The chances are, when you learned to ride a bike you did so on a small pedal bike with training wheels attached. You learned how to pedal and steer the bike before the training wheels were removed and you then had to learn how to balance the bike on two wheels alone.
While this method was tried and tested and worked pretty well for a very long time, a new easier way to learn how to ride a bike has been introduced in recent years. It comes in the form of a balance bike. So, if you are about to teach your kid to ride a bike, don’t buy a pedal bike with training wheels. Get a balance bike instead. According to the experts at Woom, a balance bike is the best way to teach kids to ride a bike. We discuss why below.
What are Balance Bikes?
Although balance bikes have essentially been around for about two hundred years, the modern balance bike dates to the late 1990s. They look like regular bikes, apart from having no pedals and usually no drive train either. They have a saddle, handlebars, and two wheels and the absence of the pedals and drive train makes them noticeably light and easy to handle. The saddle and handlebars can typically be adjusted as the child grows.
Why Balance Bikes are Great for Teaching Children to Ride
If you learned to ride a bike with pedals, you might be wondering what the point of the balance bike is. The idea is that the child learns to balance before ever learning to pedal. This is because balancing is the most difficult skill to accomplish when riding a bike. Once the child has learned how to balance, pedaling is easy.
Operating a balance bike comes naturally to most kids. They instinctively know how to move the bike with their feet. Depending on how young the child is, the parent might have to show them how to hold the handlebars and put the bike in between their legs initially, but the child will usually figure out how to move the bike pretty quickly. Most children will learn how to walk the bike standing up first, before walking it while sitting on the saddle. They might then sit on the saddle while running. Before long, they will be sitting on the saddle, running, and then lifting their feet in the air to glide. These are usually the natural progressions that a child will go through on a balance bike.
When a child has learned how to balance and is confident running about and gliding, a pedal bike can be introduced. With balance already mastered, the art of pedaling is much quicker to pick up.
How to Choose the Right Balance Bike for Your Kid
When it comes to buying your child’s balance bike, make sure his feet can sit firmly on the ground when he is sitting on the seat. Don’t buy a bike that is too big in the hopes that he will grow into it because this will make it more difficult for him to learn. The bike should be lightweight and easy to maneuver.
Balance bikes come in a variety of sizes, so check with the store assistant and get some help finding one to suit your child.
To conclude, most experts agree that a balance bike is the ideal way to teach young children to ride these days. Although many people still use pedal bikes with training wheels, balance bikes help children to learn the most difficult skill first: balancing.