The ZUM CX, which is pronounced as “zoom” by the way, is an intriguing looking wooden balance bike. While I like the idea of wooden balance bikes I always have concerns about their durability and the fact that most kids want something that look like a “real” bike and not a toy. However, there is a lot to like about this bike, so without further ado let’s have a look.
The ZUM CX is a quite a lightweight bike and weighs in at little over seven pounds. Since I received mine in a completely unassembled state I was afraid that it would take me a while to put together, but surprisingly it only took me about fifteen minutes to get the job done. In fact, I could probably have finished in ten if it wasn’t for my little daughter insisting that she help with the task. Everything required to put the bike together, even the tools, are included in the box which is always nice. ZUM has step by step instructions with photos on their website, but honestly nobody should have trouble putting this one together.
The frame of the ZUM CX is made from birch wood, which his quite sturdy and it is also an environmentally friend choice. You use steel fasteners to put everything together which ensures that the bike is sturdy, but as with most wooden balance bikes it is a good idea to tighten the screws every now and then just to be sure. The bike features a lacquer finish to give it a shinier look and thankfully the coating is nontoxic. The natural wood color is sadly not as colorful and eye catching as the sportier looking balance bikes that have steel frames.
My favorite feature of the ZUM CX is its reversible frame. Reversing the bike frame not only alters its appearance, but also makes it more manageable to ride depending on the size of your child. You can use the bike in its low rider mode to bring the saddle closer to the grown for smaller kids to ride it or use the other orientation to allow even bigger toddlers to have a comfortable ride. In addition, the seat can still be adjusted in either mode. At its lowest setting the seat is about 12 to 14 inches while reversed you can set it between 15 and 17 inches.
This means that the bike is an investment that won’t be left gathering dust because your child outgrew it too fast. If your children are different ages and you want to invest in one balance bike for them to share the ZUM CX might not be a good choice as reversing the frame all the time will quickly become a hassle.
The bike has a steering limiter which makes it a safer option because it is impossible for kids to wipe out due to their bike jack knifing. Older kids might find it a bit too restrictive however and controlling a bike without a steering limiter is a skill that they will have to learn sometimes in any case. Overall though this is a feature that will put safety conscience parents minds at ease. The bike also has rubber handgrips and a very comfy padded vinyl seat.
Another big plus point in my opinion is the pneumatic tires which gives the bike better handling and makes riding it a smoother experience for kids. You might have to repair a puncture or two every now and then, but the wheels are not going to wear out as quickly as foam or plastic ones. ZUM actually features a couple of videos on their website that shows the bike in action in off-road conditions where foam or plastic wheeled bikes would not have worked as efficiently.
Pros & Cons
The ZUM CX is a great balance bike, but it might be tough to convince kids to pick it over the usually flashier and colorful steel frame bikes. The fact that this bike, like most other wooden models, don’t look like “grown up” bikes might also be an issue for smaller kids that want to ride along with their older siblings. I can’t fault the quality and construction of the ZUM CX though, so have a look at the pros and cons of this bike below.
ZÜM CX Wooden Balance Bike Pros
- This balance bike features an innovative reversible main frame.
- It also has an environmentally friendly birch wood construction.
- Limited steering radius to prevent jack knife accidents.
- Rubber handgrips for extra safety.
- Comfortable padded vinyl seat.
- The lacquer finish of the bike is nontoxic.
- Features more shock absorbent air-inflated rubber tires.
- The seat can be adjusted in both frame positons.
ZÜM CX Wooden Balance Bike Cons
- Screws require tightening every once in a while.
- Wheels are not puncture proof.
- Wood construction not as sturdy as steel.
- No footrest.
- Does not look like a “grown up” bike.
The ZUM CX is a very decent offering in the wooden balance bike category and is sturdy enough to withstand a lot of abuse. It doesn’t have the same kind of customization as something like the Kinderfeets bikes though and also doesn’t match the look of steel frame bikes. For kids that don’t mind riding something that doesn’t look like a “grown up” bike this is an affordable and durable option. Thanks to the reversible frame it is also something that your child will outgrow very quickly.