No two-wheel is better for kids to learn balance, coordination, and good handling than a balance bike. And whenever we mention a balance bike, it’s hard not to point out Strider when referring to the best balance bike brands. But are Strider bikes worth it?
Strider balance bikes are worth it because they come in solid constructions, are easy to adjust, comfortable to ride, less stressful to handle, and have puncture-proof tires. Furthermore, some are convertible into pedal options, and the bikes generally come in lots of color choices.
So, while these bikes may cost more than most balance bikes, they prove their worth in build quality, performance, and aesthetics, which you pay for.
It doesn’t mean that these balance bikes are flawless as they, like every other, suffer a few downsides, which the manufacturer should look into. Thus, I’ll also review these downsides to enable you to weigh them against the positives.
Moreover, I’ll review the Strider bike lineup to help you pick an option that suits your kid. That’s after you decide to go ahead with the brand.
But first, let’s walk through Strider’s brand history.
In a rush? Check out the hottest Strider balance bikes on the hotlist below:
5 Best Strider Balance Bikes
- Strider-12 Classic: Most Affordable Strider Balance Bike
- Strider-12 Sport: Best All-Around Balance Bike
- The Strider-12 Pro: Best 12-Inch Balance Bike
- Strider-14X Sport: Pedal Bike Convertible Strider Bike
- Strider Sport 2-in-1: Best Rocking Strider Bike
It all started in 2007 when Ryan McFarland tried everything to help his 2-year-old learn to balance on a bike. The young American dad had tried ride-on-toys, training-wheel kids’ bikes, trikes, and even kids’ motorcycles, and it cost him over $2,000.
The more he tried, the more frustrated his kid became, which got him thinking. He realized that the ride-ons were either too heavy to steer or too big to fit, and even worse, they didn’t focus on the kid’s balancing skill development.
That’s when building a balance bike came into mind, and Strider Bikes Company was born. Ryan’s first balance bike for the company was a 12-inch option which was super light for easy maneuver by a 2-year-old and even toddler.
Today, Strider Bikes Company runs three 12-inch bike styles; Classic, Sport, and Pro. In addition to the 12-inch series, the company stocks the 14-inch series (Strider 14x Sport) and the 2-in-1 rocking bike.
Are Strider Bikes Worth It? The Pros and Cons Compared!
Let’s look at the pros and cons of getting a Strider bike for your kid to help us answer the title.
The Pros (Why Strider Bikes Are Worth)
Here are the fantastic advantages of Strider balance bikes:
1. Solid Construction
Strider bikes come with compact frames that won’t snap when riding and are generally safe for young kids. The frames are well-built to handle rough usage and are pretty stable to aid your kid in learning to balance.
2. Easy to Adjust
The seats are pretty adjustable, some allowing you to do it tool-free to fit kids of varying ages. That explains why the Strider 12 Series can accommodate kids aged 18 months-5 years while the 14-inch series can fit those aged 3-to 7 years. Even the rocking bikes are adjustable enough to fit kids from 6 months to 5 years.
3. Comfortable to Ride
There are so many elements of Strider bikes that make them comfortable to ride. These balance bikes are super lightweight, mostly averaging under 6 pounds, thus making it easy for toddlers to ride them. They also feature footrests to offer support to the kids’ feet.
And more, their handlebars have soft mini grips and softly-padded seats (apart from the Strider-12 Classic) to feel comfortable.
4. Less Stressful to Handle
Given that these balance bikes are super lightweight, they are easy to maneuver by kids. Their handlebars also enjoy good grip and come in a perfect size for easy handling.
Plus, their seats are adjustable to match the kid’s stature, which is easy to control.
Moreover, the rear tires are closer to the seat to lower the center of gravity, improving the bike handling.
5. Puncture-Proof Tires
Strider bikes come with puncture-proof foam tires that roll smoothly on paved surfaces. As a result, your kids can ride a Strider on the streets without worrying about puncturing the tires.
6. Convertible to Pedal Bikes
Strider-14X Sport allows you to add pedals. You don’t have to get a new pedal bike once your kid learns to pedal and steer the balance bike unless they outgrow it.
You can get the Strider Easy-Pedal Conversion Kit (View on Amazon) to turn the Strider-14X Sport into a pedal 14-inch kids’ bike.
7. Color Variety
Strider bikes come in the most vibrant and charming color choices to excite your kid. Whether you want a bold color like red or orange or just something cool like blue or purple, there is a Strider kids’ bike out there for you.
The Cons (Why Strider Bikes May Not Be Worth)
Strider bikes essentially suffer these issues:
- Foam tires as a concern – While the bikes’ foam tires are puncture-proof, they are only best for paved surfaces. They don’t enjoy as much traction on wood floors, gravel, and dirt as on paved surfaces. But as long as your kid rides on paved surfaces, you’ve nothing to worry about.
- Plastic saddle as a concern – It applies to the Strider-12 Classic, which is the cheapest Stride bike. Some parents report the seat to be slightly hard because of the unpadded plastic surface.
- Plastic bushings as a concern – Though parents expect to find bearings on the Strider-12 Classic, they find plastic bushings, which are less durable. But overall, they are decent vibration isolators.
- The bike price as a concern – It’s not often that you get a balance bike costing more than $100, but that’s how much Striders go for apart from the Strider-12 Classic, which costs slightly under $100.
Is Strider Balance Bike Worth the Money? My Verdict!
It’s undeniable that Strider’s foam tires don’t offer the best traction on non-paved surfaces. It’s also true that the Strider-12 Classic’s seat feels slightly hard, given that it is plastic.
But let’s face it; you can always change the foam tires and seat, and if you go for any other model other than the Strider-12 Classic, you won’t have to worry about the seat.
As for the price, you pay that much for the advantages that Strider bikes promise. That includes a solid, safe build, lighter and comfortable design, adjustability, puncture-proof tires, and color variety. Those are the provisions that make Strider bikes worth it.
So, yes, a Strider bike is worth the money.
Strider Bikes Range
Essentially, Strider Bikes Company stocks the following bike series:
- 2-in-1 rocking bike
- Strider 12 Series
- 14X Sport Bike
1. Strider 2-in-1 Rocking Bike
The Strider 2-in-1 Rocking Bike serves as a baby rocker and a balance bike. Once your kid overgrows the rocker, you can detach the bicycle from its support to allow the kid to ride it as a regular balance bike.
Due to its 2-in-1 convertibility advantage, the Strider 2-in-1 Rocking Bike is the costliest. It securely holds the baby during the rocking stage, thus safer. This rocking strider bike toddler is generally best for under 24 months (in its rocking version) or 18 months-5 years (in its balance version)
2. Strider 12 Series
The Strider 12 Series features balance bikes with 12-inch wheels, which are best for 18 months to 5 years. They are the lightest Strider bikes on the market, and they come in three styles: Classic, Sport, and Pro.
a) Strider-12 Classic
The Strider-12 Classic is the cheapest Strider balance bike. But despite its simplicity, this balance bike comes with all the specs you need to train your kid to balance and coast.
It comes with a steel frame that can hold up to 60 pounds and features puncture-proof foam tires. So, you wouldn’t have to worry about their inflation.
Their downside is their seat, which has a lower seat post and lacks padding. Also, its handle lacks padding.
b) Strider-12 Sport
The Strider-12 Sport is an all-around choice that offers the specs you lack on the Strider-12 Classic. Unlike Strider-12 Classic, Strider-12 Sport’s seat is padded, allowing tool-free adjustment.
The only thing it lacks is a number plate, which you can find on the Strider-12 Pro. Strider-12 Sport is lightweight, despite a steel frame, and enjoys sundry color choices.
According to the manufacturer, it’s best for 2-3-year-olds.
c) Strider-12 Pro
The Strider-12 Pro is the best in the 12-inch series. It features a number plate, which you don’t get on Strider-12 Sport, and weighs much less, owing to its aluminum frame.
The balance bike also features a performance footrest, making it more comfortable than the other series. Its seat and handlebar are softly padded, and it enjoys a tool-free assembly.
Furthermore, the bike comes with no-flat foam tires that smoothly roll and are pretty stable. It’s overall best for 18 months to 5 years.
3. Strider-14X Sport Bike
The Strider-14X Sport Bike is the largest Strider balance bike, featuring 14-inch wheels.
This bike has one advantage that no other Strider bike enjoys: the ease of converting it into a pedal bike. You can turn it into a strider bike with pedals using a Strider Easy-Ride Pedal Conversion Kit, which I mentioned earlier.
A Strider-14X Sport has the same specs as the Strider-12 Sport, only that it’s bigger and allows pedal integration.
Overall, this balance bike is lightweight and readily adjustable to grow with your kid. The bike frame offers a footrest, and its handlebar and seat are softly padded to provide ample cushioning.
It’s generally best for 3-7-year-olds, so there is no strider bike for adults.
People Also Ask
1. Are Strider Bikes Good?
Strider bikes are built with strength, safety, comfort, and ease of handling in mind. These bikes are easy and fun to ride, making them the ultimate balance bikes. They are perfect for training your kid to balance, coast, and steer a bicycle.
2. What Age Is a Strider Bike for?
Strider 12 Series bikes are generally best for kids between 18 months and five years, while Strider 14X Pro series accommodate those who are up to 7 years.
3. How Much Do Strider Bikes Weigh?
Strider bikes generally average 5.6-12.5 pounds, depending on the size and frame material. The Strider 14X Sport is the heaviest as it’s bigger and comes in a steel frame.
4. How Much Is a Strider Bicycle?
Strider balance bikes’ costs start from about $89.99 to over $200. It all depends on what bike you are getting. Overall, the Strider-12 Classic is the cheapest Strider bike and the only one costing under $100.
Are Strider Bikes Worth It? Closing Thought:
There is no denying that Strider bikes are worth it despite costing more than most balance bikes. These bikes focus on improving your kid’s motor riding skills and are generally safer, stronger, and comfortable to ride, and that’s what makes them worth it.