Balance bikes - is there much difference?

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Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby yorkshirepudding » 11 Jan 2016, 23:46

I was holding out on getting Moo one as we were going to borrow a friend's after he got a pedal bike for Xmas, but his little brother can now ride the balance bike so they're keeping it!

Should I just get a reasonable looking one off eBay?
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby qbm » 12 Jan 2016, 07:32

I used old threads on here to research it ages ago. The conclusion I came to was, yes, the lighter the bike, the better. It seemed like the lightest ones were the expensive ones like Isla or Frog. DD1 has always been very tentative and, at that point, had rarely used anything we bought her, including an expensive ride on recommended on here (a rare forum fail :D).

We opted for the Decathlon B Twin which was about £40. It was recommended by MissKitty whose DH was an avid cyclist and knew his stuff. DD1 took a while to get into it but we got her a pedal bike at Christmas (a Frog) and within 3 half hour sessions with her dad she was off!
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby emzit » 12 Jan 2016, 09:32

Yes, definitely get the lightest bike you can. If it's too heavy, they can't manage it, won't enjoy it, and consequently won't ride. I have sung the praises of Cruzee on here many, many times and will do so again! It's 1.9kg, the lightest bike out there, not crazy expensive (but not cheap) and really good quality. Muncher has had his two years and it has been properly bashed around on mountain bike trails, the bmx track, jumps track as well as 'normal' riding and is still in great nick. He's still using it for single track but also rides a pedal bike which only took about 20 minutes of practise before he could do it with confidence. Squish (21 months) has just got a Cruzee for Christmas and can ride properly already.

I've also heard really good things about Byk so that's another option. There's a good website called twowheelingtots.com which reviews bikes for littlies which I found really useful.
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby yorkshirepudding » 12 Jan 2016, 11:46

Great, thanks, knew I would find an answer here! He is set to inherit a pedal Isla bike next Xmas so he has a year to learn on a balance bike - I wish I'd got him one earlier now! This evening's research for dh sorted :)
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby Lily » 12 Jan 2016, 14:48

He won't take a whole year to learn! Izbiz had a Kokua LikeaBike which was great, light and not too pricey. It took him 4 or 5 sessions to get the hang of it, and he was riding it for 6 months before getting his pedal bike (which he managed to ride straight away on Christmas day).
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby mamapup » 12 Jan 2016, 17:17

Don't get a heavy one! We did, by mistake, and it was a total waste. We also then got a cheap wooden one second hand and, because it was so light, it was the bike he learned on.
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby LucyLastic » 12 Jan 2016, 21:35

Where do they put their feet on a balance bike? The kind of playgrounds we go to are pretty rural, so there aren't hoardes of kids on them, so I haven't really seen how they actually work.
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby mamapup » 12 Jan 2016, 22:31

They stand on the saddle.

No, really they use their feet to move the bike along, basically walk themselves on the bike until they're proficient and then they're sort of taking massive strides on it. So feet and wheels propel them.
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby emzit » 13 Jan 2016, 00:29

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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby Kitcameron » 13 Jan 2016, 18:18

I have to add SM has a cheap Chicco one and she's loved it. It's pretty light in comparison with a. Lot we've seen but probably not the cheapest. She had hers just after she was 2 so we decided our top priorities were lightweight with adjustable seat and handlebars.
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby LucyLastic » 13 Jan 2016, 19:07

C is going to be 4 in May - is it worth going down the balance bike route or should we just get a pedal bike?
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby yorkshirepudding » 13 Jan 2016, 19:46

I've looked at all of them and that comparisons site is good. So far were thinking Isla bike as Moo is a shortie, and so will E be when she inherits it. But I'll look at the chicco one too thanks kc.

LL - Our niece had a pedal Isla bike for her 4 th birthday and did very well on it (no stabilisers) with no balance bike before, she will be 6 in July and has nearly outgrown it but she is very tall (think it was the smallest frame size).
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby emzit » 13 Jan 2016, 20:04

LL, at C's age I would get a pedal bike and take the cranks off so she can use it as a balance bike first. You can do so much more with a balance bike than training wheels.

I tried to tag you in a couple of videos yesterday but they were all on dh's page and his privacy was set too high. I'll upload some in a sec.
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby mamapup » 13 Jan 2016, 22:18

Phew, that wasn't squish in the videos then? I was worried my kids were totally useless if squish was already on a bike. Little Croc is really talk but there's no way she could use a balance bike as she's too small still.
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Re: Balance bikes - is there much difference?

Postby LucyLastic » 13 Jan 2016, 22:21

Thanks. And thank you for uploading the video, emzit. No doubt I'll revisit this thread in April when we think about C's birthday. Have to move house (again!) first :-S
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