Christmas has come early for Miss OCG! She has her first road bike and she is thrilled!
She’s actually had it about two months now, a decent enough time to have tried it out on the road and on fields and she is loving it! And so are we.
So, choosing Miss OCG’s first junior road bike proved a tricky process but the winner is…..the Forme Formeula 24″.
The Formeula is the premium youth bike from Derby senior brand Forme. We considered pretty much every possible junior/youth model out there and spent weeks deliberating but in the end the winner was the Formeula 24″.
What won us over?
Well, the main issue we had was sizing. Miss OCG is tall for her age and we wanted a bike that fit her properly and would last her, but one that wasn’t too big and going to be unsafe. Some of the junior first road bikes were just a little too small, the recommended Frog bike for example would have only lasted her a short amount of time in terms of growth but the next size up would have been unsafe. And spending £400 on something that was going to need changing soon was a ridiculous thing to consider! The size guide on the Forme website is helpful and from our experience seems accurate.
Forme claim their Formeula bikes are perfect for the child who wants a little more from their bicycle. Yes, we’d agree with that!
The components on the Formeula are first class for a junior road bike and represent really good value for money. It’s stylish – it doesn’t have any obvious kid’s design on it, which was something Miss OCG didn’t want. She loved the design of this one. She thought it looked just like her Dad’s bike and liked the fact it was in Team Sky colours!
The other really good aspect is that this bike is designed to be ridden off road as well as on. It comes with cross tyres and road tyres as standard. So, it can be a road bike or a cross bike and we liked that idea. Miss OCG has tried cyclocross and as time progresses we liked the idea that this bike gave her options!
It’s a simple, quality bike with decent components that does exactly what we wanted. There is no STI front gear lever to fiddle with for the left hand as there is only one front ring – perfect for Miss OCG who had never had a bike with any gears before, and the lever is easy to use for little fingers – she doesn’t need to have eaten three weetabix for breakfast just to change gears, unlike with some of the other ‘first road’ bikes she sat on!
It’s a little heavier than it’s main competitor, which for us, was the Islabike, but quite frankly the quality, the style, the design and the components all made up for this. The weight difference is not huge and when we checked out the second hand prices of the Islabike (a new one was out of our budget), they seemed high for something someone else had already ridden lots, so the compromise seemed a very fair one!
I can’t give you an all techy review I’m afraid (although road.cc have a good one). What I can tell you is that I did my research, read lots about it, spoke to lots of people at a local cyclocross event and went to check this bike out before buying it. It fits, in all ways.
The Formeula Forme Road 24 retails at £399 but we got a good deal from an independent bike shop in Leicester and it cost us closer to £300. OK, maybe that seems expensive for a first road bike, but so far, everyone in our household is very happy with it, especially Miss OCG! With new 2015 models due out soon, you may bag a bargain on the 2014 models right now. And we’re pretty confident Miss OCG is going to get a good couple of years from this bike and that it’s good enough to grow with her as she develops in height and in cycling ability.
She’s already joined a Go Ride club locally and is having a blast!