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Old 10-05-13, 05:53 AM   #1
i_wanna_giraffe
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12" bike or tricycle for a small 4 yr old?

My 3 yr old will be 4 next month, she loves her tricycle but she's outgrowing it. She has her sister's old Walmart 14" bike but she's having trouble riding it. She rode every 12" bike in the bike shop I went to this summer when shopping for my bike but had problems with the cheap 12" bikes at Walmart. The problem is I need something cheap, I can't find a thing nice on Craig's List but there seems to be a much larger selection of tricycles. She can fly down the sidewalk on her little trike and she likes to ride backwards which she can't do on the bike. So, do I keep searching for a great deal on a nice bike or find a larger tricycle? She has no interest in a balance bike she wants to pedal.
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Old 10-07-13, 11:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by i_wanna_giraffe View Post
My 3 yr old will be 4 next month, she loves her tricycle but she's outgrowing it. She has her sister's old Walmart 14" bike but she's having trouble riding it. She rode every 12" bike in the bike shop I went to this summer when shopping for my bike but had problems with the cheap 12" bikes at Walmart. The problem is I need something cheap, I can't find a thing nice on Craig's List but there seems to be a much larger selection of tricycles. She can fly down the sidewalk on her little trike and she likes to ride backwards which she can't do on the bike. So, do I keep searching for a great deal on a nice bike or find a larger tricycle? She has no interest in a balance bike she wants to pedal.
If she's 4, I'd get the two-wheeler. My LBS offers a "trade-in" program on kids' bikes, whereby you get 50% back when you buy the next one. Our 12" bike was only $100 with the training wheels of course and a warranty, but we know we get $50 back for it guaranteed when we get the next bike, and so on and so forth. Saves the trouble of trying to sell it on Craigslist or whatever.
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Old 10-08-13, 05:02 AM   #3
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After posting this I checked Craig's List in a different town and found her bike. I picked up a specialized 12" yesterday for $30. Today I'll put the training wheels back on and get it adjusted for her. She will be 4 next month.
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Old 10-08-13, 08:34 AM   #4
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After posting this I checked Craig's List in a different town and found her bike. I picked up a specialized 12" yesterday for $30. Today I'll put the training wheels back on and get it adjusted for her. She will be 4 next month.
Do her a BIG favor and skip the training wheels. Take the pedals off, lower the seat and have her learn to balance first. Doing it that way, my 4 y.o. son is now riding a 2 wheeler . Didn't take that long either. Training wheels develop bad habits that make it harder to learn to ride a bike later.
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Old 10-12-13, 05:23 AM   #5
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I have a balance bike that both kids refuse to ride.
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Old 10-12-13, 05:26 AM   #6
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Oh and she hates wearing a helmet so she keeps gong back to the tricycle. I may need to take her shopping and see if I can find one she likes better.
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Old 10-12-13, 12:03 PM   #7
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I stopped at a garage sale this morning while on my morning recumbent trike ride. I was wearing a helmet as I always do. A little kid probably about 5 years old came running out of the garage holding his bike helmet for me to see. I complemented him (and his dad) on using the nice helmet when he rode his bike. Any kid that rides with me wears a helmet or doesn't ride. I teach Cycling Merit Badge (first ride in the series is tomorrow) and usually bring along a spare helmet just in case. It helps to set an example and be firm about it. Want to ride? Wear a helmet.
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Old 10-14-13, 10:46 PM   #8
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My youngest girl is four next month as well. She's been riding without training wheels for about five months now, but she was an animal on the training wheels for a while before that. I don't believe in the balance bike vs. training wheels argument. The kid will ride when they are ready to ride. Some are six or seven, some are three.

I would instill a new rule that the helmet needs to be worn on the tricycle as well. Our kids wear helmets on everything: bike, trike, scooter, skateboard. That way there no fighting and they all know the rules. It also might make the bike more appealing vs. the trike.

FYI, my daughter learned on a 12" Walmart bike and now she alternates between that bike and her older brother and sister's 16" bikes. I don't care which one she feels like riding as long as she's riding and having fun.
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Old 10-21-13, 02:43 AM   #9
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The helmet thing is frustrating. My 5 yr old loves her helmet and doesn't even need a reminder. I let my 3 yr old try on my helmet and on the smallest setting it fit (I have a small head) it looked a little silly but was tight. I may let her have my helmet if she'll wear it since it's her favorite color and I can get a new one. I won't get on my bike without my helmet. I'm considering making the tricycle disappear.
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Old 01-04-14, 08:15 AM   #10
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Update: the helmet problem is solved. I was at the park withy 4 yr old and we saw a kid riding a scooter and she got excited and said she wanted one and said she'd wear her helmet if she had one. So for Christmas both kids and I got scooters and all the pads. She's worn the helmet with no problems. Yesterday both kids decided to ride bikes instead for the first time in months and my 4 yr old was zooming around on her bike complete with helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and gloves. I think she may even let me get rid of the tricycle now.
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