It is the dream of every parent to be there to teach their baby to ride a bicycle. It is almost a rite of passage for a parent to make sure that their baby can actually ride a bike. But, when the time comes, they quickly realize that it is not going to be as easy as they had thought. They have to dig deeper and the phobia of the kid falling down usually dominates the training exercise. No parent wants to see their child go down hard while learning how to ride a bike. It is an experience that would actually make it really difficult for the child to like biking again.
However, while you could easily believe that your child does not have the guts and easily write them off as the problem, the actual problem could be the fact that you’re taking the child too fast. To get on a bike for a toddler is usually a huge step and just like any other thing, they need to be weaned into this if they’re going to be willing to learn. Before you can have them riding a bike, you ought to give a balance bike a try. They’re a great learning tool for kids and one that will make the experience more bearable for them. It also helps to get them acquainted with small bits at time. With the balance bike, they learn to steer and balance at the same time. Once they have mastered that, you can then take them to a bike and they can incorporate pedaling.
Balance bikes are also quite fun. They not only focus on the learning part but they also help the child to have fun so they are more willing to learn. However, just like the bikes, there are a couple of things that you need to consider when you’re buying a balance bike. For the best experience here are a couple of things that you need to consider to make the best balance bikepurchase possible.
What to consider when buying a balance bike
While a balance bike looks pretty simple, the truth of the matter is, the buying process is more complicated than you would think. You have a lot more to consider and the decisions that you make will directly affect your ability to get the best balance bikes.
One of the most sensitive areas of a balance bike is the height of the seat. It affects the age and the height of the child. If the height of the seat is too high, then the child will strain to get their feet on the ground and if it is too low, the balance bike will be ultimately uncomfortable for them. While considering the seat height, the one thing that you have to look into closely is the inseam of your child. By measuring this, you can be able to compare it with the different seat sizes of the different seat heights and be able to get the one that would work best for your kid.
Don’t get it confused, the height of the seat and the size of the bike are two different things. The size of the bike is determined by the size of the tires. The most common size are the 10” but they go all the way up to 20”. It is important for parents not to jump the gun and assume that they can a bigger balance bike that their kid will be able to use even when they’re older. The most important thing is to make sure that you have the best chance at getting the child ready to ride a bike. The best balance bike for them would be what the right size is for them. 10” wheels are the best for toddlers while 12” are great for grade schoolers. If you’re not sure which size would be ideal for your kid you can ask attendants but in most instances, it will be a 10” wheel.
After you put out your doubts with regards to the size of the bike, then you need to focus your attention on other equally important factors of the bike. The tires will feature heavily in the discussion which is why they get to go first if you stand any chance at getting a toddler bike without pedals. When it comes to bikes, there are typically five types of tires that you will come across. The first is the hard plastic that has very low traction or cushioning. It does not require to be pumped and you never have to worry about punctures.
You also have the EVA foam tires. They offer minimal traction with no cushioning as well and there are no risks of flats as well but are much better than the hard plastic varieties. Higher up the chain you have the rubber honeycomb tires. These are rubber tires that have air chambers that have been sealed and provide minimal traction and minimal cushioning. They also don’t have the risks of having flats. Then there the commonly used air tires that provide plenty of traction and some cushioning. They however do come with the risk of getting punctured at some point. Lastly you have the Fat boy tires. These are wide profile air tires that offer improved traction and cushioning but also have the risk of flats.
While considering the type of tire that is best for your child’s balance bike, don’t be fixated too much on the initial price, you have to remember that there are other additional maintenance costs and also durability issues that you have in consideration. There is a whole technicality topic on how the different types of tires affect the experience of the rider. The safest bet would be to go with the air tires. They offer you a bit of everything and are not as costly to repair or replace.
After you have weighed out your scale with the tires that are best suited for the best balance bike for 2 year old or the best balance bike for 3 year old, you can then shift your attention to the weight of the bike. The general rule of thumb to have here is to make sure that the balance bike that you choose for your child is not more than 30% of their body weight. If anything you want your toddler to be able to carry the bike. Having a lightweight bike can also be a plus to the parents. Toddlers tend to be very indecisive and you might have to carry the bike most of the way. Being light will save you from a sore back and aching muscles.
For most balance bikers, the primary method of stopping will be the legs. However, the best balance bikes for toddlers should always have a secondary set of breaks that makes stopping the bike more efficient and safe. This will also save their shoes from the rubber hungry tarmac and makes the transition to a fully-fledged bike much easier.
Initially, turn limiters might not look like a very handy addition that is a do or die. They just keep the steering bar from making a full revolution. This means that the bar does not go past a certain point which can keep the tummy of the toddler at a safe distance from the bar. This will also reduce the chances of the toddler falling.
There are a myriad of other features and add-ons that you have to consider when buying the balance bike. The truth is, this will be the riskiest thing you’re buying for your toddler and you need to make sure that it is not only fun but also safe and that the money that you will invest in it will be worthwhile. Some of other considerations include having a foot rest on the bike, the materials that have been used on the frame, the grips and last but not least the nature of the bolts. They need to be well covered, rounded and recessed for the safety of the child. They could easily graze them as they play around.
Other than the features that you have to look at when buying a balance bike, you could also read some balance bike reviews to help you get more insight on what they have to offer. You might also find more valuable information in the reviews and even a potential purchase for you. Here are some of the best balance bikes currently in the market.
If you have a toddler between the ages of 18 months and five years, this would be a good balance bike for them. Strider has a great record with balance bikes and other than the big name manufacturer, it is also has some great features that most parents would love. The bike has been built with the approach of helping toddlers work on their balance at a tender age. It is also able to work on coordination and confidence of the toddler. The bike has a patented design with a simple assembly that takes about five minutes and comes with EVA polymer tires that means you never have to fix flats and your child does not miss a piece of the fun.
You get a two year warrant and you can get a seat and other upgrades with the bike, these are great benefits since you don’t have to buy another bike when the child grows up all you have to do is switch the seat and the child can continue making use of the bike. The bike also has a high weight limit of up to 60 pounds.
The EVA polymer tires do present a downside because they tend to get the ride slightly uncomfortable and wear out fairly fast. However, considering that you save up on mending costs.
For a more classic and mature look, the KaZAM classic bike is a great option for you. It offers a vast array of features. A great deal of these are dedicated to giving the toddler a better experience but the benefits extend to you.
The greatest features is the patented 12 inch steel frame design that even comes with a footrest to make those rides much faster when the child gets more comfortable with the balance bike. It has an adjustable seat and handle bar. In essence, this would mean that as your kid grows, the bike will be able to grow with them. However, the last thing that you want to is to push the limits too high. It might be tempting to continue adjusting these till you no longer need the bike. However, with a 75 pound weight capacity, chances are it will outlive your child’s need for the bike. It also comes with a quick release saddle adjustment. It makes it much easier for you to adjust the seat without requiring any tools whatsoever.
The balance bike is easy to use and very adjustable allowing for longer use with the growing child. It has a mature and classic finish to it and air inflated tires that offer cushioning and better traction during use.
Even though air inflated tires are a great addition that offers a better experience to the child, they are puncture liable and they tend to get flats quite often. So you do have the burden of repair every now and then.
Just as the other strider balance bikes that are available in the market, this also comes with some well thought out designs and features. These include the EVA polymer tires, a toddler tailored seat and the bike is perfect for kids that are between 18 and 36 months old. It comes with an integrated foot rest as well as an adjustable seat and handle bars.
The EVA polymer tires are literally flat proof and that is a great benefit to have. The adjustable handle bars and seat also deserve an honorary mention as well as the hardy frame that ensures that your child is able to use the balance bike for as long as they would need to.
But, you should know that as much as the polymer tires do save you the trouble of having to deal with punctures, they do reduce on the comfort and traction of the bike. But that is not a huge setback and your child can comfortably be able to hand this. However, they will wear out pretty fast.
For the older kids, this is the best balance bikethat has great features that target kids that are between the ages of five and 10 years. Because kids at this age bracket have more control over their muscles and also have a better coordination, this balance bikes comes with more features. It has a slow design that has been patented to make sure that your little speed demon does not go too fast.
In case they do move too fast, they have the secondary rear brakes to help them come to a stop safely. It also has other very thoughtful designs that include foot pegs and air inflated tires. The foot pegs are removable which makes learning more fun making the Go Glider a much more fun bike for kids. The seat is adjustable and comes with a quick release seat clamp and there is also a child size handbrake.
There are plenty of advantages that this balance bike has to offer. These include the rear brakes, the air inflated tires that last longer and offer a more realistic experience and even foot pegs that keep the child from falling over which is definitely going to help some parents breathe easier.
However, remember that you do have air inflated tires and they come with the downside of constant maintenance. Other than that, everything is about this bike you will love.
Finally we have the Schwinn Balance bike that happens to be quite interesting as well. It is a bike that has been built for kids of all ages and experiences and also for the parent that always wants to make sure that their kid has the best possible experience. It is impossible to emphasis on the importance of safety while on the any bike and this one tries to mesh safety and functionality in one balance bike.
One of the things that make the Schwinn one of the best balance bikes there is is the adjustability that it has to offer. It comes with an adjustable seat height and handle bars. Each of this can be done in a simple and without the use of any tools. You also get a foot to floor frame design that makes it easier for the child to get their foot on the ground easily and you get some air tires complete with tubes for the best possible experience.
Unfortunately the bike does not come with secondary breaks. Also, as much as the rubber tires are durable, they require constant maintenance and repairs when punctured.
Balance bikes are a great way for you to introduce your child to bikes. But given how worried some parents are over this, it might be a good idea to make sure that you weight your options carefully to ensure that you not only have a functional bike but also a safe one.