Two Wheels are the New Four - Strider Balance Bikes
If you're of my vintage, chances are when you were a child you learned to ride a tricycle first. Mine was bright red, my sister's was white and pink with long streamers. A few years later, you got your first "real" bike with training wheels. Eventually there came a day when mom or dad thought you were ready to ride a "big kid bike," the training wheels came off, and you felt a bit of freedom. Until you realized without the training wheels, the bike steered a little differently, and you had to unlearn the balance technique you developed with the training wheels on. If you're uncoordinated, like I was, you might have crashed a couple times, too (ask me about the scar on my chin). It turns out that training wheels aren't as great as we thought they were a generation ago, and by getting kids on a Balance Bike, they can learn to ride at a younger age, and have a ton of fun while they do.
Balance bikes (sometimes called "Push Bikes") have revolutionized how children learn to ride on two wheels. Balance bikes have no pedals, no gears, and no brakes. Your child moves exclusively using their two-feet for propulsion and braking, and can coast using foot rests. The big difference between balance bikes and tricycles/training wheels is how a child balances or steers the bike. When a child learns to ride, the most important skills to develop are balance and steering. Training wheels and tricycles let kids pedal, but not balance or steer correctly for a two-wheeled bike. Once the training wheels come off, kids need to "unlearn" the muscle memory they developed on training wheels, slowing their mastery of skill development. This alone makes us think balance bikes are a better choice for young children. There's another big benefit, too. Children as young as 18 months can ride a balance bike, where most would have to wait until four or five years old to start with training wheels. For us, balance bikes are a replacement for the tricycles and training wheels of an older generation, and have become the way children of the 21st century learn to ride a bike.
Here are the top ten reasons why we love balance bikes.
- Skill development. Balancing and steering a bike is the most important skill to master. Balance bikes are superior to training wheels and tricycles because they teach these riding skills correctly.
- Age advantage. Kids can jump on a balance bike and learn to ride from about 18 months old. Training wheel bikes are more suitable for children around 5 years. By the time your balance-bike-trained kiddo hits 5, they'll be on a regular pedal bike with the adults!
- Weight. Balance bikes are very lightweight and easy for your child to maneuver.
- Maintenance free. No chain. No components. No exposed grease. No tune-ups necessary.
- Inexpensive, and durable. These bikes are built to withstand several childhoods.
- Adjustable. Seat and handlebars rise as your child grows.
- Foam tires. Never flat, always ready to adventure.
- Go anywhere! Balance bikes won't get stuck on uneven surfaces, easily gliding over rocks, dirt, curbs and even jumps. These sturdy machines can go anywhere you want to go in the great outdoors. Its compact design fits easily into the back of your car, or into your cargo bike's storage system for easy transportation.
- Safety. Slow speed, lightweight, padded handlebars, and low to the ground. Kids learning to ride a balance bike probably have the safest learning curve of anyone learning to ride a bike.
- Fun! Kids love to ride balance bikes. If they're having fun, that's really what matters.
To support families who want to get their young children on two wheels, we carry Strider Balance Bikes, the leading brand of balance bicycle in the world. Strider comes in lots of colours, with optional coloured wheels, and accessories. We also carry Strider branded helmets in two sizes (50-54 cm, and 54-57 cm). Come check out the balance bike revolution for your toddler, we're pretty sure Strider will be more exiting for your child than the box it came in.
***While most Strider models come with 12" wheels intended for children 18 months to five years old, there are 16" and 20" Striders available on special order. These larger balance bikes are suitable for older children learning to ride a bike (age 6-12), or for children with special needs. Come chat with us about how we can create a great two-wheeled solution for your family.