Saturday, February 16, 2019

Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike

One of the most popular push bike for kids is the Strider, which is famous for their well designed kids bikes. On a recent trip to Japan, I came across the Strider at BIC Camera, with a wide range of colours and types. Since there was a sale, the final price was substantially lower than if I bought it in Singapore. Therefore, I brought it back from Japan for my kid!

I believe that push bikes are better for kids who are learning cycling, as the emphasis is on learning to balance on two wheels, instead of relying on the extra two training wheels. When I see kids on bikes with training wheels, they are often leaning on one side, using the training wheel as support while cycling. Although this allows them to cycle easily, it does not provide the opportunity for learning how to balance on a bike.

The Strider came in a small box, with the bike disassembled. As you can see below, some assembly is necessary. If you are mildly technically inclined, it should not be an issue at all. Let's take a look at some of the features!

Fresh out of the box! Just need to put in the front fork, handlebar and seat post. The extra seat post on the bottom right is for taller kids.

It is very easy to assemble, just put in the parts and use the quick release levers to tighten them.

Solid tires with 5 spoke resin wheels. These are 12" wheels.

Instead of using bearings, the headset is just a bush type, as the load is not high. This saves some weight too. I lowered the handlebar all the way down.

The grip diameter is extra small, for the small hands. This is one of the unique features that not many kids bikes have.

A cushioned wrap across the handlebar prevents the head or face from hitting the handlebar hard.

Japanese wording on the top tube. This is a Sport model, which has some newer features that the Classic does not have.

Saddle can be set really low if needed, which is useful if you want to start your kid early. A quick release seat post clamp makes it really easy to adjust the saddle height.

Saddle shape is shaped and sized for kids

No angle or fore/aft adjustment possible, as the saddle simply clamps to the top of the seat tube.

Chain stays with black grip tape, this area is for the kid to rest the feet on when they are cruising.

Pretty well designed kids bike, with some nice features such as a small diameter handlebar and a seat height that can be adjusted easily.

The whole bike is only 2.9 kg, so it can be easily lifted or put down by a kid. So far, the training progress is slow as the kid still does not know how to push off with both legs simultaneously. Now, it is more of running while seated on the bike, which is also fine as they are learning how to balance on two wheels.

The Strider can be a bit pricey, even with a discounted price. There are cheaper ones such as those from Decathlon, but the adjustment range is not so big while it is also heavier.

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