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  1. #1
    Ibexbiker
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    Glider/Run/Balance bikes

    Hey Everyone,
    I am looking to buy my 2 year old one of the new balance bikes. There seem to be a lot out there. I have looked at the Skuut and the Strider. I liked the striders lower seat height and spot for his feet but read a few bad reviews about them being kind of cheap. Some people mentioned the hubs/bearings are made of plastic? I found it hard to believe but have not seen one up close. I was wondering what your experiences have been with certain brands.

  2. #2
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    i have a strider for my 2-year old. it actually seems pretty well built. i don't know about the hubs/bearings and to me, but it really doesn't matter- i'm sure they won't fall apart that quickly regardless of what they're made of. the seat goes low enough just in case your little one doesn't have as big of an inseam.

    the skuut and other wooden ones have had some build/longevity issues- at least that's what i read and what rei told me about returns they get on them. for me it was between the strider and pv glider. i liked the glider how it has a hand brake and pegs for the feet, but my son had to be a little taller to fit on it. also, i found the strider cheaper on the bay.

    my son has been on his for a few weeks now- not regularly though. he is still in the phase of walking with straddling it. i'm looking for consitently nice weather where i can really get him used to it.
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  3. #3
    Big Mac
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    I got my son a strider @ 2 yrs. He's been rockin' it pretty hard now for 4 mos. Lots of trail use and the thing is holding up just fine. Build quality is actually quite good for what it cost, less than $100 clams. The Skuut and some others are made of plywood which is not a good thing. Water and plywood don't play well together. (think creek crossings!) As was mentioned, the fact that the seat goes as low as it does, much lower than others is an important benefit. I'd say not to worry about the build quality of the Strider, our boy has ridden his about as hard as any 2 yr. old could and it's holding up just fine. Good luck with your purchase, kids love these things!

  4. #4
    Ibexbiker
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    Awesome. Thanks for the responses. I think I'll probably be going with the Strider. I'll let everyone know how he likes it.

  5. #5
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    It may be a bit late, but Norco has one available as well. I just got this one for my son: http://www.norco.com/bikes/kids/run-...run-bike-boys/
    If you want all the comforts of home, stay there.

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  6. #6
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    This is awesome! I'm going to get a Strider for my son...

  7. #7
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    we brought our son's strider on our co trip and he rode it quite a bit- he really started getting good at coasting with holding his feet up- he was so proud and happy about it- obvisouly because we were happy and cheering him on, too. he is 2 years 4 months old.

    he rode it a couple times here and there, but not regularly until the weather got nicer in the chicagoland area. i say it took him about 15-20 rides before starting to coast. now he goes full speed down our steep driveway (i'm at the bottom catching him since he sometimes starts wobbling).

    it's a lot of fun!

    enjoy!
    ez
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  8. #8
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    I have a five-year old like-a-bike. It is made of plywood, and it has been very well-ridden. The bearings are excellent and the bike is strong.

    If you plan to really trash the bike, I could see an issue with plywood, but ours is virtually new after years of extensive use.

    Like a bike is pricey, but it is not made in china, it is more green than the alternatives, and it is truly beautiful. I plan to store mine for the grandkids.

    No more crap!

  9. #9
    Spooooon!
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    We have the Specialized "Hot Walk" and it is very well built. Our 2 year old loves it and is getting very good a coasting down slight inclines.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrier
    I have a five-year old like-a-bike. It is made of plywood, and it has been very well-ridden. The bearings are excellent and the bike is strong.

    If you plan to really trash the bike, I could see an issue with plywood, but ours is virtually new after years of extensive use.

    Like a bike is pricey, but it is not made in china, it is more green than the alternatives, and it is truly beautiful. I plan to store mine for the grandkids.

    No more crap!
    We got our son a Like-A-Bike when he was 4. He quickly blasted off on it. Soon he was outriding his older friends that were riding pedal bikes around the neighborhood. It's amazing what a sub 10lb bike can do for speed. He wore out shoes like a pro tennis player though (brakes). (BTW, Keen sandals are the bomb for kids on glide bikes. They protect their feet and the soles have a good balance of traction/longevity and wrap around their toes...Crocks are the worst. Wear out in a day.)

    Now that his sister is old enough to ride (2.5yrs) she walked it for a while since her inseam wasn't long enough. Then one day a couple weeks ago, it just clicked and she's actually riding the bike.

    I think $300 is pretty steep. But I figure I'll get two kids through it and it is still good enough to sell on CL afterwards. The build quality is great and has held up well. And is so light and compact that we can take anywhere. Many times, we'd go on long walks and my son would ride. Then he'd get distracted or the terrain is too rough and I just carried it. No problems.



  11. #11
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    BTW, 5 years now with the like a bike, and it is still their favorite toy. Note that my son's real bike is a 24" ibex. No joke

  12. #12
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    I never heard of like a bike. It looks just like my POS skuut. I guess the devil is in the details.

    Whoa! 300.00! I thought the others were expensive at 100.00.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    I never heard of like a bike. It looks just like my POS skuut. I guess the devil is in the details.

    Whoa! 300.00! I thought the others were expensive at 100.00.
    yeah, it's crazy how some of these bikes are so pricey. i also thought my $80 or so strider was pricey- well worth it for me though.

    edit: yesterday we went on a bike ride and he ended up going the last two miles on a path on his own- crazy how i thought he wouldn't be able to make it all the way back, but he did- and was excited about it! couldn't ask for more.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    I never heard of like a bike. It looks just like my POS skuut. I guess the devil is in the details.

    Whoa! 300.00! I thought the others were expensive at 100.00.
    Yes, it cost more. And, yes, that is why it doesn't fall apart. If you want to buy two POS bikes and throw them away for around $200, go nuts. But I preferred to buy something well-designed and well-built that is holding up beautifully.

    BTW, this trend does continue with the 20" and 24" mountain bikes. You can get $200 bikes that look just like mountain bikes, but you really can't get a geared bike that is worth the metal it is made of for under around $400.

  15. #15
    pronounced may-duh
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    It seams that lots of people have gotten good glide bikes in the 100.00 range. The strider, PV Glider and others are in that price range and are well made. Just stay away from the Skuut.

  16. #16
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    I work occasionally for a specialized dealer, and they gave my daughter a specialized version of one.



    She said they didn't tighten the stem bolts evenly.

    The owner of glide bikes is a friend of mine, so I am getting one of those as well. The specialized just had a much lower seat, so she could start playing with it sooner.

  17. #17
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrier
    Yes, it cost more. And, yes, that is why it doesn't fall apart. If you want to buy two POS bikes and throw them away for around $200, go nuts. But I preferred to buy something well-designed and well-built that is holding up beautifully.

    BTW, this trend does continue with the 20" and 24" mountain bikes. You can get $200 bikes that look just like mountain bikes, but you really can't get a geared bike that is worth the metal it is made of for under around $400.
    Personally, I think plywood is a poor choice of materials for a kids bike. And like others have said, I paid under $100 to a local shop for my sons Strider.

  18. #18
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    Wink Glide Bikes

    My kids both learned to ride on the Mini Glider from Glide Bikes. The thing that separates it from the rest is the geometry, its down hill specific 65 deg head angle. This does 2 things it slows down the steering to make it more stable and also the speed at which balance is achieved around 1.5 mph. It also includes foot pegs for kids to rest their feet (Moms will appreciate the shoes not getting scraped up) and a hand brake as well as a real headset with a steering limiter to prevent kids from getting whacked by the handlebars. It also has a lifetime warranty so it can be passed down. My son was balancing at 22 months on the first prototype and riding a 2 wheeler at 2 1/2 my daughter was 4 at the time and she picked it up right away. <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/zZKiuZhplYk&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/zZKiuZhplYk&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    <object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/jLNj8PriZvo&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/jLNj8PriZvo&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>
    use coupon code MTBR09 for a discount

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusSommers
    I work occasionally for a specialized dealer, and they gave my daughter a specialized version of one.
    I will vouch for the quality of the Specialized ones as my friend rode his son's down a flight of stairs while drunk ! He didn't make it too far, but the bike was fine...

    On a side note, I just took my son's bike, took the cranks and chain off and had him ride it around like a glider/strider type bike for two weeks. Put the stuff back on and he took off like he'd been riding for years.

  20. #20
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    My daughter was using one from BMW. It is a nice balance bike, and then you convert it to pedals. 14" wheels, but low standover in balance mode.

    Very well build, and now waiting for my son to grow up a bit. Money well spend. I thought it is expensive, but then I remembered what a single wheel on one of my bikes costs... and she used it for two years, and it is still as new for her brother..





    I want to start my son a bit earlier on the balance bike, so looking into TootScoot and Strider, as they seem to be a bit lower. He just got a RadioFlyer Tiny Trike for his first birthday and managed to ride it down driveway today.. Started to walk a couple weeks ago, so he can ride..
    Last edited by Broccoli; 08-16-2009 at 12:25 AM.

  21. #21
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    Can those of you who bought a Strider comment on how they have held up?

    My neighbor purchased one this summer (at my recommendation) and I think it's a POS!! There is so much stiction in the head tube so that the bike doesn't react to small lean angles. Also, there is so much stiction in the hubs. It's like dragging the brakes all the time.

    I'm about to take the bike apart for him, regrease everthing and put it back together. Just wondering if the bikes need assembly and the purchaser screwed it up. Or is this a the quality of the brand?

    To contrast, our Like A Bike is holding up VERY well. Even after crashing into a concrete wall. BTW, our last picnic, our daughter was at it again. Came down a hill a little too hot and took the acute angled left turn instead of the easy right. Was sliding both front and rear tires back and forth to try to keep it upright. She pulled it off stopping in the gravel. I think she scared herself pretty good. Us too.

  22. #22
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    My son got his first runner 2 years ago when he was three. (a Norco, but the same as a strider etc.)It lasted about 4 months and then we broke down and spent the $300 on the like a bike Jumper. THE BEST MONEY I HAVE EVER SPENT. The bike has a rear shock, primo components and is well built. We take it everywhere still, even though he can ride bikes with the best of them, the runner is always super fun. I take every chance I can to promote the balance bikes with new parents, especially the ones teaching with training wheels.
    We did a couple of videos for you tube,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKf1ZU3ZQUI

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquamishRon
    My son got his first runner 2 years ago when he was three. (a Norco, but the same as a strider etc.)It lasted about 4 months and then we broke down and spent the $300 on the like a bike Jumper. THE BEST MONEY I HAVE EVER SPENT. The bike has a rear shock, primo components and is well built. We take it everywhere still, even though he can ride bikes with the best of them, the runner is always super fun. I take every chance I can to promote the balance bikes with new parents, especially the ones teaching with training wheels.
    We did a couple of videos for you tube,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKf1ZU3ZQUI
    SUPERSTAR!!!

    With his eyes fixed on the video, my 1 year old boy watched your son ride that bike. When my wife took him away from the video, he cried! I think I'll look into the Jumper for him!
    Remember, you are unique, just like everyone else.

  24. #24
    Appalachian Singletrack'n
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    There is a small company from Great Brittian called Early Rider that makes fantastic bikes. They use quality parts but also have the lowest seat heights and most stable geometry. I got my son for his 2nd birthday. He's 31 months now and hits hips at the skatepark.





    <embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullscreen="true" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid125.photobucket.com/albums/p76/1SpeedBrian29/noahride.flv">

    The bikes are reasonably priced through Chain Reaction Cycles and ship to the US within a week.

  25. #25
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    My son has been riding his Strider for over a year. He's 2.5 now. We take it on trails and ride it pretty hard. The wheels spin great and the steering is just fine. it's the best thing I've purchased for him so far. And, as an added bonus, his little brother gets it next. I'd like to get him a regular bike for his 3rd birthday. Any recommendations for a pedal bike for a 3-year-old? He's pretty tall for his age (37" last time I checked).

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by traffic002
    Can those of you who bought a Strider comment on how they have held up?

    My neighbor purchased one this summer (at my recommendation) and I think it's a POS!! There is so much stiction in the head tube so that the bike doesn't react to small lean angles. Also, there is so much stiction in the hubs. It's like dragging the brakes all the time.

    I'm about to take the bike apart for him, regrease everthing and put it back together. Just wondering if the bikes need assembly and the purchaser screwed it up. Or is this a the quality of the brand?

    To contrast, our Like A Bike is holding up VERY well. Even after crashing into a concrete wall. BTW, our last picnic, our daughter was at it again. Came down a hill a little too hot and took the acute angled left turn instead of the easy right. Was sliding both front and rear tires back and forth to try to keep it upright. She pulled it off stopping in the gravel. I think she scared herself pretty good. Us too.
    As you can see in my sig I do have a link to Strider and was around them during their developement so I can add some insight here. I am not however a paid employee, just a dad of a toddler that knows the inventor.

    Regarding the hubs, yes they are real bearings and they respond to the same adjustments and lube as full size bikes. In my dozen years of wreching in shops it was common to go through the hubs on assembly, most folks don't even think of this in the age of "sealed "bearings. But that is a different rant.

    The headset is a self lubricating bushing. They do start out snug but it actually helps the younger riders with bar control. Usually a few spins starts the break in process. If it really bugs you a spritz of silicone will make it smoove like butter. The very first protos are still around and being hammered with the original headsets after several years so they do hold up.

    If we step back as cyclists and look at these bikes with the eyes of Joe Blow or the average soccer mom you get a better picture. Most folks won't can't or don't know how to air up tires, spot a headset so loose the cups are falling out of the frame or needs lube. They desinged these bikes to be "wash and wear". Cindy Soccer can throw it in the car, take it to the park and let the kids play.

    Just my .02

  27. #27
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Just picked this up today

    A Performance Bike balance bike. It comes with a few sets of decals, but I really like the "clean" look. Construction looks pretty good. Weight is about right. I'll post after Xmas how it goes over with my 2-year-old daughter.

    JMJ
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Glider/Run/Balance bikes-performancebike.jpg  


  28. #28
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Balance Bike Deal

    BTW - this is the "Deal of the Day" today only at Performance Bike.

    http://www.performancebike.com/webap...DOD-_-KidsBike

    JMJ

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman
    A Performance Bike balance bike. It comes with a few sets of decals, but I really like the "clean" look. Construction looks pretty good. Weight is about right. I'll post after Xmas how it goes over with my 2-year-old daughter.

    JMJ
    Saw that yesterday and thought it'd be cool to give them the stickers and some paint pens and let them go nuts on it. Then hit it with some clear coat or leave it as is so you can rattle can it back to white for the next kid.

  30. #30
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    Seriously, why are you people buying these things?

    I just took the pedals off my daughter's bike, and voila, glider bike. She only glided for a week and wanted the pedals back on. No issue with the crank arms and the front chainring has a chain cover on it, so no worries there either.

  31. #31
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Usually the seat goes a lot lower on a balance bike than a regular bike. There have been a few posts here about the modifications required to a regular bike to make it into a balance bike, besides just pulling the crankset and chain off.

    Personally, I'd rather a good balance bike for $70 than a crappy "regular" bike for $50.

    JMJ

  32. #32
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    Why not spend around $120 for Specialized Hotrock 12 and it will serve both purposes?

    Otherwise, you have to spend $70 on a glider, then another $120+ on a decent pedal bike. I don't get it.

    I can't imagine a glider being any smaller/shorter than a Hotrock 12" -- that is a tiny bike.

    My daughter was fine gliding with the crankset in place, it posed no problems at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman
    Usually the seat goes a lot lower on a balance bike than a regular bike. There have been a few posts here about the modifications required to a regular bike to make it into a balance bike, besides just pulling the crankset and chain off.

    Personally, I'd rather a good balance bike for $70 than a crappy "regular" bike for $50.

    JMJ

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc
    Why not spend around $120 for Specialized Hotrock 12 and it will serve both purposes?

    Otherwise, you have to spend $70 on a glider, then another $120+ on a decent pedal bike. I don't get it.

    I can't imagine a glider being any smaller/shorter than a Hotrock 12" -- that is a tiny bike.

    My daughter was fine gliding with the crankset in place, it posed no problems at all.
    For kids around 2 the glider bikes sit a little lower. Mine couldn't sit on her 12" and feet touch at that age. I popped off the pedals & training wheels around 3.5 but she could touch easily by then.

    I'll agree it seems like double buying to me, but I didn't do the balance bike that early. Some guys are giving those striders before 2. You can get a lot more use out of them and possibly jump straight to a 16" at 4ish.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc
    Otherwise, you have to spend $70 on a glider, then another $120+ on a decent pedal bike. I don't get it.

    I can't imagine a glider being any smaller/shorter than a Hotrock 12" -- that is a tiny bike.

    My daughter was fine gliding with the crankset in place, it posed no problems at all.
    10" gliders are significantly lower and lighter. You can start half a year earlier.

    14" glider/pedal convertible bike I have also lowers down by more then an inch when in glide mode.

    We do spend $100+ just for a lighter cassette or a new handlebar. Why not give a kid some good toy?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    10" gliders are significantly lower and lighter. You can start half a year earlier.

    14" glider/pedal convertible bike I have also lowers down by more then an inch when in glide mode.

    We do spend $100+ just for a lighter cassette or a new handlebar. Why not give a kid some good toy?
    Excellent points. What I have also seen is families passing the bikes around between 2,3 and even 4 kids. They are definately getting their monies worth

  36. #36
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    Well this post is Older than dirt, but I figured, as a new member of the forum, and a new owner I would bump it. And apparently I can not post links

    I have this thing about quality, or percieved quality. and as such, there were a few things I was looking for. MY DD, is also bottom 20% height and weight for children her age, so I was looking for a small bike.

    Maybe misjudged or not, but the strider, with plastic wheels, and foam tires, kind of realy put me off.

    So.
    the choices I was looking at were
    Specialised Hotwalk
    specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCProduct.jsp?spid=52927&scid=1005&scname=Kids
    jacksbikes.com/contents/media/specialized_hotwalk_girls_2009.jpg

    the
    Giant prebike
    giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/pre.pink/7516/44724/[/url]
    giant-bicycles.com/_generated/_generated_ca/bikes/models/images/2000/2011/Pre_boys_blk2000.jpg

    and
    The kinderbike
    kinderbikeusa.com/main/
    balancebikescanada.ca/product_images/l/249/Laufrad_Green__91645_zoom.jpg

    All 3 bikes ranging from $99-$115
    all 3 bikes with neumatic tires, and spoked wheels.

    I was able to visualy see the Hotwalk, and the giant prebike at local retailers, but had to order the kinder.

    The Kinderbike has teh 11 inch seat hight. and included breaks, this was how the bike won my order.

    Uppon recieving the kinder.
    first impresions are lasting ones.
    the bike was shipped and arived in under 3 days. a good start

    the Quality, just does not seem right. for having the highest weight rating, and best warenty, the wheeles shows up way off tru, NOTHING tightened or adjusted.

    breakpads, rubbing on tires (not the rim)
    lose seat post, break handle, handle bar T.
    it would have been better had the bike showed up dissasembled, as everything had to be redone anyway.

    The wheels have a more plasticy look/feel to them than either the giant, ot the specialised.
    But like many new wheels this could wear off.

    First impresions, the Giant prebike was much more visualy apealing, cleaner welds, nicer paint, nicer wheels, and tires. But with 2 inch higher seat height, and no breaks.

    I hope to update this post with "lasting impresions" as time goes by. and as she actualy uses it.

  37. #37
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    Since we're back at the top on this subject, here's my .02

    I wanted my son to skip training wheels, and go straight to a 2-wheeler. The striders/gliders/push bikes were all around $100 at the time, so I let my product developer's mind wander a bit.....I ended up at Meijer buying a Lightning McQueen bike with pedals on the front wheel for $32. The first thing I did was throw the training wheels away and cut the cranks off the front axle. My son LOVED the bike, and it held up to a lot of use before he moved up to a new 14" bike. It's still in great shape, and our 2yr old niece is starting to play with it. I'm all for spending more on items that you need to perform and last longer, but let's face the fact that kids outgrow these bikes fast, and could care less if it's made from titanium or cardboard.

  38. #38
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    Here is an updated video of my boys from last month at our local skatepark. The older one is about 4 years and 2 months. He's riding a 12" bike I found in somebody's trash. The little one is two years and one month. The older one rode the wheels off that little orange Strider and it's still going strong for his brother.

    http://youtu.be/dOjnGyDSTww

  39. #39
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    Dang why didn't I find those when my kids were young...

  40. #40
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    With my 6 year old racing BMX I bought my two youngest Striders. Everyone thought I was crazy for spending $100 on each one. They aren't saying I'm crazy now. Both of them competed in 2 BMX Nationals! My 2 year old has been hitting the trails with us and was able to keep up on a 6 (yes 6) mile ride. He jumps off of our rock walls with it too. He has actually been riding his other bike without training wheels as well, but the 12'' bike is just a tad bit to big for him yet. The Strider's seat is VERY low compared to a 12" GET A STRIDER!

  41. #41
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    I honestly had no idea these things existed. At first I didn't know what to think but as I'm doing more and more research on the balance bikes vs. training wheels I'm leaning more towards the balance bikes. My little guy just turned 18 months this month (August) so I'm starting to get the wheels spinning (pun intended!) on getting him out of the bike trailer and under his own power.

  42. #42
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    "I'm leaning more towards the balance bikes" thought that was a pun as well

    my little girl is 21.5 lbs, and quite short, she will be 2 end october. she still does not fit the balance bike I bought her. still sad.

  43. #43
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    We got my 3 year old son a Glider bike last Christmas. I thought about getting him a regular bike and removing the crankset but really like the laid back head angle of the Glider and the footpegs (which are removeable). He's used it for 8 months and has a blast on it. Best gift he's ever gotten. Added a squeeze horn to it so he can be like the big boys. Will be passed onto his sister when he finally gets a bigger bike which he keeps talking about every time we go to REI.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary in VA View Post
    We got my 3 year old son . Will be passed onto his sister when he finally gets a bigger bike which he keeps talking about every time we go to REI.
    Put the bike on lay-a-way and pay the boy to take out the garbage.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernblades View Post
    "I'm leaning more towards the balance bikes" thought that was a pun as well

    my little girl is 21.5 lbs, and quite short, she will be 2 end october. she still does not fit the balance bike I bought her. still sad.
    Dug this out of the trash, rear wheel had been ran over. I had one of these $6 wheels from Tractor Supply. Looks like it would lower a bike!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Glider/Run/Balance bikes-kaiden-6-bd-003.jpg  

    Glider/Run/Balance bikes-kaiden-6-bd-004.jpg  

    Glider/Run/Balance bikes-kaiden-6-bd-005.jpg  

    Glider/Run/Balance bikes-kaiden-6-bd-006.jpg  


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    Looking at getting my grandson either the Glider or Strider as soon as he's walking better. Right now he uses the Ibert seat on my bike. Strider maybe a little smaller and lighter while the Glider has the pegs. Not sure about other differences.

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