Strider 14x Sport Review by Guest Blogger Brendan Collier

1A.jpgNew 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. 

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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. 

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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.

It’s never too late to learn how to ride!

sk stiderWe had the pleasure of meeting Susie last year at the National Parks and Recreation Conference in North Carolina. She had expressed her interest in learning to ride a bike since she had never had the opportunity growing up. With an open mind and an unchecked item on her bucket list, she was eager to learn! Here is her story…

Growing up in a small town in India during the 1960’s, I didn’t have the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike.  Only boys were allowed to ride bikes back then.  I have always wanted to learn, but was afraid of falling. In late 2014, I came across Strider bikes at a National Park and Recreation Conference.  The concept of learning to balance first and then to pedal made sense to me and I decided to give it a try when the weather turned nice.  I bought a Strider bike in spring 2015 right before Easter and I was able to balance on it rather quickly. The bike is light weight and very manageable which made me feel comfortable on it. I was thrilled when I first balanced on the strider bike and I kept riding it for hours that day.  My children bought me a regular bike as a gift for Mother’s Day and I was able to learn pretty fast since I already learned to balance on the Strider bike.  I now can ride a bike! I would not have been able to do this without the Strider bike!  Thanks to Lori at Strider bike for all her help as I was trying to decide on a bike and also afterwards by checking on my progress.

Times have changed in India, even in the small town where I grew up. It is now a common sight to see girls and women on their bikes, scooters and mopeds.  I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn even though it is at age 54! And again, it wouldn’t have happened without the Strider bike!

I have decided to keep the Strider bike for its sentimental value.  All the children in my family will sure be using Strider bikes in the future to learn to ride a bike instead of training wheels.

-Susie  Kuruvilla, CPA, CPRP

 

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Feliz STRIDERday: Y ahora una opinión…en Español

We have a lot of STRIDER fans throughout the Spanish speaking world and we finally have a video just for them. Our good friends over at Mama y Bebes did a great review with both the STRIDER ST-4 and the STRIDER Super 16.

Now get outside and ride your bicicleta!

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We Love Getting Emails Like this!

Strider People,

There are a few things in a first time parent’s life that we are always excited for, yet wary of. Teaching a child how to swim, how to read, how to add two numbers together – these things come so naturally to us we almost don’t remember the time we didn’t know how to do them. So when it came time to teach my daughter how to ride a bike, I was an odd mix of eager and terrified. I had no idea what to do.

After tons of research I finally decided on a Strider bike. I admit I was skeptical with all the claims of how easy it was – my daughter tends to be timid and reserved when trying new things, rather than bold and daring.
strider3She was 2 ½ when it arrived and though I was immediately impressed with how well it was built I was quite intimidated. I remember standing there, holding the bike with my daughter next to me, thinking, well…now what? So I just put it on the ground and showed her where to put her hands, where to sit, how to walk forward on it. She did the rest herself. I stayed back and watched as my daughter taught herself how to glide on this bike.
 
Within a week she was keeping up with us, coasting down hills and making turns as if the bike was an extension of herself. I was impressed, yet still skeptical. Sure, she could ride a Strider, but what about when I have to teach her how to pedal?
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She was 5 when she finally outgrew her little Strider. Remembering the trauma and torn knees and fear and tears of my own bike training experience, I put off teaching her a pedal bike as long as possible. One day I finally broke down and took my daughter to a bike trail near our house.
strider2I hopped out of the car, pretending to be far more confident than I was, and strapped on her helmet. I put the bike on the ground and had her straddle it. Immediately all my research failed me. I stood there for several seconds, terrified and inadequate. I honestly had no idea how to teach my daughter to ride a bike.
 
Then I found myself saying, “Just pretend it’s your Strider, and when you start coasting, put your feet on the pedals.”
 
Let me take a break in this narrative to say that I went into this experience expecting a certain outcome based on my experience as a child. I expected blood loss and weeping. I expected scars and screams, I expected to run beside her holding the seat, I expected the entire process to take months.
 
But what actually happened was I took my husband’s hand and watched as my daughter taught herself to ride a bike.
 
She never fell down once. She had learned how to catch herself on the Strider and it translated easily to a bigger bike. She never found herself losing balance for any reason other than an inability to quickly locate the pedals with her feet. There were no tears, no crying, no running beside the bike while struggling to keep her upright. I never even touched the bike. Within 15 minutes she was riding several feet at a time and it was, overall, such an enjoyable experience that she is going to miss out on many linguistic tropes in her life. So many metaphors in English are centered around how hard it is to learn to ride a bike – but thanks to Strider, for my daughter, learning to ride a bike was as hard as learning how to eat Cheerios.

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I am, now, finally, convinced. I will never own another first bike for my children than a Strider and will be recommending them to everyone I know.

By the way, after 3 years we resold her little pink Strider to another child just learning to bike. Aside from slight wear on the seat, it looked almost brand new.

 

Thank y’all, you’ve made this mama very, very happy.

Amber

 

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STRIDER Wheels: Foam Rubber vs Heavy Duty?

US Champ-start

Strider Wheels:   Foam Rubber vs Heavy Duty?

The Strider U.S. Championships have come and gone.  What an amazing event, but more on that later. This conversation will pertain more to the equipment used at these races.  More specifically, the tire choice. Foam rubber have a distinct advantage in that they weigh significantly less and are maintenance free. BUT… Are the foam rubber tires suitable for the high demands of toddlers on a mission?

In just about all form of racing tire selection is the difference between winning and losing. R & D is performed to see what works best in a variety of extreme conditions. Most production tires for dirt bikes began their life in a racing environment. I decided to take a closer look and analyze how the Strider tires performed at the race. The race terrain included smooth street concrete, wood, brick, grass, obstacles, and wet tile.

Corner #1
 US-Champ-CORNER

Corner 1 of the race course offered unique challenges for the tires. The kids were really pushing hard to get the holeshot. The start straight was smooth street concrete with painted street lines, approximately 1/2 of a city block long with a slight downhill grade. At the end of this strait was a tight 180 degree turn. At the beginning of practice we quickly realized that this corner would be a challenge for the kids as 4 of the first 5 kids ran into the fence. The kids ran into the fence because of their skill, not the tires. Not one kid crashed in this corner because of tires loosing grip. This was even more impressive as the 4 and 5 year olds took to the course. These kids railed the corner with their feet up and enough speed to make any parent nervous.

US-Champ-1STCORNER

foam rubber 1 – heavy duty 0
 

 Corner #2
 US-Champ-wood

Corner 2 of the race was another 180 degree corner, but what made it unique was the fact that it had smooth plywood as a ramp to get up on the curb which transitioned to brick.  Once again the foam rubber tires handled this slick surface with ease.  I saw several sneak to the inside to make a pass here and never had a tire slip.  foam rubber 2 – heavy duty 0.

Corner #3
 US-Champ-bump

Just past corner 3 laid an 8 foot long rumble strip section.  This section had 1 inch tall ripples in a V shaped pattern across the path.  A person would think that the pneumatic tires would offer some cushion to the bumps, but as long as the kids kept their momentum the foam rubber tire worked just fine.  As a matter of fact the foam tires proved to be less bouncy and helped keep the kids going straight.  foam rubber 3 – heavy duty 0.

 Corner #5
 US-Champ-water

By far the most challenging section for any tire, corner 5 was a switchback section of wet slippery red tiles.   From here kids could finally see the finish line and really began to accelerate hard.  I think everyone involved in this race was a bit nervous about the slick surface.  Once again the foam rubber tires performed remarkably.  foam rubber 4 – heavy duty 0.

 Finish
 
Are you noticing a trend here?  I have a confession. My daughter raced the 5 year old class and I searched for a set of heavy duty tires a week prior to this race.  I assumed that it would give her an advantage. Boy, was I wrong.  

US-Champ-podium

Look at this podium picture of the 5 year olds. These were fastest and heaviest kids at the race.  Notice anything?  All are running the foam rubber tires and they pushed their tires and bikes to the limits. Unless your child takes on 2 foot drops or you enjoy fixing flat tires often, foam rubber tires are the way to go.

Final Total: foam rubber 5 – heavy duty 0     You can purchase foam rubber tires HERE.

 

STRIDER ST-3 Review in Bike Magazine

We were very excited when we came across this review of the 2012 STRIDER ST-3 in the March issue of “bike magazine“! There are so many kids of mountain bikers riding STRIDER Bikes that it really is a perfect fit. The review was also written from a fresh perspective…read the review below and see if you agree.

Stride On!

BikeReviewMeld

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!


Kenny And Brooks Bartram: Like Father, Like Son

At the age of seven “Cowboy” Kenny Bartram (#690) started his career in motorcycles.  After turning professional at the age of fifteen his destiny was clear.  Since that fateful day he has become the winning-est freestyle (10 X-game medals) motocross rider in the world!

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Kenny was inspired by his uncle…we have a feeling that his son, Brooks Bartram, will have all the inspiration he’ll ever need! For his 4th birthday his Dad bought him a KTM STRIDER to match his own KTM Motocross bike.

kenny son

After a little experimentation Brooks is already hitting ramps, albeit a bit smaller than the ones his Dad is jumping off of:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyNeV2Q41Xk[/youtube]

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Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

Strider Twins!

Q: What is cuter than a child on a Strider?     A: Twins riding their Striders!

We found this great review from a Mother of twins.  Have you had similar experiences to Dolly?

“I bought two strider balance bikes for my boy/girl twins for their birthday. They loved them and it was great that they were able to hop right on and use them right away. It was nice that there was no frustration on getting them to work like they have had in the past with their tricycle. We had their birthday party at a park and the twins were able to ride their bikes all over the playground and park. They have progressed just like the toddlers in the online videos and within a week were balancing. I got the pink and green bikes and both are adorable. I decided to go with the Strider balance bike because it has one of the lowest seat settings.”    ~Dolly

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

Crazy 27 Month Old

We always love hearing from happy Strider riders and their parents.  We get a lot of messages in our email, but not many catch our attention like this one from Jill.  The subject line in this particular email was “Crazy 27 month old” and it came into the “Customer Needs Help” in-box!

“We have a crazy 27 month old that has been riding your bike for about 1 month.  I thought I would send a video of him. We live in the mountains of Colorado in a Ski Resort town and this child is literally all over the side walks, trails and dirt paths. Please let us know if we should be doing something to stop him. He goes on curbs and off. He isn’t even potty trained and is riding this bike up trails that I’m scared to go down. We love the bike and “Zabel” is getting a lot of attention on it.”  – Jill (Zabel’s Mom)

Make sure to keep his helmet on!  It looks like in a few years when he’s on a pedal bike you won’t have any chance of keeping up with him on the street or mountain bike trails!

Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook page!  Send photos and videos of your “Crazy Kid(s)” to ssblog@gmail.com

Stride On!