Strider SS-1 $189.00
Look ma'. No gears.
The proliferation of everything digital seems to indicate that children would be best prepared for the world if they were wired-in from the moment that they sit upright. However, as evidenced in countries such as Finland, where children don't start school until age eight, but where the population is highly-educated, child-like play is actually a key to success. This learning process is well-supported by the Montessori, Walden, and Reggio Emilia schools of childhood education. One component of play is proprioceptive learning — one's ability to sense body position. The Strider balance bikes are specifically designed to develop coordination and balance in children, all while having fun. Strider's SS-1 was developed for older children to develop advanced skills.
Most noticeable on the Strider bikes is the absence of cranks. By eliminating the drivetrain, children use their feet to propel the bike. The motion is different than walking, in that sitting on a bike requires side-to-side balance and the ability to lean without falling. Initially the seat is placed quite low in order to increase stability with both feet firmly planted on the ground. As a child's confidence and coordination increases, the seat is raised slightly, so that walking the bike becomes smoother and faster. Eventually, as your little ones develop the skills to coast, they're feet are placed on the Launchpad footrests.
Although the original bike was developed for toddlers, Strider saw a need for a larger frame for older children (ages six to ten) who want to venture onto trails, race, or perform trick and stunts. The SS-1 opens up the benefits of a balance bike to a whole new audience. Weighing in at 15lbs, it's much lighter than the typical geared children's bike. And like the rest of the line, the SS-1 doesn't have cranks or gears. A contoured hand brake provides security to slow down as well as develop hand-eye coordination.
It's built with 16in aluminum wheels on sturdy steel hubs. They are paired with pnuematic, EVA polymer tires that never need air. A tread is added to the tires for secure grip while venturing off-road.
The Strider SS-1 is available in one size, but both seat height and handlebar height are adjustable. The seat starts at 17in and moves up to 25in, and the handlebars start from 29in to 34in. It's available in the colors Red, Green, Blue, and Black.