Just a couple of weeks ago I published a blog post about baby and toddler things that I wish we'd bought, and high up on the list was a balance bike. I've been trying to teach Harry to ride a bike over the summer but he still only has a small bike with stabilisers and he just can't get the hang of it. But I've seen lots of small children zipping about on balance bikes, and then suddenly they are riding a real bike, without stabilisers, and they seem to transition instantly.
So with Mia approaching the age when she really ought to be thinking about learning to ride a bike, I was delighted when Yvolution offered me the chance to review the YVelo Balance Bike.
The balance bike arrived while the children were at school. Normally I leave the building of such things to my husband, but he was away so I thought I'd have a go myself, and to my relief I managed it pretty quickly without any problems. There weren't that many pieces to put together, and the instructions were very clear.
Then once built, it's really easy to adjust the saddle and the handlebars so it can grow with your child.
Mia was expecting a bike with stabilisers like Harry's, and when she first got on the bike she wasn't sure how to approach it. I found that the best way to get her used to using it was to actually let her ride it around the house (fortunately the layout of our house means that she can go around the rooms in a circle!), and she quickly worked out what she was doing after a bit of practice. But once she'd built up her confidence, she was flying about the house in no time and loving it.
We ordered her a cycle helmet which arrived a couple of days later, and so we ventured outside and she was flying off in no time.
She was absolutely thrilled with how fast she could go, much faster than Harry stuck behind with his little bike! She was getting on so well that we ventured further out down the road...
I was amazed at how quickly Mia picked up how to ride the balance bike. After just a few minutes of using it properly outside she'd learned to coast along without her feet touching the ground, and it was brilliant to see how well she was working out the best way to balance while riding. It's definitely going to make the transition to a real bike much quicker.
The YVelo balance bike is very light when you need to carry it around to put it away. Mia has toppled off a couple of times but that's to be expected when learning to ride a bike and it feels safe and sturdy. I like that the bike was so easy to put together, simple to adjust the height settings and it's going to be easy to clean when it gets dirty. The hand grips are padded and the seat looks really comfortable, it also has a built in steering limiter so that the child can control how much they turn.
It's especially noticeable to compare it to Harry on his first bike, it's going to be a lot more difficult to get him to take the stabilisers off as he doesn't have the balancing instinct that the balance bike helps to build - I'm going to have to let him have a sneaky practice on the balance bike when Mia's not looking. I really wish that we'd had one sooner, I would definitely recommend getting one for toddlers and pre-schoolers!
I received the YVelo Balance Bike in exchange for this review, Amazon link is affiliate. The YVelo Balance bike is suitable for children aged 3+ with a maximum weight of 25kg and has a RRP of £59.99.