- wooden construction is like built-in suspension; the wood absorbs some shock when riding off road
- the wheels have no spokes (my friends' kids have gotten their feet stuck in Strider spokes)
- pneumatic (air filled) tires: 1) make for a more comfortable ride, 2) last longer, 3) “offer far greater traction on surfaces and prevent wheel 'slide-outs'. Wheel slide-outs occur when a tire looses traction due to poor gripping ability and are fairly common with EVA polymer wheels.” (Source: Kinderbike USA) Strider will tell you that their EVA polymer tires are better because they won't pop on rough terrain, but in the 3.5 years our Runners bike has been used by 2 kids on and off road, we have never had a flat. If we did get a flat, we could simply get a $6 tube for the tire. If an EVA tire goes, you have to replace the whole tire (more expensive).
- Steering limiter limits the turning radius and prevents wipeouts. This one is so important because beginning riders have a tendency to crank the handlebars farther than they should. Just watch a kid play with a steering wheel on a ride or playground structure!
- Runners is a Canadian company.
|runners Balance Bike|
- it is the lightest balance bike on the market
- you can start your child on it earlier because its lowest seat height is lower
- it costs less
- no maintenance tires
- metal frame can be left out in the rain without worries
- foot rest to put feet up when coasting
- optional brake mount
- optional ski bike attachment
If your child is too short for a balance bike or just not ready to balance on two wheels, try out the Radio Flyer Scoot-About. The Scoot-About is basically a ride-on toy that allows the rider to keep her feet on the ground or put them up on the foot rests and coast. We were lucky to find a used one on Kijiji.
My kids started on the Scoot-About, then graduated to a balance bike around 2.5 years old, and my oldest just started riding a “big kid” bike a few months ago (4 years old!). She never needed training wheels – just got on her bike one day and rode.
|Radio Flyer Scoot-About|
ConclusionThere are several makes of balance bikes out there, but Runners and Strider are easy to find in Calgary and good quality and value for the money. Which one do you like best? Did your kids ride a balance bike or are you planning on getting one?
|Prince Lionheart Balance Bike (Runners knockoff)|
- almost as good except for the spokes