Childs Balance Bike Project

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macca12345
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Childs Balance Bike Project

Postby macca12345 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:51 am

for my A2 design technology project i am designing and making a childs balance bike, to do this successfully I am conducting some research to establish the key factors i need to consider in my design, size, weight etc... if you have any information or thoughts on this subject i would be very grateful to hear from you...

thanks.

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baudman
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Postby baudman » Sat Apr 23, 2011 04:27 am

Yeah... plenty. Err... what info do you require?
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macca12345
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Postby macca12345 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 13:59 pm

well what are your thoughts on sizing? aesthetics of the final product? function over looks? wieght? anything like that would be a great help!

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baudman
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Postby baudman » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:18 am

Sizing... kids are all different sizes, so really, it needs to be easily adjustable. They all grow too - quickly.

Weight... as light as possible, within reason. I really like the wooden ones for that reason. Not so much for riding, but more if they get to a gutter/steps, they can lift them over themselves. That independence is one of the oft-overlooked key benefits of runbikes.

Aesthetics... I'm more driven by function. However, again with the wooden ones, we chose rather plain ones, and the girls could decorate them themselves. Ownership/pride is a good thing and aids them in using them.
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SlowingDown
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Postby SlowingDown » Tue Apr 26, 2011 13:20 pm

It doesn't want to look like a dog's backend but aesthetics cant be allowed to interfere with function otherwise the bike fails to do its job. First wooden balance bike I bought was based on the fact that I thought it looked cool...but it was heavy, wide and generally ill-suited to a little one getting on and scooting about easily on it. That expensive setback meant my son lost confidence early on and it took him a long time to get it back and progress through to a pedal bike.

A good balance bike has to be light but robust. The kids need to be able to lug it about independently and have fun with it...and that probably involves chucking it around without damaging it. It also has to be easy for them to get on and in my opinion that means a low step-over, perhaps not to the extreme that the Puky models go to but low all the same. Something I also like on the Puky (never owned one btw) is the foot plate. I like the idea of something to encourage kids to lift their feet - encourages balancing and sets the pattern for putting feet on pedals.
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baudman
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Postby baudman » Wed Apr 27, 2011 00:07 am

Agreed. Neither of our runbikes had somewhere to put your feet, but it would be a bonus, provided it doesn't impinge upon the 'run' action.
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Daz555
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Postby Daz555 » Thu May 19, 2011 14:40 pm

Loads of height adjustment with very low initial standover height.
Damping/limiting mechanism to prevent tank slappers.
Ease of carrying for parents.

An my personal "bonus feature" would be a simple tool-free adjustment to be able to rotate the handlebars 90degrees - for chucking in the boot etc.
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ince
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Postby ince » Fri May 20, 2011 08:48 am

[quote="Daz555"]
Damping/limiting mechanism to prevent tank slappers.
Ease of carrying for parents.
[quote]

A steering damper would be great. We have an Islabike which has the limiter but this still enabled my son to make quick direction changes. Something that when learning to to ride a bike can have adverse consequences. More than once he had the front tuck in while turning too quick at speed. The damping would need to be adjustable so as experience grew you could back it off.

Some sort of speed limiter may also be good so long as it dose not add resistance at low speed.

El Vino
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Postby El Vino » Tue Jun 14, 2011 15:23 pm

We had a wooden one for our boy which he absolutely thrashed, so we went for a spesh hotwalk for our girl, which looks excellent and is very light and easier to carry but you cannot limit steering which doesn't seem to be a problem so far.

Sizing is important as is weight,

A great idea for us would have been a light, robust bike which was modular so that pedals, drive train, bb etc. could be added easily when the child was ready for them

bmakabayan
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Postby bmakabayan » Sat Jun 18, 2011 08:43 am

Daz555 wrote:Loads of height adjustment with very low initial standover height.
Damping/limiting mechanism to prevent tank slappers.
Ease of carrying for parents.

An my personal "bonus feature" would be a simple tool-free adjustment to be able to rotate the handlebars 90degrees - for chucking in the boot etc.


yup yup yup! these are cool if they're included... 8)

Good Luck!

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Re:

Postby Underscore » Wed Nov 23, 2011 08:05 am

SlowingDown wrote:Something I also like on the Puky (never owned one btw) is the foot plate. I like the idea of something to encourage kids to lift their feet - encourages balancing and sets the pattern for putting feet on pedals.


We have a Puky and would agree that the foot plate is a good thing - both of the kids that have used it so far have really enjoyed putting their feet on it on the downhills once they were confident of their ability to balance. Another thing we like is the range of adjustment, which seems to cater from 2 until they are ready to transition to a pedal bike. The brake is a mixed blessing: it's an enclosed band brake, which means that there is nothing to get caught up with clothes, etc., and it is a mild brake, which is good for teaching brake use without worrying about skidding. However, after one child, the braking effect has reduced making it almost ineffectual. The other negative we have is the use of Woods valves: a few times the collar has come lose (probably due to being occasionally clipped by a shoe) which has slowly let the air out resulting in a flat tyre. We now carry a pump with if we're going any distance to allow us to pump it up again should this happen. Finally, a steering limiter would be a vital feature, were I buying another balance bike. Our eldest lost two teeth in a fall which may not have happened if the Puky had a steering limiter.

_

P.S. Function over form every time... though, if you can get both, so much the better!

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baudman
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Re: Re:

Postby baudman » Thu Nov 24, 2011 23:51 pm

Underscore wrote:The other negative we have is the use of Woods valves


That's an easy fix though, surely? All of our bikes have schrader, except for the two drop-bar bikes, which have presta. In fact, I've drilled a couple of rims out so they can fit schrader.
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Underscore
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Re: Re:

Postby Underscore » Fri Nov 25, 2011 08:36 am

baudman wrote:
Underscore wrote:The other negative we have is the use of Woods valves


That's an easy fix though, surely? All of our bikes have schrader, except for the two drop-bar bikes, which have presta. In fact, I've drilled a couple of rims out so they can fit schrader.

Yes, it's an easy fix (or just carry a pump!) but, since the OP is talking about a design project, I thought that I would feed back the flaws - as I saw them - with the product as designed and delivered.

_

Adam EF
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Re: Childs Balance Bike Project

Postby Adam EF » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:20 am

Weight is important, not just for the kids, but also for the parents who often end up carrying the bike around the park when the kids no longer want to ride them!


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