Nov 24, 2016

Cruzee UltraLite 12" balance bike initial impressions

I was checking at the balance bike range available for my kid who does not have 2 years already, many balance bikes state that are recommended for at least 2 years old kids, but a few advertise that their bikes are intended for kids of at least 18 months. The Cruzee balance bike was one of these models, and also stated that it is the lightest balance bike in the market.

After checking many brands, although the Cruzee was my first option it's not cheap, quality comes at a cost, and the Cruzee looked like it, also many good reviews confirmed my good first impression. Many brands offer similar characteristics but the Cruzee complied with all my requirements and was the cheapest for that.

I was looking for a balance bike with:
  • Good design and color
  • Lowest weight possible
  • 12" wheels
  • EVA wheels
  • Possibility to change seatposts to put a longer one
Two similar models to the Cruzee were the Strider Sport (heavier) or Pro, a quite popular brand especially in the US, comparing prices they were similar but thanks to a Cruzee offer on ChainReactionCycles I decided to get it, especially for the price difference.

It arrived promptly and came in a well advertised package, made with soy. It comes almost ready to ride, just need to assemble the handlebar and the seatpost with a quick release lever.

After checking the bike rigorously I can say that it has the following characteristics:

  • Well build and sturdy but also very light which gives confidence to kids with an age lower than 2 years, also designed in the US.
  • The color is brighter than pics show, it catches your eye and gets the looks of the other kids ;)
  • The package comes with the 2 seatposts included, easy to swap and install.
  • No steering limiter, which I was interested at first, but I read an interesting article saying that those limiters also avoid the handlebar from turning when the kid falls and on most cases hit the chest of the kid with the handlebar end. This I could check as my kid fell many times but the handlebar hits flat on the floor so no possible hit with the handlebar.
  • The wheels have holes as if the wheel can be used with tires and tubes, the wheel is plastic, so I'm not really sure if it's only ornamental, in which case I find it an ugly detail.
  • The tires have a pretty aggressive pattern which gives good grip in all kind of surfaces, I like the EVA wheels over the tires for its low weight and no-maintenance.

It has 2 foot platforms at each side (the chainstays) that more grown up kids will be able to use to coast, but also are the contact points with the floor when the bike falls to the ground. I used the classic old tube trick to cover those contact points to avoid scratches at least in the first uses.

A trick to carry the bike when your kid is tired is to use some kind of strap to carry it crossed as a shoulder bag, due to its low weight is easy to transport but a little bulky.

Really a recommended balance bike to buy! Wait for the long term review!

This post was published first at Put in your basket, 7:54 PM