Balance Bike Frequently Asked Questions

This guide as to the best balance bike for your child, is not a replacement for good old fashioned honest advice - call us and we would be delighted to answer any questions that you may have. Every employee that works for us has a child that has learnt using this bike. However some questions are asked more often so here they are..

Q: What model should I buy?
A: A good question! There are three sized bikes in the Strider range - a 12", 16" and a 20". The overall height of the child isn't so important as their inside leg or stand over height but all under 5's will fit on a STRIDER 12" balance bike

We offer 3 different models for toddlers aged 18 months- 5 years old

12 Classic- The Skill-Building, Entry-Level Model 2.9 kg
A great first bike for 18 month old toddlers to 3 years old and budget minded shoppers. Its super simple design features the core elements that make Strider the number one balance bike brand in the world, yet it is less expensive than our other models. 

12 Sport - The Feature-Rich, Mid-Level Model 2.9 kg

Our global best selling bike offers every feature a child (or parent) needs with custom sized mini grips to cater for little hands,  a padded saddle in addition to the toddler one so they are comfortable when out of nappies, handlebar pad, and quick release clamps (perfect if sharing between kids). It is the perfect balance of performance, options, and value.  More than eight years of design evolution and manufacturing improvements all packaged into one model. And with a bonus second, taller seat post for the 3-5 year old child, it is the only balance bike a toddler/preschooler will ever need.

12 Pro - The All-Aluminum, High-End Model 2.2 kg

Our Pro utilizes all the features of the Sport model, but in an all-aluminum design, making it the lightest STRIDER™ in the world. Fully featured and ultra light weight make this the top performing balance bike for the little superstar riders and racers. Works equally well for children when they just start to walk right through to 5 year old speed demons.

For children aged 6 -12 years then the 16" bike is the model to choose with an inseam of 49.5cm to 65cm

For children aged 13 years plus up to adults then its the 20" bike to choose with an inseam of 67cm to 82cm

Q: I was recommended by a friend to get a  STRIDER ST-3 or ST-4 model for my toddler, but I can't find it on your site. What should I buy?
A: Great question. In the past, we used part numbers to describe Strider bikes… our first bike was the ST-1, then ST-2, etc. We updated part numbers as we made improvements to the bike's design and features over the years. With multiple models and sizes as of 2014, bikes are now identified by model names instead of part numbers.

The STRIDER 12 Sport is the same bike that was known as the ST-4, only now it includes a bonus padded saddle and an XL seatpost to fit 3-5 year olds.

Q: What size should I get?
A: Strider bikes are available in 12", 16", and 20" models (number refers to wheel diameter in inches). 

Q: My child is less than 2 years old, can they really ride it?
A: If your child is proficiently walking, your child can ride a Strider bike! Our U.S. Patented design offers the perfect combination of low seat height, low center-of-gravity, and light weight, allowing even the youngest children to find success. Whats more the bikes meet all relevent standards for the 18 mth old age category - which is a tough one to pass!

Q: Where are the pedals? How do they make it go? How do they stop?
A: Children put their feet on the ground and push, just like Fred Flintstone.
Toddlers’ legs are strongest when used this way rather than trying to pedal really short cranks. They are actually faster and more capable of dealing with uneven terrain and inclines on a Strider bike than a pedal bike. Its ergonomically designed to be in proportion to the rest of them and the weight or lack of it means all kids can ride confidently from the start on two wheels. 

Stopping is just as easy as starting; they just put their feet down. This is the natural reaction we want to encourage, especially in an emergency. Lever pulled brakes on handlebars are normally too hard to pull uniformly, confuses kids and adds unnecessary weight. For experienced riders, we also offer an optional foot operated brake. We typically don't recommend it until about age 3 to 4 years old and never fit it to start.  In the end, in a panic situation, the natural instinct of children is to put their feet down. Even children capable of using a brake revert to planting their feet if they have to stop quickly. The hand brake option does not make sense based on child anatomy... just gripping the bar is a handful for a 2-3 year old hand... their fingers are not long or strong enough to pull a brake lever.For really young riders, success requires that you Keep It Simple.

The rear brake is a simple lever that presses a friction plate against the rear wheel. The lever has a single pivot located on the underside of the frame and an elastomer spring to hold it disengaged. The rear brake is a simple one-bolt installation that takes just a couple minutes with basic tools. This can be ordered through our website. 

Q: Why are the tyres plastic? Is it a foam and will the wheels last?
A: The tires are made of an EVA polymer (industrial foam) which gives 2 key benefits:

  1. Extremely light weight for easy control. Half the weight of an air-filled tire and inner tube.
  2. NO MAINTENANCE. They will NEVER go flat and never need to be checked; just grab and go!
  3. Our wheels are exclusively made by us. They have a different tread pattern and have 10 additional support struts per wheel compared to cheap strider imitiation bikes that have now come on to the market. 
  4. They don't buckle and last a long time

Q: How high should the seat be?
A: Proper seat height should have the child sitting on the saddle, with feet flat on the ground, with a slight bend in the knees. For long distance striding on smooth surfaces, you can adjust slightly up. For obstacles, tricks, and off-road riding, the saddle should be adjusted for slightly more bend in the knees. Strider offers two different length seatposts 220mm and 305mm. Older/bigger riders will benefit by using the XL seatpost.

Q: When should I use the XL seatpost?
A: Typically when a child is 3 ½ years old they will benefit from the XL Seatpost and Saddle. The saddle height range for the XL Seatpost is 41-48cm (16-19").

Q: How high should the handlebars be?
A: Handlebar height should be at the lowest setting for 18 - 24 month olds, mid-height for 36 - 48 months old, and at the highest setting for 48+ months old. Typically, you want the handlebars to be about mid-torso. For older/bigger kids that still love their Striders but are getting too big, we also offer our XL Handlebar.

Q: How hard are the bikes to assemble?

The 12" bikes are so easy ANYONE can do it. The classic requires clamps to be tightened using an allen key (included in the box) and the Sport and Pro just close the clamp with the lever. We even put the wheels on for you!

The 16" and 20" arrive 98% assembled but the rear brake will need setting up - We have a whole page of assembly instruction videos to help if you get stuck , or for a few pounds your local bike shop would set this up in under 10 minutes.

 

Q: Does the Strider™ have benefits for parents or other carers?

Could one even hope for benefits for a parent from such a small vehicle that benefits kids so much? Absolutely! Freedom! Freedom from carrying a tired or rebelling child, freedom from coaxing a dawdling one to keep up. In fact, the parent will soon become the one trying to keep up; brisk walks, jogging, or bicycling now become exercise options to make outings more enjoyable for everyone. The outings will no longer be limited to flat, hard surfaces either, the Strider will easily handle a forest trail or a two-track dirt road if you feel like a walk in the woods… try that with stabilisers or a tricycle!  

Q: My child is already using a bicycle with stabilisers - can the Strider still be a useful learning tool for them?

Stabilisers are very scary for children. The sensation of tipping from side-to-side keeps them from focusing on the task at hand, pedaling and steering. Learning to balance and steer on the Strider™ makes the transition to the pedal bike much easier. Forget the stabilisers, once the child is confident on the Strider™, they will be able to transfer quickly to a pedal bike without them. How early should a parent introduce their child to a new physical activity like riding? Pediatric neurologists have long noted that there is a rapid learning curve in children ages 0-6. Most of the great masters in sports and music have begun study at a very early age. We have found that kids have a natural curiosity about the Strider™. Watch some of our video clips to see pre-two year olds start their Strider experience. They are not frightened, and they advance quickly on their own. If your child can walk… they can ride a strider!

Q: Why doesn´t the Strider™ have a steering limiter like some other brands?

Through our testing and research, we´ve come to believe that a steering limiter is a hindrance to the child´s development and a potential safety issue in the event of a fall. A steering limiter becomes a ´crutch´ that keeps the child from fully learning the skill of steering a two-wheeled vehicle. Bicycles don’t have steering limiters so at the time of transition to a bicycle, the child runs the risk of not understanding how to set their own steering limits through rider input. We feel this steering control should be learned from Day 1 while the child is moving slowly and evolve with the child through the years. As for safety, a steering limiter keeps the handlebars from being able to fold flat to the ground in the event of a fall and potentially impaling the child in the face, neck or chest.

How will I know when my child is ready to move from a Strider ™ to a regular bicycle?

When you see your child coasting down hills with his/her feet up, going over and around obstacles, and speeding along with forceful strides, you will know that they have mastered the necessary techniques of balance and steering to begin riding a pedal bike. The transition will be quick and easy. However, you will discover that even though your child can ride their pedal bike without stabilisers, they will continue to ride their bike for pure fun. On the Strider™, a child is confident enough to continually push to higher levels of expertise. Eventually, these higher thinking, higher level skills are transferred to their pedal bike. We have found there is usually a one to two year overlap when the child rides both.

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