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How young to get them started?

Old 05-06-20, 01:11 AM
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monkeytusmc
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How young to get them started?

My son is 1 year 9 months and I want to get him started early. Looking for any recommendations for balance bikes. Also looking for training recommendations. Thanks

Mike
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Old 05-06-20, 05:50 PM
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The first time I saw balance bikes was touring in the Czech Republic. Tourists would pull into town, unload a balance bike out of the trunk, and take off shopping, wandering, whatever. The kid kept up with the parents, they didn't mess with him or her, and the little bike didn't get lost like a kid gets lost in a crowd. The kid has a great time, not being nailed to their parents. I couldn't figure out why everyone didn't do that, everywhere.

But sorry, that's all I got. I know 2 is not too young, that's all.
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Old 05-06-20, 06:09 PM
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At that age, there's a lot of variation is size and body control. If there legs are long enough, and he can walk, is give it a try. If he's not ready, he won't water to much time with it.

One grandson got a Strider, the other a lesser known brand. Both are fine. Light weight is important.
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Old 05-06-20, 09:13 PM
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I bought a strider for my kids and none of them would ride it, all wanted pedals and training wheels. As to training recommendations, just let them ride, take them to a park and ride along with them. Just let them play and enjoy the bike and they'll figure out how serious they want to get later.
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Old 05-07-20, 10:49 AM
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We were all about getting our son on a bike early and bought a balance bike. We made a few mistakes though.

First, our son had some medical issues and surgeries early on that weakened his core, and he was small for his size. Bottom of every growth curve at the time. So we expected too much, too soon. The balance bike was too heavy when we introduced it at around age two. He really wanted to ride it, but it, but he didn't have the strength. That turned him off and he got frustrated. He had a tricycle that he preferred as he got a little older. Because of his early experience with the balance bike, he refused to ride it until he was about four and a half. By that point he was almost too big for it. When he did start riding the bike again, he picked it up pretty quick. In about a month, he went from zero time on the balance bike to pedaling his first bike with 12 inch wheels. I definitely think balance bikes are the way to go.

The balance bike we got was a Kinderbike Mini. We were happy with it, but the heaviness of it made it harder for my son to manage when he was younger. I recommend going for something lightweight if you want to get him started soon. Part of why we picked the Kinderbike Mini was how low the seat could go. It would fit my son when he was little, but like I said, it was just too heavy for him. Whatever you get, make sure the seat goes low enough for him to put his feet flat on the ground the first few times he uses it. Then once he starts to get it, keep inching the seat up little by little, so that he doesn't realize it. Eventually, he'll be able to scoot himself along using his toes, and figuring out balance will just come naturally. Another recommendation would be to make the balance bike the only riding toy available when you introduce it. He might get frustrated, but if it's the only thing available, he'll come back to it.

We have a sloping driveway. Once our son was riding okay pushing himself along the sidewalk, I drew a curving chalk track down the driveway, that led onto the sidewalk. He was able to pick up his feet and just roll down the slope of the driveway, and about another 30 feet down the sidewalk before he had to put his feet down. That's when I knew his balance was good enough for a pedal bike.
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Old 05-07-20, 10:54 AM
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It depends on the kid. My oldest kid wasnít able to get the idea at one and a half when he got his strider. At two he had the idea, but wasnít good enough. At 2 1/2 he got it, and at three he outgrew the strider and needed a bigger balance bike, because he didnít get pedaling til four.

For the second round we had twins. They got their balance bikes at age 2. The girl got it at about 2 1/2. they are 3 1/3 now. The girl can go around the block and is maybe ready for pedals, except she hasnít figured out the brakes yet. But the boy is only just getting the balance bike.

some of it is just practice. My first kid got a weekly ride/stroll with the twins in the bob stroller to a donut shop. But the twins did not get that, because we moved to a house thatís too far from the donut shop.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by monkeytusmc View Post
My son is 1 year 9 months and I want to get him started early. Looking for any recommendations for balance bikes. Also looking for training recommendations. Thanks

Mike
We got our daughter a Vitus Nippy balance bike, and have been extremely happy with it. Based on personal experience, the #1 priority for a first balance bike is weight. For a small toddler, every kg counts. For this reason, we went with a bike that has solid rubber tires, as opposed to metal wheels that have 'real' tires. This makes a HUGE difference weight-wise.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:30 AM
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As for training recommendations, just let the child tell you when they're ready. We first introduced the balance bike when she was around 15 months, and it took about six months for her to really get the hang of it. Now she's unstoppable and loves 'biking with dad'.
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Old 05-26-20, 04:11 AM
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Thanks everyone for the great feedback, will definitely make sure the bike is lightweight as i see that as the common theme here. Also not pushing it onto him but allowing him to go after it when he is ready. This really helps me and will help me ensure he is doing because he wants to. =)
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Old 05-28-20, 08:49 AM
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I think key is going out as a family. The younger kids see the older ones enjoying themselves.
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Old 06-05-20, 01:13 PM
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Supercross BMX Balance Bike - they look terrific. Actually, the DK Nano, Strider, all kinds of them are really good. Just look for decent bearings, actual pneumatic tires, spoked wheels, etc. Then show up at your local track to 'race' (or at least watch!). There is little as adorable as the balance bike classes at BMX races - there's a free one-day membership to try, and if you want to keep going it's $30 a year, and balance bike races are free. (when you start full track pedal bikes, it's $60 and $10 - your prices might be slightly different)
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Old 08-28-20, 04:08 AM
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Just teaching my 5 year old to ride, she never had a balance bike but I do wish she had. Would have made the process quicker and earlier. I'd say get one with proper geometry. Not just a seat with bars type
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Old 09-28-20, 05:16 PM
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I love the title of this thread. I don't think there is a specific age. As long as they like it. My son got into running races with me. He seems to like riding too.
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Old 10-13-20, 10:16 AM
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We started both of our kids on balance bikes at around 2 years old. Key was to get a wooden one instead of the cheaper metal ones. The wooden one was lighter for them, so easily to maneuver but also safer for them if it fell onto their legs. Both kids would get great speeds and had no issues before eventually graduating to proper bicycles.
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Old 11-04-20, 11:15 PM
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Get a balance bike, and if possible, bring it inside for them to try it out. They are more comfortable inside, and will begin to trust it more than outside.
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Old 02-11-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The first time I saw balance bikes was touring in the Czech Republic. Tourists would pull into town, unload a balance bike out of the trunk, and take off shopping, wandering, whatever. The kid kept up with the parents, they didn't mess with him or her, and the little bike didn't get lost like a kid gets lost in a crowd. The kid has a great time, not being nailed to their parents. I couldn't figure out why everyone didn't do that, everywhere.

But sorry, that's all I got. I know 2 is not too young, that's all.
When my daughter was 2.5ish-4, we would haul her kick scooter with us. Much better than even a travel stroller, she could roll around town without getting too tired, and when she did she would just stand and I could just push her. Think the highlight for her was kicking around the skate/cycling park in Innsbruck with all the cool kids
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Old 03-30-21, 02:48 AM
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It seemed to take our twins ages to get interested in the balance bikes, but then one day I was in the back yard and my son just scooted the length and bumped his front wheel full speed, right into the gate, and got up smiling. His sister followed soon after. Now they're 5 and riding their own 16" bikes, and their younger brother is on the balance bike; he's still just walking it, but he loves it, and he's getting more and more confident.

At the same time, a close friend's daughter won't touch the balance bike, and insists on riding her bike with pedals and training wheels.

In short, don't push them. Leave the bike in the garden. They'll either find their own way onto it, or they won't.
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Old 04-05-21, 08:08 PM
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Both my sons were riding 2 wheels when they were about 3.5 years old, I got them started on the tricycle, to get them used to the pedaling mothing, then moved them onto the run bikes (balance bikes), then did training wheels for a few weeks to re-incorporate the pedaling, then onto 2 wheels.
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Old 04-14-21, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
In short, don't push them. Leave the bike in the garden. They'll either find their own way onto it, or they won't.
This was the same experience over here. Daughter wasn't all that interested in the little bike when we got it for her. Slowly, she grew into it and started going fast. Eventually, she asked to take the pedals and the training wheels off because she saw some other kids scooting on balance bikes. And she expressed interest in going to the school parking lot to practice! She did this all when she was comfortable with it. She still loves going on her pull-a-bike tandem. On the contrary, a friend of hers had 0 interest in a balance bike.

After 5-6 outings my daughter is now riding on her own! She's way outgrown her bike, so I'm just waiting for her next age-sized bike (on backorder) to get shipped - thanks, COVID shortage.
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Old 04-19-21, 05:00 PM
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We bought our son a balance bike from REI when he was 18 months old. Around 2 years old he started trying to ride it but was frustrated after falling. He would get on it a few times but never really wanted to ride it. Around 3 years old he started having an interest in it and loved riding it. We let him ride it inside the house also and do laps which helped. A few months before he turned 4 we bought him a 14” WOOM bicycle. I ended up putting training wheels on it just so he could learn how to pedal. After a month we took the training wheels off and he has been crushing it. I just purchased a 16” Trek for him, but it’s a little big and I think I was starting to rush him. But the 14” bike is starting to look small and he is out pedaling the bike.
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Old 04-20-21, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jfondren3 View Post
We bought our son a balance bike from REI when he was 18 months old. Around 2 years old he started trying to ride it but was frustrated after falling. He would get on it a few times but never really wanted to ride it. Around 3 years old he started having an interest in it and loved riding it. We let him ride it inside the house also and do laps which helped. A few months before he turned 4 we bought him a 14Ē WOOM bicycle. I ended up putting training wheels on it just so he could learn how to pedal. After a month we took the training wheels off and he has been crushing it. I just purchased a 16Ē Trek for him, but itís a little big and I think I was starting to rush him. But the 14Ē bike is starting to look small and he is out pedaling the bike.
I think at this age, upsizing bikes is similar to to getting them on it in the first place. I built up my son's 16" bike when he was about 4-1/2, but his first few times he tried it he was just a little nervous on it and wanted to stick with his 12" Hot Rock. His twin sister had trouble getting onto her 16 as well, so rode a 14" with training wheels, briefly. Eventually, before their 5th birthday, they both started to realize their bikes were just a bit undersized, and tried out the new ones again. They haven't looked back.

They'll be 6 in July and they're already looking like they're stretching out the limits of the seatposts. I still have a little bit of room to raise to go (which I do on the sly, when they're not looking).
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Old 04-22-21, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
It seemed to take our twins ages to get interested in the balance bikes, but then one day I was in the back yard and my son just scooted the length and bumped his front wheel full speed, right into the gate, and got up smiling. His sister followed soon after. Now they're 5 and riding their own 16" bikes, and their younger brother is on the balance bike; he's still just walking it, but he loves it, and he's getting more and more confident.

At the same time, a close friend's daughter won't touch the balance bike, and insists on riding her bike with pedals and training wheels.

In short, don't push them. Leave the bike in the garden. They'll either find their own way onto it, or they won't.
I find this method feasible, no pressures on the kids to learn. As we know, kids have their own learning curve so might as well let them be the one to discover =)
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