fluxling #2 – just turned three – is going straight to a balance bike and we opted for a FirstBIKE that had some great reviews and looked pretty cool too.
Balance bikes are all the rage. With a seven year old struggling to master the art of balance after riding a tricycle – vintage reproduction as it may have been – through toddler years, and then a bike with stabilisers, I’m pretty jealous of those parents with kids who’ve had a balance bike and seem to progress to real-bike riding effortlessly.
The benefits of a balance bike as a first bike are pretty clear. The tiny rider learns balance and steering first without having to worry about pedalling at the same time. You can see toddlers as young as 18 month cruising around on a balance bike at great speeds with what looks like not too much practice at all.
So fluxling #2 is going straight to a balance bike and having just turned three, we’ve got him a balance bike by FirstBIKE that had some great reviews and looked pretty cool too. With a GFTT frame that is 30% glass fibre reinforced nylon composite (and virtually impossible to break hence the lifetime guarantee) and real pump up wheels, this is a beautifully made and beautifully designed little bike. The bike comes in grey and black, with the horizontal part of the frame in vibrant colours from blue, pink, green and red to silver and orange.
Out of the box, the FirstBIKE was assembled really easily and comes with a selection of reflective stickers that you can put on with your little one if you can stop them trying to jump on the bike that is while you are going at it.
Once put together, the bike is really lightweight, and the seat height can be adjusted easily by turning a simple knob. The seat itself is a softer rubber and is designed to make it slope upwards from the frame – both attributes that help the rider to sit without forever slipping back away from the handle bars. The frame is a good fit too for a three year old who I’d say is on the smaller side with the seat in the lowest position, and the adjustable seat will give room for growth.
FirstBIKE has different tyre options too from the Street (for the urdan rider) and Cross (for off roaders) models. After that, there’s the Racing and Limited models with Schwalbe Big Apple tyres that are suitable for all surfaces. All the types pump up unlike a lot of other balance bikes on the market.
Our little one was so excited – after a couple of goes and watching our neighbour’s little boy who is a little older and tearing around on his balance bike, he’s got the hang of it and with a little more practice will soon be cruising at high speeds with the ‘big boys’. We have a little comfort in the fact the bike has a brake. And there’s another benefit that’s always a bonus with the little ones – the bike is so lightweight and well designed that when he went off road to run around in the woods in the middle of the ride, it was easy even for me to pick up and carry in his wake.
I’d highly recommend FirstBIKE if you’re thinking of investing in a balance bike as a Christmas present. At a higher price point than a lot of the bikes on offer, it is well worth it for the brilliant design features and the ease of use for the child and for you.
Check out the different FirstBIKE models and colours at www.firstbike.co.uk.