Balance Bikes and No-Pedal Bikes
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Balance Bike for a 1.5 year old?April 2013
Our son is 1.5 yrs, and I'm coveting a balance bike for him. They just look really fun! Plus he's very active and ''mechanical,'' and has tried to steal other kids' bikes . Is it way too soon to get him one? Any recommendations for the best brand? Perhaps the one that's most adjustable so I can make it small enough for him (he's average height). Thanks! Mama
Just thought I'd reply because we have a VERY athletic 2.5 year old and he learned to ride the balance bike just about 2 or 3 months ago. Maybe he could have done it sooner if he'd had the chance and a smaller one to fit his frame, but I think 18 months is a bit young to try. Maybe in 6 months or so? But they are SO great- I think in 6 months or so I'll be able to go running and he can ride alongside me! Good luck, and have fun! Mama to Balance Bike Boy
My daughter got a kinderbike balance bike for Christmas from her grandparents. http://www.kinderbikeusa.com/main/ She was 2 1/2 at the time. She is on the short side so most of the bikes out there are too tall for her. She loves her bike and rides it nearly everyday. I tried to put her on a bike in a bike shop before she turned 2 and she freaked out. If he is already showing interest in other kids' bikes he probably isn't too young. If he doesn't take to it you can also put it away for 6 months and then get it out again when he is 2. Have fun! Lisa
I'm a huge fan of balance bikes. Our son started riding one at 18 months. We specifically chose the Strider bike (http://striderbikes.com/) because the seat could be lowered to fit his size and raised as he grew. He got to be really good at riding it around and by age 3 easily transitioned to a two-wheeler. Strider fan
Both of our sons (age 6 and 4) learned to ride a bike on a Strider balance bike. We started them early, around 18 months. Both of our boys were on a pedal bikes without training wheels around 2.5 to 3 years of age. The Strider bike is really well made and has an adjustable seat and handle bar. I recommend it to anyone who inquires. Sara
We just received the skuut bike for our 21 month old as a gift based on similar sentiments to yours. Father and son picked the bike up and assembled it together, what fun for them both! When assembling it, my husband had to make a modification for our little guy's short legs (since he is still under the recommended age). He flipped the frame upside down making it a bit longer and more like a low-rider. In order to secure the seat, he needed to make an additional hole or two. (Son gets his mechanical instincts from his dad). While our boy really enjoys his new bike, he is in the waddling stage. And he's had a couple falls which seemed to be alarming to him. Nothing to scare him off for too long, it all just made me realize that he is indeed starting out early. Since he's always eyed balance bikes I was keen to get him one. But, he's also consistently been enamored with scooters and in retrospect I'm wondering if that might have been the better first. He'll probably have a micro scooter before long since those seem to be the best for the little ones what with the two wheels in front. And somehow it seems to me that there's a little more accessibility with a scooter than a bike. But I think that this is all so relative to each kid, that it's hard to know. Giving them lots of opportunities for physical exploration has been our approach. faye
The Strider has worked really well for us. My daughter was young and small when she started using it and we could get the seat way down for her. She's 4.5 now and the seat is way up for her so she still uses it. (She's almost big enough for her to use her hand-me-down brother's bike so that's why she's still using it, and she's pretty tall for her age: 85%.) He can start using now, but it may take him a couple of months or more to really be able to balance and ride more quickly. No worries. Have fun! Andi
No, your son is not too young. Balance bikes are awesome. Strider or Skutt are both get bike brands. They are adjustable. Start him now, he will love it! bike mama
Balance bikes are a lot of fun and I am sure your son will love it. We got our very active son a Wishbone 3 in 1 balance bike right before he turned two. And at 3 1/2 he still uses it after several adjustments because he is pretty tall for his age. I highly recommend this one even though it is on the pricey side. What we loved about it was it begins as a three wheeled bike (super fun and safer for the younger ones trying to get comfortable on a bike) and then converts to a two wheeled balance bike. Then to a ''taller'' two wheeled bike once you flip the body of the bike over. You can even get a cute seat cover and stickers to personalize the bike. I am sure you can purchase online, but if you wanted to try it out in person, we got ours at Monkey Bars in Alameda on Park Street. You might want to call them to confirm that that have them in stock since we got ours a while ago. I highly recommend it! Good luck and see the links below. http://www.wishbonedesign.com/ http://www.shopmonkeybars.com/ Christina
I just posted a similar question on the recommendations page last week. My son is 2 years old and I am looking into a balance bike for him too. From my research, the main thing you need to watch out for is whether he is tall enough to straddle the bike with his feet planted flat on the ground. I found a good website that listed the bikes along with the height of the bike. It seems that First Bike is the shortest bike on the market. http://www.twowheelingtots.com/the-best-balance-bike-for-your-dollar/
Balance bikes rock! In Germany, where I grew up, it seems like everybody has one. And learning to ride on a balance bike makes so much sense. I wrote a blog post about why that is, here: http://www.leportschools.com/blog/balance-bikes-and-montessori/
Our favorite, after much research, has been the Glide Bike family of bikes: http://www.glidebikes.com/ They come in four different sizes (from 18 months - to 10+ years; the bigger bikes apparently are great for children with special needs). The bikes are very light weight; they have removable footrests, and a handbrake - which matters when your child glides down those hills around here.
Our son is 4 and started riding his Mini Glider at around age 2. He still loves it, and uses it not just on hard surfaces, but also up and down grassy hills. Balance Bike Fan
What to get next after a balance bike?April 2013
My son turns 5 this month and we wanted to get him a new bike. His balance bike is way too small for him (he's been riding it since age 3.5) but we are not sure what to get next. I tried to research this online but there was so much information. Do we go right to a pedal bike, but put the seat low so he can reach the ground to stop himself? Or do we get one with training wheels, but position them so that he's not completely reliant on them? Or do we just get a bigger balance bike and let him keep practicing his balance?
While he does just fine on the balance bike, he's not the most coordinated kid and is very cautious. And of course he hasn't learned how to use pedals or hand brakes while balancing, which I think will be a challenge for him. That said, even though he catches on slowly, he is pretty tenacious and will keep practicing until he gets better. Would love to know what others have done, and what brand of bike you purchased or recommend. Melinda
My son is also not the most coordinated and never learned to push pedals on a tricycle. We moved him to a bike with training wheels for about a month so he could learn to pedal and then as soon as that was done we switched him to a small pedal bike. He still stops by using his feet, but otherwise rides just fine. anon
BIKE! My son was riding 2 wheels at 5 and my daughter at 3. parent of 2
Get a peddle bike with training wheels! The transition for both of my kids (both at age 4) was so smooth and easy - those training wheels were off in less than a month and we were a riding family! anon
Time for a real bike! No training wheels. They actually cause the bike to feel unsafe and unbalanced. With his experience with a balance bike, he'll catch on quickly. Be sure to find one that has a seat that can be lowered so that when he sits on it, his feet sit flat on the ground. Then find a playground with a slight tilt (I recommend Kensington Hilltop School) and let him roll down with his feet out to the sides, balancing. In no time, he'll rest his feet on the pedals, and then start pedaling. Mom of 3
For our 4.5 year old, who had been proficient on a balance bike for awhile, we went next to a regular pedal bike. We lowered the seat and removed the pedals and let him use it that way for awhile. After not long at all he and we decided it was time to put those pedals back on, and he's been cruising every since. Seriously, he was able to ride with the pedals and tearing around almost immediately. (So immediate that I actually missed it - assuming he wouldn't get the hang of it right away I stupidly let my husband take him out for the first time sans pedals while I was at an all day board meeting. Wah!) I absolutely believe balance bikes rather than training wheels are the way to go for a much smoother learning-to-ride experience. Have fun! mom of two happy bikers
Balance Bike Recommendations?April 2013
I am looking into a balance bike for my toddler who just turned two. My sister had a LikeaBike when her kids were young, and they just loved it! It seemed to be well made and it looks so nice. A friend also highly recommended the First Bike, which is a composite (glass fiber?) balance bike, but it's pretty new on the market in the US, so there are not that many reliable reviews on it. The one good thing going for it is that it's half the price of the LikeaBike. Does anyone have the First Bike balance bike? Can you tell me about it? Anyone have the LikeaBike? Is it worth $300+? I've looked at all the rest of the bikes and I've narrowed the field down to these two, so no need to recommend other bikes, thanks! --Balance Bike Shopper
We have a Wishbone 3 in 1 balance bike. It starts off as a trike that my son loved when we first introduced it to him when he was about 14 months. It was a little tall for then the. But it was great because the trike helped with his balance. We haven't changed it to a bike yet but he's still loving the trike at 22 months. We also love the fact that its made out of wood and super ecofriendly. Ann D.
Please don't spend $300 on a bike for your preschooler! If you have even half of that to burn, buy a Skuut and donate the rest to needy kids. A used Skuut even better-they're great. Your cutie will be riding a bike in no time-mine did the Skuut at 3 and were on regular bikes by 4. Please share your abundance
My son started riding his LikeABike at 2.5 and it was a great bike. I highly recommend it because it is more well built and a smoother ride than other wooden brands. It is also lightweight, is easy to assemble/disassemble, and it holds up well in hard riding. Last but not least, it has a high resale value. That said, I would try to find one 2nd hand. I found mine on Craigslist and ended up selling it for almost the same amount. anon
Balance bike too scary for 3.5 year oldJune 2012
We would love for my 3.5-year-old son to start learning how to bike, so that we can tool around town together as a biking family someday. We got him a balance bike for his second birthday and he has been on it maybe twice, then quickly off saying it is too scary and wobbly. Obviously, pedals are out of the question--he hates to pedal anything. He also dislikes wearing a helmet. I see other kids much younger than him speeding around town on balance bikes, so I know it's possible. I don't want to pressure or force him to do it if he doesn't want to, but is there a way to encourage him or challenge him in a way that won't put him off the bike even more? The kind we have is called a Kazam if that is relevant to anyone! Thx for any advice. Want to find some balance
My kids both hated the balance bike and it took them awhile to peddle. Three and a half is a bit early so don't push it. My kids had issue with steering and peddling. We had a three-wheeled scooter that both kids loved and one of those cars where you go back and forth to get it going. My son didn't take the training wheels off until he was almost 7. My daughter took hers off at 5, but it skittish on the bike. My husband started taking them once a week to our school yard and had them practice, without pushing them. They'll get it. You can also look into bike riding clinics when they are four or five or later. mellowmom
My son is 3.5 and has been using his balance bike since he was 2.5, so it's definitely possible (he has a Strider one). In fact, he's pretty much outgrowing it, so hopefully around his 4th birthday he'll be ready for a real bike - given how he zooms around on the Strider.
That said, he did start on a scooter, and I think that also helps kids learn balance and maneuvering. He LOVES his scooter.
We have one from Kickboard USA (a Mini Kick) and while they are more expensive than the ones you get at toy stores, they are well worth it. They are 3-wheeled, and the 2 wheels are in the front, which is great for little kids who are learning to push (2 wheels in the rear seems to interfere with kicking).
Anyway, just a thought to maybe try a scooter, and then hopefully he'll grow to like his bike. Laura
We have a 2 year old who likes his Stryder ok but loves his Mini Scoot. It took him about 3 months to get used to his helmet. We kept it in the house, let him approach it. At first he avoided it, then threw it, kicked it, and finally held it, then laughed when we put it on our heads. Eventually he let us set it atop his head for a few seconds, then minutes, then buckle it, and finally walk outside the door with it. My husband and I sometimes wore our helmets in the house when he was playing with his, and it seemed to help. The bike and scooter were MUCH EASIER after that. Also, we kept the scooter in the house for 2 weeks, letting him tool around with it until he obviously had his balance and was eager to go farther and faster. Sometimes we take the scooter and bike into an empty parking lot to let him ride whichever, usually he goes back and forth. It's amazing how quickly he got really good! With baby steps and patience, your kid will be riding in no time! Zooming mama
We had the exact same thing. Son refused to even sit on the like bike, even with me holding it very steady even tried putting it up against a table so he could practice sitting on it while drawing.
Finally we put training wheels on it after seeing he was willing to get on a regular child bike that had training wheels. Yes it is stupid. But then he felt comfortable to try it. Took just one afternoon for him to see that he didn't need the training wheels, we removed them and he got on without any hesitation.
Then he became a whizz. Rode it 2 years to preschool and around and when we switched to regular bike at 4.5 he picked it up in about 30 minutes since the balance part was all figured out already. anon
Best balance bike?Aug 2010
I'm looking for a balance bike for my 2.5 yo son and am interested to hear your experience with a particular brand. I am looking for something that is lightweight but am not opposed to the wood bikes. I don't care to spend more than $100 though. I am interested in the Strider prebike, but I wonder if my son will outgrow it as I heard that it is the smallest balance bike out there. Any others I should be considering? Also, are you selling yours? I would love to get a good used one too! Thanks jtc
From a dad who has been down this track before, I strongly suggest that you reconsider the balance bike approach. 1) if your kid is a quick learner, you will have wasted a lot of money for something that has no other use. 2) if you, as I recommend, get a used starter bike with removable training wheels, your child will get three levels of utility out of the bike before they outgrow it. If you are worried about the pedals getting in the way, then take them off (we kept the pedals on and it didn't matter - in fact it made the transition to regular riding much easier because our child got used to figuring out how to manage feet and those pedal things). With pedals off, a bike is exactly like a balance bike. You can also buy a used bike very inexpensively. We bought one for $10, used it a lot and sold it for the same price a year later when our child needed a larger bike. Our child took a couple of days to get used to not having training wheels and then spent a few weeks tottering around getting in to the swing of two wheeled balance. Some kids get it right away, others may take months. Ours took a while. But one day, boom. It just happened and he was then able to ride off. Good luck! Anonymous
I just bought a balance bike at Rockridge Kids made by Prince Lionheart. They assembled it for me and I picked it up the next day. I think they also had a smaller metal balance bike too. It was about $80. It's made of wood. Just my 2 1/2 year grandson's toes touched the ground with the seat on the lowest setting. I need to raise the seat for his 4 1/2 year old sister to use it. I'll let her use it until he is bigger and hopefully she learns to balance and can transitios to her bike by then. She didn't take to it as enthusiastically as I expected, but she's only had one session with it so far. Anonymous
Bike, trike, or red wagon for 2-year-old?April 2010
Hi more experienced parents, for an active 2-and-a-half- year-old, would you recommend a Skuut-type bike, a regular kiddie training wheel bike, a tricycle, a Big Wheel, a stand-up skooter, or a wagon that he can either pull or be towed in? We can only afford/fit one (possibly two) and I'd like to get something he (and later his little sister) will be able enjoy for a while. Mom
Hi there. I had this very same dilemma last year! I wholeheartedly and without reservation recommend a balance bike. My son got one for his third birthday and he just loves it. We tried him on a bike with training wheels but it wasn't half as much fun partly because he didn't have the leg muscle power to pedal and partly because he was always tilted to one side because of the training wheels. Plus, one of us always had to be behind him to give him a push or steer, as he just didn't have enough coordination to pedal and steer. On his balance bike he can keep up with his older brother who rides a regular bike. He is having a ton of fun! In the beginning he just walked around on it, getting the feel of it, but now he zooms! BTW, we chose a Kettler Balance Bike, because it has a metal frame and has tires that can be filled with air. This is a toy that gets lots of use, but because it is so well made we'll be able to pass it on to our youngest. lisette
We did a tricycle with a push bar when he was two and just recently got him a bike with training wheels (our little man turned 3 in January). Bought both on Craigslist for pretty cheap.
From what I've read you can skip the Skuute and just remove the pedals from a regular old bike (not like they'll use the Skuute for very long anyway).
Here's a great website on teaching your kids to ride a bike: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/teachride.html
Good luck! Christine Z
We went for getting a good bike with training wheels from Solano Ave. Cyclery. We got the bike in a sort of ''neutral'' color (dark purple) and my (now 7y/o) daughter used it until she was about 5, and now her 4 year old brother has it. I have a frugal and ''experienced'' mom friend with 4 kids who recommended bypassing the trikes and going straight to bike with training wheels. The added benefit is that both kids learned to ride without the training wheels quite young. Go for bike
I say the Scuut. While we got our son a scooter at 2 years old and he loved it and took to it right away, but most of his friends his age have not. It's not an easy thing to master. We got the Scuut when my son was 2.5 and it's such a great bike and good for most kids. The child can really enjoy themselves and get going and it's pretty safe...they can't go toooo fast. I personally would not get a bike with training wheels. they are clunky. The balance bikes are much more fluid and great! for teaching balance. We love the Skuut
First bicycle for toddler--no pedal bikes?Nov 2009
I would love to hear recommendations and experiences (good and bad!) of the trendy no-pedal bikes. My daughters (3 and 1.5) will be getting bikes for Christmas and we're leaning toward a Strider Running bike or Boot Scoot no-pedal bike. We've heard this is a great step prior to a real bike. We live on a big hill, so we never invested in tricycles or big wheels. But, both girls are big and coordinated. Thanks for your thoughts! Abby
After hearing some stories of kids loving the no-pedal bikes, we got a no-pedal bike for my younger daughter and I'm afraid she never used it at all. I'm not sure why she disliked it so much. We also tried removing the pedals from a regular bike for my oldest child before she learned to ride her bike, but she really didn't like it. But then my oldest learned to ride a bicycle (with pedals) when she was ready in about 30 minutes-- no big deal. I would say that if your kids are rather daring and love to cruise along at speed on their riding toys, it would likely be a big success, but otherwise, it might be better to go with a tricycle or (when they're a little older?) a scooter. -balancing now, but only with pedals
If your heart is set on bikes, then I won't try to change your mind, but here is the alternative that worked for us. (We live on a big hill too and we're a biking family.)
Wait until the kids are older and get them scooters. Scooters teach balance just as pedal-less bikes do, and they are useful a lot longer. (I ride the one my son had!) When the kids are ready to ride a bike, take the pedals off a regular bike and lower the seat. They'll only need it in this mode for a very short time. (For my son, it was about 5 minutes.)
One word of advice: if you live on a big hill, then you won't want your kids to be too mobile until they can develop some judgement. Francesca
We love our Skutt, no pedal bike from REI. We bought it for our son's second birthday. He has been using it for two years and loves it. He rides it daily as we walk the dog. On hills he does get going a little fast, so I would recommend flatter areas for early riding. This summer he got his first two wheeled bike (with pedals) and didn't really need the training wheels. anon
My vote is for a no-pedal bike, or push bike, or scoot-bike, whatever you want to call it. All the reviews I've read so far on BPN these past few weeks all talk about how it's good training to learn how to balance, how when he finally bikes he won't need training wheels, etc., etc. It's all so goal oriented! No one mentions buying this toy for the sheer joy of playing with it. My son, who is three, has a scoot bike and he has so much fun with it! He can keep up with his older brother on his regular bike and doesn't feel left out. He glides and cruises along, taking all the curves his brother does, and he just has a blast.
I say if you can afford it, go for it. If you have active children, it's a toy your kid will use a lot. All the learning stuff is secondary. fun mom
I didn't realize they had ''skuut'' bikes before we bought our son his first (12'') bike. I think that was almost two years ago now, and he is just now deciding he wants to learn to lose the training wheels.
My advice would be to try to find a skuut used if possible. If not, then buy a ''real'' bike and remove the pedals. That way, if he/she takes to it quickly, you can put the pedals back on at some point and still use the bike.
And I'll put in a plug for the program at Wheels of Justice in Montclair. They will buy back your kids's bikes as they outgrow them and either resell them or donate them. Bryan in Oakland
Skuut Balance Bike?Sept 2009
Before cluttering my house with more baby stuff, I'm interested to get the community's experience the Skuut (or other toddler balance bikes.) Do they really help children transition to riding a bicycle? What is the age range during which your child used his or her balance bike? Are they appropriate to use in a small house, or are they primarily intended for use on the sidewalk or at the park (we don't have sidewalks in our neighborhood.) Thanks! Aspiring bicyclist
I think that they are a wonderful idea, but personally wouldn't buy one. I bought my kids two-wheel scooters which work on the balance part necessary to learn cycling. And, they are packable, so they frequently head out onto vacation with us (and now, even though that they both ride bikes, they still use them all of the time...which I doubt with one of the skoot-type of bikes. ) jan
We bought our son a Skuut when he turned 3 (he's almost 4 now). It took him a couple days to get used to it and now he FLIES on it. They can really get some speed! He uses it inside our small family room as well as outside. We haven't transitioned to a real bike yet, but we plan to soon. Our friends with balance bikes say that it will probably take a couple days to make the transition. Much better than half a year or more with training wheels! Wish I had a Skuut too...
Perhaps we are not the target market for the balance bike, but it struck us as completely unnecessary in training our child for bike riding. 1st, the training period from training wheels to riding on your own is not that long, 2nd, the first non-training wheel bike, if sized properly and the seat lowered so that the child's feet can touch the ground, functions exactly like a balance bike and you don't have another piece of equipment lying around. We vote for just having long flat practice areas and a normal bike. Good luck! It's a fun stage! Bike Dad
Currently we live in Germany and every kid owns one. The typical starting age is 2 1/2. They make a huge difference in facilitating the learning to ride a bike. Our son had and still has huge balance problems and fears. He is very scared of everything. Most kids feel comfortable right away because their feet are nicely on the ground. Our son was quite fearful and it took a lot of persuading but he saw quite quickly that he wouldn't fall.
He rode it for almost 2 years and the transition to a regular bike was very quick and easy at 4 1/2 which here is actually late. I often see little 3 year olds riding regular bikes - but I don't think that this is necessarily a good thing as I don't think they have the judgment at the young age to ride a regular bike.
Yes, you can start out in the house but I think quickly they will want to ride it more so a sidewalk or park is better. It's a lot of fun for them, it makes transitioning to a regular bicycle an easy one hour project and allows children with balance problems like my son to be able to ride a bike too so I think it's a good investment but just using it in the house would not make it worthwhile. anon
I'd suggest saving money and not getting the Skuut. A bike store suggested to us that we just remove the pedals from our daughter's bike so she could get a sense of the balancing involved ; we did and it worked. She used the training wheels for a few months, but really those give a false sense of balance. So, we tried removing the pedals, then let her push along like that until we could see that she was gliding and balancing. As soon as we noticed that, we put the pedals right back on and minutes later, she was pedaling along! It was great to have her learn to ride the bike without the stress. I have to also recommend Wheels of Justice bike shop in Montclair - they have a program where you can exchange a smaller bike you buy there for the next size up. Jenny
I have two boys, one who is now riding a two wheeler and one who is on training wheels. We have never owned and Skuut though we have tried it at the homes of friends. I really don't see how a Skutt helps with balance when you're really using both feet to walk the contraption from point A to point B. I am still a believer in moving from a tricycle where all three wheels are firmly on the ground to a bike with training wheels where the training wheels are uneven, thus promoting a sense of imbalance which require the child to learn a sense of balance. Ultimately, it's up to the kid to figure that out and to get to the point where they are brave enough to go with just two wheels and up to the parents to run alongside and make sure they don't fall too hard. We all know part of learning to ride a bike is falling and that's perfectly okay. It's a fun process for everybody as long as you make it fun and there's certainly no rush in learning balance or to ride a two wheeler so why not just let them enjoy the biking experience as an independent rider on training wheels? Just my two cents. Training Wheel Fan
Skuut did help my son transition to riding a bicycle. My son used it extensively from about 2y 6mo to about 3y 3mo (he called it his ''motorcycle''.) The complex task of learning to ride a bicycle was divided into separate tasks of learning how to balance (skuut) and learning how to pedal (tricycle, bicycle with training wheels.) Both my son and his best friend transitioned to 12'' bike without training wheels before they turned 4. Riding Skuut at the park would ideal, but my son would have happily done laps aroud the house if he had the opportunity. No training wheels at 3y 2mo
We love, love, love the Skuut!! I was like you at first, wondering if it would be another gizmo, another thing we'd have to find a home for after a month or so. My oldest son, who received it when he was 3, had never tried a bike with pedals. He got on this bike at the Albany Memorial park and it took him about a day (we didn't spend a day there, so it took a few trips which totaled to about a day's time) to get the hang of it and how to coast with his feet up. If you've seen kids on this thing, you'll see how agile they are with them and how fast they can actually go without pedals. A great area to take them to practice is the school off Solano Avenue and Colusa (?). The day he got on a 2 wheeled bike, it took him all of 10 minutes to start pedaling on his on, no exaggerating. He actually told me to let go of him. The only thing I had to teach him on his wheeled bike was how to break. We are believers of the Skuut. A relative of mine who is an avid bicyclist said that it takes too much work/time to take off the pedals from a bike, so the Skuut is a great tool to use, esp. if you have other kids that will use it down the road.
We have 3 children and my second one is already using it. They both started at age 3 and my oldest by age 4, was riding the Bay Trail with us for a couple of miles, all on his own. I think he could've ridden a wheeled bike sooner than age 4 but he is on the small side and I wanted him to get really good with the Skuut and get more dexterity.
My kids are on the smaller side, so they could probably use it until they're about 5 years old, because you can raise the seat. But my nephew who is 6 and is on the bigger side, could not fit comfortably (and still doesn't know how to ride a bike). skuut fans
We had a wonderful experience with our balance bike (we have a Like-a-Bike which is very similar to Skuut). Our child received the balance at 3 and enjoyed thoroughly. We were amazed how quickly she learned to balance and how long she could ride. The theory, as I understand it, is that it's hard for a young child to learn to a) balance, b) steer and c) pedal. The balance bike does not require pedaling and the steering is limited. On her fourth birthday, our daughter received an 16'' bike without training wheels and successfully rode it on the first day. We attribute this quick transition to the balance bike. It is an outside bike (I can't imagine using it inside). Be prepared to run along with the bike or use it in a secure location. And of course a helmet is a must. Enjoy! Happy Balance Biker
I would say forget about buying a skuut or a like-a-bike. My husband doesn't like training wheels and taught both of our kids to ride a little (that is the key word here - they have to be able to put their feet down) bike with no training wheels when they both turned 3. My son wasn't even three. It took less than an hour plus they are sooo proud of themselves. When we were in France we noticed that lots of folks just took the pedals off of small bikes to make a skuut. Just think - one less thing to buy that use only for a 6 months or so. patricia
I'm thinking about getting a glide, or balance bike for my son who is almost 4. Kiddimoto has them as do other companies, I'm sure! I'd like to hear your opinions on these types of bikes before I purchase one. My son is very coordinated and active - I'm just wondering if it is worth the money. mom
Get one! I would say every child in Germany has one - they start out on those and then skip the training wheels on a ''real bike''. My son learned to ride it when he was 3 - he just cruises all over Rockridge - to the library, to frog park, to the farmer's market. Sometimes he gets a little cranky going up hill - that's when I put a dog leash on the handle bar and pull him a little. My son also rides with us around the Berkeley Marina - we are on our ''normal'' bikes and he cruises along with us. We bought ours on Amazon - it's a Kettler - I heard Target has wooden one at a reasonable price. You do not need to get the original run-a-bike! Stefanie
My understanding of the balance bike is that it teaches the child to balance thus enabling them to transition directly to a bike with chains without training wheels. The hard part about learning to ride a bike is balancing. The pedaling is the easy part. I have seen a number of 2.5 year olds gliding along on their glide bikes, moving along rather fast on them. So I believe it works. I personally chose to skip the tricycle for my 2 year old and got her a Like-A-Bike. She has yet to feel confident enough to glide but enjoys scooting herself along. I do not have to hold her as her feet can solidly touch the ground. I just follow behind her. The turning radius on her Like-A-Bike is limited, so she's not likely to overcorrect or turn too far to cause a fall. crystal
We have one of these balance bikes. I am definitely sold on the concept. My oldest wasn't really interested in it and outgrew it quickly and STILL cannot ride a two-wheeler. His younger sister who is 5 spent the last few months kind of scooting around on it in the living room. She really likes it... but probably won't be using it any longer because she rode a two-wheeler with pedals for the first time 2 weeks ago. I really do think practicing with the balance bike helped her immensely. I have heard you can achieve the same effect by removing the pedals from a regular bike. However, the balance bikes also have a feature in the handle bars that prevents them from turning sharply which is VERY beneficial for a new rider. As to whether or not it is worth the money.... really depends on the kid, your budget and what you are hoping to get out of it. For my family, I am feeling like I am glad we got it. Have fun riding! anonymous
Another thing you can do is to just take the pedals off a regular bike. Our daughter learned really fast this way. Make sure their feet can still reach the ground. Then when she could balance and was comfortable we put the pedals back on and she could ride a regular bike. Good luck!