Free Toddlebike Trial for children aged 18-24 months

Faye@BikeRadar Posts: 316
edited November 2012 in Family & kids cycling forum
Toddlers Wanted – 100 UK Toddlers aged 18-24 months wanted to take the first step towards independent riding this summer with the 2012 Toddlebike Trial.

Following the success of our Bike Radar Toddlebike Trail in 2011, and to trial our new ‘Quick-Slick’ wheels, Toddlebike as teamed up with Bike Radar to offer independent, active, walking Toddlers the chance to take a Toddlebike home for around 3 months this summer and use it as widely as possible indoor and out and share their findings.

Results for the last trial can be found in full on the Bike Radar Forums, or to see a round-up click here.

Involvement is free of charge with a £15 deposit refundable at the end of the project.

Interested families should Email to receive an application form and further information.

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  • Bream
    Bream Posts: 39
    Hi Jo, thanks for the export to Sweden last year. My son got his for his 1st birthday but took a little while to come up to speed, but at 18 months he was riding well.

  • Blonde
    Blonde Posts: 3,188
    Hi Jo,
    Just wanted to update you on the arrival of the Toddlebike: We were very happy when we saw how small and light it is and we like the bright colours too. It will be very easy to take to the park - if we ever get a dry-ish weekend! Our 21 month old daughter was immediately interested and shrieked “Oooohhh!” when as she saw it, wanting to get on straight away. We started indoors as soon as it arrived. Tried it in garden on paving and on grass immediately afterwards. Daughter wanted us to put her on it, so we showed her how to get on and off by herself. We noted that initially she walked or ran with the Toddlebike between her legs rather than sitting on the saddle. We think she found it a bit unnatural and something that had to be learned to have to lean forward to reach the bars from sitting on the seat – she always sat down on the seat initially, but then stood up again as soon as her hands were on the handlebars and walked forwards with it between her legs, rather than riding it. After a week of using it for about 3-5 minutes a day she's just started to sit on the tip of the saddle and use her feet to move it forwards. We tried it again in the garden between rain showers over the weekend but so far haven’t taken it further afield. Due to awful weather (heavy rain, hail and high winds!) we’ve not been to the park for two weeks! During the week there isn’t time to go to the park after work before our daughter’s bedtime, so playing in the garden is usually the only outdoor activity she gets with us till the weekend. For this reason we like the fact that the toddlebike is so very useable indoors. This is unlike most other ride-ons or bikes which are generally too large to manoeuvre around a house.

    We haven’t seen anything similar to a Toddlebike before. A balance or run bike is definitely a bike with two wheels and quite a tricky thing for a toddler to use – balance and steering has to be learned and takes time. The aluminium balance bike (Islabike Rothan) we already have is too big for our daughter at the moment, being aimed at kids aged 2+ so the Toddlebike may bridge the gap. On the other hand, all the ride-on toys we’ve seen (and we have two) are large, heavy and difficult to steer (steering very limited on some) and in fact really difficult for a toddler to move at all whilst sitting on them so they tend to get frustrated after a few minutes and move onto something else, or simply push the ride-on around (with difficulty) - these toys get very little use. Most ride-on toys seem unsuited to the physical strength and ability of a toddler, being too heavy to move and too difficult to steer to be used much, if at all. The lightness and small size of the Toddlebike must be a big plus in enabling a small toddler to get a decent amount of use out of it. Will try it out at the park this weekend, weather permitting and hope to take a few photos.
  • Jo Hockley
    Jo Hockley Posts: 66
    Thanks Blonde - that's exactly what we were finding when Elliot was 15 months - we bought him a balance bike for his 2nd birthday which still turned out to be a year too early for him. At 4 he now rides a push bike but they're not mutually exclusive - he still uses his balance bike (a Rothan too) and his Toddlebike indoors. Even if a child can physically 'do' a toy it needs to be practical for them to do it independently, and for the parents with the attention span of a child, so even at 4 carrying his Hotrock or even Rothan while he pretends to be an aeroplane isn't practical which means I'm much less likely to take them out on incidental journeys here and there. Looking forward to hearing how you get on when the sun eventually comes out and we can all crawl out from under our rocks at last!
    Jo Hockley
    01273 453940
  • "Rider Results from Imogen - 17 Months (via Dad - thanks!)

    Imogen – born 03/11/2010. She is an active child who has two older brothers (aged 6 and 8). The children share back gardens with our neighbours who are 13 and 11 years old. To this end, Imogen does spend a significant level of time with older children and will be inspired by their behaviour, toys and hobbies.

    Her brothers especially are into their bikes, skateboards and scooters. Therefore, it came as no surprise that Imogen was keen to get going on her own mobile plaything.

    The Toddlebike arrived quickly with all relevant packaging and address label intact. The boys ripped open the packaging very quickly and as such, the need for an attractive element to the packaging was somewhat unnecessary. Imogen was more focussed on the outcome of the noise and commotion.

    Our first impressions: The bike was very light and easy to carry. The colour choice was questionable (two shades of pink) as it made the Toddlebike appears somewhat cheap. The multi-coloured version shown on the website gives an implicit quality assurance being reminiscent of the Fisher Price toys that we had experienced in our childhood.
    From a practical point of view though, the size and weight were preferable to other kiddie scooters we have used (often made of wood).

    Imogen’s first impressions: Curiosity was the first thing that stood out. She was immediately happy to straddle the bike and carry it around between her legs.

    In terms of RRP of a Toddlebike it does seem good value for £19.95 for the amount of usage the bike has got. However, as there was not an instant ability to ride it then it may not come across as “well spent” straight away and therefore would limit word of mouth marketing.

    Imogen did learn in the back garden and indoors but it seemed to come alive as she watched her brothers on skateboards or scooters in the park. The want to go beyond 10 yards drove her to learn what to do with her feet and sort out her propulsion.

    This aspect is not something we taught but came more with an increase in her hip width and gait. Until her feet were wide enough to miss the back wheels when she was sat on the saddle, her propulsion was limited. She was clearly frustrated that when copying the flick of the heels seen by her brothers and older friends on scooters and skateboards, her heels were getting continually clipped.

    Usage has increased as she can freewheel and use decent levels of leg strength to move forward. Once the heel clipping issue faded the enjoyment, difference to walking and speed all increased. Since then she has managed pavements, parks, indoor areas and gardens.

    The big issue in terms of design and usage is getting the balance (excuse the pun) between stability of the device when being straddled versus the conflict of feet movement and wheel positioning.

    We have ended up attaching a canvas strap to ours so that the device can be pulled along. This helps with approximate steering and upping momentum for Imogen’s excitement levels."

    Photos to follow...
    Jo Hockley
    01273 453940
  • Photos of Imogen - 1. Toddlebike Arrives (then fairly quickly) 2. Toddlebike at the Skate Park! ... =1&theater ... =1&theater
    Jo Hockley
    01273 453940
  • A massive thanks to the Bike Radar Forum members who offered us the services of their Toddler to test ride a Toddlebike for the summer as part of the biggest ever Toddlebike Trial project.

    Results are available to view at unedited and unabridged with some lovely photos of our baby cyclists and their first foray in to independent riding aged 1.
    Jo Hockley
    01273 453940