I've done a lot of research on balance bikes, and I've bought both a Strider 12 Pro and subsequently a Woom 2 for my daughter. In my opinion the Strider is a good balance bike, but it's not quite as good as the Woom 1 which I think is the best bike on the market. If I had it to do over I would have bought the Woom 1, but I didn't come across it until after purchasing the Strider.
The things that distinguish the Woom 1 are: - lightweight aluminum frame which makes it easier for small children to move around - very low step through height making it easier for kids to mount - rear wheel hand brake - high quality inflatable wheels
The Strider Pro is a step up from the regular Strider because of its lightweight aluminum frame, but it still has plastic wheels. These don't ride as smoothly or grip as well as inflatable ones. You can purchase inflatable wheels as an option, but then your Strider Pro is almost the same price as a Woom 1, and it still doesn't have the rear wheel hand brake.
I could write a whole discussion about hand brakes, but I'll just say briefly that I think they're an awesome addition to balance bikes: - Although some people worry that a front wheel hand brake could cause the bike to flip if squeezed too hard, this does not apply to a rear-wheel only brake. These have no chance of flipping - Kids can still use their feet for braking, so the hand brake is just a bonus - no downside to having it. - When kids transition to pedal bikes they will have to use either a hand brake or coaster brake (pedal brake). However, coaster brakes are LAME: it's too easy for kids to accidentally activate them while pedaling, causing falls. Also, coaster brakes are not found on larger bikes because they're not as effective as hand brakes. So, the time kids spend learning to use the coaster brake is wasted when they move up to the next level bike. - Hand braking is the best braking technology, but it does require a little practice. So, having it available on a balance bike gives kids a head start, which is the whole point of balance bikes in the first place.