Don’t buy a balance bike. Or at least, read this before buying one.
We at TTV believe balance bikes are great and provide kids with the best way to learn how to ride a bicycle. We also believe that most are over-priced and you’re paying for something that ideally should only be used 5-10 times.
In our experience, the best way to teach a child to ride a bicycle is get them on a balance bike, let them roll down a slightly declined grassy hill, then work your way to rolling on pavement and doing turns. Most kids can probably get the hang of balancing in 5-10 sessions spread across a few weeks or less. If you go longer than that, you risk the chance of your child getting too used to the balance bike and not wanting to try the pedals. The goal is for your child to learn how to ride a bike, not shuffle along on a bike-like system with no pedals.
So what’s the point of this… a quick search of amazon yields the following results. Some very nice wooden balance bikes $69.99 and up, and for a little less, metal balance bikes starting around $58.44. For example…
You’ve probably figured out by now that this is not a balance bike. However, it comes with the pedals off, so just keep them off, do the 5-10 sessions of balance bike training, and then put them on (just takes a wrench or pliers). Oh and don’t even think about putting on training wheels. If the goal is to have your child ride a bike, why not get a balance bike that can actually be used as a, you know, bike. With kids out growing things so fast, if everything goes well, you’ll get that one month or so of balance bike training, and a year or more of actual bike riding. Compare that with buying a more expensive balance bike and then having to buy a regular bike later on.
We know our opinion is pretty strong, but we always welcome any debate or comments!