Thursday, December 4, 2014
I couldn't tell you if either of them could stand on roller skates and maybe it wouldn't have taken them both so long to learn to throw and catch, swim or ride a bike had I put in more hours of practice with them?
These days, however, I'm pretty sure that parents of young children have an advantage. Whereas it took what felt like ages for my kids to build up enough confidence and finally grasp the concept of how to steer and balance a bike, now it is so much easier to teach kids how to ride without training wheels thanks to the ingenuity and quality from Strider.
Founded in 2007, Strider Sports International began because a father wanted to make a better bike for his two-year-old son. By removing everything relating to pedaling (pedals, cranks, bearing, chain and sprockets), the result was a simple, lightweight, no-pedal design that teaches young children to balance on two wheels right from the start.
Instead of pedaling, a balance bike is propelled by the child's feet and is an alternative to training wheels that has boomed in popularity. Once a child is confident and has learned to balance and steer on a pedal-less bike, they are able to graduate directly to a two-wheeler and never look back.
These days, Strider's line of no-pedal bikes (which come in varying sizes for just about any age and ability) are distributed worldwide, along with their unique collection of accessories, safety gear, apparel and more. And really, what child wouldn't be over the moon to find a Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike under the tree this holiday season?
Strider's mid-level option filled with features galore, the 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike is the perfect bike for teaching kids 18 months - 5 years how to ride without training wheels. Just let your kid be a kid and progress at their own pace, building confidence and eliminating fear as they glide!
Just from lifting the box, I could tell that the Sport was going to be extremely lightweight, as it could be moved around extremely easily. Once I had removed the pieces and realized that there were no tools necessary for assembly, I was even more excited to see this high quality no-pedal bike put together!
Thanks to the minimal number of pieces and pretty easy-to-follow directions in the manual, it took around five minutes before I had this amazing bike put together and ready to go.
Is there anything more that Strider could have included in this adorable little bike? It was time to have my favorite young friends give it a try!
Eager to go for a ride, my little bikers had no problem hopping on the Strider Sport and starting off down the block.
Even though they weren't all exactly sure what they were supposed to do at first, it didn't take long before they were moving slowly down the sidewalk one way...
...and back the other.
Right away I thought it was great that Strider includes two ergonomic seat options with their Sport model — a smaller narrower mini-saddle designed for younger, beginning riders and a padded XL saddle to fit kids over 3 years old. Talk about being able to customize this exactly and have it grow right along with your child!
Both of the seats use a quick-release method of staying in place, so swapping from one to the other or changing the height takes a matter of seconds. At the same time, the mini-grip handlebar is not only perfectly sized for little hands (and has a safety pad, just in case), but it also utilizes a quick-release clamp so that adjusting the height is just as quick and easy as it is for the saddle.
Once the Sport was adjusted to a smaller size (maybe 20 seconds?), I was able to see just how easy it was for the younger crowd (around 18 months) to get used to this bike as well.
While this age set obviously has a longer way to go before they are pushing and gliding, it was clear that a balance bike was the perfect thing to start building confidence and begin to give younger children a head start at riding a bike as they weren't scared in the slightest.
Plus, let's be honest. Can the little ones really get any cuter with their wide-eyed innocence?
All in all, the Strider Sport's simple, no-pedal design combined with its high quality construction and its impressive features really come together into one pretty incredible bike.
The puncture-proof EVA polymer tires will never go flat, there is a launchpad footrest with grip tape for older kids to rest their feet when pushing off and the ultralight 6.7 pound weight feels like nothing. Instead of having young kids struggle with a heavy, bulky bicycle, this one can be moved and used with ease!
By encouraging mobility and the rapid development of balance, strength, and fine motor skills, it's great to be able to stand back and watch the confidence level in your child continue to increase each time. Strider has made it possible for kids to have their feet on the ground and progress at their own pace.
Plus, while their bikes' unique design helps avoid developmental delays typical with tricycles and training-wheel bikes, all the kids know is that they're having FUN! Even in the chilly temperatures of our Midwest winter, these little ones didn't want to stop gliding and gliding and gliding!
Available in seven dynamic colors (black, blue, green, pink, red, orange and yellow) with an MSRP of $119, the Strider 12 Sport does cost more than the regular bikes that you'll find the store. However, the incredible quality of the steel frame, the quick-release adjustable seat and handlebar, and the solid molded wheels are sure to last through multiple children and many years of use. This would truly make an amazing holiday gift!
For more information about the Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike and all of Strider's incredibly successful products, visit StriderBikes.com and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Other than the Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike that I was provided by Strider in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of this product.