Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Chillafish Bunzi Balance Bike/Trike

B loves riding her new balance bike
Bronte has started to show a lot of interest in riding a bike & does quite well on most of the kiddie cars she encounters on a regular basis. I lowered the seat on her big brother's old Adams Runner Bike & tried her on it, but unfortunately, my girl is a couple inches shy of being tall enough. I looked around everywhere to find a balance bike with a lower minimum standover height, but found few options. Bronte actually discovered one herself: when Oliver took the kids to the park one day, she commandeered some other toddler's little bike. Oliver hadn't seen this type before, so thankfully he asked & noted the name of it: Chillafish Bunzi.

He told me about it when he got home & we looked it up online. I got a little disheartened to see it listed for $200 with some online retailers. Then Oliver remembered the dad he spoke to said they'd bought it at Canadian Tire. $60! I still wasn't convinced that she needed one, as we could just wait until she gets tall enough for the balance bike we already have sitting around. Then I realized that she's not going to be tall enough for the balance bike until after the summer, probably, so she'll have to wait a lot longer than her brother did to start riding (he started at 20 months). Which would be sad, really, as she's really ready to start now.

So I decided to splurge on the Bunzi. It's a neat little bike which you can convert from a narrow trike to a balance bike by removing the seat, then flipping the frame around. It's a bit hard to explain--this video shows you:

We've had it a few weeks now, so here are my first impressions:

  • It's perfectly sized for a kid 1-2 years old & easy to toss in the stroller basket for park outings
  • The seat isn't adjustable: it sits in a lower position when the wheels are wide, a higher position when the wheels are together, so if your kid is on the tall side or older than 18-24 months, it'll be too small
  • The wheels are solid rubber so they give a little more grip & shock absorption than the hard plastic kiddie cars that she's used to
  • The steering is stiffer than many runner bikes, so it's harder to "jackknife" & fall over
  • The Bunzi is entirely plastic, but it's ABS, so it's sturdier than the other plastic ride on toys we have--one of her little friends gave it a test by dragging the bike on its side across a few feet of pavement--hardly scratched
  • The rear wheels are only about 15 cm apart which makes it more challenging to balance than a car style ride on toy, but also easier to scoot on, as her feet don't get caught in the wheels as she moves them
If you have a kid who really wants to ride a bike & is quite young or just short like B, this is a great little bike. I wish we'd known about it sooner, as I think B could have started riding it even earlier. The Chillafish Bunzi does come in several colours, though Canadian Tire only seems to carry the green.

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Disclaimer: I was not provided with a free bike to review, or compensated in any way for this post.

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  1. this is wonderful bike and helpful for children

  2. What a cute balance bike for toddler!!! I haven't heard of it but its design is so amazing.
    My daughter has a strider balance bike, and her loves to ride it out every day.


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