We first bought our son a wooden balance bike when he was 2.5. He loved that wooden bike and was cruising around with his feet off the ground in no time. By his 3rd birthday he was able to pedal a 12 inch kids bike with no training wheels. The balance bike gave him the skills to handle, balance and manage a two wheeler.
The problem with that wooden balance bike? It feel apart after 6 months! Literally in pieces. And I have heard similar stories. In 2008 we decided to carry Strider PreBikes at our bike shop. After researching the bikes and hearing from satisfied customers we thought Strider PreBike would be a good fit. It is the lightest balance bike on the market (7 pounds), it comes in a variety of colors (we know how important colors are to a toddler!) it is durable, and the tires never go flat.
The Strider PREbike allows you to skip the tricycle stage and maybe the 12 inch sized bike that often only lasts for a year. The seat adjusts easily so it can fit kids from age 18 months to 5 years, making it unnecessary to purchase multiple bikes as children grow. Our son still loves to ride his Strider bike at 5 years old. He uses it for tricks and to get around town when a bike isn’t practical. I suggest you start them on one at 18 months.
Positives: Strider PREbike
- Training wheels can be dangerous on uneven surfaces.
- Kids learn balance and control before they have to worry about pedaling. Pedaling takes more muscle control and strength.
- Kids that start on a balance bike can skip training wheels and move right into a 16 inch wheeled bike.
- Kids can venture off-road unlike with training wheels.
- Good value.
Negatives: Strider PREbike
- Strider logo stickers can fall off if left in the elements.