Encouraging kids to become athletic and enjoy the outdoors is great for their development and well-being. Riding bikes, for example, is an enjoyable activity that promotes healthy living and exercise. If you’re planning to teach your kids how to ride a bike, then it’s time to consider choosing a balance bike for your kids.
Before allowing kids to actually use a regular kids or toddler bike, it’s best to let them find their balance first with the help of a balance bike. If you haven’t heard of them before, balance bikes have replaced training wheels and tricycles. From the name itself, this type of bike helps kids to learn how to balance. It looks like a typical bike except that it doesn’t have any pedals. But you will be amazed to see that after a brief amount of time, your kid is ready to move up to a regular bike and ride it without any assistance.
Not all balance bikes fit every child. This is why you need to consider these things before making your purchase. The size is on top of the list because it is the most important thing you have to consider. The size includes the size of the tires and the height of the seat. Most balance bikes have 12-inch tires. But if your kid is taller than most kids his/her age, you can go for the 14-inch or 16-inch tires. The height of the seat will greatly affect how comfortable your child is when riding a balance bike. You will know that the bike fits the child if his/her feet are flat on the ground while he/she is seated, the knee is bent slightly, and he/she is able to push off the ground while in a sitting position.
Because bike frames are made from different materials, it is best to choose one that does not weigh more than 30% of your child. Your child should be able to easily maneuver the bike. Don’t go for a bike that has too many features since this will add to the bike’s weight. There should also be enough room between the seat and the handlebars as well as have a small gap between the rear tire and the seat. This is so the child could extend their legs properly and for easy balance and control.
There are different types of tires but what you should look for is one that has good traction on different types of surfaces. You will find air, foam, rubber, plastic, and big apple tires for balance bikes, with air tires being the best.
Having hand brakes will help your child to safely stop and prepare them for riding a regular bike. While most kids simply hold out their feet after pushing off, there are balance bikes that have footrests. This allows your child to place their feet on the footrest instead of holding them out while gliding. If you choose to have one, make sure that it is properly designed in such a way that it isn’t located in the middle. Instead, the footrest should be somewhere near the back where the child can rest his/her heels while riding. Most balance bikes, however, do not have footrests.
A bike’s frame can either be made from metal alloys such as steel or aluminum, wood, and composite frames. Metal, in particular, steel, is the most commonly used frame. However, this results to a heavier bike and tends to rust. If you want one that is lightweight, strong, and rust-proof, aluminum alloy is the best choice. A wooden balance bike is also a popular choice for being environment-friendly, lightweight, easy to use, and has a simple design.
For additional protection, choose a balance bike that has a rubber handgrip with a knobby end or protective bumpers. This will protect your kids’ hands when they run into various types of objects as well as protect their hands from hitting the ground if they fall.
With this information on hand, you will surely be able to pick out a balance bike that is suited for your child. And with how fast they’ll learn how to balance, you can definitely say that purchasing a balance bike was worth it.