How young is too young for a balance bike [over excited dad content]

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  • How young is too young for a balance bike [over excited dad content]
  • Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Mine had them at a little over a year after walking if that’s the criteria we’re using. Though second son walked later and was riding a bike with pedals sooner.

    brakes
    Member

    my boy is 2 next month and will be getting his first balance bike.
    he started walking at 1.
    living in a busy town I didn’t want to get him on it too early when he didn’t know to stop at junctions or when he was told to.
    he’s been more than happy on his trike/ scooter up until now.
    Also, I think the smallest balance bikes are for kids who are over 95cm.

    clubber
    Member

    That sounds about right though my daughter walked on her first birthday and now at 2 years 2 months might just start using a balance bike but I reckon it may be a little while before she really ‘rides’ it rather than just walks with it.

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac
    Subscriber

    Humn, looks like I’m in for a bit of a wait then. She is only 80ish cm tall and the 12-18 month leggins we just bought her need turned up at the moment.

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    I’d say get one and see if she likes it. At some point she’ll start using it.

    My lad started using his at about 18 months but my daughter has never been bothered until recently. She’s 3 1/2 now!

    Premier Icon gray
    Subscriber

    Our boy had a balance bike before he could walk… obviously he couldn’t ride it until later though. Actually, technically, I suppose he had two bikes before he could walk. Inherited a Like-a-bike from a cousin, which we had to hide because he was so desperate to use it that he would clamber all over it and get himself stuck. Because he was so enthusiastic to get on it, but still too small, we did a bit of research and found that Puky do just about the smallest one, so we picked one of those up second hand.

    He was pretty slow walking – around 18 months, but as soon as he was big enough (we offered him up once a month or so) he was on his bike as much as he could. He was riding it properly at about 22 months I think.

    This is the one:
    http://www.pukybikes.co.uk/learner-bikes/balance_bikes_lrm.htm

    Be careful if buying second hand – the next size up looks similar in pictures so would be easy to get by mistake. IIRC the little one has 3 spoke wheels and the larger one has 5 spokes.

    Presumably he acquired his enthusiasm from seeing us riding a lot – we weren’t pushing him into bikes, honest! He’s now 25 months, and is ace at it – loves lifting his feet up and zooming down the slight slope in our local park. I have to jog to keep up!

    i was over keen and bought a Puky (lowest seat I could find) at around 16 months. Result was that he wasn’t interested at the time and he isn’t interested now. He loves his scooter though.

    I have a feeling if i was to buy his first balance bike now it would be new and exciting and potentially get used.

    In the meantime consider getting a Toddlebike Link. My daughter loves hers. She tried a balance bike at the Scottish Bike Show and didn’t really like it. It was a bit heavy for her and toppled her over when she dropped it which she got a bit upset at. The Toddlebike is very light and can be carried around easily when you reach out and about. Good for indoors and smooth tarmac but not good for travelling any ddistance. I recommend it.

    Premier Icon pedroball
    Subscriber

    I think the wide wheeled plastic motor bikes are great “pre balance bike” toys – good for racing round the house on while they don’t quite have the strength for a proper balance bike

    http://www.elc.co.uk/Step-2-Freewheel-Motorcycle/133270,default,pd.html

    Premier Icon LimboJimbo
    Subscriber

    Limbo Junior got his Hotwalk for his second Birthday, he loves having his own bike but as he is small for his age it is just a little too big. He will scoot along happily with me lightly holding on to the tip of the bars but often spots something he wants to investigate and attempts a moving dismount, which can be a bit alarming. We’ll be taking it camping with us in June, so hopefully
    we’ll crack it then.

    gravitysucks
    Member

    We bought both ours at 2 and just let them take it at their own pace. She picked it up and down and was using it properly by prob 2.5. He jumped on it and nailed it straight away.

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac
    Subscriber

    Our little girl at just under 14 months has started walking on her own, how long before I can get her on a balance bike?

    Junkyard
    Member

    about 12 months after walking seems reasonable assuming they take to the bike

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac
    Subscriber

    Well she is ridiculously happy with her self and her ability to walk just now and we have a trailer for towing her in when we are out on the bikes so maybe I should wait for next spring when she will be 2 and will get more excited over something new.

    jamiea
    Member

    We put our daughter on one at an LBS at 22 months (she was walking at 13m) and she could just about touch the floor with both feet, I don’t think the seat post was all the way down either. We paid the deposit on one last week and she’ll be getting a spotty Frog for her birthday at the end of next month!

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon Doh1Nut
    Subscriber

    #2 is just turned three and ‘got’ the balance bike at the weekend – she used it before when big sis was on her bike but didnt like it cos it was too wobly – she wanted me to hold the bars. ❗
    It was a bit of a surprise she was a little slow as she is a lunatic on the micro scooter which she picked up really early ❓
    She is only 2nd percentile for height. but could still easily reach the ground on an Islabike.

    Our little boy got his balance bike for his 2nd birthday but didn’t really show a huge amount of interest until he was 3. After that there was no stopping him and at 4 he’s just graduated to his first pedal bike. They’re brilliant things for building confidence – all his mates are on bikes with stabilisers which he’s bypassed completely.

    I’ll be sticking his Islabike Rothan in the classifieds in the next couple of days!

    ocrider
    Member

    Our daughter had a Firstbike, which came with an axle lowering kit which she would sit on in front of the telly at 20 months. She didn’t start using it ‘properly’ until just short of her second birthday.

    If I had a sprog that size who is as bike mad as ours was, I’d get the Firstbike with the lowering kit or one of the little Puky models. It’s just a question of taste as to which one you choose, they’re both great toys.

    eyerideit
    Member

    May I suggest one of these:

    I’m lining up one for Eye jnr. I saw a couple who had one for their boy who was 16 months old (in trike mode).

    It goes from 1 up to 5 years old.

    Very clever idea.

    More info here

    got my boy one when he was 2.

    he’s warming up to it more now (2 months later).

    I’d say get it early but don’t force them. Slow and steady.

    My wife doesn’t know, but I gave him chocolate buttons each time he sat on it, I was so keen for him to ride it!

    Premier Icon hatter
    Subscriber

    In typical ‘cyclist dad’ style I got Hatter Jnr a Mustache Mercredi 12″ when he was 18 months old, he couldn’t touch the ground but thought being pushed around on it was hilarious.

    Come his 2nd birthday his legs finally got long enough and now he can’t get enough. Loving it, he can already scoot much further than he can walk,loves taking it into the woods, falls off a lot but gets back on and getting faster all the time, he’s already giving the missus palpitations.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I trimmed the seatpost on our Hotwalk so she could touch the floor.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    I trimmed the seatpost on our Hotwalk so she could touch the floor.

    Likewise, this has been something of a trend as they have progressed through wheel sizes fairly rapidly confidence wise but they aren’t the tallest my lot.

    I’d give him a balance bike as soon as you like, mine pushed them around for a few weeks, then toddled astride them before the first tentative steps from the saddle. They will learn whilst you aren’t looking, no. 3 totally caught me out by launching down the 20 degree drive before I realised what was happening.. first time he rode it out, second time my car was parked in his escape route :-O

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Even steering was something they had to learn though – we had a wooden trike thing they used in the house from very early on.

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    I got a bit carried away, our lad was freewheeling a puky quad at 1 and on his balance bike at 18 months… He was running around at 10 months though. He’s nearly worn through one at 2 1/2!

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac
    Subscriber

    That trike bike combo above looks ace but at £130 it is going to take some saving for. I’ll keep thinking about it for now and try and squirl away a few pennies for when I think she will be able to enjoy it.

    Thanks for all the info so far.

    peabrain
    Member

    We got ours the smallest Puky (LRM) at 13 months, we knew it would be too big but it was Christmas. He is small for his age but was big enough by 19 months when he was about 87cm tall.

    He was coasting around with feet up within weeks and riding a pedal bike with no stabilisers at 22 months.

    So my advice is get one!

    peabrain
    Member

    Also the Strider seat goes very low (even lower than Puky I think) but IMO Puky is better as the whole bike is scaled down – 10″ wheels, small bars with easy reach, whereas Strider goes up to the age of 5 so not so easy for a small toddler to manage.

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Subscriber

    Our youngest 14months is using her big sisters strider with help..
    She was walking at 10 months though

    tonyd
    Member

    Both ours got one at 2 but weren’t interested initially. Since they were clean we just left them indoors so they were on hand the whole time. Eventually they both stood over them, walked with them, then started riding properly. They were both about 2.5 before they were riding them properly.

    guystabler
    Member

    Try getting a balance bike buddy (I think that is the name) which attaches to the rear wheel and let’s them use a balance bike with some help. Good for getting used to steering. Mine was using this setup from 2 on her own from 2.5 and then pedalling on her own with no stabilisers from 3.5.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I got my little niece a balance bike when she was 10 months old. I don’t see her that often so it was more due to it being an opportunity to present it to her than any particular age or occasion.

    She’s way too young for it but she’s been pushed round the garden on it and she loves being on it. It’s there for her as she grows.

    Premier Icon allfankledup
    Subscriber

    We got a real cheap like-a-bike thingy fromTesco a couple of years back – it was on sale and cost us the princely sum of £18

    It’s still being used, having been passed on to my neighbours kids now.

    I think that the best gadget is a micro scooter – one with two wheels at the front, a big wheel at the back, and a t-bar to steer it. All of our kids have micro scooters of some shape, and I reckon the combination of micro scooters / like a bike has been superb. Our youngest took to riding a proper bike (pedalling) at 4 and a bit.

    Good for the school run, use a dog lead to tow them up hills…..

    Kip
    Member

    Kip Jr started walking at 14 months and got her balance bike at 2 years old. We went for the Strider bike as she has inherited her parents’ lack of stature and was only 78cm tall! No other balance bike goes as low as the seat actually drops below the height of the wheel due to the geometry of it. It took a while to get the hang of it but She is just about to turn 4 tomorrow and is still quite happy on it. We can’t see her moving on to a pedal bike for a while as none of them are small enough and she flies on her bike. She is still only about 90cm tall on a good day in big shoes!

    Things we have noticed though.

    The solid wheels are great for stopping punctures but do wash out a bit on gravelly stuff (like the skills area but not the pump track at Haldon!).

    There is no brake, although you can fit an after market foot brake thing. In US and Europe they often have pedal back brakes which we are considering for her first pedal bike.

    There is also a great piece on why not to buy your child a 12″ pedal bike (unless it’s a Spesh Hotrock) on twowheelingtots.com but I can’t get the darn thing to work right now!

    Good luck and if you want her to ride a bike, don’t get a scooter, you’ll lose her to the dark side!

    peabrain
    Member

    Peabrain fail. My son was not 87cm at 19 months when he was big enough for the puky lrm. That was his height a year later… So he was about 81cm I think.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    I bought a 2nd hand Isla Rothan when my son was 1 and he’s 3 now but still hasn’t really taken to it. a combination of having far too short legs for a long time and getting a scooter for his 2nd birthday I think means that going to the bike is a bit of a backwards step.

    It’s a real bone of contention in our house as I never wanted him to have a bl00dy scooter in the first place but the wife insisted on it and the in-laws bought it for him. Now the wife wants to get him something with stabilizers so he can learn to ride that way – I despair sometimes. 🙄

    matther01
    Member

    Just waiting for my wee lads first balance bike to role off a boat from the US.

    He’s nearly 16 months and has been walking since 12 months. The Strider balance bikes are good from about 18 months and I reckon his legs are just long enough to start him off. Can’t wait.

    He’s a bit of a nutter diving off stuff so need to find a small enough helmet now to go with it.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    We hadn’t thought of getting our 14 month old a bike until yesterday when my wife went to buy me a couple of bits from the bike shop and little Miss sat on a run along trike then scooted off round the shop. My wife being decisive just bought it so by the time i got home she met me at the gate on a bloody BIKE ! Awesumz. She isn;t walking other with her little trolley but she is mighty close.

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