4 Things To Look For In A Jogging Stroller

The mechanical aspects of a stroller are key when it comes to strollers, especially good jogging stroller models. There are 4 things to look for in a jogging stroller, which together have an effect on the overall design, which in turn can impact both performance and longevity.

These days, many companies claim their strollers are built well for jogging. The truth, however, is that the majority of models you find out there unfortunately either tend to wear down quite quickly, or are not designed and constructed to maximise sports performance.

Other than the strength and sturdiness of the chassis itself, which is of course a very critical factor, when it comes to what to look for in a jogging stroller, the following four areas are the most important:

1. Brake System

When it comes to the brake system, we’re not talking about the static parking brake but rather about having a good dynamic brake mounted on the handle which you can squeeze to reduce speed, especially when you’re running downhill. This is a crucial feature for a jogging stroller, as it has to do with safety of your baby too.

The best brake setup are dynamic handbrakes that use disc brake or V-Brake systems. The V-Brake system is pretty much confined to fixed wheel setups as opposed to the more common drum system, as the drum systems are incredibly difficult to keep calibrated evenly on both sides.

This means that one side will have relatively less braking power, causing the stroller to pivot towards that side whenever you engage the brake. What you need to note however, is that unlike the parking brake, the dynamic brake is something that you’ll be using on-and-off quite often as you jog.

The predominant reason why drum systems may tend to be problematic is a combination of factors, including manufacturers splitting the brake wire. This results in too many adjustment screws, and the inevitable wearing of the rubber calipers, which usually happens asymmetrically.

And instead then what you want ideally is either a disc brake setup, or the V-Brake systems (also known as direct-pull cantilever brakes) which break the front wheel on fixed wheel models.

2. Suspension

The rear frame suspension is a very important element on jogging models, as it is a place where the shock absorbers should is substantially sized and (shock absorber spring) is wound such, that it is much tighter than everyday urban models. After all, only then will it be able to counteract the increased force of rushing over uneven ground at higher speeds.

When it comes to suspension, the weight of the model obviously plays matters as well. Heavier the model, more robust the suspension should be, especially for jogging. Heavier model also makes the stroller steady, and forces the suspension to do the job it is there for.

Having said, there are disadvantages to having a heavy stroller too. For instance, it is important that the tension of the suspension is correctly balanced to the weight of the model; as a light model with hard suspensions will result in jerking and jolting as you go over bumpy terrain. On the contrary, a heavy model with too light suspension will make it unsafe to push even at moderate speed, let alone high speed.

The suspension design varies from model to model. Generally speaking however, shock absorbers that built into the rear legs that are attached either to the central or upper body of the chassis, or on separate support struts; will give a far better feel compared to models that are just suspended via hinges that are at the same or a lower elevation as the rear crossbar.

3. Wheel Size

When it comes to the wheel size of a good jogging stroller, you want at least 12 inches in the front and 14 to 16 inches in the rear. When it comes to the rear, the bigger the better.

Generally, the fixed wheel models offer the largest as regards the front wheels. This becomes critical, because how well the front wheels will be able to handle first contact with the obstacles and run over them freely depends on the size.

In contrast, the rear wheel size is all about suspension and mitigating the shock of those obstacles, so that there’s less pressure on the shock absorbers and the structure of the chassis.

The one specific area that manufacturers will often skimp on with the intention to build a more all-round model is the wheel size, so that they can keep the stroller’s folded dimensions smaller. This is particularly so when it comes to jogging models with a lockable swivel wheel on the front.

But if you’re really looking to run with your stroller, then this should not be the area to skimp on, as it significantly impacts performance.

4. Wheel to Chassis Connection

Generally, the way how the front wheel connects to the chassis is not a matter of concern for fixed wheel setups, as the connection is done just by way of an axle and some mechanism for adjusting the tilt. The connecting mechanism is an important feature that all the running models need, as it keeps the stroller moving in a straight line without veering off either side; which can happen due to even slight wear or changes in tire pressure.

However, with a lockable swivel wheel model, which are often more appealing since they make the stroller more comfortable to use when not running, this can be a real problem area. It is therefore important that the front wheel housing is built quite sturdily, where everything responsible for keeping the vertical axle of the front fork fixed upright, should ideally be constructed almost entirely of metal.

Generally, it is best to avoid models with ball bearings in the housing, as they will wear down, get loose and require replacement over time (which is usually available as spare).


While all the 4 things to look for in a jogging stroller are important, the two things that would relatively carry the more weightage among the four would be the wheel size and wheel to chassis connection.

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