Balance Bike

Bicycles for Toddlers to Teens

Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby s-s-a » Tue May 18, 2010 11:57 pm

No pedals turns the bike into a balance bike.


Well kind of...

We shelled out nearly $300 for a Firstbike and our daughter got well over 2y use out of it before I sold it through these forums for $120.

Regular bikes with no pedals
- are not low enough to the ground for an under-3yo
- don't have a steering limiter
- don't have a brake that is suitable for a 3yo to reach and use
- are heavy, not just for a parent to carry, but moreso when the child falls with the bike onto one of their legs which is GOING to happen

I like the look of some of the other balance bikes now on the market, but would avoid a plywood one due to the weight.

it's a steel bike so I suppose it can be used indoors and outdoors


:shock: Errr... bikes are outside toys in our house!!

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by BNA » Sat May 22, 2010 2:11 am

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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby BETHHARROAD123 » Sat May 22, 2010 2:11 am

I bought my 2 yr old Son a Kiddimoto troy Corser Replica about 2 months ago.
bit pricey but the best thing I have ever bought him. Quality is brilliant and he feels very proud, as Daddy is a Huge Motorbike Fan and is very jealous.
Took him about 2 days to get it mastered, but now he's whizzing everywhere!!!! I've noticed a huge change in his confidence, not such of a mummys boy if we go to the park now. Also, his coordination has improved loads!
I have no doubt when we invest in a pedal bike, we wont need to use stabilisers, which would be fab.
I love the fact that he's learning vital coordination skills, and having so much fun doing so. Also, it encourages him to get involved with his Daddy's love of bikes, which is equally great as it just makes their bond a little more special.

Hope this helps. Kiddimoto are Uk based, I bought mine via the website, but I think they also sell here!!! xx
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby sharktamin » Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:18 pm

No pedals turns the bike into a balance bike.


BETHHARROAD123 wrote:Took him about 2 days to get it mastered, but now he's whizzing everywhere!!!! I've noticed a huge change in his confidence, not such of a mummys boy if we go to the park now. Also, his coordination has improved loads!


Took the training wheels and pedals of my Grandsons bike for him and he really cracked it! Its not cool to ride a bike with bits removed, and besides, he then insisted I push him!

A later time I hired a Tagalong - this he thought was terrific. Company (= attention), equality, and shared effort. Yes when I asked for effort I could feel him pushing us along.

Balance bike is a great idea, but you must get in early!
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby Zynster » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:33 am

I got my boy his JD Bug at 20 months. He started by just walking around astride it, but was riding it within a few days. Now he's 4 he's a speed demon. He's so comfortable on it he is resisting moving to his new pedalled bike. :?
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby suseking » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:35 am

Christmas bike drama - he's 3 and half and quite tall - he's been zipping around on a JD Bug two wheel scooter since June (but hasn't figured the brake out yet though) so his balance is pretty good. I'm looking at a bike and hate training wheels (think it would be a step backwards) so am going the balance bike route.

I'm torn between the JD Bug balance bike and the Hipkids 2 in 1 balance bike. JD Bug is only 3kgs but the seat height is 37cm - 42cm, Hipkids is 6kgs but the seat height is 45cm - 59cm.

Because he is a bit older, I'm leaning the way of the Hipkids - anyone else have an opinion?
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby mikedufty » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:07 pm

Go the JD bug, the light weight is great. My seven year old still plays on his old one so I don't think the seat height is a big issue.
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Cheap Balance Bike for toddler

Postby mikedufty » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:09 am

Whilst I think the JD bugs are probably better and considerably lighter, if anyone is looking for a wooden bike, one day (torpedo 7 related) have them for $39.99 for the next 24 hours, which seems very cheap.
http://www.1-day.com.au/products/AA4EEN0WD
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby thomashouseman » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:23 am

Just bought one and came here to tell everyone else about the above deal, but was beaten to it!

Price was too good to beat!
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby phm » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:26 pm

Hi Just wondering if you had any thoughts on the hip kids convertable steel balance bike after your son tested it out?
I am thinking of one for my son who is 3.5 - mainly as a pedal bike as he already has a wooden balance bike

david b wrote: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 JDEEN » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:25 pm

I'm looking to buy a balance bike for my 3 year old for Christmas. I've looked at the Weeride, the JDBug, the Strider and the Sprinter and I'm confused! I notice the Strider has footrests, which I haven't seen listed as a feature for the others - is this something that would be beneficial? It's also the most expensive of the lot! Does anyone have any experience/opinions they can share either way?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby mikedufty » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:58 am

My kids managed to succeed in standing on the rear axle of the JD bug, kind of a substitute for footrests, so footrests might be a nice thing to have.
As I think I've said above though, we found the JD bugs great, so wouldn't be inclined to pay more for something else.
The strider does not seem to have real inflatable tyres, I'd be very suspicious of that, those foam ones seem to have fairly little grip.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby MattyK » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:08 am

(tip to AUB - please move this thread to the kids bike section)

Some good general advice here (a bit outdated on specific models though, and not all are in Aus): http://tview29.wordpress.com/2008/12/02 ... run-bikes/

Striders don't impress me apart from their marketing. Cheap thin steel frame, plastic headset, foam/plastic tyres. just generally cheap all round. Of course that doesn't mean go buy something expensive (though I did..........)

Footrests aren't really critical; if they can keep their feet up it will probably be time to consider a pedal bike.

For a 3 year old I would say the critical features are:
1) will they fit on it (if not they will grow quickly though)
2) Does it have a quick release on the seat post (again, they will grow quickly!)
3) is it light enough for them to pick up
4) is it tough enough that they won't break it?
5) will it have resale value or last until the next child?


Micro G-bikes look pretty cool if you have some good smooth surfaces to run on.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby bychosis » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:43 am

One thing I thought was really good in the balance bike my son started on was a steering limit. We have a wooden balance bike and it is set up so the bars cannot be turned to far to cause a crash. Gives maybe 30 degrees of turn each way and cannot spin 360 like most pedal bikes.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby MattyK » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:26 am

bychosis wrote:One thing I thought was really good in the balance bike my son started on was a steering limit. We have a wooden balance bike and it is set up so the bars cannot be turned to far to cause a crash. Gives maybe 30 degrees of turn each way and cannot spin 360 like most pedal bikes.

I only found this to be an issue for the first 30 seconds or so.

(The Likeabike Jumper uses an elastic o-ring as a limiter/self-centering device, which may be useful for a brand new learner still walking on it, but not so useful for someone actually coasting)

BTW this is probably the sweetest balance bike I've seen:
http://www.rollier-online.ch/fr/creations/rollo
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby hannos » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:32 am

JDEEN wrote:I'm looking to buy a balance bike for my 3 year old for Christmas. I've looked at the Weeride, the JDBug, the Strider and the Sprinter and I'm confused! I notice the Strider has footrests, which I haven't seen listed as a feature for the others - is this something that would be beneficial? It's also the most expensive of the lot! Does anyone have any experience/opinions they can share either way?

Thanks in advance.



My young bloke loved his JD Bug. Rode it everywhere! I can't fault it at all.
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Re: Balance Bike for toddler

Postby Riddley » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:12 pm

Depending on how big the kid is, another otption might be to get something like a Byk e350, drop the saddle and remove the pedals, until ready to ride independently.
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Balance Bike

Postby find_bruce » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:55 pm

My little boy turns two in a couple of months and I am looking for a balance bike for his birthday. A quick search comes up with the following
A couple that don't seem to be common in Australia
  • Kokua £155 + shipping, front brake can be added as per Mattyk
  • Islabikes rothan £130 + shipping rear rim brake
Any other suggestions or recommendations ?
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Re: Balance Bike

Postby BigBadWOLF » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:59 pm

I got a strider for my 2yr old girls bday she loved it. she is now 3 and getting more use out of it.

The best thing i liked about the strider was you could drop the seat really low as she was a tiny 2 yr old.

very sturdy and quality bike it is
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Re: Balance Bike

Postby queequeg » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:32 pm

My son has a first bike street. You can get it much cheaper than $200 though. I got mine from the UK with free shipping for $140.
I bought the lowering kit so it gives the bike a wide height range. My son just turned 4 and loves the bike now. He was a bit hesitant to use it when he was two, so we just kept it out and he would ride it every now and again. Now he is very good. I have clocked him at 24km/h on it!
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Re: Balance Bike

Postby MattyK » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:04 am

Background, I have a girl who is now 4.5 and a boy who is now 17 months. He is much more physical than she was, he's still not walking but he will climb onto the various 3 and 4 wheel ride on toys and scoot around. I even pulled the seat off the Likeabike once and he walked it around! So I reckon he will take to a two wheeler much faster than she did.

I got my Likeabike when she was about 2.5. She is still using it and enjoying it, it might be time to step up to a pedal bike but I'm holding off til she shows some more sustained balance proficiency. However I reckon my boy will probably be capable at a much earlier age, and able to move on to a pedal bike before age 4. Maybe yours will too?

The whole point of that is to address your main concern, which seems to be about brakes. Almost every child under age 4 simply doesn't have the hand strength or coordination to use a hand brake. They will instinctively put their feet down to stop (or in my daughter's case deliberately run into a wall to stop). In flat areas this is fine, and you're probably unlikely to point them down a hill anyway. So I'm guessing that by the time your boy is old enough to effectively use a hand brake, he won't need it on that machine any more; you'll be on to a pedal bike with a backpedal brake

Of more concern to me would be the following factors:
1) Weight. They have to maneuver it easily, and you will have to carry it home at some point.
2) Build quality (really only if you want resale value though, so not a deal breaker. A 2-4 year old won't be wearing it too much. But some have very poor headset bearings - bushes in fact - and poor wheel bearings)
3) Inflatable tyres (better ride and grip than foam tyres)
4) quick release seat post (you will be adjusting it frequently)
5) (for an under-3-yo) Minimum seat height
6) nothing sharp to catch ankles and shins on (like the bottom of a seat post)

I think steering limiters are of little use (in fact I think the Kokua one is downright poor because it self-centres, not just limits; I pulled it off immediately)

Various other decent quality models on the market:
Specialized Hot Walk
Avanti Lil Ripper
Giant Pre Push
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Re: Balance Bike

Postby MattyK » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:19 am

Some good reading even though a little dated:
http://tview29.wordpress.com/2008/12/02 ... run-bikes/

Also this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=14673
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Re: Balance Bike

Postby find_bruce » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:16 pm

Thanks very much for the feedback - I will keep my eyes peeled & see what sort of deal I can do between now & May.
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Re: Balance Bike

Postby high_tea » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:22 am

Another one to consider is the WeeRide balance bike. Its one limitation is saddle height: the Strider gets lower. That aside, my son has loved his ever since he picked it up cyclocross-style in the shop and started jogging towards the high-$$$ TT rigs :shock:
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Re: Balance Bike

Postby mikedufty » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:52 am

The JD bugs were really good for us, very light, proper inflatable tyres, good brake for doing skids, decent build quality. My kids used them from 18 months to about 5 years old. The only problem is persuading them that there is any point riding a bike with pedals when balance bikes are so much fun.
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Re: Balance Bike

Postby MattyK » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:25 pm

I'd like to add as a follow up though: Anything is better than nothing. Toddlers and young kids have no preconceived ideas of good vs bad bikes, they will just get on and ride regardless of looks, quality, weight, etc. Almost any feature set requirement will be to pacify your own senses and desires, not theirs. So just pick your budget and go for it.

PS subpoint about saddles: on a balance bike much more weight is borne on the saddle (due to the lack of pedals). And propulsion forces are quite different to a pedal bike (ie front to back, not top to bottom). So saddles should account for this, but few seem to, and most (on metal framed balance bikes) are bicycle styled which I'm not convinced is the best for forward propulsion and comfort. My daughter ended up complaining of a sore crotch after one long ride. Many of the wooden balance bikes use more of a wider spoon shape that I suspect may be better suited. I have no real evidence to back this up though, just conjecture...
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