3 y/o, what shall I do

Baron Greenback
Baron Greenback Posts: 128
edited November 2016 in Family & kids cycling forum
Hi all,

My youngest is 3, and us just about mastering his balance bike. I would think that by Spring, he will be bored of toddling along on his balance bike with the wife and dog, while his brother and I go off on a longer / faster ride.

The thing is, his inside leg is really small, at only 30cm. He's not particularly short, however his torso is long. He's a solid / strong lad though, so I don't think he would struggle to ride a pedal bike at all.

I've contemplated trying to build him something from scouring eBay, but don't really know what to start with.

Do I buy him a trike aswell, so he can get used to pedaling, and wait till his legs are long enough for his first pedal bike?

Any experiences gratefully received, thank you.


  • mroli
    mroli Posts: 3,622
    Hello mate - just been through this with my 3 year old.

    In comparison to his older sister - he took to a balance bike like a pro - zoomed round it like a crazy thing. She got an Islabike - so in an attempt to keep costs down, I bought a Frog 43 bike for him - but he still can't touch the ground with his feet on it. He pretty much rode it straight away, but couldn't stop and I couldn't keep up with him.

    My daughter had this horrible heavy thing (a Trek named bike) I think handed down to her and she wasn't getting the hang of pedaling at all, so I chucked stabilisers on it to get her used to it. Once she worked out pedaling, she went straight on to the Islabike - but the boy then jumped on it and started pedalling away like a loon. He loved it (and still does actually!), but I thought I needed a pedal bike solution as received wisdom is not to get them riding with stabilisers (although I think as long as they crack balance bikes - that's not a problem).

    In the end I found a Giant bike with 12" wheels on ebay for about £15. It is pretty horrible and he can't really reach the brakes (but he just uses his feet anyway) - he can get up fast enough as a quick jog (which is fine as any faster, I'd panic!) and is pretty self sufficient. Actually - i have a mate who thinks that the light bikes like the Islabikes aren't great as they are too "twitchy" compared to the heavier bikes.

    the one he has is a Giant Animator - like this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Giant-Boys-12 ... SwHoFXtcwe
    but that seems a lot of money to me....

    Oh - he drops it all the time as well - so don't expect it to stay in pristine condition. I'm not sure about him keeping up on longer rides though - my boy gets tired/bored and sometimes I end up carrying him AND his bike!

    Good luck!
  • Hi mroli, many thanks for the reply.

    My eldest (now 6), sounds similar to your daughter. He couldn't ride his balance bike until July this year, then all of a sudden grasped it, and then mastered pedals within a week of learning how to balance.

    I fully expect my 3 y/o to drop his bike often too. His balance bike has held up well, but it's not pristine in any way!

    I'll keep an eye out for an Animator, the seat looks like it drops down really low, so that should be ideal.

    Thanks again,

  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    Check his inside leg against Islabikes' size chart for an idea of what size he's likely to fit. Ridgeback's MX series are very good value, especially secondhand.

    My daughter was reluctant to go from her scoot bike to one with pedals but we got her pedalling after a few false starts. Just be patient and let him come round to the idea. They're all different - some are really eager and doing red runs at 5 y/o while others are nervous and/or reluctant to change from what they know. Also, trying to get them to ride one that's too big (the old "he will grow into it" rubbish) is a good way to put them off.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • Garry H
    Garry H Posts: 6,639
    In similar boat. Three and a half year old has outgrown Isla balance bike and I don't really want to spend 200 quid on a second hand Isla pedal bike.