Balance Bikes are proven to enhance your child’s core stability, cognitive skills and early years development. Having spent the last 15 years designing, testing, and manufacturing balance bikes, we at Kiddimoto believe we’re in a great position to provide you the ultimate guide to choosing your child’s balance bike.
1. How old does my child have to be?
As soon as your child can walk on their own, then they are old enough to start riding. 18 months – 2 years tends to be the age that a child is ready to start riding their very first balance bike. However, it will depend on your child’s development. Most balance bikes out there are suitable for ages up to 5 years old and can be adjusted if your child isn’t quite ready to make the jump up to a pedal bike.
2. Metal or wood? Which do I choose?
Both have great benefits. Traditional wooden balance bikes have more surface area for awesome design work, which is obviously very appealing for kids. We use birch plywood from sustainable forests to build ours. When looked after properly they are very sturdy and reliable, however they are not quite as adjustable as metal bikes.
Our metal balance bikes are sturdy and durable. They have lots of good features and are extremely adjustable. We use various metals in our metal balance bike range – aluminum, steel and even carbon, which effects the overall weight of each bike. Keeping a bike light for a younger child is very important.
3. Does shape really matter?
Absolutely! Most balance bike brands put a lot of thought into the shape of the bike – and certainly different shapes suit different kids, depending on their size and ability. Things to look out for are a low center of gravity and the position of the handlebars. In some cases, some balance bike brands locate the seat too close to the handlebars and too far away from the back wheel, which leads to poor posture.
4. How heavy should a balance bike be?
As a general rule you don’t want your child’s bike to weigh any more than 25%- 30% of their own body weight. For example if your child weighs 35lb, then the maximum weight of the bike should be 10.5lb. This will be important when it comes to selecting the right bike for your child. You want your child to be able to control and move the bike on their own.
5. Does my child really need brakes?
If you are looking for a balance bike for a 2-3 year old, then brakes can sometimes be an added distraction when it comes to learning the art of balancing. However, if your child is 3-5 years old, then it may help to introduce a brake to them before they move onto a pedal bike. In short, you don’t want the process of riding a balance bike to be complicated – it should be fun and simple – but if your child is ready for the next step, go for brakes!
6. Does it really matter what tires my child’s bike has?
Yes, it does matter. Although you may tempted by the weight or cost of a bike, it is really important that your child is comfortable when they are riding. Avoid plastic tires, they can crack easily and can be very uncomfortable which may result in one very unhappy kid. No one wants that! A popular choice for tires are a foam EVA, as these tires wont crack and are actually puncture resistant, meaning your child’s fun isn’t cut short. The second option, for the more adventurous kids, are pneumatic tires, which can be pumped up, giving more cushioning across almost every terrain.
EVA Tire Pneumatic Tire
7. How long will a balance bike last?
The answer to this question will vary depending on what balance bike you choose. Different brands will say different things. We at Kiddimoto believe that good quality balance bikes should last for years. That’s why we include a 2 year warranty across our whole range! Our bikes are usually passed down to siblings once they have been outgrown.
One last thing, whichever bike you choose, make sure the whole experience is enjoyable and safe for your child. Riding a balance bike can be a challenge at first but the benefits of learning to ride one will be so rewarding in the long run for you and your child. If you’re in the market for a balance bike or helmet, head over to our shop to select the perfect balance bike for your child.