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Triple award success for Leamington family balance bike business

An enterprising husband and wife from Leamington who both walked away from their successful careers to set up a balance bike business, are celebrating their latest triple national awards success.

Kidvelo Bikes, run by Karen and Gary Wood has been named the winner at the 2022 British Business Awards in the Start-Up Category as well as scooping Gold for the Best Balance Bike in the Made for Mums 2022 Toy Awards and Best Bike in the Organic Baby Awards.

Kidvelo specialises in manufacturing top-quality, but affordable, balance bikes designed to help children learn to ride, from their base in Warwick Street’s Chandos Business Centre.

Karen, who received the latest accolade at the prestigious British Business Awards ceremony last week, said: “We were honoured even to make the shortlist. From concept to the finished bikes in stock, meant we have had to dig deep and overcome countless challenges over the last two years.

“To win is very exciting and testament to our high standards of customer support, the quality and design of our bikes and I’m delighted that our mission to get more children riding top-quality well-designed affordable bikes has been recognised by our peers.”

Founders Kidvelo Bikes Karen and Gary Wood with their dog Jester

Bex Barnett, Senior Director at award sponsors Sage, said of Kidvelo Bikes: “This start-up turned their passion into a business just before the world shut down. Judges were super impressed by the brave steps they took to continue developing their product and commend them for their persistence.

“Despite uncertainty and restrictions in manufacturing and distribution, this start-up made it through the pandemic successfully and with a product that has had impact on their customers’ lives. This organisation has born the fruits of organic marketing and has engaged with their clients and gained incredible customer feedback. So well done on powering through.”

Kidvelo, Leamington
Karen Wood at The British Business Awards. Photo by BBA.

The latest successes follow hot on the heels of awards received earlier in the year – the coveted Platinum Best Buy Award and the Platinum Best Ride on 1-3 years at this year’s Loved By Parents Awards.

 Launched in November last year, the founders set out to improve the performance and quality of children’s bikes and make them available to parents at affordable pricing, using their combined 40 years of knowledge gained from specialist balance bike distribution, teaching thousands of kids to ride and hosting balance bike racing.

Their smallest balance bike for toddlers, the Rookie 12 Balance Bike won Gold in the Made for Mums 2022 Toy Awards for the Best Balance Bike and The Organic Baby Awards for Best Bike.

To make the shortlist of the MadeForMums Toy Awards a toy must undergo several rigorous rounds of testing and judging – including more than 600 child testers – with a focus on ‘kerb appeal,’ value for money and consistency of good play potential.

Karen added: “To win the coveted Gold place for the Best Balance Bike, with our first bike into production is astounding. We knew the changes we needed to make to bike design, to ensure they are perfect for every child and last through years of growth and our determination to keep the bikes affordable for parents has been quite the challenge.”

Balance bikes are little bikes without pedals, drivetrain or cranks, which allow children as young as 18-months to ride on two wheels. By learning to balance the bike, with their feet safely on the floor, kids develop the balancing skill required to move onto a pedal bike, without ever needing stabilisers. Kidvelo took balance bike design further still by making larger balance bikes for the older beginner, for whom balance bikes aren’t available.


balance bikes, Kidvelo, Leamington
The awards-winning Rookie 12

Kidvelo’s clever design allows parents to bolt on the pedal-kit onto the same frame and convert the balance bike into a superlight ergonomic pedal bike for ages 3 years-plus, saving parents money as they no longer need to buy two bikes for their child to develop into a confident pedal bike rider. Bikes that have been designed to ride perfectly in either mode. Designed to help every novice that hasn’t as yet experienced the enjoyment of cycling.