New to Strider's lineup for the 3 to 7-year-old kids who are making the transition from striding to pedaling, the 14x is a unique machine that morphs from one stage to the next with your child. It starts life as a balance bike when your child is learning balance and, with the included drivetrain, can become a pedal bike when your child is ready.
Opening the box, the 14x comes with a set of easy-to-follow assembly instructions. The basic buildup took me a matter of minutes, and because my son had already been balancing with his "regular" Strider, I opted to bolt on the included drivetrain right away.
We presented my son with the 14x on his 4th birthday; he was thrilled to have a "big kid bike with pedals and a chain." While the 14x is a "big kid" bike indeed, its design is specifically suited to kids who are transitioning from balance bike to pedal bike. With narrow pedals and super low standover clearance, both features help preserve the striding confidence a beginning rider needs to get going. The narrow pedals allow him to "stride" his feet on the ground to get going and feel out his balance. The narrow pedals also provide good cornering clearance as he pedals through turns. Likewise, the low bottom bracket allows the child to "flat foot" the ground, even with the seat set high enough for good pedaling.
Other features for the transitioning rider include pneumatic tires, which grip the ground better for the higher speeds of pedaling, and quick release skewers on the seat and handlebars so parents can make adjustments on the fly (also nice for packing into a small car).
In the field, I was amazed to see my son start pedaling on our first outing. Bear in mind, he'd been using his Strider for about a year by this time, and it took some practice to show him the directions to move his feet for pedaling and braking. We have since practiced several times at our favorite park, which has long stretches of flat concrete path and a nearby playground for pit stops and break time. Today, my 4-year-old is becoming proficient enough with his 14x to ride "like a big kid," and he's snapping at the heels of his 8-year-old big brother. We're a pedaling family!
Brendan Collier is a 20 year veteran of the Bicycle industry, a former frame builder and designer, and creator of the Stagecoach 400 bikepacking Route.