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to skip balance bike

(79 Posts)
blondieblonde Tue 27-Sep-16 14:03:05

Our DD is nearly 4 and wants a bike. She's never had one before, though at playschool they have tricycles she can ride.

Would I be unreasonable to buy her a proper bike and start teaching her to ride on that? Or should I buy her a balance bike to get her started, though she's quite old and might not need it for long.

Anyone taught their kid on a proper bike and skipped the balance stage?

ParanoidGynodroid Tue 27-Sep-16 14:08:24

I've known hardly anyone who has used a balance bike confused

None of my 5 had one, they all started on bikes with stabilisers.

blondieblonde Tue 27-Sep-16 14:09:05

And can you get stabilisers to fit any bike? I'm clueless. If I find a bike I like will any stabilisers fit do you think?

mintthins Tue 27-Sep-16 14:10:39

You could use a normal bike and just take the pedals off for a bit, or get stabilisers.

reallyanotherone Tue 27-Sep-16 14:10:42

Worth starting with a balance bike still.

You could go straight to a bike with stabilisers, but it takes much longer to learn, plus they're very heavy so they get tired quickly leaving you pushing the bloody thing home.

Lweji Tue 27-Sep-16 14:11:22

My DS had stabilisers until much later. smile

But, apparently, you can also remove the pedals, transforming a normal bike into a balance bike.

ParanoidGynodroid Tue 27-Sep-16 14:11:54

Most bikes for younger children will come with them (removable) anyway. If not, you can buy generic ones to fit most bikes.

RedHelenB Tue 27-Sep-16 14:14:03

Mine had bikes with stabilisers before we took them off - slowest took a couple of days to learn, other 2 had picked it up in a day. No need for a balance bike at all.

NotSayingImBatman Tue 27-Sep-16 14:14:31

I got DS1 a bike with no stabilisers shortly after he turned 4. He just hopped on and ten minutes later was riding it with no issues. Get a decent lightweight one and she'll be fine.

If you really want to, you could take the pedals off a normal bike et voila, a temporary balance bike.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Tue 27-Sep-16 14:15:19

My ds 4 skipped the stabilisers. Field on a slope and a push! Cracked it no problem.
And he was born with 2 club feet.
Proud dm!!

WantToRunAgain Tue 27-Sep-16 14:15:21

Try to avoid stabilisers if you can - your DD will master riding much quicker without them. Either invest in a balance bike or a normal bike and remove pedals until she has the hang of balancing. Balancing is the hardest thing to do - turning the pedals is a doddle smile.

braceybracegirl Tue 27-Sep-16 14:17:34

We used one of these cos DD struggled for a long time without stabilisers. It was brilliant.

DoNotBlameMeIVotedRemain Tue 27-Sep-16 14:28:53

Balance bikes are the business. I taught DD with stabilisers and DS with balance bike and the latter is much quicker. That said bike with stabilisers you can remove might last longer.

bumsexatthebingo Tue 27-Sep-16 14:37:24

Mine never had balance bikes. They went straight from 2 wheeled scooters to bikes. I would avoid stabilisers when teaching them or bike handles or holding the seat and running as they're not learning to balance. Support them under their arms from behind or the side then they can still feel when the bike is tipping and you can pick them up if it falls. Also show them to put their feet down firmly on the floor if they feel like they're going to fall. Removing the pedals so they can just practice balancing is a good idea too. Good luck!

5moreminutes Tue 27-Sep-16 14:38:09

In the UK it's still normal to use a bike with stabilisers, but they actually teach children to balance differently when cornering, which is why you rarely get a child who can instantly ride without stabilisers when they are removed.

It's not unreasonable to skipabalance bike because it's still the usual route to use stabilisers in the UK - but it is so much easier and more instinctive to do it the balance bike way, and you'll save yourself the effort of running about holding on to your child when you take stabilisers off - with a balance bike rider there is no back ache inducing scaped knee "teaching" the child to ride without stabilisers, they just do it.

If I wanted to skip the balance bike I'd get a too small pedal bike to start with as it's easier for a child to be able to put their feet down (2nd hand) and buy a shinny new bigger one once they are confident. If you can remove the pedal mechanism from the second hand bike to start with so much the better.

Having had 3 kids learn so easily with balance bikes I'd never give a child a bike with stabilisers to learn on as they learn nothing except to pedal (and a trike is better for that) -its just a clunky awkward toy while it has stabilisers.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 27-Sep-16 14:40:27

Avoid stabilisers.

If you want to skip balance bike then get a normal bike and take the pedals off and have the saddle down.

Please get her the !lightest bike you can afford. Islabikes are I think the lightest, but with a price tag to match.

Frogers Tue 27-Sep-16 14:40:36

We took the peddles off to get her confidence up and then within a week put the peddles back on and off she went without any help. I was actually amazed. We'd tried and tried with the peddles beforehand to no avail.

ReallyTired Tue 27-Sep-16 14:41:01

A bike with stablisers is good fun. Its more fun than a balance bike.

A child will not learn to ride a bike properly until they are developmentally ready. Buying lots of expensive tat might mean your child gets there 3 months before the neighbours kids, but when they are ready to learn to ride a bike they will do it very quickly.

If you want a balance bike then I am sure you can get one off ebay quite cheaply.

EatsShitAndLeaves Tue 27-Sep-16 14:44:06

My experience of DSD and DS (the former having skipped a BB) was that even with stabilisers she took much longer to learn to ride than DS and needed much more input from DH to do so. DS pretty much jumped on and was away.

So yes - you can skip it. Kids have learned to ride for decades without them.

However I would say it's a more "natural" and easier way for a kid to ride a bike.

Pootles2010 Tue 27-Sep-16 14:48:10

We did balance bike then normal one without stabilisers - worked well for us. Agree that lightness is key - second hand but better quality is much better than new.

5moreminutes Tue 27-Sep-16 14:50:03

Reallytired who says it a Bike with stabilisers is "more fun" than a balance bike? hmm How daft? That's totally arbitrary, like saying Lego is "more fun" than Playmobile just because you decide it is. hmm

My DC 2 used to be inseparable from his balance bike as a toddler - he gave it a name and was upset not to be allowed to sleep with it, it was his absolute favourite toy ever...

People do spout some crap...

arethereanyleftatall Tue 27-Sep-16 14:52:29

Balance bikes are absolutely the way forward. A few months on one and your little one will go straight to a bike with no stabilisers. Whether they're 2,3,4 or 5 years old.
Whenever I see a 3 year old cycling without stabilisers I know it's cos they had a balance bike, likewise a 7 year old with stabilisers didn't.

UsernameHistory Tue 27-Sep-16 14:54:49

Buying lots of expensive tat might mean your child gets there 3 months before the neighbours kids...


You couldn't afford a balance bike. We get it!

WantToRunAgain Tue 27-Sep-16 14:55:42

Reallytired, that's utter nonsense! Balance bikes are brilliant fun when you get the hang of them and much more versatile and faster than stabilisers. DS2 could easily keep up with his friends when on a balance bike while his friends with stabilisers could hardly ride their bikes anywhere as they're so unwieldy and difficult to use on anything but pavements and roads.

I'm still staggered that any parent uses stabilisers tbh - they're a bloody awful way to teach a kid to ride!

NotMrsTumble Tue 27-Sep-16 14:56:59

Def get a balance bike or take the pedals off. BIN the stabilisers!
not so stealth boast - After less than 6 months on his balance bike ds2 (not yet 30 months) mastered a pedal bike in under 1 hour. His sibs who didn't have balance bikes and had stabilisers were cycling much later and were a freakin nightmare to teach

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