The Saracen Freewheel balance bike has wider handlebars and a longer wheelbase that provide better stability for aggressive riders, while also being comfortable for timid riders. Read the review below for more reasons this little bike earns our exceptional rating.
Saracen Freewheel Review
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Longer and taller than most 12″ bikes, the Freewheel is the perfect balance bike for older or taller preschoolers.
SEAT HEIGHT: 13″ – 19″
WEIGHT: 10.7 lb.
BRAKE: Hand Brake
FITS PANTS SIZES: 2T to 5
FRAME: Aluminum Alloy
- Wider handlebars and wheelbase provide more stability for aggressive riders while being more comforting for timid riders
- Nimble for better maneuvering while sturdy for aggressive rides
- Handbrake with an internally routed brake cable
- Knobby air tires for all-terrain riding
- Built to pass more stringent bike standard versus the common “toy” standard used for most balance bikes
- Bell is included
- Rear axle bolts can interfere with the stride on petite kids
Saracen Freewheel Balance Bike Review – Results of our Test Rides
Any balance bike is better than no balance bike, but every now and then, we come across a bike that is truly exceptional. One of the few balance bikes on the market that is tested to CPSC bike and toy requirements, the Saracen Freewheel is solid from top to bottom. Tested to withstand physical stress from multiple directions (bike standards) as well as for lead and choking hazards (toy requirements), the Saracen is a real bike, not just a toy.
Built for adventurous older toddlers, the Saracen comes complete with wide handlebars, internally routed brake cables, knobby 12″ air tires and as icing on the cake, a well-loved bell. Coming in at 10.7 lb., the Saracen is about a half pound lighter than the Ridgeback Scoot (another top pick of ours for this age group) and is also slightly smaller to allow for younger/shorter/lighter riders.
What size rider fits on the Saracen?
We tested the Saracen out with two different riders, a 4-year-old in 4T clothes and a 2-year-old in 2T clothes. The Saracen was a great fit for both riders, but it did offer a slightly better fit for the older rider.
A fan from day one, our 4-year-old tester in 4T clothes, had no problem putting the Saracen to work. From the pavement to the pump track, the Saracen was nimble enough for quick maneuvering, yet sturdy enough to stay grounded during leaning turns (where many light balance bikes lose traction).
With several inches of room for growth on the Saracen, it’s a great choice for older or taller toddlers who aren’t quite ready to move up to a pedal bike.
The Saracen is also a great option for young toddlers, as it offers even more room for growth. With an inseam of 13.5″, our 2yo tester thoroughly enjoyed riding the Saracen and was easily able to handle it’s larger size (as compared to the Strider or woom 1).
While she loved the bike, the rear axle bolts of the bike did present a problem with her petite frame. When walking or maneuvering the bike her shoes often hit the rounded rear axle bolt during her stride. It did seem to bother her, but certainly not ideal. For an average size 2-year-old, the rear-bolts shouldn’t be a problem.
Knobby All-Terrain Tires
Saracen’s standard knobby tread make it an excellent choice for kids who want to ride on trails as well as paved surfaces. No too knobby, the tire rides smoothly on paved surfaces but has much better grip on all-terrain sufraces like standard street tires found on most balance bikes, including the Scoot.
Easy to Reach Hand Brake
The Saracen comes with an easy to each handbrake that offers plenty of stopping power. While the bike we used to facilitate this review had the brake lever on the left hand (per UK standard), the US version of the Saracen comes standard with the brake on the right hand.
Saracen vs. Ridgeback Scoot
Several other differences exist between the Scoot and the Saracen. While both bikes are great for older toddler, the Saracen has the slight edge for kids still in 2T pants as it is Saracen is lighter, has lower handlebars and a lower minimum seat height. The Scoot is heavier, taller and is better suited for preschoolers in at least 3T pants. As a comparison, our 4-year-old in 4T clothes fits great on all three bikes, but has the most room for growth on the Scoot XL.
For kids in at least 5T clothes or those kids who may need additional years of riding on a balance bike, the Ridgeback Scoot XL is a better fit.
Saracen Freewheel Bottom Line
The Saracen Freewheel is an ideal bike for older toddlers, in at least 2T (but not petite), ready to roll on various terrains. With wide handlebars, easy-reach levers and knobby 12″ tires all wrapped up into 10.7 lb., the Freewheel is well-equipped to tackle the never-changing, adventurous world of the toddler.