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Another balance bike one..

(22 Posts)
Liveinthepresent Sat 12-Dec-15 22:37:30

We are going to get DS 2.5 a balance bike for Christmas - but need to be decisive as there isn't long to go. everyone we speak to seems to recommend the one they bought and I can't really tell the difference!

Our local shop stock Frog and Puky - I am going tomorrow to have a look.

Our older DD isn't as physically confident and we ended up going for a regular stabilisers bike. We suspect DS might be ready to take this one from her quite quickly if we can get her ready to take the leap to no stabilisers. I guess this means we may be buying a balance bike for quite a short time.

If anyone can enlighten me as to what really matters in this decision that would be fab.

Also is it likely we would get a balance bike that DD might be able to also have a go with to help her learn to balance - she is only 4.5 ?

Thanks if you can help.

Liveinthepresent Sun 13-Dec-15 09:27:27

Hopeful bump !

Bounced Sun 13-Dec-15 09:30:08

I would say what really matters is saddle height and weight.

They need to be able to sit on it with their feet flat on the ground in order to feel safe and confident.

If it's light, it's not tiring for them and they will go for miles. Plus they can lift it up steps etc by themselves.

We went with Puky because my dd1 has always been small for her age and at the time it was the one which had the lowest saddle.

LaughingHyena Sun 13-Dec-15 12:07:33

Brake vs no brake was a big one for me. He used to wizz down the hill in the local park and learning to use a brake ASAP seemed a good idea and saved the shoes.

I'd also look at where they can put their feet when gliding. Some of the footrests seem to get in the way when they are running along getting up to speed.We had one which folded out of the way till they got the hand of gliding, but it wasn't ideal.

In terms of something which both DC could ride have you looked at the strider bikes. You can buy an extra long seat post so that a slightly older child can use them if it's on the small side for the older one. Amazon still have them to deliver before Chirstmas www.amazon.co.uk/Strider-Classic-No-Pedal-Balance-Bike/dp/B00NJTRF4S

lucy101101 Sun 13-Dec-15 12:14:04

I persuaded the grandparents to buy my DS a horribly expensive wooden Wishbone bike. It transforms from 3 to 2 wheels and grows with them.... but both children hated it! The Puky we were leant however was a total success! They do different sizes too. The smallest is brilliant (and has a very low step through, almost like a scooter base) and a friends 5 year old is still riding it. If I bought one again it would be a Puky, they are strong and designed very well.

This is the one, the LR M:

www.puky.net/en/mod_produkte_produkt/kategorie/laufrad_lr_m/produkt/Laufrad_LR_M_rotgelb/index.html

Bounced Sun 13-Dec-15 15:59:09

We had the Puky, brilliant value for money as both kids used it every day (nursery run) from age 2 until they were safe on a pedal bike (3.6ish). It had no brakes but we don't live in a hilly area and that wasn't a problem. In fact, they were over 4 before they got the knack of using the hand brake on their pedal bike, so I'm not sure they would have used one on the balance bike.

Liveinthepresent Sun 13-Dec-15 15:59:30

Thanks so much for these replies I feel like I have something practical to help me make a decision now! Off to look ay my local independent shortly.
I also looked at that strider on Amazon so that's reassuring that it's laughing
Also a good reminder about the brake - saw loads of reviews saying if wwe bought one again we would get one with a brake.

Cressandra Sun 13-Dec-15 19:47:29

Right size, and weight is important too. One you can easily sling across the buggy handles or carry in one hand is fab.

I'd agree brakes would be good too once he's got the hang of it.

FilthyRascal Sun 13-Dec-15 19:51:22

We have the islabike (Rothan I think?) and it's perfect! Lightweight so my dinky just turned 2 year old ds could use it no problem and even now at nearly 4 it's fine for him. Love the brake (he goes so fast I think this is a necessity to be honest) and I think it's good for him to get into the habit of using it ASAP so I would recommend this. The next most important thing I think is weight - if it's heavy it's much harder and clunkier.

eastwest Sun 13-Dec-15 19:51:58

We got a £20 one from Decathlon and it's been brilliant. DS has had it since he was about 2.5, is now 3.5 and is so confident now that as soon as the weather's a bit better we'll try him on a pedal bike. It has a brake.

eastwest Sun 13-Dec-15 19:54:11

He uses the brake (a bit too enthusastically sometimes - is like being with a learner driver, kangaroo hopping everywhere). Nowhere to rest his feet but it doesn't seem to bother him, he just sticks them up in the air.

Nicknamegrief Sun 13-Dec-15 19:54:15

Puky. Will either last a few kids or resell for a decent amount.

eastwest Sun 13-Dec-15 19:55:33

Agree about weight - you'll be carrying it a lot! Ours hooks over the buggy handles or can be carried in one hand.

Paddingtonthebear Sun 13-Dec-15 20:00:25

We've got a Ridgeback Scoot. It's from 3yrs. Average height and build DD got it before she was 2.5yrs and it was too big. It's one of the heavier taller balance bikes I believe. She got the hang of it around 2.10yrs. It does come with two seat poles so you can make it last longer if you have a taller child. They are about £100 though. Got ours completely unused and mint condition for £40 on gumtree however!

JustWantToBeDorisAgain Sun 13-Dec-15 20:31:48

We had a puky it took the weight of my 9 year old and the dd's were devastated when I sold it ( moving house and massively outgrown)

pretend Sun 13-Dec-15 20:41:03

Dd had a puky balance bike from 18 months. She graduated to a puky pedal bike at 2.5

I think they're brilliant but get one with a brake. Even now dd doesn't really get what the brake is for....

Bounced Sun 13-Dec-15 20:42:16

The Puky took the weight of my DH and quite a few teenage boys, if we're comparing Puky toughness storie...

Liveinthepresent Sun 13-Dec-15 22:58:04

So the man in our local shop steered me ( see what I did!) to the Frog bike.
He said basically that although they stock Puky people just end up falling for the Frog. He said the brake is much easier for a little one..
He also said if they could stock Isla bikes they would.
It,is a very,cute bike but I am still not really sure whether there is a major difference between a £50 bike and and £100 bike!

Bounced Mon 14-Dec-15 07:27:07

Wait until you need the next size up and we all recommend an Islabike, even secondhand they're pricey (but so worth it)!

MsJuniper Mon 14-Dec-15 08:59:58

Ds is just 3 and we got him a (second hand) Puky balance bike in the summer, he is just getting the hang of it now after a while of tottering around! I got it after I saw a child on one in the park and it looked so cool comfy and safe.

It doesn't have a brake which hadn't occurred to me as an issue but I see the other posters' point. We do love it though and most importantly so does DS.

drspouse Mon 14-Dec-15 11:04:38

My DS is nearly 4 (Jan birthday) and very uncoordinated and has been a helmet refuser so we have held off on getting him a bike (he has a scooter). I can now get a helmet on him (though it does involve holding him still quite firmly) and we are thinking about a bike.

He is not very tall for his age and as I say very uncoordinated so we are considering a balance bike. He rides his friend's/the ones at nursery, but have we really missed the boat on this and should we just keep on with the scooter and hope he'll be able to ride a proper bike some time soon?

I think he'd like one and it might encourage him to submit to torture let me put his helmet on.

We would definitely try them out for size. We don't have access to much locally but one shop seems to have Frog and we have Halfords.

Cressandra Mon 14-Dec-15 13:27:50

Drspouse it allcomes down to whether you can get one big enough. I think the scoot with longer seatpost is your best bet. I know that from when I was researching for my then 4 year old!

In the end we gave him a real bike instead and took off the pedals. It is a compromise because the lightness and hoikability of balance bikes is such a selling point. However he was only on it for a few weeks before we put the pedals baxk on and he rode straight off. Once he can pedal a trike and glide a fair distance on a balance bike, it really is easy to put them together.

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