Are you thinking about buying a balance bike for your kid?
Maybe you are not sure if this is the correct time to buy a balance bike. Well, depending on your kid’s balancing skill and height, you can make the decision.
Generally If your kid’s age is 18 months to 9 years old or your kid’s inseam length is between 10.5 to 25 inch, and your kid has not developed the balancing skills to ride a bike yet, then you may buy a balance bike for him to improve his balancing skills.
You may buy a balance bike now, if –
- Your kid has not developed the expected balancing skills to ride a bike yet.
- If your kid’s inseam is between 10.5 to 25 inch. Otherwise it will be hard to find a suitable one for him.
Before buying, also check the weight of the balance bike. The lower the weight, the more comfortable it is to control the bike.
There are lots of balance bikes on the market for around 18 months to 9 years old kids.
You will just have to pick the suitable one for you.
I am going to discuss these points in more detail.
The primary reason for buying a balance bike
Nowadays many people believe balance bikes are the most effective way to teach the kids about how to have proper balance on a bike.
Whereas tricycles and training wheels develop the kid’s pedaling skills and strengths, they do not develop the balancing skills that much.
For this reason, the kids who are going to be proud owners of bikes in the future, should start practicing with balance bikes. It will not even feel like practice. Balance bikes are fun … !!!
The transition from a balance bike to a bike is easier and more enjoyable.
If you find a suitable balance bike on the market for your kid, you may go for it now, but don’t forget to check the allowed inseam range for a balance bike before buying.
What is inseam and why it is important
Your kid’s Inseam is the length between the underside of the groin to the ankle’s bottom of your kid.
How inseam can be measured
- Let your kid stand straight in front of a wall.
- Place a book vertically between his thighs, touching the bottom part of groin.
- Mark with a pencil on the wall parallal to the top part of the book.
- Now measure the distance between the floor and the marking.
Why inseams are so important !!!
While selecting the perfect balance bike you will have to make sure that your child can sit comfortably on the bike.
When he sits on the bike comfortably, his both feets should touch the ground comfortably. The angle on his knees should neither be too much or too less. The angle should be around 135 degrees. See the image –
To ensure this position, the balance bike’s seat height from the ground should be proper. If we keep the seat height .5 to 1 inch less than the inseam of your child, the child will be able to sit on the bike comfortably and will be able to control the bike with ease.
In most of the balance bikes seat heights can be adjusted according to the inseam of the child.
There are different balance bikes for different inseam ranges. So, before buying a balance bike for your kid check the inseam value on the manufacturer’s website.
If you are buying from amazon check in the description sections. Most of the sellers mention the inseam range.
If your kid’s inseam is between 10.5 inch to 25 inch you will find a comfortable balance bike for him
If your kid’s inseam is between 10.5 to 25 inch you will find a suitable balance bike on the market.
For a 12 inch balance bike the max inseam value can be 20 inch.
For a 16 inch balance bike the maximum inseam value can be 25 inch.
This value may vary from brand to brand.
However, if his inseam is more than 25 inch then probably you should not buy a balance bike for your kid. This is because you will not be able to find a perfectly comfortable bike for him. However, if you find one according to his inseam then go for it.
If your kid’s inseam is higher than the desired range and you are unable to find a balance bike for his size, one alternate solution is to convert his bike into a balance bike.
If he has a comfortable bike, then you may remove the pedal and temporarily use it as a balance bike. When his balancing skills are improved then add the pedals again and it will take less time for him to learn to ride the bike.
On the other hand, if his inseam is less than 10.5 inch, then wait for some time. When he grows a little, then you may buy a balance bike for him.
Or if you do not want to wait that much, you may look for baby balance bikes. However, I am not sure if they develop balancing skills like normal conventional balance bikes.
Balance bike that allow 12 to 20 inch inseam
Like many other balance bikes, Strider – 12 Sport Balance Bike’s seat height can be adjusted. That is why it supports 12 to 20 inch inseams.
Balance bike that allow 15 to 25 inch inseam
Bixe 16″ Pro Balance Bike supports 15-25 inch inseams.
These are just small examples. There are a variety of brands and models.
It is also good idea to check these while buying a balance bike
If the inseam matches then you are good to go for buying a balance bike. However, keep an eye on the following factors to make your bike more comfortable for your kid –
Weight of the balance bike
Lighter balance bikes are more controllable and comfortable for your kids. While buying keep an eye on it.
The 30% rule
A suitable balance bike for your kid should weigh 30% of your kid’s weight or less.
Suppose your kid’s weight is 30 pounds.
Then the maximum weight of his balance bike should be (30 X 0.3) pounds i.e. 9 pounds.
The higher the weight of the bike than 9 pounds, the less control your kid will have on his bike and the less comfortable it will be.
Example of a light balance bike (4 lbs)
There are lots of light balance bikes on the market.
For example, “Bixe: Green Aluminum Balance Bike” weighs only 4 pounds.
Weight of the rider
For bikes up to 5 years age range generally have a maximum weight capacity of around 60 pounds.
On the other hand, balance bikes which have a 9 years age limit have around 150 pounds of rider weight limit.
This data may vary from brand to brand.
I know for most of the kids this will not be an issue. However, it is good to check before buying.
If your kid cannot ride a bike, it is a great idea to buy a balance bike for him or her. It will prepare them for riding a bike.
You may buy a balance bike when your kid is 18 months to 9 years old. There are a variety of bikes on the market. Buy the one that you like.
Before buying it is very important to measure the inseam of your child. Select the balance bike from the market that is suitable for his inseam.
Last but not the least, try to buy a lighter balance bike. Children’s balance bike weight should at most be 30% of their weight.