The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Glide Bike Review by Marisa CorlessGlide Bikes, Inc.
3123 Dever Court
Wilmington, NC 28411
The Glide Bike is a cross between a two-wheel bike and a scooter. There are no pedals to pedal, so the child simply sits on the seat, pushes off on the ground, and then brings his feet to rest on the footrest. There is a handle brake on one handle as well. The Glide Bike comes in several sizes, but we were privileged to review the Mini Bike. The idea is to teach a child to balance on the two wheels without needing to concentrate on pedaling too. The larger bikes are also appropriate for special needs children who may not have the dexterity to pedal but want to ride a bike too.
The packaging for the Glide Bike is ingenious, as you use the packaging in the process of putting together the bike. It comes with an irregular-shaped tool that is the wrench for all the nuts and bolts in the bike. It also came with an instruction booklet. The only additional tool you need to put this bike together is problem-solving thinking abilities. While the instructions were 11 pages long with lots of pictures, there were many errors and a few steps missed. Some of these errors included recommending the wrong size wrench part or not mentioning or showing a pad that needs to be moved to access a nut. Some of the pictures were a little dark and difficult to follow. Despite these problems with the assembly instructions, the bike was quite sturdy once it was put together
The bike also has several special features. For example, most bikes have a brake cord that wraps down the frame and around to the wheels. This cord could get caught on something, especially if a small child is riding the bike. The Glide Bike runs the brake cord through the frame of the bike so that there is no wire to get caught. Another nice feature is the wide tires, which make balancing easier. The entire bike weighs only 8 pounds--perfect for a small child to maneuver. Other special features, according to the manufacturer, include lead-free paint, foot pegs, low center of gravity to assist balancing, kickstand, and EVA foam tires so air is never needed. Poor instructions aside, I really like this bike, as does my four-year-old. She feels so grown up getting to ride a two-wheel bike like her older brother. Now if only I could keep her older brother off it! He wishes he had one too.
Product review by Marisa Corless, MH, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2011
In the three and a half months since I submitted my review of the Glide Bike, I have become even more impressed with its effectiveness as a tool for teaching a child to ride a bike with ease. Before submitting my review, I had had the Glide Bike for a couple of months, now, six months after starting to use the Glide Bike, and a few days after her fifth birthday, my daughter learned to ride a bike without any difficulty. This is a full two years before my other children learned to ride a bike with some trepidation and fear of becoming unbalanced. While my daughter used the Glide Bike throughout the winter, she really began to use it several times a week in the last three months. I noticed that she had figured out how to zip around sharp curves and up and down the driveway, even weaving around obstacles on the glide bike, so I asked if she wanted to give her sister’s bike a try. She happily decided to try it out. As soon as I had her pedaling, she literally rode away from me. She looked back and noticed I was not holding on to her any more. For a split second she was scared and began to wobble. I reminded her that she was doing it all by herself and she giggled and rode off as she nearly effortlessly got the bike back under control and balanced. Even as she was wobbling, she didn’t have the out-of-control –new-rider wobble, it was more a lapse of remembering to keep going in the direction she wants to go wobble. When her father came home, he commented how slowly and calmly she was riding. She looked like she had been riding a bike for years. I am completely amazed at how well the glide bike prepared my daughter to ride a two-wheel bike. Training wheels only lets the child play with the bike but they don’t really do any “training.” After watching how well the Glide Bike prepared my daughter for riding a bike, I will happily be saving this glide bike for my next child. I liked this bike before, but now that I have seen the full success, I love it and highly recommend it.