A good quality balance bike, but the Skuut's seat is challenging to adjust. For the price, there are several other bikes that are more reliable and durable.
Seat Height: 13.5" - 16.5"
Weight: 10 lb.
Brakes: No Brakes
Tire Size: 12"
Grips Bumper: Yes
Frame Material: Wood
The Skuut (rhymes with hoot), was one of the first balance bikes to hit the US market. Made of birchwood with a lacquer finish, the Skuut is reminiscent of the original European balance bike’s that gave way to the pedal-less bike movement. Designed for ages two to five, the Skuut is a mid-sized balance bike with a seat height ranging from 13.5 to 16.5 inches. The Skuut comes standard with air tires, a turning limiter and weighs about 10 lbs. Compared to its closest wood bike competitor the Smart Gear Classic, the Skuut is a pound lighter, has a taller minimum seat height (Smart Gear’s seats height ranging from 12.5″ to 17.5″) and has a 1 year warranty versus a mere 90 days with Smart Gear.
When compared to metal and composite balance bikes, one of the first things we noticed was the similarities in shape it has with FirstBIKE.
While identical in shape and purpose, the similarities between the two bikes stopped there. While our testers had no problems balancing and maneuvering the Skuut, we found the Skuut to shows signs of wear faster as compared to other bikes in the $100 range. Like other wood balance bikes, the frame of the Skuut was easily scratched, thereby increasing the chances of rot or warping. Skuut’s own website even states that “though it is protected by a lacquer veneer coating, it is still made of wood, and is susceptible to warping, rotting, etc from too much exposure to the elements.” The seat of the Skuut also began to show wear after a few months of use.
Compared to other wood bikes, the Skuut held up better to the elements than the Smart Gear, but not as well as the Early Riders. For those whom are drawn to wood frame due to environmental concerns, it is worth noting that Skuut is an eco-friendly company and has partnered with Trees for the Future to ensure that one tree is purchased for every Skuut that is purchased.
Despite our concerns with the frame, our main frustration with the Skuut was the time and effort it took to adjust the seat height of the bike. Even with an allen wrench on hand, adjusting the seat took at least 10 minutes compared to under a minute with the FirstBIKE or Ezee Glider. To adjust the seat on the Skuut, as well as on most wood balance bikes, the two bolts holding the seat must first be removed. Upon doing so, the seat can be raised or lowered to the desired height, then reattached to the frame with the bolts. While seemingly easy in concept, rethreading the bolts through the nuts proved to be challenging as they simply did not want to “catch”. Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my frustration; “The bolts that are supposed to hold the seat onto the frame wouldn’t mesh, because of the length of the bolt and the inaccurate angle of approach. Sloppy production from the PRC. You get what you pay for. I returned mine and will be looking for something less dicey.” (source) Unlike the other owner, I was able to get the bolts on our bike reattached, but the ordeal made truly appreciate the simplicity that I have become accustom to with the FirstBIKE.
Other reviews however, did encounter several problems that we did not. From quality control, “This one arrived with the front wheel very un-true, or wobbly, to the point that it affected steering, and my toddler couldn’t make the bike go straight. This was REALLY disappointing, as we had to launch ‘project return item’ right after assembling it, and my toddler is now waiting…” (source), to the durability of the tires, “I was not happy with the tires. They disintegrated. We bought 2 new tires at REI with in a year and a half. One of those new tires is already showing signs of falling apart. This was a total surprise to me since they look like good bike tires.” (source).
Bottom Line: While the Skuut is a good bike that is sure to provide hours of balancing fun for your preschooler, for the price, your money is better spent on a more reliable bike such as the Burley MyKick or the Glide Bike Ezee Glider which both are regularly on sale for around $100.
By: Natalie Martins
Last Updated: December 29, 2016
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