I thought balance bikes were the coolest thing the first time I saw one. I don’t know why it didn’t dawn on me that removing the pedals from a bike or not having any pedals at all would be a great way for a person to learn to balance themselves before starting to ride a bike with pedals.
Balance bikes are for any age that can hold themselves up and keep the handlebars from twisting. With that said, I would recommend starting at age 3 because younger children may not grasp the understanding that they can crash if they don’t keep the handlebars straight. After age 3, anyone at any age can learn to balance themselves on a balance bike. If you are 3 or 100, you can benefit from a balance bike.
Can a 1 year old use a balance bike?
A one year old is too young for a regular two wheel balance bike. There are special three and four wheel balance bikes made for one year olds. I have not tried the three and four wheel balance bikes. When I looked on Amazon.com, there seems to be a lot of good reviews for the three and four wheel balance bikes. You should check them out on and decide for yourself.
Can an 18 month old ride a balance bike?
In my opinion an 18 month old should continue on a 3 or 4 wheel balance bike, if at all. I’m more to the cautious side when it comes to the kids riding on bikes. With that said, I do think that assisting your 18 month old on a balance bike can be a good way to start to introduce them to riding a bike.
Can a 2 year old ride a balance bike?
By the time your little one has reached 2 years of age, they will be cruising around the house on foot. They will have tried different ways of climbing on and off of things. Jumping, or at least what is the beginning of jumping, will be the norm of the day. The question then is, are they ready for a balance bike?
I think this is the age where you have to gauge each child’s ability and determine if they have the skill to start on a balance bike. Some of the balance bikes will allow your child to reach the floor while standing over the bar, but they won’t be able to sit on the seat because it is too high.
We started our last child on a balance bike when he was 2 years old, but very close to turning 3 years old. The first bike we got for him was a radio flyer balance bike with 11″ wheels. The bar on it was a little high and the seat was definitely too high for him to sit on without someone holding him. It took several months for him to grow into being able to sit on the seat.
Is 3 too old for a balance bike?
3 years old is the perfect age to start your child on a balance bike. They will have a firm grasp on balancing themselves on foot. The reason I think this is a good age to start a child on a balance bike is because they can at least some what understand that turning the handle bars the wrong way will make them crash. Now, I know some of you are saying that children under age 3 can understand not to turn the handle bars, but I like to err on the side of caution; especially when they are this young.
Are balance bikes better than training wheels?
I believe that balance bikes are better than training wheels. Balance bikes teach children how to balance first and then coast. Training wheels make children dependent on the wheels that limit their ability to learn to balance themselves.
Balance bikes allow a child to naturally learn how to balance themselves. They can do it at their own pace. When they first start out the child can stand over the bike’s center bar and walk. As they get comfortable, they can begin to sit on the seat and walk. Soon the walking will become a run. All through these first steps your child is learning to keep the handlebars steady. They are also learning to feel the subtle differences in balance as their weight shifts back and forth.
Training wheels take a different approach to learning how to ride a bike. Your child is able to sit on the seat and put their feet on the pedals without falling over; even when they are not moving. This approach doesn’t teach them how to balance themselves.
Training wheels do lead to an early victory in being able to pedal down the street. Once the training wheels come off, your child still has to learn how to balance. At this point, most of us want to run next to our child, holding on to the seat and handle bars to support them. Then let go to see if they can balance themselves.
A balance bike gives your child the confidence they need to hold themselves up. Once they move to a bike with pedals, the only thing they have to learn how to do is pedal. Training wheels may have some benefit once your child has learned to balance themselves on a balance bike. They may be good for giving your child some time on a bike to learn how to pedal.
If you are going to introduce training wheels after your child learns how to balance themselves, I would suggest continue to have them use the balance bike while they are learning to pedal.
Can you turn any bike into a balance bike?
You can turn any bike into a balance bike. With that said, your younger children will probably benefit from a real balance bike because it will have a lower crossbar. Also, the bike won’t have sprockets, a chain, crank arms, and other parts needed for pedaling. This makes a balance bike lighter than a regular bike with just the pedals removed. Of course, you could remove all of those parts, but that would be a lot of work.
Turning a regular bike into a balance bike is best for older children or adults. They can use a bike that is their size. Just remove the pedals from the bike and it will function just like a balance bike.
Are there balance bikes for adults?
There are balance bikes for adults. The ones I’ve seen are a little pricey. It seems to me that it would be easier to use a regular bike and remove the pedals. This way, when they have there balance figured out, you can just put the pedals back on. Otherwise, you will be paying a hefty sum for two bikes when you only need one.
Whichever way you decide to go, a balance bike can help an adult learn to ride on a bike.
Balance bike safety
Anytime you are riding on a bike, safety should be your number one concern. This goes double for you toddlers riding on a bike. A helmet is a must for your little ones when they are riding outside. If they are riding inside, you should determine if your environment warrants wearing a helmet.
You may also consider knee and elbow pads. These will keep there knees and elbows from getting scraped up. Lighter, more agile pads are better than bulky pads. This can be a determining factor in you child keeping them on or even allowing you to put them on.
Are balance bikes worth the money?
Balance bikes for young children ages 1 – 4 are definitely worth the money. They usually start at $30. I think one of the balance bikes we bought was on sale for $25. This makes this a very inexpensive investment.
If you are buying a adult balance bike, you may want to think about it a little more. Adult balance bikes start at $120 and go up from there. If you plan on using your adult balance bike for a long time, then this may be a good purchase for you. Otherwise, I think you should convert a regular pedal bike into a balance bike.
Can you put pedals on a balance bike?
A traditional balance bike won’t have pedals or have any way to put pedals on it. There are some bikes that are sold that allow you to start out without any pedals and add them later. This is essentially the same thing as taking the pedals off of a regular bike.
Wooden balance bike
There are some manufacturers that make wooden balance bikes. I think wooden balance bikes are more about how someone feels than about how they operate. They are usually heavier than a metal balance bike. They also are more expensive. The prices I have seen start at around $60.
If you are ambitions, you can try to make your own wooden balance bike. There a wooden balance bike diy plans online that you can try.
Balance bike with brakes
You can find balance bikes with handbrakes. Most balance bikes don’t come with brakes. This is because your child’s feet are what is doing the pushing and stopping. I can see where a brake might be good to teach your child how to use it before they start on a pedal bike. But many beginner pedal bikes have coaster brakes that allow the rider to stop when turned backward. A handbrake will not help your child learn how to use a coaster brake.
Balance bike and scooter combined
I’ve seen some 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 balance bike scooters. These basically convert from a scooter to a balance bike to a tricycle. They seem like a good idea, but I think it is best just to buy a separate balance bike and scooter. You can buy them individually and will pay about the same things as buying a convertible system.
Balance bike seat height
It can be a little confusing on how high to set your child’s balance bike seat height. They can’t really tell you what feels right because they don’t know. If your child’s knees are bent more than a 45 degree angle when they are sitting, then the seat is definitely too low. If their feet don’t touch the ground or they have to stretch there legs down to make their feet push off the ground, then the seat is too high.
The best thing you can do is mess around with the seat height and see what works best for them. To make this easy, most balance bikes come with a quick release clamp.
Balance bikes are for any age
If you or your child are just starting to ride a bike, a balance bike can be a fun way to learn. Balance bikes take the complication out my removing the pedals. This allows the rider to focus on just cruising down the road and balancing. It doesn’t matte what age, everyone can benefit from a balance bike.