Stroller bikes, also called cycle strollers, are a relatively new product on the bicycle market. Designed for parents who frequently commute by bike, they’re designed to replace the traditional child bike trailer that attaches to the rear of a bicycle.
The main selling point of cycle strollers is the ability to convert from a Dutch-style two-wheeled bike to a three-wheeled stroller. This feature eliminates the task of locking the bike up outside when stopping at a store and makes it easier to travel by bike and by transit in the same trip.
Speaking as a cyclist commuter, this all sounds fantastic — especially the ability to convert my bike into stroller-mode and bring it inside with me. Bicycle theft is a huge problem in my area, and I would much rather bring my bike with me than chance locking it to a rusty old rack.
But it does raise one important question: are stroller bikes easy to use?
That’s sure to be top of mind of anyone thinking of investing in a stroller bike (and at $3,000, it is an investment). Running errands with little kids is a chore on a good day; any sort of gadget or device that makes the task even more complicated is worse than useless.
Are Stroller Bikes Easy to Use?
Below, I’ve given a breakdown of the usability of Wike’s Salamander stroller bike as both a bicycle and a stroller.
Using it as a Bicycle
While the Salamander looks a bit unwieldly, its design is well-optimized for urban cycling. Placing the child carriage at the front of the bike instead of the back provides good weight distribution, and since two-wheeled bicycles have better stability than three-wheelers, it handles well on curves and hills.
It is heavier than a commuter bike, which is a downside for cyclists who are accustomed to speed.
Converting from Bike-to-Stroller
This is the step in the process that had me skeptical. I have enough trouble folding up lawn chairs, let alone folding a bicycle into a stroller. But I was shocked to find how easily the rear of the bike glides over once you press the release pedal — it takes a few tries to get used to, but after that, the conversion happens in seconds.
What makes it even easier is the fact that you don’t have to take the kids out of the carriage to make the switch. So, if your kid is cranky or fast asleep, they can continue to rest undisturbed while you convert the bike into a stroller and head indoors.
Using it as a Stroller
As a stroller, the Salamander is inarguably larger and heavier than a typical stroller. Despite these drawbacks, it’s surprisingly easy to maneuver. And it does fit through doorways, which was another concern I had initially.
Using the Salamander takes practice, but the overall ease-of-use is impressive considering how new stroller bikes are in the market. It’s fair to call this an easy to use stroller bike.