Balance bikes are not a new invention by any standards. Invented over a hundred years ago, they quickly fell into obscurity after pedal bikes appeared. Luckily for us and especially our children, balance bikes were reinvented in the early 2000s as a perfect kind of training bikes for younger kids.
Basically, a balance bike is a small two-wheeler for children that has no pedals. Kids ride it by pushing their feet against the ground. As manufacturers claim, balance bikes are a perfect way to teach toddlers to balance while being much safer than all those four- and three-wheelers, leave alone regular two-wheel bikes.
Benefits of Balance Bikes
For such a simple contraption, balance bikes seem to have lots of advantages. Younger kids aren’t great at keeping balance and multitasking. This means that using a regular bike can potentially lead to all kinds of trouble, from getting very dirty to injuries. Riding a balance bike, a child doesn’t have to focus on pedaling and balancing. It gives a better sense of confidence because kids know they can always prevent the bike from falling over just by putting their legs on the ground.
- Balance bikes teach kids how to keep balance and boost physical coordination and agility development. After kids get familiar and confident with balance bikes, it’s not a problem for them to master the regular bike riding.
- Balance bikes help developing arm, shoulder, spinal, lower body and leg muscles. This is great for sensory-motor development in kids, especially because it boosts brain development in its turn.
- These bikes are very lightweight, compared to pedal versions. This, first of all, means that it takes much less effort to ride it and, secondly, that parents won’t have so much trouble carrying the bike around.
- Kids can ride these bikes all year round.
Schwinn Balance Bike vs Strider 12 Classic Review
Strider is probably the first name that comes into your mind when you think of balance bikes. This brand has been around for years and is known for good quality products designed specifically for younger kids.
Their balance bikes are solid, functional and, most importantly, safe for kids and made accordingly to their needs. besides, they are quite trendy as well.
Schwinn, on the other hand, is a highly reputable brand that made its name on producing quality bikes ever since the 19th century. It’s safe to say that, taking into account the quality of Schwinn products, they represent a decent competition for the Strider bikes.
Schwinn Balance Bike vs Strider 12 Classic Comparison Chart
Schwinn Balance Bike Review
If you want to buy your kid a decent balance bike that can be both budget-friendly and of solid quality, this is it. When it comes to design, all balance bikes are as simple as can be but Schwinn has reliability and quality written all over it.
Schwinn 12-inch balance bikes come in 4 fun color options and feature an adjustable seat and handlebars. Just in case you are worrying that the assembly may be difficult, don’t worry.
It comes mostly assembled, you only have to attach a couple of things and make sure that the screws sit tight. It will hardly take much time and effort. The fact that both seat and handlebars can be adjusted between 14 and 16,5 inches actually allows some room for growth.
This means that your kids will be able to use the bike for years until they are ready to ride a regular pedal bike. Although I have to say the manufacturer claims the bike is intended for 2-4-year olds.
The seat is cushioned and is fairly large so it’s quite comfortable to sit on. What’s worth noting is wide footrests and dubber dots on the handlebars for a firmer grip. The one-piece frame looks sturdy. It’s made of durable steel so you know it’s designed for years of use.
Last but not least, the air-filled tires are thick enough, with decent tire tracks for better surface traction.
- Affordable but high-quality product
- Easy assembly
- Easily adjustable seat & handlebars
- Padded seat
1. Can I add pedals to this bike?
No, you can’t. The whole idea of a balance bike is it comes with no pedals so a child could both learn to keep balance and stop at any moment simply by putting feet on the ground.
2. How difficult is it to adjust the seat and handlebars? Will I need any specific tools for that?
No tools are needed. You’ll easily adjust it with the help of the featured flip-lock.
3. What is the height limit for this bike?
It would be difficult for your children to use it if they are taller than 40 inches.
Strider 12 Classic Balance Bike Review
It seems like you can add only so many features to a balance bike. These bikes for children are meant to be simple, it’s one of their signature qualities. For this reason, Strider 12 Classic balance bike doesn’t look all that different from its counterpart.
It’s sold at about the same price, it features a solid steel frame and also comes in a few bright-colored options.
And still, at a closer look, you do notice a number of important differences. First, this balance bike can be adjusted so that it fits kids up to 5 years old. Second, while being quite durable, it’s much lighter than the Schwinn bike, only 6,7 lbs.
Finally, unlike its counterpart, this balance bike features foam tires, not air-filled ones. It’s not necessarily bad; foam tires will never get punctured and deflated. On the other hand, it doesn’t provide a high level of surface traction, which might not be so good for its stability.
What’s great about the Strider balance bikes is all the extras you can get after buying their products. For example, you can get replacement air tires, foot breaks, replacement handlebars, and other components. You will have to buy these separately, though.
When it comes to other features, it’s quite similar to the Schwinn bike. Nicely padded seat, one-piece steel frame, comfortable handlebars.
- Very lightweight
- Highly customizable
- Well-known, highly popular brand
- Designed to fit kids of 2-5 years old
1. What country is this bike manufactured in?
Strider bikes are manufactured in China.
2. Does this bike come with any spare seats?
No, it doesn’t. You’ll have to buy all the spare or replacement parts from the manufacturer separately.
3. Can the seat be adjusted horizontally, not just vertically?
No, there is no option like that.
4. How difficult is it to assemble this bike?
It comes mostly pre-assembled, so you won’t have to assemble it yourself at all. There are just a few parts you’ll have to attach to the frame and bike comes with a tool for that.
It’s one of those cases when it’s fairly difficult to choose one product over another. Both balance bikes offer decent quality and reliability and their prices don’t differ a lot either. So which one you choose depends more on your preferences than anything else.
If you want to get your child a very trendy balance bike that can be customized in more than one way and in case the item’s weight is really important to you, it might make sense to go for the Strider bike.
But if you want a solid quality product that might be slightly cheaper than its popular counterpart and if you aren’t a fan of foam tires, Schwinn might be the best choice for you.