Discussion in 'Family and Recreational Cycling' started by Puddles, 23 Feb 2015.
Like a kid refusing to eat vegetables, or somesuch. Excuse really.
Don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this. Kids are different and learn in their own ways and in their own time.
Both my kids learned the old way - my boy was 3 when his stabilisers came off my daughter was almost 6.
Both love their bikes and getting out on the trails and give me another excuse for spending more time on my bikes.
I couldn't give a monkeys whether someone thinks they're a craze.
I do know they have worked for a whole succession of children to my direct knowledge, whereas the one who tried stabilisers was slower getting going than all the others.
Sample size is 8.
What I can safely report though, is that getting going later than others has no impact on how well/much they cycle once they've got the hang of it. Anyone care to guess who the one was (who was on the FNRttC to Felpham last April) ?
You mean the one who rode at the front all night? Good lad!
The very one !
Balance bikes! Pshaw! I learned to ride (age 6 3/4) on a 28" wheel roadster with rod brakes and 6" wooden blocks screwed to the pedals so I could reach them (crossbar came up to my shoulder). Uncle pushed me along a few times till I got the hang of it and I was away. Learned to stand on one pedal and push until I got enough speed to cock my leg over the rear wheel and get on (and off).
Newfangled nonsense. Fear of falling from a great height was a great incentiviser. That's what I did 68 years ago, so everyone should do it.
We teach about 40 kids to ride every year using balance bikes and I protest every time we do it - mollycoddled the lot of them. Strange thing is is seems to work since we haven't failed yet. Damned impertinent of them.
My eldest has got the hang of balancing at age 3 1/2, much younger than I learnt with stabilisers. This is on a £25 bike from Lidl, so it's a cheap option too.
They're a buffoon for the sentiment, but... My kids had a near as dammit balance bike each, it was their own first bike with the seat a bit low and the pedals removed. TBH the cheapskate in me would have done it that way anyway, but in all honesty I cannot recall seeing a balance bike or having one mentioned as an option to me when they were small.
My son started riding his bike this weekend without stabilizers, he was 5 in Jan. With him it was more a confidence thing but the last couple of weeks I have been taking him to local indoor skatepark in Stourbridge because he has always loved his scooters. The confidence it has gained from using the ramps etc on his scooter has transferred to him riding his bike, now from going up and down a path on Saturday to being able to turn around without stopping on Sunday to riding his bike all over the place. If I knew about balance bikes when he was a few years younger I would of brought him one( I discovered how they could help from this forum). My little girl (2.5) has one of the chillifish trikes that convert into a balance bike. I switched it to the balance bike because he complains being too big for the trike, she was pootling about at the skate park but the balance bike was a little too small for her so I have bought her balance bike yesterday and she has been riding around on it all day yesterday chasing after her brother without any issues.
Now my son has started the riding without stabilizers, there is a downside. He his tall for his age so he his at the very limit of his 14" bike and now wants BMX and fits 18" bike nicely which means he will be getting a new bike this week and its not even Christmas or his Birthday!
I think our balance bike is worth it just for the joy in our 2 year old's face at riding his "Own bike!" after 9 months in a seat on the back of mine. Ten minutes to get the hang of walking it around the front room and another fifteen until he was riding it to the park with us walking behind him.
If they are a craze they are a very good craze My 4 year old still rides his despite having been riding a "proper" bike for more than 2 and a half years!
My son used a balance bike and it was a fantastic experience. When he got his proper bike with pedals he learned to ride the bike within 10 minutes and no crash. He started to ride his first balance bike at the age of 3. A year later I bought him a bigger balance bike. Another year later he got the proper bike with pedals. I never needed to run after him or to hold him while hi was trying to ride or to sooth him after crashing. I wish I would have had learned to ride a bike on a balance bike.
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