Balance bike versus trike for 2 year old?

(20 Posts)
AveryJessup Sun 22-Sep-13 22:54:15

We want to get DS a toddler-level bike for his 2nd birthday as every time we go past bikes in the street or in the car he gets excited and points and says '[DS name] that! [DS name] that!!'. We're taking this as a hint grin - the question is: which is best, a balance bike or a trike?

So far I've found this trike with a push-bar that looks good but I'm also quite taken with the little wooden balance bikes I see around.

How independent can they be with the balance bikes? Do you need to hold them all the time or can they just push them along? DS is very independent and likes to do everything himself so while I like the idea of a trike with push-bar for me, he might prefer something he can move on his own.

BrianTheMole Sun 22-Sep-13 22:59:16

Balance bikes are good. They get their speed up very quickly by themselves. And it gives them the balancing skills ready for moving onto a bike.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 22-Sep-13 23:10:57

I have heard that they don't really get the concept of pedals until they're a bit older so a balance bike might be better. We bought dd2 a trike for her second birthday and she really didn't have a clue what to do with it so there might be some truth in it.

Marrow Sun 22-Sep-13 23:15:06

Balance bike without question. He will have great fun on it and when he is big enough for a pedal bike he will be riding it within minutes with no need for stabilisers.

AveryJessup Sun 22-Sep-13 23:29:39

Seems like the consensus is balance bike then!

Can they push themselves along pretty well at 2 already or would I probably have to hold onto the bike for him for a while until he learns how to balance? I've heard some people say that they don't balance well until about 2.5 years. I suppose it depends on the child though?

Marrow Mon 23-Sep-13 00:10:09

It will probably take him a little while to get used to it. Both of mine would just walk along with the bike between their legs and not sit on the saddle. After just a few days though they had got the hang of it.

Fazerina Mon 23-Sep-13 08:56:50

My DS is 2.4 and doesn't quite get the pedals on bikes (except that he likes to spin them, when the bike is lying down on the ground smile ). There are quite a few toddlers in our neighbourhood and people bring several bikes/trikes/balance bikes to the communal garden, so DS has tried several different types. We've decided to get him a balance bike that converts into a bike with stabilisers and I think he'll do well with the balance bike for now.

Last summer DS was obsessed with scooters, so we finally got him a mini micro for his 2nd birthday. He does like it and it didn't take him very long to learn to ride it. However, he only occasionally takes it with him when we go out, rides it too fast and recklessly and refuses to wear the helmet hmm.

lljkk Mon 23-Sep-13 08:59:35

I vote trike. DS's balance bike went 10 months ago but we still have the trike. They go too fast too soon on balance bikes, too.

MrsRandom78 Mon 23-Sep-13 09:04:06

Another balance bike fan here! We had a tiny bike which was great but he grew out of it quite quickly (ds is quite tall) so has graduated onto one that is a bit bigger and also has a brake. Helmet an essential!

Vecta Mon 23-Sep-13 09:12:20

Depends what you envisage doing with it.

Balance bikes are great for pootling about the garden or park, better than a trike IMO. They are supposed to be better for learning pre-bike-riding skills as well. They are less good if you want to walk somewhere with your dc on his bike. Especially when they are still learning, they will go very slowly and then decide they want to walk and you will have to carry it.

With a trike, if you get one with a handle, you then have the option of pushing them or letting them walk and pushing the trike so I think they are better to take out for a walk/ride.

QueLinda Mon 23-Sep-13 09:52:28

I am getting dd a toddlebike it's a pre balance bike. Much lighter than a bike.

bruffin Mon 23-Sep-13 10:04:43

I really wouldnt waste money on a balance bike, they are the emperors new clothes of bikes and really not necessary. I would go with a scooter for balance or a trike to learn to peddle.

AveryJessup Mon 23-Sep-13 15:05:31

Interesting feedback, thanks everyone.

What I plan to do with it is a good point, Vecta. I have visions of us enjoying a nice long walk together with him on his trike and me pushing/stabilizing as necessary but in reality, since he's only 2, I can well imagine that would really end up as me carrying both him and the trike after about 20 minutes when he gets tired!

I think I'll get a balance bike for him now and maybe graduate to a trike when he's 3. I know balance bikes are supposed to mean skipping the trike stage but I'm not really bothered about that, it's more about us getting out of the house together now he is too old for the stroller.

mistlethrush Mon 23-Sep-13 15:10:55

We had a balance bike for DS from about 2 - it was great. He managed to brake his first wooden one though because he crashed once too often at speed (helmet a definite requirement)(and thoroughly recommend small cycling gloves too with leather palms for when he falls off - then he won't graze his palms). The best thing with a balance bike is to see if you can shadow someone with a slightly older child who has already worked out how to use it properly - one walk with this and DS didn't look back. His 2nd balance bike lasted until he was 4 when he learned how to get started on a pedal cycle in a weekend - no stabilisers ever required. In addition, the good balance learned means that you can simply push the middle of their back when they're on a bike to give added impetus (eg up a hill) and don't need to bend down to stabilise the bike at the same time.

FeckOffCup Mon 23-Sep-13 16:19:43

Try him out on both in a shop and see what he prefers. I was looking at options for DD last christmas and was leaning towards the balance bike as her cousin loves his but she was just too short and couldn't get her feet down on the balance bike so we went for a trike.

Balance bike.

Do you need some recommendations?

gourd Tue 24-Sep-13 20:11:37

Balance bikes are great but we had one since Dd was two and she's only just begun using it ages three. Despite it supposedly being "light" it was way too heavy for her at two whereas the Toddlebike was wonderful. Also since she's only just developed the ability to balance on one foot, to jump and still can't hop I do think shed have struggled to actually balance and steer it at two. Every child is different and done are fine at two with this type of physical development but others simply won't get the hang if it or show any interest till they're older. She still isn't great with steering but she really loves the bike and balances well on it with both feet lifted up even at slow speeds after only a couple of weekends use. Would say yes balance bikes are great but only if child is interested and seems able to pick it up, meaning its not too heavy, can get on/off by themselves and can understand the concept of steering and looking where they want to go!

gourd Tue 24-Sep-13 20:13:01

Also i can't see the point in a trike. They're really heavy and are quite unstable on uneven or cambered surface as well as really difficult to steer round corners.

rememberingnothing Tue 24-Sep-13 20:35:25

Another balance bike vote here. We had an Early Rider one that both my DDs loved. They would go miles on it but I could still put it on the buggy (with done dodgy balance and tied on arrangement) if we were going miles (more than 2) at a time and needed a buggy when they were just 2. They both learned to ride very easily - took about 10 or 15 mins to learn to pedal. No stabilisers. They both have scooters too but I've always ended up carrying them more often and they didn't use them as much out of choice when they were 2. Good luck!

imip Tue 24-Sep-13 20:40:49

Balance bike here too! I found it harder to get my dds riding during the winter months as we didn't get out as much. Next Christmas, you'll probably be buying a pedal bike grin

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