Pros: Easy to assemble, operate. Healthy alternative to regular video games. Kids love it
Cons: Large and doesn't fold or collapse. Eats through batteries.
My two toddlers get cabin fever SO BADLY in the winter. We live where snow keeps you indoors for months and it is hard to make sure little ones get enough exercise.
Enter the SMART CYCLE. The kids love this thing and will exercise until they are sweaty gross with huge smiles on their faces.
The kids watched as we quickly threw this bike together. A few screws here, slide on a pedal there and you are done. Very easy.
Plug the NICE LONG cord into the front of your TV, pop in a cartridge, some batteries and that is it. You can be playing in 10 minutes!
The cartridges push in very snuggly and so most little kids will not be able to do it themselves. You have to push quite hard with even pressure in order for the game to turn on. You will need to do every time they want to start a new game.
The unit comes with one basic game that my kids really love. They can race each other in a timed two player road race. This is their favorite as someone is actually pronounced the winner. Parents love it because they pedal as fast as they can and tire themselves out. This cartridge also has games that teach letters, numbers, colors, shapes and short words. Just like grownup video games, it has a built in feature that keeps you playing. There is a mystery game that you cannot play until you have played and completed every other game on the cartridge IN ONE SITTING! This takes at least 20 minutes and the kids love it. This game comes on a "key ring" of sorts which keeps all of your games together.
Other cartridges are sold seperatly and most are kids' favorite characters, Dora, Diego, Scooby, Hot Wheels, THomas the train, Barbie and many more. They average about $20.
Some games do not require any pedaling. This is often while they are solving some type of puzzle. This has it's pros and cons--it gives them a rest so they can keep playing, but if they are feeling a little lazy they could just sit there and play the non-active games for a while. At least they are learning something, right? :o)
The graphics leave much to be desired, but kids don't seem to notice at all. Fun sound effects and bright colors are enough for them. (at least for my kids)
Wear and tear:
The unit seems to hold up very well. The adjustable seat grows with your child.
The access point for the cartidges is ill placed and if your child gets over zealous while pedaling, their feet may fly off the pedals and kick the cartridge loose. This doesn't seem to have any long term effects on the unit, but it is maddening for the little kid who has been trying to get to the mystery game at the end.
There are reports of pedals falling off and breaking and no replacement part being available. This has not happened to us in the year we have had it, so I cannot comment on it.
With almost daily use, this unit still looks pretty darn new. We blow on the chip in the cartridge every once in a while--a total throw back to out nintedo NES days.
The unit has saved us from taking our kids to the mall or, worse yet, McD's for excercise when it is freezing out. Our town has nothing for little kids to do indoors, so this has saved us by excercising the the kids daily.
Easy for kids to figure out. Our two year old needed about one minute of instruction and was off. Kids older than I expected like it too.
Stands up to a beating and still looks pretty new.
Lots of games to choose from.
Some games have 2 person feature. Nice.
Bike/pedaling action still works when the unit is off. Kids play imagination games with it and still get some exercise with their stationary bike!
The unit does not fold, is large, takes up too much storage space.
Burns through 4D (EXPENSIVE) batteries in no time. You cannot plug it in, you must use batteries. Get recargeables!
Some of the cartridges have nearly identical games but with just a different character.
Little kids cannot push the cartridges in themselves.
Handle bars are not adjustable and limits bigger kids from playing.
Worth the $100. Kids love it. Would most likely get sedentary kids who hate excercise to move.
Kids learn pre-school concepts while having a blast and staying healthy.
Develops hand-eye coordination.
We love this thing!
This would get 5 stars if it had an AC adaptor and could get smaller for storage.