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Is a Balance Bicycle Better Than Training Wheels for Young Children?

Lifelong cyclists always remember their first bike. The debate of balance bike vs. training wheels has been going on for longer than anyone would care to admit. While each alternative has its pros and cons, new parents still fret about making the wrong choice and ruining the experience for their little ones.

If you are someone who regularly takes your bike out for a ride, it is only natural that you want to share the experience with the younger generation. Understand that there is no right or wrong option for getting a child started on cycling. Since it is an activity that fosters better balance and posture, you should never miss out on the opportunity to teach a kid how to ride a bike.

Why Should You Pick a Balance Bicycle?

Starting off, if you have a relatively young child who is still learning to carry themselves from place to place, balance bicycles are the better choice. The mechanism of these bikes is simple, walk and then run until the cycle gains momentum, then glide until kicking off from the ground again. Compared to learning how to pedal, toddlers who are not yet stable enough to balance themselves can try out balance bicycles.

If your child is scared of heights or is too small to ride a bike, a balance bike is a good place to begin. As balance bicycles are simple to master, teach children to turn naturally, and work on any terrain, many parents seek the versatility of these bikes. In the case of regular cycles, children need to be actively taught how not to fall. Balance bicycles eliminate this complex idea from the experience of learning how to ride.

Balance bicycles are a great way to naturally introduce your child to a bike without complicating the process of riding bikes.

Why Should You Choose Training Wheels?

First things first, balance bicycles don’t work for children who are older or bigger. If your child showed no interest in bikes until they were older, starting with training wheels is your only option. For such children, bikes with support wheels are better because this will allow them to use the bike longer. Additionally, this is an inexpensive option.

Unlike balance bicycles, regular bikes with training wheels have brakes and gears, teaching children to control their movement using them. As older children can size up the speed and distance they are covering, such mechanisms will only foster their visuospatial abilities. Depending on the type of wheels and drivetrain, your child can learn to ride the bike on any terrain. This is a useful skill to have as a person.

Since training wheels are only meant to be used until the child gets comfortable with pedalling, steering, and stopping the bike, removing them in time is essential. Keeping the wheels on for too long can prevent your child from balancing their body and the bike on their own.

Final Thoughts

Be it the balance bike or the training wheels, and children only use them for a very short time. Neither of them is right or wrong for kids. Only ensure that your child is having a good time. The only thing parents have to consider before choosing between these is whether the child can have a fun learning experience. Regardless of the option you choose, the final goal is to get your child to ride a bike without any assistance as they grow older. 

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