Strider 12 Sport Review [Balance Bike For Kids]

Strider 12 Sport Review: Price

When I was a kid back in the 1900s, almost everyone rode a bicycle. The bike racks at elementary and middle schools were social centers, and the preferred after-class location for fisticuffs to settle disagreements among boys. Those days are over, and schools no longer have bike racks—kids either walk or are chauffeured to school. Without kids riding bicycles, you don’t have a natural funnel to motorcycle riding. However, that has changed with the invention of the balance bike—something that didn’t exist when I was learning the two-wheel ropes at six years old. In 2024, we have a three-and-a-half-year-old test rider aboard the Strider 12 Sport. She loves it, and I’m jealous. Where was Strider when I was three?

The Strider 12 Sport ($140 MSRP) is designed to accommodate youngsters 18 months to five years old. Ultimate Motorcycling test rider Mia Hodges is the right age, weighs 35 pounds, and is three feet tall—perfect for this Strider 12 Sport.

Strider 12 Sport Review: For Sale

The balance bike is a simple concept. Children sit on the seat, hold the bars, and use their feet in a semi-running motion to push the bike and themselves along. There’s no balance needed to start, though as the rider becomes more confident, feet can come off the ground once the speed is up to a couple of miles per hour, and the balance skill starts getting honed.

As this is a moving vehicle, albeit a slow one, safety is a concern. While I took my bumps, bruises, and scrapes with pride as a kid—okay, I still do—basic protection is a must for 21st-century youngsters.


Strider 12 Sport Review: Safety gear

With that in mind, we outfitted Mia with a Strider Youth Splash helmet ($35), plus armor for her knees and elbows ($20/set). Closed-toe shoes are also a must. So, for the Strider 12 Sport and protective gear, you’re in for less than $200.


Here is what Mia’s mom, Linda Hodges, has to say about the Strider 12 Sport: “It’s such an awesome bike. Mia is more on the petite side, so this bike is the perfect size for her. It’s also very lightweight, so it is easy for her to pick up and start riding. She was a little intimidated at first, but quickly got the hang of using her feet to push the bike along as if she were walking. It wasn’t very long after that she started to feel confident enough to put her feet up and balance on her own. Since then, she has wanted to ride her bike every day. She’s been riding for about four months, and now she’s coasting around trails and ripping down small hills. She loves it!”

When we met up at Arneill Ranch Park in Camarillo, California, Mia wasn’t the only Strider rider there, and she instantly made friends with a boy. He simply rode up on his Strider, they looked at each other, and took off together without a word being spoken—the magic of two wheels and independence.

Strider 12 Sport Review: Kids balance bicycle

Of course, the Strider 12 Sport is just the beginning for Mia. The next step up in the Strider ecosystem is 14X, which can be equipped with pedals when she’s ready. After that, it’s time for a battery-powered Kawasaki Elektrode before graduating to a Honda CRF50F or Yamaha PW50. Mia is off to a great start and has a rewarding life on two wheels to look forward to.

Strider 12 Sport Review Photo Gallery