Baby and children products manufacturer – Smart Gear Toys is now a part of the balance bike competition. Their goal is to protect environment, and produce eco-friendly and innovative bikes for toddlers and up. They maintain high standards in their production and comply with the safety rules and regulations set out in the United States and Europe. One of their models called the Classic balance bike is made of renewable wooden construction and non-toxic materials.
They entered the market with their own line called Smart Balance Bikes, including designs such as Bubbleicious, Chopper, Skyrider, Flame, Floral Hearts, Spring Fever and Classic. Their line is the least expensive option, but may also be the least durable compared to their competitors. Their Classic Balance bike helps the child learn balance and develop coordination skills before moving to a pedalled bike.
Just like Little nation balance bike company Smart Gear has an eco-friendly motto. Their Classic Balance Bike is made of renewable and safe sources – birch wood, non-toxic paint, and formaldehyde glue. Even the packaging is made from recycled paper, and the printing is from water-based ink. The birch wood makes the frame lightweight.
The company pro-actively tests their products to make sure they comply with safety regulations, and that they can’t cause any serious injuries. The design of the Classic complies with all safety regulations as well.
This bike has a limited radius steering wheel, which basically prevents a child from turning the handle too far left or right and prevents the falling.
Many bikes have a footrest as a super feature, but many bike manufacturers consider it as a possible safety-hazard. These get in the way of the child’s space when riding and cause injuries and scratches. The Classic bike is not equipped with it and eliminates possible injuries.
The use of non-toxic materials, such as non-toxic paints and lacquer, and formaldehyde glue make sure not to expose children to dangerous chemicals.
The Classis is equipped with a unique carry handle, which allows the child or parent to handle the bike easily and assist their child while riding.
The tires are spoke-less and enable easy riding without having to worry about getting caught in the wheel.
The spoke-less, air rubber tires provide cushion for the rider, which is not the case with foam tires. These come with long fill valves for easy and secure air pumping.
They are also suitable for both paved and non-paved surfaces.
Adjustability or Adaptability
The seat height on this bike is adjustable and it ranges between 11 and 17’’. This means that this bike accommodates the physical changes of your child as they grow. But apart from this, there are no further modifications of the bike. The bike is not equipped with footrests, brakes, wider seats and other parts that can be useful when the child outgrows its standard features. The company doesn’t offer the ability of buying additional accessories or parts. Finally, this bike is not ideal for children with more riding experience or adventurous children who like to perform tricks on bikes.
The company’s goal was to create an eco-friendly design of the bike. The materials used are renewable birch wood and non-toxic paints and lacquer.
Safe-Conscious – the bike is not equipped with a footrest which is a safety concern, it has a limited radius of the steering wheel, preventing jack- knifing, and the wheels are spoke-less – they prevent the child’s leg from getting trapped.
Lightweight – The bike is very light and easy for children to handle and carry around.
Price – it offers a good quality riding experience for the price compared to some of its competitors
Lack of adjustability or adaptability – this is the type of bike children quickly outgrow. Although the goal of this bike is to assist children in the learning process and help them develop balance and coordination skills, it would also be nice to have it until the child grows up. It does accommodate their physical changes, but not their riding experience. This bike doesn’t accommodate more adventurous and experienced riders. They will quickly outgrow this bike since they won’t be able to perform tricks on it. An ability of purchasing additional accessories would be nice.
Durability – although eco-friendly, the materials used are the drawback of this bike. The birch wood used is not very durable. Since it’s not marine grade wood, it’s not waterproof and can’t withstand weather elements. Also, the paint, although non-toxic fades after some time. The exposed bolts can rust as well. This bike has to be maintained properly if you wish to use it longer.
Overall, the Smart Gear Classic Balance Bike is an excellent and affordable balance bike option. It should be commended for its decent price point, quality and durability. It has an eco-friendly, birch wood frame and decent quality –most such balance bikes have a starting point of $100, which is a pretty high price for a bike that the child will eventually outgrow. But fortunately there is the Smart Gear Classic as an affordable option amongst the other balance bikes in the market. It’s not fancy, but it serves its goal of helping the child transition into a pedalled bike. The Smart Gear Classic may not be the ideal choice for parents who are looking for passing this bike to another child, unless they take extra effort to maintain it.