They can be one of the most smile-triggering activities you can ever have with your child. The balance bike is the evolution of the bicycle, except that it’s to an earlier stage. It’s a starter two-wheeler, without pedals, generally designed for toddlers aged 18 months to about 4 years. Here’s a rundown on all things balance bike, so that you can make an informed choice as to when you want to get your little one into balancing and pedal-free cycling.
What Makes it a Balance Bike?
A balance bike has the same general components as a regular two-wheel bicycle, minus two things: 1) pedals; 2) crank shaft/chain. That means that it is propelled by foot power, as in two little feet, walking or running on the ground, while seated on the balance bike. From there, it’s coasting all the way.
The Main Difference Between a Balance Bike and a Two-Wheel Bicycle
We’ve indicated the absence of pedals and a chain. As a result:
- The balance bike is lower to the ground
- The balance bike weighs a lot less
These two distinctions make it a LOT easier for your little rider to get moving around on two wheels. It doesn’t take much effort to get a balance bike rolling forward. No pedals and chain also mean there’s no brake; but this is actually an advantage, too – stopping is as simple as your child plunking both feet on the ground and standing up.
How Your Child Will Learn to Ride Their Balance Bike
Learning to ride a balance bike is actually very instinctive to most kids. There are generally four stages to it, and the progression can be very fast:
- Stand and walk
- Sit and walk
- Sit and run – balance
- Sit and run – coast or glide
How fast your kid gets to the fourth, most advanced stage, is somewhat age-dependent. Standing and walking, for example, can be done by most 18 months to 2 year-olds. The full-bore sit-run-and-coast stage is generally in the 3 to 4-year-old range.
As for learning the skills, all you have to do is get your little rider to straddle the seat – from there, they will basically figure out what to do, especially the first stage, of standing and walking. It’s quite instinctual. All you need to do is be there, smile, clap your hands and encourage them.
Sometimes, it really helps to have other children on their balance bikes nearby, such as at the park or playground. By sheer observation, in many instances, a kid will see how the others do it, and mimic it, until they get the full hang of balance biking.
Balance Bikes are a Great Way to Get into Two Wheel Bicycles
One great advantage of balance bikes is that they teach critical balancing and steering skills to a child. This allows the transition to a pedal and chain-powered bicycle to be much easier – you’ll probably bypass the training wheels stage of bicycling altogether if your kid has mastered their balance bike!
We hope you found this summary useful. We have a wonderful selection of balance bikes in stock – check them out.