My son is close to 4 years old and rides a balance bike well. I'm thinking about the step up to a real bike, and have become convinced that a fixie would be the perfect start for two-wheeled pedaling. It makes a lot of sense to me. It's just like all the trikes. You pedal faster to speed up, you pedal slower to slow down. Very intuitive for kids.
I have a fixie, but I'm not a fanatic or anything like that. I'm not looking for some mini-hipster bike. Just a regular old kid's bike that happens to have a fixed gear.
I happened to have a neighbor who had an awesome children's fixie, which he had bought at Toys R Us about 10 years ago. He has like 8 kids, all of whom learned to ride on the thing at ridiculously young ages. Seeing his kids pick up the bike and learn was awesome. Unfortunately, his youngest kids still ride it, so I had no chance of buying it off him.
I've looked around for a stock fixie, and all I can find is a radio flyer model. The only thing wrong with it is that its overbuilt from steel, making it very heavy. It's built for riding very slowly with training wheels. I think the weight would be prohibitive for actual balance riding, and I know that if my kid can't go fast, he won't bother with it, preferring his razor scooter.
So, does anyone have any advice for how to acquire a usable children's fixie? Part of the problem is that kids bikes wouldn't be marketed as a fixed gear, even if they happened to be one.
It would be ideal if I could do a conversion from a standard kids coaster brake bike. I've been scouring google, but I can't seem to figure out if coaster hubs can be converted to fixies like a freewheel hub can. I sort of doubt it, since the coaster hub has an internal freewheel mechanism, right?
I don't imagine that there are affordable 12" track (or even freewheel) wheels available either. I don't know how to build a wheel, and don't really want to do it for a bike that will only be used for a couple of years.
Thanks for looking!