By Howard Young
Balance bikes, also known as runner bikes, are one of the more efficient ways to teach your toddler how to ride a bike. This is because it is specially made for a toddler to comfortably sit and maneuver around on the bike with no help from an adult. They help children to learn about essential motor skills such as balance and steering. These bikes have no pedals or chains, nor do they have training wheels.
This type of bike works well because they are made small enough for the child to both stand and walk with the bike and sit comfortably on the bike with both feet flat on the ground. Toddlers first learn to use these bikes by first walking with the bike while straddling over the seat. This allows the toddler to get used to a bike with wheels and steering. Once he or she is accustomed to this, he or she may begin to sit on the bike and slowly walk and once used to this, may begin to go faster and scoot along. After he or she is comfortable enough, gliding along is usually the next step. This is done by raising both feet while in movement and balancing on the bike. These steps usually come natural for a child to attempt, making the bike even more practical in learning to ride a bicycle. It also allows a child to learn to balance and steer before pedaling, which may be intimidating for very young children.
Runner bikes are very popular with families and there are now a variety of brands that are now very popular. These include Strider, KaZAM, Wee Ride and Skuut. Each has its own features and drawbacks that attract several types of parents and children alike.
Strider bicycles are reasonably prices at about $100 on their website. They are specially made for children aged one to five years old because they have an adjustable seat that can lengthen as your child grows. This bike is lightweight with thick easy to balance wheels and a low center of gravity. This allows children to safely try out the bike for the very first time with little fear of tipping over, such as with the many training bikes. The low center also allows for children to easily steady themselves if they start to feel unstable on the bike.
At the same cost of a Strider bike, KaZAM's most notable feature is its unique footrest that is positioned comfortably for children while they decide to cruise. It has been featured on various televisions shows and has won many awards as a toy and learning bicycle. KaZAM is also praised for its superior design and safety. They are more suitable for older children from three to five years old and ride best on smooth surfaces as opposed to more open terrain such as a park. The center of gravity is more similar to that of a normal training bicycle which may better prepare a child for the transition to a bigger bike, but may also be more intimidating.
The Wee Ride is one of the less expensive bikes available, but is only suited for children ages four to six. It also has an adjustable saddle and handlebars, but weights a bit more than the Strider and KaZAM. It is probably better built for children who were late in riding a bicycle out of fear from the pedaling and training wheels. It also comes with a brake and can handle different types of ground.
Skuut is one of the few rider bikes that only recently made the conversion to a metal model, but it is still very popular as a traditional wooden bike. Its appeal as a wooden bike is that it is one of the less expensive models. It can easily fit children of many ages ranging from two to even seven years old. The Skuut wooden bike is also the most physically appealing bicycles that many families do not mind having around the house. The metal bike has adjustable seats and handlebars, but they are not as easy as the rest to adjust. They feature disc breaks that are easier to use and more reliable and is also lightweight.
There are numerous toddler bikes available in the market. Each has its own unique features that are desirable for many parents and children alike and their own set of drawbacks. If the bike is for a very young child just starting off, a Skuut or Strider may be a preferred choice. The Strider does win over for its longer term usage and easier adjustments. A Wee Ride is perfect for older children who are learning to ride bikes later in life while a KaZAM is best for its reliability in the market and its noted safety features. Whichever is chosen, a bike such as these are great for teaching young children how to ride a bike and be active.