The Xtend balance-to-pedal bike by SmarTrike was designed to give your child the skills and confidence they need to ride a pedal bike without training wheels.
The telescopically extendable frame makes the Xtend different from most balance-to-pedal bike products. With an easy pedal installation system, your child will be able to easily transition from balance bike to pedal bike with just three simple screws.
Sound too easy? We’ve had a mum of four young ones test it out to see how it works with her 3-year-old who is presently learning to ride.
Key Features of the 3-in-1 Extend Bike
- Multi-stage product with adjustable seat and handlebars
- Length: 41.3 inches – 42.5 inches
- Height: 25.6 inches – 27.6 inches
- Weight: as a balance bike:14.78 lb; With pedaling mechanism 18.36lb.
- Quick and easy assembly at home with all the necessary tools provided
- Front-wheel disk brake
- Lightweight magnesium frame
- Suitable for kids aged 3 to 6+
You can pop directly over to SmarTrike’s website to see the full product features
How Does the Extend Feature Work?
Is this the ultimate learn-to-ride bike?
A true 3-in-1 product that will see your child on a sturdy balance bike from the very early learning phase. When they are ready, you add on the pedals, then as they grow, you extended the bike to fit their height.
Stage 1: Introduces a balancing concept with the lowest frame height and without pedals. This is ideal for children around 3 years old, who can learn how to put their full weight on the seat and push with their feet.
Stage 2: Learn to cycle; it’s time to add the pedals and familiarise them with pedaling rather than pushing while maintaining their balance.
Stage 3: As your child grows taller, extend the frame and raise the seat for a comfortable fit to around 6 years of age.
You can find our complete guide to teaching a child to ride a balance bike here
Xtend Product Dimensions
- The seat adjusts from 15.6 inches to 23 inches
- The handlebar extends from 25.6 inches to 27.6 inches
- The frame adjusts from 41.3 inches to 42.5 inches
For most beginner pedal bikes, you can adjust the seat height, but it does not change your handlebar height, meaning a taller child becomes bent over. With the Xtend, the whole bike will grow with them.
The Xtend feature allows your child to lean forward rather than sit upright, which helps with maneuverability as your child grows in confidence on their bike.
Whilst other convertible balance-to-pedal products give you the option to add pedals at additional cost, the pedal conversion kit comes as standard with the Xtend, with all the tools you need are included in the packaging.
Xtend Mg+ Product weight
Although the bike is made from magnesium-lite alloy, it is a little heavier than other balance bikes we’ve previously used.
This was Ok for our tester, but smaller children may find the weight an issue after extended periods of use. She observed that while the bike was easy for her child to maneuver, they had trouble keeping it upright, and there were a few tumbles while they were riding.
Overall, our tester felt that the product’s sturdy frame was an excellent trade-off for its heavier weight. Considering the bike is intended to last for several years (and probably through several children), she preferred that it erred on the more durable side than not.
Still not sure whether to use a balance bike or training wheels? We weigh up the pros and cons over here.
Wheels and Brake system
The bike uses 14-inch pneumatic tires, with a front disc brake and rear coaster brakes.
The disc brake on the front is a premium feature, especially considering many children’s bikes only have brake pads.
You can also easily adjust the tightness of the disc brake using the Allen wrench included in the bike’s assembly kit, and the instructions show how to change the brake leaver side depending on your child’s dominant hand.
The coaster brake mechanism doesn’t really come into play until you put the pedals on, but it’s a nice additional safety feature for older kids.
Although the tester doesn’t need the pedals for her little one quite yet, she did notice that they were an adequate width for a younger child’s foot. However, older riders might find them a bit too narrow, especially as they near the maximum age and size.
We way up all the pros and cons of hand brakes vs. coaster brakes over here
Buying Your Xtend 3-in-1 from SmarTrike
Presently, the Xtend only comes in Red and Blue, which is a little limiting but suits most young children learning to ride. We hope they’ll add more colors in the future!
We always have surety purchasing Smartike products as all purchases directly from the company at smartike.com include a 2-year warranty.
US shoppers visit SmarTrike.com
Use our code KBSS at the checkout for an additional 5% discount on your SmarTrike purchases, already discounted up to 40% for their Christmas sale!
Our testers appreciated the extra page of SmarTrike’s contact information included in the packaging, so there was no guessing who to call or when they were available should you have any problems with your purchase.
Our Verdict on the SmarTrike Xtend
This is an excellent balance-to-pedal bike option for young children just learning to ride. It also provides great value for families with multiple kids (considering the durable and sturdy design).
Here are a few additional features our tester commented on:
Ease of Assembly and Instructions
While our tester is the first to admit that she isn’t the savviest bike assembler, she remarked that putting the bicycle together in balance mode took some time. It took just under two hours to assemble, and this was mainly due to a few different things:
- Some parts of the bike had been assembled in the factory, so you although you could skip forward some steps, you need to stop to verify it has been done correctly.
- Some parts looked differently in the instructions as opposed to how they appeared in real life.
- The instruction booklet didn’t include a picture of the plastic insert that allows you to adjust the bike’s frame, so the tester initially threw it out (as there were several plastic covers on other parts that weren’t necessary).
Once everything was fully assembled, however, the bike’s different components were easy and quick to adjust. However, our tester did comment that you have to have an Allen wrench handy when you want to change anything, as the screws are too tight to adjust by hand.
Although the Xtend comes with a conversion kit (which is wonderful), it lacks a a kickstand. Unfortunately, there’s no way to stand the bike up whilst no one is riding it, meaning it has to lean against something or lay on its side.
Additional Safety Features
One thing that the SmarTrike Xtend 3-in-1’s design excelled at was safety features. Each wheel has a reflective mirror, and the pedals are also reflective. You can also attach additional reflectors to the front and rear of the bike. Parents of young children can never be too careful, and these extra visibility features are a nice plus.
How did the child like the SmarTrike Xtend?
Now to the reaction of the real reviewer, our tester’s child!
As of now, he can’t get enough of his new bike! She says he rides it all around the house since there is currently snow and ice on the ground outside. Undoubtedly, he’ll be zipping up and down the driveway once the ground thaws out in the spring.
Overall, you will undoubtedly get yourself a bike here that lasts longer as you won’t be buying a balance bike and, soon after, a pedal bike. It is certainly a unique product on the market and worthy of being on your younger child’s wishlist this Christmas.
Jump back over here for all our kids’ bike-buying guides and advice
We were provided with a 3-in-1 Xtend Balance-to-Pedal Bike by SmarTrike for the purpose of conducting an impartial review of the product. We are affiliates of SmarTrike and earn a commission on qualifying purchases of SmarTrike products using our links, along with providing a discount to our readers.
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