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Friday, May 2, 2008

Bike Riding Weather is Here!

With Spring here it's time to get out the bikes, or buy a first bike for your little one.
Right now I'm really loving balance bikes like this one from Skuut. Balance bikes are great because they teach kids to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels. At first the child uses it in a walking motion, as they get more comfortable they'll use two feet to push it, then glide along with their feet up as they learn to balance. There is a very limited turn radius, to help children learn to steer. The Skuut has an adjustable seat and is marked ages 2-5. We just got this out for my son, who is a very tall three and it's almost too small for him, so don't wait! There are also several brands now that make these, but the Skuut is the most reasonably priced version I could find. We love ours!
I can't help but love the classic Radio Flyer Roadmaster Trike. This has been a favorite classic toy for I don't know how long, but I know I had one. The downside to this is there is no seat back, so younger riders may have a hard time. Also, if your kid is like mine, he won't use the pedals because they're too difficult to push. My son spent all of last summer walking his trike with his feet. And this summer, he's too tall for it otherwise I think he could manage the pedals now.
This is also by Radio Flyer, but is more a beginner's trike. There is a seat back as well as a push bar for mom and dad if the kid gets tired of pedaling halfway around the block. I think it's cute that they include a bucket in the back for little treasures. It's the Steer and Stroll Deluxe Trike.
My son is also a huge fan of his Kiddie Kick Razor Scooter he got from Santa last Christmas. He has the blue one but they're cheaper than bikes so you could go gender specific on these if you just love the pink one like I do. Anyway, these are great scooters for beginners because they have three wheels to prevent tipping. The handle bar is adjustable for growing toddlers. Ooh, I just saw one with a foldable frame, great for taking it to the park or something, check it out too! They come in blue and orange or pink and purple.

I have a couple suggestions for bike shopping: First, take your child to the store to try bikes on for size, make sure it's a good fit and that their knees don't hit the handle bars, and if you're buying a full size bike, you want them to be able to touch the ground with their feet all the way. Second, don't be tempted (like I would be) to buy a gender specific color scheme because you may want to be able to pass the bike on to siblings. There are a lot of cute pink bikes out there that just tug on my little girl heart. Also, because it's me, I have to say stay away from character bikes. Dora and Diego are all over bikes and accessories but there's usually always the original blue and red version hiding somewhere in the store. This is really just a marketing scheme trap and you don't have to play into it. Sorry, but I had to throw that in there.

Whatever bike or trike you choose for your children make sure to teach helmet safety from an early age so they get in the habit. Have fun being outside in the beautiful Spring air!


Ali Flegal said...

Balance bikes are ALL over Germany. I'm thrilled you found a place to get them here :) Thanks again.

irishleigh86 said...

How tall is marshall? Lu is 40 inches at 4.5 and she still has some room to grow in her radioflyer tricycle.

The Toy Snob said...

Marshall is about the same height, maybe an inch or two taller. I guess that was a little misleading but to clarify, he didn't actually have the Radio Flyer trike. I'm actually not sure what kind it was, my mom found it used and it's been kept at her house.

Denise said...

Thanks a lot fot this great article! I am thinking of buying my son's first trysicle (he is only 20 month) and I guess I need to wait until he is a bit older.Could you please recommend some helmet for us?

Karen Scoffield said...

Have you seen the book scoot bike balance bike. I think they are great because they are more durable than others.

Anonymous said...

We are having trouble communicating with Skuut regarding our balance bike orders. Emails are not returned, no one answers the phone and messages are not returned. At this point we are very frustrated with the company because we, as well as many of our customers, have been waiting months to receive our order. We are not accepting new orders until this is resolved, and those with current orders have the option to cancel by calling 614-218-4002. Please have your order number handy to expedite the process. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and will do our best to keep our customers happy.

The Toy Snob said...

Pretty sure I didn't list Sprout Soup as the retailer, but uh thanks for the notice? Fat Brain Toys, whose link WAS included with the post, has an order arriving on June 3.

At Karen's suggestion, I just checked out the Boot Scoot Bikes as well, and they look awesome and are even cheaper than the Skuut. Wish I had known about them earlier, their sizes would have fit my son better.

The Toy Snob said...

Oh, and I included a link to Boot Scoot on my list of Toy Sites.