…between ridiculous and awesome!
Are you tired of waiting for your toddler at the top of a climb? Do you find yourself taking out unnecessary “extra” bolts and other heavy componentry so that your three-year-old can hold more momentum on the flats? Has your child learned how to ride a pedal bike but their downright unwillingness to form a dynamic pedal stroke with no flat spots, as apparent by the lack of motion in their ankles, made your skin crawl as your bikes similarly crawl along the bike path outside the preschool, parental words of encouragement falling on tone-deaf ears? Is your kid a literal prince or princess?
Strider sees you. Strider hears you.
Strider has just unveiled their newest balance bike, the carbon 12 ST-R. Yes, that’s correct. A carbon balance bike. But don’t add this to your internalized jealousies you have for your adorable youngster; their carbon bike will still be much cheaper than yours at just $899. Even the Strider Founder and Chief Enthusiast Ryan McFarland sees the inherent humor in such an outlandish and extravagant child gift that is designed to be crashed, thrown, and outgrown. “While the vast majority of our bikes focus on durability, function, and value for families with young children learning to ride,” McFarland says, “the ST-R is an over-the-top, no-expense-spared, limited edition race bike for the obsessed, super-enthusiast. And, man, is it cool!” One can assume he is speaking of the obsessed, super-enthusiast parent, not toddler, but I do know some tots who will probably go pro before they learn to read so maybe it is a broader comment than I’m interpreting it to be.
While this balance bike does seem a bit (admittedly) extreme, Strider really does make excellent products that help young new riders get comfortable with the feeling of balancing on two wheels. They have steel and aluminum options on the market as well, and a tiny baby balance bike for those exceptionally fast learners. Just check out their Strider Cup World Championship or the more regional Strider Cup Asian Championship to get a sense of what these bikes help kids do, no matter what price point is chosen.
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Author: Carolyne Whelan