There's a reason the BOB Ironman is the official stroller of the Ironman Triathlon. This is a serious running stroller for people who just love to run or who are training for long-distance events. It is not for those who kind of want to get in shape; it's not for everyday use; it's not for trail running. If road running is your thing, and you log significant miles doing so, this is the stroller for you.
Extra safety features. The BOB Ironman has not one, but two brakes: a heavy-duty, one-touch, linked parking brake on the back wheels and a handle brake made to carefully slow it down on hills so it does not come to a screeching halt. There also is a wrist strap in case the stroller slips out of a parent's hands, and the wrist strap doubles as a lock so the stroller won't accidentally open when carried. Parents say the five-point padded harness is easy to adjust.
It should not be used as a running stroller until the child is 8 months old and has good head and neck control.
Easy to push, everything else is two-handed. Experts and owners praise the BOB Ironman for its easy-to-use features, including locking brakes, reclining seat and fold/unfold. However, none of these can be done with one hand, so it may be best to have a place to park your baby before you set up this stroller. It's not particularly bulky when folded, and the back wheels pop off easily, making it more compact for smaller trunks. It gets raves for ease of pushing on its 16-inch, high-pressure tires, with runners saying they can push it easily with one hand. The seat can be spot-cleaned.
Serious road runners, this is your stroller. The BOB Ironman is a 23-pound, fixed front wheel stroller that's a top choice for marathon runners and other long-distance road runners. Athletes say it "glides" along almost effortlessly, making their runs easy and enjoyable. It can be used as a jogger after a child reaches 8 months and accommodates up to 70 pounds. It has extra back support, good padding, leg support and two side pockets. The tracking and suspension are highly adjustable. The seat is roomy but has a lower clearance, so it may not be best for taller children. The canopy features almost complete coverage with a peek-a-boo window. There is a medium-sized under-seat basket and a large pocket on the back of the seat. All accessories are sold separately.
The Ironman accepts a car seat, but should not be used as a running stroller with the car seat in place.
The BOB Ironman comes in second out of 10 overall, but is the top-rated stroller for serious runners, with a rating of 87 out of 100. Mariana Seif says it's lightweight, slim and fast, and calls it the ultimate running stroller, but pans it for its size and lack of adjustable handlebar.
Review: BOB Ironman Review, Mariana Seif, Dec. 14, 2012
2. Baby Bargains
"Baby Bargains" covers jogging strollers in depth. Authors Denise and Alan Fields consider performance, ease of use and the brand's track record when making stroller recommendations. Reviews are comparative, thorough and unbiased and include reviews of the brand in general, and of specific jogging strollers.
Review: Strollers, Diaper Bags and other To Go Gear, Denise and Alan Fields, 2013, 10th edition
This roundup of the top jogging strollers includes the BOB Ironman stroller, named "Best for Long Runs." Nancy Johnson Horn says this is a stroller for serious runners. The parent tester notes its smooth ride but does not like the hand brake, which she says is uncomfortable.
Review: The Best Jogging Strollers of 2012, Nancy Johnson Horn, July 24, 2012
Elena Filatova's review of the BOB Ironman is thorough and includes pros and cons. She doesn't like the lack of an adjustable handlebar and says its narrow footrest may not be comfortable for some children. However, she likes its ability to handle rough terrain, shock-absorbing abilities and ample storage.
Review: BOB Ironman Stroller Review, Elena Filatova, Jan. 29, 2013
The BOB Ironman earns an overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 in more than 50 reviews. It gets top marks from serious runners; its lower ratings seem to be from people who did not realize they were buying a dedicated jogging stroller and do not like the fixed wheel.
Review: BOB Ironman Single Stroller, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013
Hollie Schultz gives the BOB Ironman a thorough review, even taking it for a run. She notes that it's a stroller for serious, long-distance runners, not for everyday use. She likes the way its large, thin wheels glide over pavement, so it doesn't seem like she's pushing a stroller.
Review: Baby Gizmo Review of the BOB Ironman Stroller, Hollie Schultz, May 8, 2012
Christine Luff, the running guide at About.com, says the BOB Ironman as a great option for serious runners. Luff praises the performance and handling, and she finds the parking brake easy to engage. However, there is no mention of testing, and the review seems to be based upon features only.
Review: Top Jogging Strollers, Christine Luff, June 15, 2013