Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Prince Lionheart Balance Bike: A CSN Stores Review

Remember this post, in which I listed a couple of things on my want list? Well, guess what? I got one of them!

CSN Stores was gracious enough to allow me to review one of their many products from one of their 200+ stores. Drew and I had been talking about getting Brayden a balance bike soon, and so we took the opportunity to purchase and review the Prince Lionheart Balance Bike.

First off, let me just say that any mention of the word 'bike', or the sight of a bike, Brayden immediately starts stuttering the word "Daddy" because he gets so excited. He has correlated that Daddy has a bike, and so he wanted a big boy bike like Daddy. A friend of ours had purchased a balance bike for her 4 year old daughter for Christmas and swears by it. Basically, the theory is that a child has a hard time cognitively learning how to peddle and balance at hte same time. Thus, the need for training wheels. The balance bike eliminates this problem by removing the pedals and allowing the child to learn how to balance first. It develops self confidence, it allows them to go at their own pace (from tottering to actually balancing) and it sometimes even eliminates the need for training wheels once they transition to an actual bike. The concept is genius really, and since Drew is an avid biker, this was a no brainer for us.

I had a few problems with my giftcode going through, and as always I had the great help of a CSN Stores representative to help me through my transaction. That's what I like about CSN... it's not just a website where you have to search high and low for contact information... they have phone numbers that you can call and talk to REAL people, and you can even complete your transaction on the phone! I've always had great service through their customer service center. ALWAYS. Once I placed my order, I was happy to find out that they UPGRADED my shipping for me, and shipped it THE SAME DAY! WHOO HOOO!

It only took 4 business days for the bike to arrive. And when it did, Brayden was BEYOND excited. We had to wait until Daddy came home to unpack and put it together.

So excited to open his new bike!

helping daddy put on the wheels!

All ready to ride his new bike!

So here's the lowdown: the bike says it's for ages 2-5. Brayden is a bit tall for his age (he'll be 2 in April), and still is not able to touch the floor at the lowest seat setting (there are 3 settings in all). We were (Brayden included) a little disappointed. It's ok though because I know he'll grow into it. On the flip side, the seat has 3 settings, so we know it's something he'll eventually grow into and be able to use for quite a while. The bike is made out of quality birchwood. While I think it will be OK, Drew is a bit worried about the seat having a piece of wood that is only screwed into the seat, not the actual body of the bike. He's worried it won't hold up with two boys, but all of the reviews I've read online make me think that we shouldn't really worry about it too much. The tires are REAL bike tires, so it makes the bike seem more like a big boy bike, which I know B loves. Overall, I think this bike is a GREAT concept, I think we probably just shot the gun a little early on it. If you have a 2 year old (or older) I would definitely recommend the bike, especially if they are interested in a big boy (or girl) bike... it's a great alternative to having to deal with training wheels. And if you're looking for a place to purchase it, I'd DEFINITELY recommend CSN Stores.

Disclaimer: In exchange for this review, CSN Stores provided me with a giftcode to go towards the purchase of the bike. I was in no other way compensated for this review, and all opinions expressed in this post are my own. To view my blogs full disclosure policy, please click HERE.

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