When Little P was about 14 months old, we were at a bike shop with my parents when he spotted the Haro PreWheelz 10 balance bike. He didn’t have many words yet, but he made it VERY clear that he wanted that bike. It was still a little too big for him and he couldn’t quite manage it yet, but he sat on the saddle and beamed. My dad, a cyclist himself, couldn’t just walk out of that bike shop without the Haro and bought the bike for P on the spot.
Fast forward a couple months and P was rocking and rolling on his Haro. The PreWheelz 10 is one of the smallest balance bikes on the market, and it fit him well by 16 months or so. Even now that he’s moved on to bigger bikes and pedals well, he still asks to ride his “blue bike” often. It’s a little small, but that’s part of what makes it so fun to ride off ramps in the backyard.
Our Haro PreWheelz has been put thru the ringer: left in the rain, ridden off drops, and strapped to trailers and backpacks. We’ve tested that bike in every way possible. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some fancier balance bikes, it has proven itself fun, capable, and sturdy over 3 years of abuse.
Review in a Nutshell
- Small size fits kids as young as 18 months (or in our case, even younger)
- Simple steel frame and high-quality components handle long-term abuse
- It has the Haro cool-factor
- Foam tires provide poor traction
- Exposed bolts may be a concern to highly safety-conscious parents
- Small enough that it may outgrow your child before they are ready to transition to a pedal bike
- Weight: 9 lbs
- Tires: 10” foam
- Seat height: 11”-17”
Price & Where to Buy:
Review of the Haro PreWheelz 10 Balance Bike
Small size fits small kids
The Haro PreWheelz 10 is not the bike to buy for your 3 or 4 year old. If you are a cycling-fanatic anxious to get your 1 year old their first bike, however, this is a balance bike you should consider. The seat lowers to 11” which is the same as the Strider (another bike your should consider), but the Haro’s smaller frame and smaller wheels make it my preference for a VERY young child.
One thing to keep in mind is that your child is likely to outgrow the PreWheelz 10 before they are ready to switch full-time to a pedal bike. With P, he preferred this bike until about 2.5 at which time he began preferring his TykesBykes (now Stampede bikes) balance bike. The TykesBykes bike has a hand brake, air tires, and a larger frame that might it more fun for him riding on singletrack and off-road.
For us, this multi-bike approach worked, but if you want a one-and-done bike you might consider the Strider or FirstBike instead.
The thing that makes the Haro most attractive to me is its sturdiness. As I already mentioned, this bike will handle a lot of abuse. Unlike the Strider, for instance, it boasts a real headset with bearings. The steel frame has withstood many, many crashed and is still in great shape.
Part of this quality construction has to do with the fact that the PreWheelz 10 is made by Haro, a manufacturer of high-quality BMX and mountain bikes. It’s clear that they’ve applied the same passion and manufacturing knowledge into their kids bikes as their adult bikes.
The fact that the bike is Haro is enough to attract some folks to this bike on that fact alone. For a parent who hopes to raise a little BMX rider or dirt jumper, they’ll be stoked on the fact that they already have their 18-month old on a Haro.
Although it has NEVER been an issue for us, the exposed bolts on this bike may be a drawback for some parents. P has had more crashes than I can count and has never been harmed by a bolt or any other part on this bike. That said, if your ultimate goal is safety, consider the FirstBike instead which has no exposed bolts, and soft composite parts.
Part of the reason that you shouldn’t be too worried about buying this bike for your kiddo and then having them outgrow it is the fact is that it is cheap. The $99 price-tag is comparable with only a handful of other bikes. The fact that the bike can handle abuse also means that it can be re-used for future kiddos or sold on Craigslist.
Not intended for aggressive riding
The Haro PreWheelz is perfect for riding in the house (yup, we actually allow this in our home). It’s also perfect for riding in the driveway, around the campground, etc. For many kids, especially young toddlers, that’s all their going to do anyhow.
What it’s not perfect for is real riding. If your kiddo wants to go out on singletrack or wants to hit up the pump track at the local bike park, you are going to want to get them a bike with pneumatic tires and a handbrake.
I don’t fault the Haro PreWheelz 10 for not having these features—a handbrake doesn’t matter much when you are 18-months old. Aggressive tires don’t matter much when you are 18-months old. But they do matter at 3 or 4.
If you’re the kind of parent how is anxious to get their 1 year old on a bike, or who dreams of having a BMX star in the family, then the Haro PreWheelz 10 is a great pick for you. The Haro brand name, quality-construction, affordability, and small size make it a great first balance bike. If you’re looking for a balance bike for your older child or plan to ride off-road or at the bike part, pick a larger bike with pneumatic tires and a hand-brake.