Before the popularity of balance bikes most kids started off with a pedal bike with rattling stabilisers attached to the sides, allowing them to ride without (hopefully) toppling over. Once a child's confidence grew, parents would get out the toolkit and remove the stabilisers, this was usually followed by a trip to the park, where you would see parents running behind their child, holding onto the saddle until the child was moving, and then shouting "I've still got you" even though this was a blatant lie and they had let go some time ago. The dread that parent must have felt letting go of that saddle...will they fall? will they balance? will they keep pedalling?
Balance Bikes are aimed at younger children and typically don't feature pedals, gears and in most cases brakes. By removing these components, you remove the main issues children face when learning to ride, the balance bike allows your child to focus on balancing and steering instead of the juggling act pedal bikes present to a first time rider.
Here's why we love balance bikes for a first time rider:
- They look as they were intended and aren't spoilt by clunky training wheels
- Your child has full control over the speed that they go, they use what comes naturally to them, their feet!
- A balance bike gives your child more flexible movement and an unrestricted turning circle, which makes it much more enjoyable to ride than the stabilised counterpart.
- It allows your child to build up the core muscles and skills that help them to balance, a bike with stabilisers doesn't require them to do this as the training wheels are doing this for them.
- You can introduce a balance bike to a child at a very young age if they are confidently walking and steady on their feet.
- Your child can focus on balancing and steering without the complexities faced with a traditional pedal bike.
When the time comes for your child to transition onto their "big bike" their learning requirement is greatly reduced because of all the helpful skills they have learnt having fun on their balance bike. The logic goes that they already have the balance and steering nailed down, so learning to pedal is much easier and the move from balance to pedal bike is a smoother, enjoyable experience.