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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the last 2 years my son has been learning to ride on his Specialized HotWalk Balance bike (on the trails and paths) and a scoot balance bike(in the house only). He turned 3 back in April and really needs a pedal bike now and something with Brakes. If I had known about the balance bikes with rim brakes I would never has bought the Specialized, dragging feet to slow and stop is not a good habit to form.

So we saved up some money and I just placed the order today for the Park 16 inch. This Bike has 16 inch wheels, so much more stable at speed than the HotWalk and has front and rear rim brake to teach proper braking technique. The seat has a min height of 17inches and his inseam right now is 18 inches, so it should be perfect and last him for at least 2 years. After that my daughter can use it when she gets bigger.

I am super excited about this and will post more updates when the bike arrives and he starts testing it.

https://parkcycles.ca/product/16-pedal/

I learned about this bike from following "The Bike Dads" on instragram, they have some great reviews for all sizes of kids bikes:

Front Page - The Bike Dads
 

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Looks like you found a pretty solid option.

There are several good 16" bikes out there for the littles. The Redline Pitboss and SE Lil' Ripper are both good options for smaller TT 16" bikes; both are at or under 15 lbs, freewheel, V brakes, etc. When your kid is ready for a larger 16" bike both the Cult Juvenile and Fit Misfit are good options as they're both aluminum frames (I think this changes on the 2020 Misfit), a little longer in the TT, wider tires...but they both have 990 brakes so they require stronger braking hands.

My son rides a 16" Juvenile after a couple of years on a Pit Boss (in addition to his HT and BMX race bikes) and for my daughter we decided to pretty much skip the Pit Boss and put her on a 14" Juvenile as I think it's a better bike to develop park skills.

Anyway, I hope you have a good experience with the new bike and your kid gets out there and shreds!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It arrived yesterday! I unboxed it and got it put together. This bike is solid! I got my boy out today to test it but he is still not 100% certain on the whole pedalling thing yet. I know it will just take some practice. So far he likes practicing the brakes since his balance bike does not have brakes.

Here are some pics!

Shirt Child Office equipment Toddler Box


Shirt T-shirt Child Office equipment Computer accessory


Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle tire Bicycle Spoke Mountain bike


Bicycle tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim Spoke Bicycle part


Wheel Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Tire Bicycle wheel


Blue Window covering Aqua Azure Electric blue


Tire Wheel Motorcycle Window Property
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Soooooooooooooo. This last year has been a long painful road to get my son from the Balance Bike to the Pedal Bike. In retrospect I probably should have started by pulling the pedals off the PARK 16 and letting him get used to it as a bigger balance bike. He was fearful right off the bat, which was confusing for me considering how awesome he was on the Balance bike, literally jumping off things and dropping big hills. We took his bike on all our camping trips but he refused to ride it and only wanted to ride his old Balance bike.

I broke down and got some training wheels mid-summer and he was able to ride the bike on a flat surface, but was still very Leary of it and complained anytime I tried to get him to go riding. At the beginning of this month we did a camping trip with my wife's family and all the kids had bikes n scooters. He spent way more time riding his bike on the flat surface of the campground getting used to the size, the brakes, etc. Within a few min he could get himself up off the trainers and pedal without them:

The lingering issues when we got home was his dependence to lean on the training wheels, he would put both feet on the pedals and THEN start pedaling. But he was hooked again and more agreeable to go ride bikes with dad. So this got us out on the bikes. I took it easy with him and let him do his thing, push his bike when he needed, etc. While doing this I encouraged him to put one foot on the ground and one on a pedal and push off the ground to get moving. He started alternating this with the leaning on the training wheel move. With my time off work we rode on Thursday and he was ready; so Friday morning I took the training wheels off and BOOM! He was ripping around like before when on his Balance bike. His confidence was back and he was stoked. I was stoked! And his little sister (2) finally decided she wanted to ride the Balance bike, something she refused to do before this.

We rode the dirt that first day without the training wheels and he bombed this slightly steep section of trail with no issues;

Without the training wheels it was easier for him to push the steeper hills and carry his bike when needed:

On the second day without the trainers I taught him the value of standing up and using the legs as suspension and he started dropping off curbs with ease:

This bike is solid and perfect for him, should last him at least another season depending on how fast he grows, He won't be 5 until April. I am hoping the 16inch wheels last him until he is at least 6.

 

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Cool story and pics. It's always awesome to see our little ones grow up and advance. I wish that I started my daughter that early but she didn't get into actual mountain biking until her teen years which was completely my fault for underestimating her.
 

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I'm right there with you in trying to transition a kiddo that rips on a balance bike to to being unsure on a pedal bike. We're trying to make the move with my (small for his age) 5 year old from a 12" Giant Pre to a hand-me-down, but upgraded, Tyke Bykes 16" pedal bike.

This was August in Santa Cruz on the balance bike. He rocked everything we did on the blue trails and pump tracks.


Two months later we didn't get much further than this at Exchequer. Dad's fault for deciding the single track trails were the best place to try out the TowWhee for the first time.


Seeing your son's progression is an encouragement! I need to spend more time with my own son, working to get more accustomed to starting and stopping on the pedal bike. I may need to sneak in an order for a pivotal post and seat to drop the saddle height to ease the transition.
 

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Thank you both...I'm just starting to get some info on decent kids bikes. For sure want to avoid coaster brakes and cheap bikes that won't last more than a year. Our oldest will be 4 next year and his brother is almost two years younger so we'll get use out of them for sure.

Undecided on training wheels...I know it starts a bad habit so will probably buy them but only use them if we need them.



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Spawn Yoji are so BA. Highly recommend them. Also, honest question, what is the rush to get them to pedal? Each of our kids did it on their own time. Our oldest was on a walmart bike with coaster brakes and training wheels at 5 and shreds everything we have here at 9.

1. Let them progress to pedaling on their own time.
2. Spend as much time on Yoji, BMX, pump track skate park when young.
3. Don't push them to pedal unless they really want to when young. Obstacles pump tracks etc don't require pedaling as much and are really fun ways to build their skill and keep it fun.

We see a lot of kids who only have ridden trails here and lack fundamental bike handling skills. It pays off big down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you both...I'm just starting to get some info on decent kids bikes. For sure want to avoid coaster brakes and cheap bikes that won't last more than a year. Our oldest will be 4 next year and his brother is almost two years younger so we'll get use out of them for sure.

Undecided on training wheels...I know it starts a bad habit so will probably buy them but only use them if we need them.
in my limited experience with my son, he spent 1.5 year on a balance bike and only 1 month on training wheels before going to pedaling. So the bad habits from the training wheels never sank in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Spawn Yoji are so BA. Highly recommend them. Also, honest question, what is the rush to get them to pedal? Each of our kids did it on their own time. Our oldest was on a walmart bike with coaster brakes and training wheels at 5 and shreds everything we have here at 9.

1. Let them progress to pedaling on their own time.
2. Spend as much time on Yoji, BMX, pump track skate park when young.
3. Don't push them to pedal unless they really want to when young. Obstacles pump tracks etc don't require pedaling as much and are really fun ways to build their skill and keep it fun.

We see a lot of kids who only have ridden trails here and lack fundamental bike handling skills. It pays off big down the road.
For my son he wanted to go farther and faster than he could on the Balance Bike. Today we rode 6.5 miles together, combination of street riding and some local trails. He was trying some tiny roller jumps already. I am not concerned that going to pedals without training wheels at age 4 is going to stunt his skills one bit.

I won't push my daughter to do the same things he did at the same age, I will let her progress. I also did not pressure my son to start pedaling, He had that bike for a year before he decided he wanted to really ride it. I would ask him, but if he said no, I did not push.
 

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That's part of my thought process... he likes to go far and I think using feet limits that. Practically thinking, we also have another son who's already getting on trikes regularly and was adamant he ride the balance bike today (though his feet are just short of touching the ground, so he held on and I balanced and pushed)

And yeah probably won't over think the training wheels. I'm sure they'll only be there for a little bit if they get used. I know i had them as a kid, but don't remember for how long. I suppose I did alright all things considered.

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For my son he wanted to go farther and faster than he could on the Balance Bike. Today we rode 6.5 miles together, combination of street riding and some local trails. He was trying some tiny roller jumps already. I am not concerned that going to pedals without training wheels at age 4 is going to stunt his skills one bit.

I won't push my daughter to do the same things he did at the same age, I will let her progress. I also did not pressure my son to start pedaling, He had that bike for a year before he decided he wanted to really ride it. I would ask him, but if he said no, I did not push.
Yeah wasn't trying to imply that riding a bike too early is bad. Early in your posts you mentioned it being a "long and painful road" in the transition. I must've misunderstood but it sounded like you were pushing him to pedal before he wanted to. My daughter pedaled at 2 and my son rode training wheels at 5 (we didn't know about striders.) My point was if the focus is on "going a long way" when they are early instead of riding up and off curbs and pumping and bunny hopping they may miss some important bike handling skills. That's all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I meant it was painful for me to wait for him to be ready, haha.

He did not care one bit that he was not on pedals yet. As far as skills go he was jumping off curbs his second day without the trainers... Yesterday he was attempting some roller dirt jumps on the trail ride we did. I am pretty sure he will skill up pretty quick.
 
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