The most important concerns when it comes to balance bikes are safety and comfort, but obviously the overall look of the bike is also an issue. It is no use buying a bike if your child doesn’t like how it looks. With the Glide Bikes Mini Glider Balance Bike you won’t have to worry about this, as it is one of the sleekest looking balance bikes on the market. Thankfully the safety and comfort of the bike are also pretty good so let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer.
The Mini Glider is another balance bike that surprised me when it arrived with how light the package was. With a weight of only 8 lbs there are no concerns that your child won’t be able to handle this bike. I have seen smaller children struggle while trying to turn their balance bikes around or when pushing them uphill, so the lighter weight definitely helps a lot. I was afraid that the bike would require a lot of assembly as it has a different design than most balance bikes, but once again I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box.
Literally all I had to do was insert and tighten the handlebars using the tool included in the box and then adjust the seat. I only had to turn one bolt to adjust the height of the seat, which is very convenient. If you do run into any trouble, the customer service number is listed in the instruction manual and I can attest that the people manning the lines are very friendly and helpful. I also contacted the manufacturer through their website with a quick inquiry and got a prompt reply.
The Glide Bikes Mini Glider Balance Bike actually sports quite a couple of features that you won’t find on many other brands. The first thing that I like about it is the design of the frame. The middle bar is curved a lot lower than similar balance bikes, which not only makes it easier to mount the bike, but also reduces the risk of groin injuries if your child does lose his balance and falls forward. The low center of gravity improves the stability of the bike and the design is based on downhill mountain bike geometry which shows the attention to detail. The Mini Glider also features foot pegs, which is still a rarity on balance bikes. My daughter is used to the balance bikes without the foot pegs so it took her a while to get used to them, but once she did, she really liked this feature. In my opinion the foot pegs make the riding more comfortable and will certainly help when it comes transitioning the child to a pedaled bike. The foot pegs are large enough that your child will be able to comfortably rest their feet while riding.
The second feature found on the Mini Glider is the brakes, which is once again not something that I have seen on many balance bikes. Initially I was a bit wary of the brakes as I was concerned that my daughter would crash when using them and coming to an abrupt stop. My fears were unfounded though, as the brakes actually just slow down the speed of the bike instead of suddenly stopping it. It is another feature that my daughter was not used to, but once she figured it out she used it to control her speed when going down steeper hills. It boosted her confidence and I think these skills will come in handy on larger, pedaled bikes. I know a lot of parents are concerned about brakes on balance bikes as they feel that children shouldn’t ride the bikes at high speeds
The wheels on the Mini Glider are not inflatable and while I usually prefer the pneumatic tires, this bike is so light that it doesn’t really make a difference. The tires are sturdy and from what I have observed there is no problem with traction either. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about punctures or inflating the tires all the time.
Pros & Cons
I have seen cheaper balance bikes than the Min Glider, but not with as many features. Of course, the features are only useful if your child is actually going to benefit from them. Some children are confused by the foot pegs and brakes while others love these features, so once again it is going to come down to what your child prefers. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of this bike to see where it fits in compared to the competition.
Mini Glider Pros
- Light weight, but sturdy frame with a low center of gravity for better balance
- Easy to assemble and manufacturer provides excellent customer care
- Foot pegs provide better comfort
- Brakes to help slow the bike down and prepare child for bigger bikes with brakes
- Adjustable seat
Mini Glider Cons
- Foot pegs can get in the way if child is not used to them
- Brakes are of limited use to younger kids who don’t go very fast
- Tires not as shock absorbent as inflatable tires
The Glide Bikes Mini Glider Balance Bike offers plenty of features, but it is up to you to decide whether they will be useful for your child. I like the fact that the bike teaches children how to use brakes and how to place their feet on the pegs while coasting which are essential skills for when they finally make the leap to pedaled bikes. On the other hand, these things could also potentially confuse or intimidate younger riders who want a straightforward balance bike. The price is quite reasonable and the bike is durable enough that you can pass it along to younger siblings when your child outgrows it. Overall the Mini Glider is a solid bike that will put a smile on the face of any child who receives it as a present.