Why I was wrong about balance bikes for kids

First Bike

I have two boys – five and almost three. I recently bought Mr 3 her first balance bike, the aptly named First Bike. My husband and I are avid bike riders and we did a lot of research on balance bikes for him because we wanted to get it right. In short, we’re pretty happy with this little bike. It is perfect for the job of a first bike to get little riders on their feet and going without the dreaded training wheels. It’s so light and easy for the little ones to manoeuvre.

One of the bonuses is that the seat easily moves from low for the little ones to much higher for the bigger ones still learning to ride. The reason this is so important to us is because our five-year-old son can’t really ride a bike. It’s one of the reasons we knew we had to get a balance bike for the younger one and get him learning to balance and steer early on. We kinda feel like we’ve failed a bit at getting our older one riding because we got him a traditional kids bike with training wheels and he basically couldn’t and wouldn’t ride it. It was so heavy and the training wheels gave him no room to move the bike from side to side and so he’d often feel like he would just topple over.

We realised that these cheaper bikes are made from steel, which costs less but makes the bike way too heavy for little riders. So the balance bike was sort of for both of them because Mr 5 has taken to it easily and will be ready for his first real bike very soon. For him, we’re going to get him a Byk bike – but more on that in a later post.

I know there are lots of different balance bikes on the market and I’m sure most of them do a good job. We were prepared to spend a bit more money for the First Bike because it will do the two boys, especially Mr 3, for a few years to come and it can be fitted with a brake so they learn that important part of cycling too.

I have to be honest and say I was quite skeptical about the concept of a balance when I started seeing them around a few years ago. I though they looked like another excuse to get middle class parents to part with their money for a cute, concept bike for kids who were too young to ride a bike. Well, how wrong you can be. I think they’re the best way for them to learn and to actually enjoying riding while they’re learning and before they can even pedal.

Mr 3 is still kind of walking the bike but he’s getting the hang of it and always wants to ride it and isn’t whinging about it being heavy or hard. A winner in mum and dad’s book!