The Metro Mini Cruiser Balance Bike from Metro Fulfillment House is one of the balance bikes on the market that resembles a “big kid” bike with its metal frame and spoked wheels. The Metro Mini Cruiser is not a very well-known brand, but it comes with an attractive price tag and it professes to be suitable for children from the age of two all the way up to six years of age. It looks like a very sturdy bike, but looks can be deceiving, which is why we just had to test it out.
When the Metro Mini Cruiser arrived, from picking up the box it was immediately clear that this was not going to be a heavy-weight bike. Weighing in at 9.25 lbs, this bike is made from a lightweight hi tensile steel, making it easy for toddlers and preschoolers to control. Not to mention making things easier for parents who may end up carrying a kid on the hip and a bike under the arm on the odd occasion.
The bike arrived partially assembled, so putting it together was easy enough, I had a quick look at the pictures (not too fond of reading instructions) and had it ready to roll in no time. The one we tested was a bright royal blue, but apparently they also come in orange, green, red and purple. My son insisted that he had to test the bike out first because it was clearly meant for “big kids.” Although the bike is advertised for kids from 2 years and up, I had to agree with my son on this one. The lowest seat height setting starts at 14 inches, and with an inseam of 12.7 there was no way my 2 year old daughter was going to fit on this bike. I also know plenty of three year olds who are just about an inch taller than her, so I would rather recommend the Metro Mini Cruiser to kids from 3.5 and up. On the “up”-side, the seat does go all the way up to 18 inches, allowing it to grow with the kid for longer than many other balance bikes that tend to stop around 16 inches.
Another thing that makes me hesitant to give this bike to a younger kid is the hand brake. Although this may come in handy for a kid who doesn’t have any tread left on his shoes from riding his bike, a handbrake is unnecessary for kids between two and three. In many cases this extra feature just downright confuses them.
Time To Test Drive
My son had a lot of fun testing the Metro Mini Cruiser balance bike. Once he got onto the bike he was off, riding it up and down the paths in the park with great confidence. I did notice a couple of puzzled looks from people who expected to see pedals on the bike. The hand brake was a first for my son, but he had it figured out pretty quickly and from there on had great fun getting it up to speed, just to do an “emergency brake” as he called it. He did complain about the lack of footrests, as this would really have allowed him to cruise.
According to my son, this is a really comfortable bike. The wheels have pneumatic air tires with a wide profile, so when my son went off road for the heck of it they still cushioned the bumps well and the deeper tread kept him from skidding out. My son may like the look of the spoked wheels, but I am a bit concerned for younger children, whose feet may get caught in the spokes.
After our “test drive” the Metro Mini balance bike still looked unscathed. The only weakness I could identify when it comes to durability is the padded, leatherette seat, which adds to the comfort of the ride but may start tearing after a couple of years. But for the rest I think this is a pretty durable bike.
Pros & Cons
Metro Mini Cruiser Bike Pros
- Suitable for kids up to 6 years of age
- Pneumatic air tires make the ride more comfortable
- Very durable construction
- Hand brake prepares kids for using brakes on a pedalled bike
- Lightweight design makes the bike easy for a small child to handle
Metro Mini Cruiser Bike Cons
- Seat a bit high for younger kids
- Hand brake confuses younger kids
- Air tires are sensitive to flats
- No footrests
- Leatherette seat may crack and tear over time
For the price, the Metro Mini Cruiser Balance Bike is quite a decent deal, but not for a young toddler under three years of age. If you have an older kid who needs to practice balance and steering before moving over to a pedalled bike, the Metro Mini Cruiser will do just fine.