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Dd's 4th birthday: Bike or likabike? Advice please...

(17 Posts)
breakfastinbed Tue 02-Jun-09 20:21:14

Is she too big for a likabike? Many of her friends have been riding them for a while and are now graduating to proper bikes.

(She has never ridden any kind of bike but is great on her mini micro scooter.)

I'd appreciate any advice.


midnightexpress Tue 02-Jun-09 20:24:50

We got ds1 a likebike for his 3rd birthday and it is fantastic. I don't think he'll have any trouble when he graduates to a proper bike. They are really great for teaching balance. But the seat on his (the aluminium frame one, can't remember the name of the model) doesn't go much further up (he's average height), and you can't adjust the handlebars up, so I'd definitely recommend trying before you buy, as you might find she's almost too big for one at 4.

squeaver Tue 02-Jun-09 20:25:39

Well we went for the full on pink job with basket on the front, streamers, stabilisers and marching helmet with unicorn stickers <sigh>

Really wish I'd gone for the Like Bike because all dd's mates who had one have gone straight to bikes with no stabilisers.

There's a good company, I think started up by a couple of Mums, who I've seen recommended on here. Sorry can't remember its name.

Overmydeadbody Tue 02-Jun-09 20:26:14

At 4 she's ready for a normal bike, if you get a likabike tihng you'll only need to replace it with a proper bike within the year anyway.

DS could ride his bime without stabalisers from 4, made life so much easier for me as suddenly we could get places quickly grin (we have no car)

Overmydeadbody Tue 02-Jun-09 20:27:18

If you get a bike, invest in a good proper one though. I recommend the ridgebacks, they don't get much better than that.

Overmydeadbody Tue 02-Jun-09 20:28:08


neolara Tue 02-Jun-09 20:29:30

It's a tough one. I reckon at her age, after a month or even less on a likeabike and she will have worked out how to balance. Assuming she knows how to pedal already from using a trike, she may then be able to move onto a proper bike without stabiliers. However, it you don't have a likeabike (or equivalent), it make take much longer to learn how to use a proper bike without stabilisers.

I live in Cambridge where everyone cycles. Kids here are independent on their bikes ridiculously young. It's not unusual to see 3 year olds riding around with stabilisers. Most of them seem to have learned to balance on likeablikes first.

My dd had a bike with stabilisers from about 3 1/2. However, she was completely clueless when it came to taking the stablisers off. At 4 1/2 she got access to a likeabike. Within a few days she had got the hang of balancing and within about 6 weeks she was confident enough to have a go on her proper bike without stabilisers. She literally got on her bike and pedalled off into the distance. Was amazing.

Maybe it would be better to see if you could borrow a likeabike for a few weeks? And then buy her a proper one.

weepootle Tue 02-Jun-09 20:37:13

Regardless of age etc, I think balance bike are the way to do it. Dd1 got a likeabike at 2 and rode her proper bike at 3 with no help.

She shouldn't need long on it as she's a bit older so I'd just get one of the cheapy balance bikes around.

Overmydeadbody Tue 02-Jun-09 20:44:17

weepootle I disagree, it has everything to do with age.

There would be no point getting a six, seven or eight year old a likeabike would there? Once you're over 4 you can learn to balance a normal bike pretty quickly without stabalisers. Even quicker if you never get stabalisers in the first place.

Te balance bikes are best for children under 4, and it does then make the transition to normal bikes easier once they are older.

curlygal Tue 02-Jun-09 21:01:23

I am reading this with interest as I would like to get DS a bike for his 4th birthday (see my other post grin and I assumed he would grow out of / lose interest in a balance bike too quickly to make it worthwhile buying him one now (should've got one last year really).

He doesn;t have a trike so not sure how he will get on with pedallng and despite having been told by my cycling teacher man that it was easy to just take the pedals off bikes now that I have done so bike shopping I know that it isn;t.

I was a bit shocked by the price of kids bikes that will only do them a couple of years as I just got a ridgeback for myself and it was £300 and I expect it to last me forever not just 2 years...

breakfastinbed Wed 03-Jun-09 00:17:41

Thanks for all the great advice. Seemed like a clear consensus for a likabike (specially as i have a 1 yr old who can inherit it), but then Overmydeadbody put a spanner in the works. Hmmm... back to square one and don't know what to do.

What are you going to go for Curlygal?

nappyaddict Wed 03-Jun-09 01:18:28

I would just get a normal bike but make sure you can remove the pedals and stabilisers for it. Then pop the pedals back on once her balance is good.

nooka Wed 03-Jun-09 03:53:57

Likeabike's are great, but removing the pedals from an ordinary bike and setting the seat a little low will do the job if you just need her to get the balance for a few weeks. Our local park service says it can get a child to be able to ride a bike in a day by taking the pedals off, but I'm not sure how young they were aiming at. If you get your bike from a proper bike shop they can take the pedals off for you and then reattach when you think she is ready (for a fee). I really would advise against stablisers though, they seem to really mess the balance up.

weepootle Wed 03-Jun-09 13:06:38

OMDB, you're right - I wouldn't get a balance bike for 6, 7 8 year olds but I think 5 and under it's worth it.

I would never use stabilisers though, when dd started riding her bike at 3, all the other kids in the street aged between 5 and 9 felt shamed into taking their stabilisers off their bikes and it took them a long time to learn to ride and they still didn't have much confidence after a month or so.

ChopsTheDuck Wed 03-Jun-09 14:07:04

if she is great on a scooter, get a normal bike and she'll prob be there in no time. I went down the traditional route of stabilisers, and ds1 learned in a few months. He got his first proper bike jsut before his 4th birthday. I think likeabikes are only really worthwhile if you do start them a lot sooner, and scooters seem to also teach good balance - I'm sure that is how dt1 learned so quickly.

risingstar Wed 03-Jun-09 14:13:04

my oldest DD, who is now 14 spent the summer before she was 4 on a 2 wheel scooter. she went everywhere on it. She was fab on it. We got her a bike for her 4th birthday and she literally got on it and rode it.

i would go for a grown up bike if i were you!

curlygal Wed 03-Jun-09 17:14:10

I have ordered a normal bike for DS. I only have him so no one to hand a balance bike down to, so would probably be more likely to consider a balance bike if had other children.

I had originally intended to take of the pedals to start with but apparently that is not necessarily a simple job (or rather taking the pedals off may be put taking the rods (or whatever the technical term for those bits is..) may not be).

DS is good on his scooter so hope he will pick up bike quickly.

I found that argos and amazon were cheapest for raliegh bikes - got one for £55

Let me know how you get on

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