This just in from the “I wish they had these when I was a kid” Department: The Stacyc Electric Balance Bike is almost too cool for words. In recent years, we’ve seen balance bikes gain in popularity among parents who want to introduce young children to bicycles in a safe, confidence-inspiring way. The low seat height allows kids as young as two years old to sit on the seat and propel the bike by walking. So, what’s a father looking for a way to involve his son in his love of motorcycles to do? If your name is Ryan Ragland, you combine the strengths of a balance bike with a battery-powered electric motor and create the Stacyc Electric Balance Bike.
Styled like a BMX bike, the Stacyc’s frame is constructed of TIG-welded aluminum. The wheels, the steel BMX fork, and the handlebar are standard pieces from the children’s bicycle industry. The low seat and lack of pedals make the Stacyc a balance bike for kids with an inseam as short as 13 inches. The electric motor brings in the cool-factor. However, this is well thought out coolness. The electric motor features three modes for safe, non-intimidating propulsion. The beginner mode only brings the Stacyc to match the pace that a child could go with his/her feet. The next two modes increase the top speed incrementally to match the rider’s skill and tops out at 9 mph for the 12-inch model and 11 mph for the 16-inch model. A hand-operated rear brake performs the stopping duties.
An easily removable 20V lithium-ion battery provides the motivation of the Stacyc, and depending on the size of the child and the kind of riding s/he is doing, the battery can last for 30–60 minutes – or more. Charging is said to take between 30 and 60 minutes also, but extra batteries are available for parents with impatient riders.
The Stacyc comes in two varieties. The 12EDrive features a 13-inch seat height and is for kids with a 14–20-inch inseam. The 16EDrive has a 17-inch seat for riders with an 18–24-inch inseam. Riders must be under 75 lbs, so Dad’s gonna have to stay on the sidelines. The 12EDrive retails for $649 and the 16EDrive adds $50 to the cost and are available from the Stacyc website.