Early Rider Alley Runner & Charger

BikeRide Score
Where to buy
If this bike is out of stock, take a look at our other highly rated bikes.
We earn affiliate commission. Learn more


Release Year
Wheel Size
Gearing Type
7.60, 7 lb
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Early Rider Alley Runner & Charger. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

20 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 the Alley Runner.
  • The brushed-metal finish of these bikes 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 7 lb to 7.6 lb; it was easy to control, easy to carry and lighter than a wooden bike.
  • Parents deemed these bikes durable and destined to be a hand-me-down for generations to come.
  • Real, sealed bearings on the headset and hubs made these bikes 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.
  • Lightweight aluminum frames were durable, attractive and of very high quality.
  • Assembly was said to be easy, with simple instructions and a supplied allen key.
  • On the lowest seat height, both bikes were small enough for children as young as 21 months.
  • Various adjustment points allowed many settings for growth.
  • Fat, grippy tires aided stability and balance.
  • These bikes are safe, featuring no sharp parts or bolts that could cause injury.
  • Numerous parents praise the neutral raw colorway, that suits all genders.
  • The geometry of these bikes is seen as well-considered for kids.
  • Integrated, threadless headsets proved long-lasting.

6 reasons not to buy

  • A few owners saw these bikes as ‘pricey. One expert just thought the Alley Runner was too expensive.
  • A couple of parents said these models are taller than other balance bikes, requiring the seat-tube to be cut down.
  • Some parents would have appreciated the availability of additional colorways.
  • These bikes lack 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.

Bottom line

The Alley Runner and Charger are high-end toddler bikes. Now, this in no way means that they are merely style-icons. While they do 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 seats are without compare. All this comes at a predictably high price, which one expert has described as ‘fair’. Is this overkill? Or are these bikes nigh-indestructible beasts that can be upgraded, repaired and passed down for many generations to come?

Expert Reviews

70/100 based on 1 rated expert review

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.

Visit full review

Early Rider Alley Runner 12in

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

Visit full review

Test – Early Rider Alley Runner (German)


Early Rider Alley Runner 12″

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

Visit full review

Review – Early Rider Alley Runner 12″ Balance Bike (Thai)

User Ratings

92/100 based on 65 ratings
  • 5 star
  • 4 star
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

Bike Comparison

Early Rider Alley Runner & Charger in comparison to averages
Early Rider Alley Runner & Charger

Forum Discussions

Discuss which bike to choose in the forum