It’s never too early to introduce your toddler to bike riding especially with the use of balance bikes. Balance bikes have become a popular toy for children in recent years and offer the perfect introduction to bikes for children that are not yet old enough or tall enough to use a pedal bike with 2 wheels.
What is a balance bike?
A balance bike has no pedals, instead children guide the bikes with their feet. They are designed to teach children to balance on 2 wheels which makes that progression to a pedal bike down the track so much easier!
What are the benefits of a balance bike?
Balance bikes offer numerous benefits, including:
- Ease of Use – There are two parts to learning to ride a bicycle: pedalling & balancing. Because balance bikes don’t have any pedals, children can just focus on getting those balance skills right.
- Easy transition to a pedal bike – Because of the fact they’ve already mastered their balance skills children who start out on a balance bike usually transition to a pedal bike skipping the training wheel stage altogether.
- Motor skill, strength & co-ordination development – balance bikes require children to lift their legs to move forward which not only works on their co-ordination but also helps build strength and fine tune their motor skills.
- They make exercise FUN! Kids love bikes, they can zoom around and it’s a whole load easier to keep up with their parents than walking.
- Exposure to outdoors – We’re big fans of toys that get children excited about being outside, especially ones that encourage children to be active!
What ages are balance bikes suitable for?
Usually balance bikes are developed for children aged 2 years + as we find children that are younger than 2 are too small to navigate the bike and learn to balance on them. For this reason though, we have developed our Runna Mini bike which is suitable for 12 months+. The Runna Mini bike has a frame that is smaller and thus suited to this younger children and also converts from 3 wheels to 2 wheels. Children can start off with 3 wheels to get them used to the bike and when you feel they are ready, convert it to 2 wheels for them to gain balance skills.
We do always recommend however when trying to determine what balance bike is suitable for your child that you take into account the leg length of your child. Your child should be able to place their feet firmly on the ground when seated. To check sizing, simply measure your child’s inner leg and compare with our size guide which can be found here.