easily enough fitted to the bike for my son. We have actually since removed the stabilisers and the pedals from the bike as I am hoping to teach my son to ride without the stabilisers by him learning to balance first and foremost without the pedals but the weather has been so rubbish we haven't had much opportunity to get out and about on his bike as yet.
==The look of the bike==
I have to say once the bike was made up I was really impressed with how it looked. Considering the pretty low price that I had paid for the bike I felt it looked a lot more expensive! Many bikes that look similar to this bike were retailing at almost double what I paid for this one and so I was very happy with my purchase and felt sure my son would love it too which he did!
The bike is a shiny red colour with black handlebars and a red and black seat. Along the main frame of the bike there are various sonic boom words in black and white which really compliment the shiny red frame. The bike features shiny clear reflectors in key places on the bike including the front and the wheels as well as a small black bell as well. The bike also has a chain guard on it which isn't shown or mentioned on amazon but I was pleased to see was there. My son loves the fact that a bell was included on the bike but again this isn't mentioned on amazon and so I had ordered one to go on the bike so this is something to be mindful of.
The only thing in my opinion which is a let down about the bike is that the seat, whilst slightly padded, could be more comfortable in my opinion. My son doesn't really moan much as he is riding his bike but if he has been on it a while will say that it is becoming uncomfortable. To be honest I don't ever remember having sat on a comfortable bike in all my years and even now at the gym on the exercise bikes the seats are a nightmare!
My son is seven years old now and the 16" wheel is about right for him and I would think will give him at least a couple of years riding the bike. The handle bars are adjustable and so we will be able to adjust those a little to aid his riding as he becomes taller and more confident with the bike. The seat is also height adjustable. The bike is made from steel and so it is quite heavy to hold up and I think obviously the bigger the bike gets the heavier they are. My son can handle the bike ok on the stabilisers but as yet cannot balance well enough on the bike to attempt reintroducing the pedals and I am reluctant to go back to stabilisers now.
The RRP of this bike is apparently £94.99 on amazon and so I got the bike for almost half of that price. Whilst I don't think it is worth the full RRP I would say that it feels like a much more expensive bike than the £49.99 I paid in terms of quality and look.
As my son is just learning to ride the bike there have been occasions when it has been dropped on to the ground as of course I have told him that if he is going to fall and potentially be hurt to let the bike fall to the ground and steady himself. There are no real signs of damage on the bike and so it does seem to be quite hard wearing.
My son and his friends all love the red and black colour of the bike and because it isn't a "character" bike I feel he is less likely to get bored with the bike as his tastes change. My son says he is happy riding the bike and I feel happy that he is safe on it and that the brakes are going to work when he needs them and such like. Obviously at the moment we are still learning with the bike and so I am there next to him most of the time but when he had his stabilisers on the bike he was quite happy to ride around confidently on the flat ground!
I would certainly recommend this bike if you are looking for a good priced bike for your son or grandson and in my opinion even if my son only gets a year or two out of this bike we will have had our moneys worth. The manufacturers do say the bike is suited to children aged 4 ½ to 7 years but with an inside leg measurement of 18"-22" so you do need to check this out I think.
Thank you for reading my review!