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My daughter has been on a strider for 2 years now (she's 3.5). She's killing it and ready to pedal. Any recomnedations? I'm hesitant to get anything cheap as I don't want her on a 30lb bike, but at the same time she's only going to be on it for a year or two. Any thoughts or recomendations?
 

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Craigslist? I just made my 2yr old son a balance bike out of a $10 garage sale special. If he takes to it, and I hope he does, I'll be searching CL for a deal on a quality used bike. Since he is just starting I have the luxury of time. I certainly understand your dilemma. Others may disagree, but I just cannot see spending $150+ on a bike that he will outgrow in a couple of years. In our area we also have a place called “Dream Bikes”. It’s a shop that takes in used name brand bikes, that need a little TLC, and gives teenagers from a rough-n- tough neighborhoods the opportunity to learn the skills to fix them up and resell them. They can have some pretty good bikes for less than new cost.
 

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Wēk Sôs
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a cheapo 12" bike with training wheels. it will get her used to the pedaling motion, after a while you can move the training wheels higher in height and then remove it completely. learning how to pedal, and then brake, is important. A child can really only focus on 1 thing at a time, and it takes time to master. That's where the auto-balance of training wheels help. For an adult, it's not necessary, but it will take a child a good while before she is ready to handle multiple things simultaneously.

My 4yo moved to a 16" hotrock without training wheels, as soon as she turned 4. She was on the 12" without training wheels first. I will probably move her to a 20" with v-brakes and gear around 5 or 5.5yo.

a smaller bike is also easier to handle and maneuver due to plain muscle power overpowering a frame that doesn't stretch them out, and that applies to adults as well.
 

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my brother just got his 3,5 year old son a proper bike after 1 year on a strider bike. Used our local CL and got one for 25euro. Ripped the training wheels off and gave it to him on wednesday evening. He was riding it for real the next day. Don't go with training wheels after a striderbike. The balance is already there.
 

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Wēk Sôs
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you'll find it depends more on the child and locale. it wouldn't hurt to have some training wheels on hand. as noted they are easily removed. a few wipe outs due to improper braking or mounting issues (up hill on a rear coaster is not all fun), could set the child back a bit. each child reacts differently to stimuli.

also note that a child will move through frames really fast. 12"-16"-20" would probably be a year or less at each stop, my oldest and his class mates all did that short 6-8 month stop on 12 and 16. A 3.5 may fit on a small 16", depends on size of child, but then it would mean they move out of that frame sooner than later.
 

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Lsett~ would you want to sell your daughter's old strider? I'm looking to purchase a used one for my daughter.
 

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My kids had Specialized Hotrocks (16) at that age

Specialized Hotrock 16 would be good. It's one of the lighter kids bikes, has an aluminum frame instead of hi-ten steel. My son used the 16" for 3 years, recently got a Hotrock 20.

I got my daughter her hotrock 16 from craigslist for $50 last year - it was only one year old and in great shape. Unfortunately couldn't find an appropriate 20"er for my son when it was time and ponied up for a new one.

For my 3.5 year old daughter, who was used to a Skuut balance bike, I initially turned the bike into a balance bike. Took off the pedals, and cut about an inch off the seatpost so that it could go low enough for her feet to be on the ground. After a couple of months of her getting used to the size I put the pedals on & she rode away & never looked back.
 
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