FirstBike Balance Bike Review + Giveaway

Our celebration continues! If you missed it, be sure to go back and read our reasoning on WHY bikes are so important to us and why we think they should be important for you too. In case you missed it, there’s also currently a giveaway happening for a Woom Kids’ Bike AND helmets for a full family from Lazer Sport too!

FirstBike Balance Bike Review + Giveaway

FirstBike makes a whole line-up of balance bikes for kids aged ~18 months – 3 years. Their frame is a unique composite material that is virtually unbreakable AND has no sharp edges, which is great for younger kids.

P has been riding a pedal bike for a long time now, but at least a few times a week, he pulls out a balance bike to ride on. He likes the fact that they are fun and comfortable to ride – and it’s always good to mix it up a bit! Since he is on the smaller side for his age (just now growing out of 3T pants), he’s a great tester for our family for balance bikes. Plus, he loves to go off jumps and “do tricks” which allows us to challenge the bike just a little bit.

 

About FirstBike:

“Ralf Coerschulte, an avid German cyclist, product designer, and father, developed FirstBIKE with one goal: to build the best balance bike for younger children, allowing them to learn to ride a bike intuitively and without stress.”

After years of fine-tuning and testing, FirstBike bikes stand out as what they claim as THE safest balance bikes on the market. Their all-plastic frame means they are extremely long-lasting and easily function in a smooth motion for the rider.

 

What makes the FirstBike Balance bike so SAFE:

  • Composite frame and recessed bolts means there are no sharp points to fall on (because eventually everyone DOES fall)
  • Steering limiter keeps kids at a safe angle and makes it impossible to over-correct
  • Composite frame also means super durable AND easy to store and clean (no need to worry about rusting)
  • Frame and Fork lifetime guarantee
  • Easy to adjust the seat with the turn of a dial to keep it at the right height no matter what your child needs
  • The handbrake is adjustable and “soft and gentle” for little hands – the rear drum SafetyStop break also means they stop gradually
  • Safety grip on the handlebars to keep hands from sliding off the ends
  • Sealed bearings
  • The U-shaped gel seat keeps little bums from slipping off AND slightly “hugs” them to keep them feeling safe and secure

 

The FirstBike Cross has quite possible the easiest-to-use handbrake on a balance bike we have seen and tested. It responds well, is small enough for little hands AND is adjustable. We believe strongly that kids should be exposed to a hand brake from early on, so this is a big perk for us. It also rolls extremely well (better than any other balance bike we have used) and has perfect geometry to keep little ones in a comfortable and upright position. P also loves how lightweight it is – he can easily pick it up to go over obstacles as he wishes.

FirstBike Balance Bike Review + Giveaway

FirstBike Balance Bike Review + Giveaway

The composite frame is super durable and flexes to allow for absorbtion of bumps and more comfort for the rider. However, it does have limitations. Because of that flex in the frame, the bike isn’t suitable for kids over ~3 years old and ~40 pounds. J rode it (aged 6, 50 pounds) and commented immediately about how “it doesn’t steer straight”. While it certainly won’t break, that flexing means a very wobbly ride that, like he said, is difficult to keep going in a straight line.

 

The Accessories:

Helmet:

You really can’t look at these photos without noticing the helmet. P gets more comments on that helmet than anything else – with good reason! Mr. Shark Attack is definitely an attention-getter. It is one of the 9 designs of Crazy Safety helmets, available through FirstBike. While in general I tend to avoid “cutesy” helmets and bikes, I knew P in particular would be interested in wearing it. I quickly found that J was wishing he had one too.

FirstBike Balance Bike Review + Giveaway

The helmets are a perfect way to get a kiddo who is a hard sell on wearing a helmet to get one on their head. At only$30, these helmets are a good price-point, look cool AND keep little heads protected.

The only big gripe I have about them is that initially the set-up is a bit tricky with the chin cup (but the teeth are SO cool). The first few days P wore it, I felt like I was constantly adjusting to try to get it right. Sharing it back and forth with his brother was out of the question because I didn’t want to deal with the adjustments back and forth. While the extra straps do tuck in, they tend to come lose and hang more than we’d like too. He is picky about anything over his ears and so getting it small enough AND fitting the chin cup in was very tricky. Small adjustments as we go!

What we like about it:

  • Great design
  • The “pop out” parts are soft
  • It’s lightweight
  • There is a dialed size adjuster that has a 3-mode LED light for safety in less-than-idea light
  • Fits well and stay on

What we aren’t so crazy about:

  • The chin cup can be a pain to get in the right place and adjusted well
  • I wish they covered the forehead just a bit more (though the back of the head is covered very well – and that’s even more crucial!)

 

Bell:

Every bike needs a bell (especially for new riders that need a little incentive.) At $8.99 and tons of neat designs, they’re a no-brainer add-on.

 

FirstBike Balance Bike Review + Giveaway

Basket:

I am pretty sure the basket is P’s favorite part. I was a bit surprised that the installation was just hanging it with zip-ties, but I appreciate the simplicity of it. The basket is tough and I suspect the zip ties will fail before the basket.

 

Bottom Line on the Bike

Available in 5 different tire styles (Basic, Street, Cross, Racing and Limited) and a variety of colors, the FirstBike is an excellent bike for toddlers and young preschoolers.

What we love:

  • Very lightweight
  • Bike absorbs uneven terrain well
  • Easy to assemble
  • Hand brake (for teaching kids to use it from a young age)
  • Lowering kit available (which allows ~18 month old to ride)
  • Accessories are fun and durable

 

What we aren’t so crazy about:

  • This is truly a toddler bike. Kids over ~40 pounds are too much for this bike and it flexes (though won’t break) and makes it hard to steer.

A quick demo!


FirstBike Balance Bike Review + Giveaway

 

National Bike Month Giveaway!

FirstBike wants to give one of YOU a whole bike set-up! One of you will win the following:

  • Bike of choice
  • Bell
  • Crazy Safety Helmet
  • Basket
  • (If Needed) Lowering Kit

Cool, right?!?! Good luck!

As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help!  This giveaway is open to the U.S. only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

FirstBike generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.  You can find my full disclosure here.  

© 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Hike 2015 – Join us!

Hike 2015

What is Hike 2015?

Hike 2015 is a 9-week hiking event designed to motivate and inspire all of us to get outside and get hiking!

The event starts on May 31, 2015 and is hosted by us here at Tales of a Mountain Mama and the community at Hike Like a Woman. Every Monday evening we’ll post a surprise challenge hike for the next week.

Complete the challenge hike during the week, share your photo and you’ll be entered to win cool prizes.

You can participate in just 1 challenge or all 9 challenges, the point is just to get out there, get hiking and have fun!

How do I participate?

It’s easy to participate in Hike 2015 and it’s absolutely FREE.

If you’re a facebook fan, head on over to Hike Like A Woman or Tales of a Mountain Mama and share your photo on either wall or both if you want.

If you’re an instagram fan, head on over to @hikelikeawoman or @mtnmamatales follow one or both of us, tag us and share your photo using the hashtag #hike2015

If you’re on twitter, head on over to @hikelikeawoman or @mtnmamatales follow one or both of us tag us (or both of us, of course) and share your photo using the hashtag #hike2015

(p.s. don’t forget to tag us on twitter and instagram so it’s easier to find your photos)

If you aren’t on social media but still want a chance to participate just shoot either one of us an email with your photo submission. The only thing we ask is for your permission to use your photo on our websites &/or social media sites.

Here’s our contact information:

Rebecca: rebecca (at) justtrails (dot) com -or- Amelia: mountainmamatales (at) gmail (dot) com

Each Monday Amelia and I will compile photos select one winner, the person who inspired us the most on the challenge the week prior. We’ll notify the winner and ship out prizes promptly.

Why should I participate?

Because it’s fun to play outside, share your adventures and have a chance at winning some cool prizes too! We’ve got some awesome sponsors lined up for this event.

What are the challenges?

We want the weekly challenges to be a surprise but here’s an idea of a few that you can expect: Take a hike with a friend, hike with a garbage bag and pick up any trash you see along the way, and hike a trail that is “new to you”…

Trust me, the challenge hikes are going to be a lot of fun!

Hey Amelia, will you be participating?

Of course! But I won’t be winning any swag. That’s for you all!

Can my husband, son, brother, grandpa, male hiker friend participate? What about my kids?

Absolutely! We aren’t going to discriminate against gender, age, political affiliation or favorite ice cream flavor. Most of our prizes will be gender neutral.

What kind of swag can I win?

Check out our awesome sponsor list below. The list is growing daily!  If you’re an outdoor company who would like to sponsor the challenge by donating a prize shoot me or Amelia an email.

 

Who is sponsoring this challenge?

Sponsorships are rolling in!

A HUGE, HUGE, HUGE thank you to the following sponsors for providing prizes:

© 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Family Bike Helmet Giveaway from Lazer Sport

Our celebration continues! If you missed it, be sure to go back and read our reasoning on WHY bikes are so important to us and why we think they should be important for you too. In case you missed it, there’s also currently a giveaway happening for a Woom Kids’ Bike too!

Bikes and helmets go hand in hand. We never EVER let our kids ride bikes without helmets. They don’t EVER let us ride without helmets either. They also tend to point out every rider they see not wearing a helmet too. I guess we’ve taught them well….. Either way, helmets are not optional in our family (and everyone is ok with that!)

Today we are thrilled to offer the opportunity for one family (2 adults and 2 kids) to be completely outfitted in new helmets. As all our giveaways, we’re hoping this goes to a family that either needs them all-together, or needs a serious upgrade!

We will be giving away two of the following to one family (4 helmets total):

  • Cyclone helmet (for men and women): Lazer Sport’s do-it-all helmet, this is one that works for almost everyone (so perfect for our giveaway!) Available in sizes S, M and L and 6 different colors.Family Bike Helmet Giveaway from Lazer Sport
  • Beam Jr. helmet (for kids – 55-59 cm): Another unisex helmet (though available in different colors and patterns), this fits most youth ages ~5+Family Bike Helmet Giveaway from Lazer Sport

Over the past few weeks, J (age 6) has been wearing and testing out the Beam Jr. helmet. Like many of Lazer Sport’s helmets, it uses their Autofit system. In general, we really like the system, because it means a great fit every time. However, we are more careful with the Lazer helmets to be sure the chin strap is fitting correctly too (though really we are doing this with any helmet). This video tells a little more about their Autofit system:

A great test for a good fit means the helmet isn’t wiggling around if you shake your head. We test often and Lazer passes every time. You can see our previous review of other Lazer Sport kids’ models here.

Family Bike Helmet Giveaway from Lazer Sport

Family Bike Helmet Giveaway from Lazer Sport

Lazer Sport

Win Helmets for your Family!

Today one family will win 2 helmets (2 adult sized, 2 kid sized) in winner’s choice of sizes and colors, depending on availability.

As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help!  This giveaway is open to the U.S. only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

© 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

O.F.F. Roscoe Pants

O.F.F. Roscoe Pants

O.F.F. = Outdoor Fashion Friday.  Our (almost) weekly segment featuring our favorite styles for the season. Everything I share are pieces that can be worn all day long and stand up to the “use and abuse” of serious adventures. As a family, we appreciate clothing that is worth our hard-earned money. It’s what we wear […]

e-WOOM_Square_250x250_150127

WOOM Bike Giveaway!

Our celebration continues! If you missed it, be sure to go back and read our reasoning on WHY bikes are so important to us and why we think they should be important for you too. I am so excited for today’s giveaway.  Woom bikes are the first lightweight bikes our kids have been on and […]

WOOM 4 Supra Review

Every Kid Should Learn to Bike – May is Bike Month!

May is Bike Month! Every able-bodied kid should learn how to bike. Every single one. As a society we sort of take biking for granted – we assume that by the time a child is at least 10 or so, they know how to ride and can do so safely and efficiently. But, that’s not […]