The fundamental difference between a balance bike and a regular toddler bicycle with training wheels is the absence of pedals.
Balance bikes are an excellent way to teach kids from 3 to 6 years old how to ride a bicycle. You can use multiple methods to transition a kid from the training wheels, however, the balance bike is the simplest way to do so. `
When you are trying to buy a bicycle for your kid, you face two choices: one with training wheels and a balance bike. You can opt to buy a regular bicycle if you have the time to hold them as they learn the rudiments of riding.
Depending on how quickly the kid will pick up the lessons, it should take several hours for them to gain the confidence to ride it without your help.
But balance bikes and training wheels have been proven to teach kids quicker as they learn to manoeuvre them without adult supervision.
Balance Bikes vs. Training Wheels
The hardest part of learning to ride is balancing. Bicycles with training wheels take their attention away from this fundamental lesson. Instead of focusing on how to operate the handlebars, they also have to pay attention to how they pedal.
Sometimes, it can be tricky for three-year-olds to pedal and hold the handlebars simultaneously due to their limited hand-and-eye coordination.
Balance bikes, meanwhile, is a more natural way to learn how to bike. They can just hop on the contraption and use their feet to move the bicycle. It is the same as walking, except with wheels. They would also have more confidence in tackling different speeds since they know to put their foot down when they lose balance.
In contrast, the thought of taking their two feet off the ground to perch on the pedals is a scary prospect. They would be more worried about falling down rather than how to balance themselves.
Anyway, when you teach a kid, you tell them to spread their legs apart and stop paying attention to the pedals for the time being. You will just skip this part of the process when you buy balance bikes instead.
Another benefit of balance bikes is that you can start your kids early. Just select the appropriate bike for their size–meaning they can plant both feet on the ground while sitting down–then age does not matter.
You can also buy balance bikes if your kid is learning how to ride on uneven terrain. When you buy one with training wheels, your kid will be limited to driving on concrete or flat ground.
A balance bike is a better alternative when you live in a location where there is a sparse area of flat ground. Your kid can still ride it on slopes, hills, rocky ground, grass, and dirt trails. Besides, they can just pick up the bike when the terrain is too difficult to navigate.
There are pros and cons to buying balance bikes or training wheels. But breaking down the process will make it easier for your toddler to “get it.” Pretty soon, they will transition to the regular bicycle before you know it. For that reason alone, balance bikes are a great investment, especially if you have many kids.