Width - The width of the cranks is often referred to as the "Q-Factor". This dimension is basically measured from pedal to pedal and is another very important measurement because, like the length of the cranks, it allows children's legs and feet to be properly aligned with their hips as they ride creating a more comfortable and efficient pedal stroke. Think about it this way, if I try to walk with my legs spread wide it is uncomfortable, inefficient and doesn't allow my feet to align properly with my hips and I probably won't walk very far without getting tired or sore. Conversely if I walk normal with my legs and feet lining up with my hips I can walk for hours and still be comfortable. This same analogy is true for pedaling, if your knees and feet are in-line with your hips then you are pedaling more efficiently and ultimately more comfortable. Ok, so how does this work for kids? Our cranks are custom designed with a low Q-Factor of 140mm compared to most other children's bikes that have adult Q's of 150 or in some cases more than 160mm. Kids have little hips so they need a smaller Q than what we need. Similar to the crank length most of the less expensive bikes have a wider Q because of availability and cost. One way to see it in action is to watch your little one from behind as they pedal, if they look "bow-legged" then you know that the Q-Factor is too wide.
Compatibility - Since our bikes are made from high quality parts it is important that the components are compatible with other parts on the market. For example, if your little one's grand kids :) wear out the bottom bracket (the bearings that the cranks attach to) it is simple to replace. Any quality bike shop stock's our bottom bracket type (sealed bearing and squared taper). This means that the parts will last a very long time and if they wear out you can simply replace the part rather than tossing the whole bike because it is broke like a cheap bike where it may cost more for a bike shop in labor to fix than the bike is worth.
Material - Our cranksets are made from high grade aluminum that provides incredible strength combined with lightweight. Additionally the aluminum will never rust. Many high end cranksets such as Shimano XTR still use aluminum for these very reasons. We extended the aluminum material to the chainrings as well making them lightweight and durable.
Gearing - Another important factor in crankset design is the gearing. Children in particular need to have a gear that is both easy to pedal but not too easy that they spin out of it immediately. Starting with the Romper we selected a gear that is easy to get going and doesn't go too fast on the top end. This is an important gear selection for young riders making the transition from a balance bike to their first pedal bike. We keep this same gearing philosophy all the way through to the Revo. When we get to the Rover models we transition into more advanced gearing. When your little one is ready for the Rover-S (S = small) they step up to a slightly larger gear on the single speed because they are a bit stronger and we want them to keep up with mom and dad on the Sunday family rides. The Rover-S is also available in a 2 speed version allowing your little another gear to have fun with. The 2 speed is pretty cool as it shifts into a high or low gear automatically thanks to the SRAM Automatix rear hub. Once their ready for more gears the Rover is waiting to roll on with 7 speeds. Unlike the Automatix they will get to learn how to shift on their own. Shifting is very intuitive with the SRAM Gripshift, simply twist the wrist to change gears and they can go from uber easy to climb the steepest of hills or slightly harder to hang with mom and dad on the downhills.
Aesthetics - Since we designed our very own custom cranks we wanted to make them look as good as they perform. If you look at the cranks carefully you will notice how some areas are shiny and some are anodized this look gives our cranks a two-tone finish that is uncommon in a children's bike. Additionally, notice the "indentation" in the crank arm, we do this to save weight by removing material that is not needed for strength. Our cranks are customized to fit the overall look of your Pello Bike.