My little guy turns four shortly after Christmas (2 days after, eek!) so this year we wanted to get him a bike. He's at that age where he's always on the go and has been trying to get on his big sister's bike for a few months now. We contemplated getting a bike with training wheels, a tricycle, and even just a big three-wheel bike - but when I researched "how to teach a toddler to ride a bike," the results leaned more towards balance bikes. [Yes I had to research it, because I have no idea how to teach a kid to ride a bike.]
The wonderful people at Strider Bikes offered us a Strider Sport 12'' in exchange for an honest review (see full disclosure at bottom of post), and I for one am tickled beyond words. Balance bikes, or bikes without pedals, are all the rage right now. They're safer than a tricycle because they aren't awkward to maneuver and there isn't the tipping hazard. They teach kids to balance rather than focusing on pedaling, which is going to ensure that they know what to do if their big bike starts to lean (when they switch to a big bike.) In short: balance bikes are better for toddlers learning to ride.
Little man's Strider Sport 12" came in a box that said "some assembly required" so of course I was a little bit worried. The instructions were extremely clear, however, and it was a breeze to put together. I'd say it took about 5 minutes total. For those of you looking for a Christmas present, it's perfect for slapping together after the kids' go to sleep on Christmas Eve and then hiding under the tree, because it's so easy to assemble.
The age range for the Strider 12" Sport No Pedal Bike is from 18 months to 5 years. The seat and handle bars both adjust to accommodate smaller children as well as the bigger guys, and the Sport model also includes a padded XL saddle and long seatpost to fit kids over 3 years and allows seat height adjustments up to 19".
This meant that my 18-month old little girl was able to try it out as well:
|Ignore the mad face - she wanted the camera!|
Now, for smaller kids, it may prove a little difficult to hold the bike up and walk - especially if they're wanting to sit and scoot with it. Still a great teaching/learning bike though!
My 3 (almost 4) year old had a blast with his Strider Sport, and it was just a matter of minutes before he was already trying to lift his feet as it rolled along. It's lightweight and easy to steer, so I'm pretty sure he'll have it mastered before too long.
You can learn more about balance bikes and Strider at their website: StriderBikes.com
Have you taught a little one how to ride a bike? What are your best tips?
Disclosure: I was provided the aforementioned product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own and were in no way influenced by receiving this product. No other compensation was received.