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Balance bike or training wheels?

If you have young toddlers, sooner or later you are going to be faced with the decision of whether to buy a balance bike or use training wheels. If you are not sure about which to choose, always remember that the point of the exercise is to teach your little ones to ride a bike, which means that a balance bike is your best option.

Since balance bikes are fairly new to the market, a lot of parents can’t get their heads around why they are better at teaching their kids to ride a bike than a bike with training wheels. So let’s take a look at why a balance bike is the best option for your kids.

Balance bikes help kids to ride bikes

The simple explanation is that balance bikes make learning to ride a bike super easy, whereas training wheels make them dependent on the additional wheels. Just imagine the leap of faith your child needs when they try to upgrade from training wheels to just two wheels!

A balance bike looks just like a normal bike (without the training wheels or or pedals) and is propelled by their feet, pushing them along the ground. This makes kids feel safe, balanced and gives them plenty of exercise. In fact, these bikes really help your little ones to practice their balancing, which is really good for their posture.

As they become better at propelling themselves along with their feet, they can lift their feet off the ground (further challenging their balance and increasing their confidence) and learning to steer at the same time. If they slow down or loose their balance, they simply put their feet back on the ground, push off and away they go!

Problems with training wheels

If we take a look at training wheels however, you will realise that they don’t help kids to learn how to balance, simply because they have four wheels and balance isn’t an issue. So when your child zooms around on their training wheels and you decide to remove the wheels (because they are so clever with their training wheels) they usually hit the pavement within about 5 seconds!

Most of us would have learnt to ride a bike as a child and we can all remember the difficulty, as well as the bumps and grazes, when we were learning to balance without training wheels. If you can prevent your little ones from harming themselves unintentionally, and teach them how to balance quickly and easily – why wouldn’t you?

The solution is to buy a balance bike rather than training wheels, because moving from a balance bike to a ‘grown-up’ bike is a natural progression that children find easy to accomplish. After all, a balance bike is really safe for young children, because without pedals, they can’t get their feet trapped, simply propelling themselves along the ground or lifting them in the air.

A balance bike gives your children confidence in their bike riding ability, making a smooth pain free transition to a regular bike as they grow bigger. Balance bikes also are very lightweight and the child is close to the ground, so even if they do fall over, they are far less likely to harm themselves than if they are riding a bike with training wheels.

So if you are deciding between a balance bike and training wheels, the former teaches your child to steer, brake and balance, whilst the latter don’t teach them anything really!

For more information on balance bikes, call us at Let’s Roll or send us an email.