Teaching my oldest son to ride a bike has been much harder than I ever anticipated it would be. I just figured my son would hop on his bike, I’d hold the back seat and run with him up and down the block for a couple days and then he’d be off, riding on his own.
Unfortunately, things haven’t quite worked out like that. His perpetually leaning training wheeled bike has taught him to expect his bike to tip over at any moment. Cautious by nature, training wheels, made to “train” children to ride a two wheeled pedal bike, have done the exact opposite for my son. The training wheels have taught him to fear bike riding and decreased his confidence in his ability to learn to ride.
I was first introduced to balance bikes as a means of teaching children to ride two wheel pedal bikes without ever getting on a tricycle or training wheeled bike over a year ago. Unfortunately, all of the balance bikes I could find were too small for Big Brother.
Thankfully, Strider contacted me and asked me to review the Strider ST-4 balance bike. Talking with Co-owner Joe McFarland I learned that Strider Balance Bikes have an amazing age range. The Strider balance bikes, or running bikes, are designed for ages 18 months to 5 years old. They also have an Extra-Long Seat Post with Saddle that extends the range of the bike even further. The XL Seat allows my 6 1/2 year old to comfortably cruise!!!
As a side note, but not an unimportant one, my almost 4 year old also loves the XL seat. His only complaint with our other balance bike is that the saddle hurts. The XL Seat is the size of a standard kids bicycle seat and is lightly padded.
For a more in depth look at the Strider ST-4 balance bike check out my YouTube review…
Here is a great illustration of the age range adjustability of the Strider balance bikes.
Here are some of the other great features of the Strider ST-4 Balance bike.
EVA polymer tire
The custom STRIDER ultralight wheels use a durable EVA polymer tire that is maintenance free and never need air. These wheels are lighter than an air filled tire, meaning the bike is even easier for your child to control.
This ergonomically designed Mini-Saddle on 220mm Seat post was created just for toddler hips. Smaller, narrower and lighter than a typical saddle, this seat allows for proper riding posture and proper sizing. The weather proof plastic seat means no rips or tears and can take a beating from snow, rain and wind, as it should. The STRIDER is intended for both indoor and outdoor play! Quick-Clamps On the ST provide no-tool assembly and easy adjustments.
Uniquely integrated into the frame and positioned to allow development of advanced riding skills. Beginner STRIDER riders will walk along with their bike, but as as they learn to coast and balance, these patented footrests are the perfect and natural place for the youngster to set his/her feet. Advanced riders will ultimately use these footrests to learn to pump and stride – oftentimes, never needing to sit down.
You can see all the Strider balance bike styles and accessories available at StriderBikes.com.
Watch some pretty awesome videos of little guys and girls on their balance bikes on Strider’s YouTube Channel.