Just a few more weeks and we’d be saying goodbye to 2016 and welcoming 2017, hopefully, with more enthusiasm and a more favorable mindset. While we are counting down towards 2017, it’s not yet too late to give our loved ones, especially children, the best christmas gift they could ever receive this 2016. In this regard, we are giving you the top 10 balance bikes to wrap up the truly exciting year of 2016.
How We Chose the Best and Most Amazing Bikes in Our List
In picking a product to include in our list of the most amazing balance bikes, we had to look at the safety first. This is because these ride on toys are technically replacements for training wheels and tricycles that many young kids use. However, since they don’t have pedals or any mechanism other than a frame, a steering handle, and 2 wheels, their safety is one of the utmost concerns. In ensuring the safety of these kinds of bicycles, we looked at their overall construction. It must be highly durable, otherwise you’d be expecting a lot of wipeouts from your young rider. The safety features can come in different forms, though.
It was also crucial for us to look at the different features integrated into the design and construction of the pedal less bike. These can include the braking system, a turning limiter, the height of the seat, and any available footrests. The latter is actually for practical purposes especially if your kid is already cruising along pretty well with his or her glider bike. It would be awkward having his or her feet dangling on either side of the bicycle simply because he or she doesn’t have a structure with which to rest his or her feet. The weight of the balance bicycle had also been factored into the equation. Too heavy and the risk of falling because of poor balance and control is also great. Too light and one wrong move can send the bicycle up into the air like E.T.
All of these features were cross-referenced with the developmental needs of children at a specific age. We had to make sure that the recommended age matches the developmental level of the child riding it. Otherwise, any mismatch can have implications to the young rider’s overall development. In general, balance bicycles serve to develop or train a kid’s sense of balance which should be the spring for improving the kid’s coordination and confidence. If the ride on toy cannot guarantee this basic developmental need, then we had to scrap it off our list.
The bicycle maker’s reputation was also scrutinized. As much as possible we only included those with an excellent reputation as it somehow speaks of the quality workmanship and safety that they put in every product that they manufacture. If we can establish their credibility, then we can be sure it’s a high quality product.
Should You Ditch the Tricycle for the Balance Bike?
Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for every kid. The scrapes, the wobbly training wheels, and the nervous moms and dads running after their kid as he or she attempts to balance the bicycle are all part of the learning process. That’s why many parents give their younger children a kiddie tricycle to help them make the successful transition into a two-wheeled ride on toy. Unfortunately, evidence suggest that doing so does not really prepare the child to one very fundamental requirement of riding a bike: balancing.
Riding a bicycle requires excellent proprioceptive senses as well as superb coordination of the different body organs to achieve balance. Regrettably, giving young children a tricycle with which to train to transition into bicycle riding does not help them learn the very basics of balancing simply because a trike has three wheels which make it a lot more stable than a two-wheeled ride on toy. As such, when a tricycle-trained child moves onto a bicycle, the only thing he or she has learned is how to pedal and how to hold to handlebar. Clearly, the most important element of all is missing – balancing.
It is for this reason that a balance bike is now regarded as a much better approach to teaching kids how to ride a bike without necessarily pedalling first. They are essentially taught how to achieve and maintain balance especially while the pedal less bike is already moving. So, when these kids do get to ride a bicycle complete with a drivetrain, they are able to make the transition a lot more successfully without bruises, cuts, and scrapes. This leads to better confidence among kids and greater peace of mind for their parents.
If you’re still wondering whether to ditch the trike for a balance bike, just ask yourself if you want your kid to learn how to ride a real bike a lot faster and safer. If your answer is yes, then you’d have to ditch the trike.
The Bottom Line
Balance bikes serve a purpose: to prepare your kids for the real thing. With the top 10 balance bikes we’ve listed here, we’re confident you’ll be in the right track helping your child learn how to balance riding a bike.