And here she comes: the proud winner of a Runners-Bike Speeders A at the Hottest Tot Products Event
Please check out this very interesting review from www.PlayOutsideGuide.com
Intro to Balance Bikes & Runners/Strider Reviews
TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2014 PLAY OUTSIDE GAL NO COMMENTS
Intro to Balance Bikes
Have you noticed little rippers on little bikes without pedals or brakes? Some people think these bikes are weird – we’ve been told “half the bike is missing!” – but cyclists appreciate the true genius of balance bikes. Balance bikes allow very young children (18 months old if they are tall enough!) to develop balance and coordination. Once your little one has mastered steering and coasting down slight inclines, she can progress to steeper terrain, uneven terrain, and pump tracks. Within one to two years, kids who started on balance bikes are able to graduate to “real” bikes without the painful experience of learning to ride a bike with training wheels.*
My 3 year old on her Runners balance bike
The most popular balance bike is the Strider, but after trying both (my nieces have Striders and we tried the Runners bike at MEC), my family prefers the Runners bike. Although the Runners bike weighs more and does not have some features of the Strider, I prefer the Runners bike for the following reasons:
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: http://www.kinderbikeusa.com/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64&lang=en 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 tube for the tire. If an EVA tire goes, you have to replace the whole tire (more expensive).
Steer stop 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!
This said, the Strider is also an amazing balance bike. The pros of the Strider are the following:
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
More information from the manufacturers’ websites follows:
Classic Wooden Runners Bike —- Strider 12
weight 9.47 lbs —- 6.4 lbs
wheels No spoke wheels —- Five-spoke wheels
Seat height Seat adjustable from 12.5″ to 16.5″ —- Seat adjustable from 11″ to 16″
tires Pneumatic high quality cross country tire —- EVA (never flat) polymer tires
Frame material Solid birch —- Steel alloy
Steer stop Yes —- No
Foot rest No —- Yes
Brake mount No —- Optional add-on
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 for $15. 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.
There 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?
*Footnote: I recommend letting your child ride on a tricycle or tandem bike (e.g. Trail-a-Bike) during the balance bike period, so she can get some practice pedaling. Once comfortable with pedaling, steering, and balancing, your little one will just need to learn how to stop!
We like to let you guys know our attitude in making these little bikes
Please watch this video on YouTube
Great news for all young bikers: We upgraded all Runners-Bike Speeder and Speeders A with soft handle bar pads for better safety. And even better: this improvement is “on the house” since we do not charge extra for his upgrade. Test your Runners-Bike Speeders now!
Runners-Bike just made our inaugural list of Today’s Parent Approved winning products — selected based on quality, ease of use, and value for money — which were evaluated and rated by Today’s Parent readers, editors and industry leaders.
No pedals? No wheels? Huh? Balance (or run) bikes are a trend that’s here to stay. Children have to use their legs for balance and movement, which makes the eventual transition to a big-kid bike easier. Skip the training wheels and head straight to the sidewalk. Runners has offered classic wooden and aluminium balance bikes before, but their latest baby is sturdy and steel framed, with pneumatic wheels for better shock absorption. For kids ages two to five. Comes in green, blue and pink, too.
It does not get better for young cyclists. A wooden balance bike for toddlers age 1-3 years. Now the new Junior Runners-Bike for only $60.
Weight: 1.65kg / 3.6 lb
Seat height adjustable: 11” / 28cm to 12.5” / 32 cm
Frame Eco friendly birch plywood frame
Regular Price $69.95 plus tax
Please visit our website http://www.Runners-Bike.com
This is some feedback our customers gave us:
“The best idea ever for teaching kids balance. The wooden runner bike looks awesome and we are constantly being stopped on the street to answer questions about the bike when we go for a bike ride.
My son absolutely loves it and feels very proud when stopped on the street ( he is three years old).
He uses his bike so much that we needed wheels replacement and also the seat extension in the past. The service was incredible!!! And very fast got those wheels same day I send the e-mail. I went to pick them up after hours and Stephan was very friendly and pleasant. Thanks so much.”
“Absolutely love the bike. We got my son the wood one when it was slightly too big for him. he now rides it all the time. If it is raining – he wants to go out and ride his bike, and when its snowing – all he wants to do is ride his bike! Thanks so much.”
“I love woden push bikes! And so do my kids Thanks for making them so quality!”
“I just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with the Runners Bike. I bought one for my son last fall and he practiced throughout the winter in the basement. Today we tried his ‘big boy’ bike with pedals and he was able to pedal on his own, on his first attempt! I totally believe that his acquired balance was directly related to him practicing on his Runners Bike. Needless to say he is the proudest 4 year old on the block! (Mom is equally as proud).”
For much more feedback on our little bikes please visit MEC’s website
If you look for a great balance bike please visit our website www.Runners-Bike.com
Balance bikes are big in Europe and seeing my son using this bike and balancing as if he was on pedals. Now I get it. At first I didn’t know what the difference would be and what the hoopla was about these bikes but I’ll be honest. When I started watching my son I began to see how he moved on the bike, how was learning to balance and to ‘take off’ and ride as if he was on pedals. This would make transitioning into a regular much easier. I have now seen the light with balance bikes!
Will training wheels be eventually the phased out? The bikes we as parents used when we preschoolers? Maybe…..I am seeing more of these styles and less of the training wheel styles….
If you look for a great balance bike please visit our website www.Runners-Bike.com
Please check this review by ToddlerTalesByMommy out:
“Today my preschooler is doing a guest post for me on why he loves his Runners Bike so much. So take over my space little man!
I tend to fall in love with things easily. I guess it is my age or at least that’s what my mom says. I want every new thing I discover each day and I want it NOW. But I am learning life doesn’t work that way.Or at least that’s what my mom says. I will find out as I grow.
Just as I reached 2 yrs, I realized I liked “speed”. Anything that moved fast, made my eyes flutter and my heart beat faster. I loved that feeling ! Speed , bring it on! That’s how I fell in love with cars, trucks, buses and it looks like it will stay with me for a really long time.
When I turned 3, I saw boys and girls from my neighborhood on some kind of a 2-wheeler they called “bikes”. I was on a 3 wheeled, toy-shaped, silly-looking, downright-degrading TRICYCLE! You see, I never wanted to be on it.My neighbors called me a baby, while I was actually a big boy.I knew it was that damn tricycle that earned me that “baby” tag.
I made myself pretty clear to my parents that I will not be riding that tricycle again. I wanted that thing called a BIKE. And NOW.
My mom and dad decided that I was ready to graduate from a tricycle and hence decided to let me try a Balance Bike. We were at MEC and I laid my eyes on this bike. You know how I tend to like things at first sight? But, I mean, this was not so hard to fall in love with ! Just look at it.
I could pick it up myself and nobody had to teach me how to ride it. It is MINE.
It was really love at first sight. I couldn’t stop myself from getting on it and cruising. Just when mom and dad were not looking at me, I took off on the bike and disappeared into the aisles of the store, air blowing right through the strands of my hair, I was striding my way through the crowd until an employee found me and brought me back to my parents. Oops.
” Man that was fun ” I said to myself !
Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to be riding it in the store. I’ll save that piece for another time.
Ok, it wasn’t safe to ride it literally in the store but, ” Mom, can I please, please, please ride it on the road? This is a MUST-HAVE for a boy like me !”.
It was quite hard to part with it at the store. I shed tears as I walked away. I dreamed about it at nights and I had to repeat myself to my Mom – ” This is a MUST-HAVE for a boy like me!”
I just couldn’t forget that cruising experience I had,speeding down the aisles of the store.
I just whizzed away striding forward with my feet and in a few minutes before I knew it, I was SPEEDING ! I felt like a big kid – kinda cool on a bike ( FINALLY) and I was balancing myself without falling on the ground. Just like the big kids in my neighborhood.
Truly, this was the best biking experience I had in the 3-4 yrs of my life on this earth.
Nights became days. Days became weeks. Was I ever going to have that bike ? One day I came home and found this. Holy-Bike!
It is the best thing I have had this summer – Runners Balance Bike.
It came in a neatly packed box. Mom and dad put it together quickly without any arguments on the how-to’s so it would be ready for me when I came home.
It even has a cute, little bell which can make a sound so effortlessly.Perfect for my little hands.
I carry it down the flight of stairs myself. Yep, I can do it ! Weighs only 3.6 kgs.
Feels pretty cool to hang out with the big kid. In my own bike !
I can handle it with one hand while I use the other to explore the nature around me.That’s why it is called an Ultralight Bike.
The tires are great quality – I can feel the smooth and easeness when I just glide in them. They are the perfect size for me to speed around in. We filled air in the tires and I was ready to go, go, go!
The seat is adjustable from 13.5 to 18 inches. I think this is a great idea as I really want to have this bike even when I grow taller. It’s fun to just zoom around.
The seat is very comfortable. I was on this bike for 4 hrs straight the first day. Yes, my summer is packed with evenings of cruising around in this bike.
Yes folks..it is hard to get him off the bike. Given the ease with which he can handle it, the ride continues even at home. He comes cruising in style on his bike for dinner and insists on parking it like a real bike..LOL. He found the bike a perfect parking spot right in between 2 cabinets!
Runners Bike Ultralight is the only bike that comes with a bell. I haven’t seen a balance bike so far that comes with a bell. Of course, you might be able to buy it as an accessory.
Balance Bikes are a great way for toddlers and preschoolers to learn balance without being frustrated or fearful. It has been a week since he has been using it and balances really well. We do have a regular bike with pedals which is his ultimate goal. He is well on his way to riding it soon.
We have tried some balance bikes before and I would say Runners Bike is one of the best bikes that you can invest in. Runners Bike also sells seat extensions if kids want to enjoy them for a longer time. Since we live in a country with severe winters, children forget how to balance over the course of winter.So remember to keep the bike until your child turns 5 and gains balance, stability and confidence to use a conventional bike. My son will often be turning to his Runners-Bike to practice his balancing skills.”
To learn more about balance bike please visit www.Runners-Bike.com