The woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC – 7 things you need to know about our magical bike
The woom ORIGINAL 3 is our superlight 16″ bike designed for children aged between four and six. Its light weight, child-specific components and numerous safety features make it so much more enjoyable to ride than all the other bulky bikes for kids out there.
We're always hearing from our woom community that little cycling enthusiasts think there's something magical about their woom bikes.
And now we've launched a new version of this bike that is magic by name, magic by nature... Say hello to the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC!
The woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC with an automatic gear hub for children aged between four and six.
As the name suggests, this particular bike is just like the woom ORIGINAL 3 but with added MAGIC!
The woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC opens up a world of magical bike ride adventures for little cycling enthusiasts.
What is special about the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC?
The new woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC is a 16″ children's bike with automatic two-gear shifting on top of all the signature elements and safety features of the woom ORIGINAL 3.
We've put together this handy list of seven things you need to know about our brand-new bike with magical powers, so you can work out if it's the right option for your child.
1. The bike's automatic gearing is a sealed system
The AUTOMAGIC gearing is tucked away safely and out of sight inside the bike's rear wheel hub. The hub may be a little bigger than a standard one, but the system works without a trigger shifter or gear cables. Plus, there's no derailleur cage or cassette.
All the magic goes on inside the hub, so you can't tell from the outside that the gears have changed.
2. The automatic hub shifts to second gear at around 11 km/h
The best bit about this internal gearing is that it shifts automatically without your child having to operate the gears manually. All they have to do is keep pedalling!
If your child is speeding along a flat and gets up to a speed of around 11 km/h, a centrifugal force mechanism inside the hub makes the shift from first to second gear happen.
As your child's pace slows back down to around 11 km/h – due to a climb, a strong headwind or them just wanting to go slower – the gearing will automatically return to first gear.
3. Automatic gear shifting is perfect for long bike rides and makes cycling safer
If your child has already mastered how to ride a bike (= they can get on, set off and get off by themselves and brake and make turns safely) and you've been on some first bike rides together, you may have found that your child is keen to up their speed on the longer flat stretches.
In those situations, you probably noticed that your child had to keep pedalling faster and faster every time they wanted to pick up their speed because the pedalling resistance is always the same when there's only one gear.
We call this spinning out.
Sometimes the lack of resistance can cause your child's feet to slide off the pedals. Your child might even lose their balance and start to swerve about.
This is where automatic shifting comes in.
Basically, when your child reaches a speed of around 11 km/h, the automatic hub shifts to second gear. This will increase the pedalling resistance, so your child has more control as they pick up the pace. There's no longer any need to worry about them spinning out, sliding off the pedals or losing their balance.
The automatic hub keeps the littlest cyclists happy and safe on family bike ride adventures.
4. The biggest bonus of automatic shifting on a children's bike is "shifting without shifting"
If you think about it, there's a lot going on all at once when you're riding a bike – concentration, movement, coordination and balance. It's really not easy – especially when you're just starting out.
If a child aged between four and six had to decide which gear would be best and worry about manually changing gears on top of everything else, it could easily end up being a bit much for them to deal with.
They would end up being distracted and unable to concentrate on actually riding their bike. They may even end up forgetting to watch out for obstacles, corners, other cyclists and pedestrians.
The automatic hub on the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC takes care of the gear shifts at exactly the right moment.
That leaves your child free to focus on cycling and everything else that involves as they head to the playground or enjoy a family bike ride adventure. They should be taking in their surroundings and enjoying their time in the great outdoors, right? Who else is going to point out the giant grasshoppers flying by?!
Automatic gear shifting is the key to unlocking even more magical bike ride adventures – just imagine all that your child will be able to discover along the way.
5. The AUTOMAGIC gearing is protected against damage, requires little to no maintenance and isn't prone to wear and tear
Younger children don't always show their bike the necessary level of care. They get excited easily and it doesn't take much for them to just jump off and abandon their bike. Arriving at the playground, stopping off to explore by the river and bumping into their bestie from school are all situations that might make them forget to use their kickstand or carefully rest their bike against a tree or wall.
But none of that matters with the sealed structure of the AUTOMAGIC gearing. Dirt, wet weather, bumps and other external forces are no problem at all because the system is all tucked away safely inside the hub.
The derailleur hangers or sprockets you need for chain transmissions could easily be bent out of shape on the wild adventures of an excitable child. Meanwhile, a gear hub will remain in perfect condition.
The sealed hub design protects the automatic gearing against external forces.
Less time servicing the gears means more time for family bike rides!
Every parent who usually finds themselves faced with the task of servicing their family's collection of bikes will no doubt be delighted to hear that the AUTOMAGIC gearing requires zero maintenance for years and years when used in regular conditions.
Even better – there's no trigger shifter, gear cables or cassette to worry about. Those are the components that would traditionally move over time and need to be adjusted every so often. That's when you end up with gears that no longer engage smoothly.
Plus, the transmission parts inside the hub have special permanent lubrication, so no routine lubrication is required.
As is the norm on any bike (with or without gears), the chain still just needs cleaning and lubricating on a regular basis. Thanks to the special, upper-only chainguard on the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC, it's exceptionally easy to service the chain from the underside as there's no need to remove the chainguard to do so.
Please note: Even though the gearing requires little to no maintenance, the same does NOT apply to the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC bike as a whole. Bikes are just like any other piece of technical machinery in that they need to be serviced. You can find the recommended maintenance intervals in the instruction manual for your woom bike.
6. What's the difference between the woom ORIGINAL 3 and the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC?
The two main structural differences between the two bikes are the automatic gear hub and the one-winged chainguard on the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC.
The magic happens on the inside thanks to the centrifugal force mechanism in the Sturmey-Archer automatic gear hub on the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC.
The one-winged chainguard on the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC offers protection against dirt and injury, while making it easier to service the chain.
More minor technical tweaks have also been made, including one to make the chain slightly longer and another to make the spokes on the rear wheel a bit shorter to create space for the hub, which is slightly larger than standard hubs.
Since the gear hub is also a little heavier than a standard hub, there is a slight weight difference between the two bikes, with the AUTOMAGIC model weighing in at around 700 grams heavier than the single-speed woom ORIGINAL 3.
And we can't forget the difference in price. The complex technology required for the built-in hub gearing means that the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC costs 80 euros more than the version of the bike without gearing.
There is virtually no difference when it comes to the accessories and spare parts that are compatible with the two different bikes, though. With the exception of the chain and chainguard, everything that fits one bike also fits the other
7. The woom bike with AUTOMAGIC shifting is designed for children who can already ride a bike and do so regularly
When you're deciding between the woom ORIGINAL 3 models with and without gearing for your child, there are a number of factors you need to consider. It's not true that one bike is better than the other and that's that. What matters most is how confident your child is on their bike and how often they take it out for a spin.
If your child learnt to ride on a smaller bike (like the woom ORIGINAL 2) and is now ready to start setting off on more adventures (= first family bike rides and increased usage for getting from A to B), the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC is the perfect choice.
It can also be the better option for children who have been smashing pump tracks since they were getting about on a balance bike and are now transitioning to their first bike with pedals, especially if your family tends to spend a lot of time on their bikes for fun and transportation.
These are the children whose feet are more likely to slide off the pedals because they end up spinning out when riding a bike without gears on the flat. That's simply because a single-speed bike doesn't have enough pedalling resistance for the power in their legs.
On the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC, kids are free to show off the power in their legs without finding themselves spinning out!
Meanwhile, children who still need to pick up and practise the basics of riding a bike will find they get on better with the woom ORIGINAL 3 due to the difference in weight. Our 16″ single-speed bike weighs around 700 grams less than the bike with gearing, which makes it ideal for children who are just learning how to ride a bike. It's just right for short, simple trips around and about your local area.
If you're still struggling to make a decision, have a think about what it's like where you live. Do you have a lot of uphill and downhill stretches to contend with? Or do you live in a notoriously windy region? Or maybe you have to factor in the double challenge of hills and wind? In any of these cases, the woom bike with AUTOMAGIC gearing would be a sensible choice for your child.
Having two gears as opposed to riding a single-speed bike tends to be a big advantage on light to moderate climbs or when riding into a headwind.
The first gear of the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC is 17% lower than the (single) gear on the single-speed woom ORIGINAL 3. In other words, things are a bit easier in first gear, which can help your child tackle an uphill stretch or cycle into the wind.
At first glance, there's not much difference between the single-speed woom ORIGINAL 3 and the woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC with automatic hub gearing.
woom ORIGINAL 3
- Weight (without pedals): 5.4 kg
- Ideal for children learning to ride a bike
- Perfect on short, flat stretches
- No gear shifting
- Fully closed chainguard
woom ORIGINAL 3 AUTOMAGIC
- Weight (without pedals): 6.1 kg
- Designed for children with some cycling experience
- Ideal for longer bike rides and cycling in hilly/windy regions
- Two gears
- Gear shifts automatically at around 11 km/h
- Chainguard open at the bottom to make it easier to service the chain
How much woom bike magic would you like?
The woom ORIGINAL 3 with AUTOMAGIC hub gearing is not necessarily better than the single-speed woom bike for every child. But it is sure to unlock even more magic moments for children who have already mastered the basics of riding a bike and are ready to set off on more cycling adventures.
The automatic shifting and sealed gear hub design make it possible for young, ambitious cyclists to transition to a woom bike with gears sooner than they would be able to do so otherwise. Uphill climbs become easier in first gear and a shift to second gear helps children stay safe and in control on longer bike rides.