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Thread: 4 year old - too old for balance bike?

  1. #1

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    Default 4 year old - too old for balance bike?

    So DD wants a bike, she is soon to be four but she has never really shown any interest in any type of ride on toy or bike before and is only really just getting hang of scooter. I don't think she is that strong in her legs (she had hip dysplasia and walked very late and compared to DS she doesn't seem to have that much strength or co-ordination). I have always been keen on idea of balance bikes but now is she too old? - most kids bikes with stabilizers seem really heavy and I really think she would struggle to pedal one. She is about 106cm so is within range for a balance bike, and provided we didn't spend too much it wouldn't bother me if she needed to move on from it quite quickly because DS would be on to it straight away.

    Any thoughts on if she is too old for one? I don't want to spend much as I have no idea whether she will take to a bike at all - and have seen a few on gumtree but am a bit clueless as to what I should really be looking for.


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    DD just got a pedal bike for her birthday (after 1.5 years with the balance bike) and DS isn't up to the balance bike for at least another few months. Want to borrow ours to see if she takes to it?

  3. #3

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    Yes that would be great - thanks - will PM or FB you and can sort out picking it up etc.

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    I don't think that is too old at all. DD at 3 is just getting good mileage out of it, and 4 yo friends love having a go when they are here.

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    DD2 is 4 and still rides her balance bike everywhere in spite of being able to ride a pedal bike. She feels more comfortable and confident on it. DD1 rode hers until she turned 5 from memory so I don't think she's too old. You can pick them up incredibly cheaply these days (about $50) so it's not a massive outlay.

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    DS is 4 & we got one for him for christmas as he wasn't "getting" the pedal bike. He really lacks confidence in riding so I think it is beneficial for him. I don't think he's too old.

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    No, not too old at all I don't think! My DD1 is 4 and she loves her balance bike.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: 4 year old - too old for balance bike?

    Thanks for the info. We are going to borrow Santosha's and see how she goes. Then look at getting one for her birthday perhaps - my gut feeling is she isnt too old just some have seen seem quite small. Also before I bought her a ride on thing just before she started walking and she went on it once so didn't want to make same mistake twice as DH still teases me about it (at least DS uses it now).

  9. #9

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    Our 3.5 year old cannot get the hang of the balance bike, his legs aren't quite long enough for the one we got him. So I think a 4 year old would get heaps of use out of one.

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    I think you should go with the balance bike, as you said she doesn't have a whole lot of leg strength, bike experience, etc. Especially if you are able to borrow one, or pick one up fairly cheaply. If she was really into riding already I might suggest just going straight for a "normal" bike.

    And just to let you know, once DD is ready for a "big bike", there are different size bikes, even within the same tyre size. Ie, you can get a 16 inch bike (which is about 4 year old size) in a smaller or bigger size. The handlebars are different, and I think (but can't remember) the frames could be a little different. Once on a bike, if DD still finds it a little difficult to pedal, change the rear sprocket (the gear on the back wheel the chain goes on) to a slightly bigger one. Keep the original sprocket, you may use it later. I remember my Dad doing this on my first bike because where we lived was on a hill and I couldn't pedal up it.

  11. #11

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    Alternately - the way we teach our kids to ride a pedal bike is to convert the pedal bike into a balance bike by dropping the seat right down and removing the pedals so that is another option although the balance bikes are a lot lighter than normal bikes which is part of the benefit.

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    Although both my boys can ride pedal bikes, they both still love to hoon around on the balance bike. Especially my three year old.
    We bought our wooden balance bike many moons ago from Aldi. We spent approx $40/$50. Not the hundreds that some cost. We kept it inside or in the garage always. It is the reason that both my kids learned to ride pedal bikes so early on. They had never had that training wheels sensation and just learned they had to balance themselves.

    When we bought my small statured 4 yo (now 5) a new bike, we spent extra and got a ByK. Bigger wheels and lower centre of gravity, so they are very stable. They do balance bikes, too, but I'm not sure how much they are.

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    Both my boys got bikes at christmas and cant pedal them, and when take them to park near home that has big concrete area to practice they get off and play on equipment, so just bought a balance bike on scoopon for $49 to try that. DS1 loves his scooter and flys around on that DS2 a woose and pulls it most of the way.

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    We borrowed Santosha's balance bike - so far it has inspired more scooter riding and less arguments because DS doesn't mind the balance bike but DD is not keen still and wants a proper bike! I don't know where she got the 'proper bike' idea from - but I think she will get it eventually - probably when DS really gets the hang of the balance bike! :-)

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