Kids Ride Shotgun, famed for their Pro Child Bike Seat and Handlebars, are taking things to the next level with the Dirt Hero Balance Bike. It looks to be one of the most well thought-through examples we’ve seen to date. They’ve sweated over numerous small but important details that could be the difference between the family ride ending in a tantrum, or everyone have the best time ever. And, with scope to run 12″ or 14″ wheels, the Dirt Hero can grow in size as your little one grows up.
Kids Ride Shotgun Dirt Hero Balance Bike
New Zealand-based Kids Ride Shotgun want to raise the next generation of mountain bikers, helping them on their journey “from book to bike”, as they say. Indeed, while their Shred til’ Bed children’s story book should help plant the seed of enthusiasm, the new Dirt Hero Balance Bike looks to teach them about that all-important dynamic balance, but also a couple of other very important skills that, as experienced mountain bikers, we all tend to take for granted.
The Dirt Hero Balance Bike on display was set up as a mullet, with a 12″ wheel in the rear and a 14″ wheel in the front. In reality, you can only buy it with a complete 12″ or complete 14″ wheelset, but both wheelsets are available to purchase separately. So, as your toddler grows, the bike can grow with them, and thus see a much longer usable lifespan. That said, it’s pretty clear the resell value of this bike will be high.
A nice feature of the Dirt Hero is the standing platform bolted to the stays that will allow your kid to try standing up for the first time, a key skill for any budding mountain biker. A couple other balance bikes offer this feature (like the Orange Peeler) but this one is actually removable, so if you don’t quite trust your little one’s balance yet, you can take it off so that sitting down and paddling is their only option.
The Dirt Hero can be purchased with or without a rear brake. Without, indicative pricing is around 340 €. The rear brake will set you back an additional 100 €. It is a hydraulic 2-piston disc brake from Magura – the M4 – which has a super short reach lever suited to small hands.It may even be small enough for two-finger braking, another important concept that new riders need to learn for good bike control.
The advantage of getting the Dirt Hero with the rear brake is that it will give your child an opportunity to learn how to brake and slow down properly before they learn to pedal; isolating the two skills could make the whole learning process easier, and safer.
Of course, the grips and saddle are downsized too. The wheels are fitted with high volume knobbly tires that can likely run at very low pressures to help make the ride more comfortable for your little one.
Kids Ride Shotgun are looking to make the Dirt Hero Balance Bike available by early December, just in time for Christmas.