Some advice about balance bikes please

(28 Posts)
abigboydidit Wed 03-Apr-13 12:10:11

Hi -

DS is due to turn 2 in May and we're keen to buy him a balance bike. I've read the review pages here but still feel completely overwhelmed with choice! Can anyone help with a couple of quick questions I have?

First off - did you take your DC with you to try out bikes or just order? DS is pretty tall for his age and I have no clue about sizes. In fact - that's the 2nd question really as I am so clueless blush. Are there any features I should look for/avoid? Were there things your bike has you would recommend or advise against? Any pointers would be greatly appreciated as we don't have money to waste on something that wont get used & I am too sleep deprived thanks to baby DD to rely on my own mushy brain

Thanks in advance

SunnyRandall Wed 03-Apr-13 12:57:49

We bought one for £15 in Tesco. The cheapest one we could find. Both dc loved it and were riding a normal pedal bike unaided at 3yrs old.

I wouldn't spend too much on one if I were you!

abigboydidit Wed 03-Apr-13 13:25:42

Thanks for the reply. I hadn't realised he would outgrow it so quickly so that's good advice. A few of the ones on the review pages seem really pricey and I always panic that I need to shell out loads of money to get a decent product confused

Don't panic - DS2 is still happily using his as 3.4.

SunnyRandall Wed 03-Apr-13 13:44:44

Well youngest was waiting in the wings for her brother to finish with it, then just as she got the hang of it the bike was stolen out of our driveway! They both loved the balance bike way past when they could properly ride so don't worry about it being outgrown too quickly!

abigboydidit Wed 03-Apr-13 16:08:40

Ah.. DD may be the same then! Did everyone get wooden ones or metal?

SunnyRandall Wed 03-Apr-13 16:43:59

Ours was metal. Wooden look cute though!

neriberi Wed 03-Apr-13 16:46:48

We got our DS one in Costco for under £30 at Christmas. It's a little wooden and does the trick in my book. DH wanted to spend a fortune on one of the more expensive brands but I didn't see the point because DS is a growing boy, the Costco one is adjustable and seems more than adequate to me.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Wed 03-Apr-13 16:47:18

Go for ,metal and make sure it has a brake!

anchovies Wed 03-Apr-13 16:57:05

We started off with cheap heavy bikes for our dcs but then bought isla bikes and have stuck with them. They are passed down and then sold; the resale value on ebay is fantastic. We bought dd the isla balance bike (metal with inflatable tyres and a brake) and she loved it. She has ridden other balance bikes belonging to her friends but was never as good/fast on them. Rode it from 2 to 3.5 then got on her brothers 12" bike and literally just pedaled off. I couldn't believe how easy it was compared to hours of running up and down the road holding onto the back of the saddle teaching her brothers how to ride!

anchovies Wed 03-Apr-13 16:58:22

Oh and I think the brake was important, she knew exactly how it worked and it saved her shoes when she was travelling at top speed!

didireallysaythat Wed 03-Apr-13 17:04:05

Get a light one. You'll be carrying it along with the kid when they get bored/have their first full blown falling off. Wood looks nice but metal maybe lighter. Oh and no helmet, no bike. The nursery/school will thank you for that.

abigboydidit Wed 03-Apr-13 17:25:07

Right! This is all helping, thanks. Metal, light and with a brake. Any clue on sizings? Or other top tips? Off to Google Isla bike now..

DomesticCEO Wed 03-Apr-13 17:35:28

We went for an Isla bike too - v expensive but do hold their value for resale.

Would definitely get one with a brake if your DS is anything like mine and totally out of control!!!

DomesticCEO Wed 03-Apr-13 17:36:25

Re sizing, the Isla bike site gives a sizing guide.

abigboydidit Wed 03-Apr-13 18:57:25

The size guide is definitely helpful, thanks. Not sure the budget can stretch to an Isla bike but at least it gives an idea of the size/weight am looking for.

FairyPenguin Wed 03-Apr-13 19:01:32

We have a plastic FirstBike. Bought second hand. It is incredibly light and DS can handle it easily (he's small for his age). Has a height adjustable saddle, but not adjustable handlebars. Cannot recommend highly enough, and wish we'd had one for DD (who still can't ride a bike of any sort).

howcomes Wed 03-Apr-13 19:07:08

Strider bikes are really light! However I've just bought ds a kazam for his 3rd birthday as it's very adjustable and has a footrest for gliding. He was having a great time wandering around the toy shop with it.
Both bikes seem to hold their resale value well.

SunnyRandall Wed 03-Apr-13 19:27:20

Ours didn't have a brake and it wasn't an issue. Depends what kind of terrain you'll be using it on I suppose!

abigboydidit Wed 03-Apr-13 19:36:13

Fair point! Think I would feel happier getting DS used to a brake in an attempt to slow him down!

SminkoPinko Wed 03-Apr-13 20:30:48

I've just bought my daughter a gyrobike as it was on offer at Amazon.

It starts out as a balance bike and then you add pedals when they're confident balancers. (You can also buy a fancy schmancy electric balancing wheel called a gyrowheel to fit to it but as I couldn't quite see the point and it was an extra £100, I didn't.) It seems absolutely excellent so far- she's scooting about on it with gusto- and I'm hoping that the adding on pedals feature will mean it lasts for a little while. My daughter is a tallish 3.5 year old and is using the seat very near the lowest setting though so maybe it would be a bit big for your 2 year old. (Also it's now £92 quid for the bike before you even add in the pedalsshock which are another £20 ish- so quite pricey. It was £59 on offer so maybe worth seeing if it goes down again if you like the look of it?)

MrsFogi Wed 03-Apr-13 20:33:50

If you can afford an Isla bike I'd get one of those - they'll last a good while as the seat can adjust up and down like a real bike (in fact they are real bikes scaled down, not toy bikes). As someone else has said they hold their value for resale.

As a result of this thread I've been checking out Islabikes on ebay, hoping to buy ahead for DCs birthdays. DS1 started off with a 'cheap' (well £60 not that cheap) number which is very heavy for what it is. I'm sure this can't help.

leedy Fri 05-Apr-13 19:34:26

DS1 (3) has a FirstBike and we've been really happy with it - it's extremely light, adjustable saddle so it's a perfect fit for him (he's a fairly tall 3 year old), and he zips around on it like nobody's business.

DP is a great man for researching all the options whenever we buy anything and apparently FirstBike got uniformly stellar reviews. It looks like it'll still be in perfect nick to be passed down to DS2 when the time comes too.

SminkoPinko Fri 05-Apr-13 20:01:25

I think the Firstbikes look great. Functionally excellent, sturdy, light and far cooler looking than many balance bikes.

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