Balance bikes are similar to ordinary two-wheeled bikes however they have no pedals, and they are designed to help train children to balance on a bike, hopefully eliminating the need for training wheels when children get to the point that they are ready for a pedal powered bike. By getting used to having to use your upper body to keep a bike upright from the beginning, and learning the way normal bikes move when not stabilised by training wheels early on in life, you can bypass a lot of the fear and frustration a lot of kids feel when they are learning to ride unassisted. Balance bikes are also a lot lighter and less unwieldy as traditional tricycles or two-wheeled bikes with training wheels attached.
Strider brand balance bikes are particularly good because they are so lightweight and generally simple to assemble. The clamp I received for the handlebars was a bit tight, and my brother ended up having to pry it open to get it to fit on the bike, but I had a look online, and no one else had that complaint, so I'm going to put that one down to a manufacturing issue. In the end we got it on the bike and it held the handlebars tight so all's well.
The bike even comes partially assembled, making your first job of putting it together even easier.
All that was left to do once the bike was assembled was let Jakey take it for a test ride. Because Jacob is naturally fearless, I knew he'd take to this bike like a duck to water, and I was right. He couldn't wait to hop on and start hooning around like his big cousins. Jacob got the feel for pushing himself around with his feet fairly quickly, and as he gets more confident he'll figure out how to get some momentum going and lift his feet up for a real rush. The bike even comes with grips on the foot rests to give some friction and reduce the risk of little feet slipping off the smooth metal.
We noticed at first that the steering was a little tight, but some quick research showed that this was an intentional design feature, included to keep the steering a little bit more controlled while children are still learning how to manoeuvre the bike. With use the steering column does loosen up, so the more confident the kids become, the more they will be able to control the way the bike steers.
We set the steering and seat height to the lowest settings at first, and they ended up being the perfect height for my very short nephew (Hopefully he'll be as tall as his dad when he grows up, but right now he's just a tiny tacker.) The Strider balance bike comes with EVC tyres that will never go flat, eliminating the need to do puncture repairs or continuously fill them with air. The 12" bike is suitable for kids aged 18 months to 5 years, and comes with an extra long pole to raise the seat high enough to accommodate taller children.
The Strider balance bike is an excellent first bike for any child, so if any of you know a little one who is in need of a first set of wheels, check them out at Velogear today.
With Christmas right around the corner, now is the perfect time to check out the range of bikes and accessories available at Velogear. They offer free shipping on all orders with no minimum spend amount, and they have some of the cheapest prices in Australia. They ship to both Australia and New Zealand, so check them out today and see the amazing range they offer.
I received free products for the purpose of this review. All opinions given here are my own and have in no way been influenced by Strider or anyone else. Searching for Sanity is not affiliated with Velogear.com or Strider Sports International in any way.