With wider foam tires, flat bolts, and easy-adjust seat and handlebars, the Eastern Pusher is a worthy balance bike competitor in the sub-$150 puncture-proof tires category.
Seat Height: 10.75" - 17"
Weight: 4.5 lb.
Brakes: No Brakes
Tire Size: 12"
Grips Bumper: Yes
Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
Lightweight, size adjustable, and available in five different colors, the Eastern Pusher is a great basic balance bike for kids aged 18-months up to turning 5 years. With six inches of seat height adjustability, foam tires, and tool-free height adjustments on the seat and handlebars, the Pusher is a great choice for basic neighborhood riding.
The Pusher easily fit our 20-month-old tester, but was slightly small for our 5-year-old tester. With a low minimum seat height of 10.75″ the Pusher accommodates ages 18-months up to smaller 5-year-olds.
The handlebars were slightly too high for our 20-month-old tester, but being an eager rider, he didn’t let that bother him. Although our 5-year-old tester in size 5 clothes enjoyed riding the bike, the Pusher is better suited for kids wearing no larger than 4T clothes.
Geometry, Frame & Bolts
The Pusher’s super lightweight alloy frame has a low-step through for easy in-and-outs, and as seen above, positions the rider in a comfortable, upright position. Weighing a mere 4.6 lbs., the bike feels solid and sturdy and is easy to carry and/or throw on a stroller when needed. To protect small legs from scratches, the Pusher also features low-profile rounded bolts.
Pusher’s Low-Profile Bolts vs. Strider’s Exposed Bolts
Tires & Bearings
The Pusher comes with wide, foam, puncture-proof tires. Providing plenty of traction for everyday riding on paved surfaces, the Pusher’s foam tires performed great through the neighborhood, but like all foam tires, we wouldn’t recommend them for all-terrain riding. Providing less traction and no cushioning as compared to air tires, the foam tires are best suited for neighborhood riding. Compared to Strider’s tires, the Pusher’s are wider, but have slightly less tread, but we didn’t notice a significant difference in performance. For some young, new riders, wider tires can make it a little easier to balance. For smooth rolling, the Eastern Pusher also has sealed bearings, which prevents dirt from creating friction and slowing tire rotation.
Pusher’s Foam Tires are Wide and Feature Sealed Bearings
Brakes, Turning Limiter, Footrests
The Eastern Pusher does not have brakes, a turning limiter, or a footrest. While we do prefer balance bikes with brakes when possible, we have not found much benefit in turning limiters or footrests. You can learn more about brakes, limiters, and footrests in our article Balance Bikes: How to Choose. If you prefer a balance bike with brakes, the Kinderbike Laufrad and Muna bikes are both good options, but are considerably heavier.
Seat and Handlebar Height Adjustments
For easy, tool-free adjusting, the seat and the handlebars have quick-release levers. The quick-release levers are easy to adjust, but like all bikes with quick-release levers, we found the seat and handlebars often come out of alignment. The seat on the Pusher also offers very little padding.
Features of Seat and Handlebars
While accommodating small and tall riders, the extra-long seat post on the Pusher doesn’t allow for very much clearance when set to its lowest seat height. With under 2″ of clearance, the seat tube easily bottoms out when going over curbs or jumps. As shown is the third picture below, the seat post caused our tester’s back tire to go up, which pushed him forward and off the bike, which can easily lead to injury. Additionally, the bike couldn’t roll down because the seat post was stuck on the cement. While this is a definite concern, remember that this is only when the seat height is set to its lowest point. Most riders that are young enough to need the Eastern Pusher set to its lowest seat height are just walking the bike around and wouldn’t be ready to go over curbs. This is only a concern for the very adventurous and youngest riders.
Pusher’s Long Seat Post Can Bottom Out
As compared to similar balance bikes, the Pusher is a great value. It isn’t as lightweight as the Cruzee and doesn’t offer as many upgrades as the Strider, but has wider tires, low-profile bolts, and a more rugged appearance.
The Eastern Pusher is a great basic balance bike for everyday, pavement-pounding riders. Its wide range of seat heights and easy height adjustments also make it a great choice for sharing siblings.
By: Natalie Martins
Last Updated: June 23, 2017
FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation was provided for this review. Eastern Balance Bikes provided products to Two Wheeling Tots LLC to help facilitate this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC and should not be used or replicated in any way. Two Wheeling Tots LLC is not an affiliate of Eastern Bikes but is an affiliate of Amazon.com