Anyone have a balance bike? Is is worth the $$? My dd will be 3 in the fall, but she's very coordinated and I think she might enjoy it more than a tricycle, especially since her big brother is learning to ride a real bike. Is there a particular brand that's good? How many years can a kid use it? Any input appreciated, thanks!
mama to H. 4/05 and A. 9/08 and baby C. 10/11
ABSOLUTELY! 1000%. Best money I ever spent. Makes learning to ride a regular bike so much easier, imo.
DD went from balance bike to regular bike, no training wheels, at a little over 3 years. DS never had a balance bike, and it took him a lot longer to bike properly. He was 5.5 y before he got his training wheels off. If I could do it again, I would have gotten him a balance bike and never even bothered with training wheels, like I did with DD.
ds has a strider bike. We love it, he loves it. I like the strider because it is soooooooo light. I think it weighs like 7 lbs total. I hate how heavy kids bikes are, for two reasons, they can't handle the bike themselves (carry them up and down the steps, pick them up over the curb etc) and when I inevitably end up carry it the strider is super light to carry!!!
DS is super tall (he towers above some of the 5yos at preschool) and we had to get him the longer seat post (he'll be 4 in Aug) but he should be able to use that seat for another couple of years still.
We bought a Mini Glider for $85 3 yrs ago when dd turned 2. She was too young then, so ds used it for a year or so, but she uses it all the time now. I think she'd have been ready at 3ish. Totally worth the money, and nicer than a typical, heavy 12" bike.
Can you tell me, how difficult is it to adjust the seat height? Looks like you can do it without tools? I am sort of thinking it would be nice for my six-year-old to practice with is a bit, since he still has training wheels on his bike and doesn't seem to be making much progress.
mama to H. 4/05 and A. 9/08 and baby C. 10/11
Oh yeah, I wish I had followed my instincts and not followed dh's ones!! I really wanted to get a Glidabike, rather than a normal bike with stabalisers - anyway he's learning to ride a bike now at nearly 6 but I really would have preferred that he had started off on the Glidabike!!
DS started at 2yo with an Islabike Rothan - fantastic lightweight aluminium balance bike. We liked it so much that we bought the next bike up in the range (CNOC 14 with pedals/brakes) just before we moved to Spain when he was 3.5yo. (He would have been OK on the balance bike for a while longer). He soon picked up pedalling, although learning to modulate his braking on the downhills took a little longer. He's now a very confident rider at 4yo, although hasn't mastered hill climbing yet. When he outgrows this bike I would like if possible to get him another Islabike as the quality is fantastic. (www.islabikes.co.uk).
Worth every penny. I bought my son a Haro (~$100) for his 2nd birthday. He still rides it over 2 years later even though he rides his pedal bike now too.
I decided to skip the balance bike and bought a scooter instead. They still learn the balancing with the scooter and they will quickly move to a regular bike. It was cheaper and just as easy to transition.
Mom to (12), (7), (5), (4), (born 7/8/11), , and
We bought regular 12" bikes and removed the pedals. You can remove the cranks, too, but it's trickier. Any bike will do, even thrift store bikes, if you can beat the bike rebuilders to them. We bought ours new at Toy'sR Us on sale, never more than $35. Some bikes don't let wheels move freely. Our friend had that kind of bike and took off the chain and that fixed the problem. Our girls are ready for the pedals, but prefer the bikes as "scoots".
"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
Well worth the $$. DD2 was 4.5 when she starting riding a two wheeler after about 6 months on a balance bike. Our local bike shop has a program where you can buy a Strider and then trade it in for a regular bike (ie. the $ you paid for the Strider goes towards the purchase price of a bike). You might want to check into that option too.
Like a PP, we have a regular 12" bike and removed the pedals. Works like a charm. My son was riding a 2-wheeler without training wheels the summer after he turned 3!
Mom to James ( 5/2006), Claire ( 6/2008), furry kitties Calvin and Bob, and wife to Dennis.
Getting a balance bike was one of the best decision and the best money that I have ever spent. I brought a few balance bikes for my son (one was the hobby bike) and he is now riding a bike without any problems. This is him on his Hobby Bike - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZcSFFSBPSg
DD is 2 mo away from turning 5 and has ridden a tricycle for 2 years. She's outgrown the trike, but knows how to pedal -- could she still benefit from a balance bike before transitioning to a two wheeler?
If DD is not able to balance the bike she still can benefit from a balance bike. Their is one more option. If you want purchase a bike with pedals then I would recommend a Gyrowheel. The Gyrowheel replaces the front tire and teaches balance also.
For my 2 yo's the balance bikes were much easier for them than tricycles. They had 10" balance bikes that they could ride almost anywhere but the tricycles that their grandparents bought them were pretty much confined to paved surfaces (though the trikes that were picked out were big and heavy, so maybe another trike would have worked out). The two of them on trail rides was the cutest thing. And then they were riding 2 wheelers by 3. But we kept the run bikes for at least another year and they'd still ride them now and then.
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