Having already checked out the Ripper model from the same manufacturer, I knew that Vilano is able to make affordable and durable balance bikes. There are a couple of minor difference between the Rally model and the Ripper, so let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
It could just be that I already had experience assembling the Ripper model, but I found the Rally balance bike an absolute breeze to put together. There are some instructions included with the box which might be useful if you have never assembled a balance bike, but everything is relatively straightforward and easy to figure out. Of course, the Vilana website has a couple of videos with step by step instructions to put the bike together, so honestly there should be no reason to struggle with assembling it. Compared to what a struggle it is to attach chains, pedals or training wheels on regular bikes, the Rally balance bike can be assembled in a manner of minutes.
Like the Ripper, the Rally is incredible lightweight and weighs in at a minuscule 5.5 lbs. Parents who have never owned balance bikes before might not know this, but you will probably spend as much time carrying the bike around as your child does riding it, so a lighter weight is definitely a bonus. It is also a safer option as the bike won’t cause any further injuries if a child falls with it. Thanks to its compact size it is also an easy fit for the trunk of a car which is great for parents who have to drive to parks or play areas.
When it comes to features the Rally balance bike has pretty much everything that the Ripper has apart from the slightly different frame. The Rally balance bike does not have the footrest incorporated into its frame like the Ripper does, so if your child enjoys to coast along with their feet on the footrest then this bike won’t be the best option. However, not all children want a balance bike that looks like a bike/scooter hybrid, so the absence of the footrest actually make the Ripper look more like a “proper” bike. Kudos to Vilano for making the handlebars and seat on the Rally balance bike adjustable as many of the cheaper bikes omit this feature.
You can buy the Rally balance bike secure in the knowledge that as your child grows you can adjust the seat and handlebars in order to squeeze a bit more use out of the bike. Because the frame is made from steel it will also last long enough for you to do this. By the time that your child has outgrown this balance bike he or she will more than likely be ready for a pedal bike in any case.
Like the Ripper, the Rally includes padding for the handlebar which is a nice safety feature. Sadly it also includes the molded plastic wheels and foam tires, which can either be a blessing or a curse depending on how your child rides and the area where they do the riding. Since the foam tires provide less traction you will have to keep a close eye on the child if they are riding on wet surfaces and also teach them not to go too fast over bumps or curbs.
If your child likes to take their balance bike “off-road” you will appreciate the fact that you don’t have to keep a puncture repair kit on hand at all times. In the end it is going to come down to personal preferences, but considering the price class of the Rally balance bike I think it would be unfair to expect better tires.
Pros & Cons
Like the Vilano Ripper, the Rally balance bike is a great entry level product that children won’t break easily or outgrow quickly. While it didn’t blow me away in any particular category it offered solid, all-round decent performance. The vivid color schemes available for the bike will be a big hit with kids while the wallet friendly price is a big plus. For a breakdown of what was great and what was lacking about the Rally balance bike check the list below.
Rally Balance Bike Pros
- The steel construction of the handlebars and frame ensures that the bike can withstand regular use without falling apart.
- Both the handlebars can be adjusted to prevent your child from outgrowing this balance bike too quickly.
- The foam tires never requires inflating or puncture repairs.
- The padded handlebars provides extra safety for the child.
- The bike is available at a wallet friendly price.
- Thanks to the lightweight design the bike is safer for small children and easy to carry by adults.
- Its compact frame means it can easily be transported in the trunk of a car.
- This balance bike is easy to assemble.
Rally Balance Bike Cons
- Has the standard foam tire issues such as less traction and inferior cushioning.
- The frame is easy to scratch
When deciding whether to buy this Rally balance bike or the Ripper it is really going to come down to how much your child will appreciate the footrest. Children who love to glide down hills with their feet on the footrest will love the Ripper. Children who want a more traditional looking balance bike will probably appreciate the Rally more. It doesn’t matter which one you choose though as you will be getting value for your money.