MamaToyz answers 12 questions about balance bikes that you need to know!
Our ever-popular Balance Bike has encouraged many children to learn new skills that all have helped with their mobility, confidence, independence and awareness. A balance bike is a bike without pedals and with supportive wider wheels which helps to teach young children the fundamentals of riding a bike. Here are the frequently asked questions about what a balance bike is, how to choose one, what they do and why ours is designed in such a unique way!
When a child tries to learn to ride a bike with stabilisers, it takes away learning the skills to balance; a fundamental skill for riding a bike. When the stabilisers are removed they then have to learn to balance causing more scraped knees. Stabilisers can actually make children accustom to riding on a tilt, whereas a balance bike introduces them to learn the correct posture and movements before learning to pedal.
Our balance bike is suitable for children aged 24 months and older. Lots of children show an amplitude for toys in this style from 18 months old but usually being riding properly around the age of 4.
To ride a balance bike a child must be able to put both feet flat on the ground from sitting and standing. The lowest our balance bike goes is 32cm, meaning that a child needs to be tall enough to stand over this height to ride!
In 1817 gentleman by the name of Karl Drais invented something very close to the balance bike. This came before the bike and eventually evolved into it. The balance bike we’re most used to seeing as the modern balance bike was designed around 1997.
Not only do balance bikes help little ones cover more distance and explore more, it crucially helps them with their coordination, independence, mobility and confidence. The specific skills it takes to successfully ride the bike all build these essential skills.
Just like any bike, your child will at least need a helmet. If they learn now (even if it only is a short distance to the ground!) that they wear a helmet to ride a bike, when they get older it will be an inbuilt habit to always wear a helmet. We also recommend knee and elbow pads if they’re likely to fall onto solid and rough surfaces that could cause scrapes, bumps and bruises!
To encourage your little one to be confident in riding a bike, it’s best to start them early. When they start to show interest in their bike teach them first to lean the bike towards them and swing their leg to get on. Both their feet should be flat on the ground and they should comfortably be able to reach and hold onto the handlebars. Let them practice doing this independently. Walking alongside them they’ll begin to understand all they have to do is walk like normal to get the bike to move. Ensure they know to be looking up and ahead rather than at their feet! It can be helpful to have someone up ahead for them to focus on. As they gain confidence, they’ll speed up. From here they can start to do longer strides and eventually will be lifting their feet off the ground!
Yes. Not having a brae system on the balance bike reduces the weight of it making it easier for your child to move it. With young children’s attention spans lower, this means they have a greater sense of satisfaction in a short space of time for they can achieve more with a lighter bike. When they want to stop they simply put their feet down which is instinctual!
Our balance bike is adjustable in a unique way. Rather than being able to raise the seat, it stays in the same position meaning there’s no chance of it moving when your child is using it. Instead, the position of the pin through the back wheel can make the frame higher and lower.
Wooden balance bikes tend to be lighter than metal. They are also more likely to be made of more environmentally friendly materials and have gone through a healthier manufacturing process. The variety of interesting, unique and playful designs is also much greater in wooden collections.
Our balance bike comes with a simple guide on how to put it together. If you prefer something even more in-depth, you can watch our guide on how to put it together - which also shows you how to make the height adjustments!
After a balance bike, once you and your child are confident in their ability, you can move onto a traditional bike. The balance skill is so important for riding a traditional bike and is where most children struggle if they move from stabilisers to without. They will have also learnt crucial awareness and movements that will enable them to have good control over the bike they move onto.
Whether you’re looking to make a future purchase or you’re just intrigued as to why so many parents are choosing a Balance Bike over stabilisers now, we hope we’ve answered all the questions you needed to know! If you have any others don’t hesitate to get in touch and if you love the balance bike as much as we do, we’d love to see your photos on social media! Happy balancing!