After living in Amsterdam, I can tell you that life is better on a bike. It’s so cool to see your little one master one of life’s joys early on and there’s no better time than now.
Where to start? There are a number of bike options out there, but it’s hard to know what combination is best to get your little one riding. First, I will ask you to measure your child’s inseam, then point you to either of these two sections below with a side by side comparison of the two strongest bike brand contenders in the U.S. — the Woom and Strider.
(1) 12″ bikes if inseam is under <37 cm
(2) 14″ bikes if the inseam is over >37 cm
What is your child’s inseam?
What is inseam? It’s the length from the crotch to the floor. This value will tell you which size model will be the best fit. Take a look at this inseam diagram to double-check and calculate for the best fit.
(As a generalization, considering an average height / your child is about 2 years old, then go for a 12″ bike; and if about 3 years old, go for a 14″ bike.)
(1) 12″ BIKES – inseam is under < 37 cm
|Woom 1||Strider 12″|
|Approx Age||18 months – 3.5 years||18 months to 3 years|
|Inseam||31 to 40 cm||31-43 cm|
|Weight||6.61 lbs||6.5 lbs|
|Seat Height||10 – 14 inches||11 – 16 inches
(Sport model goes to 19″)
|Price / MSRP||$199 + ~$19 shipping||$89.99|
*According to their manufacturer website specs.
Woom is a better quality bike, and that’s reflected in the price. Two great features missing from the Strider would be (1) the hand brake – this is a nice to have, but not must, and (2) steering limiter — this makes sure that it doesn’t over-rotate and keeps the bike going straight. BUT, at this stage, I’d say the main focus is balancing, so both brands can provide that.
DETERMINING FACTOR: COST
Although I like the Woom 1 bike, cost still decides it for me. It’s their first bike, and it won’t be their last. I’ve seen many kids balance so well and really love their Strider. I’d start them on this and then spend the big bucks in Round 2, when they are a bit bigger, around 3 years old. Especially if your kid already has a scooter, who knows if they will be into it just yet. I found my son to be a bit less eager early on since biking required a lot more patience and persistence with balance than a scooter.
The winner for the 12″ bike, aka Round 1, is Strider.
But don’t stop here, see below for the 14″ bike winner.
(2) 14″ BIKES – inseam is over > 37 cm, usually 3yo+
|Woom 2 (14″)||Strider Sport 14″|
|Approx Age||3 – 4.5 years||3 – 6 years|
|Inseam||37 to 43 cm||40-58 cm|
|Weight||11.24 lbs||12.5 lbs (not including pedals!)|
|Seat Height||40 – 48 cm (15.94 – 19.09 in)||38-55 cm (15-22 in.)|
|Price/ MSRP||$359.00 + ~$19 shipping|| $159.99 + ($49.99 pedal kit)
Check Amazon Price now
Ok at this point, it’s not just about being cute on bike anymore, you really want the kid to be riding!
Our Round 2 winner for the 14″ bike is the Woom 2.
(1)Quality features: The Woom 2 is no doubt a higher quality bike. Here are some key features that I like:
(a) Front & rear hand V-brake plus coaster/foot brake. – Once your kid masters the balance part, it is important for them to brake. You want them to learn how to use the hand brakes.
(b) Steering limiter for more safety to prevent overturning the handlebars
(c) Kick stand – not a must, but very nice to have so you’re not fumbling everywhere.
(d) low bottom bracket – The short cranks and a low bottom bracket on the Woom 2 allows your kid to always put their feet on the ground without losing balance.
You can try to justify it by considering the money you saved from the first 12″ Strider bike (about $130) can be put to the quality and features you’ll need in this next bike. Better yet, keep your eyes peeled on Craigslist or FB marketplace and try to get one secondhand. They go fast!
BUT COST IS STILL AN ISSUE
The Woom bikes are still expensive. So if cost is still a major part of your decision, you should know that Strider is still a great reliable bike and plenty of kids learn to ride regardless. Just note, the default Strider 14″ Sport doesn’t come with the pedal kit. You have to buy and install that separately.
*Note: It looks like the Strider bikes have recently gone up on Amazon, perhaps because of the surge of buyers during pandemic. I’ve listed the MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) above, but that price is variable online and certain colors might also be cheaper than others.
In conclusion, for kids under 37 cm inseam, I’d start with the Strider 12″, for kids over 37 cm inseam, go for the Woom 2 ( if cost is not an issue).
For tips on learning to ride, check out How to teach your kid to ride a bike.
Good luck! Would love to hear what worked for you.
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Great article ! Thank you for such a detailed and humble analysis. Exactly what I was looking for. Very pleased to have come across this.
Eat Play Hug
Thanks so much Catherine! Makes me so happy this was helpful to you!