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Color: Orange|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I consider myself pretty in-the-know about new products for the preschool set, so of course, I did catch on to all the "balance bike" rage that erupted in 2009. I considered buying one for my daughter, but it was actually a couple of online videos that dissuaded me. I watched kids riding these balance bikes, and I just didn't get it. It just looked like kids walking around with a bike between their legs.

When given the opportunity to test this one out, however, I was eager to see for myself why people were talking so much about balance bikes-- and within minutes, I could see the appeal.

First, this is simple to assemble and looks cool. My 3 1/2-year-old couldn't wait to try it out as soon as it was together, so she rode it around the living room and kitchen. She didn't want to get off her bike for the rest of the night-- impressive, considering she owns two tricycles and one bike with training wheels and hasn't really taken to any of them. This one, she thought was fun. While she watched TV, she sat on her bike and picked up her legs and tried to balance as she leaned side to side.

Curiosity got the best of me and I decided to try it out for myself. Now, I am positive the manufacturer didn't intend for a 34-year-old woman to sit on this thing, but I did it anyway (rationalizing that I'm petite), and... I "got it." What looked to me like just plain walking on the videos might have been (maybe they were inexperienced riders), or it might have been more of what I wound up doing, which was sort of gliding. It was fun! Then, to really give the manufacturer a heart attack, my daughter decided she wanted to ride with me. I have no idea how we managed this, but we did, at least for 30 seconds.

The next day, we took our adventures outside, where she rode down the block to the playground and back, finally tiring out at the end and asking me to carry her (it's a lot of leg work!).

There's a flyer in the box explaining why the manufacturer decided not to invest in adjustable seats (it typically adds no more than 2 inches, and kids can adjust by just bending their knees), which I thought sounded like a lame excuse for not spending a few extra bucks, but I ended up appreciating it-- the molded seat is very comfortable and sturdy, and I like it better than typical bike seats. And considering I was able to ride it as an adult, I'm pretty clear proof that you can adjust by just bending your knees. My daughter is a very tall 3 1/2-year-old, and it's the perfect size for her.

I really like the design-- the double wheels in the back add sturdiness without taking away the need for the child to balance, and it feels like safety was the first consideration in the manufacturing of this product-- no wheel spokes, partially-covered back wheels, no place for fingers to get stuck. Our only problem in this regard is that when my daughter tries to go too quickly, her heels sometimes get caught momentarily in the back wheel base.

The only other negative I can find is that the literature about the YBike Extreme said the wheels were solid rubber, but on this version, they're not-- they're hard plastic just like the rest of the bike. That can make for a noisy and less smooth ride, which is why Step 2 recently came out with a Whisper Ride Buggy version of their bestselling Push Around Buggy. But in all honesty, the plastic wheels on this don't seem to make as much noise as the Push Around Buggy's did... maybe because there's less surface area of the wheels actually touching the ground.

My daughter is enjoying showing off her newfound bike-riding abilities to everyone who comes to our house.
11 comment| 137 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon October 20, 2010
Color: Green|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My son is two and a half and I wanted him to start learning to ride a bike. I was considering the one with the training wheels, but during my research I learned about balance bikes and benefits of learning balancing on a two wheel bike first rather than learning first how to pedal. I was initially leaning towards one of the two wooden balance bikes - Diggin Active Skuut Wooden Balance Bike or Prince Lionheart Balance Bike - mostly due to the novelty factor, but then I had a chance to try a YBIKE balance bike, so I took that chance.

The YBIKE is well built and was very easy to put together according to the instructions using included wrenches. My wife thought that the color scheme - solid color for the frame and black handlebars, front fork and wheels - was classy, but I thought a red reflector in the back and a white in the front would have added some color and helped with the safety. My son had no problem riding YBIKE from the first time he sat on it. I took this video during his first time using YBIKE about 10 minutes after he got on it. You can see that he already is trying to scoot a little.

Like some other reviewers, I did not like that the seat height is fixed. The manufacturer included a leaflet with an explanation (though the leaflet referenced a different model - YBIKE Extreme) explaining why they decided to make the seat not adjustable, but to me it sounded like an excuse. I would like an adjustable seat, because I think the life of this toy is severely shortened by the lack of it. I believe that as my child grows it will soon become uncomfortable for him to ride this toy as it is pretty low.

I also wanted to address the balance of YBIKE. The bike has double wheels in the back, which makes it very easy to balance. In fact, it is so well balanced that I can stand YBIKE on the ground and it won't fall; kind of like a tricycle. When my son tried a Skuut balance bike at a local bike shop, he tipped right over, he tried again and fell again, so he laid Skuut on the floor and walked away. It was hard for him to balance on Skuut whereas on the YBIKE he started scooting during his first try. The good thing about YBIKE's good balance is that a child does not get discouraged and enjoys it from the beginning. The negative is that he is probably learning less of the balance skill since YBIKE intrinsic balance is helping him so much. At this point, I think the stability of YBIKE is a good thing because it is hard to reason a two-year-old into doing something after he becomes discouraged, but with the YBIKE he is looking forward to using it.

Overall, this is a great toy. If I could, I would get it earlier when my son was two so the toy would be usable longer because of the nonadjustable seat.
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on August 24, 2013
We got this for our 2 yr old. I love the concept, but this design misses the mark in every single way. I am puzzled by the good reviews it has received.
-- It is so low to the ground that even the smallest child appropriate to ride it is too short for it.
-- The weird "Easy Rider" position it puts kids in makes it hard to get any leverage to use their legs and push themselves along.
-- The rear wheels are far too wide, which creates multiple problems: 1)It doesn't help develop balance. 2) It hardly rolls, even down a moderate slope. It will roll down a slope that is steep, but the wide wheels makes it impossible to lean without completely losing control and balance. 3) The lack of tipping back and forth at safe speeds or sitting still takes away the fun. 4) If a child tries to use his legs to push it along, he will inevitably bang his heels into the protruding rear wheel covers. INEVITABLY. And if it's rolling down a slope, he'll get his feet jammed between the rear wheel covers and the ground, which leads to ouchies and tears.

Our child rode this twice. Two minutes the first time, 1 minute the second time. Then he got back on his tricycle.

Think it's just my kid? Think again. We live on a cul-de-sac with 9 kids under the age of 4. I've had this bike for 2 years. Every kid on the cul-de-sac has seen it and said "Wow, cool!" because it looks like a very cool motorcycle. Not one single kid (or their visiting friends or cousins who also tried it) rode it for more than 1 minute.

This bike looks good. That's why I gave it two stars. Don't buy it.
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VINE VOICEon October 21, 2010
Color: Pink|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First things first, extremely easy to assemble. I didn't even need to look at the manual as it's very simple how the pieces fit together. The bike is all made of hard plastic, but it is a quality, durable plastic, not a hollow cheap plastic like you find with a lot of riding toys for this age group. Yes, the wheels are hard plastic and not rubber, but as we are just using it around the house right now, I really don't mind. I decided to try it out myself before giving it to my 2-year-old, and it felt very sturdy, even though it is not quite made for 30-year-old women. ;)

My 2-year-old absolutely loves this bike. I hadn't even considered the idea of getting her a bike yet, but when I received this I knew we had to give it a try. I hadn't heard of balance bikes prior to the YBIKE, but I could instantly see what the hype was all about. My 2-year-old is just the right size to scoot along on her bike and I don't fear at all for her safety as the bike is very low to the ground and quite sturdy. The rear wheel is wide enough to provide stability and the handlebars can't turn sharp enough for her to turn too hard and fall off. As I watch her ride around, I can see the balance practice the whole time. A slight tip to the side reminds her to regain her balance but doesn't frighten her like my 5-year-old still experiences with his training wheels. Every time my son tips a tiny bit with the training wheels, he (and I!) become worried and he usually won't put up with that for very long before deciding to quit. Hence, he rarely rides his bike. This bike, however, has both children fighting over who gets to play. Now, my 5-year-old is too tall for the bike but he can still scoot around just fine and seems quite comfortable. I am fairly sure a bigger YBIKE will be waiting for him under the tree this Christmas and hopefully by spring he will have the confidence to ride his other bike. I only wish I had discovered it sooner! Highly recommended!
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on October 9, 2013
My son is just 2 years and 4 months but this bike is already very uncomfortable for him - it is too low and its hard to raise his legs, to stop, to move. I pushed him to try it on and on, but he just hates it now. I paid for delivery more than for the bike itself, all together around $180. And really regret it now. Looking for a proper bicycle.
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on February 18, 2013
This Y bike has won a toy of the year award (in 2010 I think) and had good reviews. I know our 16 month old is a little too young for it but he does like to sit on it and push to travel a total of two inches. He gets frustrated because it tips over easily but I know he will get use to it and learn to balance eventually. The back wheel is wide so balancing should be easy for the appropriate age (I think it said 2-4 yrs on the box). My main concern is that for the price the tires should be made out of rubber. The wheels are made out of hard plastic and make the ride kind of rough and not easy to roll.
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on September 18, 2011
My 30 lb, 2 year old, son used it for about 30 minutes before the front fork started splitting apart and the plastic started warping. My kid was very sad when I took away his "big" birthday present so we could box it up and send it back after only about 30 minutes of use. That being said, he was able to get on it easily, and balance didn't seem to be a big issue due to the 2 rear wheels. Based on the other reviews, it seems to be an anomaly, but I'll be checking out another brand once I get the credit for this one being returned.
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on June 1, 2013
The bike looks sturdy, but the front part of the frame (where you can see blue between the handlebars in the picture) cracked after 3-4 10 minutes rides. There are two bolts holding the frame together, but nothing where the handlebars and frame is connected. There is a large enough crack to make the handlebars unmovable; however, it matters little since the crack will only get bigger and eventually split the entire bike.

Hopefully, this is just rare occurrence, and a replacement bike will not show the same defect. My child is only two years old and in the 55 percentile for weight. I am not sure what would cause a crack in that place in the bike other than it has very week reinforcements for the frame in the front. Luckily, we were in the garage when I noticed it and not riding on a sidewalk or trail. If he had kept riding it without seeing the crack, it could have caused an injury.
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on June 13, 2011
Took my two year old about 10 minutes to catch on. She loves it now. Seems to be sturdy I can use it at 180 pounds with no problems. Easy to assemble. Very stable, when the kid does tip over there isn't far to fall. Four stars just because it's made in China and not the USA. Costco has them for $39.99 right now.
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on June 16, 2014
I love the idea of this bike and bought it for my son's second birthday. He rode it for about 5 mins inside and it broke.

The bolt that holds the handlebars and wheel in place sits too far forward. When he turned the handlebars the front of the bike split. If the bolt was situated a bit further back, it wouldn't catch like this.

This was my son's "big" birthday present and he was really upset. It was made worse that his birthday is the day after his 4yo brothers and his brother got a bike that he loves. I felt really mean taking it away from him.

Wish I'd paid attention to the other reviews like this, which I read and ignored.
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