In my last post I gave some tips for finding the best kids bicycles. When I recently needed to buy a new bike for my son, I did a lot of research and ended up buying him a Trek Jet bicycle with 20 inch wheels. By the way, there’s a similar model for girls called the Trek Mystic. Here’s my Trek Jet 20 review:
My son had just gotten rid of his training wheels on his 16 inch Spiderman bike and was definitely ready for a slightly larger bike with bigger wheels to better keep up on our family rides. I’m generally a cheapskate, but after reading a lot of online reviews of cheaper bikes sold in big-box department stores I realized that those cheap bikes had a lot of complaints about parts breaking during the first week — and some very disappointed children (and some injuries) as a result. As I mentioned in my article about teaching kids how to ride a bike, we had had some tense moments getting rid of my son’s training wheels — so I wanted this next bike to be really great for him.
Here are a few things really impressed me about the Trek Jet 20 bike:
- I knew that Trek has a good reputation as a “bike store bike”. And it’s not just reputation — if you just look at the bike in person, you can tell the difference in quality versus those department store bikes. Also, most good bike stores will help ensure the right fit for your child and also provide the first maintenance included in the price (department stores charge extra, if they are even able to do that maintenance).
- The Trek Jet bikes are made of a lighter aluminum, so a little easier for my son to pick up and handle. The Trek Jet S bikes (and girls’ Trek Mystic S) are made of steel, and still nice bikes – but a little heavier.
- The Trek Jet 20 has a lower stand over height than many other 20 inch BMX-style bikes, and has a padded top tube and pads on the handlebars. The low stand-over height makes it much easier for my son getting on and off of the bike.
- It’s kind of nice that the Jet has a hand activated rear brake in addition to a rear coaster brake (push the pedals back to brake) just in case the chain were to come off (hasn’t happened yet). The fenders are also a plus, as my son likes to ride through puddles! Update: my son insists that I now add that he also likes riding in snow! 🙂
Plus, the bike looks cool, and my son loves it. One thing to note is that this bike seems to be geared a bit easier than many other 20 inch bikes, with a 32 tooth crank (connected to the pedals) and a 19 tooth cog (on the rear wheel). This gearing has definitely made it easier for my son to climb hills, yet is a bit slower on flat ground. Overall, I think it is good gearing for a young child who is still not great at climbing hills.
The verdict: We’ve had the bike for around eight months now, and the Trek Jet 20 is a great bike for kids. The Trek Jet is especially good for a younger child who is ready for his first bike with 20 inch wheels.
Hope you you found my Trek Jet review helpful. Here are some other relevant posts:
- Schwinn High Timber Kids Mountain Bike Review
- Diamondback Cobra Kids Mountain Bike Review
- Takara Blacktop Kids Bike Review
- Razor Kids Full Face Bike Helmet Review
- Finding the Best Bikes for Kids