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  1. #1
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    Walk / Run / Glide / Balance Bikes....

    ...whatever you want to call them....

    My son is only 9 month old but it's never too early to start thinking of getting him on a bike. Both myself and wife had thought we will get a small 12" bike and remove the drivetrain. Then when he's ready to pedal reinstall the drivetrain and were good to go. But I think I have read and seen enough advantages to a walk bike that I think we need to get him one now. Only problem is where? I know I can go to my LBS and I'm sure I can good deal on a Specialized Hotwalk. But if I can find a used one on craigslist or ebay I'm sure I would get it for a good bit less. Which I am not having any luck finding anything. Has anyone ever had any luck finding one on either place?
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  2. #2
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    I would suggest a true balance bike.

    The bottom bracket on a bike prevents the seat from being lowered to the proper height for "striding"

    The problem with small pedal bikes, is in order to make the pedaling ergonomically possible, the child has to sit quite high (for a 1.5ish year old). In order for them to not fall, they need to have the training wheels installed. You'll be surprised how low the seat must be for a 1 or 2 year old to effectively balance and stride.

    Strider style bikes are ergonomically designed for the striding position. The seat, handlebars, sharp pointy bits at the back of the bike (think, clearance for the feet and legs) are all in the right place for the striding position. On a modified pedal bike, those things are all in the WRONG position for striding.

    I bought my 1.5 yo a strider bike and my 4 yo a 16" bike and removed the drivetrain. I wish I had just bought 2 strider bikes. The experiment with the 16" bike with no drivetrain was not sucessful for me.

    My son is now 3 years old and is pretty amazing on his strider bike. He rides singletrack with me. I can't even come close to keeping up with him on foot, I have to be on a bike. The strider bike works absolutely perfect for his size. He is beginning to show signs of needing an upgrade (frankly I'm looking forward to putting a new bike together for him!).

    To summerize, I strongly recommend getting a "real" strider bike. The differences are not obvious until you throw a 1 or 1.5 year old on the bike, than you can appriciate the genious of the glide bikes.




  3. #3
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    Those are some awesome pics. He looks like he's having so much fun.

    I would love to find a used one to save a few dollars but I've had absolutely no luck there. So I just talked to a friend that owns the bike shop and I told him to find me a deal on a Specialized Hotwalk. Otherwise I have a few other options from other people that I know.

    I'm still amazed that you can't find these bikes used on ebay. I thought you can buy anything there. Is it just that they are too used and not worth selling after a kid has his/her way with it?

    Do you know how much that Strider weighs? Yea, I'm a weight weenie. But the truth is I believe a few pounds on a bike for a toddler is a huge amount. I think it would make about as much difference as a modified coaster vs a balance bike.
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

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    I think ebay has consistantly gone down as a reasonable source for used goods. Their fees are now exorbinant (sp?) and people tend to avoid selling things there if at all possible.

    The weight of his strider bike? I dunno. Not very heavy.

    I understand your desire to not spend a bunch. However, you ARE looking at getting 18 months to 2 years of use per kid (bonus if you have more than 1 kid). That's a pretty high bang for your buck ratio.

    We are talking about a 110 dollar bike here. You spend 110 bucks on tires for your bike per season probably? You are a weight weinie - 110 bucks on a stem? Handlebar? Pedals?

    You won't be able to use it for a few months, just start saving now. A side note, I let my son ride his in the house, he seemed to improve his balance significantly over the winter.

  5. #5
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    I'm as much of a cheap a$$ as I am a weight weenie. Two kids but the older one is already riding and were not having anymore. The hotwalk retails for just under $180 but I'm sure I can get it for less than that. I don't have a problem spending the money because I know I throw hundreds on my bike all the time. But who doesn't want to save a buck or 2. I shop like this for my own bike all the time.

    From what I've seen the Strider might be lighter than the Hotwalk and other bikes I'm looking at but I'm not sure I like the idea of the wheels on the Strider bike. I think something with pneumatic wheels would be better.

    And I think you hit the nail on the head about ebay. I use to buy and sell on there all the time. I now buy from there sometimes and hardly never sell anything there. I would rather buy local and sell local to support & help friends.
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  6. #6
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    Here's the thing about the wheels: they are really light.

    My son is reaching the point where those plastic wheels are a problem. Or at least, they are showing the potential to be something that is holding him back. But at the same time, they are the thing that made the bike great at first.

    Strider sells pneumatic rubber wheels, for 26 bucks a pop, and they say each wheel is 1 lb heavier.

    I agree it's nice to save a buck and I buy many components used for my bike(s). I don't have any revolutionary ideas on how to find a used glide bike for you though.

  7. #7
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    Garasaki - great photos. It's awesome to see such a little guy enjoying single track so much. So cool.

    wvmtb - does kijiji have a site for your area? People use it a lot in my city. Does your LBS have a website with a buy and sell section? One of the largest shops up here does. I find that families tend to hold on to items like this that can be handed down to siblings or given away to cousins, etc. They hardly ever hit the market.

    Courtney

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garasaki View Post
    Strider sells pneumatic rubber wheels, for 26 bucks a pop, and they say each wheel is 1 lb heavier.
    I like the idea of the Strider being lighter with the plastic wheels and then upgrading to the pneumatic when he's ready. It all depends on the price of the hotwalk. But I'm still concerned about the quality, comfort, & traction of plastic wheels. I would think they would be slick on smooth surfaces. Of course they probably are not going to be taking any turns for that to be a problem. Or do they? Maybe I'm just over thinking a simple bike for a little kid. But it's things I get to do on slow days at work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    does kijiji have a site for your area? People use it a lot in my city. Does your LBS have a website with a buy and sell section?
    Dang I forgot about that place. But the nearest location is about 2hrs from me. I live in north central WV and we don't have much of anything here. I personally know 3 different LBS owners within an hour drive and none of them are a big enough shop to have anything like your talking about. There are other shops near by one of them being a pretty big shop (kind of chain-store feel) but to my knowledge they don't have anything like that either.
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wvmtb View Post
    But I'm still concerned about the quality, comfort, & traction of plastic wheels. I would think they would be slick on smooth surfaces. Of course they probably are not going to be taking any turns for that to be a problem. Or do they?
    Well certainly the first couple months/year/2 years, the plastic wheels are not an issue because the kid is simply not going fast or turning much. If you've not seen kids on strider bikes in person, you've probably only seen the videos which feature experienced strider bikers in action. Your 1 year old is not going to be riding like that the first time he hops on the bike (or maybe he will, in which case I suggest strongly investing in his cycling future as a racer!)

    So far my son has had the wheels slip out from him once, as far as I know, and it was in a pile of sand on a street (sand on concrete is of course the worst biking surface known to man), so I don't know if the plastic wheels really mattered.

    The problem I currently have with dropping 50 or 60 bucks (I dunno what shipping would cost) on the pneumatic wheels is that he is just about ready for a bigger bike and probably pedals. I feel like I'd be wasting that cash on an upgrade on a bike with a very short shelf life left.

    Others on this forum are a big gagga over Spawn bikes. 2012 Spawn Cycles Gremlin 14" Bike - Spawn Cycles - The World's Best Kids' Bikes! That would be an idea next bike for my son. I'm not sure I have it in me to drop over $350 bucks on a bike for him. I will say though that I probably will NOT buy the strider pneumatics just because I know that bike exists and I'll never buy it if I get those pneumatics. They also make a strider bike, if you want to drop $230 for one of those!

  10. #10
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    I love this thread guys! I'm holding my brand new 2 day old son and already thinking about what bike to get him! Haha! I've been sold on the stryder for some time already. I don't think a lot of the things we worry about will matter to a kid, just get him on one. What age is best? Just after they start walking?

  11. #11
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    My boy is on the verge of walking now and I can't wait to get him on a bike. But in the same sense I don't want to push it too soon. He will be a year old just before Christmas and I thought a walk bike would be a great thing for Santa to bring him. But from what I've been seeing on the net it appears the normal age people are getting their kids on these are right about 20months. So I'm really questioning when I should introduce him to it.

    Like durb said I know the kid can care less on what bike they are on. But just like any parent I want to make good decisions for him.

    Congrats on the your new boy durb. It feels like it was just yesterday I was holding a 2 day old baby. Enjoy the sleepless nights. In a strange way I miss getting up in the middle of the night to feed him.
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  12. #12
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    I bought my son his Strider bike for his 2nd birthday. He took to it very quick and is close to being able to glide on it with his feet up. He's already doing that in short bursts.

    The basic bike with the plastic wheels, is ~3lbs.

  13. #13
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    Found a decent deal on a Strider and bought it. Just received it the other day and took it out of the box, sat my boy on it and pushed him around the house. He's still way too young for it because he can't walk and can't even touch the ground with the seat slammed. But while I was pushing him around he had a just like I do when I'm on a bike. I stopped pushing him and he immediately started . Start pushing again and he was back to all 's. It was hell prying his tiny little hands off the bars I think he enjoyed it as much if not more than I did.
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  14. #14
    tcr
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    First 2 kids we went the training wheel route and they started riding without training wheels around 4-5 years old - what a pain. Someone told us about balance bikes for kid #3 and we picked up one off of CL for $10 and he started using it around 1.5 yrs old. It worked great and he moved to a 12" bike without training wheels at 2.5 yrs old (when his legs were long enough) and then up to a 16" bike right before he turned 3.

    The neighbor kid ran over the plastic wheels on the balance bike with a bigger bike and now we need another balance bike for kid #4. Although kid #4 is not as coordinated so I'm sure it will take longer, but still better than training wheels.

    Bottom line...balance bikes work great and allow you to skip the whole training wheel issues. All our friends who've used them had a similar experience. I'd have a hard time paying $180 though...unless I had more kids on the way and it was not plastic.

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