I really want my children to be able to use balance bikes. The prospect of not having to deal with stabilisers when learning to ride a bike is a big draw for us, as I worried that my elder son, Jacob, would give up when he fell over a few times (much like I did – I didn’t end up learning to ride a bike until my 20s!) It was slow road getting Jacob to use a balance bike, and our house is full of different types of bikes, trikes and ride-ons that we went through.
I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of doing it all again with Lucas, so I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to try out the Toddlebike2, as it seemed like it would really help Lucas move from big clunky ride ons to a two-wheeled balance bike at his own pace.
What is a Toddlebike2?
Toddlebike is a unique approach to balance bikes for children from the age at which they can confidently walk on their own (generally around 18 months) until roughly 3 years of age. It’s recognised by cyclists as being the best first step to independent cycling. It comes in three colours – Racing Red, Midnight Blue, and Pinky Pink, and all Toddlebikes come with a no quibble 3 year guarantee.
We returned from our holiday to find a box waiting for us in the porch. Jo had mentioned that her postman had questioned why she was sending empty boxes out, so I was expecting it to be light, but I was still surprised by just how light it was – you really could be forgiven for thinking the box was empty.
The Toddlebike2 weighs in at just 0.8kg – light enough to be carried in one hand, balanced on the buggy, or, as we discovered, carried around by a toddler! The design is simple – the bike comes ready to ride, with no small parts, and is surprisingly robust, despite it’s size and weight. The seat is only slightly raised from the crossbar, so if your child can’t find the seat straight away, it doesn’t stop them from riding it.
Learning to Ride
Lucas was very interested in his new bike – he loved having something that was just his – and spent quite a while carrying it round and investigating how to sit on it. He didn’t sit on the seat properly to start with, and that was our main problem at the beginning. As he slid forward onto the crossbar, I’m not sure how comfortable he was, and as such he didn’t ride it for longer than a couple of minutes at a time. Sitting forward also made it a bit difficult for him to get on and off, so he would call out for help quite often.
But, after just a couple of weeks of using the Toddlebike2, something changed for Lucas. Maybe it was seeing his older brother whizzing around the house on it, but he suddenly became much more interested, and something just clicked with him. He learned how to get on by himself and where he should sit, and everytime he saw the Toddlebike2, he would shout “Bike! Bike!” and insist on getting on it.
As he had gained such confidence, I decided to try him with it outside, so that day I took it with us on the school run. It rested easily on top of the buggy on the way there, and around halfway back (once we’d passed all the main roads), I got Lucas out of the buggy and let him loose! He loved the independence and pretty soon he was following his brother down the road and actually picking up some speed. Because the Toddlebike2 is smaller than a 2 wheeled balance bike, Lucas’ feet were flat on the floor, so he had good control and could easily slow himself down should he encounter another person or get a bit close to the edge of the pavement. The four wheeled design also meant that he could steer and handle with ease and he was rounding corners like a pro in no time without overbalancing! The fact that the bike is so lightweight is also great for him – if he encounters a hill that is a bit too steep for him, he just gets off and carries the bike for a few steps, then sets it down and tries again.
Our Best Bits
Why can’t I take it with me?
Lucas is so pleased with his Toddlebike2. If he had his way, he’d take it everywhere with him. In fact, he now gets very upset everytime I take him out without it. He’ll hate me for this picture in the future, but this is him going to nursery – he doesn’t understand why the bike can’t go with him!
We really love the Toddlebike2 and these are our best bits
- Super lightweight – At 0.8kg it’s light enough for a toddler to carry and easy for me to carry in one hand or rest on top of the buggy
- Robust – This bike has been through a lot already and has been thrown around a lot by my two boisterous boys, not that you could tell though, there isn’t a scratch or dent to be seen
- Great transitional bike – I love that this bike means Lucas can learn to balance at his own pace, without me having to drag or push him round, and he loves the independence of being able to ride alongside his brother when we’re out and about
Toddlebike2 is available to purchase here for £23.95, but for a limited time, you can get 10% off using the code BLOG17 at the checkout – perfect timing for Christmas presents! Get yours now!