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Balance Bike V Stabalisers. Which is better???

27 replies

kalo12 · 10/01/2011 21:43

looking for a first bike for 3rd Birthday.

ds mastered trike at two, scooter at two and half. he loves watching bmx-ers.

I was thinking of getting a balance bike as I had heard they master them quickly but wondering if he is getting a bit old for this and I have missed the window and would be better off going for a normal bike which means going down the stabalisers route, does it?

What have you got? What happened? Which is better?

OP posts:
Grockle · 10/01/2011 21:46

DS had a balance bike when he was 2 and he could ride a pedal bike without stabilisers when he was 3. I don;t know if you've missed the window but I'd avoid stabilisers. I am sure, as long as you can get a big enough balance bike, they are the best option

scotlass · 10/01/2011 21:48

According to cycling magazines and DH balance bikes are better for 'teaching' them to cycle independantly. If your DS is 3 he may progress from balance bike to normal bike quite quickly so I would get a 2nd hand balance bike for him.

have just got DS (20months) a balance bike for his 2nd birthday (before VAT increase and in sale). DH opened the parcel when it came and DS had a great time trying it out but can't reach the floor yet! he's quite big for his age so I expect he'll use it for 2 yrs then go on a normal bike

pippibluestocking · 10/01/2011 21:51

Dd got a balance bike for her 3rd birthday - only lasted a year before she outgrew it, then went onto a bike with no stabilisers and after a couple of weeks wobbling was able to ride it fine

BadRoly · 10/01/2011 21:53

We had traditional bikes with stabilisers for dd1 and ds1 - they didn't ride bikes properly until they were 5 and 6. dd2 had a balance bike and has been riding a proper bike since last Autumn, just before her 4th birthday. We borrowed a jd bugg (I think) balance bike.

kalo12 · 10/01/2011 22:05

thanks for the replies. which would be a good balance bike then?

OP posts:
Grockle · 10/01/2011 22:38

Ds had a Puky

scotlass · 10/01/2011 22:39

Depends on your budget

some here

we got the specialized hotwalk for DS,

blowninonabreeze · 10/01/2011 22:45

DD1 had a bike with stabilisers when she turned 3. I wanted to get her a balance bike but she was adament she wanted a bike with pedals! She loved it.

DD2 got a balance bike for her 2nd birthday as she wanted to be like her sister and we didn't think she'd manage pedalling yet. DD1 had just turned 4 and had been trying to get off her stabilisers on and off for the preceeding few months. She had half a day on DD2s balance bike, took off her stabilisers and was off pedaling all by herself.

I think balance bikes are fabulous.

blowninonabreeze · 10/01/2011 22:47

should have said, we've always used Islabikes here, have had the 14 inch and the 16 inch, plus a second hand balance bike.

blowninonabreeze · 10/01/2011 22:47

should have said, we've always used Islabikes here, have had the 14 inch and the 16 inch, plus a second hand balance bike.

MilaMae · 11/01/2011 16:38

We love stabilisers. Dp is a keen cyclist and think balance bikes are a bit of a gimic,we have several friends who think likewise but I know they're popular.

Ours all had stabilisers and when we took them off at 4 they whizzed off 2nd go no problems at all, all 3.We didn't want them whizzing off before 4 as we wanted them to learn some basic road safety and stick to it first. We have twin boys and a younger girl with just a year between the 3 of them,2 of us so safety was our priority. We felt 3 was too young to be hurtling down pavements with no guarantee they'd stop at junctions. Stabilisers slow them down.

I hate this "they'll take ages to learn to ride a bike if they don't have a balance bike" that you hear,total codswollop. Interestingly my dd has a friend still on a balance bike at 6,his mum wishes they'd gone for stabilisers.

To be honest it's horses for corses but if you get out loads on a bike they'll learn to ride it-because they love it.If you really want to do the balance thing can you not take the pedals off a normal bike,I have several friends who have done that.

We decided against Islabikes due to price and having to replace them regularly,also no suspension.Dp is into mountain biking and wanted the dc to have the correct size of bike at all times(for control over bumps) instead of buying to grow into unless you're extremely loaded not really poss with Islabikes.

He got quite friendly with somebody who takes kids out regularly in a bike club and he said he's lost count of kids who have accidents on bikes because they're riding bikes way too big. Something else to consider.

bethan37 · 13/01/2011 12:41

How odd was going to post about bikes. Want a first one for a 3 year old, prob one with stabilizers. Any recommendations? Didint know if the elc one was any good Raleigh Chuckles 12" Unisex Bike,default,pd.html


RunforFun · 13/01/2011 12:50

We have a Zooom.

Interestingly DH is a keen cyclist like the above posters DH but he completely loved the idea of a balance bike ... gimic or not and just went out and bought one for DS.

Its great.

BerryLellow · 13/01/2011 12:53

I'd like to add my support for the balance bike - DS went from that to no stabilisers very easily. Only took him about 10 mins to master pedalling after a good few months of shooting around on the BB. We got his from halfords, they are quite cheap there. I think the wooden ones are nice to look at, but a bit pointless and £££

MilaMae · 13/01/2011 14:43

The point I was trying to make is you don't need one. If it was me I'd put the money towards a better bike with stabilisers that you can take off. You'll get more for your money iykwim.

Ours had good bikes,took stabilsers off at 4 and they lasted until their 7th bday(were kind of small but we just made it). You'll be replacing a balance bike pdq and you could have a better quality bike which would last longer.

Just a thought if money has to be factored in.Smile

Fransmummy · 10/02/2011 12:50

We...or should I say my partner went for one of these....

STOMPEE £45 Inc Post

The ever so cutely named Stompee, but I have a sneeky suspicion that he just likes the look of those chunky tires on this Balance Pre Bike

someonesgotthenameichose · 10/02/2011 12:58

anyone notice if you scroll down on the stompee page there is an animated girl gyrating her hips!

NightLark · 10/02/2011 13:07

Balance bikes are a lot lighter when you (the parent) end up carrying them uphill...

Also DS had a Puky, loved it, tried stabilisers on his 'big bike' a couple of times at 4yo, asked to have them taken off and, after 2 practice sessions with me holding on to the saddle, he was off and cycling.

Fransmummy · 10/02/2011 13:25

ha ah... I never noticed, so thats why my boyfriend went for the Stompee ! Wink

chillipickle · 27/02/2011 00:05

I don't think you have missed a 'window' by not giving your DS a balance bike earlier, but would suggest you don't spend a fortune on one. We have just given one to our DS aged 3 years and 4 months. After three days he's starting to pick up his feet to scoot down hills.

One reason we didn't give it earlier is that he had a scooter for his third birthday, and we wanted to let him enjoy that for a few months and build up his confidence.

We bought our balance bike cheaply second hand, and have a DS2 who can have it later, so it won't bother us at all if it doesn't get used for long.

Actually, although I think he could have started on it earlier, I am happy that we waited. It's lovely to see him picking it up quickly, and rewarding for him too. I have friends who have given their DCs balance bikes at a much younger age, and it's taken months (a year in one case) for them to pick it up.

tarantula · 27/02/2011 00:16

Dd had a balance bike from Lidls which cost a tenner and was fantastic. It has gone on to a friend round the corner now and will probably do his little sister too after that. She was riding a pedal bike by 3 1/2 after about 5 trying but prefered her wooden bike as it was lighter and easier to manouver.

We are all very keen cyclists (our main form of transport) and think the balance bike is great as they are much lighter than most of the pedal bikes. Dd had trouble with lots of pedals bikes cos they are just too heavy and she is a very light child. Love the isla bikes too cos they have a very high 2nd hand price and so you can keep up with the right sizing easily by selling off the old bikes.

tarantula · 27/02/2011 00:17

sorry that should have said 'after about 5 mins trying'

preghead · 27/02/2011 00:18

Balance bike, without a question. My ds1 got one at 3 and went straight to riding bike few months later way before 4, thus avoiding the stabilisers which are a pita in comparison to the speed and ease of balance bike then full riding bike.

nooka · 27/02/2011 00:31

Where we used to live the local parks service ran sessions for learning to ride a bike. they just took the pedals off normal bikes, got the kids to learn how to balance (the key skill for bicycling) and then put the pedals back on again.

So you don't need to buy an expensive balance bike, or stabilisers either, so long as you are handy enough to take the pedals off and put them back on again later.

chillipickle · 27/02/2011 00:33

Oh yes, and another advantage of balance bikes is that they have no oily chain and pedals to catch your legs if you end up having to lug them home once the DC is tired.

Likewise they are much less hassle to stick in the boot of the car or whatever.

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