June 5, 2008

99 Laufmaschines, Or Seriously, Stop Inventing The Like-A-Bike!


Do we need to lay it out on a timeline for you? Because I haven't seen so many people inventing the exact same unique toy since, since--well, I guess those plush people do it all the time. BUT STILL! NO EXCUSE!

Strider Sport is yet another walking bike--yet another American walking bike, in fact--"invented" in a garage with a grinder by Ryan McFarland, a dad in Rapid City, South Dakota.

In a local news story titled, "Custer grad invents Strider bike," we learn that McFarland and his family/partners launched their company "in early 2007," worked on prototypes for a while, then just ordered up a shipping containerful of whatever Chinese product seemed to match their concept most closely. [The one Ningbo factory I mentioned below actually offers 20 different wooden walking bike styles. I'm sure whatever variation you can dream of is just an alibaba.com search away.]

Adam pointed out earlier that Like-A-Bike isn't necessarily so original themselves; another German company, PedoBike, claims to have invented their nearly identical product in 1992, five years before LAB.

Of course, maybe the thing to remember is that this whole walking bike concept is almost 200 years old now, and dates back to the origins of the bicycle itself. The first recognizable bike dates to around 1817. It was called the Laufmaschine [Running Machine] by it's inventor, Baron Karl von Drais, and after he introduced it in Paris in 1818, it was dubbed the Draisienne. It was all wood, and it worked exactly like a Like-A-Bike.


The Strider Sport retails for $98, which is also almost exactly the same pricepoint as most Chinese walking bikes. Cute logo, though. It's like they got an endorsement from AOL's Running Man.

Strider Sport: "US Patent Pending" [stridersports.com via dt commenter nelson]
Previously, from 2005: Two Wooden Bikemakers, both alike in dignity


We are the store for walking bikes in the Netherlands. And i can confirm that pedobike was the first walking bike for kids and that likeabike redesigned the bike.

the have been in court about the words "the original" and likeabike lost it.

[there you go. case closed. -ed.]

We received a Strider last Christmas. The build quality is disappointingly janktastic considering the price. Crappy plastic wheels, lots of friction everywhere. I bet they are bringing these in for under $20 landed. Our kid has demonstrated approximately zero interest in using it too- I've carried it much farther than she's ever ridden it.

Who do you love, and who loves you? Killian!

Sorry, just a little Running Man reference there.

There are different versions all over the place. even in Utah


Always appreciate for proper tipster attribution.

Glad to here the Strider is janky. (maybe not glad, but relieved ) I had just bought a Like-a-Bike when I saw their ad and was having some buyers remorse. The Jumper build quality is awesome and I think helped my son take to it so quickly, he had figured out how to balance in one day.

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