Our testers put Cube's long fingered gloves to the testRead More
When Bobbin Bikes asked us if we'd like to review their beautiful Gingersnap kids bike AND the matching adult bike, the Brownie, I immediately regretted moving from the gentle countryside of Cheshire to the steep hills of Cumbria. Thankfully, I knew just the person to ask to review them. Jen lives in a Cheshire village and has two daughters. She cycles to work regularly and had recently been asking me about which type of bike to buy for her eldest, who at the time was 4 years old and had just started school. In this post you can read her review of the 12" Bobbin Gingersnap kids bike, or click here if you're looking for the review of the adult Bobbin Brownie.
I’ve never written a bike review before. And my daughter has never had a bike that cost us more than £10.50 before (thanks Ebay and cousins!) so I was excited to take Cycle Sprog up on their offer to review Bobbin Bike’s first bike for children. And even more delighted when they asked if I’d like to borrow the matching adult bike. Um, where do I sign…?!
First things first. What do they look like? You’re buying style with Bobbin Bikes. As you can see from the photos the colour is contemporaneously classical. It’s called “Pale Mint” but to me it edges towards blue. Though I often do think green is blue (according to my husband) so I’m not sure if I’m completely trustworthy on the whole colour thing. Anyway, it’s lovely. If it had been more blue, my daughter would never have wanted it because blue is for boys. Well, it was last year. Now blue is her favourite colour. Of course. It also comes in blossom pink.
The bike was delivered in a bike box to our house and was well packaged and protected. It was very easy to put together, and came with the correctly sized Hex (Allen) keys and bike spanner which was a nice touch.
What can I say? She loved riding it! The Gingersnap is more upright than the “bike-shaped“ objects my daughter is used to riding. The saddle is padded and she says it’s more comfortable, as it's much more cushioned than she is used to.
Whilst the Bobbin doesn't claim to be one of the lightest kids bike on the market (at 8.3kg) it is really well-made and solid, and is much lighter than her previous bikes. The steering is more responsive than she was used to and she got the knack within a couple of trips out.
The chain-guard means that clothes don't get covered in oil, or caught in the chain.
For me, the most important advantage of the Gingersnap over other bikes she has had is that she can actually use the brakes. I hadn’t realised before that she had struggled to apply them. Living in Cheshire we are more likely to see an albatross roosting on our roof than a natural slope of any sort, especially one which may count as a hill, so brakes hadn’t really factored in my thinking before. With hindsight I've realised she usually stopped pedalling and waited until she was going slow enough to put her feet down. Of course, I’m now racked with shame, as if I’d put her in the front seat of Oblivion without a harness. What if she couldn’t stop and had gone in front of a car..?
But on the Bobbin she can brake easily and quickly. You can see from the photos that the brake is nice and close to the handle bar. That’s a feature I’m really impressed with.
We even found a hill (well, a bridge over the river does pass for a hill round here – seriously, I used to do running hill training over a flyover) that she made up, and more importantly, down the other side!
One thing to note about the Gingersnap first bikes is the sizing. They do a 12" and a 16" bike. However, all my daughters friends are now riding 14" bikes!
As Bobbin Bikes have only recently launched their range of kids bikes, it could be that they are testing the water and will fully submerge themselves with the middle size soon. The effect isn’t a safety issue, but a speed one. Whilst she's quite small for her age, she's now turned 5 and just outgrown the 12". Her legs are flying around but she’s struggling to keep up with her friends, which isn’t great for her competitive nature (or that of her friends!) who are on their 14” wheel bikes.
The Gingersnap 12" is aimed at children aged 2-4 years and the saddle height goes from 44 - 52cm. The larger Gingersnap 16” is aimed at children aged 5-6 with a saddle height of 47.5cm to 58.5cm. The 16" bike obviously comes in heavier, at 9.6kg. I'm not sure when she was any smaller she'd have been able to cope with handling a 16" bike.
As you'll have noticed, the Gingersnap comes with an all important wicker basket, which is perfect for carrying everything a 3 or 4 year old could need on a bike ride - cuddly toys, acorns, snacks, shopping lists etc!
Both the 12" and 16" Gingersnaps come with stabilisers (very attractive looking ones, too but we didn't need them). When my younger daughter is tall enough she’ll be able to use the bike and we should get two summers worth of fun before she outgrows it.
The RRP for the Bobbin Gingersnap 12" is £155. As I have two children, this equates to just over £75 per child, which I think is reasonable value. It's comparable with other mid range bikes and significantly cheaper than some of the premium kids bikes available, plus your getting a lot of style for your money.
It's also really worth thinking about the value of having brakes designed especially for children with smaller hands who might struggle to brake on other, cheaper bikes.
It’s too early to work out the resale value of the Gingersnap as they were only launched in 2016 and only a couple have so far come up on ebay. As they are so sturdy and well-made, I’d imagine you’d recoup a good amount on the second-hand market if you look after it.
There’s a lovely detail that my daughter spotted with the observational skills that I’ve long-since lost. “Mummy, why does your bike have a big ‘B’, and my bike has a little ‘b’?” I’ll choose to believe it isn’t a typo that has snuck through Quality Assurance, but it is because of the answer she gave; “your bike is big and my bike is little”. As I said, you’re buying style with a bobbin.
The Bobbin Gingersnap range is available from local bike shops and on-line from Tredz and Wiggle. The 12" bike comes in two colours - pale mint (reviewed) and blossom pink. The full range of Bobbins kids bikes includes a balance bike through to a 24" city bike.
Other articles you may like:
Jen was provided with the Bobbin Gingersnap 12" kids bike to review by Today's Cyclist, the UK distributor for Bobbin Bikes.
Some of the links in this article contain affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase Cycle Sprog gets a very small commission from the retailer for sending you their way. This helps us to keep Cycle Sprog running and free to use. Thanks for your support.
Our testers put Cube's long fingered gloves to the testRead More
The Islabikes Beinn 27 is a kids bike with a difference. It's the first of ...Read More
The Cube Kids 240 SL is a high end MTB for kids serious about their riding. How will our 9 year old reviewer find it?Read More