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Thread: Balance Bike opinions

  1. #11
    ShawnoftheDread's Avatar
    ShawnoftheDread is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eminva View Post
    Just out of curiosity, can you not take a really small kids bicycle, take off the pedals and get the same effect? Trek and Specialized, at least, probably make some very small two-wheelers. I would think the sturctural integrity would be a bit better.

    Also, that way you can graduate them to pedals without having to buy something new.

    Liz
    I've done this, and while it works the proportions aren't quite the same. The balance bikes seats go much lower, and there seems to be less bumping of feet and legs on bike parts with the balance bike. And as GuyContinental mentioned, regular bikes are also heavier.

    We also have a wood Skuut-style Target knockoff. While the second kid is now using it, it really hasn't held up well (though worth the $20 or so I paid for it).

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyContinental View Post
    A-ha! I was useful!

    That seat doesn't look level- did you drill out a new hole or just leave it be? On the bolts, while I had it apart I added some washers and Lock-tite. No looseness anymore.
    That photo was taken mid-setup. Afterwards, I pushed the seat back and made it level. its just a couple cm off of the rear tire, but much better than the position in the above photo.
    May try something for the bolts - the twitchy-ness is definitely there, but doesn't seem to affect motion too much

  3. #13
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    Pheonix Bikes did this for me for something like $25, using a frame and parts they had lying around.
    How old was your kid? I ask because I've never seen a normal bike that would be small enough and light enough for a sub-2 year old to use as a balance bike. Size is obvious. Weight is important because as they're learning, kids drop the bikes on themselves ALL THE TIME.

    We have an aluminum Strider-knockoff (this) that has been great. We've had it since October, when our daughter turned 2. She's on the tall side (75th %tile in height, I think), and it was a touch too big when we first got it. She tried it a couple times, but wasn't interested... Until early January. One day she just asked to try it. She asked to ride to the library (about a mile), and my husband took her out, thinking she'd want to turn around and head to the park (much closer). An hour later I got a call -- she had ridden all the way to the library, and it was going to be dark by the time they walked/rode back, so I picked them up. Now she LOVES it. I can't speak to durability, but it's so cheap, I won't be heartbroken if it doesn't last for #2 (though it seems like it will).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    How old was your kid? I ask because I've never seen a normal bike that would be small enough and light enough for a sub-2 year old to use as a balance bike. Size is obvious. Weight is important because as they're learning, kids drop the bikes on themselves ALL THE TIME.
    It was for my older child with a disability, so I don't know if you could find a bike small enough for your needs.

    We have an aluminum Strider-knockoff (this) that has been great. We've had it since October, when our daughter turned 2. She's on the tall side (75th %tile in height, I think), and it was a touch too big when we first got it. She tried it a couple times, but wasn't interested... Until early January. One day she just asked to try it. She asked to ride to the library (about a mile), and my husband took her out, thinking she'd want to turn around and head to the park (much closer). An hour later I got a call -- she had ridden all the way to the library, and it was going to be dark by the time they walked/rode back, so I picked them up. Now she LOVES it. I can't speak to durability, but it's so cheap, I won't be heartbroken if it doesn't last for #2 (though it seems like it will).
    That's cool. Just have another kid and you won't let the stuff go to waste.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    That's cool. Just have another kid and you won't let the stuff go to waste.
    Done and done. Kid #1 has a 25 month head start on kid #2 - she'll have to pick another bike by her 4th bday...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Done and done. Kid #1 has a 25 month head start on kid #2 - she'll have to pick another bike by her 4th bday...
    But you'll need a third one for the stuff the second one outgrows, and so on...and next thing you know, you're a Duggar.

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    Name:  040926firstbike.jpg
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    Here is a photo from the days before anyone had heard of a balance bike -- my kid on his first bike. He was three. I have no idea how much the bike weighed. I think they had smaller sizes. But then, he was never human sized, as Dirt would put it, then or now (always way over the 95th percentile).

    He had no trouble getting around on it. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken the pedals off and put something protective over the bottom bracket, and omitted the training wheels altogether. It did take him a while to graduate from the training wheels.

    Liz

    (Yes, he would kill me if he knew I was posting a photo from when he was a little kid).

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    Why can't we have nice things? :P

    http://www.islabikes.co.uk/

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyContinental View Post
    As an aside, there must be a market out there for a kids bike with a weight proportional to it's size... yes I get that kids bikes get worked but "respect the bike" is already a mantra in my house...
    Not enough of a market. Issues are cost, durability, and engineering. One of the major ways adult frames have gotten lighter is by making the tubes thicker at the joints than in the middle--kids tubes are so small that I don't think there's a lot of room to do that. Then the cost of making individual components lighter is basically the same as an adult bike--and not many people are going to pay for a dura-ace cassette for a six year old. And then at the end of the day, kids do dumb things that would break a lightweight bike, and the returns/complaints would kill the margins for the vendor. So the market isn't zero, but it's in the range of custom-builder volume. (And if you have to ask what that costs, you're not the target market. )


    Oh, and after dropping a couple thousand on a custom bike, the kid will outgrow it in a year, guaranteed.
    Last edited by mstone; 02-25-2013 at 03:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KelOnWheels View Post
    Why can't we have nice things? :P

    http://www.islabikes.co.uk/
    They've got some of the nicest kids bikes out there. But even then, their 20 inch is about 65% of the weight of my bike for a kid that weighs something like 15% what I do. The discrepancy is probably worse for "how much can we each lift".

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