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163 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far...so...
After extensive research on the right balance bike for my 18 month old, I went with a red ST-3 Strider. While I didnt want to pay this kind of money, the expectation is she uses it for 3 years or so and when she is done with it she'll hop on a big-kid bike and ride away. My son, who is older can ride a bike fine now but he is still hesitent and that's because he started...
Published on May 16, 2012 by Test Subject 42

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61 of 76 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars st2 better than st3
Unfortunately, the only great upgrade on the st3 is that you don't need tools to move the seat and handle bars up and down. The seat is small and plastic on this mode and hurts my sonl vs. the nice cushioned seat on the st2. The wheels are plastic w some kind of soft interior on the st3 which takes away from my sons stability as he rides the bike. We only got this...
Published on October 21, 2012 by TW


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163 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far...so..., May 16, 2012
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After extensive research on the right balance bike for my 18 month old, I went with a red ST-3 Strider. While I didnt want to pay this kind of money, the expectation is she uses it for 3 years or so and when she is done with it she'll hop on a big-kid bike and ride away. My son, who is older can ride a bike fine now but he is still hesitent and that's because he started on training wheels and the transition is scarier.

I first Spotted these balance bikes at a car show and was amazed at the kids ability to ride around on it so I started my research and was hooked on the idea.

Primary reasons for choosing a Strider over the other manufacturers was that it's seat can go as low as 11", it has a steel frame, and the new ST-3 has the small grips. Given that this was being given to an 18 month old, the smaller the better. Reviews on various sites also helped seal the deal over the wooden bikes and some of thec omposites. I would've considered a kinderbike but besides their own website, they seem hard to find. The wooden ones Ive seen all look pretty beat up and more like a 'craft' instead of an actual bike. Their website marketing showing kids riding their striders like BMX bikes brought me in too, although it'll be a while before my little one does that!

The bike itself is really tiny. The best way to tell this online is to watch the assembly video on their own website (an excrutiatingly boring video however). Its really light weight also which is good for someone so small to pick up off the ground, which she can. Assembly was easy, although I has to use a mallet to attach the quick release on the handlebar stem because its a little tight. Took about 5 minutes with the help of my 6 year old. More time to take all the packaging off than putting it together. The stem is attached to the handlebars directly, there is no neck clamp as in a traditional bike. I was a little worried about this since I thought maybe I wanted some adjustment backwards to make it easier to reach but the bike is tiny and really doesnt need this. Overall construction is fine (paint, weld points, bolts, screws etc seem to be of decent materials) but they could've sprung for some painted on 'Strider' emblems instead of the cheap stickers which I can see peeling off quickly. It would've added to the belief that $99 was worth spending on something so diminutive and simple. My sons Schwinn, complete with metal pedals, front, rear and pedal brakes cost about this and it's got 18 or 20" wheels on it, so a lot more material and engineering over this little bike. (That said his bike is all stickers too, but with orange flames and racing stripes on the seat!)

The seat itself is a hard plastic, not like a standard bike seat which is cushioned. We'll see how the comfort of that is over time. She'll need to learn some new words first before she can express that though.

My tiny 18 month old (girl) saw the bike and hopped right on and immediately started walking with it. She didn't want to get off. Its the reaction I was hoping for, so that's great. She is very small for her age but she can straddle the bike fine and the seat is as low as it can go. With shoes on she should be just right for it. She can reach the handlebars and the smaller grips of the ST-3 are definitely a good thing.

The tires are interesting. They are a semi-soft-hardish solid plastic mold, not the inflatable kind. We'll see how long they last, but I doubt my tiny one can do anything to really mess them up.

One thing I do wish Strider would do is let you customize the bike more on order. I would've ordered straight from their site (instead of amazon) had I been able to choose wheel colors, seats or handlebars to match the bike instead of the all black. They do let you configure it, but not actually buy it. The red on black is great though and I chose that over pink (for resale value, LOL) and in case she wanted to share with her boyfriends (LOL) who may not want to ride a pink bike.

We'll see how she does with it over the next few days as these are first impressions. I am looking forward to seeing her balance with it. She really loves bikes and trikes and now that she has one her size, she's really going to get going.

UPDATE (10/2012):
So she didnt take to the bike as much as I thought she would gravitating more to her brothers old tricycle and scooter. She's maybe used it 10 times so far and only for short spurts of time before switching to somethign else. When she does get on the bike, and she is small for her <2 year old self, its really fun to watch. she sits on the seat and walks with the bike, holding the bars and not falling down. If she continues to use this, it wont be long before she lifts her feet and glides. She is getting a bit bigger and I may be adjusting the seat up from the absoute bottom.

The reality is that just watching her a little bit I can see how this method of learning is far better than the training wheel one is. Any kid can learn to peddle once they reach the peddles but the kids in the neighborhood who learned on training wheels are 6-7-8 years old before they arent scared of tipping over anymore.
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126 of 140 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good improvements, but not good enough, April 25, 2013
Bottom Line: The Strider ST-4 is a good bike, but for $109 you can get a great balance bike by going with another brand such as the Glide Bikes EZee Glider Kid's Balance Bike (12-Inch), KinderBike Laufrad Balance Bike or Performance Bike's balance bike. The Strider is also one of the smallest balance bikes on the market, so if you are shopping for a child over the age of 2.5, there are tons of other bikes out there that are better suited for older riders (google Two Wheeling Tots to see a comparison chart).

My oldest son's first balance bike was a Strider ST-2. He LOVED it and was quickly cruising around our town home complex. Around the age of 2.5 however, we got our hands on a balance bike with air tires and soon, my son wanted nothing to do with his Strider. The air tires on his new bike seemed to provided extra cushion when going over curbs and small jumps and he no longer experienced "fish tailing" due to loss of traction in dirt or even on dusty roads. Now, three years later, my younger son is eager to ride with his older siblings, but our balance bike with air tires is too big for him, so we pulled out the old Strider, which we knew was smaller. Not seeing the Strider for a while, we soon realized that time had not been nice to our poor Strider. The foam wheels had no traction left, the paint was chipping and the tires no longer spun freely due to dust clogging the wheel bearings. Still wanting a smaller bike for our son (and knowing that the Strider would fit), we were optimistic upon learning about the new ST-4. With new sealed bearings (to prevent dust issues like our ST-2) and a powder coat finish (versus the previous enamel paint), perhaps a new Strider would do the trick. No such luck, the main problem we found was still with the tires.

While the ST-4's are sporting a new tread pattern compared to previous models, they are still made of foam. EVA foam tires are puncture-proof and light weight, but they are also cheap, provide minimal traction and offer no cushioning when riding over rocks, bumps or even curbs. As my older son proved to us, the cushioning effect and extra traction provided by air tires is substantial enough for even a 2.5 year old to notice. As a mom, I compare it to pushing a stroller with air tires versus plastic or foam tires. Air tires roll smoother and glide easier over bumps and cracks in the sidewalk as compared to hard foam, making for a much more pleasant walking experience. Now imagine riding a bike with those same hard tires versus air tires. Couple that with the hard plastic seat of the Strider (yep, no padding to speak of), it's no wonder my son quickly abandoned his once beloved Strider. To Strider's credit however, air tires are available,Strider Replacement Wheel, Alloy/Pneumatic but for an additional $50 (you cannot buy a ST-4 with air tires, you have to purchase them separately).

As for the puncture proof ease of the foam tires, that feature was missed on our balance bike with air tires (as our neighborhood was full of goat heads), but after a few squirts of Slime 10004 Tube Sealant - 16 oz. in our air tires, flats were never a problem again. Upon researching bikes, I came across the newly released MyKick Balance Bike with puncture proof, rubber "honeycomb" tires. The tires have air, but are puncture resistant and never go flat. Unfortunately for us, the bike was too big for our little guy.

So in the end, while experience told us that the Strider would be a great bike for our little guy, we decided to go with another brand (Baby Jock Edition "STREET" BLUE by FirstBIKE with lowering kit) with air tires which will be better suited for him as he gets older. Sure, it costs more than an ST-4, but we are confident it will be better for him in the long run.
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83 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My boys love their new bikes!, May 8, 2012
By 
Length:: 0:38 Mins

I bought 2 Strider bikes, directly from Strider sports. Blue and Green

The bikes came unassembled, but the tool required for assembly is provided.
It took maybe 10 minutes to figure out and put together.

The boys were antsy, so we tried them out right away! They loved their new bikes, they mostly did the walk along, and a few "sits and feet pushes". Every day we go out they get better!

I really love the idea behind the balance bike. Once kids learn to balance they can ride a two-wheeler, no need for training wheels!!! Pedaling takes a minute or less to learn. Besides, training wheels don't help "train" anything, but oh maybe how to pedal, go fast and fall down.
What is more important in riding a bike? Pedaling, or balance? Balance...first step!

I can already tell the difference with the Strider bikes.
Before on their trikes, they never attempted to steer, or pedal, it was useless.
Now, after a few days, they have already learned to steer, to turn, and avoid obstacles!

UPDATE: Still loving the bikes. We even took them camping!
After 4 months, my oldest is now going down hills and balancing with his feet up!!!!
My 2yr old is getting there too, and gaining confidence!
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best bike on the market for young children!, October 5, 2012
I happened to find one of these at a yard sale and snatched it up for my son when he was 4. He had already been struggling with a typical toddler bike with training wheels, and we decided we wanted to try something else, so we bought the Strider. He was a little awkward for the first few days, but within a week he was riding at quite a decent clip and even lifting his feet up for a few seconds here and there. By the end of the summer he could coast for long periods of time on the bike with his feet up on the footrest. We were absolutely AMAZED, and he was SO PROUD of himself. You should have seen the huge grin he'd have on his face as he'd yell, "Mommy, watch this!!" and put his feet up and coast down a long hill.

When we transitioned him to a bigger bike at the beginning of this summer, he completely skipped over the "training wheels" stage. He just got on the 16" bike, we gave him a couple of tips on how to get started, and off he went, riding like a pro. We then gave the Strider bike to his younger sister, who is 2 and extremely petite for her age. She immediately loved it. Not only did it make her feel like she was riding a "real bike" like her brother, but she could learn at her own speed.

She has literally had it for three months now, and she is riding like a complete pro. She's still 2, by the way...we now have a 2-year old cruising down long hills with her feet up and strangers looking at her like she's a complete genius. The bike holds up AMAZINGLY well, is incredibly light to carry (my 2-year old can pick it up and get on it all by herself...all she needs us for is to fasten her helmet!) and it has given her a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-esteem. She and her brother chase each other around in the driveway now, and she, on her Strider, is able to go nearly as fast as her brother on his regular bike.

I've heard some people express concern that the bike has no brakes, but seriously...it doesn't need them. The child's feet are so easily moved from resting position to "running position," that my children could always stop in a millisecond if they needed to. I think it would actually be MORE complicated with brakes, because it would just add one more thing to think about. If the child needs to stop, he puts his feet down. Done. Bike stopped. And this is instinctual for the children, so you can be confident they will be able to successfully stop.

Seriously, this is a groundbreaking invention for children. I wish I had thought of it, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Don't go for the look-alike brands...get the real thing. It will last you through several kids and still look and perform great. In fact, I accidentally ran over the original I had purchased from the thrift shop with my minivan, and even though it still looked okay at first glance, the bike frame was bent and so my daughter couldn't balance. She was absolutely devastated. I told my husband that I didn't care how much the thing cost at regular retail...we were replacing it. My daughter was overjoyed when her new bike was delivered, and she uses it literally EVERY DAY.

I cannot speak highly enough about this product. It completely eliminates all those worrisome days of trying to teach your kid to balance without training wheels and fretting that they're going to get seriously injured. With the Strider, the child learns on his own, and you just get to sit back and watch the progress with pride.

This is an AMAZING PRODUCT. In my opinion, if you would like you child to be able to ride a bike sometime soon, get him or her one of these NOW. It will save you a lot of stress and headaches in the long run, and both you and you child will be beaming with pride.

Thank you, Strider!!!
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61 of 76 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars st2 better than st3, October 21, 2012
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Unfortunately, the only great upgrade on the st3 is that you don't need tools to move the seat and handle bars up and down. The seat is small and plastic on this mode and hurts my sonl vs. the nice cushioned seat on the st2. The wheels are plastic w some kind of soft interior on the st3 which takes away from my sons stability as he rides the bike. We only got this because someone stole his st2 which he rode very well and fast at 2.5 years old. I gave it two starts because the frame is great. I will be returning the wobbly st3 and purchasing the st2 once again which is FABULOUS. My advice, go with the st2.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, but pay attention to the seat size, June 25, 2013
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My 4-year-old son LOVES his bike!! We can take it to the skate park and he can do small "jumps" with it. It's all terrain, and it isn't tipsy like a bike with training wheels would be. He's awesome at balancing and there is a little spot where and can rest his feet while he glides. Totally worth the money!

My only warning is that the seat that comes with it is for the littlest kids. I had to order a larger seat from the manufacturer. It wasn't much extra money and the manufacturer's website clearly says that you will need the bigger seat for a 4-year-old, but I didn't see that here on Amazon. It was kind of a let down at first that my son had his new bike but couldn't really enjoy it until the new seat arrived.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the Tiny ones!, November 30, 2013
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My 16 month old loves her new bike! She is very small (30") and I was unsure if she would be tall enough to use the bike for several months. It was for xmas but she discovered it last week by mistake! She can mount it if it's held stationary for her, and with the seat on the lowest setting, she is able to walk the bike with her tush comfortably sitting. We look forward to a long relationship with this bike!

Everything exactly as advertised. Arrived it cute box with handle and bike picture on it. Very simple assembly of seat and handlebars required.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, June 6, 2013
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My son loves his bike! He started out a little timid with it, but after 6 months of use, he is absolutely fearless with it and his overall balance has improved tremendously.

Possible product improvements: The grip tape in the rear axel could be smaller or angled slightly up as it has a tendency to lightly scratch my sons leg when he is wearing shorts.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and easy, October 22, 2012
By 
Dubi (California) - See all my reviews
These bikes are phenomenal. We've been looking to buy our 2.5 yrs old twin boys a tri-cycle or bicycles with support wheels and found these. After some research we decided to get the Striders for two reasons: Light weight and seat height. It took a while but it worked out far better than we imagined. Assembly was simple and quick (10min)

After 3 months I can say the most important thing is the weight. Get the lightest bikes you can get. Not because of the obvious reason that your kid can pick it up on their own but because at some point of the ride (typically the farthest point from your car or home), they will get tired of it and you'll find yourself carrying it back.

Weeks 1-4: Walking around with the bikes. Most of the time they weren't even sitting but they were very proud doing so. We started being concerned that we're doing something wrong and tried to find any instructions on how to "coach" the kids to "stride". We couldn't find anything so just continued our around the block trips.

Weeks 4-8: We started noticing that while they are still walking, they actually were balancing. It is very noticeable from behind to see that the bikes no longer "swing" right and left on every step while they walk but the bikes are vertical while they walk. That was very encouraging and we also noticed that the distance traveled before "loss of interest" was much longer.

Weeks 8-12: They started experimenting with lifting their feet off the ground and staying up for a few sec. They now fully stride and it is becoming challenging to chase them given the speed they manage to get to. As of today, they started experimenting with downhill rides.

Overall a phenomenal success

Why only 4 stars? because of the price. The bikes are nice and seems to be solid construction, but I honestly don't think there is anything in these bikes that justifies the $100 price tag.

By the way, the reason for the plastic wheels is the weight. I believe one can purchase an inflatable set of wheels which increase the overall weight by 2 lbs

Summary

- Quick rampup and little to no supervision or guidance is needed. They figure it out on their own
- Don't give up and keep taking them for short rides around the block. Even if you don't see progress, they gain confidence
- Look for signs of balance - when bikes no longer swing when they walk, they are on the right track
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Waited too long to buy, June 16, 2014
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I bought this for my 3 year old and she's just too tall to really "glide" on it. I imagine a 1 or 2 year old (or a 3 year old with shorter legs) wouldn't have a problem, but my kid didn't like it at all (again my fault for waiting).

As an FYI I was a professional bike mechanic for over a decade, and I found the build quality to be ok. The thing that bothered me the most was the fact they didn't use a real headset that you could actually tighten up or adjust at all, so there was like 1/4 of slop in the fork/stem/handlebar that bugged me pretty bad (most people might not care I guess). I just don't see plastic bushings as a real good solution for a load bearing pivot point like a headset. Overall not bad, but I'd probably look at balance bike from an actual bike company next time.
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Strider ST-3 PREbike (Orange)
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