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Bike/balance bike - 4 yr old

(17 Posts)
PassTheCremeEggs Sat 30-Jul-16 23:58:08

DD is 4.3. We bought her a secondhand islabike CNOC14 for her 4th birthday three months ago having done all the measurements etc with the plan of taking pedals off and starting her off using it as a balance bike.

But - it turned out saddle height at lowest point is too high for her feet to touch the ground (but we did the measurements! I don't understand! Anyway...)

So she hasn't really managed anything on it. Now I'm a bit stuck (having slightly ignored the problem for a few months).

1) Do I shell out on a balance bike to get her going, or persist with the one she has? It seems a bit crazy to buy a balance bike designed for a 2-4 year old when she's over that age, but also crazy not to when she's going nowhere fast (nowhere at all) on the islabike.

2) anyone else have this problem with the CNOC14 just not fitting a four year old despite measuring?!

PassTheCremeEggs Sun 31-Jul-16 07:35:34


PeppaPigStinks Sun 31-Jul-16 07:41:14

The best balance bike we bought was from lidl or aldi. It has a brake so the kids can master the brake too.

How big is the bike? Could you look on gumtree for a cheap balance bike until she has the confidence?

cexuwaleozbu Sun 31-Jul-16 07:42:19

Not an islabike but I also had the issue that the bike that was the right height for DS as a proper bike was too high for him to use with the pedals off. This is because with a proper riding position the feet should not be able to touch the ground easily from the saddle.

You ate 100% right to plan to take the pedals off so that she can learn balancing first.

What worked for us was that I took the saddle off completely, seat post and all. I then cut up an old swimmingpool noodle and used masking tape to attach a section horizontally over the seat post hole. This creates a seat a few inches lower which allowed him to learn the balancing.

WellErrr Sun 31-Jul-16 07:45:18

How tall is she? Can she touch the floor with tiptoes?

If she's absolutely not tall enough then yes, I'd get a balance bike. Worth their weight in gold. Mine had them from when they could walk properly and oldest was riding his Islabike before he was three.

If you do buy a balance bike you won't regret it.

GirlWithTheLionHeart Sun 31-Jul-16 07:47:08

My ds keeps standing and walking rather than sitting. Is his seat too low?

heatherwithapee Sun 31-Jul-16 08:22:32

I'm amazed the Cnoc 14 is too big for her. DD who is /was very small for her age got her Cnoc 14 at 3.10 years and it was fine (at the time she wore 2-3 clothes so very dinky).

However, when riding a pedal bike, they only touch the ground with their toes / balls of feet, but using as a balance bike I guess is more of a feet flat-on-the-floor position.

At her age, she probably would only need a couple of weeks on a balance bike to 'get it'. Could you borrow one from a friend or buy a really cheap 2nd hand one locally and sell on for probably the same price? I'm sure the Cnoc will be fine for her as a pedal bike when she's ready.

PassTheCremeEggs Sun 31-Jul-16 09:55:52

Thanks all. Yes her feet touch the ground on the bike but just her balls of feet (as they should on a pedal bike) so not great for getting the hang of balancing. I think I should prob get a cheapy second hand balance bike to get her going for a couple of months. Will have a look on eBay!

lljkk Sun 31-Jul-16 10:29:08

August is a really good time to buy stuff on Ebay (not much selection, prices are lower). So I'd hunt for a 2nd hand balance bike on Ebay & see how she gets on with it.
That said, 3/4 of my kids never had balance bikes but learnt fine via stabilisers to ride regular bikes (12" wheel, so smaller than Islabike, whatever 12" wheel bike we could find at carboot) by age 3-4. 3-4yo is actually a PITA too young age to ride, I found out the hard way, so I wouldn't rush to let it happen again. Also, my kids are titchy for size so it was nothing to do with height. It's up to you if you want to get a balance bike.

sirfredfredgeorge Sun 31-Jul-16 11:47:15

Did you measure against the new CNOC 14 small, and not the only sort you'd get second hand which is the CNOC 14 large? How tall is she actually? For a balance bike, you'll need a height about 5cm shorter for as you say get flat feet on the ground, and not balls of feet, which is what you want once they can pedal and use brakes to stop.

DD is really short, and rode a CNOC 14 at 3.11 and was under 100cm at the time, however she could already ride a balance bike so didn't need the lower saddle height. Not sure why lljkk says it's too young to ride, but I guess it depends on the child and the area and other stuff, it was fine for our DD.

MiaowTheCat Sun 31-Jul-16 12:26:47

Same age as my DD1. She'd just about started to master the lifting her feet up and gliding part of her balance bike (supermarket cheapo) when it broke on her and became a unicycle unexpectedly (wish I'd videoed it as it was actually quite funny - she was fine btw).

I've not bothered replacing it - she was desperate desperate desperate for a "proper" bike with stabilisers so we've gone down that route (charity shop cheapie) and she's off zooming around the park so we're just going to stick with the traditional old school route of learning and then taking the stabilisers off afterwards.

IAmAPaleontologist Sun 31-Jul-16 12:31:17

Where are you? I have a balance bike i need to pass on.
Ds2 did 2 years on balance bike then went onto a cube 160 that we got him for his 4th birthday and pretty much rode off straight away. Definitely recommend a balance bike even if just for a short time. Ours was the cheap Halford one, light and easy to use.

calamityjam Sun 31-Jul-16 12:40:34

In my experience, they learn far quicker and easier with a bablance bike. Our nursery has them and they use them all around the big playground from 3 years old. We got ds3 a proper bike with stabilisers for his 4th birthday and took the stabilisers off the same day and he flew off! The other children just learnt with a bike with stabilisers and were older and it took much more effort and cut knees.

PassTheCremeEggs Sun 31-Jul-16 14:43:01

Iamapaleonotologist - I'm in London (SW) - anywhere near you?!

PassTheCremeEggs Sun 31-Jul-16 14:43:33

I think balance bike is the way to go. Watching one on eBay that ends this evening which I might go for

MiaowTheCat Sun 31-Jul-16 15:00:15

When Sainsburys do their toy event they quite often have the wooden ones in for around the £20 mark - which was what DD1 was using. Ours only snapped as we were meant to be getting a new garden shed to store stuff in but it fell through so it was having to be left out in the garden at the mercy of the elements - hence it finally snapping and becoming a unicycle.

I wouldn't pay a load for one for a 4 year old as it seems to be about the transition point over to normal bikes judging by the kids around here (one got one that looked like Tinkerbell had vomited over it, basket, streamers and the lot and now they've all got 'em).

IAmAPaleontologist Mon 01-Aug-16 08:42:58

Sorry nowhere near unfortunately.

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