The first step towards your little one’s own bike is the done with a balance bike. The little ones learn to keep their balance and how to steer their new companion safely when riding on streets with no traffic. The momentum is gained by the feet that are flat on the ground first so that your child can walk his run bike comfortably and later on lift both feet to run or even cruise around. However, all this needs to be coordinated first. Riding a balance bike requires practice. Being more comfortable than a scooter and lighter than a tricycle, run bikes provide optimum preparation for riding a bicycle later on. Most run bikes are made of wood or metal and are suitable for children at the age of two years and up. More information >
The range of balance bike is pretty wide – there are run bikes available in various sizes, being made of metal or wood, being fitted with brakes or without brakes. In order to make sure that you as parents find the right one for your little one, it is important to know the respective advantages and disadvantages. Only this way, your kids will be provided with long-term fun when riding their new run bike. The height of your child needs to be considered in particular.
Run bikes by Puky or Kettler are made of metal. They are particularly light in weight, feature an ergonomic shape and can be adjustable individually. Handlebar and saddle can be adjusted so that they adapt perfectly to the height of your child which makes the balance bike suitable for being used throughout the entire run bike period. The handlebar can be steered completely to either side if required and the light weight of the child makes it easier for him/ her to handle the balance bike.
A wooden run bike scores high when it comes to the natural material it is made of. Balance bikes made of wood are manufactured, inter alia, by Pinolino. Run bikes that are made of such a renewable resource as wood in one piece, are a more sustainable choice and offer a particularly firm hold. That way, children can first and fully concentrate on keeping their balance. However, wooden run bikes feature a handlebar and seat height that cannot be adjusted so that an adaptation to the child is not possible.
Run bikes by different manufacturers like Puky or Hodura are available in three sizes. Depending on the age or height of the child, you will surely find the right balance bike for your child. Whether your little one is physically able to operate a run bike depends largely on his/ her size. Balance bikes with 8 inches are suitable for children from a height of about 80 cm and an inside leg length of about 30 cm. This corresponds to an age of 1.5 to 2 years.
A saddle height between 30 cm and 35 cm are featured by the 10-inch balance bikes. They represent a rare intermediate size and are also suitable for children from 1.5 years and can be used up to an age of 3 years. 12-inch balance bikes are suitable for children from 2 years and up. Children should have reached a height of approximately 90 cm and an inside leg length of 35 cm. It is important that your child finds a firm grip with both feet flat on the ground when his legs outstretched. Only then a safe ride on the predecessor of the bike possible.
Of course, the question for the accessories arises. Toddlers who just started riding a run bike are often not yet able to operate a brake. This is due to their low physical and motoric development. Thus, the brake of a run bike provides parents with a deceptive kind of security of which they and their child cannot yet make a use. Even a bicycle stand can often not be used. Important, however, is a good protection of the handlebar ends, since run bikes are usually put on the ground.
We also recommend you to refrain from a steering impact limit. In case your little pilot falls down, it can happen that the inflexible handlebar causes serious injury. The tires play a crucial role. Plastic or rubber wheels are rarely broken, but let the little driver feel the background more clearly and lead to more vibration. Pneumatic wheels and a good suspension on the rear wheel allow a more pleasant driving experience for your child.
Riding a run bike provides your child with optimum preparation for riding a bicycle later on. When your child uses a single-track vehicle for the first time, there are important things to be aware of. As with riding a bicycle, a helmet is mandatory on the balance bike. Especially during their first ever attempts at riding a run bike, the little ones often are very likely to fall, but even when your child has gained some more experience with his new vehicle, the risk of injury is still rather high. The coordination between steering and keeping the balance must be practiced. In order to make sure that your child’s is provided with maximum safety, a bike helmet belongs to the basic equipment.
When riding the first vehicle, children are still very busy with their coordination. Riding a run bike is therefore only permitted on private ground or safe roads. The beginner may not yet participate in traffic. Always remember that your child may lose control and does not yet have full understanding for traffic regulations.
Suitable areas for learning how to ride a balance bike are open areas such as level forest paths, a playground, your own driveway or other open spaces where there are no cars. Due to their increased risk of accidents, downhill paths are not suitable learning environments. Your little beginner will gradually train and gain their responsive capacity and the ability to use their Puky properly. For this reason, using a balance bike should never be done without supervision.
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