Anyone's kid NOT take to a balance bike?

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  • Anyone's kid NOT take to a balance bike?
  • DrP
    Member

    Drop the saddle right out the way – make it instinct to put her feet down before toppling!
    She’ll soon get the hang of it 🙂

    (ours went from a Stryder, to an easy rider classic. He has a few big stacks in Tilgate park yesterday – gawd bless his ‘met!)

    DrP

    aleigh
    Member

    My daughter hated hers and didn’t get it at all. I left her alone so she would then come to me and ask me to learn to ride a proper bike. At aged 7, she is now she is riding a cute pink GT MTB! Just need to get her confidence up and then I will be starting her on some single track

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Drop the saddle right out the way

    It already is. She’s had it for 18 months, she just can’t handle it and cannot cope with difficulty or failure. This isn’t something we picked up yesterday.

    yunki
    Member

    yunki JR at 3yo next week enjoys his occasionally.. but in nearly a year of use he has still never got any momentum up or actually scooted or rolled anywhere..

    he will push it along at a snails pace using his feet for an eternity but has never quite had the bottle to just let go..

    llamaknob
    Member

    The hotwalk comes up a little big for smaller kids.I did a little research before buying my son his.I found a brand better for smaller kids try Hudora and check the linkey awsome little dude haha
    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/8472620/

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    She’s gigantic, so size is not a problem.

    Premier Icon AD
    Subscriber

    Balance bike worked well for my son. My daughter got the balance bit fine but still can’t fathom pedalling so at the moment she is riding a bike with stabilisers – although today we’re off to the park to see how she gets on with stabilisers removed… Which may end in badly 😉

    scruff
    Member

    My oldest went from a wooden balance bike to proper bike, he wouldnt ride it with the pedals off so used stabilizers, much to my dismay. Took those off after he learnt to pedal and took him to a sloping grass field, he got it straight away.

    So, sloping grass is what you want.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    FWIW my lad found it rather easier when I put the seat *up*. If it’s too low it’s hard to scoot it without everything swaying side-to-side. Same for his pedal bike, it’s *much* easier for him to ride when the seat’s at the right, even though at the moment I have to help him get on and off.

    Best thing is always to get them out with other kids doing the same, though that’s probably more applicable to boys.

    If they want to do it, it might take a bit of time. And if they don’t then, well, tough 🙂

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Our 2.5yo hasn’t really taken to hers yet.

    Doesn’t help that we’re on a hill so she can’t just scoot about the back lane with it.

    Re: seat height – I think the idea is that they can stand with feet flatish on the floor while sat on the saddle. They’ll pull their legs up when/if they get going.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    It’s quite twitchy actually, so it tends to fold under her when she is just walking along with it. I did put the seat up, I could maybe put it up even higher though.

    Needs a longer fork I think 🙂

    I do wonder now if it’s just too small altogether. I might have to go the 20″ and stabilisers route.

    messiah
    Member

    Eldest took to the balance bike and then on to normal bikes with no problems.

    Youngest never liked the balance bike… wife put him on stabilisers which he loved but it’s taken ages to get him to go a normal bike (which he now loves).

    They are very different little personalities… oldest was walking at 9mths but it was 18mths for the youngest… I think the youngest struggles with difficulty/failure so tends to wait until he is confident that he can do things before trying them. Relax and let the kids go at their own pace.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    It won’t be too small.

    Re seat height again, if it’s high then it allows a natural walking action without the bike having to lean or steer; the lower it is, the harder it is to get through the walking stroke without disrupting the bike’s moron.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    I got my lad a balance bike for his 2nd birthday. It sat in the shed pretty much unused for a year, but now he loves it. He’s 4 soon and we’re struggling to get him onto a real bike though.

    I agree with the comments about the saddle height. Too low and it’s a real struggle to actually scoot along on it.

    glupton1976
    Member

    My middle child can only ride a fixie. On anything with a freewheel he ratchets the pedals. Haven’t caught him wearing his sisters jeans yet though.

    Any excuse to post that pic.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    the harder it is to get through the walking stroke without disrupting the bike’s moron.

    That’s a bit harsh mate!

    According to Evans’ sizing chart, she’s either borderline too big or too big. She’s about 110cm tall.

    djglover
    Member

    Our 2 hate them, they were 2 small to get into it early and they have taken to using micro scooters all the time.

    I’m not too fussed anymore and don’t push it as they love the scooters

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    My daughter aged 3.5 can’t really cope with the fact that it leans over, and is now terrified of her nice Specialized balance bike. She loves the trike though.

    Someone reassure me that she’s not going to grow up uninterested in proper bikes? 🙂

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Oops, motion not moron, good old auto correct on the phone.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I might have to go the 20″ and stabilisers route.

    Nothing wrong with that – it’s worked since the beginning of time!

    kcr
    Member

    I wouldn’t worry about it. 3.5 is still very young, and lots of kids take longer to learn. I think with more good quality, small balance bikes available, parents are expecting their children to be scooting and cycling at increasingly young ages. Some will, some won’t, but you just have to encourage them and wait until they get interested themselves. I got my daughter a balance bike for her 2nd birthday, but she hardly looked at it for the best part of a year. Eventually she got interested, and off she went.

    As others have said, a saddle that is too low may not help. Ideally she wants to be able to sit on the saddle with legs extended, but not fully stretched, and both feet flat on the ground. I would really recommend that you don’t use stabilisers. They just slow down the process of acquiring balance, because you are teaching the child to ride a bike with stabilisers, not to ride a bike. I’ve worked with kids that have been medically referred for co-ordination problems, and we successfully used the sit and scoot method to get them cycling – no stabilisers.

    movingslowly
    Member

    At first my daughter wasn’t to bothered, then I put a basket on the front of her early rider and now she absolutely loves it…her dolly goes in the basket and off she goes. This weekend she mastered ‘jumping’ off curbs (aged 3.3 yrs)

    loum
    Member

    Are there any other kids around her age or a touch older that “do” balance bikes well?
    A nephew wasn’t keen/ confident on one but after an afternoon playing with some friends kids about a year older, she now loves it. Seemed to pick up a lot more desire , and confidence, from the other kids.

    Disclaimer : Not got any kids myself yet so no expert.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    My 2p worth

    The trike might be the problem. Feet forwards to pedal is very different from feet below to stand or (later) pedal.

    Our 2 had balance bikes and 12″ bikes with stabilisers. They learn the balance from the bb and pedaling action / position from the bike with stabilisers.

    Junior 2 was on 2 pedaled wheels at 3.5 (she had to catch her big brother!).

    All kids are different, different things will work for you.

    Oh and a gently sloping grassy field helps ALOT!

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    My youngest took a long time to get into it – whereas his older brother was whizzing about within weeks of getting it on his 2nd birthday. I think he’d just got too good at riding his mini-micro 3 wheeler scooter and trying to learn to ride the scoot bike was too much trouble. I still reckon I might get him riding a bike with pedals younger than his brother though, as older brother found pedal bike “wobbly” and refused to ride it without stabilisers for ages, whereas little one was quite happily having a go on the pedal bike with no stabilisers yesterday (3 months younger than older one was) and I just need to persuade him to keep pedalling.

    The only moral from all that is that kids are all different.

    My kid didn’t seem to take to the balance bike initially. He would go all floppy on it and not get it at all. But he persevered and got it after a few weeks. He started riding his pedal bike properly at about 3.5 and did a fair few blue routes at centres when he was 4. But initially he didn’t get the balance bike at all, so don’t be disheartened.

    I agree with the poster who said the seat needs to be high rather than low. You need to ensure he’s sitting on the saddle and scooting with his legs rather than walking along with a bike stuck between his thighs. Even just thinking that through makes it clear that having the saddle too low is counter productive.

    ScottChegg
    Member

    MIne loved his Hotwalk from age 2. Didn’t see the point in moving to a proper bike until a bigger bike was waved under his nose. He took to it immediately.

    Not only has he got the balance thing, he is so used to carving round corners at crazy angles he doesn’t see the need to slow down at any point.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    But he persevered

    Yeah, that’s an issue with this one.

    She’s had it for 18 months, this is not a new thing.

    hjghg5
    Member

    I’m sort of going through this with my nephew. His parents don’t really ride bikes much, but I’ve managed to persuade him that cycling is a really fun thing to do and he always gets his balance bike out to play on when I go round (his Christmas present from me). The thing is that much as he loves walking round on it, he doesn’t really balance. His parents don’t really know what he’s meant to be doing and were surprised when one of his friends was much, much, better on it than he is.

    This triggered competitive dad syndrome and apparently he’s having a balance bike lesson when they go to Center Parcs next week 🙂

    At the moment he’s desperate for a bike with pedals, because he doesn’t really understand why mine has pedals but his doesn’t and why he needs to learn to ride the balance bike first. He will be getting a proper bike for his 4th birthday (March) but I’d quite like to have him balancing on what he’s got before then or I can see the stabilisers coming out.

    (on that subject, should I just go for an Islabike or is there anything else that’s worth a look for that sort of age?)

    Premier Icon mtbfix
    Subscriber

    Does your daughter have any peers who use balance bikes? I think keeping up with friends was a big motivator for our nipper.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    No peers on them, no. She has major issues with things that are different though, I think that’s most of it. She won’t even try.

    poly
    Member

    molgrips. With our eldest we never had one. He tried some friends, showed no interest, was pretty rubbish on a trike etc. With stabilisers he could sort of make a bike go with no real interest or enthusiasm. Last of his friends to learn to ride a proper bike (but not last in his class). Took much parental bribery etc. Was wobbly as hell when he did learn, moaned after 1/2 a mile etc. Suddently he got cycling one day. He is not quite 9 yet and active in the local kids cycling club. He did the blue at glentress 3 time in 7 days recently.

    Our second (and last) took to the balance bike almost straight away, terrifies me going off kerbs etc on it, and almost immediately got riding a bike when she could reach the peddles. She is terrifying and climbs with more grace and style than me! She confidently rides the green at glentress at 4 and manages the blue at another trail centre with just a little “daddy engine” on some of the steepest climbs (no gears!).

    All kids are different. If there is no real interest or enthusiasm then a balance bike is just a scary contraption to fall off. Don’t worry once s/he is old enough (and trusted enough) that a bike offers freedom to travel/explore I believe all kids get to like it a bit. So long as you then build up gradually and at their pace I think most people could develop a ‘recreational cycling habbit’ even if they won’t become Hart / Macaskill / Wiggo / Cav etc…

    poly
    Member

    molgrips. With our eldest we never had one. He tried some friends, showed no interest, was pretty rubbish on a trike etc. With stabilisers he could sort of make a bike go with no real interest or enthusiasm. Last of his friends to learn to ride a proper bike (but not last in his class). Took much parental bribery etc. Was wobbly as hell when he did learn, moaned after 1/2 a mile etc. Suddently he got cycling one day. He is not quite 9 yet and active in the local kids cycling club. He did the blue at glentress 3 time in 7 days recently.

    Our second (and last) took to the balance bike almost straight away, terrifies me going off kerbs etc on it, and almost immediately got riding a bike when she could reach the peddles. She is terrifying and climbs with more grace and style than me! She confidently rides the green at glentress at 4 and manages the blue at another trail centre with just a little “daddy engine” on some of the steepest climbs (no gears!).

    All kids are different. If there is no real interest or enthusiasm then a balance bike is just a scary contraption to fall off. Don’t worry once s/he is old enough (and trusted enough) that a bike offers freedom to travel/explore I believe all kids get to like it a bit. So long as you then build up gradually and at their pace I think most people could develop a ‘recreational cycling habbit’ even if they won’t become Hart / Macaskill / Wiggo / Cav etc…

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    All kids are different, which is kind of nice.

    Both our kids got bikes at the same time- a balance for the (almost) 2 year old, one with stabilisers for the 3 year old. The elder had no interest in learning to balance for nearly a year and a half, until she started running into problems getting places due to the back wheel being kicked off the ground. The younger one eventually had to be dragged kicking and screaming off the balance bike onto one with pedals.

    I’d say either don’t worr y,and let her do her own thing, or if you must, get her a bike with stabilisers. While it’s nice, riding a bike at that age (I never learnt til I was about 7) isn’t really important, just that the kids have fun and enjoy themselves.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    Putting the seat up was the thing that allowed my daughter (2y10m) to “get” it. Her bum is now at its “walking height”.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    How about taking the pedals off your bike and showing here how its done?

    GW
    Member

    does she have scooters?
    two wheel scooters teach balance/confidence fairly safely.
    by the sounds of it, you might need to start her off on a 3 wheeler tho.

    Premier Icon uphillcursing
    Subscriber

    Kids are all different as many have aready said. My eldest was off on his more or less as soon as he could walk. The youngest just could not be bothered.
    Little sod didnt look twice at the cnoc 16 till he saw a kid from his nursery peddaling solo. Then two weeks later i was having to fork out for a 20 inch bike.
    The same still rings true. One who will ride most stuff and one i have to physically pull up the hills.
    Best bit is when you can take the kids out and feel like you have had a ride too. That plus all the proud dad bit makes it just a bit special.
    Sorry no advise for the balance bike, but this is STW.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    She’s drawn to scooters but they are ‘too difficult’ and ‘too wobbly’ so she just gives up each time. I’ve shown her how to use her own balance bike, no dice though.

    I’ll see if we can get her a bike with pedals and stabilisers.

    Premier Icon beamers
    Subscriber

    Show her this training video:

    Worked a treat with my 2 year old. She watched it from 18 months old and knew exactly what to do (in terms of sitting on it and scooting, not pumping the bike through a skate park) when she was presented with her Islabike Rothan on her 2nd birthday.

    It took her a while to “get” it though. She couldn’t see the point initially and required an incentive and reason to ride her bike.

    Bit like her dad really.

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