Balance bikes/Walking bikes/Whatever-you-call-them bikes

Want to get your kids on two wheels? Got any general 'family biking' questions? Chat here
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Balance bikes/Walking bikes/Whatever-you-call-them bikes

Postby sosidge » Thu Jun 05, 2008 15:44 pm

I'm very drawn to the idea of these "walking bikes" or whatever is the correct name for them (I have seen as many descriptions as I have actual bike models!). Kids bikes without pedals is what I mean. I'd like to get one for my daughter for her 2nd birthday, looks like she might enjoy scooting around the garden on it, she certainly has enjoyed scooting around Evans and Edinburgh Bike so far!

Does anyone have any feedback on the bikes and what are good ones to go for?

As far as I can tell there are two basic types - wooden frames and metal frames. Wooden frames look a bit more chic perhaps but I wonder about the long term durability compared to a quality metal frame.

Also I have seen that some come with solid wheels but I would much rather have pneumatic tyres as I am sure they must be more comfortable and less likely to be damaged.

We have sat on two so far - the Early Rider Classic which looked great in wood and had a comfy, low saddle, and the Specialized Hotwalk which was undoubtedly well made in metal but for some reason had less kerb appeal and a much harder saddle and grips.

About the only other quality models I have heard of (quality priced, although I don't know if they are quality made!) are the Hudora Joey (apparently also at Evans in a box out back), a Kokua Jumper (too expensive at EBC), Ridgeback Scoot (local small shop managed to talk himself out of my business by being very dismissive of it).

Anything else I should be on the lookout for? Any budget priced bikes that are worth seeking out (I don't want something that will fall apart underneath my daughter)?

And what are peoples feelings in general about these balance bikes as a first transport compared to a trike or a small bike with pedals and stabilisers?

Thanks in advance if anyone can answer my questions!


Postby MC1 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 15:47 pm

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Postby Underscore » Thu Jun 05, 2008 16:01 pm

We are going to be getting one of these for our son's 2nd birthday - the LR1Br is £80 in the LBS, looks reasonably well made and it looks like it should fit him OK, even though they recommend from 2.5years.

What do people think about getting one with or without a brake?


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Postby Mike Healey » Fri Jun 06, 2008 21:54 pm

We've got three of the Lidl ones and they do well. We also use some rather battered mini bmx kiddie bikes with the cranks and pedals taken off. Both work perfectly well as learn-to-balance-and-steer bikes.

Put them on their own bikes and away they go.
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Postby hamstercp » Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:59 am

I have an Islabikes Rothan, which is fantastic. It's also light enough to lift with one finger so my 2 year old finds it easy to manage.

It's amazing how fast he can go on it !!!

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Postby janeho » Thu Jun 12, 2008 09:59 am

We just took the pedals off our son's bike. He enjoyed scooting around on it and had the balance in no time.
He then soon wanted the pedals back on and was cycling properly very quickly.
I felt that the bikes for sale for scooting along would be grown out of so quickly that they wouldn't be worth the money - but no doubt others have had a different experience.
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Postby cycledad2 » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:48 pm

We're in the market for one soon.... As far as i can tell there is one main feature you need to check and thats inside leg length on the minimum and maximum settings. My wee MIkeis a short ass, so we're literally waiting for him to grow to the minimum size.

Features of metal mini bikes over wood\solid:
-Spoked wheels are more dangerous to little fingers and toes(but look nicer)
-Metal bikes have better bike features eg the seat post is totally adjustable within its range.
-Metal bikes are less friendly on your indoor surfaces, but more robust in outdoors.

Two features to look out for if your little one learns to love it and scoots fast
-Foot rests (keeps feet off ground at high speed scooting)
-A brake (good if you live near a slope or a hill)
-Low step thru for easy mounting and dismounting

The best we've seen is the Puky, but it looks like a toy, wheras the islabike rothan looks like a real bike and i know which my son (oh ok and me) would prefer. we're so getting a Rothan. Islabikes have a very good second hand value as well.

Check out the "what the press say" section of isla bikes.

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Postby andyh2 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 22:20 pm

We got a Like-a-bike clone for our 3 1/2 year old. 4 months on and she's whizzing around on it. Have to jog to keep up and keep asking her to slow down :)
Got a girlie pink bike with stabilisers too, but she's much more capable and confident with the scooting bike. The 'normal' bike with stabiisers actually seems pretty unstable on corners and if any sort of slope on the ground. At this age I reckon an old style trike would be more useable than bike + stabilisers.
Scooterbike is getting a bit small now so I'm thinking of taking stabilisers and cranks off 'normal' bike.

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Re: Balance bikes/Walking bikes/Whatever-you-call-them bikes

Postby craker » Sun Nov 13, 2011 06:41 am

Crank & pedals off for us. Our LO had learnt to have fun on his bike pedalling around with the stabilisers on - it's a big step to take that away and strip the bike down but very soon he was scooting around lifting his feet up every now and again to prove he was balancing. Shortly after that I put the chainset back on (somewhat nervously) and almost immediately he was pedalling and balancing. He's 4 btw and the main thing to keep him motivated was to make sure he was enjoying it. That and an older sister who could already ride..

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Re: Balance bikes/Walking bikes/Whatever-you-call-them bikes

Postby Todd Sweeney » Mon Nov 14, 2011 14:08 pm

Hi - we have the Ridgeback Scoot and can throughly recommend it. Well made and light, and the looks appeal to the kids too (ours is a very girly pink!)

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Re: Balance bikes/Walking bikes/Whatever-you-call-them bikes

Postby wolvesdug » Mon Nov 14, 2011 15:22 pm

We got a isla bike for our lad which is about to be passed on to our youngest. Cannot fault them and it has been brilliant.

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Re: Balance bikes/Walking bikes/Whatever-you-call-them bikes

Postby edhornby » Mon Nov 14, 2011 16:01 pm

my brother - daughters godfather who is also bike mad like me - got one as a christening present (only 11months at the moment so waiting for her to get big enough :-) )

he did some research and said that the ones with the smaller 10in wheels are the best ones because of the stability and getting the saddle low enough for them to get on early enough - he got one from amazon that was a sensible price
"I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
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