5 Great Advantages of Starting Kids Off on Balance Bikes

5 Great Advantages of Starting Kids Off on Balance Bikes

You may remember learning to ride your bicycle as no big deal. It does come naturally to some kids as young as 4 and 5. For others, the journey is more difficult. Some kids have not developed enough balance to ride without falling. Others are frightened of losing control and crashing. That’s why a balance bike is a good way to introduce cycling to your little ones. These pedal-less creations allow children to learn basic bike riding skills before needing to pedal. Below are five advantages of introducing your child to a pedal bike.

1- Safety

Balance bikes are not as tall as pedal bikes because the child’s feet have to reach the ground. They push with their feet and learn balance without risking a big fall. Pedal bikes have to be taller, to give your child room to pedal. When your kid’s balance fails or they hit a rut, they can take a hard fall to the ground. Children can fall off of balance bikes, but the fall is a short one that hurts less.

2- Weigh Less

Balance bikes are much lighter than pedal bikes. Typically, pedal bikes for young children weigh around 12-15 pounds in contrast to balance bikes which weigh around 6-9 lbs. Your child can manage a balance bike more easily than a heavier model. A pedal bike is about half of some children’s body weight, which makes it difficult for them to push it or steer it. These bikes can easily fall on them, too. Lighter rides encourage your child to get more exercise because they can ride longer without getting tired. Your child will probably be worn out after a short ride on a pedal bike. And hills will seem impossible to climb.

3- Balance Development

Experts note that kids continually learn to balance as they progress from walking to running to climbing, etc. Jumping to a pedal bike may be too big of a leap for some. A balance bike allows them to keep both feet on the ground, which is a more natural progression than trying to pedal right away. The balance bike teaches children how to stay upright, which should make learning to pedal a bike easier in the future. Also, your child may not need training wheels when they begin riding a pedal bike if they start on a balance model.

4- Turning

Remember freezing on your pedal bike when first learning to steer? Many children have difficulty learning to turn on a pedal bike. This problem leads to crashing into hedges, parked cars, and pedestrians. A balance bike teaches children to turn naturally. They lean into turns the way adults and older children do, and the bike encourages them to. A pedal bike is less flexible and requires more effort to turn, especially with training wheels. That is why new riders have so many accidents.

5- Handles Rough Ground

An uneven sidewalk, road rut, or uneven turf can upset the balance of a small child. The ground is seldom perfectly smooth, and an inexperienced rider can take quite a few falls on a pedal bike. In contrast, a pedal bike makes maneuvering through rough ground easy. Your child simply uses their feet to balance until they hit smooth ground again. Then they can lift their feet and ride away.

Riding a balance bike will build your child’s confidence. Days spent falling off a pedal bike or needing help to ride it can make them feel like failures. Instead, they can hop on their balance bike and be competent in no time. This greater confidence will make riding a pedal bike less challenging later on.

If you are like many adults, you have a few scars from your early bike riding years. You may even brag about these scars. But honestly, wouldn’t you rather your child have an easier experience? They can if you start them off with a balance bike.