Recommendations & Advice sought for buying a childs first balance bike

John_S

Über Member
Hello All,

I’d like to buy my son a balance bike for his second birthday at the end of the month.

I just wondered if anybody has any experience of buying balance bikes for their kids and have any recommendations?

From info that I’ve started to read about getting a childs first bike one point that gets mentioned quite a lot is making sure that it’s light because they’ll be more inclined to use it if it’s not heavy and hard work to move. Having searched online we’d pretty much narrowed it down to two but having watched some balance bike videos online we’ve now added another to the short list.

Reading online reviews the Islabikes Rothan seems to get really good feedback from everybody who has had one. The stumbling block is the price is £129.99 which seems like quite a lot. However I guess that if it gets well used, acts as a way to get my son into cycling and gets used by my daughter when she’s old enough then it maybe money well spent.

http://www.islabikes.co.uk/products/bikes/item/rothan

Looking at a cheaper option we’d seen the Puky LRM Learner bike which less than half the price at £59.49

http://www.pukybikes.co.uk/learner-bikes/balance_bikes_lrm.htm

Then watching some online videos over the weekend about balance bikes a balance bike called the Strider came up a lot but that’s probably because it’s an American brand and lots of online videos were from the USA. The Strider sport model is £80

http://www.striderbike.co.uk/12q-strider-balance-bikes-new-range

Some specs that I could compare are:-

Frame material:-
Islabikes = Aluminium
Puky = Steel
Strider = Steel

Brake:-
Islabikes = Yes
Puky = No
Strider = No

Weight:-
Islabikes = 3.5 kg
Puky = 3.54 kg
Strider = 3 kg


One thing that caught my attention in respect of the Strider bike is that it has a footrest and on the website it states, “Unique, frame-integrated footrests are properly positioned directly below the saddle for natural bike balance. This position also fosters the advanced ability to stand while”.

Looking at the images of the Islabike I guess that the child could just put their feet on the frame if they wanted to but the website doesn’t make any mention of this being the intention. Looking at the Puky it does have a footrest but it’s out in front of the child so they'd be putting their feet in an unnatural position when compared to where the pedals would be and so may not help the transition to a bike with pedals when that day comes.

Anyway I’ve not ruled out any other balance bikes and so if anybody has any other tips regarding balance bikes to go for or any thoughts on either of these three bikes any feedback will be gratefully received.

Thanks,

John
 

Spartak

Powered by M&M's
Location
Bristolian
Thumbs up here for the Islabike :thumbsup:

Daughter (23 months) had one for Christmas - she loves it ^_^

Although it seems expensive I believe they hold their value & resell at a good price !
 
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John_S

Über Member
Hi Spartak,

Many thanks for the feedback that your daughter is getting on well with her Islabike.

That's a good point about holding their value because it could always be sold in the future and the money recouped put towards another bike.

I'm at least hoping that if the balance bike is successful with my son it will also get used by my daughter when she's old enough.

Thanks,

John
 

janes

New Member
Im biased as I work for Strider ( so we are clear) but another factor that may be worth considering is that the Strider bike comes with two seat lengths and fit kids from 18 mths to 5 and all spares are available to do the bike back up to sell on or hand down. We do have a brake - its an optional foot operated rear brake as we don't endorse front lever brakes for tiny kids as they can't reach or control how hard to pull them and no point having a brake to confuse and add unnecessary weight to begin with
Lightness is key and the Pro is also worth considering at 2.2kg and thats an Aluminium frame but costs £100 but still in line with the other three brands. The reason you come across so many videos is we offer strider coaching and racing at venues across the UK - we give you places to ride as well as sell you the bike with a 2 yr manufacturers warranty.
 
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John_S

Über Member
Hi Janes,

Thanks for your message and I appreciate you being open & up front about working for Strider.

You're advice is really helpful and I know that you have to blow the trumpet of the company that you work for but this seems like really fair and honest advice. Your advice about the brake and the reasons for not having a hand operated front lever do make sense.

Thanks,

John
 
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User169

Guest
Just to confuse you further, I'll vote for the Puky.

They're nicely made and ours got a serious bashing over the course of more or less daily for 18months or so, but still looks pretty new. We now have the bigger Puky with hand-brake (not that it ever seems to get used) and although my son has now made the step to a pedal bike, he still likes to use the balance bike.
 

VJOCK

Über Member
We bought ridgeback scoot and has lasted two boys and now with cousins daughter. Great bike and kids loved it. Brake good as once they were expert and went downhill they used the brake to avoid breaking themselves!

Boys now on islabikes( have bought 3 islabikes so far and no intention to change brand)
So Isla bike would also be recommendation.

Vjock
 
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John_S

Über Member
Hi Delfste Post & Vjock,

Thanks for the feedback and it's good to hear that you've been happy with both the Puky and the Ridgeback Scoot.

In my mind whilst I'm sure that the Islabike Rothan would be a lovely balance bike and the resale values are good if you look at auction sites I can't help thinking that it might be best to save some money on this being their first bike and save that money to go towards future bikes when they're old enough and bikes get a bit more complex than just the balance bike.


Janes, if you look back at this post you've mentioned that you offer balance bike coaching and racing and can I ask you if you run any of this in the East of England?

Thanks,

John
 

Mummy3monkeys

Senior Member
Location
South Norfolk
We bought ours, £30 toys r us, our now 6yr old sped along on it, his feet were his brakes and he was fab, went straight on a pedal bike at 5, rode it straight away. Only downside is it is quite small, too small for our now very tall 3yr old.
They have both used strider bikes at various cycle events, very good little bikes!
 
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