Why Balance Bikes Are Important


What is a balance bike?

Put simply, a balance bike is a bike without pedals [or cogs + chain] and typically has no brakes. Instead, the child moves the bike by walking.

What are the benefits of a balance bike?

  1. Safety - balance bikes are small, lightweight and low to the ground, reducing the risk of severe injuries. A helmet is still recommended.
  2. Teaches the natural riding position - first and foremost a child will learn how to balance, the fundamental skill required to successfully ride a pedal bike. A child that can confidently balance their bike need only then learn how to pedal, whereas a standard pedal bike with training wheels teaches the rider to pedal first and balance second - a significantly more difficult transition. Additionally, when riding with training wheels, children mostly stay in an upright position, even when steering into a turn. Balance bikes allow a child to lean into a corner and adjust their weight as they would on a regular bike.
  3. All terrain riding - training wheels often sink into soft surfaces like grass, gravel, and sand, making it harder for kids to maintain their momentum. A balance bike allows a child to navigate their environment with ease, adjusting their speed and stride as needed.

When can a child use a balance bike?

Balance bikes are typically designed for children 18 months - 4 years old.

Teaching child to ride a balance bike:

Ideally you’ll want to choose a time of the day when everyone is well fed and has energy. Teaching or learning a new skill can be difficult when tummies are rumbling or a nap has been skipped. Next, find a flat stretch of pavement with minimal pedestrians and traffic.

Ask your child to get on the bike and then scoot along by pushing their feet off the ground one at a time. They will shuffle along at first. Their next challenge is to start taking longer strides between steps and finally lifting both feet off the ground and coasting. See how far they can glide with both feet in the air. To slow down and stop, they simply drag or push their feet onto the ground.

There's a saying "look where you go and the bike will go where you look". Teach your child to keep their eyes up and look ahead. This helps their body's sense of balance and direction. Practice this when they are scooting and gliding.

Tania of LMB. x

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