Making a great kid’s bike can be pretty challenging. Frequent growth spurts make finding the perfect fit a moving target. At the same time, the bikes need to be light enough that they’re actually fun to ride for small cyclists. Then there’s the components themselves, which often require kid-specific sizes to provide better control.
When Specialized set out to design their newest kids’ bikes, they started with the parents. When asked, most said that they wanted a bike that they could get at least three summers out of with an ideal fit. That works out to about 30 months – which doesn’t sound like much, but given how quickly kids can grow, it’s more than most kids’ bikes offer for an ideal fit.
To figure out what that meant in terms of kid-specific fit, Specialized turned to their experts at Retul in Boulder, CO. Their fit experts gathered data from their own kids in order to analyze just what made for a comfortable kid’s bike.
The result is the Specialized Jett. A kid’s bike with an impressive range of adjustability that claims to deliver that 30 months of growth into the ideal fit range.
What makes the Jett different?
Most kid’s bikes are adjustable, so what makes the Jett so special? Basically, it comes down to a wider range of adjustability coupled with a clever app and sizing labels that make it super easy for parents to properly set up the bike.
Using the Jett Fit Tool app, you start by measuring the height of your child along with the length of their shins and arms. That provides the starting point for the fit, and the app then guides you through all of the exact settings on the bike.
Adjustements start with the seat post which claims to be 60mm longer than most typical seat posts on kids’ bikes and also has a shorter minimum insertion. Combined with the fact that you can bury the post all the way to the bottom bracket, you end up with a seat post range that is as long as possible. Better yet, the seat post has clearly labeled numbers which match up to the app – so instead of having to measure out a certain height, you just line up the number with the seat post collar.
Up at the front, the Jett features handlebars with only 5° of backsweep. That’s because the bars are meant to be rotated backwards to fit riders with shorter arms, and it will keep their wrists at a proper angle. Again, clearly labeled handle bar positions are lined up with the mark on the stem based off of the app instructions – no more guessing where the bars should be.
While not unique to Specialized, the bikes all have smaller diameter grips and short reach brake levers to make using the hand brakes easier for all kids. All sizes of the Jett include hand brakes and 2.0″ wide Pathfinder tires.
While many parents might not even know what q-factor is, their child will still benefit from a narrower q-factor meant for kids. Part of Specialized’ research found that most kids bikes use cranks that include q-factors that are too wide – meaning the distance from the outside to outside of each crank arm is too far apart for smaller hips. The Jett uses a narrower q-factor crank with a narrower saddle to prevent kids from having to rock their hips from side to side while pedaling.
The multispeed Jetts also see more adjustments at the cranks, with two pedal positions.
Models & Sizes
You’ll find the new Jett in four different models and in three wheel sizes. The smallest is the Jett 16″ which is only offered in single speed. Then the Jett 20″ comes in both a single speed and 7-speed option, followed by the Jett 24″ which is 8-speed only. The bikes have A1 Premium butted alloy unisex frames with claimed weights of 8.76kg or 19.3lbs for the Jett 20″ MS, or 9.39kg/20.5 lbs for the Jett 24″ MS.
Pricing starts out at $450 for the Jett 16 SS, then $475 for then $475 for the Jett 20″ SS, $520 for the Jett 20″ MS, and $580 for the Jett 24″ MS.
Recommended height range:
- Jett 16” SS: 95cm – 121cm
- Jett 20” SS or Jett 20” MS: 102cm – 132cm
- Jett 24” MS: 109cm – 147cm
Children’s bike progression
Keeping it in the family, Specialized gives a suggested bicycle progression from balancing on a Hotwalk to shifting on a Jett or Riprock. Keep things fun, and your child will be upgrading to a full size bike before you know it!