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Which balance bike?
21

BornToFolk · 16/08/2010 14:55

We're thinking of getting DS a balance bike for his 3rd birthday in Oct.
Any recommendations? Wood or metal? Is it worth spending a bit of money on it, or going cheap as possible?
Are there any that you can convert to a normal bike later on?

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AlCrowley · 16/08/2010 21:31

We have an Early Rider that DS (3.5) absolutely adores. It seems really easy to ride, maybe because it's wooden and quite light, and has a lovely, soft leather seat for comfort.

I worried before we bought it that it didn't have brakes but now we've got it, I don't think they're necessary as he just puts his feet down when he wants to stop.

The seat height is adjustable and I can see it still being a favourite even when he has a normal bike so it's good that it will grow with him. He's much more stable and balanced than any of his friends on bikes with stabilisers. Watching him zoom round is wonderful. You will need a helmet just in case though. :)

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EssieW · 16/08/2010 21:34

Islabike - really sturdy. Has coped with everything DS has done (tracks in woods and other rural footpaths). It's also light enough to carry easily.

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paisleyleaf · 16/08/2010 21:35

My DD missed out on these as they came out once she was already too big.
I love the look of them and if I'd known about them at the time I'd've definitely got her one. I think I would have got a proper bike and taken the pedals off - then added them later, rater than got a balance bike you can't add pedals to.

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thisisyesterday · 16/08/2010 21:37

we have a puky one and it's excellent, has a little platform he can put his feet up on when he is coasting along
very well made

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MrsKitty · 16/08/2010 22:15

We've got an Islabike Rothan. Fab looking, has taking quite a bashing from DS so far, really light to carry, or hook over DDs pushchair.

They do part-ex to the next size up, when you're ready to move on, although they hold their value really well on Ebay etc too.

Really pleased with ours-would recommend to anyone.

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BornToFolk · 17/08/2010 09:31

Lovely, thanks! I like the look of the Puky ones as they come in different sizes.

Thanks for mentionning ebay too, MrsKitty, will have a look and see if I can pick up a second hand one.

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BikeRunSki · 17/08/2010 09:46

I have done a lot of research into this (I am a cyclist, see MN nn!) and the one that really stands out is the Islabike Rothan. I am going to order one today for DS (2 next month). The lightness is important - can make the difference bewteen small child wanting to push it along, and finding it difficult.

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MrsJohnDeere · 17/08/2010 09:47

I strongly recommend this from FirstBike. My very reluctant to cycle 4yo took to it like a duck to water. Every time we take it out it attracts a lot of interest from other parents. Copes brilliantly with rough country paths and grass. Very light.

Has an adjustable seat so my 2.5yo can manage it (although isn't very interested) as can the 4yo.

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BornToFolk · 17/08/2010 10:44

BikeRunSki, thanks, that's a really good point. DS can be a little bit lazy and I can see him giving up with a heavy bike.

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MrsKitty · 17/08/2010 12:14

The Islabike Rothan has a very adjustable saddle height too - DS has had his since he was 2, and is now 3yr 6mth and it still fits him perfectly, with more room to grow. It is exceptionally light as BikeRunSki says...It took DS a little while to get the hang of it, but now he flies along on it.

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SpringHeeledJack · 17/08/2010 12:18

I second the taking the pedals off idea

then you don't have to buy two bikes

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Egg · 17/08/2010 12:18

Islabike Rothan is fab. DS1 had it for Christmas just before he was 3. He was big enough for it but didn't really use it until a bit after he was 3. He has now moved onto the Islabike Cnoc 14 and was riding without stabilisers just after he turned 4.

DS2 has now got the Rothan and we got another one (in purple!) for DD, they are both 2.5 and even DD, who is tiny, is big enough for it. They have not quite mastered it yet mind you.

Islabikes will trade in old ones for next model as far as I am aware.

Well worth spending a bit more on them IMO.

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Egg · 17/08/2010 12:23

Yes Rothan v light, so if you end up carrying it for a bit it doesn't matter!

Rothan would still be big enough for DS1 even at 4.5 if he had not mastered pedal bike yet.

Likewise saw his friend who is v tall 4.3 and he still fits on his Puky fine.

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BornToFolk · 17/08/2010 13:14

I'm leaning towards the Rothan I think.

I'm really not sure about just taking the pedals off idea - would the bike be the right height for pushing rather than pedalling?

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MrsKitty · 17/08/2010 14:47

Go for the Rothan - you won't regret it!

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Egg · 17/08/2010 15:47

Do it do it...

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BornToFolk · 17/08/2010 15:51

Grin

OK, OK, you've persuaded me! Now I just need to convince DP...

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midnightexpress · 17/08/2010 15:57

We've got a Likeabike Kokua for ds2 and it's fantastic. We had one for ds1 too. It's aluminium, very lightweight, doesn't rust. No brakes, which is fine, but you'll need to factor in the cost of replacing wellies about once a month Wink. TBH I'd avoid getting a normal bike with the pedals off - I think there's something about the steering that is different - the Kokua has a wee rubber ring thing attached to the fork that stops the handlebars from moving too far to the L or R - you can rmove it when they are more proficient.

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Dysgu · 17/08/2010 16:33

We bought DD1 this direct.tesco.com/q/R.206-0606.aspx about a month ago. She lacks co-ordination (as a bi-product of being born too soon) but was scooting along within a very short time - like half an hour. Now she happily zooms along, up and down hills, and loves the foot rest which means her balance has come on fabulously.

Yes, it is MUCH cheaper than all the others - we weren't sure how she would cope with it - but it is great! She uses it practically every day for going to and from the park and, if she wants to walk, I can carry it one handed or else put it on top of the buggy if DD2 is with us.

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Dysgu · 17/08/2010 16:36

sorry - link doesn't work but it was to the cruiser balance bike from tesco

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Missymoomum · 23/08/2010 23:20

We've got one from Decathlon for DS www.decathlon.co.uk/EN/b-bip-34963413/ He's 3.5 yrs now and had it for his 2nd birthday although was too small for it at that point. He's been big enough for it for a good year now and he's brilliant on it now and he loves to whizz down slopes with his feet off the ground!!

You can adjust the height of the seat and i can't recommend it enough!

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