Radio Flyer review

The Radio Flyer balance bike carries a name that is well recognized in the United States and Internationally. Therefore, consumers may be quick to choose this one over lesser manufacturers. However, as always we suggest you take a closer look at the feature list to truly make sure this is the right balance bike.

Nevertheless, featuring an attractive price point – between $40 and $65 – the Radio Flyer should satisfy parents who are looking for an affordable but basic choice for their children. If you still aren’t sure about the benefits of balance bikes, then this model might make a nice choice. The Radio Flyer Glide and Go possesses many standard features and arguably offers more value when compared to some of the more expensive options. This model is a steel-framed bike, recommended for ages 2.5 and 5 years old. The seat adjustment ensures that it can grow with your child.

Features


So if you are still interested in what the Radio Flyer has to offer then the following section of our review looks at the main features included.

Steel Frame

The Glide and Go weighs in at 9 pounds. It is heavier than the Strider ST4 (6.5 pounds), but lighter than the KaZam (11 pounds). It may be better to compare this model with the KaZam at this point, since both bikes aim for the older child demographic.

The Glide and Go is suitable for children from ages 2.5 to 5 years old whereas it main competitor (the KaZam) is suitable for the 3 to 6 year old group. As you can imagine being lighter makes the Radio Flyer Glide and Go easier to carry and handle. That being said the it has a maximum weight capacity of 49 pounds whereas the KaZam can handle children up to 75 pounds.

Tires and Wheels

The Glide and Go uses 12” non-inflatable, traction tread tires that are puncture-free. As common with all foam tires, these tires have the least amount of traction on non-paved surfaces (even if they do say their tires are “traction tread”), and they have the least amount of flexibility. As a result, these tires transfer most of the shock during impact, onto the rider.

The Glide and Go’s wheels have 5 spokes which is a change from the conventional metal spokes on many steel-framed bikes. They are also different from the no-spoke wheel design on wooden based bikes. The Glide and Go’s spokes face the same safety concerns that all spoke wheels undergo (i.e. trapped feet, shoe laces, or debris). If needed, the child rider should be taught, or reminded of safety.

Adjustability and Adaptability

The seat height on the Radio Flyer Glide and Go is adjustable. The minimum seat height is 14”, and the maximum is 18”. These height restrictions may make the bike too tall for any child under 2.5 years old. One of the more convenient features of the Glide and Go is the quick release clamp for its seat adjuster. The seat height can easily be adjusted to accommodate the child’s height, without the need for tools.

Aside from the seat height, there is no other feature on the Radio Flyer Glide and Go that will keep it in constant use. Although it does target an older group of children, the mode can be easy to outgrow. Parts-wise, Radio Flyer does not offer the consumer a range of part sizes to accommodate different-sized children. The child is stuck with he standard features.

Accessories

  • Ringing Bell – The Glide and Go comes with a ringing bell that adds a classic touch. Although this may be a tiny addition, it does represent a nice safety feature and add a little more fun for the child while riding.
  • Saddle – The saddle is not made of the best quality. After several uses, some consumers reported cracking, or tear, on the saddle. A replacement is available through the company. A form is required.

Pros

  • Price – The affordable average price of $50 is a good price for a balance bike manufactured by a well-known and trusted manufacturer. The quality is quite good when reading other reviews, and should make for a great starter.
  • Durability – With its steel frame, it can outlast many others in its category. It may not withstand hard impact tricks, but is durable enough for regular use.

Cons

  • Limited Adaptability – There really isn’t anything a rider can do to modify the look of this model. They cannot purchase accessories, or parts, that can tailor the bike to his, or her, specific size or riding needs. The option of changing out the foam tires to air tires would be convenient for some riders. Footrests and brake kits (it lacks both these options) are one of the few things which consumers (particularly parents) want included in their child’s bikes.
  • Not suitable for little riders – For the price of $50, parents of little riders probably wish this bike is suitable for their 18 month child. But, the weight may be too much for the a little toddler to handle. Furthermore, the model is quite tall as well.

This Glide and Go should be commended for its decent price point while keeping a durable and quality design. Most high quality models have a starting point of $100 which is a pretty steep price for a bike that the child will eventually outgrow. Fortunately, the market offers the consumer the Radio Flyer Glide and Go.

As mentioned, it is built with standard features that are common in all models – adjustable seats, tires, etc. More importantly, it accomplishes what a balance bike is meant to do: helps the child acquire the necessary motor skills needed prior to riding a conventional bicycle. Overall, apart from the typical drawbacks that plague them, this model is an excellent choice. Its classic red color with ringing bell, although simple, has a strong aesthetic impact. Your child will be proud to ride this around the neighborhood!


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