First bikes for toddlers

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Shawn
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My twin girls are approaching their 2nd birthday, and people have started talking about buying them their first bikes. The girls are very interested in bikes because they see mine, but I not sure what to buy. There are tricycles, small bikes with training wheels, steel, plastic…. a TON of options.

At a bike shop, I saw “glider” style bikes that caught my eye(basically these look like a tiny “real bike,” but they have no pedals). I heard they are supposed to help with balance and eliminate the need for training wheels when they’re older.

Does anyone on here have any insight?


sloaps
Participant
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Giant makes a trike for lil’ people, and so does Trek.

A friend got the giant for their daughter. they choose it over the trek. they’re roughly the $ame retail, but the trek is a lot heavier.

They got the giant from PGH Pro bikes in Squirrel Hill because they’re the only ones who had it in stock, locally.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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More out of cynicism than anything else, I went to K-Mart’s site. No surprise, El Cheapo trikes are about half of the Giant.

Shawn, you might be talking about this. Also a two-wheel version, for the slightly larger child.

Intriguing, to say the least.


Shawn
Participant
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Stu- my girls tested one closer to your second link at pro bikes in monroeville last night. It was made by specialized. They’re not quite two, so when I put them on the tricycle, they just sat there, but they scooted all around on this thing.

The guy at the shop basically said these are good as soon as they can walk.

I really like the idea, but was hoping to find someone outside of the shop that has directly experienced the gliders.


cburch
Participant
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Balance bikes are where it’s at for little kids. Before you know it they will be coasting along and picking there feet up and balancing the bike all on their own. Once they outgrow the balance bike it usually takes a couple tries to learn to pedal and then they are off. We got one for my niece when she was three and she rides it everywhere still at four (she’s a tiny little thing so she isn’t big enough for a pedal bike quite yet) I’ve seen video of kids as young as three riding bmx tracks after having learned on balance bikes. Chris has a couple at thick if you want to check them out.


Shawn
Participant
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This is like the one they played with last night (not my kid in the pic). I think they’d like it since it looks like a real bike. They’re all about that right now.


stefb
Participant
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Got a balance bike for my niece last year and she did well on it and liked it. She is small for her age, so we waited until her 3rd birthday. She wanted a razor scooter this year, so as far as I know she hasn’t been on a pedal bike yet but the balance bikes are supposed to make it easier when they do progress.


dwillen
Participant
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I have at least two friends that got one of these things for their kids:

(photo by sfbike – not my friends’ kids)

They both reported positive results. Both kids are now riding a bike with pedals and neither one used training wheels at all.


edmonds59
Participant
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Seems like tiny kids bikes are common and plentiful, if you want to be green you could easily pick one up dirt cheap, pull out the cranks and stuff in some rubber hand-balls or something in the hole, then when they’re ready to try pedals, put them back in. I mean, why put more crap on a boat from China?

I’m a big believer in those razor scooters, too. Both of my kids learned the balance on the scooters and went seamlessly on to bikes.


Shawn
Participant
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I like when you guys give me the answer that I really want to hear! Thanks.


Lolly
Participant
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I just saw the Skuut in Momentum and it made me wish I had one of those to start with as a young lass before I got my awesome Strawberry Shortcake bicycle.


StuInMcCandless
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J Z
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Our eldest who is now 4 got a tricycle and a Strider balance bike at the same time. We found that the trike taught him the pedaling and handling and the Strider gave him the balancing and handling skills. He was riding w/o training wheels @ 3.

You could always get a 12 inch and take the pedals off.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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How early has anyone started a kid on a unicycle? I have two with an 18″ wheel, Scholl’s in West View has a 16″, and I’ve seen 12″s. By age 6, the human body has the skills, but I have no personal knowledge of a competent uni rider that young.

(sorry for the minor threadjack, but it seemed close to topic)


John
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This kid makes the strider bikes look fun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga72-ASP1uM


edmonds59
Participant
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That kid just obliterated all the crappy things I’ve been thinking about people all day.


cburch
Participant
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This kid has made my day. Additionaly, I am now even more excited about being a dad.


edmonds59
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Hey:

http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bik/1979596342.html

There have actually been things on CL this week that are not completely insane.


brian j
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I’m late to the party, but +1 for the Strider. My younger son starting riding one just about at age 2.5, and very quickly he was able to balance. He graduated to a pedal bike (sans training wheels) by age four.


eMcK
Participant
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Strider FTW. My 6 year old learned on one, now the 3 (almost 4) year old is tearing it up on the same bike. He has the skills to learn to ride a pedal bike, but he seems perfectly happy on the Strider, so I’m not pushing it.

The Strider is also much lighter than anything else I’ve picked up, which makes it easier for the little tykes to handle and pick up when dropped. They are still very strong:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hDhSdPdbXg


brian j
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@eric: one disadvantage of the Strider–the kid doesn’t learn how to pedal. When we put our younger on the pedal bike, he was quite literally pedaling squares. He had no issues with balance (he very rarely fell over when trying to learn to pedal), but, by golly, spinning those pedals was a challenge.

That said, I’d still recommend a Strider over a bike with training wheels any day.

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