Early Rider Alley Runner

BikeRide Score
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Users (53 ratings)
Experts (1 reviews)
Where to buy

Not found for sale. More bikes


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Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on this bike. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

21 reasons to buy

  • One parent said her 2-year-old derived great joy from riding the Alley Runner.
  • A pleased parent reported that her son’s confidence increased quickly and markedly aboard this bike.
  • The brushed-metal finish of the Alley Runner was frequently lauded. Owners called it stylish and beautifully crafted.
  • A wide-rimmed, 20-spoke wheelset proved toddler-tough.
  • Highly quality parts were upgradeable and replaceable. This included the ability to upsize to 14 inch wheels.
  • At a featherweight 7lbs; it was easy to control, easy to carry and lighter than a wooden bike.
  • Parents deemed this bike durable, and destined to be a hand-me-down for generations to come.
  • Real, sealed bearings on the headset and hubs made the Alley Runner stand out amongst balance bikes.
  • A studded pleather saddle was good-looking and had just the right amount of cushioning.
  • The build-quality was said to be excellent, solid and smart.
  • A removable rubber restraining strap allowed parents to limit steering, for little beginners.
  • The lightweight aluminum frame was durable, attractive, light and of very high quality.
  • Assembly was said to be easy, with simple instructions and a supplied allen key.
  • On the lowest seat height, the Alley Runner was small enough for children as young as 21 months.
  • Various adjustment points allowed many settings for growth.
  • The Alley Runner was often admired for its speed.
  • Fat, grippy tires aided stability and balance.
  • The Alley Runner was safe, featuring no sharp parts or bolts that could cause injury.
  • Numerous parents praised the neutral raw colorway, that suited all genders.
  • The geometry of the Alley Runner was seen as well considered and great for kids.
  • An integrated, threadless headset proved long-lasting.

7 reasons not to buy

  • A few owners saw the Alley Runner as ‘pricey’, while one expert just thought it was too expensive.
  • A couple of parents said it was taller than other balance bikes, requiring the seat-tube to be cut down.
  • Some parents would have appreciated the availability of additional colorways.
  • The Alley Runner lacks a footrest for coasting, unlike some other balance bikes.
  • A couple of reviewers felt that handlebar adjustment was limited, unless the stem was replaced.
  • The inability to add brakes was a problem for some.
  • The Alley Runner is sometimes advertised as having a carbon-fibre bar and seatpole, which is no longer true.

Bottom line

The Alley Runner is as high-end as a bike for toddlers can be. Now, this in no way means that it is merely a style-icon. While it does look just as good as some raw-finish titanium bikes for adults, this bike is actually built to an incredibly high-quality spec, with sealed bearings and a brushed 6061 Aluminum frame. Wheels are tough and the riveted faux-leather seat is without compare. All this comes at a predictably high price, which one expert has described as ‘fair’. Is this overkill – or – is this an almost-indestructible beast that can be upgraded, repaired and past down for many generations to come?

Expert Reviews

70/100 based on 1 expert reviews

Early Rider Alley Runner 12in Balance Bike

Level 4 expert

A slick looking and well-built kid’s steed that’s ultimately let down by a hefty price tag.

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Boo Jenks

Early Rider Balance Bike Review

Level 1 expert

It had the benefit of it being lightweight and it looked nice. I would definitely recommend it, even at the price tag. It’s something he gets a lot of joy from. It’s lovely seeing him be so confident, so quickly.

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Early Rider Alley Runner 12in

Level 5 expert

Premium balance bike… we think the Alley Runner is fairly priced.

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Test – Early Rider Alley Runner (German)

Level 1 expert

Early Rider Alley Runner 12″

Level 1 expert

Czyli najdziwniejszy rower biegowy jaki widzieliśmy. (The strangest running bike we’ve seen).

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User Ratings

91/100 based on 53 ratings
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Compared to other bikes
#1 Best of All Bikes
Top 1%


In comparison to averages of categories
Early Rider Alley Runner
Average All Bikes
Average Early Rider Bike
Average Kids Bike