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(Pocket-lint) - The Early Rider is a bicycle without pedals designed for kids that want to look cool. Confused? Thought you would be, as were we when we first saw the retro-looking bicycle. But will it encourage your kids to learn to ride a bike? We gave one to a couple of 2-year-olds to find out.

Early Rider makes three different bike shapes: the Early Rider Lite, the Early Rider Classic and the Early Rider Evolution. All three are aimed at slightly different ages but between them cover 2-6-years-old.

The Early Rider Lite for example is just 3.25kg and designed for youngsters just starting out on their biking journey, while the Evolution is a Chopper-esque design and more a final transition between learner bike and the real thing.

So what do you get? Well the main chassis is built from FSC birch, comes with adjustable steering, pneumatic tyres (12-inch), an embroidered faux leather seat and enough "West Coast" bling to give your kid that Easy Rider feel.

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Everything you need is packaged in the box and everything is well made. The instructions are a bit on the confusing side, and it's probably best not to have a small child clambering over you when you try to build it, but once you do build the Early Rider you can see that it isn't some bit of plastic tat that is going to break within 2 weeks. This will easily last you a couple of years and if you're careful.

So what's the point? Well the idea is that by taking away the pedals, gears, brakes and all the funny complicated bits of a regular bike, the child can concentrate on balance and getting used to the concept of sitting on a bike.

Does it work? Well yes. Into the hands of our test subjects and both absolutely loved it, in fact one child wanted to eat his dinner whilst on it. Both, surprisingly to us, took to the concept like a duck to water and were zooming up and down around the house and the garden within seconds rather than minutes.


At £75 this isn't going to be within all budgets, however what you get is a well-built, durable and let's not forget, pretty cool looking, bike for your kids (the pink for girls is especially funky).

Will it teach your children to ride a bike? Of course not, you've still got all the fun of learning what pedals and brakes are, but at least they will have the balance mastered when it comes to upgrading to the real thing.

Ditching the stabilisers though does mean your child is likely to be the coolest looking dude the block without a doubt.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 28 July 2008.