balance bike

Balance Bike Vs Training Wheels

Learning to balance is the hardest part of learning to ride a bike. A balance bike is like a regular bike without a paddle that helps your children maintain balance while riding. In a balance bike, kids can make themselves potentially strong by using their feet to push along the ground and go ahead. Now let’s find out the difference between balance bikes vs. training wheels.

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Most people start learning to ride a bike by using a training wheel. It is good to use a training wheel but not the easiest way to learn to ride a bike. Because when it comes time to ride them without the extra support of training wheels, things can probably get tough and a bit scary. That is why when we try to ride a regular bike, we lose our balance and fall.

On the other hand, balance bikes have no pedals, so your child can learn to balance without the pedals knocking against their legs. So, on that point, your kid can learn to balance easily. Many experts now believe that balance bikes are better than training wheels for developing good balance and coordination in young children.

Here is the 5 Reason why you should also choose a balance bike for your child.

  • Easier transition:

Balance bikes allow for more non-stop transfers of a paddle bike than a training wheel. With the help of training wheels, your child will already be slowing down pedaling but will have no idea of balance.

They need to learn how to keep the bike straight and what to do when it falls. The balance bike gives them a chance to deal with the fall from the start when they move at a slower pace, so it is not a new experience when they switch. Since paddling can be challenging, a child experienced with a balance bike will know how to maintain balance and protect themselves with their feet when they start to tip.

  • Moving Independence:

Balance bikes allow more independent learning and more skills to develop, not only motor skills but also decision-making, independence, and confidence. Children can play independently in the playground. There is no need for support for bike riding.

  • Lite and Easier to Ride:

Balance bikes are much lighter than bikes with training wheels. They are usually half the weight of a paddle bike. A 12-inch paddle bike with a training wheel weighs 12-15 pounds, while a balance bike weighs just 6-8 pounds.

Most kids weigh about 25 pounds. Considering that a 15-pound bike is going to be much more challenging for them to ride than a 6-pound balance bike.

  • A balanced cycle on uneven surfaces is a Free Flow:

A child can only go so fast and not bend very well because the wheels of training keep them somewhat unbalanced. It’s just an awkward journey. And since small, plastic training wheels can be easily caught on any uneven surface, training wheels limit a child from running up and down the street.

With the help of a balance bike, a child can easily walk on the sidewalk and the grass. They can easily deal with pebbles and dirt trails. A balance bike is more suitable for a child’s adventurous attitude.

Young children can usually not ride a paddle bike comfortably until they are 3 years old, but at the age of 18 months, they can start exploring a balance bike. By the age of 3, most balance bike riders can ride their balance bike virtually anywhere. Kids on training wheels don’t usually ride bikes outside of their surroundings.

Balance Bike is suitable as a first bike and is ideal for kids from 18 months old. They are also an excellent way for kids to find their feet before progressing to paddle bikes.

Why do people choose balance bikes?

Here are five advantages that encourage people to use balance bikes instead of training bikes.

  • Confidence building:

There is nothing that makes a little boy or girl more cheerful than riding a balance bike. A balance bike is helping a kid to develop athletic ability and a sense of confidence in his body. Especially for young kids who find it difficult to do simple things. The feeling is amazing to be able to ride their bikes themselves.

  • Fun:

If you want to make your child happy and put a smile on his face then buying him or her a bike could be the right option. The universal kid thing is that they all like bikes. They will be happy when they start learning to balance bikes with other kids on the field without falling.

  • Exposure to the outdoors:

The most interesting thing about bikes is that they give the children a reason to go outdoors. Most children love cartoons, video games, and indoor games. So, they do not get enough time in nature which causes widespread behavioral and psychological problems. The bike gives them a reason to explore nature. Especially in a time like the 21st century, where everyone is so much involved in social networking and video games bikes could be a mind changer for you and your kids.

  • Effective cost:

Many people expend more money on toys for children. But the toys are not very effective and secure. But bikes can be used by your child for several years and then still be in good enough shape to be handed down to a younger sibling or be sold.

If you buy a balance bike for your child, after learning to balance, you can add a paddle to the balance bike and make it a regular bike for him. Which gives them two in one facilities at a lower cost.

  • Over All Control:

Learning to control their speed, stopping without falling, and shifting their weight by leaning in turns and techniques are just a few of the extra biking skills that keep bikers in balance before shifting to pedal bikes. They can easily learn to control their bike.

We have put together a little review of the parts of the balance bike so that you can get more familiar with your child’s new bike.

Grips: This grip part is mainly attached to the ends of the handlebars. These are the soft elastic bits that will be held by your little rider. They will steer the bike with these grips.

Handlebars: This is the steering wheel for a car. Handlebars are what the riders will hold and use to steer their little bikes. Most commonly, the handlebars are attached to the stem of the bike.

The stem: It holds the handlebars. It attaches them to the bike’s fork to rescue your little biker from any kind of accident. The purpose of the stem is to position the handlebars so that your kid can ride to any of their desired locations and also promote good riding form.

Headset: The headset helps attach your kid’s bike fork to the main bike frame. It’s a set of bearings. From inside, the head tube of the bike frame allows the fork to turn. When the handlebars are turned, then the headset turns too.

Fork: The fork holds the front wheel onto the bike, which is a very important feature of the balance bike. You must check the fork quality to ensure your kid’s safety. When the wheel is removed, it looks a bit like a fork. That’s why the name was formed. The fork’s steer tube is what the stem attaches to and allows the bike to steer.

Seat post: The seat post fits into the seat tube. It attaches to the rear of the bike and also acts as the vertical part that the saddle attaches to. There is a seat-tube clamp that is used to tighten the seat post in place.

The Saddle: The saddle is what your little rider sits on. It is very important to make sure of your child’s safety. If you are buying a balance bike and you are ensuring the paddle, then you are ensuring half of your child’s safety when they are scooting or running on their balance bike.

Frame: The main part of the bike is the frame of the bike. The frame is the centerpiece of the bike. It’s also the part where everything is attached to it. On a balance bike, the frame is minimal as there is no drivetrain and no brakes on that bike.

Wheels: The wheel is made up of three major components.

  •       Hub
  •       Spokes
  •       Rim

It is better to ensure the proper structure of the spokes and rim. As your little kid is riding the bike on these two wheels, it is important to have proper quality wheels. There are two wheels on a balance bike. The wheel is made up of a hub, which is the center part of the wheel, then the spokes that contain the thin metal pieces that connect the hub to the rim, and lastly, the rim that makes up the outer part of the wheel that the tire mounts to.

Tire: The tire is the component that places the rubber on the road. The tire is the last part of a “wheel”. And also the part of the bike that contacts the ground.

Tube (valve): It is the part that holds air inside the tire. Before a tire is mounted on the rim, a tube is placed inside the tire so that it can be inflated to give the tire shape.

And that’s everything about the parts of a balance bike that you need to know about. Since balance bikes are intentionally made to be minimalist, they have fewer parts than the larger bikes.

Training Wheels:

After hearing so many good things about balance bikes you may think training wheels are not that good. But on this point let’s change your mind a little bit. Training wheels were designed to simplify the process of learning to ride a bike, but they also can lead you to more confusion.

 As balance bikes are becoming much more mainstream year by year, bikes with the training wheels are still the standard for most families, and why not? As they can assure their kid’s safety more with this, it is easier for them to select training wheels.

SKYLAB training wheels for 12 14 16 18 20 inch kids’ bikes.

Heavy Duty Training Wheels.

Training Wheels for Kids are mainly custom-designed to stabilize attachment that creates stronger brackets for children’s bicycles. The training wheel is spinning during Kids ride their bikes with attached training wheels.

Training Wheels:

 SKYLAB bicycle training wheels are ideal for 20, 18, 16, 14, and 12-inch bikes including two rear training wheels, tools for installation, and a set of bicycle handlebar grips.

Training wheels for kids’ bicycles:

The training wheels for young kids help them easily to balance their bikes to ride. Though it is not good for your kid if you want to make him learn how to ride the bike. But if you are well determined to buy one then you should buy this one.

Balance Bikes and Pedal Bikes

Balance bikes sometimes referred to as strider bikes generically, feature handlebars, a seat, and two wheels, but no drivetrain. There are no pedals, no cogs, no chain, and typically no brakes. To move, kids start by walking the bike while sitting on the seat, then taking longer strides and gliding between steps, and finally picking up both feet and coasting a long way. To slow down and stop, they simply drag or press their feet on the ground.

Pedal bikes feature all the parts of a balance bike, plus the addition of a drivetrain: pedals attached to a crank that turns chaining which is connected by a chain to a cog on the rear wheel. Using your feet to turn the pedals drives the rear wheel. Children sit higher on pedal bikes, compared to balance bikes, because the cranks need room to go around without hitting the ground – even during turns. As a result, pedal bikes for young children need either hand brakes, coaster brakes, or both, because kids may not be able to sit on the seat.

FAQs

How do training wheels work?

Training wheels help kids stay on a bike and pedal at an earlier age. If your goal is for your child to pedal a bike while assisted then this is the option you should choose.

But if your goal is for your child to learn to ride a bike, the answer is no because at that point training wheels are not going to be okay for you. Because they do not train your kids to ride a bike.  As soon as they are going to ride the real bike they will fall.

Training wheels do not teach a child how to balance a bike. Balancing is the first and most important thing in learning how to ride a bike. People usually think learning how to pedal is the first requirement but it is not.  One can easily ride a bike by sitting on the seat and running with your legs where no pedals are required. The emphasis on training kids to balance while overtraining them to pedal is why the balance bike become so popular.

Do balance bikes perform better than training wheels?

The obvious answer to this question is “Yes”. Balance bikes teach kids to balance and allow them to independently ride a bike as young as 18 months old.

Bikes with training wheels may require kids to be older and taller to start riding and they are also limited to riding on flat surfaces.  Kids who graduate from a balance bike also do not ever need training wheels to master a pedal bike because they will typically how to balance the bike. That is how we come to know about balance bikes vs. training wheels.

What’s the best age for having a balance bike?

Kids typically begin riding a bike with training wheels or a balance bike around 3 to 5 years old but the age range spans from 3 to 8.  They are available on bikes of various sizes to accommodate kids of various ages.

While many 3-year-olds are ready for a bike with them while finding a bike small enough to fit them comfortably can be challenging. For a child to properly fit on a bike with training wheels, they should ideally be able to touch the ground with both of their feet at the same time while seated on the bike.

Can you put them on any bike?

Training wheels are mounted on a bike and do not work with every bike.  While most kids’ bikes found at big-box can accommodate them, much higher-ends kid’s bikes cannot. If the rear axle on a bike is too short to hold then it can be said that the bike is not compatible.

Can you put them on a 24-inch bike?

While there are training wheels that will fit 24-inch bikes, most 24-inch bikes do not have a rear axle long enough to fit them.  If your 24-inch bike is geared and has a rear derailleur, you must have training wheels that attach to the frame, rather than the axle.

Why are training wheels bad?

Training wheels are not bad. It is just not the right way if you want to learn how to ride. The reason training wheels have fallen out of favor is that your kid is not going to give the effort to learn even if he is riding the bike with the training wheel.

Should I buy a balance bike or a bicycle with training wheels?

If your child is athletic and has exceptional balance you could skip the training wheels. Temporarily remove the pedals from their bike, and get them to practice scooting and gliding on the bike.  Once they have the hang of that, put the pedal back on.

How do I transition my child away from training wheels?

If your kiddo is already riding a bike with training wheels then do not panic.  You have not ruined them forever. You have a couple of options at this point.  My first recommendation is to ditch the pedal bike and go back to a balance bike until they have a great sense of balance.

Then you can introduce them to the pedal bike again without training wheels.  If you do not have a balance bike then just try temporarily removing the pedals from your bike and using it as a balance bike.

Some kids are not going to go for the balance bike idea. Because they are already attached to their pedal bike.  In this case, try raising their training wheels so that they tip side-to-side.  This will force them to begin working on their balance.

Once they have a good sense of balance, take the training wheels off and follow the further procedures mentioned.

Another thing that can help is having them ride bikes with other kids that are not on training wheels.  Chances are they will quickly become frustrated with their inability to go fast and do tricks like the other kids.  There is nothing like a little peer pressure to get kids biking without training wheels.

Final words

No doubt, it is always exciting seeing your child on any kind of bike, whether bikes with training wheels or balance bikes. But it gets even better when you see them zoom along on a perfect-sized bike without any need for your assistance. In a nutshell, you can choose to purchase a bike with training wheels for your kid, and that’s fine. However, if you would love to see them quickly riding independently, balancing elegantly, and pedaling graciously, you should opt for a balance bike.

That is how we come to know about the balance bikes vs. training wheels. We have been able to clear the air on the balance bike vs. training wheels debate, so it’s up to you to do what’s best for your kid. Before allowing your kid to ride a bike, don’t forget to wear a helmet. Also, ensure that the spokes are tightened. Remember, your little one’s safety should always come first, even as they try to learn the ropes and strive to become improved bike riders.

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