First bike: Strider
The strider balance bike was the first one, at a year and a half old. No pedals, no brakes. Very light at 6.48 lbs. It was a great first bike to learn how to coast and balance without any pedals getting in the way. Even after he started riding the next bike, he kept using the balance bike for the local pump track. He rode this one almost until five years old!
Second bike: 12″ Specialized HotRock
When it was time to learn pedaling, we moved up to the 12″ HotRock when he was a bit over 3.5 years old. A big jump in weight to 15.6 lbs. And pedals! This bike comes with training wheels but we never used them since he already knew how to balance from the previous bike.
It only has a coaster brake (pedal backwards) unfortunately. I got some parts online and added a hand brake for the front wheel. It didn’t have much braking power but it served its purpose of getting him used to regular brakes (when he test rode the next bike which has only hand brakes, he was immediately familiar with using them).
Third bike: Cleary Hedgehog 16″
This is one nice bike, a huge step up in quality from the previous ones. This is a kids bike in size only. I’d love to ride it myself if I could fit! He’d been asking for big boy brakes (hand brakes) for a while and the Cleary delivers, for his fifth birthday.
(In comparison, the 16″ Specialized HotRock inexplicably still has a coaster brake and training wheels.. Specialized completely lost the plot in this age segment!)
The Hedgehog is also fairly light, which is very nice as he is starting to ride some of the hilly mountain bike trails nearby. Even though it is a much larger bike than the 12″ one, it is barely over one pound heavier, at 16.8 lbs.