Riding a bike is definitely one of the fondest memories of our childhood. As a parent, we all remember that and hence try to ensure that our child gets the same, without those cuts and bruises. A number of options are available today in the market, but Balance bikes perhaps trump them all. And this is not because of its cool looks. There are significant reasons behind it.
The popular alternatives like tricycle and training wheels hamper the learning ability of a child. It’s like learning how to drive by playing GTA. The entire focus goes on pedaling while balancing shifts to the background; which is wrong, as balancing is perhaps the most important part of riding a bike. Lack of proper balancing skills may lead to potential accidents.
A Balance bike, as the name suggests, focuses only on balancing. It is pedal-less and much safer than the aforementioned alternatives. It is custom-made to enhance the learning curve of a child of almost every age group while being safe at the same time.
So now that we know how important balance bikes could be for you kid, let’s give you some tips to buy the best Balance bike for your kids on black Friday.
Here are 11 tips for you
- Look at the bolts before bolting in:
Bolts from the most protruding parts of a bike, and hence always pose a danger of bruising your young ones. Not to mention the worn-out bolts, that could lead to infecting wounds. The solution to this is opting for recessed, rounded or covered bolts, which are always safe.
- The right grip on the situation:
Grips help one to hold onto the bike. While a sufficiently ridged grip will help to have a better hold on the handle, too many ridges can harm the soft hands of your kids. So, it is important to find the grip that is just right for your kid’s hands. Also, the knobby end of the grip comes handy in case of sudden halts.
- Find the proper frame:
Frames for balanced bikes come in 3 categories: wood, aluminum and steel. Each has its own advantage, like the aluminum frame offers a light-weight bike, while a steel frame can endure heavy weight, and wood frames are more environment-friendly and aesthetic to look at. So you should see which frame caters to your needs properly.
- May I have a footrest, please:
No, seriously, this is what most parents ask. A footrest serves no real purpose in a balance bike, albeit in some particular instances, like on a hilly terrain where it is not always advisable to leave the bike laying around. On the other hand, it may interfere with your child’s leg movements, increasing the risk to hit the footrest while riding. So, think carefully about whether you really want a footrest or not.
- Turning Limiters- Love it or hate it:
The task of Turning Limiter is to prevent the bike from going in a full revolution. This could happen if the rider loses control of the handle, and it turns around freely -resulting in a disaster if the speed is high. Definitely dangerous, right? But Balance bikes are for training, and hence are unlikely to go beyond a slow speed. Some might argue that a kid must have full access to the handle to learn its intricacies, and so that they are more familiar with bike-riding. So, it is up to you to decide.
- Give it a brake:
Balance bikes, by design, are meant to be stopped by the legs. This was the reason behind no pedals so that the legs could be free to maintain balance. However, a set of brakes will still be useful and safer. If you are extra-concerned about safety, you can opt for brakes. Since Balance bikes employ hand-brakes, do remember to check out if your kid can press the brakes properly while riding or not.
- Obesity is never good, even on a bike:
If you have driven a lot of motorbikes, you would know that weight plays an important role. The same bike may be too easy for a 5 years old, but can bring your 2-year old out of breath. So, always focus on whether the weight of the bike is suitable for your child. As a general rule, bikes must not weigh more than 30% of your child’s weight.
- Look at the tires:
Tires have two most important functionalities: cushion and traction. It is important to have a look at both, before buying a bike. Tires are mainly: Big Apple, Air, rubber Honeycomb, EVA foam and hard plastic. You can select the one for you, depending upon a lot of factors – like the vulnerability to sharp objects, smoothness of roads, indoors or outdoors, desired level of cushion etc.
- Bigger is not always better:
To have an optimum control over the bike, it is required that your kid must have a bike whose size is suitable for his/her own size. Too big a bike will be very difficult to maneuver, leading to accidents. Too small bikes would be very clumsy and uncomfortable to ride.
- Look upon the seat height:
This is not a major concern, but will save you some hassle in the future. There is a limit of adjustment to the seat heights, so if you grossly miscalculated what height would suit your child, you may need to replace the entire seat. Better safe than sorry.
- Listen to your kid:
Kids may not always be the best of judges, but it is they who will be riding the bike after all. You may look at all the best possible configurations, but if your kid isn’t comfortable with it, the bike would be worthless. So, always ask for your child’s opinion before finalizing a deal.
Balance bikes are a great way to kick-start your child’s journey onto one of the best things about childhood. The things they would learn from it today are not just for now, but will help them in the future too, whether they ride a motorbike or drive a car. So, make sure they get their first ride as something made especially for them. Happy shopping!!