Has there been another biking device in the last 20 years that has helped get more kids on bikes than the Strider balance bikes?
The Strider Sport balance bike is made affordably and basically indestructible as it lives its life teaching kids how to balance and find confidence on two wheels. This is typically a child’s first intro to biking starting at around 18 months or 2 years until they are ready for pedals, it lasts and will probably be passed down from kid to kid.
Strider Sport Balance Bike Details
MSRP: for $110-120
Colors: Green, blue, pink, red, orange, yellow, and sometimes limited edition colors which cost more.
Sizing: We look at a child’s inseam measurement. The Strider Sport fits a child with an inseam of 12-20 in. The lowest inseam of a balance bike I’ve seen is a woom 1 at 10”. The Strider Sport does come with a 2nd longer seatpost in case your child is taller, or you want to get more life out of the bike.
Unless you purchase from a local retailer, the bike will come boxed but is very simple to build. I even have a handy video showing you how to get it done.
Pros of the Strider Sport
- Availability – These balance bikes are found at big box stores to local bike shops. There is a good chance a neighbor has one in a garage you could try.
- Pricing – $110 you’ll get a lot of life out of the bike, being able to pass it on to many children and probably resell it for 50% of your purchase price.
- Bombproof – This is a low thrills bike. It has a pad on the handlebar, quick release for adjusting the handlebar and seat. The tires are hard foam, and the wheels are plastic. If something does break, it is easy and affordable to fix.
- Weight – at 6.7 lbs this is pretty easy for kids to pick up if they drop it, and not hard for them to control or get up to speed.
Cons of the Strider Sport
- Foam tires aren’t for everyone – My son rides in loose dirt and gravel where a pneumatic tire with air in it is helpful. You’ll find these types of tires on the Woom 1 or Prevelo balance bikes.
- Lack of Hand Brakes – Another more advanced thing, but teaching kids how to use hand brakes could be very important if you intend to have a first pedal bike with hand brakes. Personally, I think hand brakes for balance biking kids are important as they are used to having their feet ready for balancing and you take that away if you want them to use a coaster brake with their feet.
At the end of the day, there are two balance bikes I reliably recommend: the Strider Sport and the Woom 1.
The main reason you may want a Woom 1 is due to the lower seat height to get your kids started earlier, the pneumatic tires, and hand brakes for really getting a kid prepared for their first pedal bike.
What are your thoughts on balance bikes? What other options should I look at and test?
I hope this was helpful for your balance bike shopping. Thanks for reading!
*This are affiliate links and I will make a commission
This week we are looking at the Woom 4 which is a 20″ kid’s bike with 8 speeds. Weighing in at 16 pounds it is one of the lightest kids bikes available! Is it a bike for your kid? Watch the video above or read the article below to find out more!
Woom 4 Bike Details
- MSRP $479
- Includes 8-speed shifting (grip or trigger shifters available)
- 16 pounds (crazy light)
- Adjustable stem to rotate the handlebars away from your kid as they grow
- Specially designed accessories like a rear rack, fenders, frame bags, and more are designed for each woom size
- 5 colors available – red, yellow, blue, purple, green
Is the Woom 4 Kid’s Bike Worth It?
Many parents are on the hunt for the perfect 20” kid’s bike. Potentially this is the first geared bike that will give their kid the ability to go further, more efficiently. The Woom 4 is one of the best-reviewed kid’s 20” bikes on the market currently. In this article and the video above I’m going to dig into the features of the Woom 4 and help you decide if it is for you.
I have sold dozens of Woom 4 and it is ranked in my top 3 all-around 20” kid’s bikes next to the Prevelo Alpha 3 and the Cannondale Quick. The Woom 4 is 479 dollars and weighs in around 16 lbs. Other popular kids bikes in this category include the Woom OFF 4, the mountain bike cousin of the Woom 4, which weighs in at 17.2 lbs, the Prevelo Alpha 3 at 19 lbs, the Cannondale Quick at 20 lbs, and the Cleary Owl 3 speed is 22 lbs.
The Woom 4 is light and weight is one of the key details of kids bikes that are often overlooked. Some kids’ bikes weigh more than 1/2 of the kid’s weight, can you imagine riding a bike that heavy?
Some of the other key dimensions I like to talk about are minimum seat height, which is 22.5″ and standover of the top tube which is 20″. Ensuring your child can safely stand over the bike when they come off the saddle, and touch the ground when they are seated, is important.
The Woom 4 comes with 8 speed SRAM shifting. It comes stock with grip shift but when ordered you can ask for trigger shifters. I don’t have a preference either way.
It also comes with Woom’s easy to use kickstand which is a really nice feature to help kids keep this bike from being dropped on the garage floor.
The features that really win me over on this bike other than the weight is the adjustable stem to help make this bike last longer by rotating the stem forward and away from your child. Additionally, the available accessories designed for this bike like rear rack and fenders make this a functional commuter bike for a kid that wants to ride to school, the library, or maybe just around town without splashing themselves in the puddles and carrying a backpack all the time.
Is the Woom 4 worth the hype and money? If you bike a ton or your child is petite, this is one of the lightest 20” geared kids bikes around. I love the additional accessories and rooms really do keep their value. They never go on sale so you can often resell them for 70-80% of your purchase price. You really need to weigh your goals of the bike, your budget, and if it will increase your kid’s enjoyment of biking.
Chances are if read this article then your kid’s interest in biking is very important to you!
*Disclaimer: I make a commission if you purchase from the links above. I personally love the woom bikes and only recommend products my family has used and loves.
I recently took delivery of a few relaunched Cleary Meerkat. After building them up I took the opportunity to take them for a long spin to see if they are worth the price tag. Here are my initial impressions and what I think of this sub $600 24″ kid’s bike.
Cleary Meerkat Details that Matter
- Retail $594
- 28 pounds
- Steel frame with a suspension-corrected fork
- Relaunched with a 5-speed internally geared hub (more on that shortly)
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- 1.95″ tires that would work on the road or for the child wanting to try out dirt. We wouldn’t recommend this tire long term for mountain biking but will be fine for trying it out.
- Read full spec herehttps://www.clearybikes.com/products/meerkat-24-5-speed
What makes this bike different and is it worth $594? That’s really what we are here to talk about.
1. Internally Geared Hub
The Cleary Meerkat was initially launched in 2016 with an external rear derailleur. This is like most bikes you see – the gears are on the outside of the wheel with a large derailleur hanging down.
Fast forward and Cleary relaunched the Meerkat 24″ as a 5-speed internally geared and a 20″ Owl with 3-speeds internally geared. This matters because gears are hard for kids (and parents). Kids have trouble mastering a ton of gears in the back, remembering they have to be pedaling while shifting if using a derailleur system, AND a derailleur gets bent very easily if the bike is knocked over, dropped or maybe crashed on the right-hand side. You can eliminate most of those concerns by removing the derailleur and having an internally geared hub (the gears inside of the rear hub)!
The rear hub is made Sturmey Archer, a company that has been doing internally geared hubs for over 100 years! We found the shifter was easy for small hands to use, and a reliable gear difference of 25% between each gear. You can also change out the 19t cog on this between a 16 to a 22t. Depending on what type of riding your child is doing, we can change out the cog to make the whole system easier or harder for them. Our only initial complaint of this system is that the engagement on the hub when you pedal isn’t as quick as you would find in a standard freehub system but this isn’t something most people or kids would ever notice.
2. Hydraulic Brakes
What a cool feature for a sub $600 bike to have reliable and easy to maintain hydraulic brakes. The hose routing to the rear could use some work but nothing zip-ties can’t fix!
3. Rack and Fender Mounts
I listed this as a pro that the Meerkat comes with braze on mounts but I honestly haven’t been able to find racks or fenders that work!
Who Is This Bike For?
This is a thoughtfully built bike and we have honestly been impressed building this and the Cleary Owl 20″ 3-speed up. We love how low maintenance this bike is either for that budding mountain biking child or for around the neighborhood and city. You lube the chain and pump up the tires. No derailleurs to break, gears to adjust, or really even brakes thanks to a decent hydraulic setup. If we can nail down the rear rack and fenders than this would be an amazing commuter bike as well for the kid that is riding to school or maybe sports practices.
From my test riding and build of the bike, it is a top-quality bike that eliminates a lot of the headaches for children and the adults taking care of their bikes. The bike is on the heavier side at 28 lbs but it is built to be abused and passed down to the next kid. Depending on your child the additional few pounds of a steel frame and internally geared drivetrain is worth it for riding quality and versatility. The lack of a derailleur to bend when the bike is dropped or not having to figure out how pedaling while shifting may make the bike perfect for your child.
Quick Update 6 Months Later
This is one of my most popular 24″ bikes other than the price point Cannondale Quick 24. Why? It is designed to be bombproof. If you have multiple kids to pass this bike down to OR have a kid that is really getting into all sorts of riding and not just on the street then this bike may pay for the price difference pretty quickly. It is a bit heavy, so I would steer away from it if you don’t have the two things listed above.
Disclaimer: I purchased this bike and was not compensated for this review.