Early Rider Alley Runner

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
7.50, 7 lbs
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Early Rider Alley Runner. 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.
  • High 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

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

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Early Rider Balance Bike Review

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

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

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Test – Early Rider Alley Runner (German)


Early Rider Alley Runner 12″

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
#47 Best Kids
Bottom 50%
#25 Best Toddlers
Bottom 40%
#4 Best Early Rider Bike
Bottom 30%
#154 Best of All Bikes
Top 50%


In comparison to averages of categories
Early Rider Alley Runner