Introducing the Marin Bikes Donky Jr Kids Range
Born in Japan, made for kids everywhere, it's the Marin Bikes Donky Jr Range!
Love Your Bike
Choosing a good bike for your kid is probably even more important than picking one for yourself.
If your little ripper’s bike is too big, too heavy or too uncomfortable, they’ll ride it less and love it less. As we know from our How to Take a Kid Mountain Biking story they need all the encouragement that they can get!
But on a bike that fits them, is easy to ride and feels great they might well discover a love of cycling that lasts a lifetime.
It was this desire to pass on his love of cycling that made Marin’s CEO in Japan, Fumiaki “Donky” Okayama, decide to develop his own range of kids’ bikes.
“The reason behind the Donky Jr range was simple - my eldest son was born".
Donky is an old school legend in the BMX freestyle world, appearing in videos and taking part in world-famous competitions like Japan’s Flat Ark. When he became a dad, he wanted to create bikes that were perfectly suited for the next generation of riders.
The first bikes in the range, the Donky Jr 16” and the Donky Jr 18”, were aimed at the youngest riders, from around age 3 and up. They’ve since been joined by the Donky Jr 20” and the Donky Jr 24”, filling the gaps all the way up to adult sizes.
When his son showed up, Donky noticed that lots of the kids’ bikes available in Japan are aimed at the Western market. They’re designed for taller children and are bigger and heavier than they need to be.
“For me, the most important elements were a low saddle position, good posture when holding the handlebars, and lightweight” he told us.
So the bikes in the Donky Jr range feature low standover heights, quality lightweight alloy frames, and handlebars shaped for comfort. Perfect for Donky Jr and perfect for his friends and the other kids around Japan.
Big in Japan
Japan is known for its eclectic, anything-goes attitude to custom bike building, which sees road, BMX and MTB components mixed and matched. So the smaller bikes in the range draw heavily on BMX for inspiration, with bombproof three-piece handlebars and single-speed drivetrains.
The larger sizes of bike take their cues from the mountain bike world, with flat bars, twist shift gears and fat but fast-rolling tires that won’t waste the rider’s energy on smoother surfaces.
Contact points like brake levers and pedals are designed to be as friendly as possible for little people’s hands and feet. All the bikes have easy-to-maintain V-brakes and the 20” and 24” bikes have Shimano drivetrains for smooth, reliable shifting.
How To Size Your Kid's Bike
Wondering how to measure bike size for a kid? That's an easy one, and we've made it super simple with the Marin Bikes Donky Jnr kids bikes.
To keep it super-simple, each Donky Jnr kids bike model is available in one size only. The wheel sizes, starting with 16", dicate the size of the bike. 16" is for the smallest kids, through 18" and 20" and then up to 24" for bigger kids.
As a rough guide, we've made this kids bike size chart for Marin Kids Bike sizes. Simply measure your child's height and match it to the wheel size below.
16" wheels for kids sized 3'1" to 3'9"
18" wheels for kids sized 3'4" to 3'11"
20" for kids sized 3'7" to 4'3"
24" wheels for kids sized 4'1" to 4'9"
Donky Jr 16"
Made to be easy to ride and set them up to fall in love with two-wheels, the Donky Jr 16" has a lightweight aluminum frame, smooth-rolling tires and reliable brakes that won't trouble little hands.
Training wheels are supplied, but can be removed when the time is right.
Donky Jr 18"
The Marin Bikes Donky Jr 18" is built around easy to ride 18" wheels, a lightweight aluminum frame and powerful brakes that'll keep kids safe and set them up for the future.
No training wheels this time, the Donky Jr 18" is for your kid's first proper taste of freedom.
Donky Jr 20"
Built around BMX-bike sized 20" wheels, the Donky Jr 20" is ready for the ride to school, to the park or out on your first proper trails.
It has a lightweight aluminum frame, a comfortable steel fork, powerful brakes and a top-quality Shimano 6-speed drivetrain.
Donky Jr 24"
24" wheels are fast, tough and fun and the aluminum frame, Shimano 6-speed drivetrain and fast tires will fly around the block, the BMX track, the dirt trail or anywhere your kid wants to go.
Of course, in Japan, it’s not just about how your bike rides, how it looks is important too.
The Donky Jr range has a wide choice of colours inspired by Tokyo’s custom bike scene. There are also some super cool limited-edition paint schemes. Your junior rider can choose from polka dots, glow-in-the-dark details, and the Donky Jr 24” even comes in a cosmic ”Space” edition that sure to fire up some imaginations.
Donky has been part of the bike industry for over 20 years, but his signature range of bikes is one of his proudest achievements. As he puts it: “I didn’t make the Donky Jr bikes for sales, I made them to see smiling kids". No arguments here!
The Marin Bikes Donky Jr range is available in North America now - just speak to your local Marin Bikes dealer to get yours.
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