Like many of you, I learned to ride a bike by practicing on tricycles and bicycles with training wheels, but in recent years, the bicycle without pedals has surpassed them. Is it just a trend, or does it offer real advantages and benefits?

Motor development: When should we offer our little one a bike?

And suddenly, almost without realizing it, our baby is walking. But how did this come to be? Until recently, she was stuck to me like a koala, all day long, in my arms from one side to the other. Now I have a little explorer who does not stop still for a second in front of me. She climbs everywhere, turns everything upside down, takes out everything she finds in furniture and drawers... And on the street, you can no longer trust a single hair. Her greatest desire is to run everywhere.

In just a few months, her gait will become more stable, her falls will be greatly reduced, and she will be able to move around different terrains and overcome obstacles with ease.

At this point, usually around two years, we consider alternatives so that they can continue developing their motor skills, and what better option than a bicycle?

But, as with everything related to our child, there are a thousand options and doubts: What is the best bicycle for our child? Because on the market, there are hundreds of different models with features for all tastes. What do we have to pay attention to? Why is one type superior to another? Is it affected by our child's age, size, or abilities?

We'll look at some features that can help us choose the best bike for our child in a practical guide mode.

What should we look for when choosing a bicycle?

The first thing to keep in mind is to pay close attention to the size and forget about "we are going to take it big and it will last a while." If your child's bike is not the correct size, they will be uncomfortable with it, making it difficult for them to learn and want to use it.

While surfing the web, we can find various tables that guide us by relating our child's size to the diameter of the wheel or tire, but how can we know that the bike is the correct size? I recommend trying it. Your little ones should sit on it, and we should watch:

  • Do they look comfortable?
  • Does the front part of the foot reach the ground well?
  • Is there enough space between the tire and the top tube of the bike when they are sitting on the saddle?
  • Can they safely reach the handlebars with their elbows slightly bent?

If the answer to these questions is yes, surely the size of the bike is appropriate.

Keep in mind that there are bicycles on the market with adjustable saddle heights, even among those without pedals, which will broaden the range of ages and sizes in which they can be used comfortably.

The weight of the bike is also important, and we will take into account that the lighter it is, the easier it will be to handle.

With or without pedals?

This is perhaps the most frequently asked question. The answer is "it depends." In general, it is recommended to start with bikes without pedals around the age of two, once your little one has a well-established and safe gait with few falls.

At that point, he will be ready to work on more complex skills such as maintaining his balance on the bike and the coordination required to move forward, first by pushing off with his feet and then by pedaling. When this balance bike without pedals is mastered, the transition to the pedal bike often occurs almost naturally, without the help of training wheels.

This is also indicative and is dependent on your child's ability. There are children who are authentic trapeze artists with exceptional postural control, balance, and coordination. They will most likely be able to ride a pedal bike very soon.

Other kiddos, even those who are older, will need to develop and practice these skills for a longer period of time in order to be well prepared and feel safe in the face of the challenge that riding a bike entails.

In any case, this option appears to be very good for learning how to ride a bicycle because it would normally provide more security to the little ones and to us, as they are quite safe and do not allow the child to reach high speeds.

The advantages of riding a bicycle without pedals

Making the direct jump from the bicycle without pedals to the bicycle with pedals without training wheels is much easier for them because they help them master their balance more effectively, are much lighter, and have a much simpler mechanism of use. However, its benefits do not stop there:

  • Helps to achieve balance in a natural and progressive way.
  • Improve the sense of coordination.
  • Improve psychomotor development.
  • Promotes muscle development.
  • Lighter.
  • comfortable, manageable, and easy to transport.
  • Improves their immune systems since they are performing cardiovascular exercise outdoors.
  • They are especially fun, and this is how, from an early age, children acquire healthy habits such as riding a bicycle and internalizing innate  sport values.

The first bike comes with a lesson in road safety.

Last but not least, we must discuss bicycle safety. We'll remind our children to always wear helmets, elbow, and knee pads, be cautious of pedestrians; and obey crosswalks and traffic lights.

As these safety measures become more widespread, they will be required to learn to use bike lanes, wear reflective clothing, and repair a flat tire, among other things but that's another chapter!