While kids e-bikes have started to become more popular, the brand new Grommy from trail bike experts Mondraker might be one of the first fully-fledged electric balance bikes we've seen. Crafted from "pure mtb DNA", it's not for faint-hearted little ones either with a 250 watt motor system and a "bike bike feel", to prepare them for slaying the trails on a pedal-assist e-mtb when they get older.
While it's not the first electric balance bike we've seen (check out the Amped models with a 100 watt motor), it's certainly the closest you're going to get to an e-mtb without pedals if your nipper wants an early introduction to the trails. The name 'Grommy' is born out of the term 'Groms' that is used to describe young participants of extreme sports: "We’ve tried to invoke that sense of fun and freedom for younger kids in its creation – something that has never felt more important than during this difficult year", so say Mondraker.
The power unit is described as "easy to control" and has the full 250 watts of assist available to us in the EU, and it's integrated into a sturdy 6061 alloy frame featuring Mondraker's 'Forward Geometry'. It comes in 12" (3-5 years) and 16" (5-8 years) sizes, weighing in at 7.5kg and 8.5kg respectively. In the saddle, seatpost, handlebar and stem, Mondraker have selected 'standard' components found on pedal-assist bikes to make the switch to a proper bike more natural when the child is old enough.
Cable routing is mostly internal, and there's a Tektro disc brake at the rear with a 140mm rotor. The rider has a throttle-style power mode selector on the right twistgrip, with three power modes. The first mode has a max speed of 8.1km/h, and with 'Fun' and 'Advanced' mode the power can be cranked up to 17.7km/h - it can also be used with the power turned off to be used as a traditional balance bike. A custom plastic protector covers the motor and drivetrain to keep your child's feet safe, and both the battery and motor are water-resistant to the IPX4 rating. Run time for the bespoke battery is up to 60 minutes, with a full charge also taking just an hour.
So, why an e-balance bike? Most would agree that non-powered balance bikes are a useful stepping stone for young ones to develop confidence without the pedals causing a distraction, and Mondraker say the Grommy "elevates the balance bike category to a whole new level."
If your child is destined to ride an e-mtb then arguably getting them used to the managing the assist is a good idea... although you might find it's a bit of a headache finding somewhere for them to legally ride it, as technically the Grommy is a moped according to UK law. Even with pedals e-bikes are illegal for children under 14 to ride on roads or paths, so with an electric balance bike we're entering pretty murky territory. If you happen to live near a private trail centre or have something set up in your back garden though, then your child can shred as they please...
Mondraker say the Grommy will be available to buy from dealers with an estimated retail price of €749 - head over to their website for more info.