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I'm thinking about getting a glide, or balance bike for my
son who is almost 4. Kiddimoto has them as do other
companies, I'm sure! I'd like to hear your opinions on these
types of bikes before I purchase one. My son is very
coordinated and active - I'm just wondering if it is worth
Get one! I would say every child in Germany has one - they start out on those and
then skip the training wheels on a ''real bike''.
My son learned to ride it when he was 3 - he just cruises all over Rockridge - to
the library, to frog park, to the farmer's market. Sometimes he gets a little
cranky going up hill - that's when I put a dog leash on the handle bar and pull
him a little.
My son also rides with us around the Berkeley Marina - we are on our ''normal''
bikes and he cruises along with us.
We bought ours on Amazon - it's a Kettler - I heard Target has wooden one at a
reasonable price. You do not need to get the original run-a-bike!
My understanding of the balance bike is that it teaches the child to balance thus
enabling them to transition directly to a bike with chains without training
wheels. The hard part about learning to ride a bike is balancing. The pedaling
is the easy part. I have seen a number of 2.5 year olds gliding along on their
glide bikes, moving along rather fast on them. So I believe it works.
I personally chose to skip the tricycle for my 2 year old and got her a
Like-A-Bike. She has yet to feel confident enough to glide but enjoys scooting
herself along. I do not have to hold her as her feet can solidly touch the
ground. I just follow behind her. The turning radius on her Like-A-Bike is
limited, so she's not likely to overcorrect or turn too far to cause a fall.
We have one of these balance bikes. I am definitely sold on the concept. My
oldest wasn't really interested in it and outgrew it quickly and STILL cannot ride
a two-wheeler. His younger sister who is 5 spent the last few months kind of
scooting around on it in the living room. She really likes it... but probably
won't be using it any longer because she rode a two-wheeler with pedals for the
first time 2 weeks ago. I really do think practicing with the balance bike helped
her immensely. I have heard you can achieve the same effect by removing the
pedals from a regular bike. However, the balance bikes also have a feature in the
handle bars that prevents them from turning sharply which is VERY beneficial for a
new rider. As to whether or not it is worth the money.... really depends on the
kid, your budget and what you are hoping to get out of it. For my family, I am
feeling like I am glad we got it. Have fun riding!
Another thing you can do is to just take the pedals off a
regular bike. Our daughter learned really fast this way. Make
sure their feet can still reach the ground. Then when she could
balance and was comfortable we put the pedals back on and she
could ride a regular bike.
this page was last updated: Apr 30, 2008
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