Glide Bikes Mini Glider Balance Bike Review

Pro Reviews

CONCLUSIONS

Comparing the learning curves of my two daughters I can definitely vouch for the balance bike approach for a faster and more effective experience.

The PV Mini Glider comes with a lot of safety features and attention to details, to enable the best and fastest learning experience.

Compared to similar products it offers the foot rest, an adjustable rear brake, fully adjustable seat and handlebar and a comfortable seat. Wooden bikes are more limited in terms of adjustments and usually have no brakes, while retailing around the same price.

Its light weight makes it very friendly even to smaller toddlers, down to 2 years old and is the main advantage compared to regular 12″ bikes that can weigh as much as twice.

SIMILAR PRODUCTS & WHERE TO BUY

The Mini Glider can be purchased directly from PV-Glider web site for $99

Specialized Hotwalk retails for $159, light aluminum frame, but no brakes or foot rest.

Skoot wooden balance bike retails for $89, directly from Skoot Web site

Strider Kids Running Bike Retails for $98, aluminum frame, no brakes, optional foot rest

Photos:


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  • morris martini says:

    Great idea and will look at them when the time comes. Why include photos of a young rider NOT wearing a helmet? Everyone needs to promote safety whenever possible.

  • francois says:

    We got to try the small Mini Glider. It seems very stable because of the slack angles. Also the light weight of under 9 lbs. makes it very easy for a small child to handle and control it.

  • Jeff says:

    I bought the Strider for my 4 year old. I was holding off because of the price. That was a mistake. He really took to the “bike” and after 2 weeks he said he wanted to ride without training wheels on his other bike. BAM, off like a shot. He didn’t even fall once which is a huge contrast to before the Strider. He couldn’t make it 10 feet. My only regret is I didn’t buy it earlier.

  • Rolled Meat says:

    I bought my son a Strider bike for his 1st birthday. He’s 20 months old now and is finally getting the hang of sitting on the seat and pushing. For the first 7 months, he just walked and held on to the handlebars. He can go pretty quickly now if he wants to. We’re still far off from getting him a pedal bike but I’d say the Strider was a good investment. If for no other reason, he really likes using it, especially when he sees me on my bike, which is bright orange, just like his.

    With the Strider, he can rest his feet on the chain stays. Strider stuck some grip tape on there for that purpose. There is no foot rest like on the bike reviewed. Also, there’s an optional foot brake but I didn’t order that. Not too many hills around here so he might not need it.

  • Jared says:

    Why not just pull the cranks off your child’s traditional bike?

  • Bowlander says:

    Agree with Jared, my daughter learned to balance by taking the pedals off of her specialized hot rock. She also rode it with training wheels (with pedals). Once the training wheels were worn out we just took them off. She was riding without training wheels at 4 yrs old. The one thing I learned about kids bikes is to get a real bike not a Kmart bike. The little specialized has held up to some serious abuse.

  • Uli says:

    We bought our 2 1/2 year old a Strider at the 2008 Sea Otter and he is already flying on it. The only downside of our strider: The “headset” is made from cheap plastic and steering is really sticky. This makes it harder to balance the bike. I asked the Strider folks about this at the Sea Otter and they told me it would wear in but it never did. In general I highly recommend these balancing bikes.

  • capitalist says:

    @ Jared & Bowlander:

    Good point, but why crap on someone’s attempt to offer a product that helps people not into wrenching their kids bike?

  • Phil says:

    Jared: Pedal bikes have a higher seat height than most balance bikes and much lighter. If you are talking about an older child (4+) then you are absolutely correct. But a Strider, for example, has an 11 inch seat height so most 2-year olds can use them with their feet firmly on the ground AND can easily handle the weight.

    I don’t like the quality of the Stider and think the price is about double what it should be, but overall it seems like the best design for getting kids on a bike as soon as possible. Light and short. I have not found a good-quality balance bike (Kinderbike, HotWalk, Likeabike, etc) with a similar seat height. Even an inch can mean a difference of many months before your little one can ride it, so measure that inseam and look around before you buy!

  • Phil says:

    Sorry, I think my post screwed up. I meant to say pedal bikes are usually much heavier, even without the drivetrain. Often twice as heavy, although sometimes only a pound or two.

  • John C says:

    For a top quality balance bike, take a look at the Norco offerings; really well made, durable and works wonders with your kids. The Norco balance bike has the same quality as their regular bikes

  • blair says:

    We started with a wooden Skuut which was nice but was worn out quickly. The seat had thin padding. We went full-on with balance bike #2 the Like-a Bike \Jumper\. This thing has functional rear suspension, aluminum frame and a great seat. We are reluctant to go to a pedal bike for trails beacause our son has so much fun on it. It only weighs 6 lbs!

  • Phil says:

    A few corrections need to be made on the “similar products” section of the review. It is Skuut, not Skoot, and the Strider has a steel frame, foot rests on the “chain stays”, and a foot brake is optional.

  • EddyKilowatt says:

    These look like a great idea, wish they were around 10 years ago when my kid learned. (Wasn’t a big ordeal anyway.)

    Glad to see they’ve sprouted little handbrakes; the first wave of these onto the market seemed to have no brakes and that didn’t seem like a good idea at all… very easy for a kid to accidentally head down a hill that was steeper than he thought, freak out, freeze up, and…

    These seem like a pretty limited-life investment in the sense that in 2 weeks the kid will be balancing confidently and will be ready for a real bike. Maybe bike shops should consider having rental/loaner models. One month free with purchase of kid’s bike! Just a little something extra to get traffic in the door (if you can afford the insurance that is.)

  • trendyMommy says:

    We bought our son a Strider this summer and he LOVES it! best purchase of the year. We’re form canada and we had to purchase in the US, but now you can buy in Canada at http://www.stridersports.ca and click on dealer to find a dealer near you.

  • Brian says:

    Phil: Why do you say the Strider is better than the Hotwalk, Kinderbike, or Likebike? I’ve heard great things about the build quality of the Hotwalk in particular.

  • ozisnipe says:

    why all the strider bike comments – this review is clearly not about strider bikes but Glider bikes- okay let’s settle on the generic term balance bike or we’ll end up with the same probs we had with rollerblades versus inline skates.

  • Scott says:

    Absolutely the best glider bike on the market! Foot pegs are great. Helped our 3 yr old develop great balance, control, and confidence after about 5 weeks of riding. Hand brake is perfect for teaching how the big kids stop their bikes. Highly recommend the Mini Glider.

  • Grubs says:

    Every one keeps talking about the Strider but is this review about the mini glider??

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