Search on one of the two big auction style shopping sites, (you know the ones we mean), or browse the supermarket online toys section and you will find too-good-to-be-true listings for brightly coloured balance bikes at ultra-low prices.
We can understand why it seems like a good idea at the time. It looks OK, it’s dirt cheap and you can have it in an instant.
But, trust us when we say this will be a false economy in the long term. And if you’re serious about encouraging your child to enjoy riding a bike then cheap is definitely not the way to go.
Why we wouldn’t we recommend cheap balance bikes?
Cheap balance bikes are very common and they are, more often than not, wooden.
But this doesn’t mean they’re the best type for your child.
From looking at the market we’ve found that most are built for “fashion” and little more.
In fact, some of the cheaper versions are made from paper laminated chipboard and often barely last longer than a few months.
This type of wood expands, warps and weakens when any moisture gets into it. First you get squeaky wheels as the prongs get tighter, and eventually you’ll get a rather wonky, hard to steer, bike shaped wooden toy. Yup; it's a toy - not a bike!
Even some of the better quality balance bikes made from wood can still warp if left in the garage or shed. They're not particularly robust if kicked, dropped or jumped on by other kids at the park… and we all know it does happen!
Any damage to the wood can also cause splinters.
Cheap seats = sore bottoms.
Get the cheap seats at the theatre and you’ll have a rubbish view.
Get a cheap seat with a balance bike and your child will have a rubbish, ‘first bike,’ experience. You get what you pay for.
Some cheaper balance bike manufacturers attach the seat materials with industrial staples that are really sharp and can come loose.
Worryingly, these can then cause cuts but also a loose seat cover just looks bad, is uncomfortable and will quickly come off.
By the time you’ve sourced replacement material, bought some bits to stick it on with and spent time fiddling, you’ll be feeling like you might as well get a new balance bike altogether.
Our seats are specially manufactured for nappy wearing toddler bottoms to get a comfortable ride.
Not only are they moulded to the optimum shape but they are also not too wide, as wide saddles will put too much weight strain on their delicate hips.
As your child gets older and taller the saddle post can be changed for one of our, super comfy, padded seats.
Age is just a number
Did we mention that all of our balance bikes have been rigorously safety tested and are therefore suitable for children as young as 18 months?
Most balance bikes you’ll find online have had little safety testing as they are considered to be just a toy, and claim only to be suitable for ages 3 upwards with no real reasoning behind this suggestion other than comparing them to similar “ride on toys”.
Strider Bikes start at 27cm whereas most brands start at a mammoth 34cm. Unless you’re a rather tall 2 year old, you have to wait until you’re big enough to get biking, even though most toddlers are ready to roll much earlier than that.
Strider Bikes are adjustable too and can accomodate seats up to 48cm in height, meaning they stay with your child right up to the age of 5 years.
And, because our balance bikes are sturdy and well built they can be passed onto younger brothers and sisters too. Now that's value for money.
When it comes to bikes designed for small people, the weight has to be a consideration to offer them the best user experience.
Our bikes start at 2.2 kg, thanks to Strider's lightweight aluminium frames.
We've found through testing that bikes weighing more than 3kg are too heavy to be easily manoeuvred and lifted by toddlers, so they just don’t give them the experience they deserve.
Cheap balance bikes are barely strong enough.
Whether made from wood, plastic or metal, cheaper and heavier balance bikes just don’t have the same level of sturdiness that Striders do.
Taking the wheels for example: in comparison to an average balance bike, Strider bikes have an extra 10 struts to strengthen the wheels.
And our tyres are made from extra special EVA polymer that’s exclusive to Strider, meaning they have the perfect level of bounce, are super-lightweight, and near on impossible to puncture.
As if that isn’t enough, our bearings are cartridge sealed with no maintenance needed.
Free delivery and a guarantee that you’ll all love Strider.
Need the bike in a hurry? No problem. We deliver your order within 1-2 working days and delivery is free.
But, perhaps the best part about buying a Strider Bike is the peace of mind we offer with our 60 day, no quibble guarantee.
This means if you’re buying a balance bike for Christmas, if you haven’t fallen in love with it by Valentine’s Day then we’re here to listen and, if needed, refund you in full.
To be honest, this rarely ever happens. We're pretty sure your child will love it as much as we do.
What's more, the starting cost for a Strider balance bike is just £60; an affordable investment for all families.
So don't be taken in this Christmas. Choose Strider and watch your little ones smile for years to come.