How To Choose The Best Balance Bike
Worried about teaching your kid “How to Ride a Bike”? Well, don’t be! New “Balanced Bikes” will do the job for you. Balanced bikes are bi-cycles designed to teach young toddlers the basics of bike-riding.
They are hard to choose as different balance bikes will fit different age-group of children. There are few general rules you need to follow while choosing the “Ideal Balance Bike” for your toddler.
This article will help you in that regard.
Rule One – Check the Height of the Seat of the Bike
Yes, this is the thing you should look at first when purchasing these bikes. Harsh truth is the fact that most of the parents buy bikes of wrong seat height, and later review the bike negatively.
Parents need to have precise idea about the inseam of their children before heading on to any online or physical store. The saddle of the balance bike should be 1” to 1.5” smaller than the measurement of the inseam.
Many of the parents look for identical height when inseam and saddle are concerned. But an 1” difference means the child will easily get on and of the bike.
Rule 2 – Pay Attention to the Seat’s Shape and Material of the Bike
One needs to look closely into the shapes of the seat and the frame size as well.
The seats can be of two types. First one is the triangular. Bikes with these seats are very popular on the market but seldom are useful when it comes to the safety of your child.
On the other hand, “U – Shaped” seats are much useful when it comes to keeping the toddler on the bike, but they are not all that popular.
The material of the seat also contributes to the comfort of the bike. Always try to find the bike which has vinyl coated hard-plastic as the material of the seat of the bike.
Rule 3 – The Frame Size and Material
At the same time, the latter will be hard on the younger kids. Also, the frame material is an issue.
Many people choose steel frames, and sacrifice the weight of the bike over the capacity. Others choose aluminum alloy which offers lightweight bikes but can withstand low bodyweight.
The solution is to have composite alloys with both steel and aluminum, which solve the issues nicely.
Rule 4 – Look at the Weight of the Bike
The standard rule is to have a bike which is at best 30% of your child’s weight. As per example, a simple bike of 10 pounds will be too much for a child of 25 pounds. But the same bike is ideal for a child of 3.5 years of age and of 35 pounds.
Rule 5 – Look at the Tires
You will have as many as six types of tires to choose from. These are, extra cushioned air tires, EVA foam, rubber honeycomb tires, normal air tires, hard plastic tires and solid rubber tires.
Different types of tires are suited for different age groups. For example, foam tires are perfect for early toddlers, but the air and rubber tires can be suited to children who are above the age bar of 3 years.
You will also need to consider the grip these tires offer in different terrains.
Rule 6 – Check the Brakes of the Ride BUT only if your Child is Above 5
You need to consider the fact that young kids, who are 1 – 4 years of age, don’t have the strength to pull the handbrakes, and stop the bike. For them, their feet are the only options. Unless your child is over 5, you needn’t concern yourselves with brakes.
Rule 7 – Turning Limiters Are Crucial
This issue is debatable whether children need turning limiters or not. “Turning Limiters” are those which limit the turning of the front handle and keep the brake cables from being tangled.
The Turning Limiters keep the motion of the handles to a minimum. It ensures the safety to the children, in my opinion. Had the Limiters not been there, the children would have twisted the handles, and there might have been accidents.
However, the experts also advise that the child should be allowed to make sharp turns right from the start. But there are positives and negatives of the Turning Limiters and that is for sure.
Rule – 8 Check the Footrests
Having footrests on a balance bike is not all that crucial. That is because the kids rarely use them. They are not actually necessary unless your kids are racing down the hill.
As most of the time the footrests hamper the bike-experience, it is better to have footrests, which won’t get in the way of the toddlers. A pair of them should be there just to ensure the extra layer of safety for the kids and nothing else.
Rule 9 – Check on the Warrantee Period
Some people might laugh at me for including this point in a buying guide such as this. But this is really crucial, in my opinion. Of course, kids won’t ride a balance bike for much long. A child rides a bike such as this for a maximum of three years. But if the bike is covered by an extensive warranty, the younger members of your family can use it too when the time comes!
Rule 10 – Check the Grips on the Handles
Many of you might overlook it. But this should actually be the prime concern for people. An ideal bike should have rubber-made handlebars with a round, and upward end. That should protect the toddler when he falls or runs into trees and walls by himself.
I hope that this detailed buying guide helped you guys in some ways. These are the primary points that you should look into a balance bike before actually buying one for your toddler. Furthermore, take a look at the price, although it once again depends on many of the factors/rules mentioned above.