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Vitus 14 Kids Bike

8
£299.99

VERDICT:

8
10
A great first pedal bike for any young rider – it's well priced and my son found it fun to ride
Value for money
Good components
Custom bar and short-reach brake levers inspire confidence on the bike
Long reach could reduce stability for shorter riders
Tyres could be grippier
Weight: 
6,120g
Contact: 

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The Vitus 14 Kids Bike is a lightweight first pedal bike that's ideal for young riders graduating from their balance bike. It features child-friendly components such as short-reach adjustable brake levers, smaller diameter handlebar grips and a bespoke chainset.

Weight

Weight is such an important factor for kids' bikes, because the ability of the young rider to use the bike independently, to haul it out the garage, pick it up off the floor and bounce it up and down stairs is paramount for their enjoyment.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - head tube badge.jpg

The Vitus 14 weighed in at 6.1kg on our scales, without pedals and the removable chain guard.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - front brake.jpg

This is light compared to most budget bikes, if 600-800g heavier than some of the most expensive lightweight children's bikes on the market, machines such as the Islabikes Cnoc 14, the Earlyrider Belter 14 or Hornit Hero 14. The Vitus is easily light enough for our little tester, just-turned-four-year-old Roo, to manoeuvre it around confidently without needing any help from me.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - fork detail.jpg

Price

Spending a lot of money on a kid's bike is always a daunting prospect, especially when you consider the speed at which they can grow as well as their ability to lose interest in things from one day to the next.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - bottom bracket.jpg

However, on the flipside a well-made bike does tend to hold its resale value, so you can see it as an investment, especially if you have more than one little cyclist in the family who's going to be using it.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - bars 1.jpg

At £299, and presently available at Wiggle and Chain Reaction for nearly a third less, the Vitus 14 is very competitively priced, even at its full RRP it's up to £100 cheaper than the top-end rivals mentioned previously and the Frog 40 and Black Mountain Pinto 14, both of which have similar weights.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - rear brake 2.jpg

The only well-specced lightweight bike I'm aware of at a lower price is the Wild 14 from Go Outdoors, which costs £250 or £180 for members.

Length

One reason for some of the bike's additional weight is likely to be the bike's size, as it has a larger frame than other 14in bikes. As well as the long reach it comes with a 60mm stem, which makes for a stretched-out riding position for younger kids.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - downtube.jpg

Our tester Roo is 105cm in height, which is tall for a four-year-old and right at the top end of the recommended height on the Vitus website (98-106cm), so the long reach possibly suits him well.

Gears

The Vitus 14 has good mid-range single-speed gearing. Roo has had no problem climbing up the small hills where we live and doesn't ever spin out even when sprinting along flat tarmac.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - drivetrain.jpg

From the first ride, he's loved the bike and felt very confident riding it. The chain and metal chainring will be responsible for a chunk of weight compared to the lighter plastic cogs and belts on the EarlyRider Belter, Hornit Hero and Black Mountain Pinto 14.

Tyres

The tan wall Vee Speedster tyres were indeed speedy, slick affairs that whizzed along on pavements and in the skate park, but they did slide about on wetter, muddy trails in the woods.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - rim and tyre.jpg

Grips

The 19mm diameter grips allowed Roo to really wrap his hands around them securely, even with gloves on, which in turn makes the short-reach brake levers easy to use, inspiring plenty of confidence in his bike handling.

Colours and accessories

The Vitus is available in yellow, silver and red and the reflectors and bell are a nice touch, Roo quickly getting the hang of dinging the bell to warn people he was about to speed past.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - brake lever and grip_.jpg

Our test bike was silver and I had no problem getting Roo to ride this over his orange Forme Cubley. He calls it his mountain bike because it looks just like Daddy's.

Warranty

Vitus offers a five-year warranty on all its frames, which is pretty standard, but on top of that Vitus offers an extended two-year warranty on all components excluding wear-and-tear items such as bearings, brake pads, chains, cassettes and the like.

2023 Vitus 14 Kids Bike - top tube detail.jpg

Value

At £299, though presently available for much less, this is a very good value first bike when compared to other quality lightweight bikes such as the 5.4kg Hornit Hero 14 that starts at £379, and which Matt rated rated for both its low weight and low maintenance.

The Islabikes Cnoc 14 has a heavyweight £399 price but a claimed weight of just 5.2kg, while the Earlyrider Belter 14 comes in at the same price and a weight just 300g heavier.

The Black Mountain Pinto weighs 5.9kg and was £329 when Stu tested tested it and found it a great little bike. But it now comes in at £399, which is nearly twice the price of the Vitus at its sale price.

Overall

A classic-looking, confidence-instilling first pedal bike. Light, easy to handle and very good value, it's the perfect partner for your child in the early stages of riding a bike.

Verdict

A great first pedal bike for any young rider – it's well priced and my son found it fun to ride

road.cc test report

Make and model: Vitus 14 Kids Bike

Size tested: n/a

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

FRAME: Aluminium

6061-T6 Aluminium, V-brake, Threaded BB, 3/8in Dropouts

FRONT HUB: KT Aluminium

KT A16F, 16 Hole, 100mm x 3/8in Cr-Mo Axle

FORKS: Aluminium

Aluminium, V-brake, 3/8in Dropouts

REAR HUB: KT Aluminium

KT 51VR, 20 Hole, 110mm x 3/8in Cr-Mo Axle

CHAINSET: Vitus Kids

90mm Crank Arm, Twin Chainguard, Reduced Q Factor, 28T, 1/8 x 1/2in

SPOKES: Steel

12mm Nipple

BOTTOM BRACKET: Square Taper

Sealed Cartridge Bearings, English Thread, BSA, 68mm

FRONT TYRE: Vee Speedster

14in x 2.0in

REAR DERAILLEUR: N/A

N/A

REAR TYRE: Vee Speedster

14in x 2.0in

REAR SHIFTER: N/A

N/A

HANDLEBARS: VITUS 6061 Aluminium Kids

19mm Diameter, 25.4mm Bar Bore, 420mm Width, Safety End Caps

CASSETTE: DNP Cr-Mo Freewheel

14T x 1/8in x 1/2in, M30 x 1

STEM: VITUS 6061 Aluminium Kids

+/- 15 degrees, Length 60mm

CHAIN: KMC Z1

Z1 Wide, 1/8in x 1/2in Singlespeed

HEADSET: A-Headset 1 1/8in

Loose Ball-Bearings, External Cups, 1 1/8in

BRAKE LEVERS: Tektro JL350-RS

Short Reach

GRIPS: VITUS Kids

TPR Rubber, 19mm

FRONT BRAKE: Tektro JL350-RS

Short Reach

SADDLE: VITUS Kids

Steel Rail

REAR BRAKE: Tektro JL350-RS

Short Reach

SEATPOST: VITUS 6061 Aluminium Kids

27.2mm x 200mm, 20mm Offset

FRONT RIM: Weinmann TM20

14in, 16 Hole

SEATCLAMP: Aluminium 31.8mm

N/A

REAR RIM: Weinmann TM20

14in, 20 Hole

AXLES: QR

Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Vitus says: 'The Vitus 14 is designed specifically around new riders that have just stepped away from either stabilizers or their trusty balance bike. To ensure that a child's confidence isn't lost when learning to pedal along, the 14 features geometry that optimizes stability and performance with a light weight 6061 aluminium frameset.

'Featuring child friendly components such as short reach adjustable brake levers, smaller diameter handlebar grips and a bespoke chainset. Which in turn all helps improve riding stability, control and confidence, and ensure cycling is a fun experience. The 14 features a child friendly single speed gearing with a light enough action to be used on or off road. To help your child learn to stop with ease, the bike comes fitted with Tektro V-Brakes giving relable braking performance, and easy operation.

'To help stability and pedalling efficiency, the 14 features a dedicated chainset that has a reduced Q Factor. This brings the pedals as close to the centre of the bike as possible, inline with the hips. As its name implies the 14 features 14in wheels and tyres. All-purpose Vee Speedster tyres are equally at home on hard pavement or off-road trails. The Vitus 14 is also supplied with a removeable full length chain guard for added safety.'

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

There is a range of Vitus kids bikes covering years three to 10-plue years, from balance bikes to trail-ready hardtails and CX bikes.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Excellent quality throughout with a good paint finish.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Frame is 6061 aluminium alloy. Lightweight aluminium fork

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Both the frame and fork have been designed to specifically fit children's physiology.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The frame is a little longer than others, which suits the longer/taller rider, but this didn't seem to affect Roo's stability or confidence when handling the bike.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Roo thought it was very comfortable.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Neutral

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

Not too twitchy, and Roo found it easy to navigate round tight corners.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

Comfy saddle and bar grips.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The small diameter grips and short reach brake levers are very easy to use.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Good mid-range single-speed gearing. With a minimally oiled, clean chain we didn't have any issue with oily clothes or trapped digits thanks to the full-length, removable chain guard.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?

Fast and slick on tarmac, a little slippy when going off road in the wet.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
9/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

Small diameter grips and adjustable short-reach brake levers allow for confident bike handling for little riders

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? My son did very much

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Even at its full £299 RRP the Vitus is a good value first bike when compared to other quality lightweight bikes such as the £369 Hornit Hero 14, the Islabikes Cnoc 14 at £399, the Earlyrider Belter 14 at £399, the Frog 40 at £380 and the £399 Black Mountain Pinto 14. The Wild 14 from Go Outdoors – RRP £250 or £180 for members – is the only well-specced first pedal bike that seems to be better value. At its much reduced price the Vitus is even more of a bargain.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

If you're looking for a good quality lightweight first pedal bike to transition from a balance bike to a pedal bike you will struggle to find better value than the Vitus 14. There are slightly lighter options available but they come with a higher price tag.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 0  Height:   Weight:

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Novice

I regularly do the following types of riding:

Victor found his way over to road.cc from Cycling Weekly where he was the marketing manager for eight years. Most of the miles he covers are on the mountain bike exercising his cocker spaniel, but every once in a while he jumps on the road bike for a local coffee ride with friends or a trip across the channel to ride on flat canal-side cycle paths. 

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2 comments

Avatar
momove | 6 months ago
0 likes

Just to add a vote for the Vitus 14. We got one for our child just at 4 years of age. It was the next bike after a balance bike, so learning pedalling was a bit of a challenge, but the bike itself is great.

The weight of the bike is good, as a lighter bike helps with balancing. Also carrying the bike, I wouldn't want anything heavier to carry around. The grips are great, in particular the wide bar ends, which protect the hands well.

I think the gearing could have been a little easier. I can't see children this young spinning out, or being bothered by it, but a lower gearing would help with learning to pedal, keeping balance and steering. At this size, it's probably the first pedal bike a child has.

But it's a great bike and I'd very happily just get the next size up for the next bike.

Avatar
Dogless | 7 months ago
0 likes

Good to see wild bikes mentioned. As far as I can tell they're identical to the frog/Isla but half the price. Had one in every size and they're great.

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