opinions on Giant Pre balance bike?
I was kind of skeptical about them, but after reading more about them the more I'm becoming eager in getting a balance bike.
I see a lot of reviews and comments about the Strider and Hotwalk, but was wondering if people had experience or opinions about the Giant Pre balance bike. The only somewhat detailed comment I could kind of find about it was a post on this board where someone wished that they got the Giant bike instead of the one they did. Then another one liking the Giant bike better than a bike with plastic wheels but I think that's like comparing apples to oranges.
Talking to a local bike shop, I think I can get the Giant version for maybe about $25 more than the version from Performance. One issue I have is that this also requires prepaying for a discount and trusting that they'll honor the price mentioned over the phone when I'm actually there.
The other thing is that I can't really tell if the extra $25 is worth it. The Giant version might have slicker graphics.
My main criteria is air filled rubber tires and to me most of the bikes look the same. Some might have two tubes and others one. There are some designed really cool like BMX bike, but they're also more than I'm willing to pay.
I'm also considering trying to convert a 12" bike but am concerned about weight and fit. Where I don't want my son to become discouraged due to a poor fitting bike. We went to Target and Dick's to try out some 12" bikes, but they were all out of reach and/or tied down. So I sat him down on a 16" bike and his feet barely touched the pedals. Is there a way to estimate his fit on a 12" bike based on the fit of a 16" bike?
Also has anyone bought the balance bike from Costco and know if it comes with air or foam wheels:
Glide Bikes Green 12" EZee Mini Glider
In the picture it looks like it is air wheels, but the price is within range of a foam tire.
I'm trying to go the used route first, but doubt that I'll have any luck in getting what want for the price I want. So am thinking of just getting the bike from Performance, but am not sure if it's worth it to spend $25 more for the Giant bike.
It seems like I always miss out on the deals, where a year or two ago Amazon was selling the Diamondback push bike for $50. Oh well.
Thanks in advance!
For those interested found the following link below:
Sortable Balance Bike Comparison Chart | Two Wheeling Tots
I measured my son's inseam and think that he might still be too small for the type of bike that I was looking for. The Strider and other similar styles (not the air filled tires) seem to have the lowest seats at 10".
So given the fit issues, I'm kind of leaning towards just converting a 12 inch bike because like the idea of being able to use it longer by putting the pedals back on. I did see an article or link somewhere, probably on the same site above, that mentioned how 12 inch bikes are not efficient for peddling and still have concerns about weight distribution. So am still deciding. For example try to get a balance bike that will last a while then just jump to a 16" bike.
But I may confirm with the lbs on the price of the balance bike to determine if the price difference is worth the weight savings.
Just looking at pictures and as mentioned in my previous post, I think a lot of these bikes look the same. For example if I recall correctly the Performance bike, Raleigh, Diamondback, and Hotwalk all appear to have similar looking frames. The biggest difference looks like the designs and maybe tires. Then the Trek and Giant look like they have a similar frame as well.
Walmart sells a balance bike with air filled tires for about $35. It doesn't have a great review in the site above, but for $35 I might not complain too much. The main issues for me are that there are not any in stock around my area and the seat is really high at 14".
Also for those wondering, I'm leaning towards rubber air filled tires because we got two tricycles with plastic wheels as gifts. (my wife wouldn't let me exchange one of them and we already used the other one) And it looks like they don't get good traction on the ground. So am leaning towards something with an air filled tire for better traction and durability.
It's good to see that you're very interested in a balance bike for your kid. I'll offer my 2 cents in the hopes of helping you out. My youngest kid has been riding a Strider since he was 2. It worked wonders! My other 3 kids used training wheels and essentially rode a bike on their own at the age of 5. Well my 3-year is ready for his first 12". The Strider is light and the bars/post can be raised for child growth. The tires are worn however after many miles of use! Although it has much life left my kid is ready for a 12 or 14 now. He is too small for a 16. Good luck!
Last edited by richsseven; 10-30-2013 at 07:24 PM.
Reason: adding important Strider info
Thanks for the input!
After looking into it, I think I may have been too over eager because it looks like most people don't start their kids off until they're after 2. And I kind of see the advantages of bikes like the strider due to their lower seat height, so kids can get an earlier start. Given that there's time I think I'll wait for a good deal to come up.
I heard back from the bike shop and they gave the following comparisons between a 12" Animator Jr and a Giant Pre (they sell Giant bikes, which is why it's those two models):
For the Pre:
standover height: about 12"
height of handle bar: about 21"
overall weight: about 10 lbs
For the Animator Jr:
standover height: about 13"
height of handle bar: 24"
overall weight about 20 lbs
The final price of the Pre is a little bit higher than I expected but it is within range of the more decent bikes. (about $100) The TwoWheelingTots site only gives it an average rating with no details though.
So I think depending on the balance bike, I may lean towards getting a 12" bike and taking off the pedals and cranks. For example that balance bike at Walmart I mentioned has a 14" seat height and 12 lbs. I know that 8 lbs is a big difference for little kids and there might be a difference in the way the weight is distributed. But I doubt kids are going to run around with these bikes over their head and it's not hard to lift a 300 to 500 lb motorcycle back up onto it's tires, so I think it's the same principle on how the balance bike will be used. So at that kind of difference, I'd just go ahead and get a 12" bike and the one at Walmart is off my list.
If I were going to buy a bike today, I'd consider:
-the Performance balance bike for about $80 and I'm waiting to see if the price is further reduced or if there is a coupon code that comes out in the next couple of weeks. I'm not crazy about the rugged tires and plain white scheme. But it gets pretty good reviews on other posts on this board and someone posted how it's comparable to the Strider. So I think is something that we could use now and am keeping an eye on.
-ezee glide with air tires. These are about $90 right now too and think would fit. I think their seat height starts at 11" as well. I actually started to look at them more closely after seeing the ad on this forum where there is a discount code for the site.
I'm pretty much open to the majority of them if the price was right and there are a lot of good ones.
But for brand new, I'm expecting to pay close to $80 out the door and if buying used, the price difference would have to make it worth it over buying a new one.
Then if I miss out on the deals or don't have anything by the time my kid gets to the right height, I'll just pick up a cheapie 12" bike and take off the cranks.
Anyways hope the above is helpful for anyone considering the same thing. The main thing I wanted to post was the differences in height and weight between a 12" bike and a balance bike, because I couldn't find those specs online. Granted different bikes will have different height and weight, but I assume that they should all be around the same ballpark.
My youngest started on a Puky LRM at 19months and was riding a pedal bike with no training wheels at 22 months, so 2 is not too early!
Have you seen Strider are brining out a Pro version? Looks good. My son now also has a LikeaBike Jumper which is amazing. Much bigger than the Puky though - he is on the small side and was only just big enough at 2.5
The Puky doesn't have air-filled tyres btw but it did it's job. He has done singletrack and dirt jumping on it
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