Balance Bike

Bicycles for Toddlers to Teens

Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby Zynster » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:54 am

Yes the weight is a blessing when you're carrying 15kg of sooky boy in one arm and 3kg of JDBug in the other. :lol:
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by BNA » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:05 pm

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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby rompommom » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:05 pm

Hi,

This might be too late - but I was looking for some advice on balance bikes and found this thread - the JDBUG looks good although finding one seems hard - also I notice that weeride - the company that does that front mounted seat also does a balance bike - seems very well priced at just under $90.

http://weeride.com.au/Balance-Bike/weeride-bike-for-girlorboy.html

Anyone know anything about them?

TIA

H.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby RobertFrith » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:16 am

The the two major concepts there are to grasp to ride a bike are pedalling and balance.

Kids generally learn to pedal pretty well on manky plastic trikes.
Bikes with trainers don't teach them anything new, and at speed they can be dangerous.

We bought our boy a Trek Float, a 16" bike with removable cranks, when he had just turned 3. He was demanding the cranks be put on after one day. I thought he wasn't ready but he proved me wrong big time! His little mates at the time were on trainers for months and very wobbly when the trainers were removed. Training wheels set them back IMHO.

Our boy's almost 6 now, on a 20" of his own and loves being stoker on our tandem.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:33 am

I have known of the company in Aus since mid 2007, they started with just the childs seat so the balance bikes are newer. The are well represented in shops across Australia and the products were being promoted as well designed products that meet quality standards. Thats all I know.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby mikedufty » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:00 am

Had a look at the weeride webpage. It's probably OK, but I see two things that are not so good compared to the jdbug
- It doesn't have real tyres. The JD bugs have proper pump up rubber tyres. You can run really low pressures with kids and they will go over just about any surface and also have lots of grip. My kids tend to go round and round in circles faster and faster until they fall off, having more grips allows the fun to continue a bit longer.

-the brake is on the front wheel. I am a great fan of front brakes, but for small kids I think the rear one is probably safer. The JD bug has a band brake which is really effective for small kids hands, that don't have enough grip strength for regular caliper brakes.

Having a front brake only might stop them leaving skid marks all up and down the footpath though. And discourage them from going flat out - skid to a stop - flat out - skid to a stop -flat out - skid to a stop - i'm tired, want to go on shoulders.

It's easy to get the JD bugs through ebay store dragon sports
http://stores.shop.ebay.com.au/Dragons- ... ec0Q2em322
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby Jean » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:18 am

FYI, Aldi has wooden balance bikes in their catalogue for this week - about $50 IIRC.

Cheers
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby kibnedyo » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:48 am

Strongly considered the balance bike for our 2yo daughter.

Eventually we went for the traditional bike (alloy fram to be much lighter than k-mart special) with training wheels and a removable push bar for adults to control from the rear. Our decision partially came from a couple of trips to the bike shop to observe which she was more interested in trying. She showed far more interest in the 'bike'.

Sha has taken to it well and now rides 1-2 klm on the evening stroll with the dogs. Occasionally she need to be pushed, but pedalling is becoming stronger. The push bar is great when she gives up riding as I don't have to carry the bike on the way home. The steering wheel reverses making it possible to steer whilst pushing. Some friends have the balance bike and Our girl takes to them with joy so both approaches work.

We also have a cheap 3 wheel scooter and this is teaching her the balance thingy, along with lessons in the local kiddie gym.

It boils down to there being no absolute approach, so buying a balance bike is fine and works well. Go with what you are comfortable with.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby crog » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:54 am

Here is BB version I bought

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Strong adjustable but slightly larger than some of the others, my boy being 2 1/2 is just getting big enought to get on it.

I have seen others that are smaller but well built and I ssupect will last a long time or likley end up on fleabay when he out grows
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby Zynster » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:38 am

+ 1 what Mike said.

I've seen a lot of balance bikes and the JD Bug is the best design so far. It's also cheaper than most of the competition.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/JD-Bug-FirstBike ... 2c50bd5cbb
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby acw » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:21 pm

anyone tried the "wishbone" balance bike? Expensive.....but it starts off as a three wheeler and converts to a 2 wheeler when they get a bit bitter. I'm keen to get the 16 month old onto a bike and i think that 2 wheels might be a bit of a challenge for her at this early stage.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby RobertFrith » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:58 pm

acw wrote:starts off as a three wheeler and converts to a 2 wheeler when they get a bit bitter

Yep, that'll learn 'em :-)
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby mikedufty » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:15 am

My younger son was on the JDbug at about 18 months I think. Walked alongside and pushed it until he got tall enough to sit astride it on tippy toes in thick soled shoes.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby acw » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:09 pm

RobertFrith wrote:
acw wrote:starts off as a three wheeler and converts to a 2 wheeler when they get a bit bitter

Yep, that'll learn 'em :-)


sorry, turned kiwi for a second there :wink:
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby mikedufty » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:14 pm

Wiggle now have first bikes for $143.
About half the price I've seen them for locally, so now worthy of consideration.
I still suspect the JDBug trainer bike is better (better turning circle, lighter and a comfier looking seat), and its still cheaper.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby kylieb » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:12 am

Hi,
I've been reading this thread and am keen to get the JD bug first bike, does anyone know where you can buy it from stores in Perth and how much for or is the internet cheaper, if so any suggestions. Thanks a lot.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby mikedufty » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:37 am

I saw it in a K-mart catalogue once for $100, but never spotted one in a shop. The dragonsports shop on Ebay (queensland) is the only place I've found to actually stock them $95, plus $37 postage to Perth, I've bought 3 and received them about a week from ordering.

http://stores.shop.ebay.com.au/Dragons- ... ec0Q2em322
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby kylieb » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:30 pm

Thanks will try a few Kmart stores and couple bike stores but if no luck will just order online. Thanks alot.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby david b » Mon May 17, 2010 9:39 am

If anyone is looking for a great balance bike have a look at this. Not sure of the weight I will ask the supplier.

http://www.hipkids.com.au/store/pc/Red-Kids-Childrens-Steel-Balance-Bike-2-in-1-5p53.htm

It's a balance bike that converts to pedal bike. The pedal case is easily removed by 2 bolts. Price seems very good too. Thinking of getting one for my 3 year old

Please reply if anyone has seen a similar bike on the market
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby jasimon » Mon May 17, 2010 10:03 am

You can get a JD Bug for a similar price (delivered) from either eBay or Woolies Wheels. At least the box indicates that there is an optional pedal attachment - but I've never seen it.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby Sven Nijs » Mon May 17, 2010 11:04 am

I recently bought a wooden 'balance bike' for my youngest after enduring the dramas of weening my eldest off her training wheels.
I found a Dora brand bike from Target on special (AT) $30 (normally $50 I think) and looks very much like the ones I see elsewhere for $150-$300.
It hasn't got 'real' pneumatic tyres or too much other fancy stuff but because it was wood, I modified it to a smaller size to fit her better and still have the option to raise it up again as she grows.
Can't complain (AT) $30 :D
It's a bit warmer here than Scotland isn't it!
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby david b » Mon May 17, 2010 11:28 am

Yes $30 is a great price.

The nice thing about the balance bike on http://www.hipkids.com.au is that it's a steel bike so I suppose it can be used indoors and outdoors. You should be more mileage from the bike as it easily converts to pedal bike once the child is confident enough to take the next step.
At $129 it's not that expensive either

Going to get in touch with Hip Kids to get more info on it....
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby Zynster » Mon May 17, 2010 11:45 am

The seat on the Hip Bike looks quite high. I suppose it's making room for the pedal attachment. Also it only has a front brake. I'm guessing the back brake needs the pedals.

I'd still recommend the JD Bug. I think it has a better geometry. It's very stable, especially at speed. My son has been riding his for 2 years and it's still in perfect nick. He's tried several balance bikes (his friends always want to swap with him) and the Bug still wins feet down.

The hard part is he is so quick and competent on it, he's been resisting the really nice BYK pedal bike I got him. :?

There is a pedal attachment for the Bug as well, but I steered away from that. I'm not convinced that there isn't some compromise between a frame geometry designed for feet on the ground, and one designed for pedals. The Bug seems designed for the former where as the Hip Bike looks like it's designed for the later.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby david b » Mon May 17, 2010 5:36 pm

I've made contact with Hip Kids and they have a sample of this balance bike
which they have kindly offered for my son to use while waiting for their shipment to arrive early June.

I'll post my thoughts once I've picked it up and my son has used it.

Apparently the height of the rear wheel can be adjusted so it sits lower to the ground when used as a balance bike. The height of the seat therefore should not be an issue .

Also had a look at the JDBug bike which is a similar concept..I'm not convinced..the pedal system is more like a gearbox rather than a standard bike setup. Don't like the look of it either.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby headset » Mon May 17, 2010 5:43 pm

I've not read the whole thread so apologies in advance if you're heard this before...

I've got two kids (now 6 and 10) and got them both riding on ordinary bikes. I bought bikes with trainers then immediately took the trainers and pedals off. So long as the saddle goes low enough for them to put their feet down on both sides it's perfect. No pedals turns the bike into a balance bike.

Doing it this way has the added advantage that pedals can be added as soon as the balance thing happen (which happens amazingly quickly).

This way you get a year or two out of a bike rather than a few months out of a balance bike.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby mikedufty » Mon May 17, 2010 6:38 pm

The disadvantage is you miss out on years of use of a compact, lightweight trainer bike that kids can get about everywhere on their own, and are stuck with little pedal bikes that are only really good on relatively flat hard surfaces for a 4 year old, and are awkward to travel with.

Our trainer bikes have had heaps of use after the kids have pedal bikes as well.
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