There's some good quality brands at a lower price now available - we look at your options this winterRead More
Toddlebike review - a pre balance bike for under 3's
A Toddlebike is, as the name suggests, a bike for toddlers aged 18 months upwards, who can walk confidently, but aren't ready yet for a traditional balance bike. Here's what Mum of three Anna and her 2 year old daughter thought of it:
It was not love at first sight. Having ordered the primary colours version, I feared I had simply invited more cheap, brightly coloured plastic to idle in secret corners of our home. Happily, I was very wrong - the Toddlebike is much more than it looks. It may be bright but it's certainly not cheap plastic or idle. It's deceptively lightweight, and therefore very portable, and yet extremely robust and with an eager 2 year old on board, it's satisfyingly fast!
Any set up required?
None required. It was out of the box and toddled away on in less than a minute.
How is the Toddlebike in action?
Given the weather over the last 6 months, initially it was used indoors. It's narrow width and feather-like weight means it is superb for simulating the flexibility of a real bicycle but also means it fits inside a house quite unobtrusively. Our 2 year old soon learnt that keeping her feet up meant higher speeds across the kitchen floor and by leaning left or right, kitchen chairs were easily negotiated - all the basics of learning to ride a real bike.
Once outside, she really took off. No terrain seems too much for this toddler bike. Wherever her brother ventures on his pedal bike she follows. Whether on cycle paths, up and down hills, through woods; she nearly keeps up!
What age group is the Toddlebike aimed at?
The Toddlebike is designed for children aged 18 months upwards. Our 2 year old is quite small for her age and so whilst her brother was on a balance bike at her age, I think she may well use it up until she's three.
Does this toddler bike really teach a little one how to balance?
Yes. I think so. Rival tricycles (and perhaps some balance bikes) can be heavy and inflexible and little ones learn nothing about how they might manoeuvre it themselves. Instead they demand bigger people to push/pull/move them NOW! - quite tiring and uninspiring for everyone!
With a Toddlebike, little people not only learn the basics of how to move a real bicycle but they can be fairly independent and the real beauty is that when they've tired out (as they inevitably do) it can be popped on top of a buggy or held in one hand. So all in all, a good experience for everyone and perhaps most importantly it gets used again and again making family bicycle trips great fun.
So, in summary, what do I like about the Toddlebike?
It's lightweight - easy to steer, easy to move, easy to carry, easy to pop in back of car.
It's practical - it teaches the basics of balancing and helps the transition to a balance bike.
It's robust - it can be thrown down hills, dropped out the back of a car and little people can jump up and down on it without even a dent. There are no small moving parts to break off or swallow.
It's great value for money.
What I don't like about the Toddlebike?
Nothing - I love it!!! Unless perhaps they could also do a muted colour!
Toddlebike review update - 1 child on
Cycle Sprog editor Karen met up with the Toddlebike reviewer Anna at a party almost a year after she'd received the Toddlebike. Her daughter had successfully progressed to a pedal bike, and her youngest son had started to use the Toddlebike, aged only 13 months. He'd seen his older sister zooming round on it, and was desperate to get in on the action himself!
Where can I buy a Toddlebike?
At present Toddlebikes can only be bought online. Since this review was written, an updated version of the Toddlebike has come out - called the Toddlebike2. You can still buy the original Toddlebike at Amazon and the Toddlebike2 can be The Toddlebike 2 is available to purchase from John Lewis and Amazon for £24.
The Toddlebike used in this article was provided to Cycle Sprog for review. For more information on Toddlebikes, visit their website at www.toddlebike.co.uk
This article was originally posted in April 2013, and updated in March 2017 to include the news about the Toddlebike2
You may find these other articles useful:
- What is a balance bike?
- 9 things to consider when buying a balance bike for your child
- Choosing the best balance bike for your child (a closer look at the makes and models available)
- The best balance bikes as recommended by parents
- Are these the 5 most desireable balance bikes ever?
Disclosure: This review includes affiliate links, which provide a small commission to us if you buy through them. This doesn't affect what we write, but does make a difference to us being able to keep Cycle Sprog running. Thanks for your support.