While scanning through the long list of Google search terms which brought people to bmxgroms.com the other day, this one caught my eye: “how old do u half to be to be able to ride bmx bike”? The answer is, if you are old enough to type a search phrase into Google, you’re definitely old enough to ride BMX, you just need the right size bike. Sunday is a company that is taking creating bikes for smaller riders seriously, because they understand how important it is. So many kids fail at BMX, when their parents buy them a full size 20” bike that they can grow into. From frame geometry to components, they’ve thought of everything and Sunday has kept the cost down.
Mike Halahan is one of the most hardcore BMX Dad’s out there. The two Halahan boys, Lukas and Nathan show what 8 and 10 year olds can do on a BMX, when the bike is a size they can handle. The following independent review of the Sunday Primer 16” and 18” BMX bikes couldn’t have been done by anyone better. Thanks Mike Halahan!
Sunday Primer 16 & 18
Review by Mike, Lukas and Nathan Halahan. Pictures by George Jenkins.
In 2014 a number of BMX brands dropped one or both of their 16 and 18 inch offerings. Yet, there seems to be an influx of youth entering the BMX freestyle market. This perplexed me. Jim Cielencki of Sunday Bikes is doing the opposite. This delights me.
I was fortunate to meet up with Jim C. at The Wheel Mill in Pittsburgh this past winter. We discussed youth, BMX, and Sunday Bikes. Specifically the Primer 16 and 18 inch complete models. Jim graciously hooked up my sons Nathan and Lukas with 16 and 18 inch Primers to test then give away to some lucky kiddos at their inaugural Next Generation Youth Jam.
The bikes showed up well packaged, blemish free and built up easily. The boys were stoked on the colors, Safety Green for the 16 and Ocean Blue for the 18. I also liked the look of the bikes. I noticed right away the concept proportional geometry that Jim and I discussed the month prior. The rider areas looked roomy, the rear ends nice and short, and the bar height and width just right.
The Primers are spec’d well with Sunday OEM kit. I would like to see a top load stem on the 18 but other than that I wouldn’t change a thing if we were to run them as completes. The bikes weighed in at 19.4 and 24.2 lbs on our shop scale. For sub $400 completes you won’t find much better than that. Most dads (and mums too) would likely swap some parts out for their higher end favorites and I see no problem with getting the weights down closer to the 17 and 19 lb weights of the boys current set ups. I would also like to see full chromoly frame and forks but understand the cost effectiveness with the mostly Hi-tensile steel used.
Next stop was The Wheel Mill to cut the boys loose. Both Nathan and Lukas appeared comfortable straight away. Lukas quickly pulled me to the mini ramp room excited to show me the ease at which he could manual across the deck and around the tree trunk feature. Nathan had me follow him to the park room to show me a crisp 540 transfer. With the rear ends on the Primer 16 and 18 being 1.5 inches shorter than their current bikes this did not surprise me. But, with these short rear ends, I really wanted to see how the boys jumped the big line in the woods jump room. It wasn’t long before my curiosity was satisfied. Although the boys were not boosting and tricking the jumps quite as they normally do, the bikes appeared to handle very well. Nathan did say he felt a little sketchy on the big hip, wall ride, and step down but had no qualms with the smaller trick box. Lukas said he didn’t feel quite as stable at first but felt comfortable by the sessions end. I would like to see (with the short rear ends) the boys roast these bikes at their local trail spot where a different set of skills and more stable platform is required. There is good reason why the adult version trail specific frames tend to have slightly longer chain stays than their street and park counterparts.
Overall the Primer 16 and 18 get thumbs up and smiles from Nathan, Lukas, and I. And, Jim C. gets high fives from all of us. Jim is stoked on getting right for the youth of BMX. His approach to proportionally designed geometry at Sunday Bikes is setting a new standard.