Jump to content

Balance bike vs traditinal bike with training wheels, and scooter

  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 nasty buddha

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:25 PM


I am just wondering a few things about these.

My (small sized) toddler (almost 3) has  a balance bike and has almost outgrown it from a seat adjustment perspective.  

I don't know whether to get  a bigger balance bike or just get a traditional bike with pedals and training wheels. I had a family member comment that my toddler should  just be able to go straight to pedals without training wheels.

What age can a kid use a bike with training  wheels?  And without training  wheels?

Also... What age can a kid use a scooter? Are there any brand recommendations for a good scooter?


#2 #mocha

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:26 PM

You can get a traditional bike and take the pedals off and use it as a balance bike.  Saves buying 2 bikes

#3 nasty buddha

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:30 PM

Really? Wow. Didn't know that

#4 just roses

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:32 PM

Just go straight to a bike. Both my kids - neither particularly coordinated - went straight from balance bike to normal bike without issue.

ETA: We had planned to do what PP suggested and take the pedals off the bike, but were too lazy. And turns out it wasn't necessary anyway!

Edited by just roses, 18 June 2019 - 08:45 PM.

#5 Sparkles16

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:32 PM

If he rides well on a balance bike I’d go straight for a normal bike.

My under 2 year old rides a scooter, not well but can do it, can’t turn. I just got a cheap $20 one from target or somewhere until I knew he’d use one regularly

#6 Rummonkey

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:37 PM

Both kids went from balance bike to normal bike at age 2. I just removed the training wheels. There’ was a good YouTube video about transferring kids from a balance bike to a 2 wheeler within 20mins. First kid took 20 mins, the second no more than 10 mins to get the hang of it so found it worked well!

#7 MissMilla

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:41 PM

DS got his first balance bike for his 2nd birthday. For his 3rd birthday we bought him a normal bike. We kept the training wheels on for the first 30mins just to let him get the hang of pedalling (he learnt it very quickly) and after that he went without training wheels. It took a few days for him to fully learn it with how to stop without falling and how to get on without me holding it, but he got it quite fast.

DD has that bike now, shes 3.5 years and theres no way she could ride it without training wheels. Shes quite small though and the bike is very heavy. She cant even hold it without falling. Might get her a lighter one.

Edited by MissMilla, 18 June 2019 - 08:42 PM.

#8 PrincessPeach

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:42 PM

My 3 year old has been whizzing around on a proper bike (30cm wheels) with training wheels since he was 2.5 years. He went straight from his 3 wheeled trike no problems.

As for scooters, depends on the bravery level of your kid. My mr cautious eldest has only recently become a fan of the 3 wheeled ones, he's 5. The 3 year old loves the scooter to bits & has done ever since he could walk - however this kid thinks he is invincible.

#9 dadwasathome

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:45 PM

If I had my time again I’d totally avoid “training wheels”. They just extend the time kids aren’t safely riding a bike, and I’ve seen too many stacks by kids with training wheels riding along footpaths and tipping over at a driveway.

#10 just roses

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:48 PM

I'd also suggest getting a good bike second hand, rather than a cheapo kmart type bike.

We bought a Specialized bike for our first and it was about $300 brand new. We'd never spend that now, because we've found gumtree and facebook are a treasure trove of good quality second hand bikes. DS's current bike was about $500 brand new and we paid $150 and you'd never know it was even second hand.

The advantage is that they're better built and a lot lighter than the cheap bikes. And so can be easier for a kid to manage.

#11 EmmDasher

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:58 PM

I have 2 kids. The eldest never ‘got’ the balance bike & hated it. She never figured out how to use it. She went to training wheels and once she had some confidence up we took off the pedals and training wheels and she used it as a balance bike before progressing to riding normal at almost 5.

The youngest instantly understood the balance bike and has been flying around on it for over 12 months. We just bought her a bike and she was up on two wheels with no issue in 5 mins just before her third birthday.

So really, depends how they’re going on the balance bike & their personality. In both cases I’d second a PP and get the best bike you possibly can - nice and light with good proportions.

#12 Ozquoll

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:59 PM

View Postnasty buddha, on 18 June 2019 - 08:25 PM, said:

What age can a kid use a bike with training  wheels?  And without training  wheels?

Also... What age can a kid use a scooter? Are there any brand recommendations for a good scooter?

It’s one of those “how long is a piece of string?” scenarios, as you can see from all the replies upthread! My experience with 6yo DS is that he was confident on a balance bike from a young age, but this has not translated to the pedal bike - with or without training wheels, he freaks out 😦. He has anxiety and ASD which no doubt is a factor.
Scooters on the other hand, are somewhat easier for most kids to master, as they balance at a lower speed than bikes, and are easy to step off. Globber is a good brand, as is Micro. Don’t waste money on a scooter with a fixed height handlebar, make sure it’s adjustable.
One suggestion:

#13 EmmDasher

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:02 PM

For scooters we have the Micro Scooter Deluxe (adjustable height handlebar). Both kids could manage the 3 wheel scooters proficiently at 2.

#14 MsLaurie

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:14 PM

My daughter had a micro scooter from age 2, and a bike with training wheels from 3. She probably took to about 3.5 to get the bike properly- it was slightly too tall for her to begin with, which made the pedalling process trickier.

#15 nasty buddha

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:16 PM

Thank you for all your replies.

What about 3 wheel vs 2 wheel scooters? The maxi micro for instance still has 3 wheels and is recommended for 5 to 12 years. And I'm  getting pressured a bit to get a 2 wheeled scooter now for a 3 year old. (A family  member wants to buy as a present).

I know nothing about scooters.


#16 Ozquoll

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:20 PM

The second link in my post was a three wheeled Micro scooter suitable for kids 2-5yo. I wouldn’t go a two-wheel scooter for your son unless he is a daredevil or very co-ordinated. The three wheels require less co-ordination while still being fun and (fairly) fast.

#17 elly35

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:21 PM

I would get a 3 wheel scooter. I am sure there is some kids that could ride a 2 wheel scooter at 3 but not many.

#18 Lou-bags

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:23 PM

Depends on your kid.

DS1 was riding a 2 wheel scooter at 21 months old so never had a 3 wheeler (we were given it second hand- would not have thought to buy a 2 wheeler for a not even 2 year old child). He also went straight from his balance bike to a pedal bike no training wheels at a bit over 3yo.

DS2, however, refused to even pick up the 2 wheel scooter and is very happy on his 3 wheeler. He’s good on the balance bike but it remains to be seen if he’ll do as his brother did and go to pedals as young. He’s more cautious and so took a lot longer to master the balance bike than our daredevil first child.

I’d be reluctant to go from a balance bike to a pedal bike with training wheels personally, and in your situation would go to a bike without them. I know a lot of kids who were riding pedal bikes at 3. It’s not ‘typical’ but common enough. If he hates it, just wait until he’s ready to try.

#19 JomoMum

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:28 PM

We got an in between bike. Same size as the balance bike, but with peddles, no training wheels. Absolutely not necessary after they’re proficient on a balance bike. Paid $50 on eBay. Lasted him about 5-6 months until he was just big enough for the next size bike.

Sold the in between bike for $50!

Edited by JomoMum, 18 June 2019 - 09:29 PM.

#20 lozoodle

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:30 PM

We just got ours pedal bikes at 2, didn't bother with balance bikes. you could always take off the pedals.

#21 nasty buddha

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:45 PM

Thank you, you have all been so helpful.

I'm  thinking mini micro scooter. And will check out a bike shop for a good brand. If my toddler can't  pedal, I will take the pedals off. I'm not a fan of training wheels now that I see the skills they have developed on the balance bike.

#22 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:52 PM

My DD didn’t like the balance bike, but loved her mini micro scooter, from about 2yo. We re-introduced the balance bike when she was 4.5yo, she got the hang of it but didn’t love it. Got her a bike without training wheels for her 5th birthday, she was riding by herself within 30 mins, it was so easy.

#23 Lou-bags

Posted 19 June 2019 - 08:12 AM

DS2’s 3wheel scooter is an iglide. It’s good. The wheels light up when he scoots which is cute. Got it on sale from scooter hut (exceptional service).

#24 Romeo Void

Posted 19 June 2019 - 08:34 AM

It depends on the child.  If he/she has managed a balance bike pretty well (as in belts around at a million miles an hour LOL) then they'll do fine on a traditional bike.  If they're still cautious and slow then I'd be thinking training wheels. If they can coast down a little hill with their feet up then they've got the hang of riding a bike effectively.

#25 Ozquoll

Posted 19 June 2019 - 09:55 AM

View PostRomeo Void, on 19 June 2019 - 08:34 AM, said:

It depends on the child.  If he/she has managed a balance bike pretty well (as in belts around at a million miles an hour LOL) then they'll do fine on a traditional bike.  If they're still cautious and slow then I'd be thinking training wheels. If they can coast down a little hill with their feet up then they've got the hang of riding a bike effectively.
That wasn’t the case for my child. He was very confident on a balance bike, including coasting down steep hills (despite having no brakes 😱), but has struggled with the transition to a pedal bike. The action of pushing pedals around in a circle is rather unnatural and quite different from the legwork used on a balance bike or scooter, which are more like the movements we make while running.

As an adult who rides a scooter many miles a week, and a bicycle less often, I notice that when I first hop on the bike my glutes (which are the muscles doing most of the work when you kick a scooter or balance bike along) fire like crazy even though I don’t really need them to, and my quads are all “Wha? You want us to do work?”. Muscle memory might well be a factor in why some kids struggle to transition to a pedal bike.

Edited by Ozquoll, 19 June 2019 - 10:05 AM.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


'My parenting style is Survivalist'

A helicopter or tiger mum, I am not.

8 mums reveal their favourite nappy bags

We asked a bunch of mums which nappy bags they love the most.

Why you shouldn't bother throwing a big first birthday party

If you're feeling the pressure to host an all-out, over-the-top shindig for your baby's birthday, I hereby grant you permission to throw the rules out the window.

The 24 baby names on the verge of extinction this year

If you're on the hunt for the perfect baby name and don't want a chart-topper like Oliver or Olivia, then do we have the list for you.

'My mum doesn't seem that interested in my baby'

Q: My mother and I have always been close, but now that I have a baby, she has not helped out as much as I thought she would.

New guidelines: "Bottle-feeding mums need support too"

Breast is best, but mums who can't, or choose not to breastfeed need support too.

Dads also struggle to 'have it all', study finds

Men and women both experience work-family conflict.

Language development may start in the womb

Study found babies can recognise foreign languages before birth.

Meet the baby born from an embryo frozen for 24 years

Experts say little Emma is a record breaking baby.


From our network

Five things you need to know about flu and pregnancy

As the 2017 flu season begins in earnest, here?s what you need to know to protect yourself and baby.

Mum tips to keep your pre-baby budget in check

Money might be funny in a rich man's world (or so ABBA told us), but for the rest of us it's a major consideration – particularly before having a baby.

5 easy ways to make your maternity leave last longer

Maternity leave is a special time for you, your partner and your new little bundle. The last thing you want is for financial worries to stand in the way of that joy.

10 ways to keep your 'buying for baby' costs down

Becoming a parent is full of surprises – not least of all finding out that, for such small beings, babies cause a lot of chaos and expense.

5 ways to prepare to go from two incomes to one

Here are some ideas for getting that budget in shape, ready for being a one income family.


Baby Names

Need some ideas?

See what names are trending this year.

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.