Stacyc electric balance bikes for the young, beginning e-bike or motorcycle riders are the perfect gift idea for the holidays.
First, there were balance bikes, like the Strider. The idea is to get kids comfortable with being able to balance on a two-wheeled moving bicycle that you pushed with your legs, before introducing pedals to the equation. A far better way to start kids off than using training wheels, because training wheels actually take counter-steering to initiate turns out of the equation.
Along came Stacyc with their first electric-powered bikes for small kids. If dad or mom is into motorcycles, these bikes would get kids started early with skills and confidence. When I saw the first one several years ago, I had two thoughts. First, why weren’t these things around when I was a kid?!? I know, I know, the technology wasn’t there.
My second thought was, why is it so expensive? They cost over $700. A balance bike is under $100, and a cordless electric drill is, too. The battery was from a drill, you got two of them, and the charge time and the run time were about the same, so if your kid loves to ride, you can swap and charge and the kid can ride all day long if they have the attention span.
Apparently, it is that expensive to make, as the competitors that inevitably sprang up charged about the same or more. For example, Super73 has the fantastically-named K1D, an electric balance bike aimed at 4-8-year-olds, for $995
As the wheel sizes on Stacyc bikes increase, the price jumps radically. For the 12” wheel bike, it’s $799. Go up to 16”, and it’s $1049, the 18” is $1999, for the new 20” it’s $2599.
For the holidays, Stacyc is offering incentives and price drops:
- 12eDrive is $150 off, at $649
- 16eDrive is $150 off, at $899
- 18eDrive comes with an extra battery ($325 value)
- 18eDrive Launch Edition is $900 off, at $1699
- 20eDrive comes with an extra battery ($325 value)
- 20eDrive Team Edition comes with an extra battery ($325 value)
- 20eDrive Launch Edition is $900 off, at $2199
The larger bikes have larger batteries and motors, and the new 20eDrive bikes can go up to 20 mph, and are aimed at kids from 11-12. Parents can set one of three modes that limit the bike to 10 mph to start, then 15 mph, then 20. This top mode gives me mixed feelings. 20 mph is pretty fast for a 12-year-old. But if you can trust them on that, you could simply get them a class 2 e-bike that fits them, likely for a lot less.
As for the rest of the line, they also have three modes, getting slower as the wheel size decreases. The 12”, for example, goes 5, 7 and 9 mph max. For the younger ones, you can start them off with the battery removed to make it a balance bike until they get more confident moving it around before you add power.
The 20” bikes do offer a Manitou J-Unit Machete suspension fork with 80mm of travel, whereas the other bikes currently have rigid forks.
If you’re a Harley fan, they have their own, H-D-branded line of e-balance bikes, made by Stacyc. The first one they had was the 16” model, called the IRONe. Trust me, the irony of that was not lost on me. They’ve since dropped that moniker from the other bikes, from 12” to 20”. Each wheel size, as in Stacyc’s own line, jumps dramatically in price.
Should You Buy One?
There are a lot of things to consider here. Stacyc has a guide on their site where you can filter by age to see which bike is good for your kid(s) for the holidays. Not all kids are the same size at a given age, but this is a start. The bikes are expensive, but well-built. Keep in mind that your kid will likely outgrow it within a year or two, maybe 3, and each bigger model gets more spendy.
Also consider how the whole family can ride together with the little ones on these bikes, which makes going on rides a lot more fun for everyone. It’s hard to put a price on those experiences.
SOURCE | IMAGES: STACYC
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