Early Rider Balance Bike - Classic Vs Lite
If you're looking for a bike which is environmentally friendly the early rider wooden balance bikes are definitely one to consider.
This article evaluates all the features of the early rider classic balance bike and the early rider lite balance bike and will help you decide if one of these bikes is right for you and your child.
The early rider balance bikes are both made of laminated birch ply. The wood is bonded with marine ply "wbp" glue which is water and boil proof for maximum weather resistance. As with all wooden balance bikes it's not a good idea to leave the early riders out in the rain, but a rain shower will be fine.
Both bikes feature air filled tyres. Air filled tyres offer a more comfortable ride than bikes with solid EVA foam tyres (which you will find on many balance bikes). Air filled tyres offer more traction, so more grip on slippery surfaces, advantageous when it's been raining. They are also much better for riding on terrain other than pavements, so are better on grass, gravel and woodland.
Both bikes also have two steering modes, restricted and unrestricted. The restricted setting supports new riders. Once they have gained confidence and experience they can move to the unrestricted or open setting.
The wheelbase on these bike are quite long which will add to the stability of the bike making it easier to balance and ride.
The classic version of the bike is designed for kids aged from 2 to 4.5 years old.
On the Early Rider Classic there is a 14 inch wheel at the front and a 12 inch wheel at the back. The 14 inch front wheel allows a quicker ride than the lite, however the classic's 12 inch wide rear wheel keeps the seat height low, the centre of gravity low and makes balancing so easy even the very youngest can get on and ride.
The bike weighs 4.5 kilos which isn't the lightest but should be fine for the kids the bike is aimed at to control. It's desirable if the weight of a balance bike is no more than about 1/3 of a child's body weight so this is something to consider.
The minimum seat height on the classic is 31.5cm (12.4 inches) and the highest seat height is 39cm (15.35inches). The reach is 28cm-30.5cm
Early Rider Lite
The smaller version of the balance bike which is aimed at kids from around 20 months to 3.5 years is the early rider lite.
The early rider lite is slightly cheaper, smaller and lighter and designed for younger children but shares many of the features of the classic version.
On the lite version of the bike, the wheels are both 12 inch.
The early rider lite weighs less at just 3.5kg which is very light for younger users.
The minimum seat height is just 29.5cm and 38cm maximum seat height. This is perhaps the only area where the early rider balance bike falls down compared to some of their metal competitors. Like other wooden balance bikes the seat height hasn't got the widest adjustment range. Having said that if you buy the right seat height for your child at a young enough age and height than it should last you for quite a while.
The reach on the lite is 26cm-28.5cm