Balance bikes: how to choose the best one. An overview of Kinderkraft balance bikes
Do you know how to choose a balance bike and what to check when buying one? Check out the Kinderkraft bike range – we'll help you pick the best!
If you're reading this, it means you're considering how to choose a balance bike for your child. We'll gladly help you in this difficult task, because there are so many products available on the market. In the last few years, balance bikes have become increasingly popular thanks to their many benefits, such as improved motor development in children. They also accelerate the pace at which children learn how to ride a normal bike, and make walks with toddlers much easier. Let's not kid ourselves – youngsters often refuse to walk even a few steps. A balance bike will mean that you don't have to slow down for your child to keep up – your little one will train their leg muscles and motor coordination while having a great time. Your child's balance bike will turn walks into unforgettable adventures.
Balance bike: when should you consider buying one?
The age at which your little one can use a balance bike depends to a great extent on your child and their stage of motor development. Some kids are able to ride confidently at just two years old, while others are unable to until a little later. It's good to observe your child and take into account not only their mobility, but also their height (petite children may be less interested in getting onto a bike) and whether they are showing an interest in developing this skills.
Kinderkraft balance bikes are suitable for children already from two or three years old. However, we also have models that can be used by one-year-olds, for example, the mini tricycle CUTIE, which is a unique product. It combines the functions of a ride-on toy, tricycle and balance bike. Thanks to its compact size, even petite children are able to ride it freely, while the wheels allow your little one to get used to the bike even at home, because they won't scratch your floors.
Usually, however, classic balance bikes are designed for two- and three-year-olds. That's why it's widely accepted that this is when you should start looking around for a suitable model for your child.
Benefits of balance bikes
Is it worth buying a balance bike? Definitely yes – they're ideal not only for playing, but also for developing the sense of balance. They're also a great way for your little one to learn correct road and pedestrian behaviour. They support motor development while making time spent outdoors fun. Balance bikes encourage children to exercise and provide children with the necessary dose of physical effort. They also help develop the sense of balance and coordination – after all, in order to ride, you have to perform many different, alternating leg movements.
A balance bike is a great idea for a gift that'll bring much fun and physical activity on walks, all while supporting your child's development.
Balance bike: wooden or steel? Which one is best?
Now that you know when your child can start riding a balance bike, it's time to turn our attention to choosing the material that the bike is made of. The most popular balance bikes are made of wood and steel.
Wooden balance bikes
Wooden balance bikes made of materials that are safe for children are very popular. Their frame is sturdy, the edges are smoothed, and the use of wood means that these types of bikes are lightweight, which is very important for parents. When your little one gets off the bike and starts running towards the playground, it's easier for you to pick up a model that weighs less than 4 kg, especially if you're running after your child. An example of a lightweight wooden balance bike is the UNIQ balance bike. It features a super-lightweight frame (just 2.7 kg!), an adjustable seat and wheels with a unique tread, and the birch wood used in the frame comes from sustainable plantations. We also recommend the RUNNER wooden balance bike, which stands out thanks to its beautiful design. We're certain that both children and parents will absolutely love it.
Steel balance bikes
Balance bikes with a steel frame are equally popular. They differ mainly in their design – this balance bike type features a sporty and sleek look. They're often equipped with rubber wheels filled with puncture-resistant foam. Some also have a unique tread that leaves behind a beautiful trail in the sand. In many cases, they feature front mud guards, which protect your little one from getting dirty if they ride through a puddle. Examples of steel frame bikes are the RAPID retro balance bike and the iconic 2WAY NEXT balance bike. The GOSWIFT balance bike also has this type of frame – it won the prestigious RED DOT 2021 award – the Design Oscar. Your child will definitely love the sporty, sleek and surprisingly lightweight GOSWIFT bike, which means they'll want to go on walks.
A balance bike with a brake, basket and air-filled wheels...
Before you buy a balance bike, think about additional accessories that will make use easier. Balance bikes differ in their seat and handlebar adjustment options (or lack thereof), the presence of a brake, and extra functions that increase your youngster's safety, such as limited handlebar turning. Some feature additional bags for small items (usually mounted on the handlebar), non-slip rubber handles and even footrests. Others also have handles that make it easier for you to carry the bike. This is particularly handy when your little one decides to run off or prefers walking, leaving you behind to carry the bike.
Which balance bike wheels are best?
Balance bikes have either air-filled or foam wheels. Each solution has its benefits and is designed for different needs.
Bikes with air-filled wheels have good shock absorption and are ideal for riding on gravel roads or suburban terrains. They also have good traction. That's why if you live on the outskirts of the city or are looking for a balance bike for riding on forest trails, choose one with air-filled wheels.
Foam wheels are ideal for riding around the city. They're great for paved park roads as well as on the pavement. A huge benefit is the puncture and abrasion resistance. And of course the fact that they're completely maintenance free – this means you don't need to pump them.
The next wheel type is rubber with foam filling. They combine the advantages of foam and rubber wheels, meaning good shock absorption, traction and of course, resistance to puncture. They also don't need to be pumped, which is great for anyone who doesn't have a bike pump.
Balance bike with a brake
Some balance bikes come with a hand brake. These types of bikes are ideal for slightly older children, for example, three-year-olds. Younger children may find it difficult to use the brake. One of the advantages of a bike with a brake on the handlebar is that your child will master correct braking sooner. It'll be easier for your little one to use a classic bike in the future.
Limited handlebar turning
Many balance bikes feature a special handlebar lock. This is a great solution for children who are starting to learn how to ride a balance bike. Limited turning prevents the handlebar from having the wide turning range that a normal bike does. This means that the risk of uncontrolled falls is reduced, and inexperienced young cyclists can focus on learning to ride and improving their coordination.
Balance bikes and other features
Balance bikes with a steel and wooden frame often have an adjustable seat, but an adjustable handlebar is uncommon (the handlebar is usually adjustable in steel bikes). This means you can easily adapt it to your growing child. Before you choose a balance bike, check the adjustment options of one or more of the above-mentioned elements.
Some, such as the SPACE balance bike, also feature comfortable footrests, which will allow your little one to rest their legs when they get tired. Others also feature extras to help you get organised for even long walks – of course, we're talking about bags and baskets to fit all necessary items for your child, such as wet wipes, bottle of water or favourite teddy bear.
And let's not forget about the bell – not only will it bring much joy to your youngster, it'll also inform everyone around that a little cyclist is approaching. This is very important when learning how to ride. Remember to also buy a helmet for your little cyclist – the SAFETY children's bike helmet will protect your youngster's delicate head, and the numerous vents provide adequate ventilation even on hot days.
Or perhaps a foldable balance bike?
If you don't have much room in your apartment, or you travel often, a foldable balance bike is a great idea. The 4TRIKE balance bike and tricycle is a product you definitely need – not only does it fold down to a compact size (it'll even fit in your pushchair basket!), but you can also easily transform it from a balance bike into a tricycle. It can't be any simpler ;)
How to choose a bike for your child
Now that you know the differences between balance bikes and their benefits, it's time to help you to adapt the bike to your and your child's needs. Contrary to what you may think, this isn't overly difficult if you write down what you want in a balance bike.
The most important element to consider when choosing a balance bike is of course its size. In order for your child to be able to move freely on the bike, their legs must be slightly bent at the knees, and the entire foot must touch the ground. When you're looking for a bike for a child who is around two years old (approximately 80 cm tall), it would be great for the seat to be adjustable in the range of 26-32 cm from the ground. It's also worth getting a bike with an adjustable seat to allow you to even better tailor the balance bike to your little one's height.
The weight of the bike is important for both the child and the parent. The lighter the bike, the easier it is for your youngster to manoeuvre. On the other hand, a lighter bike is important for you, because it's you who has to carry it while following your child around when they decide to run off to the playground.
Once you choose several models that meet all your needs, the last thing to consider is whether you like the look. Ask your child which bike they prefer, and voila ;) Our tips will make it easier for you to choose a balance bike, and you can soon enjoy all the benefits of balance bikes :)19.04.2021
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