Stampede Charger 16″
**Stampede Bikes has gone out of business and the Charger 16 is no longer available.**
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.
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.
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.
For taller kids, the handlebar bars can be raised just under 3″, making it a good fit for our 8-year-old testers.
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 neighborhood.
In addition to being easy to ride, the Charger is also easy to use. The rear drum brake is equipped 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.
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.
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.
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 for 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.
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.
Easy to ride, easy to adjust, and requiring little, if any maintenance, the Charger 16 is a top notch larger balance bike for kids 4 and up.
- High quality and very durable, yet reasonable price tag
- Dual hand brakes with short reach levers for easy braking
- Extra wide and knobby tires provide extra cushioning and traction for varied terrains
- Wider and higher handlebars for better control and less twitchy steering