When Mondraker released the Grommy range of kids’ eBikes earlier in the year the comment section and most of the internet was set ablaze with angry comments upset with ‘lazy’ kids. Andi saw the Grommy as a thing for good, something that his daughter could have a lot of fun on, so he bought one.
Ok, so this isn’t really an eBike as there are no pedals and no human power goes into the forward motion of the bike. If you feel your blood boiling then you haven’t read anything yet! The Grommy even has a throttle!
Yup, it’s an eBalance motorbike hybrid thingy, but a fun thingy none-the-less, and I think my little rider is going to develop some pretty cool skills ragging the battery-powered Grommy around our garden.
Before we get into the details of the bike let’s address this ‘lazy’ argument. I can only speak for my daughter, but she received her first bike before she was even walking properly, and like a good Sykes her first bike was a Commencal, she even bought it from Max Commencal himself!
You can also see my elder two children in this photo, 2 promising riders who haven’t ridden properly since we moved back to the UK, but at least I have one MTB fan in the clan.
After progressing from her mini balance bike, which had a disc brake for full-on skid action, she moved to another Commencal this time with pedals, and then a Patrol 016 her current pedal bike. So she can ride, and she does ride.
So I don’t have a lazy rider, and I haven’t bought the Mondraker Grommy for her to become lazy, I’ve bought it because she wants to try something new, she wants to learn how to drift (though I’m not sure the Grommy has the power for that) and who knows, she might decide Moto X is more her speed so I’m opening up that possibility to her.
Just as I would never replace my traditional mountain bike with an eBike, I do like to have both and I don’t see an issue in my little one wanting to rag a moto-balance bike around either. It also opens up the possibility of longer rides, exploring new places and having fun together on two wheels.
To be honest if seeing a little girl have fun on a bike, motorised or not, makes you angry enough to jump to the comments section and get all ranty then perhaps you need to reassess a few life decisions.
Mondraker Grommy 16 first look
We’ve opted for the largest of the two Grommy bikes and as you might expect from the name it runs 16in wheels. Both wheels are built with disc compatible hubs, but only the rear gets a brake. I would have thought for the cost, Mondraker might include a front brake in the box, but they don’t and to be fair the cable operated Tektro discs aren’t the best for small hands.
Vee Tire Co. seems to be the number 1 provider of kids specific mountain bike tyres. Every bike my daughter has is fitted with Vee’s tires, and that’s fine by me. The Crown Gem tyre fitted to the Grommy has a nice fast rolling pattern and they use a proper rubber compound so your little rider has the same level of grip as an adult might on larger Crown Gems.
Mondraker has produced the frame from alloy with distinctive Mondraker design touches and traditional long reach. The fork is also alloy and features tabs for a disc brake and appears to be suspension adjusted for future upgrades.
The motor drives the rear wheel and is controlled by a throttle. A small display on the handlebar gives you a battery life indicator and tells you which power mode you’re set in. A button on the left of the bar turns the Grommy on while holding the right-side button and twisting the throttle will change power mode. As an added safety step, the power button has to be held for 5 seconds before it turns on, the mode selection also takes a few seconds to switch so nothing can be changed by mistake.
There are 3 settings, 1 is the Balance mode giving the bike a top speed of 8.1km/h. Setting 2 is Fun with a top speed of 12.1km/h and the 3rd setting is Advanced with a top speed of 17.1km/h. The smaller wheeled 12in Grommy has slightly slower max speeds.
The battery sits in the frame just by the footplate near where the BB would be. It’s an 18v – 4.0Ah Lithium-Ion battery that takes around 1 hour to fully charge and offers between 45-70min of use depending on the mode you’re in. The battery looks identical to those found on a rechargeable drill and uses a similar charger, whether they’re compatible I don’t know as I haven’t tried.
How does it ride?
No idea. While I’m tempted to try it I don’t think it was really designed for a 39-year-old and I don’t want to damage her new bike. She seems to love it though and it didn’t take her long to up the speed to level 3, though she was upset it’s not faster than her sister in a running race.
We’ll be out again tonight testing the Grommy on steeper climbs, and seeing if the wetter conditions mean we can get some doughnuts on camera.
Mondraker Grommy 16 Specifications
- Frame: 16in alloy Mondraker Grommy
- Fork: Alloy rigid fork with disc brake tabs
- Wheels: 16in alloy with disc hubs
- Tyres: Vee Tire Co. Crown Gem 16 x 2.25in
- Brake: Rear Tektro cable disc brake
- Motor: MDK Brushless
- Saddle and seatpost: MDK
- Bar and stem: MDK kid-specific bar and stem
- Price: £799
- From: Silverfish