Depending on your age, things just don’t get any more nostalgic than the Radio Flyer brand. An American classic, just about everyone is familiar with their iconic red wagon. With the company achieving over 100 years of existence (founded in 1918!), I was delighted to get the opportunity to try out their Glide & Go Balance Bike. It has quite a reputation to live up to, so without any further ado let’s find out if it can live up to the name of this illustrious brand.
The shipping weight of the Glide & Go is just under ten pounds, but the actual bike after assembly weighs a little less than seven pounds. This is a little heavier than a balance bike such as the Rally from Vilano, but still very manageable for kids. The bike also has a weight capacity of about fifty pounds, which means it is suitable for kids between the ages of 2 ½ to about five years old.
The bike requires some assembly before your child can use it, but the instructions were crystal clear and I had no trouble at all assembling everything on my own. Just be sure not to over tighten the handle clamp as this might cause the bolt or nut threads to strip. I mention this because I have heard of a few people who applied too much pressure when tightening this clamp and ended up damaging the bike. The minimum insertion mark is clearly shown on the seat post which makes it easy to know how high it can be adjusted. It is also easy to adjust the seat on the fly which is great if you have kids of different ages sharing the bike. The only tools needed to assemble the bike is a wrench and maybe a screwdriver if you want to tighten the bell a little bit.
Considering the price class of the Glide & Go it is not quite in the same league as a Strider when it comes to durability, but overall I’m impressed by what it has to offer. The big draw is obviously the way that this bike looks. It is not only eye-catching but also looks like the kind of bikes that big kids would ride which can be a confidence booster for smaller children. The bike is also very low to the ground which makes it easy for kids to handle. The bike doesn’t have any footrests like on the Strider and some other balance bikes.
The bike has a steel frame, which from the looks of it, is quite sturdy. If you have a very active kid it is always a good idea to invest in something that can withstand a bit of abuse and the Glide & Go definitely fits the bill despite its lower price tag. Radio Flyer uses what they call a “grow-with-me” seat for the bike, which is just a nice way of saying that it is adjustable and your child won’t outgrow the bike as quickly. According to my daughter the seat is very comfortable and she was of course very impressed by the bell. The bell is just one of those extras that doesn’t really add anything to the bike, but it is something that kids will love. Just watch out as sometimes kids actually enjoy ringing the bell more than they do riding the bike!
The Glide & Go features curved handlebars, but doesn’t include any kind of padded protection which might be a concern for some parents. As with most of the balance bikes in this price range the Glide & Go opts for rubber tires instead of pneumatic ones. On the plus side there is no risk that you will ever have to deal with flat tires and the tire actually has a decent tread, so it has a bit more traction than your typical rubber tires.
Pros & Cons
Based on looks alone the Radio Flyer Glide & Go is a winner and the bell alone will be enough to win kids over. It’s priced very competitive and while this means that some components are not going to be as durable or reliable as more expensive balance bikes it is still a great entry level product. Check out the pros and cons below to see what I thought of the bike.
Personally I am a fan of the Radio Flyer brand and their balance bike did not disappoint. With a company that has been in existence as long as Radio Flyer you can usually be sure that their products are worthwhile otherwise they would have been out of business long ago. As long as you are not expecting something on the same level as a Strider the Glide & Go will provide your children with many hours of happy bike riding.