Balance bikes are bicycles that are for kids aged between 1 ½ and 5 years. Whoa! Wait a minute! They do not have pedals! That’s right. They are meant only to teach the little ones to balance. Pedaling will come later. Balance bikes, glider bikes, run bikes are all pedal-less bikes.

They come with adjustable seats and handlebars and are extremely lightweight for the kids to be able to manage on their own if required.

Why should your toddler’s first bike be a balance bike?

  • Compared to a tricycle, it is easier to maneuver over uneven surfaces.
  • A tricycle tends to tip over on uneven surfaces.
  • A toddler cannot ride a tricycle for long distances, whereas with balance bikes, he or she can run or walk long distances without feeling tired as the wheels have a smooth gliding motion. You will notice that most tricycles come with handles for the parents to push. A balance bike does not have any as it is not required.
  • Kids learn to balance on balance bikes, so they are more prepared when faced with a sudden situation where the balance is threatened. Unlike balance wheels, which teach the kid to pedal without balance.
  • They are more fun to ride than regular (toddler’s) bicycles fitted with balance wheels.
  • They are lighter than the smallest pedal bikes and so can be managed by toddlers all on their own. Removing the pedals of a regular bike is not a good idea either!

Some FAQs

Where does my child put his feet?

He or she doesn’t have to put them anywhere on the bike! Give the child one and you will see how he uses it. The feet will be on the floor

What is the correct height of the seat I should look for while buying it for the first time?

An inch less than the inseam measurement of your child (Crotch to ground) should be fine. Seat height adjustment of two inches more than this is sufficient for the bike to last for another 3 years while the child grows

When will my child be ready to ride a regular pedal bicycle?

By his or her fourth birthday, the child should be ready to ride a regular pedal bicycle after ‘training’ on a balance bike.

How much do they cost?

There is one to suit your budget, from reasonably priced to more expensive ones. The expensive ones build in more features yet maintain the weight low.

How to choose a balance bike for your kid:

  • Seat height- The child should be able to hit and push off with his or her feet to go on a balance bike. While sitting on one, her knees should be slightly bent, not straight nor very bent
  • Wheel size – 12″ are recommended for beginners, going up to 14″ and 16″ for taller beginners and grade-schoolers.
  • Light weight – keep the weight to 30% of your child’s weight. Anything more will get too heavy for the average child.
  • Tires. Foam tires are good but don’t provide traction on smooth floors. Air tires are the best, but they can get expensive (fat boy tires) and regular ones should have sealant.

Hand brakes are not generally recommended for toddlers, but if you are planning for their continued use of 4 or 5 years, they can be fitted. Kids generally pick up their use soon.

Leave me a comment below if you enjoyed this article or have any questions!


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