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Why STRIDER?

No trikes or training wheels

why_01.jpgThe STRIDER™ Balance Bike teaches children balance and coordination in a secure learning situation. The bike's low seating allows children to place both feet firmly on the ground, providing them confidence and control. The STRIDR™'s light weight adds to this feeling of control. Because kids feel secure, their natural curiosity kicks in and they quickly learn to steer and to balance. They are not afraid, but enthusiastic and eager to try new skills and to push themselves.

With the STRIDER™ there are no "trike tip-overs" or "training-wheel wobbles" to create fear, hesitancy, or rejection of biking. Remember your first training-wheeled bicycle? The bike wobbled from side to side and you were so high up that you couldn't touch the ground. It was terrifying. With the STRIDER™ Balance Bike the need for tricycles or training wheels is completely eliminated, along with the accompanying fear factor. The STRIDER™ is the only vehicle you will ever need to teach your child or grandchild how to ride a bike and to instil in him or her, a deep love of biking.

why_02.jpgStrider Science

The original motivation for the creation of the STRIDER™ Balance Bike was to provide a safe and easy transition to a pedal bicycle. Obviously, ease of control had to be critical for our targeted rider group of 1-5 year olds. The first requirement was a LOW seat height and center of gravity so our tiny riders felt safe; our seat height starts as low as 11 inches, allowing even the shortest of legs to reach the ground. Control is also aided by the low, straight handlebar design which allows the small rider to reach forward rather than up. That same handlebar design helps the child lift the bike over obstacles because he or she can pull up on the bars with better leverage. As the young rider becomes more accomplished, the foot rest provides a place for both feet as the child coasts down hills. (Placing both feet on the optional brake lever also provides an opportunity at the bottom of the hill to create a great skid mark, which our young test riders really love!) And finally, our low seat, low handlebars, and low center of gravity all combine to build confidence in riders. They soon learn to sit and push hard with their feet to attain speed and at the same time lengthen their stride (Hence, the name of our vehicle, the STRIDER™). At speed, a small child's stride will go from approximately 2 feet when running on foot to 6 feet or more when running on a Strider™. This means they're riding 3 times faster than they can run.

Tricycles tip over, scrape ankles, and have terrible pedal leverage ratios. Training-wheeled bicycles are tall, heavy, tippy, complex, and downright scary for really young riders. Both have great potential for injury. Not true with the STRIDER™. Due to the low center of gravity, low seat height, low handlebars, and light weight, the rider has much better control. The absence of pedals, sprockets, chain, and cables further reduce the likelihood of injury. The STRIDER™ is the 'right tool for the job'.

Fun Family Fitness

why_03.jpgThe STRIDER™ is more than just a teaching tool. Long after your child has learned to ride a bicycle (sometimes within just a few weeks) he or she will still turn to the Strider™ for sheer fun! Due to the STRIDER™'s puncture-proof, EVA polymer tires, it can go over any terrain-rocks, grass, logs, etc. - not just a paved bike path. The STRIDER™ can be ridden in the yard, on the bike path, in the woods, virtually anywhere you walk. Once accomplished on the STRIDER™, your child will be confident on hills, forest trails, even small jumps. The STRIDER™ will turn family outings from drudgery to total family fun. No longer will you have to wait for a dawdling toddler. With the STRIDER™ you are guaranteed a brisk walk and often a jog. In fact, your STRIDER™ rider may often ride circles around you. There will be no more carrying a tired, frustrated child back to the car. With the STRIDER™, everyone can attain fitness from family outings. Lightweight and with no grease, cables, pedals, or chain, the STRIDER™ is a snap to throw in the back of the family car. Invest in a STRIDER™ and discover how much more fun it is to play with your child!

why_04.jpgDurable Design

The STRIDER™ was designed to be educational and effective at speeding up the transition to pedal bikes and dirt bikes, but, above all, it was designed to be FUN! That's why maintenance is minimal, and every aspect of the design complement's the fun factor for the young operator. Puncture-proof, EVA polymer tires mean no flats, no inflation problems, and no delays from "hitting the road". Adjustable seat and handlebars make the 2 year old as comfortable as the 4 year old. Light weight allows even the smallest rider the opportunity to ride. Ball bearings keep the wheels rolling; and simple, lightweight plastic bushings protect the steering headtube. The STRIDER™ is the perfect design: simple, virtually maintenance free, and fun, fun, fun! With just a little care, the STRIDER™ will serve several small riders in their quest for freedom on their own two-wheeler. The optional foot brake improves safety, but above all it allows the rider to leave that tremendously important skid mark on the sidewalk or in the dirt.

Our first test rider, after riding a STRIDER™ prototype for only 6 months, was independently riding a pedal bike without training wheels at 3 years old and a mini-dirtbike without training wheels at 3 years old. Still, for pure, simple fun, he continually reverts to and spends much of his outdoor playtime on his Strider™.

 

 

Superior Safety

We have done our best to make the STRIDER™ as safe as possible by getting rid of chains, cables, sprockets, pedals, and most of the protrusions that can cause pain. The low center of gravity, light weight, and unique optional foot brake all combine to make the STRIDER™ a safe machine. True safety, however, depends on the proper training of the rider and the vigilance of the parents. As with all two wheelers, riders of the STRIDER™ should learn the importance of protective clothing. We recommend a properly fitted helmet, and full coverage shoes at the minimum. However, kids love to wear "the gear" associated with BMX and motocross racing, so being dressed with gloves, goggles, jerseys, etc. is not only safe, but also great FUN! Children should not ride alone or in busy traffic areas; and, of course, they should be taught common rules of safety. Gear up, hop on, have fun! It's STRIDER™ time!

 

 

Comparison: STRIDER™ vs. various wooden balance bikes

By Ryan McFarland

I spend a good bit of time each day answering questions about the STRIDER™ Balance Bike as it compares to other models or about certain features that it has. I thought I'd try to hit some key points here that I seem to discuss regularly.

Better seat height adjustment... STRIDER™ offers 11" to 16" in any increment you want... you can even buy a longer seatpost (XL Seatpost) to raise the seat even higher. Wooden bikes that I've seen don't allow the seat to go as low, adjust inonly a few set increments, and don't go as high. This limits the useable life of the bike.

Better saddle ergonomics... STRIDER™ offers a bicycle saddle with a molded plastic shell with a traditional saddle design of narrow nose with wider rear seating wings all scaled to fit a small rider. Wooden bikes that I've seen have basically a piece of curved plywood that is not very ergonomically engineered. I don't know of any adult that would want to ride on a similar plywood design on their bike. The bicycle industry has spent millions of dollars on saddle design and development. Our saddle design most closely resembles what has become the norm for a bicycle saddle.

Better handlebar fit... STRIDER™ offers 3" of height adjustment in any increment you want. Wooden bikes that I've seen have a fixed height with no adjustment. STRIDER™ handlebars also have rearward 'sweep' built into the bars for a better ergonomic fit... as do nearly ALL bicycle and motorcycle handlebars. Again, these industries have invested millions of dollars on handlebar design and ergonomics. Our design most closely resembles what has become the norm for mountain bikes, BMX bikes, and dirtbikes/motorcycles. The wooden bikes that I've seen are simply straight across, no sweep.

FOOTRESTS! This is huge. Only the Patented STRIDER™ design has footrests positioned directly under the saddle, the natural location that allows for rider weight to be shifted to the rider's legs and even allows the rider to ride standing up, to wheelie, and to bunny-hop. The wooden bikes are missing the footrest feature entirely, and therefore can not even offer children the ability to learn these advanced riding skills. Why buy a bike that has only a fraction of the educational and performance possibilities for your child! Footrests also dramatically reduce the weight/pressure on the groin area when compared to trying to hold your legs up in the air while gliding. As a parent, try this experiment on your bike... coast along for a few minutes with your legs dangling off the pedals... I guarantee your tender parts will be screaming for you to put your feet back on the pedals and relieve the pressure felt from the saddle. When your feet rest on pedals or footrests, half the weight of your legs transfers from the saddle to the pedals or footrests relieving pressure in the groin area. Now take it to the next extreme... ride off a curb with your feet dangling... I didn't think so! :-) We wouldn't want to do this so why make our kids. With the STRIDER™ Balance Bike, a child can be coasting down the sidewalk, relaxed, feet up on the footrests... if he/she comes to a bump or a curb, they stand up on the footrests and roll right over it and absorb the bump with their knees, just like I do when I stand up on the pedals on my bike.

I hope this is helpful. I really believe we offer the most feature-rich bike on the market and offer the best value running/balance bike on the market.


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