I see this question come from a lot of my family members who see my daughter gliding around on her balance bike.
By the time children are 1 year old, they start interacting with ride-on toys. From ages 1-3, they are primarily scooting along with toys that offer the capabilities of steering, and being that they are close to the ground it allows control of movement by the child’s feet.
Children often master the coordination of scoot-along toys by the time they are 2 years old, but often ride them up until they are 4 years old. The next stage is the tricycle stage. The tricycle stage includes the classic tricycles we rode as children as well as modern versions from Ybike. Stage 2 gives children a little more freedom and maneuverability and allows that child to go faster. This is a good stage to teach the proper aspects of safety; always wear a helmet & stay out of the road.
Now they have mastered the tricycle and want to ride bikes like the “big kids” in the neighborhood. While some parents have leaned towards a 2-wheel pedal bike with training wheels, we recommend a balance bike. Balance bikes, often referred to as run bikes, stride bikes, glide bikes and look like a bike but with no pedals. We noticed with our first child that he relied too much on the training wheels and never really gained any confidence in balancing. Since most children have learned the basics of pedaling in the tricycle stage we like to focus on balancing in Stage 3. Balance bikes allow the children to start walking with the bike; proceed to an occasional balance and then to an all-out run and glide. Even after a child masters the balance bike they often go back to it for jumping ramps and going down small hills. We strongly recommend helmets, knee pads and wrist guards.
Balance bikes, Running Bikes, Pedal-less bikes, Strider bikes, First Bikes - whatever you call them, balance bikes are everywhere!
It’s time to buy your child’s first bike and the question keeps coming to mind… “what bike will be best for my child?”. To answer that question, the first thing you are going to want to consider are your different options. There are ton’s of bikes available on the market right now, but there is only one that will be perfect for your child.
You could choose to go the training wheels route, but let’s be honest… the only thing training wheels do is teach kids how NOT to ride. They are hard to ride, control and they tip over easily. Training wheels also get stuck on gravel, are heavy and don’t teach kids how to balance. So now training wheels are out of the question, what else could you pick? You could choose to start your child with a tricycle, but those present the same challenges and negative effects as training wheels. Luckily, there is a better alternative to both of these. Introducing the Balance Bike!
Simply put, Balance Bikes are the best way for kids to learn how to ride a bike. Imagine a regular bike, shrink it and take away the pedals. That’s a Balance Bike for you! It’s just a small bike without pedals that allow children to learn the key components of riding a bike without having to worry about pedaling. There are so many benefits to riding a Balance Bike, the major one being… kid’s learn how to balance! As any bike rider knows, this is a crucial skill for any bike ride to be successful. In addition to learning the skill of balance, kids will also experience a stress free ride. They don’t have to worry about turning corners or falling on loose gravel. This is because a Balance Bike is built to ride just like a regular bicycle. They can be ridden for miles making the fun endless.
Balance Bikes are made for children ages 2+. It doesn’t take long until your little one will be riding like a champion. Balance Bikes are are a perfect match for kids going through the physical and cognitive development of these ages. To learn more about why this is the best age for a Balance Bike, click here.
To purchase a Balance Bike, check out our Balance Bike Shop, and don’t forget to stay updated on social media!
Just because we all grew up using training wheels doesn’t mean that our kids don’t deserve better!
The balance bike vs training wheels debate is booming. Here you can learn all the facts. Training wheels and tricycles teach children how to NOT ride a bike because they aren’t built to ride like a normal bicycle. These bikes “pre-balanced” meaning a child will still have to learn how to balance after transitioning to a regular bike. These bikes ignore the most important part of riding – balance. Training wheels and tricycles are hard to ride a long distance, because they can easily get caught on gravel or rough surfaces, and they lose their balance easily.
A good majority of people reading this right now probably learned to ride using training wheels or a tricycle. Think back on those memories, practicing for hours and when you were ready to try out a pedal bike…WHAM. Right into the concrete. Mom and Dad were always there to help out. A few bumps and bruises, then right back at it. Falling is inevitable if a child doesn’t understand how to balance. Without learning this skill, kids will struggle for longer than if they had used a bike that required them to practice balance. Learning how to pedal will come naturally after using a Balance Bike.
A Balance Bike looks and rides exactly like a normal bike AND provides a safer riding experience. After trying to ride a bicycle as a kid and failing horribly, I think we can all agree that the hardest part of bike training, not pedaling. With a Balance Bike, kids use their feet to propel forward. As they become more confident, they lift their feet and simultaneously practice balance and steering. If they ever lose balance, they can simply just drop their feet back on the ground.