Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
Roundup of Toddler Learner Bikes
A learner bike is a toddler-size bicycle without pedals or gears. It has the steering and balancing challenges of a real bicycle, but is infinitely simpler because your feet are always ready to grab the ground. The Big Idea is that they help kids learn the basics of bicycling quickly, and later allows kids to transition faster to real bicycles without needing training wheels. I don’t know if it’s true, but parents and kids seem to love them. The intended age for learner bikes starts a 2- to 3-years-old and tops out at 5-years-of-age.
Bikes are on my mind because Dad Eric Wolfram sent me a charming video (also at blip.tv) of his almost-3-year-old Jake cruising around on a Like-a-Bike in Central Park. Eric took a recent trip to Germany and reports that all the toddlers there seem to be riding them.
So I thought I would assess the status of learning bikes currently on the market. Much to my time-conscious dismay, many companies seem to be churning out learner bikes. A few of the bikes I found are listed below (after the jump) in alphabetical order. Not all of the bikes are sold in the U.S.
Part 2 of this article, to be written sometime in February, will be a feature comparison of the best bikes I am considering for my daughter.
Beginner’s Balancing Bike by Radio Flyer.
Bino Bike by Laufrad Enterprises. “Your child achieves a completely new dimension of movement.” Oof. Isn’t that why bicyclists wear helmets?
Early Rider by Boomslang Bikes. Billed as “quintessential.”
KiwiBike by Artisan Toys. It’s billed as “innovative and exciting” and “revolutionary.”
Learner Bike by Puky. Winner of the award for Worst Name for a Manufacturer that Builds a Motion-Related Product.
Like-a-Bike by Kokua. It’s billed as “unique.”
PedoBike by Woodenbike. It “replaces the stroller” and “continues to be the only vehicle of its kind.”
Rainbow Wooden Bike by Rainbow. It’s not enough to say you’re the first. This bike is billed as a revision of “the original bicycle created in 1818 by Baron von Drais’!” Uh huh.
Rolli Rider by Rolli Rider, LLC.
Skuut by Skuut, LLC.
Sprint Balance Bike by Kettler. This bike is one of several models. Kettler does not yet list learner bikes on its own web site.
Woody PushBike by Woody Pushbike.com, Inc. It’s billed as “all new, coveted, retro style” and is “made with superiority.”