After many years of riding very happily on his woom Bikes it was once again to size up to the next one - but this time we decided to for the woom OFF AIR as it will allow us to go explore the local Mountain Bike trails! It of course also works great for riding to school and to the beach, as we have seen during the past three months, but it really shines on trails!
Disclosure: The woom Bike was provided for free to us for this review. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is - I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.
The woom AIR OFF 6 is my son’s third woom Bike in four years - we started with the woom 4 in 2018, a great bike which our smallest is starting to ride now. In 2019 we got the woom 5 which he rode very happily in all seasons for nearly two years, before now in 2021 getting the woom OFF AIR 6. The numbers in Sizing of the woom Bikes is brilliant, it makes it very easy to know which bike to get next - and the Bikes themselves also grow nicely with the kids, and often can be used over a year or two as you can adjust the seat and handlebar. That just as a side note - now onwards to the woom OFF AIR 6.
The first question probably is: Why the woom OFF AIR 6 and not a regular woom 6 or the woom OFF? The answer is easy: The woom OFF AIR 6 gives us more possibilities. The possibility to go ride MTB Trails and some easier Downhill Trails - things the regular woom 6 also can do, but which are more comfortable, fun and safe with the woom OFF AIR. If you want your kids to go outdoors instead of sitting inside and playing video games all day, then good equipment is key in our experience. And getting the kids to want to go outside means they spend all that energy on something useful - in this case riding their bikes in nature - instead of fighting, nagging and other unproductive stuff. So, good gear gets the kids outside where they exhaust their power, and everyone in the family benefits 😊
The Specs of the OFF AIR are made for trail riding, with hydraulic disc brakes, an hydraulic air suspension fork with 80 mm travel, SRAM X5 gears and Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires for maximum grip on the trails. My son finds the woom saddles very comfortable and also long or rocky rides are no problem. Equally the handlebar grips are comfortable, with the brake and shifting levers in easy reach of smaller children hands. The bike also comes with flat pedals which is nice, so you don’t need to go hunt for some pedals when the bike arrives. Finally, the geometry of the bike is good for pedalling and not too aggressive, which means the bike also can be used for riding to school and the beach. You can check out the full specs on the woom website and be delighted about the high-quality components woom used on this kid’s bike - they are great!
This being a woom bike obviously also means it is light, something which is SO IMPORTANT for a kids bike that I can not stress it enough. The woom OFF AIR 6 weighs just 11 kg as it is made from high-quality 6061 T6 aluminum (with butted and hydroformed tubes), which makes this a nimble bike on the trails and despite “only” nine gears my son was racing up the hills and it was a joy to watch - if you ever had your child complain about not wanting to ride an uphill, you know what I mean! On the downhill and the singletrack trails the bike reacts fast and gets through tight corners with ease - even if these corners are full of roots and rocks. And even without much training it was easy for my son to lift the fork over obstacles like trees on the trail, which is another benefit of the light build and the good geometry.
Something I liked was that the bike has high-quality 6 x 2.35″ Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires with the addition of the ADDIX SPEED rubber compound, which makes the tires more durable. It’s great to see woom giving their bikes high-quality tires instead of cutting corners and saving some €£$ and go with cheaper non-branded ones. These Schwalbe tires have a low rolling resistance and great grip on trails and gravel roads alike. The tires are high-volume which means they helps absorb some vibration and provide a plusher ride compared to skinnier tires. I didn’t really care for the Car-type valves for easy filling at any gas station, but happily our tire pump has an adapter for these so it’s just a small issue =) You probably have noticed on the photos that the woom OFF AIR has thru-axles on both the front and rear wheel. These provide superior stability in comparison to the quick-release skewers you’ll find on most kids bikes, and shows once more the bike’s trail credentials.
Now the Suspension fork is made my RST, it is an AIR fork as the name suggests which means you’re easily able to adjust the pressure to the weight of your child. The Suspension fork works great (and also gets a lot of use, even on normal non-trail rides 😊), with the stanchions sliding effortlessly through the lowers with a super smooth feel, without any noticeable friction. The rebound is smooth, even with the lower pressure we put on it as our son is lightweight. The 80 mm of the AIR fork provide plenty of travel for most types of riding, and it has a lockout switch which is useful on longer climbs. Once I explained what it’s for and how to use it, it was also easy to operate by my son himself. If you feel your child doesn’t need a suspension fork - there’s the woom OFF which comes with a rigid, light carbon fork and which is only 9,3 kg heavy in Size 6. It’s also cheaper than the AIR version, but otherwise nearly identical to the OFF AIR 6 in this review.
The handlebars on the woom OFF AIR 6 are 680 mm wide, which is a good size for our son. Sure, you could have a wider handlebar but he feels this is fine at the moment and does not need to be changed. In the beginning my son had some problems with the SRAM trigger shifter on the OFF AIR, as he was used to the grip-shifter found on his old woom bikes. After I explained how to use them (something you always should do, it’s too easy to think “They will know!” as an adult!) he is now easily shifting gears - though still sometimes forget on an uphill climb that he can shift in a lower gear 😆
We have not rode on very technical trails (as in, very rocky and full of roots) yet, but on the “normal” trails here in Vaasa with a normal amount of roots and rocks the fork has absorb everything well. But it’s still a hard tail, so make sure your kid knows to have a good riding posture so it doesn’t get thrown around. I imagine my son should be fine to ride green and blue Trails in most Bike Parks with his woom OFF AIR 6, which means if you as a parent enjoy going to the Bike Park then with this Bike you can take your child along and don’t need to rent a bike!
In the end the woom OFF AIR 6 is a great addition to our bike shed, and allows us to spend more time together in nature on our local trails. If your child is completely new to riding singletrack trails and easy downhill runs at the Bike Park, then this bike is a solid choice - also because with its light weight and child-friendly geometry it works well as a everyday bike for riding around town. But it’s obviously made for riding mountain bike trails, and that it does superbly - even with a beginner rider in the saddle. The suspension fork works great for our lightweight child, the hydraulic brakes make stopping a breeze, the SRAM X5 gears make climbing uphills fun and the Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires give the rider good grip and confidence on even the most loose surfaces. Overall we are very happy with the OFF AIR 6, and while we wish the bike would come with a quick-release seatpost collar to easier change the height of the seat, and internal cable routing, for more protection of the cables on trails, our son and us parents are very happy with this bike. I see us riding many trails in Finland and hopefully also Norway and Sweden in the future with this superb kid’s bike!
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