Balance bike or micro scooter for third birthday?

(50 Posts)
Fuckwittery Wed 17-Apr-13 15:20:34

Dd2 has a scooter, but its a bit of a crappy one from tescos and I know the micro scooters are brilliant. Dd1 had one for her third birthday and scooted everywhere for the next 2 years until it was stolen! I think because I've spent the £ on them before, and we have a scooter, just not a v good one, I'm reluctant to buy again!

I've also seen a deal for a this balance bike half price which would make it the same price as the scooter. I'd quite like to try her out on it, she's not as balanced as dd1 was at this age and I think she would get on better with a balance bike than scooter. However I remember the scooter handily hooked over the pram (annoying but doable) when walking, whereas there's no way I could push a pram and carry a balance bike, and hold dd2s hand where necessary. Baby not due til end October though, so I would get the summer use out of the balance bike and then we'd probably do more school runs in the car (dh post section, and in the cold months) so it would be less of an issue. What to do! What does your 3 year old prefer?

Fuckwittery Wed 17-Apr-13 20:35:43

bumping smile

girliefriend Wed 17-Apr-13 20:39:12

My dd got a princess scooter from argos for her 3rd birthday and adored it, rode it everywhere. Because it was a 3 wheeler it was very stable.

I wouldn't get a balance bike, would make more sense to get a nice normal bike with stabilisers and then that will last a few years.

Not sure if that will help or not - sorry!!

IroningBoredDaily Wed 17-Apr-13 20:42:21

I'm pretty sure my dcs had proper bikes when they were 3. Is that an option?

Wisteria36 Wed 17-Apr-13 20:43:32

Different perspective here - ds got a balance bike at 2.5 and at 3.5 could ride a pedal bike without stabilisers, so was definitely worth doing. But it's true the balance bike maybe won't last so long as a scooter. Second hand balance bike maybe? We've never had scooters though, no experience there.

racmun Wed 17-Apr-13 20:45:40

My son has both and the scooter is his favourite.

Fuckwittery Wed 17-Apr-13 20:45:59

Proper bike! hadn't thought of that. I could probably give her DD1's old one if I lowered the saddle so it's not really something I need to buy, but I found with DD1 it was irritating with her riding with stablisers, she kept over balancing and found the bike very heavy. I think she got that bike when she was 4, and she didn't really enjoy riding it until the stablisers came off. Might just have been a crap bike though, too heavy, can anyone recommend a good starter bike?

Wallace Wed 17-Apr-13 21:08:10

If you do go for a balance bike, a Puky Is very lightweight and easy to sling over pushchair handles.

Fuckwittery Wed 17-Apr-13 21:17:23

thanks Wallace, i really like the look of the Puky bike, and good price too. I can see that balance bikes have a short shelf life, but hopefully I'll be able to pass onto DC3.

Dededum Wed 17-Apr-13 21:19:38

Or good second hand value for quality/useful kids stuff

Dededum Wed 17-Apr-13 21:20:58

Where are you? We have a blue micro scooter which DS2 has long since out grown. You can have it if you can collect. We are in Guildford

Fuckwittery Wed 17-Apr-13 21:40:03

That's very kind Dededum, we are Herts so a bit far away but thanks so much for the offer. I should have a look at second hand, we could end up getting both! Disappointed in the cheaper one I got from Tescos, if I can get a good second hand Micro scooter will give that one to charity/

macreturnofthe Wed 17-Apr-13 22:07:12

get a balance bike and the whole teaching them to ride a bike thing is done, no more running after holding the saddle while the wobble off down the road. Balance bike for a while and then upgrade to bike with pedals and no stabilizers will be needed!! they are awesome.

Habbibu Wed 17-Apr-13 22:10:33

Balance bikes have decent resale value if you get one that's popular, which I think pukys are. Ours have loved them, and get pretty fast quickly.

Mudwiggle Fri 19-Apr-13 22:12:43

I found this thread because I am looking for a buggy board alternative, when you don't have a buggy IYSWIM. DS2 is 2.5 and hardly ever wants to sit in the buggy, he only wants to walk. However if we go buggyless that usually results in me carrying him at some point. (We walk alot and no car as we are in London).

In general do you think a scooter or a balance bike would be best?

Dededum - if you still have your scooter available, I would happily jump on the train this weekend and give it a go....?

Wallace Sat 20-Apr-13 07:06:30

I'd say balance bike . You probably will sometimes end up with ds on your shoulders, balance bike in one hand shopping in the other...

You can get a carry strap for the Puky.

Mudwiggle Sun 21-Apr-13 11:35:16

thank you. off to Google puky strap, sounds perfect.

lljkk Sun 21-Apr-13 11:58:16

get a balance bike and the whole teaching them to ride a bike thing is done, no more running after holding the saddle while the wobble off down the road.

Didn't work like that for us. Only DC who had a balance bike was slower to learn to ride without stabs for it, I'm convinced. My kids tend to be small for age, though, which makes the balance bike useful for longer. Don't think DS will be big enough for a Cnoc 16 until he's at least 5.5yo I reckon. About the same as the others.

I like the Union jack bike, OP. I'd be quite tempted. Check the weight. If it's light enough you can balance across pram while pushing.

Wallace Sun 21-Apr-13 16:08:06

lljkk - you are right it does depend on the child. I did an unscientific survey on MN and balance bike doesn't always mean early to ride a bike. I also know kids that love their balance bike so much that they find a pedal bike really boring and cumbersome and just can't be bothered!

blondebubble Sun 21-Apr-13 16:13:40

Tbh - I would get both as in our family they had different functions.

Scooter is used as quick mode of transport, going to shops and nursery. Bike was more fun in the park. Mine got the bike before a scooter - bike definitely played second fiddle for a while as scooter was much easier.

Neither of my 2 has stabiliser and were cycling first day on a "big bike" one at 3.5yrs the other at 4yrs. Balance bikes are worth their weight in gold makes learning to cycle minimal effort.

So in an ideal world, have both.

Wallace Sun 21-Apr-13 17:05:18

In our house we use the balance bike for quick mode of transport, but don't have a scooter so can't compare.

Is it just me or does anyone else end up sprinting flat out behind the balance bike? We were out for the day yesterday and I ended up run ragged chasing after ds3.

idiot55 Sun 21-Apr-13 17:07:51

micro scooter, every time

but it does depend on individual child

Wallace Sun 21-Apr-13 17:10:14

A question about the micro scooter- the wheels are very small, does this make it harder going along rough ground, bumpy pavements, etc?

idiot55 Sun 21-Apr-13 18:37:55

I dont think the small wheels make it more difficult on rough ground, the micro brand seems to have wheels that have some sort of mechanism to go over any terrain ( im not explaining this well)

bascocally from my experience micro scooters are great, we have the one with the seat

Wallace Sun 21-Apr-13 20:04:49

Had to google the seat - never seen that before!

balancebikesarebetter Sun 21-Apr-13 20:07:37

But can you do this on a micro scooter grin

AcrylicPlexiglass Sun 21-Apr-13 20:21:51

This balance bike converts to a pedal bike when they seem ready. (on offer at the minute too!) My 3 year old daughter is enjoying hers in the balance bike phase and getting quite proficient. For zooming along quickly we always take the micro scooter though!

nextphase Sun 21-Apr-13 20:23:42

Never had a scooter, but (very small - in 2-3 trousers) 4 yr old DS1 loves his balance bike It can be balanced over the rain / sun shade of the maclaren.

Just hoping he grows big enough for a proper bike before DS2 could use the balance bike.

The kids which got bikes for 3rd birthdays were nowhere near as fast as DS1 on the balance bike, and they are usually much heavier making them harder to carry when child doesn't want to ride.

Wallace Sun 21-Apr-13 20:26:07

That is nifty! Ds3 does swap between balance bike and pedal bike a bit too often for it though.

Wallace Sun 21-Apr-13 20:30:29

Cross posted. I agree nextphase. I don't take the pedal bike out for actual journeys apart from the 5 minute pop to school. It is harder for ds3 to manage by himself - can't pop up and down kerbs without help and needs me there for stopping and starting as he can't get his feet to the ground as he is quite small. It is carryable,, but much heavier than the balance bike.

lljkk Mon 22-Apr-13 08:10:31

I ended up sprinting flat out to keep up with the balance bike. Well hazardous.

Scooters not a lot better.

Wallace Mon 22-Apr-13 08:18:12

Not just me then, lljkk. I use a little life back pack with the lead when we are near busy roads, but ds3 doesn't like being slowed down hmm

Fuckwittery Mon 22-Apr-13 09:34:27

I am still undecided! Thinking a gyro bike with the pedal kit, dh thinks its a waste of time getting a balance bike but dd1 never really used her bike until the stabolisers came off, it was so cumbersome with them. Took the dds out on their scooters this weekend and dd2 was v slow and annoying with her crap one, I remember dd1 whizzing along on her micro scooter at 3. But she hasn't been out on the scooter much at all, and I'm not sure how much is down to the scooter or to dd1/2's differing abilities!

3rdnparty Mon 22-Apr-13 09:40:42

I would vote for scooter if you can't get both[ grin] often see 2nd had ones at nct/playgroup sales - DS used scooter all the time was amazing so useful ... unclicks, so easy to pack down and take travelling as well - even though i was v keen on balance bike he hated it... wanted a bike with pedals grin as thats what they had at playgroup.... he learnt to ride a normal bike later

Blowninonabreeze Mon 22-Apr-13 09:50:28

DH didn't believe in balance bikes either..... Dd1 got a bike with stabilizers for her 3rd birthday. Was ok on it. But very reliant on stabilizers.

A year later, her little sister got a balance bike for her 2nd birthday. Dd1 had 2 hours on it one morning (at aged 4.3) and had mastered her bike without stabilizers by the afternoon.

Dd2 was off her stabilizers by 3.4.

We're now big believers in balance bikes in this household.

But get as light a one as possible.

(Also big fans of mini-micros but very vary of cheap imitations)

Wallace Mon 22-Apr-13 10:37:13

Yup, I'm a huge fan of balance bikes too (in case you'd failed to notice blush)

Ds3 could ride a pedal bike without stabilisers just over 3 months after he started to ride a balance bike. He was 19 months when he started riding his balance bike...

memphis83 Mon 22-Apr-13 10:53:00

My ds has both and since he mastered the bike he won't use the scooter.
We have a kiddimoto wooden balance bike but at nearly 3 he is only just tall enough to touch the floor so bought him a puky with seat that can be moved. They are a lot lighter and last longer as it grows with child but wooden seats are fixed.

BrienneOfTarth Mon 22-Apr-13 19:24:39

We had both, Balance Bike was useless, DS wasn't interested in trying it, just didn't seem to "get" the concept. Loved the scooter from day 1 and had no problems mastering it.

The scooter has been brilliant for travelling - with a "scoot 'n' pull" strap for safety, I've been able to take DS on scooter with strap in one hand, and wheelie suitcase in the other hand, and get myself across the country on complicated all-day-long bus-intercitytrain-tube-othertrain-otherbus journeys safely and simply when his stamina would not have been up to doing the same on foot. I would have had to take a buggy if we didn't have the scooter.

Wallace Mon 22-Apr-13 21:23:24

Feel sorry for the OP. I don't think this thread will be making it easier to decide!

BrienneOfTarth Mon 22-Apr-13 22:22:56

Reading through other replies, I think the answer is "it all depends on what the child in question gets on best with" - OP could you borrow one of each for a week at a time from a friend and see what your DD clicks with best?

AcrylicPlexiglass Mon 22-Apr-13 22:35:08

Get the gyrobike with pedal kit! I think it will have birthday wow factor (my daughter's little face really lit up when she saw hers) which is nice for a 2nd child and on offer it's a bargain really- even with the pedal kit it'll be cheaper than the wooden one you linked to and should see her from balancer to pedal biker so takes your dh's erroneous objection to balance bikes out of the equation.

It's v good so far, honestly.smile Air tyres, really well made and sturdy, hand brake. My daughter is quite physically cautious and a moaner extraordinaire when things are frustrating/difficult but has taken to it right away and is at the taking feet off the floor for a few seconds and saying "weeeeeee!" stage.

From the point of view of slinging it over a buggy, it is heavier than some balance bikes though- I think because it has to be to be an effective pedal bike later and because it is a bit bigger than some- it's for 3 -6 year olds rather than really tiny kids.

blueblackdye Mon 22-Apr-13 22:42:00

We had the micro scooter first when DS was 2, I saw him use his friend's one, within 3 min, he knew what to do, so I bought it. He is now 4.5 and still using it. Same friend had a balance bike, DS used it on and off for 3 months only at week ends when 3.5, and that was it, he asked for his stabilisers to be removed and now rides his bike. I think both help learning balance, differently, giving the child confidence and idea of speed.

Bakingtins Mon 22-Apr-13 22:47:34

I think balance bikes are brilliant, but it depends what you want it for. DS1 had balance bike (Early Rider lite) from 2nd birthday and was on a proper pedal bike at 3.5, DS2 following the same direction. They have both been proper whizzy on it very quickly, I would not take them out on the pavement, we go to the park and they whizz off, with an agreed stopping distance (wait at the....) whereas on a scooter they are both more willing to move at adult walking pace and I feel more in control of them. We scoot to school, balance and pedal bikes are for going fast in a safe environment.
Given the choice both my boys would pick their bikes.
I would go for balance bike rather than stabilisers every single time, but that wasn't the OP's question.

Fuckwittery Mon 22-Apr-13 23:31:09

Now I really want to get dd2 both! Thanks for all the replies, but no, this thread is not helping me make my mind up smile

Wallace Tue 23-Apr-13 21:19:05

Do you know anyone with a scooter or a balance bike you could borrow to see which she likes better?

macreturnofthe Wed 24-Apr-13 21:15:03

just a follow up comment - if you go for a balance bike make sure you get a light weight one, cheaply made balance bikes will be far more difficult to use. there are some great companies out there now doing light weight (expensive though) kids bikes - but they have buy back schemes for when the kids grow out of them.

have a look at isla and frog bikes (expensive, but brilliant bikes)

intheshed Wed 24-Apr-13 21:23:10

Micro scooter every time- they are fab!

DD was given a balance bike when she was 3 1/2- she was just too big for it by then and didn't get it at all. After a few tantrums (and lugging it around as she decided she'd rather run) I sold it on ebay!

However both DDs love their scooters and use them most days.

blueblackdye Thu 25-Apr-13 11:17:08

Actually, the balance bike I have is up to 3.5 yo only....

Wallace Thu 25-Apr-13 19:18:22

Puky do 4 different sizes of Balance bike.

Love the look of the Frog bikes.

Wallace Fri 26-Apr-13 19:49:05

And just seen Strider do one for age 6 to 10!

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