Everyone remembers their first bike – the source of so many moments of joy, and oh well…so many bruised knees. If you have a toddler eager to get on those two wheels, you’re probably considering getting a tricycle or training wheels. However, balance bikes are a much better choice for learning how to ride, as they teach the most valuable skill – keeping your balance. With a balance bike, very young children can experience what’s it like to ride a bike that’s safe and suitable for their size and gain the necessary confidence to move onto the real thing.
These bikes include no training wheels nor pedals, which encourages children to maintain their balance using their feet. Balance bikes come in many sizes – the smallest models can fit toddlers as young as 18 months. Their frames are also made from a range of materials, including aluminium, plastic, and wood. But when a toddler is concerned, it’s best to choose something that’s sturdy enough to offer support, yet lightweight so that a kid can easily pick it up and carry around. Obviously, the only suitable material is wood, as metal can be heavy, while plastic can easily break – meaning it’s not the safest choice.
The lack of pedals and lightweight design of a childs wooden balance bike makes it easy for a toddler to simply push it along on his/her feet without having to use a lot of strength. And the opposite of what most people think, a childs wooden balance bike can be easily adjusted, just like metal and plastic bikes can. Often, wooden balance bikes come with extension saddles which can increase the seat height up to 50 cm. It’s important for these bike to have a seat that can adjust to the child’s height as being able to touch the ground with their feet gives them a sense of security.
As the child is always in contact with the ground, it’s almost impossible to fall off a balance bike. Furthermore, there are no sharp edges nor chains, pedals, or mechanisms that can trap a toddler’s fingers, proving just how safe balance bikes are. And in the case of lightweight wooden balance bikes, there’s no risk that the child could get hurt from the bike falling on top him/herself. Plus, wooden bikes are much easier to manage and steer by young toddlers.
The longstanding popularity of balance bikes just goes to show how effective they are in helping young children learn the skills needed to ride properly and overcome the fear of falling. So, skip the training wheels and go for a solution that offers greater stability and makes young riders more confident.