Vitus Nippy balance bike wheel upgrade.

blizzard
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:56 am

Vitus Nippy balance bike wheel upgrade.

Postby blizzard » Sat Jul 29, 2023 2:12 pm

A bit of a fun project, I thought I would share.

Early this year I got my toddler a Vitus Nippy balance bike because it was one of the lightest balance bike around at <2kg and also cheap at $73 shipped from Wiggle (I'm a big believer that with balance bikes the lighter the better a lot are around 4kg, that would be the equivalent of me riding a 25kg bike). Unfortunately Wiggle has stopped selling these into Australia now :(

It has been a fantastic bike and my son loves riding it but the biggest downside is the 10" foam wheels, and the plastic bushing headset instead of a traditional headset (not sure on the headset longevity, it's fine for now). So I decided to upgrade the bike, as inspired by this post https://www.mtbr.com/threads/vitus-nipp ... e.1100358/

Que, searching on AliExpress, found a set of 12" alloy balance bike wheels with 95mm axle (also fits Strider bikes) for $75 shipped and also CST 12 X 2 Ironkid tyres with tubes for $50 a set shipped. These arrived earlier this week. Fitted them last night and they look great. The bike is now roughly 2.4kg, still one of the lightest options around.

Stock bike
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Stock wheels at 772g
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New wheels at 1188g.
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Wheels ready for install
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Completed bike
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A couple thoughts:
1. The new wheels spin much smoother and longer than the stock wheels, I suspect the stock wheels use bushes rather than bearings.
2. At a total cost now of $200 there are a lot more options, but not too many this light with pneumatic tyres. Spend $40 more you can get the Hornit Airo which is 2.95kg and has a proper headset.
3. It's hard buying affordable 12" tyres for balance bikes, lots are made for escooters and weigh over 1kg each :shock: Schwalbe makes Big Apple in 12x2 but they are close to $40 ea and weigh 60g more than the CST.
Last edited by blizzard on Sat Jul 29, 2023 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Thoglette
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Re: Vitus Nippy balance bike wheel upgrade.

Postby Thoglette » Sat Jul 29, 2023 3:59 pm

Interesting build & interesting compromises.
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blizzard
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Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:56 am

Re: Vitus Nippy balance bike wheel upgrade.

Postby blizzard » Sat Jul 29, 2023 7:07 pm

After ordering the wheels and tyres, I realised I could probably achieve the same result for <$30 by buying a second-hand bike off FB market place and swapping the wheels.

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Mububban
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Re: Vitus Nippy balance bike wheel upgrade.

Postby Mububban » Mon Jul 31, 2023 1:40 pm

Nice work!
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

blizzard
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:56 am

Re: Vitus Nippy balance bike wheel upgrade.

Postby blizzard » Mon Jul 31, 2023 2:15 pm

Can confirm the new wheels are a hit, quick to spin up and hold speed well :P . Also looks much better.

The wheels are available in a number of anodized colours, not just black. Also carbon rims are available but cost $400.

Image

Mr Purple
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Re: Vitus Nippy balance bike wheel upgrade.

Postby Mr Purple » Thu Aug 03, 2023 3:55 pm

Fantastic work! Good to see the attention to detail.

I was particular about bike weights when it came to teaching my daughter. It annoyed me how often you'd see a size suitable for 4-6 year olds advertised as 'lightweight' and then work out it was 12-13kg.

Bit rough on the kids being expected to ride a bike well over half their weight.

blizzard
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Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:56 am

Re: Vitus Nippy balance bike wheel upgrade.

Postby blizzard » Tue Sep 26, 2023 8:07 pm

The update no-one asked for. Mods are still going well, a big upgrade over the stock wheels. I have done one further change, I replaced the straight valve inner tubes with bent valves as it's much easier to get a track pump on the bent valve.

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