Forme Bikes, based up in the Peak District, are making some good bikes right now. We recently reviewed the Longcliffe 1.0 which was a very solid all-rounder. With the current popularity of cycling and especially the upturn in junior racing, they've turned their attention to kids' bikes and today they've launched their first three-bike range under a sub-brand, Formeula.
The emphasis is very much on competition-capable machines here. "We've been up and down the country researching the market at youth events and Go Ride sessions and most parents, children and qualified cycling coaches all requested the same thing, a lightweight bike with ergonomics that put the young rider in full control", said Forme's Andy Liversidge. "Our bikes do exactly that and are specifically designed to suit smaller hands, arms and leg lengths, plus they all have restricted race ready gear ratios so there is no after purchase fiddling required should your child be considering racing."
All three bikes are road and cyclocross compatible, with cantilever brakes and good mud clearance. On top of that, each bike comes with two sets of tyres, one slick and one knobbly, so you're all set up for racing out of the box whichever discipline you're into. The bikes are based around lightweight 6061 Aluminium alloy frames and they're built up with a Shimano 2300/Altus drivetrain. Cranks are matched to the three sizes: the 24" wheel model has 140mm cranks, lengthening to 152mm for the 26" bike and 160mm for the 700c. The 24" model costs £399.99, with the 26" and 700c bikes a bit more: £449.99 and £499.99 respectively. In terms of price and spec they're more or less toe-to-toe with Islabikes' Luath range which covers the same wheel sizes.
The bikes have a new website, www.formeulabikes.co.uk, that aims to be as informative as possible to young people (and their parents) who are looking to get more serious with their riding. "Along with the fun sections that give youngsters the chance to design their own bikes and jerseys for days when cycling is a no go, the site is also host to helpful topics for both child and parent", said Liversidge. "For Bike Maintanence we have teamed up with Cytech to offer advice and tips on cleaning and prolonging the longevity of the bike. There's a Q&A section titled Formeula to Success with some top tips about how young riders and parents can get the most out of their riding. We've got information and tips about joining clubs, and there's also a size calculator built in to the site which requests measurements of children's height and leg length and then automatically calculates the perfect bike from our range."
The Formeula bikes are expected very soon and should be in stores across the UK later this month. For more information on the bikes head over to www.formeulabikes.co.uk
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.