From the moment the box was dropped on our doorstep, my son’s excitement level was palpable. Having outgrown not only the size of the frame, but also the capabilities of his first pedal bike, he was looking forward to getting a ‘real’ kids mountain bike.
As stated earlier, the bike was easy to assemble straight out of the box, with only the handlebars, seat post and pedals needing to be installed. Within just a few minutes my son was ripping hot laps in front of our house with a huge smile on his face. After the initial test ride of the bike, it was clear the seat was a little too high for comfort, especially if we were going to tackle some tougher trails, and the second, shorter seat post that is provided with the ZULU TWO proved to be extremely valuable addition. Utilizing the tools provided in the box, we quickly swapped the seat post, and the fit was dialed.
Compared to his previous bike, the position was noticeably more stretched out, but also more balanced on the bike. The new geometry combined with the ultra-small diameter grips and short reach brakes levers allowed him to feel comfortable immediately proven by his sprint down the driveway into a rubber melting 15-foot skid in the street.
After a few more laps in front of the house it was clear that it was time to head to the local skills park and trail center to see how his new bike would handle some more adventurous terrain.
We first started at a pump track my son is quite familiar with, and I could immediately see his confidence continue to grow. Pumping and cornering ever faster, he hammered out lap after lap shouting, ‘I love my new bike’. The progression continued as we ventured over to the dirt jump progression lines where he fearlessly pedaled down the drop in and through the three jumps that make up the beginner line. On his previous attempts at these jumps his front wheel would fly high into the air and inevitably smash down onto the knuckle of the table, but this time the balanced geometry of the ZULU TWO was immediately noticeable keeping his bike level with both wheels leaving the ground landing with his weight evenly distributed. As he sprinted back to make another attempt, he looked at me and gleefully shouted, “Dada, I got both wheels off the ground!” The initial impressions of the bike were quite good for both father and rider.
With confidence at an all time high, we continued to explore the skills park and local trail system over the following weeks. Riding both familiar trails and new trails as skills and confidence grew. Eventually riding up to seven miles in one go with a few pit stops for snacks and nature breaks.
During this time, it became very apparent that this bike was truly designed from the ground up for kids allowing them to progress and explore trails like never before. A balanced weight distribution combined with the oversized tires allow for great traction while cornering and a few saves when line choice was questionable. The longer, lower, slacker design approach inspired confidence and improved handling of the bike, but it can also have its pitfalls.
When tackling more rocky or technical terrain younger children still tend to try to pedal through them which can lead to pedal strikes and the occasional crash due to the low BB height. Also, in this terrain the steering of the front wheel can be a bit sluggish due to the slack head angle leading a younger rider to struggle to navigate obstacles in the trail. Overall, the benefits of the Gravity Trail Geometry far outweigh any of the perceived downsides and the downsides will be minimized as a young rider’s skills improve. It’s also possible with the upgrade to the HEIR suspension fork some of these problems could be mitigated.
After nearly a month of riding 4-5 days a week the bike is showing little wear and tear. A few too many sweet skids in the driveway have the Innova tires looking a little warn, the inevitable scratch from laying the bike down a bit to aggressively or the occasional crash, but overall, we’re looking forward to our continued exploration deeper into our trail system and on to more difficult terrain aboard the Prevelo ZULU TWO.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The Prevelo ZULU TWO is a thoughtfully designed kids mountain bike that will allow your child to progress quickly and confidently leading to ultimate trail fun. A rugged, yet lightweight frame featuring Gravity Trail Geometry, well curated spec, extra seat post and loads of additional options will serve your child (and many more down the road) well for years to come.