The bike. Filling parents with fear and pride in equal measure since two wheels were strapped to a broom handle.
The options are good for children now, and we’re possibly in the last, golden age of manual bike riding before the singularity takes over and self-riding bikes and pogo-sticks self-replicate in our homes.
The good old balance bike then, also known as a ‘bike’ before the invention of pedals, will help your little-person to get used to two-wheels and steering before they have to worry about those pesky, pre-singularity pedals.
- Lightweight build
- Low saddle
- Wide handlebars
- Robust build
- Low frame
A light and strong frame is important as these bikes take a lot of abuse. Rubberised handle ends are essential, with the typical dismount method involving throwing the bike down in an attempt to crack through the Earth’s outer crust.
Low saddles are crucial for ease of control. Flat feet are the name of the game here, as the suggested pedal height of tiptoes on the ground won’t help much once the rider has gone past 45° of side-lean.
After much research, and probably a year too early, I went ahead and bought the Banana Bike.
It fits all of the criteria above and has rave reviews. Also Greg, the UK-based company owner, is extremely helpful in dealing with support requests. Missing nut? Have one in the post, a year after purchase. Thanks, Greg!
I’ll write more here when I’ve had time to review friends’ balance bikes and will make a top 5 list. For now, my recommendation is for the Banana Bike, being very afforable, easily fixable and well supported.
UK Stock Update – Stock due to arrive at Amazon on Today. (Update: 14/06/17)
So they must be sold out for the summer!
They’re back in stock and can be bought from Amazon for just under £40 in the UK, or $55 US:
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