Charger 16″

Charger 16″

For many kids, learning to ride a bike is an exciting childhood rite of passage, but for others, it’s an insurmountable task. There are many reasons why a grade-schooler may not be able to ride a bike, but not very many grade schoolers who don’t want to ride a bike. Balance bikes build confidence and body awareness in toddlers, but for grade-schoolers they build character, increase self-esteem and provide a means for inclusion. The Stampede Bikes Charger 16″ balance bike, is an amazing balance bike in and of itself, but to those kids who can finally join their friends and family for a ride, it is a Godsend.

**TykesBykes has been renamed Stampede Bikes.  Same great bikes, same great customer service and owners, just a new name.**

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Sizing

What makes the Charger 16 truly stand out is its size. Not too big and not too little, the Charger 16 can fit kids from age 4 to 8, although kids as old as 10 have enjoyed riding it as well.   At 13 lb., it is light enough for preschoolers to ride, yet large enough for grade schoolers to learn on.  Much larger than 12″ balance bikes, the Charger is best for kids transitioning out of 4T clothes to kids in size 8/10 in youth sizes.

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The sizing of the Charger also makes it a great bike for older kids who are looking to build their biking skills. Eager, but hesitant to try bigger jumps and declines, our 6-year-old tester loved the ease at which he was able to master obstacles without worrying about the pedals.

TykesBykes Charger1

For taller kids, the handlebar bars can be raised just under 3″, making it a goof fit for our 8-year-old testers.
TykesBykes Charger 2

Not wanting to be left out on the fun, our 10-year-old tester joined in on the fun as well.  Although too small for him he had no problems riding it around the nieghborhood.

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Features

In addition to being easy to ride, the Charger is also easy to use.  The rear drum brake is equipt with an easy pull brake lever and is fully enclosed, requiring little, if any maintenance.  Over the years, we have had to adjust a lot of V-pull caliper brakes, but not any drum brakes. The seat is padded with a carrying handle on the back edge and the seat post is quick-release for easy height adjustments.  The handlebars can also raise up to 3″, requiring only an allen wrench. Lastly, the medium tread on the Charger makes it great for paved riding, but also retains traction on all-terrain surfaces.

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Stampede Charger vs. Strider Sport 16

Strider bikes also makes a 16″ balance bike, but it is larger and more expensive than the Charger 16.  Retailing for $249, the Strider is designed for kids ages 6 and up, while the Charger is suitable for many four-year-olds.  Built with riser handlebars, the Strider requires a child with a much longer torso to ride it, than the Charger.  As shown below, our 4yo tester fits great on the Charger, but the Strider is too big for him to manage.

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For older riders, the Strider is a better fit from the get-go, but when adjusted, the Charger 16 fits similarly on our 8 and 9yo testers.

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Stampede Charger 16 vs. Ridgeback Scoot XL

Another comparable bike to the Charger 16 is the Ridgeback Scoot XL.  Selling for $199, it has 14″ tires, a rear V-pull brake and weighs 12.5 lb.  Smaller than the Charger 16, the Scoot is a better fit smaller four-year-olds, but both bikes are too big for a 3-year-old in 3T clothes. The smaller Charger 12″ is a better fit for him.
4yo on TykesBykesScoot

TykesBykesScoot Compare

Bottom Line

The Charger 16″ is the perfect bike for grade schoolers who have not yet learned to ride a bike. From aged 4 to 8, the Charger 16″  is sure to help kids build their confidence and get out riding.

Where to Purchase

The Charger available directly through Stampede Bikes and on Amazon.

FTC Disclosure: Stampede Bikes provided a Charger 16″ to help facilitate this review. No monetary compensation was provided and all opinions are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC. Two Wheeling Tots is not an affiliate of Stampede Bikes, but is an affiliate of Amazon.

      • Meena

        Thank you for this website and all the right information. Could you please provide the affiliate code for the Charger. Thanks again

        • Meena

          Found it! thanks

      • Joshua Flores

        Struggling with a son who is 4 and has 16.5″ inseam. He’s the oldest. Was intending for the Scoot XL, but the Tykes Charger looks awesome!

        I also posted on the Frog vs Tykes 12, so basically two bikes will be used as hand me downs among three kids (small and large balance). Almost think Frog to Charger is the way to go.

        • Hi again:) The Charger is an awesome bike and as long as your son is firmly in 4T pants, I would recommend the Charger. It is a bigger bike, so for kids still in 3T pants, it can be too much of a bike. Once they are in 4T, they tend to do fine on it.

          Considering the Frog’s max seat height is the same as the Charger min, they would certainly work well together.

      • Heather

        Hi there! I have been researching balance bikes for close to 2 months now, and I’m struggling with the final decision. I’m very interested in the Charger for my 5.5 year old, but I wonder about resale value also as I don’t know that he will use it for long. He has had trouble transitioning from training wheels; he refuses to try without due to fear of falling. I WISH I had known about balance bikes when he was a toddler; what a brilliant idea! We discovered them recently when we moved to India as we are surrounded by European families and these bikes are very popular with them…they should be more popular in the states! Anyway, I digress. My 5 year old is comfortable in 5T clothes with an inseam approximately 18 inches. I’m thinking he will catch on quickly and move to a pedal bike within a few months as soon as he realizes he CAN balance. Would a 12″ balance bike be too small? I think it would be easier to pass on to another child when he is finished with it opposed to the 16″. Though I think the 16″ would be a better size for him overall, I have a hard time spending that amount if he will not use for very long….thoughts?? Also, for my daughter who just turned 3 I am looking at the Kinderbike, and the mini for her cousin who will be 2.5 in February. Do you think the mini grows well with the child? I would like to get here the regular size, but according to her mom, her inseam is only about 12″. I do however want her to get good use from the bike.

        Sorry for the lengthy question 🙂 I appreciate and look forward to your input!

        • Heather

          Another thought….for my 5.5 year old, would it be good to simply start with a pedal bike like the Islabike and have him practice with it as you would a balance bike, and then start using the pedals when he is comfortable balancing? Just a thought….Im completely new to this, and never realized all the complexities of choosing a perfect bike for your child.

          • Wow, India, how fun and what an adventure! I’m glad you had a chance to be around other kids on balance bike, they are amazing aren’t they? My main concern for you is which bikes are available or is that not an issue? I’ll go ahead and answer assuming it is not just in case. For your 5.5 year-old, his hesitance to get off training wheels is normal as he has learned to rely on them. With an 18″ inseam, a 12″ bike is going to be on the small side, plus, it is a big jump to go to a 16″ once he finally masters it. As a result, I would either go with a 14″ balance bike, such as the Rigeback Scoot XL or go with a lightweight bike, like the Islabike, and have him use it like a balance bike. If he is really hesitant, he will probably do better on a balance bike as they are lighter and easier to learn to balance on.

            For your daughter, the Kinderbike sounds great and for your niece, the Mini would be a better choice if her inseam is 12″. The Mini will grow with her just fine, so no worries there. If you expect her to grow fast, you could get the regular since it is winter time and she probably won’t be riding much until Spring. Plus, when kids first learn to ride, then actually stand and walk the bike, so the seat minimum inseam isn’t as vital for the learning phase (which can last anywhere from a week to several months).

      • Kimberly M. Brown

        I have a very tall 3 yo who has never ridden a bike. I considered a 16in with training wheels but he was unable to peddle when we put him on it in the store today. I’m thinking he will enjoy a balance bike much more. He’s 40 in tall and weighs about 40 pounds. My thought is the 12 in balance bikes will be much too small for him. Do you think this bike would be a good choice? If so, 14 or 16 in wheel?

        • Kimberly M. Brown

          He’s also very firmly into 4t pants. 5t pants are still too long for him.

          • I agree, a balance bike will most likely be much more fun for him as balance bikes have very few limitations as compared to training wheels. From going over jumps and curbs to cruising over dirt, rocks and other uneven surfaces, balance bike perform amazing, while training wheels simply don’t allow for it. For your son, if he is firmly in 4T pants and if this is his first experience with a balance bike, I would go with the 14. He will technically fit on a 16″, but the bigger/heavier bike is going to be more intimidating for him. If the Ridgeback Scoot XL is in your budget, that would be my top choice. If not, then the Scoot would also be a good choice (even though it is a 12″). Unfortunately, there aren’t very many other 14″ bikes. The Novara Zipper at REI is another tall 12″ that you could try.

      • Bhavna Adatia

        Hi. A daughter’s 2nd birthday is coming up and we are debating on which
        bike to buy. my folks want to get her the regular 3wheeler and my hubby
        and I after having stumbled on this site want the balancing bike. which
        one would be ideal to get for a 2 year old.

        • Balance bike have a lot of benefits over tricycles, so I would certainly try to persuade you parents to go for one. Tricycles are not only very inefficient and as a result, kids generally don’t ride them very long by themselves, which is why many of them come with handles. In addition, tricycles teach kids to pedal first, which is a really easy skill to learn, versus teaching balancing first. When kids learn to balance first, they never use training wheels and are on a regular pedal bike by 3 or 4. With tricycles to training wheels, they generally don’t transition to pedal bikes until they are 5 or 6. Furthermore, balance bike are very versatile as they can go over dirt, jumps, curbs, grass and gravel just fine, while tricycles can’t (or need to be pushed). The main concern most people have with balance bikes is that kids can’t simply sit on them and take off. The learning curve with balance bike is longer than with tricycles, but once they learn, they take off! Kids as young as 18 months start riding balance bikes and do just fine, although most don’t master sitting and balancing until they are closer to 2.5. In the end, your parents will probably be disappointed when they see your daughter sit on the bike and then walk away without doing anything with it, but in a couple months, they will be thrilled to see her happily and proudly balancing the bike on her own.

          • Bhavna Adatia

            Hi Natalie,

            Thank you so very much for the info. Please guide me on the type of balancing bike to buy?

            • Sure! For a two year old I really like the Islabikes Rothan and the WOOM1 (my top picks), but they are also the most expensive at $199. For some more affordable option, the Yedoo Too Too ($159) is larger, but still lightweight, the FirstBIKE (also $159) is a great if she is in at least 24 months pants (but you will need to buy the lowering kit). Lastly, the TykesBykes Charger 12″ and the Kinderbike Laufrad are both around $119).

      • Michelle Carrera

        Are there any good balance bikes that convert to a regular pedal bike?
        I want a balance bike for my 4 year old, but I worry that he’ll pick up on balancing quickly and want to transition to a regular bike. He already knows how the pedaling part works, as he learned to ride a training bike at age 2.

        • There is one convertible bike that I really like called the LittleBig, https://www.littlebigbikes.com/, but it is pricy as it has to be shipped from Ireland. Otherwise, I don’t’ generally recommend convertible bikes as most have 12″ tires (LittleBig has 14″), which kids usually outgrow by the time they are ready to transition to a pedal bike.

      • Ernest Aguayo

        Hi there. Thank you so much for this awesome site! Do you recommend the Charger 16″ as the best option for a petite-for-his-age 6.5 year-old who has never ridden a balance bike? He wears size 6 jackets and size 5 pants. Thank you.

        • If he is hesitant at all, I would go for the Ridgeback Scoot XL (which has 14″ tires), but if that is out of your price range, then I would go for the Charger 16″. The Charger would actually fit him perfectly right now, but for a hesitant child the Scoot XL is smaller and slightly easier to handle for hesitant kids.

          • Ernest Aguayo

            Thank you so much for the info.

            He used to be a little shy when trying new physical activities, but lately he has been more willing to try new things after a little warm up. My gut is saying Charger.

            It is odd to get a balance bike that does not have footrests though? Does the kid just keep their legs up or lean them on them frame? Does that lead to more fatigue than if they had proper footrests?

            Thanks again.

            • In the 5 years I have been testing out balance bikes, I have actually never had a kid ask where to put their feet as they naturally just lift them up as they ride. As a result, I really don’t find them necessary and when given a choice to ride a bike with footrests or without, the footrest don’t seem to affect their choice. In fact, when a bike does have footrests, kids tend to ride slower as they tend to run and glide, then run and glide (like a skateboard) versus a continually running (more like you see with rollerskates), so it does affect their riding style. For kids who just ride around the neighborhood, the footrest can have their place, but for those who choose to hit the trails, the pump track or the skate park, footrests are detrimental as kids need to have their feet ready to stabilize them if needs be. Hope that helps!

              • Ernest Aguayo

                Sounds great. Thanks again!

                My last question: If I want to order the Charger using the link above, does it pass in the affiliate info automatically? I just wanted to make sure you get whatever compensation you have set up with Amazon in terms of affiliate codes.

              • Yes, it does. Thanks, I really appreciate it!

              • Ernest Aguayo

                Great. Will do.

          • sws

            Hi! Piggybacking onto this question. Do you still feel that a Scoot XL is a better choice for a hesitant, but tall, nearly-5yo? His inseam is just under 18″. He is late in reach all physical milestones and gets OT for coordination issues. He loved his tricycle but is very physically cautious. I sat him on a 16″ bike with training wheels and I think he felt a lack of control. Want to make the right choice between the Scoot XL and the Charger 16″. (Hoping you’re able to answet this quickly, as his grandmother wants to order one tomorrow!) Thanks for all your research.

            • Yes, the Scoot is going to be a much better option for a hesitant rider. The 14″ wheel is smaller and easier to manage. Hope I made it in time!

              • sws

                Yes, incredibly kind of you to answer! Appreciate it because he is so tall, I was really second-guessing myself. Happy to go with the Scoot XL. And THANK YOU again!

      • Nathalie Perreault

        Hello, I am debating between this bike and the go glider for my two boys (4 and 6). Is it easy to adjust the handlebar hight on the charger? Thanks!

        • All of my testers much preferred the Charger 16. It was easier for them to ride and more comfortable. Changing the height of the Charger’s handlebars is easy and can be done in a couple of minutes. In fact, I would say it takes about the same amount of time to change it as the Go Glider’s.

      • Arielle Shearer

        My son is turning 4 next month. He is 60lbs and 45-46″, clothing size 7. not fat, but built like a tree trunk 🙂 Is the 16″ Charger your recommendation for a kid in the top percentile? Thanks!p

        • Wow, what a big boy, awesome :). If he is “athletic” I would go for the Charger 16, but if he is more timid I would go for the Scoot XL. The 14″ tires on the Scoot can be easier to maneuver for younger kids, but for older kids the 16″ tires aren’t an issue. Considering his size though, I think he could pull off the Charger 16.

          • Arielle Shearer

            I had seen your earlier comment about the scoot. I was just worried because his brother had a strider 12″ (loved it!!!), and he is very clearly too big to use it. Meaning, I wasn’t sure if moving to. 14″ would do the trick 🙂

      • Mike

        My daughter is turning 4 this weekend and is 39″ tall with ~15.5″ inseam…..is the 16″ charger too bike for her?
        thanks!
        -Mike

        • Yes, the 16″ is going to be too tall her for . The minimum seat height is 16.5″, so she won’t be able to touch the ground with her entire foot, which is necessary for riding a balance bike.

      • Lisa

        My son is 41in tall with a 17in inseam he is in 5T clothes or boys size 4/5 but doesn’t turn 4 until Dec. I don’t want to get something too small for him. Would he fit on the 16in charger? I’ve been researching like crazy and it looks like a good fit. Thanks

        • Yes, it should be a perfect fit for him. My son is in 4T pants and can ride the Charger 16″. A beginner in 4T may have some trouble with the larger bike, but 5T should be just fine.

      • stacy merrill-Boring

        What do you think of the Charger compared to the 16″ Strider Bike? I have a petite 4.5 year old son 41.5″ tall just 30lbs and a 17.5″ inseam. He’s been on balance bikes since 18 months old. Almost a year ago I got him a pedal bike with training wheels which he was excited about at first but now he’s trying to ride his very small balance bike again that is now his little brothers and is begging for a balance bike again. He misses the gliding feeling and loves to ride them on trails something he can’t do on his peddle bike. I think he’s tall enough and experienced enough for the Charger but it’s easier for me to find Strider bikes around me and they look like the handle bars are not as far away from the seat but this bike looks great too. Any insight would be great.
        Thank you

        • The Strider 16″ is bigger than the Charger 16″. My 4.5yo in 4T clothes can easily cruise around on the Charger 16″, but the Strider 16″ is too much for him to handle, even if he is experienced. The higher handlebars on the Strider would likely be too high for your son to use comfortably.