Top positive review
916 people found this helpful
Great Bike, questionable quality
on December 9, 2008
First off, let me say that I am an avid biker, having spent thousands of dollars on my own bikes which have accumulated thousands of miles.
This bike is a great idea. The basic design is good. The quality seems to be questionable.
The Strider I bought brand new came with flaking paint and stickers peeling. The plastic and foam wheels wobbled a bit. The headset is plastic, and it's stiff and doesn't turn well. The flimsy plastic seat is covered with a very thin and soft vinyl and attached with a single small bolt. The handgrips are also very thin and soft, prone to tearing and exposing the sharp bar ends. Both seat and handlebar clamps are flimsy, cheap, and don't work well.
I do like the foot rests and the basic design. As far as I know no other bike fits smaller riders. The foam tires are great for indoor use but I would prefer real tires for outdoors. The optional foot brake is a much better idea than a handbrake for kids to use. The concept is excellent. My 19 month old took right to it. But...
Basically, every part of this bike is made as cheap as possible, typical of what I would expect of a $40 Wal-Mart bike. This is priced around $100. Now, I don't expect top quality at this price. Nor do I think a toddler needs top quality. But I do expect it to at least be comparable or better than full-size bikes in this price range (which still isn't saying much). The Strider is not.
After spending a few days with this bike I was simply unconvinced it would hold up to one kid, much less two. That's not to say it can't. I ended up taking it back and getting a KinderBike. The KinderBike was actually cheaper but of much better quality with alloy wheels, real tires, quick release seat clamp, 4-point adjustable angle seat, proper steel ball-bearing headset, aluminum stem, durable handgrips that are not easily torn, a handbrake, 50% greater weight rating (75lbs), and a three-year warranty. Downsides are it's 3.75 inches taller, doesn't have any kind of foot rests, and doesn't offer a foot brake. But I have found the last two items really aren't as important as you might think.
Update: The minimum seat height of the KinderBike is claimed to be 13.5", however I measured it at 14.75". This is a considerable difference, making the Kinderbike too big for most two year olds and even many three year olds. So we returned it and went back to the Strider. But if your kids are tall enough, I highly recommend the KinderBike, there is no doubt it is built to last longer. At a lower cost, it's really a no-brainer. But again, only for taller/older kids with an inseam of around 15" or more.
I would add a star back if I could, for the sole reason that the Strider gets your kid on a bike sooner than any other metal balance bike I'm aware of. I guess I'm willing to sacrifice quality for that, but I'm still not happy about it considering the price.
Well, not surprisingly, my son's Strider handgrips tore almost immediately, exposing the sharp bar ends. I also started hearing a clicking sound in the rear wheel like a bearing was going out. I contacted Strider about this and they sent me out a new wheel and handgrips immediately, no questions asked. I believe it was even the owner himself that responded. The new handgrips they sent are similar to the ones on the Kinderbike, reinforced on the ends to prevent tearing out. Much better. The foam tires have also held up fine so far and the convenience of not having to air them up is nice.
My son really loves this thing and is still too small for the Kinderbike, so it was worthwhile to buy this despite the problems. Hopefully Strider Sports is learning some lessons and will improve future models because it truly is a great idea.
I do think my initial concerns were overblown. After hundreds of miles this Strider has held up just fine and is ready for the next kid. I still think it's overpriced for what it is, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anybody due to the light weight, low seat height, easy (basically no) maintenance, and how much fun our son has had on it. Striders do come with good handgrips now. I see you can update your rating now so I have changed it to 4 stars because my son has gotten much more enjoyment out of this than anything else we have bought him.
I have contemplated removing much of my negative review, but I still feel they are still valid comparison points. At a lower price point they would not be.