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25 Jun ’10 Comments (6) Blog, Family Riding

Open Forum : Balance Bicycles for Kids

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Over at Bike Shop Hub, a site supporter and a darn near close name, the talk of balance bikes was brought back up.  Many thoughts are racing between my ears currently, but before I say anything outlandish or make claims I can’t support by test data, I want to ask you all some questions.

Strider Balance Bike

Questions for you

  • Do you feel your children needed training wheels?
  • Do you have fear for your children?
  • How outside of the box can most parents think?

6 Responses to Open Forum : Balance Bicycles for Kids

  1. MarvinK says:

    My kids didn’t ever ride with training wheels–we just waited for them to want to ride, and then took them to a big empty parking lot to practice. They all learned to ride the same they decided they wanted to.

    I think I’d be more inclined to take pedals off a real bike temporarily than buy a balance bike–but either one seems more appealing than training wheels.

  2. I like the idea of balance bikes. If they are still around when I have grandkids, I will get them one.

    Alos, even though the websites both have Bike Shop at the front, anyone who is having trouble telling a girl from a hub needs to get out more. A lot more.

  3. I work in a bike shop and try to explain the benefits of balance bikes to parents but most seem content with thier children riding a pedal bike with training wheels until they are 8 .I feel bad for the kids.I think balance bikes are a great learning tool. Training wheels just cause dependence for the child.

  4. Dandabikeman says:

    For my daughter who is now 5, we started with trikes to learn pedaling and steering. Then for her 3rd birthday, she got a 12″ bike with training wheels. At 3 she was not ready to balance and even had a little trouble with the training wheels. Sometime before her 5th birthday, I took her training wheels and pedals off and put her seat as low as it could go, essentially turning her bike into a balance bike. She scooted around on that for a few months. Then I took her to a park with a slight downhill of either grass or sidewalk and put the pedals back on, leaving the seat low enough that she could put her feet flat on the ground. We tried the grass first and I pushed her, holding her back – mostly for her comfort she had her balance. Then the sidewalk… She was riding her bike without training wheels at age 5. She probably could have done it earlier but did not feel comfortable herself.

    Also, it was not until her friend came over with her balance bike and my daughter tried it that she really felt comfortable on her own bike (which she has now outgrown). It was funny, her friend would rather ride the bike with the training wheels (I put them back on for her) and my daughter would rather ride the balance bike. So balance bikes, both my homemade one and one sold that way were an important part of the equation… but so were training wheels and trikes.

    She also rides a tandem with conversion kit with me. It has a freewheel so she is not forced to pedal and even pedals backwards a lot

  5. Jennifer P says:

    My daughter is 4 and started riding her bike without training wheels in december. Her balance on the bike is great and people are always amazed at how well she rides. I had a balance bike for her, which I really think helped her to build her coordination and balance. My son who is younger is now ready for a balance bike and I found a great Balance Bike for him. If you click on the highlighted words you will see the great variety of balance bikes as well as helmets. Which I love because when my daughter was younger I had a very hard time find a helmet that fit right. Well enough said! I am all for balance bikes!

  6. John says:

    My daughter will be 5 in about 2 weeks. She is riding a “pedal bike” now, but has been on her Strider since she was 3. And she could ROCK that machine!! I had to ride my bike to keep up.

    A bunch of her friends took off riding before she did, and they all have a good time.

    Forget the training wheels. They don’t need them, and they have more fun without.

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