Balance Bikes for children

JamesM

Senior Member
Location
West Yorks
I've done a few searches and couldn't find anything. There must have been a thread or three on this!

My little boy is coming up to 3 and we'd been thinking of getting him a bike for his birthday. When he's on his little plasticy trike, he likes to push himself along with his feet on the floor rather than use the pedals (I remember having difficulty with pedals on front wheels when I was little)

Has anybody had any experience of balance bikes for small children? I had always dismissed the idea before but I saw a little girl with one in the park today and it seems to work well.
 

guitarpete247

Just about surviving
Location
Leicestershire
I bought this for granddaughter for her birthday or when she is big enough to sit on it easily. There are quite a few training bike on ebay.
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
I have to say that they were a couple of years older, but both of my children learnt to ride on normal children's bikes, with pedals in the middle and rear wheel drive.

I started off supporting them at the saddle while they went slowly, then said, "you'll have to slow down or I won't be able to keep up with you".

The response was of course increased speed, combined with instinctive successful balancing.

Time to learn for my son was about 20 minutes, my daughter took longer, about 25 minutes. That's from never having ridden on 2 wheels to being able to ride fully balanced.

The time difference was mainly down to my son having no self preservation sense, and having taken no notice of braking instruction.

That was nearly 30 years ago, do the same thing now and it would probably count as child abuse
 
These are an alternative to the Richard Ballantine method of teaching children to ride.

1. Take child's bike
2. Remove pedals and lower seat
3. Child learns to scoot and freewheel
4. Replace pedals and they will naturally progress to using them as footrests and then pedal

The advantage of using a bike is that you can upgrade the bike very quickly when they start to pedal

One company (Renn) have a compromise where there is a stub on the bottom of the frame where you can add a bottom bracket and chainset.


One of the advantages of the Like-a-bikes is that they have indoor tyres designed notto mark floors.

The main downside is cost - at £175 you can do much better - Islabikes make a trainer bike at £100 and their basic aluminium bike for 3 + is only £149

If you do go down this route though you can save by getting a Lidl / Aldi version.
 

Kestevan

Last of the Summer Winos
Location
Holmfirth.
We've just taken the pedals off a "normal" kids bike for the 3 year old.
He's scooting along using his feet and demanding bigger hills to whiz down.

Pedals are going back on next weekend...
 
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