There comes a time when your kids are ready to start embracing bikes, and you’ve got to make a big decision about what bike to get them. It’s a big deal, this is their first-ever bike. Considering how many options are out there, it’s no wonder people are feeling confused and frankly overwhelmed. Here are some things you need to know or ask yourself to help you choose the best balance bike for your little ones!
What Is a Balance Bike?
Balance bikes are essentially training bikes. They’re for really young kids who’ve never experienced riding a bike before. It helps them gain confidence in steering and balance. There are no foot pedals, no chain, no gears, no gear shifters, no freewheel, no derailleurs, and no drivetrain.
Is Your Kid Big Enough for a Balance Bike?
To answer this question, you need to see if your kid’s feet touch the ground when sitting on the bike. If the answer is yes, and it’s comfortable, they’re fine. If they’re having trouble reaching the ground, or if they’re too big, either you need to wait for them to grow into it, or you need a bigger bike.
Most commonly, balance bikes have an inside measurement of 32 cm and come with 12” wheels. This is the standard. However, there are 14” and 18” available with complete bike upgrades possible. Measure your kids inside leg length by making them stand against the wall and sliding a book between their legs. Mark where the bottom of the book lies and see how it matches the balance bike’s measurements.
Do Balance Bikes Need Breaks?
Most balanced bikes don’t come with brakes. We realize how terrifying that sounds, but it’s not something to be alarmed at. The reason why we say this is because a two-year-old is unlikely to be equipped with the coordination and reflexes necessary to use brakes if necessary. Balance bikes work with little feet to generate that momentum and, in turn, braking.
What Are Balance Bikes Made From?
All kinds of materials can be used for balance bikes. Because they don’t require things a regular bike would, there’s more freedom of choice for manufacturers. There are balance bikes made from wood, lightweight aluminum, metal, plastic, etc. There are a lot of options. The tires are usually pneumatic tires which are a comfortable type of tires for bumpy terrain. Some models feature plastic wheels. Both have their own sets of pros and cons.
How Heavy Are Balance Bikes?
Balances bikes aren’t meant to be heavy. A small child would struggle tremendously with a heavy metal balance bike. The general rule of thumb is that the lighter the bike, the better. When you’re shopping, pay attention to the weight listed and try and put it into perspective the best you can.
At Xchange Sports, we’re all about getting kids on bikes and embracing the great outdoors! There’s nothing better than getting that first bike and learning to ride it. It’s an experience that sticks with a kid forever. We’ve got some great balance bikes that you should check out on our website! There’s something for everyone, so be sure to look around.