Karen Wood is turning her passion for getting children cycling into creating a new brand; Kidvelo Bikes. A collection of premium quality, lightweight kids’ bikes designed to fit through growth spurts, made available at accessible pricing. 1 to 8-year-olds can ride Kidvelo Bikes and learn to balance; the most challenging skill to master. All without ever using stabilisers.
Kidvelo build bikes to be tough and perform with carefully considered frame design, top-quality materials, and custom parts. A successful first bike experience will develop a love for the outdoors, build confidence, and improve coordination. Kidvelo Bikes launched in November 2021.
In 2009, she spotted a strange-looking wooden bike with no pedals at her toddler’s nursery. A balance bike is designed to teach children to balance without needing stabilisers and is a safe, fun way to learn to ride a bike. Balance Bikes are a significant improvement over stabilisers and she immediately spotted the opportunity. Struggling to juggle a corporate role around young children, in 2010, she resigned and started selling balance bikes from her kitchen table, before taking on the distribution contract for an American brand and growing it to become a market leader in the UK.
Over that time, her family company sold thousands of bikes, won numerous awards for customer service and she set up balance bike racing events. Not an easy event to organise, getting several hundred toddlers onto a start line. Not only did the kids have a blast, but she could also closely connect with her customers. She hosted the first-ever Downhill balance bike race and raced toddlers over the finish lines of professional races such as the Tour of Britain and the Womens’ Tour, all to inspire the kids.
Despite the success, she wished to improve the quality and design of the bikes sold. The opportunity to learn from listening to parents and watching how kids rode gave her the ideas to develop the perfect bike design. In 2020, Kidvelo started the research and design stage, but soon after, the global lockdowns began. Made harder by meetings over Zoom, tweaking designs, flying in testing models and prototypes, but by February 2021, Kidvelo had reached mass production stage. Kidvelo finally had a factory, materials and safety certificates. In November 2021, the first model, the Rookie 12 Balance Bike was in stock for kids aged 18-months and received rapturous applause from industry experts, parents and the kids. Kidvelo now have three models Rookie 12 Balance Bike, Rookie 14 Balance to Pedal Bike, Rookie 18 Balance to Pedal Bikes that go from 18 months to 7 years.