How A Balance Bike Will Help Your Kids Learn Cycling Faster
A balance bike is just like your regular kid’s bike, built with two wheels and all, but is not equipped with pedals. This bike will help little children learn how to balance on a two-wheeled bike, and can be used by kids from age 18 months and up.
Toddlers and kids usually learn how to ride, jump, and coast on their balance bikes without any assistance from their parents just after a short period of training and playing with it.
In place of tricycles and training wheels, balance bikes would be a much better option in training your kids to use a bicycle. They are also designed to be used during the ages when children are supposed to train on training wheels and tricycles, so you can actually skip those.
How A Balance Bike Will Help Your Kids to Learn Cycling Faster
Did you know that when a child learns cycling from a balance bike, he can transition straight to a regular kids bike at the age of 3 years old? This is because a balance bike rides and feels so much like a regular bike.
It does not get stuck on uneven surfaces and pavements, and it can easily glide over rocks and curbs, and can even jump. Because of its ability to do all these things, they are sometimes called strider bikes, glider bikes, run bikes, and pedal-less bikes.
Despite being able to do things that a regular bike can do, a balance bike is much safer than a tricycle or a kids bike with training wheels. It is also a more practical choice. A tricycle, equipped with three wheels, are slow, a bit difficult to maneuver, and is easily caught on uneven surfaces.
Riding a balance bike will keep your child’s focus and attention on balancing instead of pedaling and maneuvering the bike. This trains your child to be prepared for unexpected loss of balance or the possibility of a fall, making them ready to ride a regular bike faster and is then less likely to fall.
If you make a toddler ride a balance bike and then a tricycle, you will notice that they are able to walk and run on the balance bike for longer than they are able to on the tricycle.
A tricycle is just not an efficient learning tool for little children, as it does not help them to ride long distances. This is the reason why tricycles usually have built in handles for the parents to push while the kids ride them.
What about Training Wheels?
Now, let us talk about training wheels. While a balance bike helps children learn how to balance while riding, training wheels teach children how to ride unbalanced. Think about it: bicycles equipped with training wheels usually tilt to one side, therefore creating a false sense of balance.
As a result, training wheels actually delay learning and the ability of the child to ride a regular bike. It can also hamper the desire of the child to learn, since training wheels can just make it harder.
When Should I Let My Child Start Riding a Balance Bike?
Children as young as 18 months old can start riding a balance bike. Balance bikes come in many sizes and styles, and the largest are even designed for adults. So yes, it’s not too late for adults to learn how to ride a bike!
This is the difference of balance bikes from tricycles and training wheels - toddlers as young as 18 months can use a balance bike and start walking around and playing with it, on their own.
Balance bikes do not come with handles for the parents to use since there is simply no need for them. This is what helps the children learn how to balance, and is one of balance bikes’ greatest advantages.
How Do they Ride a Balance Bike and Where Do they Put their Feet?
Kids start with walking and running while riding the balance bike, and they naturally pull their feet up as soon as they start to glide. This is how balance bikes train children to balance.
How Long Do Kids Train until They Can Ride a Regular Bike?
Depending on how old a kid started riding a balance bike, it can take 1 to 2 years before they can finally move up to a regular kids bike. Most kids master riding a balance bike by their 4th birthday, and start to ride a regular bike by then.
It is recommended that the bike should have a maximum seat height of at least two inches higher than the child’s current inseam to allow enough room for growth.
But can’t I Just Take the Pedals off a Regular Bike?
While balance bikes train kids to balance for riding a regular bike, they also provide a few years of fun to the child, and not just a training tool. Besides, even the smallest regular bikes can be too high and too heavy for a small kid, making it more difficult to learn how to balance.
This is at least true for toddlers. Children 5 years old and above can ride a regular pedal-less bike to train.
My Kid doesn’t Want to Ride a Balance Bike!
Children who have experience riding a tricycle or a bike with training wheels are more resistant to trying out a balance bike because they require a little more effort, and it is understandable.
However, even though it’s harder to ride a balance bike, it offers far greater rewards in cycling once your child has mastered it.
Children are more likely to learn how to balance properly with balance bikes, as they only focus their efforts on balancing, and not on navigating their bicycle.
They will also enjoy the independence that they get from it since you don’t have to literally push them around as they cycle. Instead of you bugging your child to go outside and learn how to ride a bike, it will be your kid that will be bugging you.