Which between a Schwinn balance bike and a Strider is a toddler’s best first-bike?
Before my daughter’s 3rd birthday, I thought cycling to be a great activity that would teach her some independence. So, while at the mall a few days to the big day, we came across the Strider and Schwinn balance bikes.
When I straddled her little legs over the little yellow ride and helped her grubby hands hold onto the bars, she almost instantly thrust herself forward and let out a gleeful noise.
We were both sold and this ushered in a new chapter in our lives. I had to learn everything there was about them so I gathered some intel and came up with a summary of two of my favorite rides to help another parent out.
What is the difference between Schwinn Balance Bike and Strider?
Schwinn Balance Bike
Seat height -Adjustable
14 to 16.5-inch
12â€ to 20â€
Schwinn Balance Bike vs Strider: How they Compare
The Schwinn bike has a higher seat height compared to the Strider bike which makes it better suited for toddlers as young as 2 years.
A balance bike features no pedals and needs your child’s effort to push it along the way to enjoy some semblance of a bike ride.
One of the biggest concerns when buying a balance bike for your child is their leg reach which dictates that their feet should comfortably touch the ground.
If this is not possible, then you know the bike will not be useful. So, it is good to see that both bike brands have an adjustable seat that can be lowered or raised as need be to fit your child’s ever-changing body proportions.
If you have a toddler with tall genes, the Schwinn balance bike will work perfectly because the lowest the seat can go is 14 inches from the ground. It then adjusts upwards only 2.5 inches which means it may not serve your child for very long.
With the Strider option, the adjustment range is bigger with the lowest mark being only 12 inches above the ground. Because it goes up to 20 inches long, the bike may serve your short or tall toddlers for much longer up to their 5th birthday.
The Strider bike, which stands at a measly 6.7 pounds, is more ideal for your little one to work with as compared to the 10.5 pounds that are packed into the Schwinn balance bike.
Now, you know that your toddler is not very muscular at these stages of her life so you need a bike that they can handle and control without your help. This not only makes the rides more fun but also fosters a sense of independence in them.
Bike riders come with many falls and this would require your child to constantly pick themselves and the bike up when this happens. For these reasons, a balance bike with the lowest weight is best for their size.
Schwinn bike’s air-filled tires can conquer rougher terrain compared to the Strider bike’s foam tires.
As with most things in life, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The Strider bike, which is lighter in weight than the Schwinn balance bike, features foam tires which are exceptionally great due to their puncture-proof quality.
The drawback of these types of the tire is their less than stellar traction which is only good on smooth concrete surfaces and not for any dirt roads or rough riding.
For the Schwinn balance bike, you can count on the air-filled tires to handle smooth to medium rough terrain with adequate cushioning and traction.
Because of its weight, this bike is more grounded and if ever a puncture occurs, all you need to do is pump some air into it or replace it.
Because both bikes are made of steel, they make for durable frames that can withstand multiple drops and provide a sturdy frame for whatever weight.
The drawback is the possibility of rusting where paint has chipped or as a cause of high humidity in select regions.
Strider’s footrest is narrow and perfect for the 2-year-old compared to the Schwinn’s wide footrest.
Now and again, your child will need a break from all the heavy pushing off they are doing and this is where the footrest comes in.
When it is well designed, like on the Strider bike, the footrest is narrow and positioned to the rear wheel just under the seat.
This not only protects the child from calf grazes but also facilitates easy and safe mounting and dismounting from the bike.
Schwinnâ€™s footrest is a bit too wide for the comfort and safety of younger toddlers.
Schwinn Balance Bike vs Strider: A Comparison Overview
Best suited for toddlers aged 2 to 4 years because of its higher seat reach and wider footrests. It has a supreme build that mimics the BMX style and with its sturdy and heavy-set frame, it is sure to brave out any hard knocks.
The rubber tires are 12-inches in size and they are air-filled to provide formidable cushioning and traction over rougher terrain which gives your child more opportunities to roam and explore.
Using the Schwinn bike, your toddler will be seated higher than other kids his age and you won’t have to worry about their safety or comfort if and when they inevitably venture off the safe platform.
This balance bike by Schwinn can handle some rough cruising over small cobbles or stones.
- Made of steel
- Tires with good traction and cushioning
- Adjustable seat for ages 2-4
- Protruding footrest
This bike caters to a larger pool of kids starting from 18 months up to 5 years. This is possible because of its long height range of seat adjustments available.
It is light in weight which is easier for your child to learn and make mistakes on confidently. Being made of steel, it can withstand falls and the footrest provided adds to the toddler’s safety when getting on and off it.
Tires are puncture-proof so no need to replace them. Another advantage to the Strider is that it features a narrow footrest. This is great for all kids because they can easily get on and off the bike without needing your help.
- Narrow and safe footrest
- Made of tough steel
- Adjustable seat
- Puncture-proof tires
- Limited to smooth surface riding
Verdict: So, which is better – Schwinn Balance Bike or Strider?
The Strider is a better first-bike for your toddler compared to the Schwinn bike. This is because your energetic toddler may want to get on it as soon as he can walk and it is lightweight enough for them to handle on their own which boosts their confidence.
I also love the fact that it will serve your child for many years because of the bigger range of adjustments possible on its seat. Finally, the matter of the Strider being limited to a smooth surface honestly gives me more peace because that’s all the terrain I’m willing to take her out to anyway!
Can I add pedals to my son’s balance bike?
If you believe your son is old enough to ride a pedal bike, it would be better to buy a pedaled bike and remove the pedals until they lock in their balance skills.
Should I buy a balance bike or a tricycle?
It depends on the age of your child. If they are below 4 years, a balance bike is the best option for them because they are much lighter to ride and control.