Wishbone RE 3-in-1

Balance Bike Review

Best for Long Term Use

Incredibly durable and converts from a tricycle to a small and a large balance bike.

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Product Specifications

MSRP: $229

Recommendation: Recommended

Seat Height: 9" - 20"

Weight: 12 lb.

Brakes: No Brakes

Footrest: No

Limiter: Yes

Tire Size: 12"

Grips Bumper: Yes

Bolts: Rounded

Frame Material: Composite

Review

It’s hard not to look at the Wishbone REcycled and not fall in love. Part chopper, part modern art, the Wishbone 3-in-1’s stunning looks and clever design beckons riders both young and old. Available in a 3-in-1 or 2-in-1 models, height adjustable from 9″ to 20″ and customizable with optional seat covers, handlebar grips and frame stickers, the Wishbone RE is quite easily the most adaptable toddler bike on the market. Constructed out of recycled carpets, the weatherproof, rigid frame and air tires make this beauty a true sight for sore eyes.

Wishbone 2.1The secret to Wishone RE’s wide range of seat heights is its patented Rotafix™ joint. Connecting the front and rear portions of the frame, as well as the seat, the Rotafix™ joint allows for seemingly countless micro-adjustments to ensure a precision fit for every child.

Wishbone 4

Held in place with one bolt, loosening the Rotafix™ joint allows for the frame and seat heights to be adjusted. Finicky at times and certainly requiring two hands and two legs (to hold the bike in place) to adjust, the Rotafix™ takes more work than standard seat posts to adjust, but gets easier with time. For quick seat adjustments, the seat post can be adjusted without loosening the entire joint, but if loosened too much, the entire frame can quickly fall to the ground, thereby requiring the frame and seat to be realinged and readjusted.

wishbone 9

The seat of the Wishbone is padded and the optional boldly-colored $20 silicon seat covers go far to add some extra pop to the bike.  Narrower than most seats, we found the shape of the seat to be perfectly sized for toddlers, but slightly small for older riders. Colorful handlebar grips and frame stickers are also available to help customize your Wishbone.

Wishbone 3

Wishbone RE 3-in-1

Too young for balance bikes, but ready to get in on the action, the Wishbone 3-in-1 bike allows for the youngest toddlers to join in on the fun. Coming complete with a third tire and a long rear axel, the 3-in-1’s tricycle mode is self-supporting, allowing kids as young as 12 months to begin exploring the wonderful world of bikes. Not yet crawling, our 11-month-old testers saw the bike and was anxious to get on and go for ride. While not yet able to move himself around, he eagerly sat down, grabbed the handlebars and began laughing as he jumped up and down.

Wishbone 1

Our 18-month-old tester was also enamored by the 3-in-1 and enjoyed cruising around the neighborhood. Being small in size and weight, she tended to keep her rides short, but thoroughly enjoyed them. A pro at balance bikes, our 2.5-year-old tester couldn’t help but take the tricycle out for a spin as well and loved cruising down the driveway. Having fully learned to lengthen his stride as he runs, he quickly realized that by doing so his legs would hit the rear axle. Toddlers who have not yet learned to master a balance bike, however, would most likely not have learned to extend their strider, and therefore the rear axel shouldn’t be a problem. More difficult to maneuver than a balance bike, our two-year-old also tended to use his legs to help steer the bike, which often lead to his feet getting run over. As a result, the tricycle mode should only be used for very young toddlers or for older toddlers who have not yet learned to lengthen their stride as they run.

Wishbone 2

Wishbone RE 2-in-1

For those with kids over the age of two, the Wishbone RE also comes in a 2-in-1 version package that does not include the third wheel and tricycle axel. The rear portion of the 2-in-1 does flip to allow for saddle to adjust from 9″ to 20″ (two different modes shown in first picture in the beginning of the review). As a balance bike, the WIshbone weighs 11 lb.

Wishbone 10

While testing the 2-in-1 with various age kids, one noticeable difference between the Wishbone and other bikes was its extended wheelbase. When compared to other balance bikes, the Wishbone was significantly longer than all of them. Used to riding balance bike with a shorter wheelbase, our two-year-old tester found the Wishbone to be less nimble than the FirstBIKE or Rothan.  In contrast, for our five-year-old tester in size 7-clothes, the wheelbase of the bike, when the seat was set to 20″, was slightly too short for him but he was still able to successfully ride and balance the bike.

Wishbone 6

In addition to the longer wheelbase, the turning limiter on the Wishbone RE plays a role in the bike’s maneuverability. Offering a smaller range of movement than the limiter found on the Frog Tadpole (the only other balance bike with a longer than average wheelbase and a turning limiter), the turning radius on the Wishbone RE is MUCH greater than that of the Frog. By pouring water over the front wheels of the both bikes, and then turning the handlebars of each bike to make as sharp as turn as possible, the difference in turning radius was quite clear. Being adventurous and outgoing, it became quite clear as to why our two-year-old tester preferred the more nimble Frog.

Wishbone 5

Lastly, while the position of the seat and handlebars of the Wishbone are very similar to other balance bikes, the elongated seat plays a large role in the riders position on the bike. Without a wide back, our four and five-year-old testers were able to sit further back on the seat, thereby decreasing their center-of-gravity on the bike.  Unfortunately, while padded, the narrow seat was particularly uncomfortable for our four-year-old tester.

Wishbone 7

Bottom Line: With essentially unlimited seat heights and the durability to last through several kids, the Wishbone RE is a great bike for families looking for one bike for siblings to share. With a minimum seat height of 9″, it is also a great bike for smaller kids who need time to grow into a bike. Due the bikes extra-long wheelbase, however, we don’t recommend the Wishbone RE for adventurous and outgoing toddlers who would benefit from a more nimble bike.

MSRP: $229

By: Natalie Martins

Last Updated: December 29, 2016

FTC Disclosure: No monentary compensation was provided for this review. For many, but not all reviews, products are provided by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate the review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC and should not be used or replicated in anyway. The majority, but not all, links provided are affiliate links. Two Wheeling Tots LLC is an affiliate of Amazon.com, Backcountry.com, Chain Reaction Cycles.com, REI.com, bikeshophub.com, prioritybicycles.com, guardianbikes.com and weebikeshop.com.

  • Mike

    I have a 16 month old son with an 11.5 inch inseam and wearing a mixture of 18 and 24 month clothes. Do you think that I need to bother with the trike version, or just the 2-in-1 will be okay? Also, would he be too small for the Rothan, or would that be a better bike (considering he’ll probably grow into the 12 inch inseam for the Rothan by spring when he’ll actually be riding more)? He only started walking at 12 months, but now basically runs everywhere he goes.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.