My son Charlie started riding at age 3. I ran behind, and he scooted down the sidewalk on a pedal-less bike from Strider Sports International.
With no chain or gears, Strider’s namesake bikes teach kids balance on two wheels without the fuss of pedaling. Forward momentum is instead gained from pushing off with your feet.
The goal is to let kids skip training wheels altogether and go right to riding a bike. For my kids, the Strider technique worked — Charlie could balance on a regular kid bike by age 4. Pedaling then came as an easy extension of the task. (See our “Kid ‘Scoot’ Bikes” article for the full review on the original Strider.)
New this spring, Strider Sports introduced a model for bigger kids. The Super 16 scooter was built for ages 6+ and can support junior riders up to 120 pounds.
I got a first look at the Super, which costs $189, and I promptly put Charlie to the test. Compared to his original Strider, the new one is bigger all around and it has a hand brake.
The brake is usually unnecessary at scooting speeds. But it does let a kid develop familiarity with the kind of braking setup they’ll find on regular bikes as they grow.
Strider made the Super model for bigger kids that need to learn balance. This means first-time riders on sidewalks as well as little ones dabbling on BMX tracks and dirt jumps.
The brand notes the Super was created “for those young riders who are ready to venture off trail or perform tricks and stunts that a heavier, more complicated pedal bike won’t allow.”
Made with a steel frame, the Strider is a hefty (for its size) 15 pounds. But the bike can take a pounding — the company calls its pneumatic tires “dirt jump” wheels.
Larger footrest areas on the frame let kids find footing when trying out new tricks. A pad on the handlebars helps protect in a crash.
So far Charlie and his older sister have stuck mainly to the ground. But the bigger Strider has proven popular among our fleet of little kid rides. I already foresee ramps and dirt jumps in Charlie’s summer plans.
—Stephen Regenold is the editor of GearJunkie. See his post “Kid ‘Scoot’ Bikes” for a full review on the original Strider kid bike.