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Crisis of confidence - is a balance bike too "young" for a 4.4 yr old

(61 Posts)
BumgrapesofWrath Tue 23-Dec-14 21:01:01

Bought DS1 a balance bike for Christmas. At the time I thought it might be a bit "young" for him (he was 4 in September), but ultimately thought it would be a good start to him learning to ride a bike.

I've had a bit of a crisis of confidence. Some of DSs friends are getting "proper" bikes for Christmas, and some of them are quite a bit younger than him. I'm wondering when he go out with his friends whether he'll wonder why his doesn't have peddles!!

I'm tempted to give the balance bike to DS2 (who is 2) instead, and make a last minute dash to Halfords or somewhere to get a bike tomorrow...

Maybe I'm just succumbing to peer pressure - gah - and I hate to do that!

So, what do we think?

Quangle Tue 23-Dec-14 21:04:32

I think he's right in the middle of the two types of bike <helpful>

DS had a balance bike from 3 till about 4.5 and he started riding a big bike then but to be honest he still prefers his balance bike and I think I pushed him a bit too fast on the big bike.

SavoyCabbage Tue 23-Dec-14 21:04:47

I think it probably is to be honest. Like you, I don't like doing things early or before they are ready but I think he's probably old enough for a bike bike at four.

My dd's both got 14 inch bikes for their first bikes and had the stabilisers off when they were four and got 16 inch bikes when they were six.

Romeyroo Tue 23-Dec-14 21:06:36

DD got a proper bike but with stabilises when she was four. Fine; took the stabilisers off and spent two years trying to teach her to ride it. She then spent a summer holiday, aged six, riding a friend's dc balance bike, came home and rode hers no problem.
DS started on a balance bike age 2 and could ride a proper bike, no stabilisers, by the time he was three.
Just have a relaxing day tomorrow, explain that cycling works faster if you learn on a balance bike firstsmile

Boomtownsurprise Tue 23-Dec-14 21:07:28

Dd got her balance bike at 2 but frankly couldn't reach the floor til she was 3.

She was too big for it by 3.5.

Dd then got s bike at 3.5 which she couldn't push the peddles of til was nearly 4.

Tbh I'd stick with the balance bike. And if nec give balance to bro at Easter and buy proper bike then

merlehaggard Tue 23-Dec-14 21:09:58

We've bought my just 4 year old a 12 inch bike. I don't think a balance bike is too young though. DD2 borrowed my friends one when she was 5/6 and learned to ride a bike that way really quickly. We found it really good and it then got lent out to lots of other friends.

My son isn't hugely into outdoors and bikes but we thought buying a bike and encouraging him to learn to ride it was something we should do. I've seen many more active kids whiz zing around on balance bikes but knew he wouldn't be one of them. I'm not expecting him to learn to ride a bike without stabilisers anytime soon either!

I think that a balance bike is a really good present though. If you did want to give it to the 2 year old and buy another bike, then he could have use of it when ready to go without stabilisers, but I also think is a good present for a 4 year old.

Apricota Tue 23-Dec-14 21:12:59

Defo too young.....send it back / all it on and get a small regular bike

alseb Tue 23-Dec-14 21:13:04

yes. i think your 4 yr old may find it frustrating when his friends with peddles are zooming ahead.

imip Tue 23-Dec-14 21:17:56

I think it is a fine line.

I have 4dcs, so have tested this 4 times! Dc's all had th same balance bike offered to them at 2yo, in reality, they weren't good at it until 2.5yo.

Dc1 transitioned to pedal bike at 3.9, dc2 transitioned at 4.11. She was well able to do it before hand for a few months, but insisted we hold on to her running! (She suffers from anxiety, diagnosed and treated by a psych). Dc3, bless her, we struggled a lot getting her onto the balance bike - a mix of her resistance and reluctance, and I didn't push it b/c her my dcs were born quite close together and I was struggling. She never learnt ot ride the balance bike. At 4yo, we really tried pushing it, so not interested! So at about 4.6 we got her onto a pedal bike with stabilisers (I can see it is going to be a long process - balance bike is a much easier way to teach riding a bike too!). Dc2 is almost three and has been amazingly proficient in riding the balance bike from a around 2.5. She's tallish, so we will probably look to putting her onto the pedal bike the second half on next year.

Sorry so long, but the upshot is that I'd give your dc 2-3 months to get the balance bike, otherwise if they don't 'get' it, you've lost your window of opportunity, fwiw, I've found the balance bike a much easier way of teaching bike riding!

LadyintheRadiator Tue 23-Dec-14 21:18:14

I'd stick with the balance bike, esp as you have a younger DS to pass it on to.

My DD is the same age and has a peddle bike (with stabilisers - given to us and she adores it) but it's quite hard work and she finds the balance bike a lot easier to use and loves whizzing about on it. I think she will use it for another year before she is actually too big for it.

SoonToBeSix Tue 23-Dec-14 21:20:08

Yes , too young , my dc"s were getting their stabilisers off around four and a half.

LizzieMint Tue 23-Dec-14 21:21:25

I'd give him the balance bike because a few months on that will make it so much easier for him to move onto a bike bike and you can skip the stabilisers. Then pass down the balance bike and buy the proper bike for his birthday maybe?

catsofa Tue 23-Dec-14 21:22:07

Get a proper bike and take the pedals off (and lower the seat). Don't bother with stabilisers, he won't need them once he is confident balancing, steering and braking without the pedals. Just add the pedals later, and then raise the seat when he's confident with the pedals. No need for different bikes.

catsofa Tue 23-Dec-14 21:23:51

BTW the LEFT pedal unscrews in the opposite direction. Knowing this could save you many hours of frustration trying to remove it! grin

erin99 Tue 23-Dec-14 21:23:57

My DS much preferred balance biking to pedalling and we had great trouble getting his pedals onto his bike. No issues here with it being babyish.

However he did physically outgrow his balance bike by his 4th birthday, and he is short. Balance bike was very cheap, i think others are bigger. But my concern is that your balancebike might be too big for the 2 yo, too small for the 4yo or even, conceivably, both. Have you checked their inside leg measurements against the spec? If you have, ignore me.

Personally i would go with pedal bike for a 4yo and remove the pedals to start with. On that basis, if balance bike is not too expensive and it fits 4yo now, since you have it now, give him that now and look to upgrade quite soon.

merlehaggard Tue 23-Dec-14 21:26:57

Thanks. I might try that catsofa. ��

Tigresswoods Tue 23-Dec-14 21:27:46

I think fine. D's is 4.9 and learned to ride a "proper" bike this summer. However he'll still choose the bloody balance bike over pedalling everyday of the week.

He got it for his second birthday & hated it for about 18 months. "It makes me fall off mum" but when it clicked he loves it.

Whyisitsodifficult Tue 23-Dec-14 21:28:08

Probably not what you want to hear this late in the day, but I agree he's too old for it! My little boy was riding his bike without stabilisers by the age of four. He does have a slightly older brother so think this helps as wanted to get rid of his stabilisers. It's amazing how quickly they can learn to ride a bike given a bit of time and patience. You never know you may get a bargain if you go tomorrow!

Littlemousewithcloggson Tue 23-Dec-14 21:33:41

Proper bike from halfords, they will set it up with no pedals for you. He won't think it babyish and it will last longer. Having said that I'm sure he would still be delighted with balance bike

Micah Tue 23-Dec-14 21:35:04

We were the same a few years ago smile

Had got a balance bike for Christmas. Dc was 4.3. Once difference was someone had given us a 12" bike with stabilisers which she hated, too slow, too heavy, so she wouldn't get on it.

Balance bike was fab, up and running straight away, and she loved it. We ended up getting her a 16" proper bike the following Christmas, so I think we'd have ended up with 2 bikes anyway as the 12" would have been too small.

Balance bike regifted to dc2 a few years later, and is going to nephew this year.

So Id say stick with the balance bike. It'll get him on to a pedal bike quicker, and I think you'd be replacing a 12" bike in a year or so anyway with a bigger one, and balance bikes are cheaper!

Micah Tue 23-Dec-14 21:37:35

I found taking the pedals off didn't work, as the seat wouldn't go low enough for them to balance and scoot- they were leaning forward so centre of gravity was off and it wasn't as easy.

For the price of the balance bike stick with it rather than forking out smile

Shedding Tue 23-Dec-14 21:40:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shedding Tue 23-Dec-14 21:41:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Minnie911 Tue 23-Dec-14 21:50:22

My son has had his balance bike since 18m and he whizzes about with his feet up now at 2.10 so we are getting him a real bike for his 3rd birthday. His balance bike only has 10" wheels so he's outgrown it - I think your son would enjoy it if it's a big enough model but would get more use out of a bike bike.

clairemum22 Tue 23-Dec-14 21:51:15

I think he's probably too old now. Mine were cycling at 3.9 and 4.6.

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