Frequently Asked Questions
Which size to get: small or XL (large)?
The short answer: typically the small size is a perfect 2nd birthday gift, the large size is a perfect 3rd birthday gift.
The small size is intended as a first steerable ride-on, with a seat so low (at toddler hip height) that practically any toddler who can walk / run comfortably can ride it. The seat height is 10″ for the small and 12″ for the large (XL), which makes the large one less stable and a lot faster. Riding on the large size is much easier if the child has tried the small one already, otherwise if he falls too often with the XL, he may give up. While protective gear is highly recommended for the small size, it is required for the large size.
The other thing: maturity. A small mopi is fast, can go at adult speed-walk velocity. The XL mopi is faster. So for the XL, you need a mature child who obeys you when you tell him to stop.
As an example, “Miki, the first superMOPI rider in the US” has always been a huge and well-coordinated child, also a very self-confident younger brother. Yet he was riding the small mopi even when he was 38.5 in / 98 cm at age 2 and a half. Then, after a long time of constant riding and becoming a real whizz with the small size, he switched to the large size and even then he had to learn balancing it (he did not fall since he knew the MOPI already but had to use his legs more often). It took him a few days to adjust to the large size and get used to the higher speed. Check out his youtube videos to see him ride (see more videos in the right pane “Watch MOPI videos”).
Can a 1-year old ride it? My son has just turned 1 and this toy looks so tiny that I am not sure if he needs to wait another 6 months to ride it. Is it safe for him?
The recommended age of the superMOPI (small size) in the European Union is between 1 to 3 years, as certified by a trusted German safety testing institute. However, it was modified for the U.S. market according to the age determination guidelines of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Therefore, we only recommend riding the superMOPI for toddlers at least 18 months old.
Is balancing required?
Balancing is not a pre-requisite for superMOPI riding (beyond the balancing capability required for running). The superMOPI stands on its three wide wheels on its own. As a start, the toddler can sit on it, no balancing is needed to get it moving with both legs. While pushing with alternating feet, some balancing is needed, about as much as for running. Basically, the faster the rider, the more balancing is needed. For coasting, with legs in the air, less balancing is needed than for a training bike that only has 2 wheels. So superMOPI can guide the toddler from minimal balancing ability to bike-ready balancing ability.
Won’t my toddler tip over with such a light toy?
She will, at the beginning. Just like they had to fall many times to learn how to walk and how to run, most toddlers will fall in the learning phase. The good news is that they learn fast – faster than they have learned to run. The other good news is that even if they fall, they do not fall from a height as the seat is lower than their hip height. The third good news is that the toy is light so it will not hurt them if it ends up on top of them.
So what should you as a parent, grandparent or guardian do? Let the toddler practice on carpet or playground rubber padding and only let the child ride hard surfaces when she is ready – typically within a few days.
It is important for parents to realize that the superMOPI is a transition between a traditional, widely-built tricycle that cannot tip over and a training balance bike that cannot stand on its own. Therefore, superMOPI is suitable to teach the youngest toddlers to balance without having the pre-requisite of balancing capability – which is one of its greatest advantages.
European superMOPI riders can often ride a bike without training wheels at the age of 4. If they fall small with the superMOPI, they will be less likely to fall big with a real bike in a few years. Not to mention how much less time daddy will need to invest in teaching his child to ride the bike…
When will the kids outgrow this toy and does it come in a larger size?
It does, actually. Until August 2009, only the 10″ seat version was available in the US for toddlers between 18 months and 3 years old. However, due to increasing demand, the large size with seat height 12″ is now also sold in the US. Look for it under superMOPI XL on Amazon.com.
The rider weight limit of 50 lbs allows even 4-5-year-old kids to ride both small and large MOPIs. With their body size, however, older kids are more constrained in “running” the mopi but can “coast” with it easily, lifting both legs up in the front.
Nothing shows up for superMOPI in Europe, why?
The superMOPI brand name was created specifically for the US market. The same product is sold under Italian and German sounding names in various European countries and Israel. MOPI by the way comes from the word “moped”.
When will my child learn to ride a bike if he rides a superMOPI as a toddler?
It depends on the child, of course. Many superMOPI riders can ride a bike without training wheels by the age of 5. Some do at age of 4. Again, our experience with “Miki, the first superMOPI rider in the US” was that he joined a family bike trip at the age of 3 and a half and biked 15-20 miles a day on his own bike – without training wheels, of course. He still napped in the afternoon in a bike trailer, pulled by other eager tour members. When he saw other kids pull his trailer, he even insisted we let him pull it too. Hard to believe it for a 3-year-old? See it on youtube.