Islabike, Strider or firstBIKE for my boys balance bike?

northernneilnorthernneil Posts: 1,907
Have a 2 year birthday up and coming and my very active 22 month old is deserving of a balance bike. I think I have narrowed it down to one of 3 models.

Islabike Rothan - has everything I'm looking for already, most expensive, not as future proof as the strider.
Strider ST4 - adjustable for future use, but at a future cost, no proper tyres (£33 extra), no brake, cheapest to buy.
firstBIKE - has a brake, good saddle and excellent tyres just not sure on the look of the composite frame. Lifetime warranty.

We are less than an hour from Manchester so I'd like to think I'll be taking him for some Strider sessions on a Saturday morning (which is kind of another plus towards the strider) but interested to hear peoples experiences of the above 3 bikes.

Thanks in advance.

Posts

  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Neither of my kids had brakes on their balance bikes - they don't need them.

    Of the ones you posted, my choice would be Strider bike. Cheaper than the Rothan and with an incredibly low seat height which means more 2 yr olds get to ride early. Only small moan about the Strider is the decals/stickers are on the flimsy side and peel/scratch off easily. My daughter did not care. Don't worry about the "solid" tyres - they work perfectly.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    I never saw the need for a brake either - they just self-arrest with their feet.

    However.... when transitioning to pedals, the concept of a brake is a great idea, so for the last 6m of balance biking they can be encouraged to use the brake. (And who doesn't like skiddies!?)

    One thing I really like about the firstBIKE is tool-free saddle adjustment. That's really handy if more than one kid is going to use it regularly - so, great for toy libraries for example. I'm not sure if that's of interest to you, however.

    The big thing... whichever one you go for, you've made the right choice. Balance bikes rock! :D
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 6,796
    baudman wrote:
    The big thing... whichever one you go for, you've made the right choice. Balance bikes rock! :D
    This. You (and more importantly your offspring) will be totally happy with whatever, cos being on wheels is better than not being on wheels, and any balance bike will get them on wheels.
  • Phil_DPhil_D Posts: 467
    I assumed that with a balance bike, it wouldn't be long before they learned to balance and could cycle properly. So I just got a proper bike and took the pedals etc off and lowered the seat to a reasonable height. I was right. I think they were on the balance bike for six months before graduating. No money wasted.
  • We had a firstBIKE for my daughter. She was very excited about learning to ride and caught on very quickly. Phil D is correct you can save money by taking the pedals off a proper bike and adjusting the seat. If you have a babe to pass the balance bike down to though it is well worth the cost.
  • Thanks everyone for replying, I am erring towards middle ground and the firstBIKE from what I am reading in reviews and things. Your feedback is appreciated thanks.
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Phil_D wrote:
    I assumed that with a balance bike, it wouldn't be long bethe marjetore they learned to balance and could cycle properly. So I just got a proper bike and took the pedals etc off and lowered the seat to a reasonable height. I was right. I think they were on the balance bike for six months before graduating. No money wasted.
    Depends on the age and size of your child. There is not a pedal bike on the market I suspect which would have a seat low enough for my daughter when she was 2.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • Phil_DPhil_D Posts: 467
    Daz555 wrote:
    Phil_D wrote:
    I assumed that with a balance bike, it wouldn't be long bethe marjetore they learned to balance and could cycle properly. So I just got a proper bike and took the pedals etc off and lowered the seat to a reasonable height. I was right. I think they were on the balance bike for six months before graduating. No money wasted.
    Depends on the age and size of your child. There is not a pedal bike on the market I suspect which would have a seat low enough for my daughter when she was 2.

    Good point.
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    That is one of the msot generic styles of balance bike and is copied by everyone.

    This is not a bad thing as such but it has a very high seat height which will rule it out for most kids - obviously it will rule out more kids the younger you want them to start.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • Levi_501Levi_501 Posts: 1,105
    You only need a Islabike Rothan, no upgrades or add ons.

    These bikes are great, they are light, easy to adjust, easy to ride and the geometry fitted my son to a glove. If I am perfectly honest, when he sat on it for the first time, he seemed to natural sit on it the correct way.

    My son was 19months before he could ride his properly and is now sh one t on it. He got his first pedal bike yesterday.
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,000
    Levi_501 wrote:
    You only need a Islabike Rothan, no upgrades or add ons.

    These bikes are great, they are light, easy to adjust, easy to ride and the geometry fitted my son to a glove. If I am perfectly honest, when he sat on it for the first time, he seemed to natural sit on it the correct way.

    My son was 19months before he could ride his properly and is now sh one t on it. He got his first pedal bike yesterday.

    +1.

    My FWC (now 7.5 and on her third islabike, soon to be forth), she had an original Rothan with no brakes. It was ace.
    Insert bike here:
  • macbikesmacbikes Posts: 58
    I would go for the Rothan. Don't have to have a Strider to do the Strider training/races I think
  • we got a strider for my son over 2 years ago ,loved it ,and made the transition to pedal bike very easy.(hes now 4)
    one of the best things is its very light compared to the generic type ones,so easy to carry on top of buggy etc.
    advise would be to buy a unisex color ,if there is a chance it could be passed to siblings.
    ive another son who has started using it now and bike still looks relatively new despite been regularly left out in rain etc.
    we also bought the foot brake ,just to help him learn with the concept of braking ,and it functions quite well.
    they can really pick up speed when they get the hang of it !
  • jomojjomoj Posts: 777
    we got a Puky LRM for my son's 2nd birthday. Awful looking name (pronounced Pooky) but a great bike.
    He was waddling round the house on it on the first day but 5 months later he is flying along at jogging speed) and having fun scooting up and down little ramps in the skate park . It's one of the smaller balance bikes you can get and can be found for about £55. Very sturdily built in Germany and has non pneumatic tyres so very low maintenance. I highly recommend it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MOAqTpA ... e=youtu.be
  • alan shermanalan sherman Posts: 1,634
    Thought I'd add to this thread rather than start another. I had a look at the Decathlon run bike yesterday. £40, low saddle height steel frame, brake, foam tyres. What put me off was the bearings, or lack of! Nylon bushings surely must wear very quickly. There was play on the display bike's wheel and the steering had 4mm of vertical movement as the clamp was 4mm away from the top bushing.

    Am I being too much of an engineer to think this is a bad idea? The Islabike and Ridgeback have bearings but have higher seats and are heavier. Does the strider have a nylon bushing for the steerer or a bearing? I see they switched to bearings for the wheels recently.
  • jomojjomoj Posts: 777
    That just sounds a bit rubbish to me. Obviously your child doesn't need some Chris King hubs but some ball bearings shouldn't go amiss. The Puky bike has a proper headset and bearings in the hubs so it just feels smooth and solid. The most important thing is that the steering is unrestricted so the child doesn't have to fight it while they are getting the feel for the little micro turns you make to stay balanced.
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    My daughter has a two year old Strider. The wheels have butter smooth bearings - they spin forever. The steering though sits on bushings. Sounds bad perhaps but after 2 years of use the steering is still clunk free and smooth.

    Bushings on the steering is ok on a balance bike imo - very little weight to deal with.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • alan shermanalan sherman Posts: 1,634
    For info the halfords Apollo wizzer has bearings for wheels and steering, pneumatic tyres and has very low stand over plus a rear drum brake. I just bought one for 37 quid with the British cycling discount (10%). The down side is that it is heavy. Steel frame, bars seat posts, possibly rims.

    There is also the carrera one which is lighter but is a higher stand over. But it is 60 quid, I'd rather pay the extra for a ridgeback scoot (70 quid online).
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