The small wooden chopper

Cute, small, smiling and all that on two wheels! Memorable are those days when your dearest learns how to deal with balance, carelessly turning the pedals. Have you ever wondered when is the right time for your child to start the bike adventure?

If you want your children much faster to master the skill to ride a bike, then we will help you to make the right choice.

Whether to choose between a two-wheeler with training wheels or a balance bike?

You are already acquainted with the properties of the first bike with 2 small wheels on both sides, fixed on the rear axle, which in many countries are called "stabilizers".

Children feel safe with the training wheels because they keep the bike stable, but when you'll remove them, the need to maintain a balance still becomes necessary.

Here comes the hard part. Sweet starter's bruises for some children may be frustrating and eventually reject this remarkable invention for recreation and sport.

The balance bike may be the latest trend for children, but it actually dates back to 1817 when the German inventor Karl Drais constructed the first bike known as the "dandy horse" and with it passed a distance of 13 km in 1 hour.

It's interesting that it resembled more to today's mini balance bikes than the standard ones, so in fact the whole story for bicycles began from that concept.

These bikes have no pedals or brakes. It's important to properly match the bike to the size of your child so it can stand with both feet on the ground. Balance bikes are usually designed for children aged 1-6 years.

The rest is just great fun for your child, first by pushing the bike and after improvement, its management with raised feet.

The purpose of balance bikes is to allow children to confront with balance and coordination centers as soon as possible, so they can smoothly continue practicing on an ordinary bike without the need of training wheels.

Because of these properties they are already popular in Europe, and quickly spread to America. There are various manufacturers of balance bikes. They are usually made of wood and metal and their sale has risen tremendously.

Particularly interesting are the wooden models which despite their chick and sweet look have also an environmental background.

Of course, not all balance bikes are of good quality. So before buying this kind of bike for your child, consider the following tips for comparison:

The structure matters the most!

You will notice some cheaply made models at first glance, but some need a few months of use to show the right character.

Therefore, make sure the frame not to be less than 12 mm thick. Check the plywood quality of the bike. Birch plywood is not recommended. Beech plywood is considered to be of better quality.

EN71 certificate

EN71 is one of the most rigorous toy certifications in the European Union which means that the bike went through a lot of tests which include, among other things, what is their safety, whether they contain toxic materials and what is the integrity of their construction.

If the bicycle has this certification then you can put it in the list as a potential candidate for purchase.

The bicycle seat should have several levels of adaptation, as well as an ergonomic design and it should be comfortable.

The tires / wheels are very important for the safety of the bike. The manufacturers of bicycles usually use three types of tires: hard plastic, pneumatic tires, and EVA which are the latest EU innovation. From the above mentioned materials, the plastic is the worst choice you can make. The pneumatic tires are good, but they can go flat when you most need them, while the EVA are most recommendable for children because they can't go flat, they don't leave traces, and their structure makes the same feeling as balancing on pneumatic tires .

The steering motions of the bike should be restricted in order to contribute to the stability, and thus to prevent any falls from the bike.

Other things that need to be addressed are: the availability of spare parts, ease of assembly, the use of environmentally friendly paints and coatings, offer of interesting accessories as well as the opinion of the biggest vendors.

It's up to you to choose whether you opt for a balance bike, but this wooden chopper definitely will offer excellent recreational exercise for your child. It will also represent a challenge for both you and your child and it will certainly catch the eyes of passers-by.


24 November 2012

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