10" vs 12" balance bikes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    10" vs 12" balance bikes

    Hey all,

    I've got a 10 month old with a birthday coming up. i've got a gift card to the local bike shop and i was thinking about picking up a balance bike with it. He's a little on the taller side, but not walking on his own yet. I know he won't be able to get much out of it for a bit but he can fit on the Norco 10" bike they have on sale. Would it be worth buying the 10" bike a little early to let him play with or should i wait till he's walking on his own at which point he might fit on a 12"? We don't have unlimited funds to throw at hobbies (unfortunately) so i'm curious if there is much difference in how long he'll get out of a 10" wheel vs a 12" wheel? Pic for reference is him at 6 months on the same bike i'm talking about.


    Thanks!

    10" vs 12" balance bikes-47465034_10161233775595154_4428327280376283136_n.jpg

  2. #2
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    I think it really depends on the kid, but if he's on the taller side, I think I would hold out for the 12 incher. My son got a balance bike at probably 18 months, but didn't really get into it until 2. All kids are different, but his developmental mobility skills held him back longer than his inseam. And weight was a bigger deal than seat height at the beginning for him.

    That being said, he's about to move on from his balance bike to a pedal bike without totally outgrowing the balance bike (maybe he'll keep preferring it, who knows). So I don't think having one with 10in wheels would have forced an upgrade before he got to the point where he can get a pedal bike.

    One thing that I would have done if I was doing it again would be get a balance bike with a handbrake. It would be just one less thing to learn when he started pedaling and at the moment he is willing to go fast enough on the balance bike that it takes him a while to stop using his shoes. The balance bikes for the youngest kids don't tend to have them, so I might hold out for a 12 if that was part of the deal.

  3. #3
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    The best thing for him would probably be a ride-on toy and not a bike.

    I got my kid a Strider at 1.5 (for you, this Christmas). He fit it, but he didn't really get it. He got the idea at 2, got good at 2.5, needed a better bike by 3. Here's our story.
    https://www.bikeforums.net/recreatio...ie-thread.html
    If I'd known it would turn out like that, I'd have gotten something with air tires and brakes at age 2 like a Yedoo, Scoot, Muna, etc.

    Here, read a bunch of opinions and become radicalized, but then don't overdo it:
    https://www.twowheelingtots.com/best-bikes-1-year-olds/

  4. #4
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    Vitus Nippy might suit your needs well.

    We just got one for our youngest and I did a quick writeup:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/families-rid...e-1100358.html

    It's super light, only $44, and the foam tires are about 1 inch smaller than a standard 12" air tire. Standover is likely pretty close to the 10" Norco. Could possibly be even lower if you sub in a different seatpost / saddle.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Here, read a bunch of opinions and become radicalized, but then don't overdo it:
    https://www.twowheelingtots.com/best-bikes-1-year-olds/
    We had the Ybike Pewi (came with the house when we moved in) and Chillafish Bunzi ($5 at a local thrift store) before getting the Vitus.

    The Pewi didn't really generate much excitement (not as easily identifiable as a "bike") and the Bunzi was super cramped (our son was more pushing against the handlebars with his chest than riding on th saddle).

  6. #6
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    Fwiw I think it's a good thing to find a way to put a hand brake on it. Kids stopping with their feet dragging is kind of a bad habit they have to brake once they move to a pedal brake. Plus I've seen more than a few kids do headers into parked cars cause they couldnt stop lol.

  7. #7
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    I also considered the Kinderfeets that converts from a trike to a bike. But didn't get one. His great aunt bought him a bulldozer that didn't turn and he pushed it backward around the driveway for a year. shrug!

  8. #8
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    If it's going to be one balance bike, I agree with the sentiment of looking at options with brakes.

    If you go with something cheap / light to start, there are better options for older toddlers with brakes and higher standover height that could come later.

    For the path we're going (Vitus Nippy, then transition to Joovy Bicycoo BMX with hand brake), total cost would still be less than the cost of the Norco 10". Note that when we got the Joovy last spring for our older son, it was on sale at Walmart.com for only $40, which was an absolute steal.

    If yiu went the 2 bike route, you'd have an extra year or so of headroom before he'd be ready for something bigger, which would give opportunity to keep an eye out for sales or deals on something used.

    Worth noting that I've yet to see a balance bike with brakes that could bring stop it as quickly as planting feet down. The drum brake on our bicycoo bmx is great for bleeding off speed, but the bike is light enough that it just skids instead of stopping immediately.

    Ultimately, at 1-2 I figure the most important thing is getting them excited about the idea of a bike.

  9. #9
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    My son has a chillafish, a scuut and a cleary starfish, he is 2.5yo. He loved the chillafish in the house from ~18mo-28mo then started riding the 2 wheelers this winter. We keep the scuut inside and the cleary outside, and he rides one or the other 5 days/week. Every kid will be different but they won't be riding two wheels until they have really solid balance and the 3 wheeler is a nice way to start.

  10. #10
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    Get the 12" and put off road skateboard wheels on it!

  11. #11
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    Our route to a happy little bike rider was as follows:

    from about 11 months:
    Scuttle bug
    https://www.mydeal.com.au/mookie---s...tm_content=Low
    This thing was awesome. It is light and folds up small enough to go under or on top of the stroller. It is also small enough to go in a carry on suitcase. They can steer it and it can go faster than you will be comfortable with. Light enough for them to pick up the front end to navigate over bumps and curbs.

    From 20 months
    12 inch Giant Balance bike.
    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/pre-push-2016
    I think most of the big brand balance bikes are pretty much the same. He was riding down the 3 front steps at the front of our house and disappearing off into the distance on this at 2. He loved it. It was indestructible. We had tears pulling it apart to put in a suitcase for air travel. Loved riding it in the skate park as well as the bush.
    Spent just about all his time at daycare hooning around on their tricycles. I think this is how he learnt to pedal and use brakes.

    Just before 3 a couple of rides on a 12 inch pedal bike - took to it immediately.

    At 3
    ByK 18" bike
    https://www.bykbikes.com/collections...=9316144611371
    But with no training wheels / stabilizers.
    Awesome. Light, versatile and stable with a seat height well below most 16 inch bikes.

    At 31/2
    Redline micro mini BMX race bike.
    https://www.redlinebicycles.com/proline-micro.html
    Started racing BMX at 3.5. Loved it.

    He got a Trek Superfly 20" for his 4th birthday.

    So from my limited experience the little scoot toy was a winner and started a love of cycling. So for his first birthday I would go with a light, fun scoot style toy. The Scuttle bug was awesome but don't confuse it with a scrabble bug which is horrid. Then I would go with your choice of balance bike at either Christmas or for his 2nd birthday - 12inch if he can stand over it and 10"if not.

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