A Balance Bike For a 2 Year Old - My Review
After writing the article on scooters v balance bikes, I realised some people would like some advice on what to look for when they buy a balance bike for a 2 year old too. Many people dismiss the idea of getting a balance bike for a 2 year old as they feel they are too young. However, the balance bike my son was given for his second birthday was one of the best and well used gifts he has ever been given. I think the reason that many people don't think a 2 year old can ride a balance bike is that they buy balance bikes that are too big for them. The bike must be small enough so that the toddler's feet can push it along the ground. If the bike is too big and their feet can't touch the ground, then they won't be able to ride it.
What To Look For When Buying A Balance Bike for a 2 Year Old
Generally the smallest balance bikes you can get have a measurement of 11 or 12 inches (approx 28-30cm) from the saddle to the floor. This will be fine for the majority of 2 year olds (unless they are tall for their age then you could maybe look at a bigger balance bike).
Ideally, the minimum saddle height of a bike should be about an 1″ less than their inseam (from the crotch to the floor) so they can get on and off the bike easily as well as ride it.
Find a chart for measuring a child's inseam.
Weight - Lighter bikes are easier for young children to control. They are also easier to carry when your child is tired. It's not the most important feature but it's worth checking the weight just to make sure they are not too heavy.
Wheels - You can get balance bikes with rubber wheels or with pnuematic tyres. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. Pnuematic tyres will give a more comfortable ride and are better over uneven terrain but they can be a pain if they get a puncture. They will also need more maintenance, you have to make sure the tyres are pumped up.
Rubber wheels are better on smooth surfaces (ie. pavements, paths in parks etc). They won't get a puncture or need pumping up but they are not very good for going over grass or other uneven terrain.
TinyBike - My Son's Balance Bike - A Review
My son was given a tiny bike for his second birthday. He wasn't that interested in it at first. We kept it in the house. But after a couple of weeks he began to sit on it in the house. Then he started to move along. He walked but the bike was in between his legs. Eventually he started to walk with the bike in between his legs outdoors. Then he began to lift his legs up. For a few seconds and then a few more. Before we knew it (after about 6 weeks), he was whizzing around. We would get comments all the time about how they were amazed on how well this tiny boy was scooting along on this tiny bike.
He used the bike for about 18 months before he grew out of it. I would buy a tiny bike for a 2 year old, but not a 3 year old. There are better bikes for 3 year olds. But I would highly recommend it for younger kids.
TinyBike - Specifications
The tyres are made of rubber and were very durable in my opinion. They are great for flat smooth surfaces like paths and pavements. Not so good for grass but we didn't go on that much.
The bike is really lightweight for a balance bike at 3.4kg. This makes it a lot easier for little children to control. It is also easier for parents to pick up and carry when you need to.
It has little footrests were you can rest your feet. It's a very robust and durable build too.