Schwinn is following the lead of Britain's Isla Rowntree's Islabikes by creating its SmartStart range of child-proportioned bikes. The range will be available only through mass retailers including Target, Toys R Us, and Walmart, with pricing starting at under $100.
“SmartStart places Schwinn as a leader in the category of children’s bicycle design,” said Dave Duecker, vice president of product for Schwinn. “We are creating a better fitting bike for children while instilling confidence and getting them excited to ride bikes.”
Schwinn has redesigned all of its 12-inch, 14-inch, 16-inch, 18-inch and 20-inch wheeled bicycles to properly fit a child’s proportion addressing key touch points on the bike such as leverage, gearing, comfort and weight, says the company.
Schwinn’s SmartStart geometry is said to make learning to ride a bike easier for kids. It increases a child’s leverage by matching pedal width to the child’s hip width while also pushing the pedals slightly forward. Additionally, each bike is equipped with seats and grips designed to support smaller bodies. Combined with a lighter bike frame, this helps a child maintain control of their bike.
Schwinn is owned by Dorel Industries of Canada. Dorel also owns Cannondale, GT, Mongoose, Charge and Fabric of the UK, Guru, and Sugoi.