Bike Radar Toddlebike Trial Overview

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Jo Hockley
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Bike Radar Toddlebike Trial Overview

Postby Jo Hockley » Tue Nov 22, 2011 21:26 pm

In September this year Bike Radar Forum members were offered the chance for their Toddler aged under 2 to undertake their first cycling challenge and put to the test Toddlebike’s claim that it fills the gap between learning to walk, and learning to ride a balance or pedal bike. Over 40 Toddlers rose to the challenge and the results are now being posted back to the Bike Radar Forums with full articles, photos and video also being available at http://www.facebook.com/toddlebikereview.

The project was conceived to get feedback from Toddlers who are impervious to marketing spin and cycling enthusiasts who understand the skills needed to master the first steps towards independent riding. The Toddlers were asked to push the Toddlebike to its limits both indoor and outside on a range of terrains then share the findings honestly and openly.

The call for test riders was posted across the 4 main Bike Radar Forum areas to ensure a cross-section of cyclists and their youngsters; Mountain Biking, Road, Commuting, Family and Kids and Road (Cake Stop). Rather than post all of the findings across all of the 4 Forums, responses are being gathered in the Family and Kids section but as this was one of the original Forum threads used to recruit riders, some of the highlights are to follow:

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Finley 22 months

‘My initial impression was very good, I thought the bike was well made, sturdy yet light enough for a toddler to pick up and use, quite a wise choice of materials, which must help keep the costs down and lovely bright colours to catch the eye straight away.

Finley’s first impressions, well, jumping up and down shouting BIKE! BIKE! BIKE! Kind of sums it up, he couldn’t wait to get some miles in! Up and down the kitchen, he wouldn’t get of it, he took to it straight away, but then using his scuttlebug must have helped. He tried taking it in the bath with him that night, and even sat on it watching his favourite TV show instead of sitting on the floor as he usually does...

As I have said Finley took to his Toddlebike straight away having already had some experience on his trike. He started indoors buzzing around the house, but quickly moved outside and used it in the garden and on the patio, he now uses it when we go out for walks, it’s never far from hand.

In Summary the Toddlebike has been a great succsess, and a super addition to Finleys toys. Other children have played on it, and its been used pretty much every day without letting us down. ‘ Graham and Finley 22 months

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Alice 21 months

‘We encouraged taking the bike outside and overtime the skill of riding the bike improved. We have now had the bike for circa 6 weeks and Alice has really developed balance and stability on the bike. We can now ride easily for 1 mile to the local park, and also get up quite a bit of speed! She has learnt to use her feet to slow down (ruined a pair of trainers though!) The bike is extremely light, so when out and about is really easy to carry back home when our daughter decides she has had enough and wants to be carried. The bike now goes virtually everywhere with us now and appears to have filled a gap between trike and balance bikes which we saw as the next stage.

The bike in action…….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBPHGduVQP8

Another benefit is the bike can get dirty when outside, however a spray with the hosepipe and easily cleaned to bring back indoors.

…Would I recommend the bike…… Yes! Alice really appears to have developed balance, stability and braking skills. So much so we are now contemplating getting a Islabike Rothan balance bike for Christmas.’ Simon and Alice 21 months.

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Harrison 22 months (far left)

‘I love how light the toddlebike is and that i can easily clip it onto the pushchair handlebars, it is also very sturdy and much stronger than it looks, and it has taken a lot of abuse from Harrison…The only downside of the toddlebike for us is that harrison is way to confident on it, he tends to ride it way to fast, especially downhill!! Harrison turned 2yr a couple of days ago and he recived a balance bike as a present, he was able to balance on it straight away and was happy zooming downhill on it with his feet up, so i think the toddlebike must have helped with his balance, we have decided to keep our toddlebike even though he now has the balance bike as for me, when i am on my own with harrison, and we go walking i can easily take the toddlebike with us on the pushchair.’ Nadine and Harrison - 22 months

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Ollie 24 months

‘Light as a feather and brightly hued it gives an initial impression of being more toy than bike. However, it is in fact as tough as old boots. The central 'spine' section is reinforced in all the right places and doesn't seem to flex at all despite my two year old bouncing on it.
It's light weight, compact stature and numerous holes and hoops in the body parts make it easy to carry, which is great for Ollie to tug along if he isn't riding it and better still is easy to hang off the pushchair when he loses interest.

The bikes odd looking proportions make sense once the child is on board, as you can immediately see him adopting a natural riding position. He's stable and comfortable and has no issue manauvering it around. It seems perfect...’ Ollie 24 months

‘They love the fact that it’s light, fast and brightly coloured and argue about it all the time, despite Felix being much too big for it. When we first received it it ended up in the cupboard a number of times because they refused to share it. It’s certainly a lot better than the rather cumbersome ride-on toys that tend to precede it and I can really see how it would appeal to this age range.’ Felix 4 years and his Sister 30 months

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Scarlett 23 months

‘My overall thoughts are that the Toddlebike is a welcome addition to the toys the Scarlett plays with and seeing that it provides her with exercise it becomes a great way to tire her out and provide her with fun outdoors. We often use it to go to the park and it is often put in the book of the car when we go away so that she can have something to play with when we get to the other end. Scarlett also puts her dolly on the Toddlebike and pretends to push the dolly about. As yet it has not broken or looks like breaking, which is always a benefit. The bike is light and easily portable and can easily be put onto the back of a push chair without weighting it down.’

‘When the toddle bike arrived his eyes lit up. He walked it round, carried it and within two days was riding it. All the same pattern as his sister,but way earlier due to the bike being so light. He's lightening fast on it now and insists on riding it to the park just like his sister. ( takes a while)…

My son on the other hand thinks its great, its used more than the cosy coupe car and that IS a big deal. It is ridden for at least an hour a day so overall represents excellent play value for the cost. If you have a younger wannabe sibling its a very good buy.’ Alice and our youngest test rider aged 15 months

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Rosie 30 months

‘Rosie liked the bike straight away and leapt right on! It didn’t seem to be as much of a balance bike as I imagined it would be - she never fell off... We took it out and about straight away…. Rosie took it to her friend’s house and he LOVED it so much we let him borrow it for a few days….Every time we go to the park we take it with us and she lets other children play on it.

Rosie used her bike lots outdoors, especially when we go to the park. We go rain or shine, although the weather recently in Derbyshire has been rather lovely so the bike has seen lots of sunshine! Rosie likes it best on harder surfaces, such as pavements and paths, and rather enjoyed going through puddles too!’ Rosie 30 months

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Isabel 17 months

‘First impressions were good, and Isabel took to it very quickly (albeit she preferred carrying it to riding it at first). It actually looks slightly unstable just given how close the wheels are together laterally, but in actual fact it works fine.

I have seen some other ladybug type mini bikes, but these are trikes with 2 wheels at the back, are very much wider, and therefore are not nearly as portable as the toddlebike…

She’s developing very quickly – I have noticed she’s much better at climbing over things and using a hand to balance, exactly as she does on the toddlebike.

The toddlebike is used every single day in our kitchen, and at her grandparents (who live in a large flat) but not yet outdoors too much.

I think it’s an excellent product, all things considered.’ Andrew and Isabel 17 months

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Finn 18 months

‘My then 18 month old (Finn) didn't show much interest at first until his 3 year old brother had ago.

Then it happened. He was trying to scoot around the house but had not quite mastered it. We left it out for him and he kept going back to it and trying. He got there and he now rides everyday on it and at a pace.

It is great when he fetchs his brother with his grandad from the school bus, he scoots down no problems… it is light enough just to put in the top of the pushchair and for Finn to lift up himself. You only have to ask him where his bike is and he goes and gets on his toddlebike.

Overall we are impressed with the Toddlebike and hope it has taught him some skills ready for his balance bike at Christmas.It will interesting seeing the transtion from Toddlebike to Balance bike.’ Simon and Finn 18 months

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Natalie 23 months

‘Natalie took to it straight away indoors and within a couple of days she was outside scooting down the drive with her feet up. As soon as she saw the toddlebike on the first morning she named it "My Bike" and thats what its been known as ever since.
I was surprised when I first saw it as it looks like it is made of lego, but it has proved to be durable as my 7 year old daughter likes to sit on it , as well as being lightwight.. Natalie does have a scuttlebug which is slightly higher in the seat but she is better at steering the toddlebike.’ ‘Brayster’ and Natalie 23 months

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Cai 23 months

‘For Cai this is the best thing since sliced bread! He doesn’t let it out of his sight and god help if one of his little friends even tries to touch it let alone have a go of it. On a weekend when we are home he whizzes around the place constantly on it. During the week it is under his carseat in the car making sure it is always kept close and is there safe for when he goes into crèche and when he comes out of crèche too. For me it is great as he is faster on it than walking so I can get some exercise in too rather than walking at snail’s pace and it makes our walks to the beach and park plenty of fun… It is a great in-between bike and seems to be one of a kind’ Suzanne and Cai, 23 months

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‘Welshkev’ 23 months

‘I have a 23 month old son and I also own a childrens nursery, so a number of children have used the bike…all the kids LOVE the bike. My son uses it around the park, shops and even in the house. He doesn't want to get off it. We went out for a walk last weekend around cwmcarn lakes (see pics) and we were walking for aprobably around 2 miles and 30 mins and he toddled along with us on his toddlebike

My son is very independent and doesn't really like to go in a pushchair and gets quite heavy when we carry him for long distances but he'll merrily go for ages on his toddlebike, which is great…

In our nursery we could do with 3 or 4 of these bikes as all of the children want to play on it in the garden, I think we'll be investing in more in the future.’ ‘Welshkev’ and son 23 months

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Thanks so much to everyone involved, those who have posted so far and to those still putting their Toddlebike through its paces. Also big thanks to Bike Radar.

Kind regards,

Jo
Jo Hockley
Toddlebike

johockley@toddlebike.co.uk
01273 453940
www.toddlebike.co.uk

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welshkev
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Re: Bike Radar Toddlebike Trial Overview

Postby welshkev » Wed Nov 23, 2011 19:14 pm

sorry i should have said, my son is called frankie :D
like music? check out: www.rredracer.com

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natrix
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Re: Bike Radar Toddlebike Trial Overview

Postby natrix » Mon Dec 05, 2011 14:39 pm

I was going to join the review team, but figured that it would be tears before bedtime when it came to returning the toddlebike after the review period. Therefore, I bought one (they're quite reasonably priced) and our two year old son loves it "velo, velo" he cries as he hurtles around the house. We live on a hill and so have restricted it to indoors, where it works well. Our one year old daughter has now shown an interest and can get about on it, even though she can't walk independently yet. Luckily, they don't yet argue over whose turn it is, but we may have to purchase a second one soon.

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VWsurfbum
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Re: Bike Radar Toddlebike Trial Overview

Postby VWsurfbum » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:20 pm

Hi Jo,
The Toddle bike has become a much loved item in the house, No1 Zooms around on it, initially i encouraged her so No2 would know what to do on it, but as they do at that age they fight over who uses it :lol:
No2 (Sophia 18mths) when initially faced with the toddle bike wanted to carry it everywhere, and every time you sat her on it she would protest and go back to carrying it.
Now she has learnt not only to sit on it and mover around the house on it, she now uses it as a fun toy.
I activly encourage both my girls to be active and not sit around the house and watch TV, so this is a great way of introducing regular exercise and fun.
I know with this Toddlebike it will stand her in good stead when i mover her up to a balance bike and eventually her own MTB. :D
No1 (Iasabella-May. 4 1/2years) , loves to play on it a little too much for my liking, zooming from room to room on our wooden floor makes a great sound for kids, but no much for parents who hanker after peace and quiet :lol: but because of this she want to get out and play on her big girls bike more, which lets face it, is always a good thing.

I will be recomending these to my friends and i will pass it on to my brother's child when it is born later on this year (start em young)

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask me.

Cheers
Ian
PS Photo's will be added at some point

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allthegearnoidea
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Re: Bike Radar Toddlebike Trial Overview

Postby allthegearnoidea » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:12 am

Hey Toddlebike peeps!
We've had the Toddlebike on trial for this summer, and i have to say its been Great fun! Our littlun who's now 2 and a month was towards the top end for the age on the trial but took to it like a duck to water, as soon as it came out the packaging it was obvious nothing else was going to get a look in nor anyone else!!
the toddlebikes been used mostly around the garden and house with the occasional trip around the woods, its been very much enjoyed, on a recent visit from some family Lowenna allowed her little cousin to try it, little holly Loved it and wouldnt let it go, both girls were hooning around the garden on it with great excitement,
the toddlebikes been a great success with our littlun, Really glad for the trial,
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lowennas little cousin Holly
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ive a feeling it'll get passed on to my niece! ;-)
Timmo.
After all, I am Cornish!
http://cornwallmtb.kk5.org/
Cotic Soul, The bike of Legends!:wink: Yes, I Am a bike tart!
http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... 1#16297481

Jo Hockley
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:42 am
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Toddlebike Rider Results - Nick (17 months)

Postby Jo Hockley » Mon Oct 15, 2012 08:46 am

Toddlebike Trial Rider Review from Nick - via Dad (thanks!):

"Nick is now 22 months old – he was 17mths when he got the toddlebike. He likes running around & trying to copy whatever his big brother (Joe, 4yrs) is up to.

I'd seen photos online so it was very much as I expected. Nice and light, materials not as tactile as they might be in places but given the price that's not unreasonable.

Seems like good value to me, considering the many hours of use he's getting out of it. Would recommend it to friends (indeed, have done).

Nearest comparison that he's played with is a (small size) Wheelybug toddler ride-on. The materials on the Wheelybug are a lot nicer in some respects – leather (probably synthetic?) cover, wooden base, durable caster wheels - but the Wheelybug is much more expensive (more than twice as much), a lot heavier & doesn't give him the opportunity to learn balance in the same way. Other than that, we have a couple of old toddler trikes, but they're a bit difficult to work & just not so much fun. Because they're much heavier and have more of a bucket-seat design, he can't steer them just by putting his feet on the ground – has to pedal & turn the steering wheel at the same time, which is a bit much to ask of someone that's not even 2. For that reason alone I think the Toddlebike is a better design than trikes-with-pedals.

He got the hang of it very quickly without much help, but he's seen his older brother on a balance bike & was extremely pleased to have his own “bike” so as to be able to copy him. We mostly uses it indoors – we take it out a bit, but the wheels don't perform brilliantly on the outdoor surfaces we have access to (roughish asphalt, grass, hard-packed dirt, uneven path parks etc.). I think it's a combination of the light weight of the bike itself and the hard & not-very-grippy wheels.. it works really well on carpet, wooden floors and very smooth outdoor surfaces (smooth concrete, fine asphalt), and OK on grass, but I think slightly bigger + heavier wheels with a layer of rubber around the outside might make it more satisfactory on rougher surfaces.

His big brother has moved up from the balance bike he had before to a “proper” bike, and now little Nick is desperate to try the balance bike! But he's still too small to ride it so he'll be on the Toddlebike at least until the spring & then hopefully move up around age 2 ½.

Us: It's very good value & a great first step in the world of bikes. Him: Bike!"

Photos to follow...
Jo Hockley

Toddlebike



johockley@toddlebike.co.uk

01273 453940

www.toddlebike.co.uk

Jo Hockley
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:42 am
Contact:

Bike Radar Toddlebike Trial Results

Postby Jo Hockley » Wed Nov 07, 2012 19:57 pm

A massive thanks to the Bike Radar Forum members who offered us the services of their Toddler to test ride a Toddlebike for the summer as part of the biggest ever Toddlebike Trial project.

Results are available to view at www.toddlebike.co.uk/2012trial unedited and unabridged with some lovely photos of our baby cyclists and their first foray in to independent riding aged 1.
Jo Hockley

Toddlebike



johockley@toddlebike.co.uk

01273 453940

www.toddlebike.co.uk


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