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Old 10-13-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
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What I should know about balance bikes?

I had never heard of this until I saw another post here on DS. Why do people decide to use them? Does this mean that the child cannot use a tricycle or any other kind of bike? What should I know about balance bikes? Where can I find more info?


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Old 10-13-2011, 09:33 AM   #2
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Re: What I should know about balance bikes?

I am not sure I'd bother buying one but we have one in the attic as a gift. I got a tricycle as he is not ready for it/too big. It is supposed to help them learn to ride a bike easier. We'll try it but its one of those time limited things I probably would not buy. I think you can take the pedals off a regular bike and get the same thing (I'd prefer training wheels).
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: What I should know about balance bikes?

It teaches them to learn to balance first with the right-left foot motion while steering at a speed they can grasp.
A regular bike, they have to learn to pedal, balance, steer and stop using a foot break. It's good if your LO is showing interest in big bikes at a young age.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: What I should know about balance bikes?

They have them at bicycle shops! Call a shop, make sure they have one, then go in and check 'em out. Let your little one ride one, see how it goes.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:09 AM   #5
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Re: What I should know about balance bikes?

We have a few friends who have them but they're really into bikes. We got my odd a tricycle and more recently a pedal bike with training wheels. She could care less about riding a bike, so for us, the whole bicycle thing has been a big waste of money.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:37 PM   #6
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Re: What I should know about balance bikes?

We love ours - my newly turned (yesterday!) 4 year old had one last summer and rode it half of this summer and then learnt how to ride a 2 wheeler with no training wheels this summer! My 2 1/2 year old DD rides hers along with us on walks - she can keep a pretty good pace now, so I can walk pretty fast. My DD1 was riding her balance bike fast enough to keep up with me on my bike! I credit the balance bike for her learning to ride the 2 wheeler because she knew how to balance - all we had to teach her/she had to figure out was how to pedal - it took her a couple weeks and then off she went!
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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Re: What I should know about balance bikes?

Training wheels are a crutch that can actually hold a child back from learning to ride a 2 wheeler. I know that I didn't get my training wheels off until I was about 6yo. Learning to balance on a 2 wheeler is the hardest part about riding a bike, and with a balance bike the child can focus on the balance part and get it mastered before having to deal with peddles and brakes. This means that once a child knows how to ride a balance bike well, the transition to a regular 2 wheeler is much simpler (and can be done without training wheels in most cases).
Balance bikes can be a little pricey, and they don't last that long, but I think they're so worth it. My DS started riding his balance bike when he was just a little over 2. Now he's almost 3 and he can ride that thing like a pro. We may be looking into getting a regular 2 wheeler next spring. And I'm sure I can get a decent amount of money back if I sell his balance bike on Craigslist.
As far as tricycles go, they don't last that long either. They're also not as versatile. I rarely see kids cruising down the sidewalk with their tricycle. I know some do, but it seems that tricycles mostly stick close to home. They're also not so easy for mom or dad to carry if the child decides he/she wants to walk. I can even fit the balance bike under my stroller if we take it on a long trek and DS gets tired. I also take it on the bus with us sometimes. We even take it camping with us because it can be ridden on pretty much any terrain.
Maybe it's just my DS, but after having experience riding a balance bike, he seems to find tricycles quite boring. He can't zoom around and maneuver on them the way he can on his Strider. He can't go off-road or cruise down a grassy hill on a tricycle either. Maybe some people think balance bikes are a waste of money, but I certainly don't! If anything is a waste of money, it's a tricycle.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:12 PM   #8
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Re: What I should know about balance bikes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qbit View Post
Training wheels are a crutch that can actually hold a child back from learning to ride a 2 wheeler. I know that I didn't get my training wheels off until I was about 6yo. Learning to balance on a 2 wheeler is the hardest part about riding a bike, and with a balance bike the child can focus on the balance part and get it mastered before having to deal with peddles and brakes. This means that once a child knows how to ride a balance bike well, the transition to a regular 2 wheeler is much simpler (and can be done without training wheels in most cases).
Balance bikes can be a little pricey, and they don't last that long, but I think they're so worth it. My DS started riding his balance bike when he was just a little over 2. Now he's almost 3 and he can ride that thing like a pro. We may be looking into getting a regular 2 wheeler next spring. And I'm sure I can get a decent amount of money back if I sell his balance bike on Craigslist.
As far as tricycles go, they don't last that long either. They're also not as versatile. I rarely see kids cruising down the sidewalk with their tricycle. I know some do, but it seems that tricycles mostly stick close to home. They're also not so easy for mom or dad to carry if the child decides he/she wants to walk. I can even fit the balance bike under my stroller if we take it on a long trek and DS gets tired. I also take it on the bus with us sometimes. We even take it camping with us because it can be ridden on pretty much any terrain.
Maybe it's just my DS, but after having experience riding a balance bike, he seems to find tricycles quite boring. He can't zoom around and maneuver on them the way he can on his Strider. He can't go off-road or cruise down a grassy hill on a tricycle either. Maybe some people think balance bikes are a waste of money, but I certainly don't! If anything is a waste of money, it's a tricycle.
Thanks for the info. I am not too worried about it being a "waste" of money because of the short time for use. I plan to have more kids using it after DS (I think these choices are much harder when you only have 1 child or it is your last child but when I know multiple children will be able to use a quality item its not as hard to spend the money)

All you mamas have made good points. We dont need to decide till next spring when DS will be two. It is going to be snowing soon here in MI.

I would love to hear more info if anyone else has more to offer
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