balance bike or bike with stabilisers for 3 year old?

(30 Posts)
omama Thu 23-May-13 14:44:07

I apologise now as this will be long. Ds will be 3 in a couple of months. We were thinking of getting a balance bike for his birthday as a) we hope he'd like it & b) we think it might help to develop his physical skills which have always lagged behind his speech/imagination.

Went to look at some today only to be told by shop assistant it was a waste to buy one given his age & he'd be much better going for a bike with stabilisers. He said given he'd not got much experience of ride-ons, a balance bike would be more hinderance than help because the wheels would be too thin & he would likely just fall off.

The fact ds can't pedal yet apparently doesn't matter because he's 'got to learn' & he claims its more important for him to learn how to pedal while fully supported than to learn how to balance. How if he went for a BB then he'd just be lazy as he wouldnt know how to pedal a proper bike & would just push it along & it would take even longer than learning with stabilisers.

He then got me to try ds on a 12" bike, his feet wouldn't even touch the ground & it was so heavy there's no way he's ready for a proper bike yet.

I was quite taken aback with his attitude, esp since i thought most folks think balance bikes are a great idea & can't help thinking he is spouting a load of bollocks rubbish & hmm

But now am doubting myself - is he right? Is it pointless to get one for a 3 year old?

Wallace Fri 24-May-13 11:44:31

Another vote for balance bike. If you live near any of these Strider bike events you could take your ds along for a try.

omama Fri 24-May-13 12:57:25

Thanks all.

Bad - do i dare name & shame?! It was a big chain - i'll leave it at that!

badguider Fri 24-May-13 13:31:22

You don't need to name - I knew it was a big chain. They are USELESS for bike advice. Honestly, 100% useless.

If you want advice you have to go to a small inependent bike shop where the people will really know what they're talking about and be working there for the passion of it.

Big chains are only good for picking up stuff when you've already researched the options and know exactly what you want (even then they are less well stocked than the best online retailers)

pigleychez Fri 24-May-13 23:12:00

DD1 got a balance bike for her 3rd Birthday. She's now 4.5 and is pretty speedy on it. It took her a while to 'get' it as she's always been the biggest nervous wreck and would freak out every time it wobbled! With age she's toughened up abit and is much better now at gliding along and corrects herself when gliding if she wobbles.

She will progressing to a new bike with pedals (without the stabilisers) for her 5th Birthday in July.

DD2 has just turned 3 and will inherit the balance bike. She has already tried it out and you can see she's going to much more confident on it that DD1 was. But then she's a little dardevil with no fear!!

MERLYPUSS Sat 25-May-13 19:39:04

You can get a handle that fits on the back spokes of a stabilizer bike. He pedals like fury with you runnning behind letting go every so often. My mate's boy cracked cycling withing a few days. I have put myself down to borrow the handle. They sell them in halfords for about £20.

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