Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike

Last updated date: May 15, 2019

DWYM Score
9.5

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 Balance Bikes and dug through the reviews from 17 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Top Best Product Review, Comparaboo, Top Reviews, Best Reviews Guide, Offers.com, The Gear Hunt, Bike Bell, My Pro Scooter, This Mom Bikes, Net Parents, Best Brand Reviews, Fitness Up Run, Toy Box Advisor and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Balance Bike you should buy.

Overall Take

This balance bike earned the "Best Overall" stamp of approval, thanks to its high-quality build and durability.  The adjustable seat and handlebars allow it to accommodate a range of sizes. To keep this bike working and looking new, it will require regular maintenance. In our analysis of 114 expert reviews, the Strider Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 21, 2019:
Checkout The Best Balance Bike for a detailed review of all the top balance bikes.

Expert Summarized Score
9.4
17 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.7
1,287 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
High-quality. Durable. Teaches kids to balance in just a few weeks. For ages 18 months to 5 years. Fits 12" to 20" inseam. Toddler-sized grips for better control. Built-in footrests allow better balance and glide. Padded seat and handlebar pad. Durable steel frame, puncture-proof tires.
- BestReviews
Its seat post has the widest height adjustability range of any bike we tested (9 inches!). Its simple design includes an ultra-light, maintenance-free nylon bushing headset (the pivot point that lets the handlebar turn), very lightweight plastic wheels, pleasantly grippy foam rubber tires that never need inflating, and footrests, which is a nice feature when a kid starts to try tricks like bunny hops, or just want to rest their feet on a gradual downhill.
- New York Times Wirecutter
March 6, 2019 | Full review
For the long-lasting use, both handlebar and seat can be adjusted. Therefore, even when the child is growing up, this bike still can be used.
- Z7 Premium
September 16, 2018 | Full review
The Sport is simple to handle, yet sturdy enough to support up to 60lbs. Its frame is made of steel and is available in different colors to suit varying tastes for different kids and parents.
- Top Best Product Review
The bike is well-made balance bike and durable so you will get the best an incentive for your cash. The way that it is sans pedal also makes riding it more charming for kids and it also requires little upkeep because the tires are without the cut.
- All Top Ten Reviews
March 11, 2019 | Full review
This bike has many color to choose from and perfect for the kid that wants to learn to ride a bike.
- The Gear Hunt
Calling this bike “lightweight” is an understatement. The best word to describe it would be “super lightweight”. Why? Because it weighs a surprisingly 6.7 pounds that makes it among the lightest in its class.
- Bike Bell
The Strider balancing bike is designed to be both educational and safe. This is one of the best bikes when it comes to having a durable product that also looks appealing and inviting to the child while providing hours of fun among all sorts of terrains. If you are looking for an inexpensive and durable product, Strider’s balance bike is the best choice!
- My Pro Scooter
March 26, 2019 | Full review
For a long time, Strider was the only truly lightweight model out there for us. It was either that or a wooden run bike, which was cool but heavy. Strider had a huge appeal to me for two reasons: it was the lightest bike on the market (and is still right up there in that category) and it is extremely adaptable with a quick release seat post and handlebar.
- This Mom Bikes
January 1, 2019 | Full review
Built-in footrests and a padded seat provides your toddler or kid with the necessary comfort.
- Net Parents
January 30, 2019 | Full review
The bike is designed to assist kids to learn balancing and ride the bike. At the same time, it has been produced at a high quality with strong and adjustable frame. With its high performance and simplicity, the balance bike will serve the learn to ride of kids so well. He or she is going to be so happy with this Strider.
- Best Brand Reviews
The sturdy design provides stability for young ones as they and improving balancing on daily basis.
- Fitness Up Run
The bike adjusts for ages 18 months to five years. It doesn’t require a tool. Both the seat and the handlebars are heavily padded for comfort and grip.
- Toy Box Advisor
March 25, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Has foam tires instead of rubber, but this means they are puncture-free and won't go flat.
- BestReviews
Price may be too high for some.
- All Top Ten Reviews
March 11, 2019 | Full review
The seat of this bike is a bit hard.
- The Gear Hunt
Some components like the fork are prone to rusting if not properly taken good care of. The seat clamp doesn’t provide a tight fit and shifts very slightly.
- Bike Bell
The foam tires on this balance bike are reported to not have sufficient tread so they don’t provide enough traction for all possible terrain that may be encountered.
- Net Parents
January 30, 2019 | Full review
It is a little bit pricey. Not ideal for children weighing more than 60lbs. This unit has no pedals.
- Fitness Up Run
The construction of the seat and frame can be a pain for the smallest children.
- Toy Box Advisor
March 25, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Encourage your child to ride with a Strider Bike. When learning to ride, a child must be allowed to experience the feel of leaning and how steering affects the balance of the bike. When a child learns to ride without leaning, such as on a tricycle or bike with training wheels, they aren't really learning to ride at all. With the help of a balance bike, the child can learn how to balance and ride a bike in the most simplest way.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 17
2. WOOM BIKES USA Woom 1 Balance Bike
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 7
3. Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 7
4. Chicco Red Bullet Balance Training Bike
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 19
5. Banana Bike LT Lightweight Balance Bike for Kids
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 10
6. ENKEEO 12 Sport Balance Bike
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 6
7. Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike No Pedal Bicycle
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 10
8. Radio Flyer Glide N Go Balance Bike with Air Tires
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 7
9. Diggin Active Skuut Wooden Balance Bike
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 8
10. Schwinn Balance Bike
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 6

An Overview On Balance Bikes

Learning to ride a bicycle is an essential part of childhood, but it comes with an exceptionally steep learning curve. Some kids end up having traumatic experiences when they first try to ride without training wheels, effectively ruining the activity for them.

The woes of learning to ride a bike are often sensationalized in movies and TV shows. Most of the depictured scenarios are the same: The parent begins pushing their child forward on a pedal bike, eventually letting go and sending the screaming kid crashing into the bushes because they don’t know how to steer properly.

But a childhood without riding a bike seems a little sad. Bike-riding helps kids learn motor skills that are crucial as they develop and eventually begin to play sports, drive vehicles and/or operate machinery. Plus, the activity allows youngsters to travel independently, visiting friends and neighbors as they please.

Balance bikes are a positive alternative to training wheels that help kids better learn how to ride before making the switch. Balance bikes eliminate the need for training wheels in the first place, allowing for a smooth transition to pedal bikes. Kids can begin using balance bikes at a remarkably young age, allowing time for them to get used to balancing, develop motor skills and train their muscles to ride properly. Without pedals, kids push their feet against the ground to propel themselves forward.

Experts say kids can learn how to ride a bicycle quickly by using a balance bike because they can concentrate on learning to balance and steer before adding pedaling to the mix. With training wheels, kids can acquire bad bicycle-riding habits by relying on them too much. Parents dedicated to seamlessly teaching their young child to ride should look into balance bikes.

When it comes to shopping for new products, price is always a top concern. Balance bikes range widely in price. Models like the Chicco Red Bullet Balance Training Bike are great values, but they tend to lack components that more expensive bikes have. For example, the relatively costly Woom 1 Balance Bike comes with a steering limiter to prevent oversteering and promote straight riding, while the affordable Chicco model does not.

It’s also important to understand the fit of the balance bike you’re purchasing. If purchasing online, be sure to measure the balance bike rider to ensure proper fit. Otherwise, find a store that sells balance bikes to find one that suits your child perfectly.

Everyone knows how quickly kids grow. That’s why many balance bikes are adjustable. That means parents won’t need to shell out extra cash on a new one each time their child undergoes a growth spurt (which, depending on age, can be quite often).

Most balance bikes come with adjustable seats, which can be raised as your child grows taller. Only some, however, also have adjustable handlebars. This allows for a significantly larger size range, meaning the bike can accommodate a growing child with ease. The Chicco and Strider balance bikes come with adjustable seats and handlebars.

If your child learns quickly and will not need to rely on the balance bike for a long period of time, growth is not an issue. In that case, any balance bike should do well to suit your needs.

Take material into consideration, too, as it determines how much the balance bike will weigh. Heavier bikes can be difficult for young children to maneuver, which can be a serious safety issue. Aluminum bikes, like the Cruuzee Ultralite and Woom balance bikes, are significantly lighter than steel models like the Strider 12 Sport.

On the other hand, heavier balance bikes are more durable and can last many years — even generations — without requiring body repair or replacement. Steel models are a good choice if you’re planning to use balance bikes for a longer period of time. Make sure to check the weight of your balance bike before purchasing to confirm it will work for your child.

DYWM Fun Fact

Balance bike company Strider holds several balance bike-riding events for kids across the globe. They have both recreational and competitive events.  The competitions are called the Strider Cup, and there’s even a Strider Cup World Championship. The company’s goal is to provide a fun and positive space for riders of all abilities while encouraging kids to keep improving their balancing skills while fostering their love of riding. From Ecuador to Japan to Texas, balance bike riders are eagerly participating in these interesting family-friendly events.

The Balance Bike Buying Guide

  • Parents should never pressure their child to switch from a balance bike to a classic pedal bike. Sometimes, the transition can take years. The process should be fluid and natural in order for a child to consistently feel safe and in control while riding.
  • Anyone riding a bicycle should always be wearing a helmet on their head. This important piece of safety equipment is especially crucial for kids whose bodies are still developing. The fit of the helmet is perhaps the most important part — after all, it won’t be able to do its job if it doesn’t cover and protect your child’s head properly. Be sure to measure the circumference of your child’s head before purchasing and try it on before use.
  • Balance bikes are great for all ages, but the younger they begin using them to practice their skills, the better. Most balance bikes will display what ages they’re suited for in their product description, so look there before purchasing. Typically, balance bikes are suitable for kids as young as 18 months. Get them started early!
  • The tires of balance bikes are typically not as durable as regular pedal bike tires. Usually, they’re made of foam or plastic to absorb bumps and shocks. For this reason, you should stick to low-impact surfaces, like grass and dirt, when using balance bikes.
  • Hydration should be your rider’s No. 1 priority. As we exercise, we radiate heat and sweat, sometimes leading to headaches and stomach pain from dehydration. Always keep a water bottle handy and encourage frequent water breaks.
  • Falls are inevitable, especially when your child is first learning on the balance bike. You should always keep a first aid kit nearby in case you need it. Balance bike accidents often lead to minor injuries, like cuts and bruises, so be sure to include antibiotic ointment, cotton pads and bandages in your kit.