Q: My friends told me to buy the STRIDER ST-3 or ST-4 model for my toddler, but I can't find it on your site. What should I buy?
A: Great question. In the past, we used part numbers to describe Strider bikes… our first bike was the ST-1, then ST-2, etc. We updated part numbers as we made improvements to the bike's design and features over the years. With multiple models and sizes as of 2014, bikes are now identified by model names instead of part numbers. The model name includes the bike wheel size as well as feature level. Our "12"-series bikes are for 18 month-5 year olds. They are available in three feature levels with varying price points:
12 Classic™ - The Skill-Building, Entry-Level Model
12 Sport™ - The Feature-Rich, Mid-Level Model
(12 Sport Formerly known as ST-4, now includes a padded saddle as well as the XL seatpost to fit kids of various heights.)
12 Pro™ - The All-Aluminum, High-End Model
"The 12 Classic model is a return to our roots… a super simple design featuring the core elements that make Strider the number one balance bike brand in the world, yet less expensive without some of our options of custom grips and saddles offered on our other models."
"The 12 Sport model offers every feature a child (or parent) could want with custom grips, padded saddle, handlebar pad, and quick release clamps (no-tool adjustment). It is the perfect balance of performance, options, and value. More than eight years of design evolution and manufacturing improvements all packaged into one model."
"The 12 Pro utilizes all the features of the Sport model, but in an all-aluminum design, making it the lightest STRIDER™ in the world. Fully featured and ultra light weight make this the top performing balance bike for the little superstar riders and racers."
- Ryan McFarland, CEO of Strider Sports International.
Q: What size should I get?
A: Strider bikes are available in 12", 16", and 20" models (number refers to wheel diameter in inches).
Q: My child is less than 2 years old, can they really ride it?
A: If your child is proficiently walking, your child can ride a Strider bike! Our U.S. Patented design offers the perfect combination of low seat height, low center-of-gravity, and light weight, allowing even the youngest children to find success.
Q: There's no pedals? How do they make it go? How do they stop?
A: Children put their feet on the ground and push, just like Fred Flintstone.
Toddlers’ legs are strongest when used this way rather than trying to pedal really short cranks. They are actually faster and more capable of dealing with uneven terrain and inclines on a Strider bike than a pedal bike.
Stopping is just as easy as starting; they just put their feet down. For experienced riders, we also offer an optional foot operated brake. We typically don't recommend it until about age 3 to 4 years old. For really young riders, success requires that you Keep It Simple.
Q: Why are the tires plastic? Foam? No-air?
A: The tires are made of an EVA polymer (industrial foam) which gives 2 key benefits:
Extremely light weight for easy control. Half the weight of an air-filled tire and inner tube.
NO MAINTENANCE. They will NEVER go flat and never need to be checked; just grab and go!
Q: How high should the seat be?
A: Proper seat height should have the child sitting on the saddle, with feet flat on the ground, with a slight bend in the knees. For long distance striding on smooth surfaces, you can adjust slightly up. For obstacles, tricks, and off-road riding, the saddle should be adjusted for slightly more bend in the knees. Strider offers two different length seatposts 220mm and 305mm. Older/bigger riders will benefit by using the XL seatpost.
Q: When should I use the XL seatpost?
A: Typically when a child is 3 ½ years old they will benefit from the XL Seatpost and Saddle. The saddle height range for the XL Seatpost is 41-48cm (16-19").
Q: How high should the handlebars be?
A: Handlebar height should be at the lowest setting for 18 - 24 month olds, mid-height for 36 - 48 months old, and at the highest setting for 48+ months old. Typically, you want the handlebars to be about mid-torso. For older/bigger kids that still love their Striders but are getting too big, we also offer our XL Handlebar.
Q: What first pedal bike do you recommend?
A: We don't have one in particular, but we do highly recommend that you keep it VERY simple and as light as possible. Look for a very basic frame design and a bike with the least number of "bells and whistles" as possible. They all add weight to the bike and aren't useful for a child this age. We also highly recommend that pedal bikes have HAND BRAKES. Do not buy a bike for the child to "grow into". A bike that is too large doesn't fit, is too heavy, and is unsafe. The child needs to be able touch the ground with both feet flat footed.
Q: What should I do, my child is big enough to pedal a bike, but doesn't want to quit riding the Strider?
A: Kids are focused on FUN. The transition to ANY pedal bike is a big one because most pedal bikes are two to three times the weight of a Strider. Most pedal bikes will only be able to be ridden on flat, smooth surfaces. This isn't nearly as much fun as going on an adventure with your all-terrain-capable Strider. We recommend that you offer both to your child and let them choose. Remember, ALL the skills learned and time spent on the Strider will roll into pedal bike/dirt bike riding proficiency later. So don't get in a hurry; don't feel like they are getting behind. When the pedal bike becomes more FUN to them, they will make the switch. Until that time, you simply want to encourage them to ride and have FUN on whichever bike they choose. Most parents tell us that their kids ride both overlapping for a year or more. To continue to develop their riding skills while on the Strider, set up challenges, take them on new terrain; encourage them to stand up using the integrated LaunchPad footrests. This will keep them learning and having FUN.