Nov 9, 2018 by Evan Bailey
New bike day!
It’s always a good day when you get a new bike right?! This was the first bike for our youngest boy Mason who with 2 older brothers tends to get handed down the ragged beat up stuff that his brothers have almost completely worn out. Poor kid.
Mason had been riding the 2012 Weeride balance bike for the last year or so and recently it had been showing its age. The left handlebar grip had disappeared and none of the boys owned up to where it went, rust was starting to form on various bolts, but the biggest was the plastic rim which was cracked. Not only was it cracked but it had a horrible wobble that did not look safe. The plastic tires were also well worn and did not inspire much traction or security. I think we got our 6 years out of the Weeride which I think cost us $29 on sale.
I started shopping around for a replacement. Why a balance bike and not training wheels? From our experience with our kids, we love balance bikes. We have also read and heard from others that it is much easier for a kid to learn how to balance first and then pedal 2nd.
Garrett our oldest ended up moving from balance bike to a bike with training wheels and then riding but Tanner, our middle boy, went straight from balancing to pedaling. He was a little hesitant with the whole pedaling thing but one day he decided to do it and he learned in about 20 minutes! He was 4 years old at the time. So we wanted to stick with the balance bike route.
As usual I am cheap, but also did not want to spend much on this because I wasn’t sure how long he would ride the balance bike until he could move up to Tanner’s Schwinn which was a little bigger and has detachable pedals. I was leaning towards the Strider 12 classic but new they were around $90 which I felt was too much for what we needed. I found some used possibilities on Facebook marketplace for around $50-60 but the people were firm on the price for some reason and didn’t want to negotiate.
My wife then found this Enkeeo 14 - 12” balance bike on Amazon. It didn’t have a ton of reviews at the time but looked halfway decent for $40. The design looked a lot like a Schwinn balance bike I had seen and I figured this was an “inspired” design. Either way we decided to give it a try.
It showed up in typical Prime fashion but had a hole in the side of the box where the axle bolt had popped through. One of the rubber boots that goes around the bolt was missing from the box and I can only assume it was the one that was stuck through the box. Oh, well we will probably lose the others shortly. Other than that everything looked good.
There was some assembly required of course but it was super easy. For this price point I was surprised to find actual rubber tires! Most of the cheap bikes have plastic tires. In addition the bike came with some cool stickers, a bike stand, and a hand pump! Really all this for $40. I was not expecting those things even if they were very cheap feeling.
In addition to those items it has a cute bell that mounts on the handlebars and it comes with a handbrake! The rear seat has a handle built in on the back which can be useful for carrying the thing and also holding on to it as you help your kid balance. The bike has a built in step platform which our last balance bike lacked and I think it is a nice feature.
I put it all together and then hid it in the garage until Mason’s 3rd birthday. His eyes lit up when he saw it and started riding it right away inside the house all proud. His brothers thought that the bike looked pretty sweet and liked the stickers I choose from the included sticker assortment (girl themed stickers are also included).
Overall, we are loving the Enkeeo despite the odd name. There are a ton of options out there on the balance bike market and you can’t really go too wrong but if price and features are important to you, the Enkeeo is currently tough to beat. As the sticker I choose to put on the headtube states: “Power, speed, Enkeeo” Looking forward to lots of rides and smiles :-) See the link to buy on Amazon below and also check out our compilation video!