What is a balance bike?
A balance bike is a bicycle with no pedals that emphasis the most important skill a child needs to learn ride a bike, balance. It has no pedals, no crankset and chain, and no training wheels. Balance bikes are generally smaller and lighter than traditional pedal bikes and that make them easy to control, even for kids as young as 18 months. A balance bike’s simple, no-pedal design builds confidence and eliminates fear by allowing kids to have their feet on the ground and progress at their own pace. This unique design teaches young children balance on two wheels right from the start, avoiding developmental delays typical with tricycles and training-wheel bikes. To learn more check out our article - What is a Balance Bike & It's Benefits?
What is the recommended age for a balance bike?
A balance bike is ideal for children between the ages 2 - 8 years depending on the specific make and model of the bike. The light-weight design and ajustable features make the balance bike a perfect first bike for any child.
For taller and/or older children (ages 4+) we offer 14", 16" and 20" balance bikes. These larger models have shown impressive results with helping older kids who are just learning to ride a bike for the first time, children with certain disabilities, as well as those who have already mastered and outgrown their orginal balance bike and are now looking to take it to the next level.
Are balance bike safe?
When comparing to tricycles and training wheels, a child is much safer riding a balance bike. The key factor being - a balance bike instinctively teaches and focuses on balance unlike trikes and training wheels. Balance bikes are also free from any cables, chains, sprockets, pedals or protrusions that can harm your child. They are steady, stable and safe. At the first feeling of instability, a child will instinctively place both feet securely on the ground, so there are no "training-wheel wobbles" that stir up fear, hesitancy, or a dislike of bike riding. This provides your child with a sense of control and newfound confidence. Your child will grab the handlebars, straddle the bike and walk without ever sitting down on the seat. With their feet on the ground, your child can control how fast or slow they want to go, and will also have the ability to instantly stop when needed. As your child quickly progresses, they will begin to sit down on the seat, make longer leg strides and eventually will raise their feet and glide. Then it’s your turn to catch up with them. Once a child masters balancing, they can completely bypass training wheels and move directly to a standard pedal bike.
Are all balance bikes basically the same?
While balance bikes are simple in design, they are certainly not one-size-fits all. A balance bike that properly fits an 18-month old could be problematic for a 4 year-old. On the other hand, a bike that works great for one 3 year old may not be the best choice for another. Finding the best balance bike for your child however can be simplified by educating yourself on the various features of balance bikes. We've put together a simple to understand balance bike comparison chart indicating the key features and differences between various balance bikes models.
Should I choose a bike that my child can grow into?
When choosing a balance bike for your little rider it's always important to choose the correct size. Not choosing the right size can frustrate your child and inhibited their ability to learn. It can also be dangerous. Most likely it's their first bike and we highly recommend that you purchase a bike that fits them now, not one that they will grow into. We recommend that you read our helpful article, Choosing a Balance Bike that Fits Your Child.
What is a "steering limiter" and do I need one?
Steering limiters prevents the bike from jack-knifing. It keeps the handlebar and front wheel from completing a full revolution. Proponents of the turning limiter claim that bikes are safer with them as it prevents sharp turns, limits injuries during a fall and prevents the brake cables from becoming twisted. Adversaries claim that the steering limiter keeps the handlebars from being able to fold flat to the ground in the event of a fall and potentially impaling the child in the face, neck or chest. Some also believe a child should be exposed to the full range of steering from the get-go and steering limiters are basically "training wheels" for handlebars. While there are pros and cons to turning limiters, the overall effect they have on riding is minor and their presence shouldn't be a determining factor in your purchase.
Can my 18 month year old really ride a balance bike?
Yes. If your child is proficiently walking, your child can absolutely ride a balance bike. Many children as young as 18 months have found great success with the 12 models due to the perfect combination of low seat height, low center-of-gravity, and light weight features. The Strider 12" PRO has been extremely effective for younger and smaller childer. It's the lightest balance bike in it's class, weighing in under 5 lbs. Before selecting a bike for your young rider, we recommend that you first review our Bike Sizing Chart.
Is assembly required?
Assembly is very basic, takes approximately 10 minutes or less and requires minimal to no tools for assembly. You'll find the bike assembly to be simple and straightforward. To make sure there are no hiccups, we put together a group of video tuturials demonstrating the step-by-step assembly process.
Brakes? How does my child stop his balance bike?
Beginner riders use their feet against the ground to control speed and to stop. We want children to be safe, and so we researched various "stopping" methods as they relate to really young children. In the end, in a panic situation, the natural instinct of children is to put their feet down. Even children capable of using a brake revert to planting their feet if they have to stop quickly.
Generally, children 3.5+ and those who have mastered their balance bike will then begin to utilize a hand braking system as they prepare for their natural transition to a pedal bike.
What is the proper seat height for my child?
Proper seat height should have the child sitting on the seat saddle, with feet flat on the ground, with a slight bend in the knees. A good starting point is 1"-1½" less than the child's inseam. For long distance striding on smooth surfaces, you can adjust the seat slightly up. For obstacles, tricks and off-road riding, the saddle should be adjusted for slightly more bend in the knees. We recommend that you first review our Bike Sizing Chart before selecting a bike.
How will I know when my child is ready for a pedal bicycle?
When you see your child coasting down hills with his/her feet up, going over and around obstacles, and speeding along with forceful strides, you will know that they have mastered the necessary techniques of balance and steering to begin riding a pedal bike. The transition will be quick and easy. However, you will discover that even though your child can ride their pedal bike without stabilisers (training wheels), they will continue to ride their balance bike for pure fun. On a balance bike a child is confident enough to continually push to higher levels of expertise. Eventually, these higher thinking, higher level skills are transferred to their pedal bike. At this point, the child may "hang up" their balance bike. However, we have found there is usually a one to two year overlap when the child rides both. We recommend that you read our article, Transitioning to a Pedal Bike.
When should I use the Strider XL seatpost?
Typically, when a child reaches 3 ½ years old they will benefit from the XL seatpost and saddle. The saddle height range for the XL Seatpost extends an additional 3" from 16" to 19".
What is the proper handlebar height?
Typically, you want the handlebars to be about mid-torso. As your child grows, their needs change. 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.
Do I need to put air in the tires?
Yes, with any bike maintaining proper air pressure is essential. All Strider 12" models come standard with EVA industrial foam tires. They weigh significantly less and are maintenance free
Why is there no steering limiters on some balance bikes?
A number of manufactures believes that a steering limiter is a hindrance to the child's development and a potential safety issue in the event of a fall. A steering limiter becomes a 'crutch' that keeps the child from fully learning the skill of steering a two wheeled vehicle. Bicycles don't have steering limiters - so at the time of transition to a bicycle, the child runs the risk of not understanding how to set their own steering limits through rider input. They also believe steering control should be learned from "Day 1" while the child is moving slowly and evolve with the child through the years. As for their thoughts on safety, a steering limiter keeps the handlebars from being able to fold flat to the ground in the event of a fall and potentially impailing the child in the face, neck or chest.
Does my child need the FirstBIKE Lowering Kit?
Strongly recommended for toddlers under the age of two or with an inseam below 15". The minimum seat height drops to approximately 12" with the FirstBIKE optional lowering kit. For safe riding on a balance bike, it is necessary that your child reaches the ground with both feet flat, not just with the toes. Around 90% of 2 year-old children need the LowKit lowering kit. We recommend that you review our Bike Sizing Chart.
What are the tire option differences on the FirstBIKE?
FirstBIKE offers a range of tire options that will best fit your child's overall preferred riding surroundings.
- BASIC – Best suited for indoor use, enclosed areas and smooth floors.
- STREET – Best suited for concrete, stone, or dirt packed surfaces. Urban settings.
- CROSS – Best suited for off-road biking such as grass, gravel, or loose dirt areas. Nobby tires for off-road terrain.
- RACING – Suitable for multi-terrain surfaces - urabn to rural terrain. Equipped with quality Schwalbe "Big Apple" tires.
- LIMITED EDITION – Suitable with all-terrain traction on all surfaces. Equipped with quality Schwalbe "Big Apple" tires and Schraeder valves.
Company - Jump Start Bikes
Do you offer free shipping?
YES! Free shipping on all Strider balance bikes and orders over $60 within the U.S. contiguous 48 states. Just order your bike and let us handle the shipping for you.
*We have a single flat $10.00 shipping rate on orders $60 and below.
Your Current Estimated Arrival Time: Between Fri, 3/3 and Tue, 3/7 (Before 11am EST on 2/28)
We understands that getting your items promptly is important to you, so we make every effort to process your order quickly. When you order from our website, you can expect to receive your order within 3-5 business days. Shortly after placing an order you will receive an email confirming that your order has been received and is now being processed. Once your order ships, we will provide your shipping and tracking information by email.
Review our Shipping and Return Policy.
Where do you ship?
We ship within the U.S. contiguous 48 states. We cannot ship to the following: Hawaii, Alaska, P.O. boxes, APO and FPO, outside of the U.S. contiguous 48 states and/or Internationally.
Will you confirm my order?
Yes. Shortly after placing an order you will receive an email confirming that your order has been received and is now being processed. We recommend adding our email address, email@example.com, to your contact list. You will also receive an email from PayPal indicating that we have received your order. Once your order has shipped out, we will send an additional detailed email with your shipping and tracking information. At anytime you can track the process of your order. Click on the link "My Order" located on the upper right corner of each page. Enter your Order Confirmation Number and the email address used during the checkout process.
Can I track my order?
Absolutely. At anytime you can track the process of your order. Click on the link "My Order" located on the upper right corner of each page. Enter your Order Confirmation Number and the email address used during the checkout process. From there you will be able to view an entire breakdown of your order and shipping status.
How long does it take to receive my items?
On average: 3-5 business days. We understands that getting your items promptly is important to you, so we make every effort to process your order quickly. Shortly after placing an order you will receive an email confirming that your order has been received and is now being processed. Once your order ships, we will provide your shipping and tracking information by email. You can generally expect to receive your order within 3-5 business days once your order has been fully processed.
Your Current Estimated Arrival Time: Between Fri, 3/3 and Tue, 3/7 (Before 11am EST on 2/28)
What is your return policy
Our first priority is your complete satisfaction with your purchase. We will gladly accept exchanges and returns on new, unassembled products in their original packaging within 30 days of your order fulfillment date. Return shipping cost is the responsibility of the buyer, whether returning or exchanging. We won't charge you a restocking fee on unassembled items and you will receive a prompt refund (minus any paid shipping charges). If your product has been assembled or the product is not in its entire original packaging (including all parts bags), we will charge a 20% restocking fee. Review Return Policy.
Do I need a PayPal account to make a purchase?
No, you do not need a PayPal account to make a purchase. During the check out process select "Pay with a Debit or Major Credit Card...", you'll then be directed to enter your shipping and payment information. Your payment for this purchase will be processed securely by PayPal. Once your payment has been completed you will receive a confirmation email.
Can I change my shipping address once I've placed my order?
For your security, we are unable to change the shipping address of any order placed via PayPal. If you require a PayPal order to be shipped to a different address, please make the applicable change in your PayPal account before placing the order.
Do you offer Overnight/Priority shipping?
Our key distribution centers are strategically located across the U.S. so your purchased items are delivered quickly, on average, within 3-5 business days. Due to an overall low demand for expedited shipping we currently don't offer overnight delivery service. If we do see an upward trend from our custumers wanting this option, we will glady reinstate priority shipping.
Do I need to register or created a profile before I can make purchase?
No. We want to make the checkout process as easy and simple as possible. Just add your items to cart, then select "checkout", and your done. Once your transaction has been processed you will receive an email (along with a detailed receipt and confirmation of your order) with optional instructions on how to review the details and status of your order online, at JumpStartBikes.com.