When we test products in the real world, we always wonder: do the most popular brand names really perform best? Sometimes brand names disappoint. But not in this category! Our test of balance bikes with actual kids confirmed what many parents tell us: Strider is the top dog.
When it comes to three year olds, we thought the Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike was the best bet for most folks. Here’s why:
What We Liked
• Easy assembly and quality parts. Example: we loved that quick release clamp that adjusts the seat.
• No air tires = no flats. This Strider bike has puncture-proof foam wheels and plastic rims—no broken spokes and no flat tires.
• Simple seat adjustment lets you dial in just the right height for growing kids. Works for kids up to 60 lbs.
• 7 colors with gender neutral options.
What Needs Work
• Foam tires not the best for bumpy sidewalks. And foam tires aren’t as durable. On the upside, there is no maintenance (refilling air tires or dealing with flats is no fun).
• Ground clearance issues. The post goes through the frame—so when the seat is in its lowest position, the post hangs down near the ground. That could cause an issue on gravel or rocky trials.
• Foot rest is rather small.
• Wheels can slip on wet pavement. That’s a problem with foam tires—air tires made of rubber are more grippy.
• Pricey. On the upside, however, this brand is so well known there is probably resale value if you take care of the bike.