When I first saw a Strider Running Bike, I wondered what the commotion was, it looked like any ordinary tiny bike (And I’m sure I am not alone in this). It’s not until you look closer and learn the reasons for the unique design (and hear testimonials from others) – that you really see the Strider Bike for what it truly is.
The idea behind the Strider Running/Balance Bike is just that – balance. You see, when kids are taught to ride a bike with training wheels, they don’t actually learn how to balance themselves. They tend to rely on the the training wheels for support and ‘ride the sides’ of those trainers. Ever see a kid riding their bike, tilted to one side? Because of this, it takes kids so long to ride bikes without training wheels.
The Strider bike has no pedals, it goes on foot-propelled kid power. This teaches them to balance in little bits on their own. Then, as they get comfortable and stronger, they can lift their feet and coast on the bike, balancing entirely on their own. The Strider bike enables kids to learn to ride a bike much faster than they would with a bike on training wheels. And the Strider bike is intended for kids ages 1-5. Yes, no mistake, it’s really age 1.
First you need to learn some facts about the Strider bike:
~ It weighs less than 7lbs. This makes it easy for them to handle the bike. And, if this bike falls on top of them, it’s not some huge heavy thing that will scare them from getting back on. This lightweight bike also makes it easy for anyone to carry if they have to.
~ The lowest seat height is 11″ The low height makes it easy for 1 year olds to be able to be at bike-level. This gives them full control. Also, as they grow, Strider grows with them, to 16″
~ No Mess Tires. They are light and maintenance-free EVA Polymer tires. Puncture proof tires means no flats, no pumping air = less hassle for the parents
~ There are footrests They are directly under the saddle, in the natural location that allows for the weight to be shifted to the the legs. This even allows kids to glide, ride standing up, do wheelies, and do bunny-hop’s.
~ Durable welded steel frame and handlebars
My daughter has used a bicycle with training wheels for a few years now. Before I introduced her to the Strider bike, I watched closely at how she is handling her current bike. She rides alright, but does rely heavily on the training wheels. At any given time, she is always ‘riding the wheels’. Plus, even after 3 years using her bike, she still has a look of fear when she goes to make a little turn. Hmmm…this was the first time I questioned the training-wheel method.
She was really intrigued by the Strider Running Bike, and her first question was, “where’s the pedals”. Once I gave her a brief demo of what to do, she jumped on to try. Her first time on the Strider Running Bike only lasted a few minutes. Really, she had absolutely no balance! And here I assumed that after gymnastics classes and her current bike, she be a little better. Ya…she really wasn’t. Another great thing about this bike is that the handlebars are pretty tight, meaning that they won’t flop from side to side if they are just learning. This enables them to stay straight and concentrate on balance, rather than the precise steering.
She has used the Strider Running Bike for weeks now, and I see her drastically improving. She can now run the bike, and even glide for at least 10 seconds. Which to me, is great.
She is actually learning how to balance on a 2 wheeled bike!
(and getting so much more exercise doing so)
I have seen such great improvements in her coordination with the Strider Running Bike. I look forward to introducing it to the babies, when they are walking on their own.
I have also tried the Strider Running Bike on a friends’ son, who is 22 months old. Now, I hate to admit it (sorry, Isabelle) but, he is so much better than her on the bike! He was able to walk with it right off the bat, even going into a run on the first try.
I starting to think that training wheels impede the learning. And, I don’t think I will even try the babies on training wheels at all.
When out with the Strider Bike, I have met quite a few people who’s eyes opened wide at the bike. They were able to tell me success stories of kids they knew, and the amazing skills of their riding because of the Strider Bike. I highly recommend the Strider Running Bike as a fabulous method in teaching kids how to Properly ride a 2 wheeled bike!
~ Purchasing information and local retailers for Canada can be found on the site.
The Strider bike is even sold at our city’s farmers’ market!
** Disclosure: Product samples provided for review purposes, all opinions are my own