by Angela Reed-Fox
It doesn't have to be complicated, and we've condensed the essentials down to just nine things you need to look out for when buying a balance bike. That still might not seem simple, so we've created a checklist which you can print off and check against any balance bike you find to make sure it's going to be suitable for your little nipper. Once you get to the bottom, you'll see it, and it's a simple click, print, and Bob's your uncle, it's the equivalent of earning your Cub Scout balance bike-buying badge. You're welcome! ;-)
Teeny tiny tiddlers; those who are younger than 3.5 years, might need their balance bike for longer, so it will need to be adjustable. But even if you don't envisage your child needing it for too long, it still needs to be able to fit them. If it doesn't, it's going to cramp their style and spoil their fun - and we can't have that.
Absolutely steer clear of balance bikes that don't have brakes! You're looking for one with at least a back brake. Bikes with no brakes (or worse, front brake only) will have your child faceplanting before you know it. The key to balance biking is increasing your child's confidence, and they'll need a back brake for safety.
'?' you say, 'What's one of those?' This prevents the handlebars going all the way round BMX-style. Your little tyke isn't quite ready for stunts, so having this feature will help your child stay in control and reduce the risk of falling off. Superheroes don't like falling off.
If your little'un's riding position is very upright, that's not going to help pedalling. If they're leaning forward, but not overreaching, they'll be more comfortable, and also be able to use the larger muscles when striding, which will strengthen them ready for pedalling when the time comes. Besides, it's good to test ride!
Correct size and set-up
All bikes need a proper setup for the rider - even a balance bike. You want the experience to be positive and fun, this is more likely if the shop ensures that you leave with a bike that is tuned to your nipper's dimensions. This involves positioning of the seat, handlebars - and even the brake for little fingers!
And there we have it; nothing too technical or complicated - but should prevent you from wasting money on something unsuitable, and gives your little nipper the best chance of enjoying the start of their cycling career - bon voyage!
As promised; to the right is your printable checklist:
Need to get your little nipper pedalling sharpish?
That's OK, we get most children riding tantrum-free in about an hour. Call Steve on 01275 595227 for a chat about your child, or go here for more info:
Need a child-friendly bike?
We only sell what we're happy to endorse. All our bikes are sold with free set-up and bike fit so your little chiddler gets the best deal.