Reviewed by Tracey Flintham
I received the SmarTrike Dazzle 5-in-1 model to review. It arrived in a very moderate sized box which surprised me as I had expected the box to be much bigger, so on opening the box I was greeted by lots of individual pieces. There was minimum wrapping involved with the pieces either loose or in plastic bags. Not many additional tools are needed to build the trike, there is an Allen key included and the only extra thing required to build the trike was a Phillips screwdriver according to the instructions. The supplied Allen key does have a Phillips screwdriver head but you are far better with using a proper screwdriver.
With all the pieces laid out in front of me, the instructions looked relatively straightforward. It is all in diagrams with no text so avoids any translation problems and they are relatively easy to follow. Sometimes though a few words of explanation would have been appreciated. Although not difficult to assemble it could be a little challenging at times as the pieces didn’t always fit together as simply as the “click” shown in the instructions. All in all the trike took around 45 minutes to build.
The SmarTrike has, according to the company, won many awards and is sold in over 70 countries worldwide and it is easy to see why this is the case.
The trike has five different functionalities and is suitable for children from 10 months to 3 years old. The trike is very well thought out and looks very stylish. The model that we received is a grey and black with co-ordinating accessories. There is a padded seat cover with integral harness, a sunshade which is multi positional, a small storage bag at the top of the parent handle which could be used for keys, purses, mobile phones etc… and a larger shopping bag lower down which would be perfect for storing nappies, snack, drinks etc… Under the bag, there is also a small plastic storage box with a lid and a drink holder on the front of the trike which can be easily accessed by the child. The drinks holder on the front of the child is white plastic which is slightly unusual as the rest of the trike is so well coordinated in grey and black. The trike definitely has plenty of accessories to allow parents to keep their hands free whilst out and about.
The seat of the SmarTrike easily reclines by pressing 2 small buttons on either side of the seat which would allow a younger child to sit comfortably in the trike. There is a foam rubber protective band which passes in front of the seat to ensure they wouldn’t be able to fall forwards out of the trike. The handle bars are smoothly textured to allow little hands to grip easily. There is a small red clip at the front wheel which allows the trike to be switched from either the child steering the bike or the parent steering the bike with the parent handle and it very easily clips up or down enabling you to easily switch between the 2 functions. Whilst in parent steer function, the front wheel of the trike rotates a full 360 degrees, but the front handles can still be moved by the child without interfering with the front wheel which enables the trike to be easily pushed and manoeuvred by the parent whilst the child is free to play happily with the now free moving handlebars. When the child has control of the front wheel, it doesn’t rotate through 360 degrees and behaves as a normal trike.
From 18 months plus, the foam rubber band which goes across the front of the seat can be removed and the foot rests can be used by the child. The foam rubber band clips easily in and out of the seat and the foot rests are easily flipped up out of the way when no longer required. At 24 months plus, it is recommended that the front pedals can now be used, again the pedal can be flipped up or down as you require if you want to change between the two modes. The parent steer can be used in any of these modes and again the clip on the front wheel can be flipped up or down according to whether you want the child to steer the bike or the parent to have control.
The bike can be used as an independent trike when the child is old enough, or from around the 30-36 months age range, with the removal of the parent handle. Again this can be easily clipped out and back into place if needed so you don’t feel that you are stuck after changing between modes, you can change back in an instant!
My daughter Erin was at nursery whilst I was building the trike and when I brought her home, her first reaction upon seeing the SmarTrike was Wow and instantly made her way to sit on the trike. Erin measures 92cm and just reaches the pedals to allow her to independently ride the trike. I think for my daughter this trike will last until she is around 4 years old so there is definitely potential to be able to use the product for at least 3 years or longer.
The SmarTrike is a brilliant alternative to using the pushchair. My daughter isn’t always happy to sit in the pushchair when going out and about but I think she’ll happily sit on the trike and will feel she is independently in control of steering the trike even when it is in parent steer. Although we’ve only had the trike a few days I can see its going to be very handy when needing to quickly walk the dogs or pop to the shops as I can get my daughter to sit on the trike and push her along.
Overall the SmarTrike is very light which is extremely convenient for moving it around without your child in it, and when out and about you do not feel that you are pushing a heavy trike as well as your child, a big relief if you live in a hilly area!
Overall a fab little trike and I will definitely recommend it to my friends with small children.
Available to buy from Amazon here.