Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any tips for getting children used to their balance bike. My daughter just turned 3, and she's fearless ( I've aged 20 years in her 3), but I have a hard time getting her to pick her feet up and coast. I don't want to be pushy, but I know she can do it, and she'd love it. I've thought of giving up on it and getting her a little bike with pedals and training wheels instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,098 Posts
Find a place where you can have her coast down a gentle slope (without hitting anything).

Ideally, once she can balance you should try to transition her directly to a 2-wheel pedal bike without training wheels. Using training wheels can greatly delay kids ability to learn to ride a bike as they dont teach the balance skill needed to lean into turns.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,971 Posts
Any tips for getting children used to their balance bike. My daughter just turned 3, and she's fearless ( I've aged 20 years in her 3), but I have a hard time getting her to pick her feet up and coast. I don't want to be pushy, but I know she can do it, and she'd love it. I've thought of giving up on it and getting her a little bike with pedals and training wheels instead.
My best advice is to just let it come. We walk around the neighborhood and my son learned over time that he could lift his feet on hills but I never pushed him outside his comfort zone. It's super easy to push kids too hard and have them completely reject cycling. My son made the transition to a pedal bike instantly but then almost steered into a ton of cactus because he didn't understand the brakes and is now a little hesitant to ride it. We don't push him to do so and he is finally getting back on it however we have friends that did push and their son hasn't ridden his bike in a couple of years now and has no desire to join mom or dad on the trails or road or just a ride around the neighborhood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,402 Posts
Using training wheels can greatly delay kids ability to learn to ride a bike.
Though I do like the balance bikes, and know that some kids can get kinda stuck on the training wheels for awhile, I think most move past them pretty quickly. If you think training wheels might get her rolling, there's no reason at all not to try it.

Some kids will actually learn better by starting with pedaling and braking and then adding the balance aspect afterward. Hell, that's how we all did it. My son never had a scootbike, but was racing BMX by 5 and turned into a real little shredder in no time. Every kid is different, can't hurt to give her the option. Also, she's really young. Yeah, there are kids out there that get it at 3, but there are plenty that don't, or just aren't really all that interested. In the long run, whether she starts riding at 3 or at 7 has little bearing on what type of rider she turns into. (Or maybe she won't like riding at all and you're gonna have to learn how to get around on the uneven bars instead ;) )

Oh, and you can also take the cranks off the regular bike and get enough of the scoot-bike effect to help make the balance thing click. (I've seen this work in no time for a couple kids that couldn't ditch their trainers.) Good luck and have fun.
 

·
ilmfat
Joined
·
1,316 Posts
we had to push our oldest (now 5) a little, and we did go from balance bike to 12" kmart bike with training wheels to 20" hotrock.

in 4 months.

our younger daughter lacks the "persevering spirit". we finally got her on a (too big) pedal bike and she can pedal, but cant start by herself, or turn around in our driveway. she cries while she rides because she is so scared, but once she calms down and gets off the bike, she wants to get back on.

she's a weird kid.

she is 3 1/4 and we got her on a banshee. if i coulda got her a gremlin (now furi), i woulda, and she'd be tearin it up already. alas, when i ordered the banshee, i didnt know the furi was coming.

Spawn Cycle Furi | Spawn Cycles - Born to Ride

or you could call the shops in vancouver and see if anyone has a Spawn gremlin in stock.

if i was an hour from canadialand, she'd be on a gremlin.

stupid schwinn.

if she dont like it, i guarantee you u can sell it for 90% of retail.

but she'll like it.

worst case scenario, you CAN put training wheels on the furi.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Find a place where you can have her coast down a gentle slope (without hitting anything).

Ideally, once she can balance you should try to transition her directly to a 2-wheel pedal bike without training wheels. Using training wheels can greatly delay kids ability to learn to ride a bike as they dont teach the balance skill needed to lean into turns.
2 things were important to get our 3 year old rolling. She actually mastered the balance bike at 2.5 and now at almost 4 she is getting it down on how to ride her 14" bike.

The first key with the balance bike is the fit. They need to be able to sit on the seat and have both feet touch the ground. Then we got her to learn to put her feet up by coasting down the gently slope of the driveway. A few times rolling down the driveway was all it took and she was off and coasting, but if the bike doesn't fit properly, it won't happen.

Another big help is they learn a lot by watching. I have a BMX bike that I use to show her how daddy does it. Then I have her follow me and do what I do, once I demonstrate it first.

The last thing is bribery. Kids love ice cream and will try almost anything for a reward. We got our 3 year old to put her head under the water willingly in swim lessons by promising a scope of ice-cream reward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
I know if you search for balance bikes, they end up spamming every site you're on. The "focused advertising" is out of hand.
I see Striders, and the like pop up on Ebay all the time.
My Strider has been thru 3-4 kids since I've had it, and I bought it at Goodwill for $20 or so. My youngest is only 1, so this thing will probably see a couple more kids learning to ride before she even gets to use it. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I know if you search for balance bikes, they end up spamming every site you're on. The "focused advertising" is out of hand.
I see Striders, and the like pop up on Ebay all the time.
My Strider has been thru 3-4 kids since I've had it, and I bought it at Goodwill for $20 or so. My youngest is only 1, so this thing will probably see a couple more kids learning to ride before she even gets to use it. LOL
Yeah after looking for the a place to buy one I got the same spam from strider lol. I think I gonna buy gobalancebike just because of this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
My B.

I wish Ida got one w a brake, so I'm kind of a zealot for push bikes w brakes.
By the time they get old enough to use a hand brake, I'd probably rather have them on a real bike with the balance bike for short trips only.

There are a ton of balance bikes on craigslist around me. Strider makes nice bikes but I wouldn't want to pony up $150 for one. I have a cheap-o from JCPenny that cost $25 and a Diamondback for $45 and my daughter loves them, but she's now ready to ride her big girl bike all the time.
 

·
ilmfat
Joined
·
1,316 Posts
i had my daughter on the trail @ 2 yrs old, but what held her back from really rippin it up was the lack of a brake.

if you're just lookin for driveway/bikepath, thats cool.

if you wanna put your kid on the trail, v-brake is the way to go.

my 3(and 1/4) yr has such an easy time with v-brakes, i could definitely see her using them @ 2.

we'll find out, as my daughter is a lil too small for her banshee, so ima get her a furi to use for 3 months. then my neighbor's kid turns 2 and we'll push the bounds of possibility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
i had my daughter on the trail @ 2 yrs old, but what held her back from really rippin it up was the lack of a brake.

if you're just lookin for driveway/bikepath, thats cool.

if you wanna put your kid on the trail, v-brake is the way to go.

my 3(and 1/4) yr has such an easy time with v-brakes, i could definitely see her using them @ 2.

we'll find out, as my daughter is a lil too small for her banshee, so ima get her a furi to use for 3 months. then my neighbor's kid turns 2 and we'll push the bounds of possibility.
My youngest had a back pedal brake from his 2nd birthday (had been riding an old bike for 6 weeks by then), now at 3 he has v-brakes and that's perfect.

IMO brakes are not really needed on balance bikes, feet do the job just fine!
Good to know! I had read a few things that said you should use pedal brakes for young kids cause they couldn't handle a hand brake until they were older, like around 5, so it's good to hear some real world experience that is not the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Nice thread and pretty timely for me as well.

With the weather getting better I've finally had the opportunity to take the balance bike out and pretty much have the same issues with my kid. So decided to check out this forum but really didn't expect to find a thread similar to the issue I was having.

My kid immediately wants to put his feet up without pushing and wants me to push him. Then he loses interest pretty quickly when he either falls or realizes that I won't give him a push.

Been kind of tempted to maybe just put him on a pedal bike with no training wheels and do trial by fire kind of deal. This way he'd be able to get the bike moving on his own.. But figure it's better to take it slow. We have been slowly making progress each time so far. Maybe three times.

As others mentioned just let her go at her own pace and don't pressure her. The best is to have her see other kids do it. Of course where we go kids mostly ride scooters and he keeps on talking about wanting a scooter.

I might give a gentle slope a try but am just afraid of him taking a spill.

Good luck!
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top