The Balance Bike: 5 Reasons It's a Great Gift for Toddlers
A standard pedal bike isn't your only option this holiday season. Check out 5 reasons why balance bikes are a great gift for toddlers.
Bikes and tricycles have long been a staple of holiday gift giving. The promise of the open road, motor skill development and fun with mom and dad makes their first bike an excellent idea as a holiday gift. I’ll admit—a tricyle (or a bike with training wheels) has been on my toddler’s Christmas list for months. But after chatting with the innovators of the hottest balance bike on the market at the ABC Expo in Las Vegas a few months back, I learned that a standard pedal bike isn’t my only option.
Balance bikes, which have no pedals or training wheels, have long been hitting the streets in Europe, but they’re still just gaining recognition in the US. I asked Joseph Rumley, Chief Marketing Officer of FirstBIKE, why balance bikes are a better choice for parent. And after watching my 20-month-old toddler pushing his way around the expo floor after just a minute on the FirstBike, I knew that pedal-free was the only way to go. Here are 5 reasons why balance bikes are great gifts for toddlers this holiday season…
1. Perfect for Toddlers
Children as young as 22 months old can learn to balance on their own! No need to mentor or stress them. At the age of 4 or 5, when they get taller and stronger, they can smoothly transfer to a pedal bike without ever needing the counterproductive training wheels.
2. No “crutches”
Unlike training wheels, which don’t impart any real skills, balance bikes teach skills like balancing, steering and braking—the skills needed to ride a traditional pedal bike. Moreover, training wheels appear on the black list of many pediatricians because of their negative impact on a child’s spine. FirstBIKE’s high-tech frame is durable, yet designed to be flexible and absorbs shock.
3. Light-Weight Frames
Balance bikes are two to three times lighter than pedal bikes with training wheels. This is crucial for 2- or 3-year-olds. Toddlers won’t tire as quickly and are able to keep up with bigger kids, instead of trying to pedal a bike with training wheels almost just as heavy as they are.
4. They reduce risk
Because there are no pedals, toddlers and preschoolers benefit from the security of having their own feet on the ground. Kids learning to ride on bikes with pedals are likely to keep their feet on the pedals when they are about to fall down, increasing the risk of falling on their side together with the heavy vehicle. With balance bikes, children instinctively plant their feet to slow down and stabilize, reducing the risk of tipping. A few balance bikes, such as FirstBIKE, also have rear, hand-controlled brakes, steering limiters for a smoother ride and non-swivel seats to further reduce the risk of falls.
5. They foster positive parent-child bonding
Bike riding is something families can do together—it’s free, encourages physical activity and outdoor exploration and gets the whole family moving together. While pedal bikes with training wheels don’t allow younger children to keep up with their parents or older siblings, balance bikes keep the entire family happily on the go!
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN