My DD is 5.5 and on the small side (okay, she's very small LOL). She is not strong enough to turn the pedals on her training-wheel bike, but am not sure that a 12" in bike will be the right size. Anyone have a small older child on a balance bike? I won't be able to test-drive one locally. They are listed as for ages 2-4 online, so I was just wondering :)
We don't have a balance bike but my Ds1 (he's 3.5yrs old) has a 12" bike w/ training wheels (of course) and it fits him perfectly....he rides the thing constantly. I figure by this fall we"ll have to get the next size up for him. Btw he's about 39-40 inches tall.
why not just take the training wheels and pedals off her regular bike?
DS never had a bike with training wheels but started at approx 2.5yo with a 12" balance bike. (He's in the 75-80% for H). At 3.5yo he got a regular 14" aluminum bike without training wheels and started riding almost immediately. He's a good rider BUT when he recently tried a friends bike with training wheels he found it almost impossible to turn the pedals. This is a child who quite happily cycles 6km on unpaved roads without difficulty.
For your DD, I'd try a regular bike without the pedals - your own as suggested by a pp. I'd also check to see how difficult the pedals on your DD current bike are to move. When she learns how to balance without pedals, she may have difficulty on a bike with a poorly functioning drivetrain.
Well, FWIW, my DD just turned five and is definitely over 40" tall. Although she usually rides her 16" two-wheeler, she sometimes still whips around on her Like-a-Bike. So I think your DD would be fine.
Does your dd have other strength issues? My dd (now 4.5) was also never able to pedal her trike or her bike, even when other kids were riding circles around her. She also was low energy, preferred quiet play over active play, avoided a lot of playground equipment. We had her evaluated by an OT for sensory issues and learned that she is low tone. After 9 months of therapy, she's a different kid -- loves the playground and can ride a scooter and a bike with training wheels (not well, but she can do it).
This might not apply to you at all, but I wanted to share our experience.
I have a tiny 5 year old (32 pounds, 42 inches). Two years ago we got her this bike because it was the lowest seat we could find. We actually had to modify something to make it low enough. She never really took to it, so this year MIL bought her a bike with training wheels. (And now, to be honest, I'm kicking myself for buying such an expensive balance bike that she doesn't use much at all.) But she still fits comfortably on the balance bike, with the seat still not quite at top height. You need to measure from her crotch to the ground to find out what size to buy. The Mini Glider is for 12"-18" and the Go Glider is for 17.5" to 23". If I was buying one today, I think the bigger one would probably work better (but I haven't measured her, so I'm not sure). I'm not sure how other brands compare for sizing.
DD's balance bike is the best one I've ever tried. She rides it (she's four and 38" and 32 lbs.) My almost seven-year-old DS can ride it, too (although his legs are a bit long. It's metal and VERY sturdy. It's the best present Santa ever brought and the company has terrific customer service. http://www.amazon.com/KAZAM-KZM11PK-Kazam-Balance-Bike/dp/B001K61CSM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1306256221&sr=1-1
It comes in several different colors.