balance bicycle (balance bike, run bike) is a training
bicycle that helps the rider learn balance and steering. It has no pedals, no
crank set and chain, and no training wheels. It can be a normal bicycle with
pedals and related parts removed, or it can be purpose-built (especially for
very small children, for whom normal bicycles are generally not available). It
can have no brake, or it can have one or two hand-activated rim brakes.
as young as 18 months can learn to cruise a balance bicycle within a few hours'
Balance bikes are also referred to as;
prebikes, kid bikes, toddler bikes, glide bikes, push bikes, training bikes and run
bikes. What makes a balance bike
so unique and in demand is the developmental benefits that it provides
to children. The one skill that is needed to effectively learn to ride a
two-wheel pedal bike is balance. Children who use a
balance bike for 20-30 minutes twice a week showed the following
improvements: -Substantial improvements in both static
and dynamic balance. -Substantial improvements in bilateral
coordination. -Observable improvements in physical
Should I buy a metal or wooden balance bike? I receive this question a lot from people looking to buy a balance bike
or toddler bike. My answer is simply: it's your preference.
The big dilemma. You are at a park and see a toddler riding a balance
bike; that evening you go on to your computer and Google "balance bike".
At this point you find out how popular these bikes are getting and
along with that comes several different brands, sizes, designs and
materials that the bikes are made out of. Like most people, you ask
yourself, "Which balance bike is better?"
Here's a little background on the various materials that balance bikes are made out of:
Wooden Balance Bikes Wooden balance bikes
in almost all cases are made out of baltic birch plywood of various
numbers of layers that are glued together. This method of using a
plywood for the bike is far better that say using a solid piece of wood
that is susceptible to warpage and cracking. Birch is used due to its
lightness yet very strong, durable and is a renewable resource. Common
balance bikes that are made out of wood are Smart Gear bikes, ZUM balance bike, Wishbone Designs Bike and Kiddimoto
balance bikes. Wood balance bikes weigh anywhere from 9-12 lbs. There
are many people that believe these wooden balance bikes will warp easy.
This is not necessarily true - the 10-12 ply baltic birch plywood
construction and clear sealer protects from the affects of mild exposure
to water - although bikes should not be left out in the rain.
Metal Balance Bikes Metal balance bikes
are typically either made out of lightweight steel or aluminum. These
metal balance bikes are made using tube steel or aluminum and welded
together to from a frame. You can gauge the quality of the manufacturer
by examining the welds on the bike. Depending on the thickness of the
steel used both aluminum and steel frames often weigh the same. Strider balance bikes are made of a thin-wall steel and weighs approx. 6.9 lbs while the aluminum frame Kinderbike Laufrad
E Series weighs in at about 8.1 lbs. Other metal balance bikes usually
weigh between 8 and 12 lbs. AS you are aware, steel bikes should not be
left out in the rain for extended periods of time due to risk of
corrosion which will affect the performance of the bike. The handlebars
and seat posts attach to the frames in the same way a regular bike
Composite Bikes and Plastic Balance Bikes
Composite bikesareinjection molded bikes made up of
plastic resins and in some cases mesh material for strength. These
should not be confused with a some injection molded plastic toys whereas
the materials are composed differently and are not of the same strength
and durability as injection molded composite bikes. Bikes made of this
material will resist warping, cracking and corrosion and will be of
weight a little less than a wood or metal bike but not that significant.
One of the only injection molded composite balance bikes available in the USA is the FirstBike.
It is our belief that the 3 materials mentioned above create a product
that will truly benefit your child and teach he/she to transition to a
pedal bike while gaining confidence, coordination of happiness. The
most important feature to look for when buying your child a balance bike
is the fit. You want to make sure you measure your child's inseam and
compare that to the bikes seat range. Your child shod 1" of clearance
below their crotch area and the seat.
Why are balance bikes so awesome?
a balance bicycle, the rider learns balance first, pedal last. In
contrast, with a normal bicycle fitted with training wheels, the rider learns pedal
first, balance last. Although opinions differ regarding which learning
sequence is easier for most riders, it is generally agreed that a bicycle with
pedals is too difficult for most very young childrenand that
training wheels may encourage the rider to learn some behaviors which later
must be unlearned.
Are the bikes heavy?
No. Balance bikes sold on this website weigh between 8 and 10
pounds. This is to ensure that the child is always able to control the bike and
not be over powered by it
What age will my
child transition to a pedal bike?
When your child has mastered the balance bike at about age , you can introduce a bike with pedals. Balance
bikes usually continue to be a favorite toy for long after they can ride a
How long does
it take to learn?
Our children were able to walk/ride the first time they sat down. That of
course was after the bike lay on the garage floor for about 2 - 3 weeks. They
were able to coast with their feet up after a week or two. Learning curves are
different for different children.
Why are there no pedals on
The primary design focuses of balance
bikes are to allow children to develop their gross motor skills. Learning to
balance and steer the bike is much easier without pedals. The up and down
movement of pedaling causes the child to shift their body weight from side to
side throwing them off balance making them lose direction and riding stability.
Balance bikes allow the child to drop their feet to the ground when they feel
they are losing balance, quickly steadying themselves and preventing a fall.
Are spare parts available?
Spare parts are available for all bikes sold and most parts
are covered by product warranty.