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Balance bike conversion?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I cannot figure a better place for this to go, but please move it if there is a better place. :)


I need input on whether or not it would be possible to get a regular bike and remove the pedals for awhile, to use as a balance bike, and then replace the pedal system when needed. Any input? Experience?

post #2 of 12

We did this with a toddler bike we got off of craigslist. We haven't put the pedals back on, though. We probably won't though, because the bike is tiny and I'm sure DD will be too tall for it by the time she's ready for pedaling. 

post #3 of 12

I've heard that they aren't as stable that way.  I just received DD's new KaZAM balance bike today.  I think it's going to be great.  It's adjustable and has a place for the child to put her feet when she starts coasting.  And it's adorable.

post #4 of 12

We did this.  We got a really crappy, used 16" bike at a yard sale, took the crank arms/pedals off and she was balancing within the first 30 minutes and coasting down our driveway!

post #5 of 12

from my understanding, the difference with a pedal bike is that the frame is typically heavier than those of a balance/run bike.  but it's certainly doable!

post #6 of 12

I saw the title of this thread and wanted to sing the praises of our strider balance bikes. My 4yo and 2yo (especially the 2yo) looooooove them and look like little pros on them. An older man at the park the other day said my 2yo looks like a little Lance Armstrong. He gets more attention on it since he looks so tiny to be whizzing around on an itty bitty bike. It takes people a while to notice that it doesn't have any pedals.


I'm not sure if removing the pedals would work as well. I know the striders are very carefully designed for their purpose. One of the reasons my kids love them so much is that they have so much control over them (the bikes weigh less than 7 lbs) and the maneuverability is amazing.


I did get them on craigslist for $65 instead of the $100+ I would've paid online.

post #7 of 12

We've done it. At age 5 we took off the pedals, they stayed off for about a month, put them back on and our child could ride the bike alone. We removed the peddles  after a couple of days of frustration with learning to ride a bike once the trainig wheels were off, and killing my back trying to run around behind the bike trying to keep it upright.

post #8 of 12

I'm a believer in balance bikes. But I am more of a believer in appropriate sized bikes. If a bike is too big, so the child can "grow into it", imo, it only becomes a clumsy thing they can not control and can't learn to use, and the child only looses confidence and doesn't use it. This goes for balance bike and regular bike. A bike is not a pair of pants you can roll up, pull in the waist and make due with. Balance bike needs to be able to have feet firmly on the ground, and a rising seat so when they get taller you can move it up. Regular bike needs to be able to have feet almost firmly on ground when 1st learning (so they can hold one foot on ground while starting off with other foot on the pedal), when expert biker to have feet at least tip toe on ground.


However, I also understand that most people can not afford a small balance bike for their 2-3 yo, a regular bike for their 4-5 yo and then another bike for their 6-7 yo.... So, older siblings bikes, friends bikes, garage sale.... here we come. 


DS went from 3 wheeler to bike. He used training wheels for about 3 months. It would have been much longer, but at the same time we got a used balance bike, so he was able to take off the training wheels rather quickly. Still it was a learning experience because he was over 5 and feeling like he might fall without the training wheels. They were a crutch, in other words. DD got his old balance bike, and a few months later she instantly transitioned to regular bike with no training wheels. No reason to introduce training wheels, since she already had her balance and pedal motion. It was a very smooth transition. She was a good bike rider by 3.5, and a pro at just over 4 yo, she can bike fast up/down hill, in snow and sleet.... 


So to answer the original question, I am a huge balance bike fan. However, I put more stock in appropriate bike size than in whether it is a true balance bike or a regular bike with pedals off. However, buying a bike with pedals off that is clearly too big for the child, in order to not have to get another bike later, imo won't work.

post #9 of 12

We took the pedals off of dd's bike...works great!

post #10 of 12

This is possible but it is not recommended.  Regular bikes are a lot heavier and tend to be harder for younger children to maneuver.  If your child is small and does not have the strength to use a traditional bike don't do it.

post #11 of 12

Just wanted to add one more thing.  If you are really looking for a balance bike that can transition into a traditional bike take a look at the hobby bike brand.

post #12 of 12

DD got her KaZam bike for Christmas.  She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES it (as does my six-year-old DS.)  I love that it's sturdy and larger than some but the best part is that it has a place for the rider to put her feet.

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