Balance Bikes vs. Tricycles: Which is Better for Your Little Beginner?

Balance Bikes vs. Tricycles: Which is Better for Your Little Beginner?

For most kids, nothing could be more exciting — or scarier in some cases — than finally learning how to ride a bike. But before you even get to the point of choosing — and buying — your first-timer’s first kids bike, there is one major decision you have to make: Should you let him/her start off with a balance bike or a tricycle?

To make the decision-making process easier for you, consider the following factors:

  1. Safety

Don’t be easily fooled by the notion that a tricycle is automatically safer due to the fact that it has more wheels. Think again — it is easier for a tricycle to tip and cause your child to fall, especially if your little one still hasn’t fully developed his sense of balance yet. If your child has his feet on the pedal, it will make him more prone to injury in the event that he loses his balance (which is likely to occur since he is just starting to learn how to bike). On the other hand, with a balance bike, your child’s feet will always be ready for support to prevent falling.

  1. Balance

The major difference between a balance bike and a tricycle is the skill that they are focused on developing. A balance bike first trains a child to develop his sense of balance. On the other hand, tricycles only teach children how to pedal, which is pretty much useless when they try an actual bike afterward because they won’t be able to pedal or move forward unless they learn to balance themselves properly. Because of this, a child who starts off with a tricycle would still have to practice some more on a kids bike with training wheels — something that can be easily skipped if he had already developed his balance in the first place.

  1. Confidence

Confidence is a key factor when learning to ride a real bicycle. Being dependent on training wheels or tricycles eliminates the chance for a child to develop his confidence in not falling when he does start training on an actual bicycle. Kids who start off with balance bikes are less likely to fall during their first few attempts at riding a real bike compared to those who start off on tricycles.

  1. Cost

In terms of upfront cost, balance bikes are generally more expensive than tricycles. However, if you look at it in the long term, you will end up saving more money with a balance bike because your kid can immediately move on to a pedaled bike after he has outgrown his balance bike. On the other hand, after he outgrows his tricycle, you will more likely have to buy a bike that has training wheels before your kid can even start trying out a pedaled bike.

Whichever way you look at it, balance bikes, such as the highly recommendable FirstBIKE or Scoot and Ride models that you can order online wins every round against tricycles. So buy a balance bike, skip the training wheels, and immediately watch your child confidently transition to a pedaled bike.