It’s at this time of year that parents get inundated with requests for a new bike for Christmas, but the trouble with children, as we all know, is that they grow up, and quickly. So that bike you bought them a year ago probably won’t be big enough this year. And that’s exactly the problem that engineer Simon Evans set out to fix.
How the company LittleBig Bikes started
The 33 year-old founded the company LittleBig Bikes in Wicklow, Ireland, after spending time working in a bike shop.
“I was working as a mechanic and sales person and it was there that I came across balance bikes and saw how quickly kids were comfortable on them.
“Often small kids would just jump onto one and start zooming around the shop, it just seemed so natural for them.
“Unfortunately though, normal balance bikes are very small and kids quickly grow out of them.”
The LittleBig bike Design
Evans decided to create a bike that would grow with the child. The LittleBig bike has a number of extendable parts, including the handlebars, saddle and frame, which can all be adjusted to suit the child as it grows up. The bike is designed to be used for around five years. Evans says normally during this time a child would have gone through three or so bikes. The problem is that once a child has got used to a balance bike, they are usually too big to then keep on riding it.
“On top of that, when a child is ready to begin using a pedal bike, the parents needed to come back and buy a new bike.
“Being an engineer, my creative mind began churning out ideas and many iterations, prototypes and pondering sleepless nights later, the LittleBig was born.’
The LittleBig bike is aimed at children between the ages of two to seven, with the bike having three different adjustable sizes, allowing the child to adapt it to fit them as they get bigger. The bike starts off as a small balance bike which then converts to a larger balance bike, and then once the child is confident riding on this you can add the pedals which transform it into a proper bike.
‘The LittleBig is great for kids aged two to seven as it allows them to learn to balance and steer with the comfort of having their feet near the ground,’ he said.
“While sitting on the low saddle, the child pushes off the ground with their feet “Fred Flintstone” style and as their confidence increases they can glide along easily.’
Evans got the idea of an adjustable bike when he deconstructed the rear frame of a bike, and realised that it could be turned into a larger balance bike if it had a taller seat and handlebars.
“It’s suitable for kids up to age seven and there’s no need for stabilisers.
“Having learned to balance first, the child will have a quick and effortless transition to the pedal bike.
“These adaptions allow the LittleBig to be used for five years, over twice as long as traditional kids bikes, while giving the parent good value for money.
“It’s high quality and built like a proper bike, unlike many of the throwaway kids bikes that are currently on the market,” said Evans.
The bike is made from aluminium and weighs 11.3 lbs (5.1kg) in its simplest form and 14.6 lbs (6.6kg) fully extended with pedals.
For more information go to the LittleBigBikes.com website.