Ideally, a child should start riding a balance bike at the age of 2, i.e. as soon as he/she out-grows a three-wheel plastic bike. However, we take part in events (sports days, family festivals, professional trade fairs), where we see many skillful children riding on a FirstBIKE at the age of 22 months (with the optional LowKit™ lowering kit attachment). The sooner you start helping children with exercising their balance on a bike the better. Small children learn on their own extremely quickly (from our own experience we know that it’s a matter of hours). But there are also children less excited to move around, who will not be thrilled by a balance bike at the age of two. Certainly do not force them to ride it, but show them the FirstBIKE again in two or three months. Children starting to ride balance bikes later, from the age of 4, take longer to learn and tend to have a problem with keeping their balance. This is often the case because they have developed bad habits from bicycles with training wheels mounted on the sides or from other ride-on carts, which don’t allow them to make progress.
Thanks to the LowKit™ lowering kit, models with inflatable tires can be used by children from 2 ft 8 in. The Basic model with solid wheels can be used by children from 2 ft 7.5 in. However, this also depends on the length of the legs. When riding a balance bike the knees should be slightly bent while the feet are flat on the ground. The lowest seat position on a FirstBIKE is only 12 in (1 ft), which makes it one of the lowest balance bikes on the market.
That depends on how tall is your child and on the length of his/her legs. We recommend to measure the length from the groin to the inner arch of the foot. If it’s below 14 inches, your child will need the LowKit™ lowering kit. 14 inches or more, will be able to ride comfortably. For safe riding on a balance bike, it is necessary that your child reaches the ground with both feet flat, not just with the toes. Around 90% of 2 year-old children need the LowKit™ lowering kit.
In practical terms, the only difference is the design. Both have very similar on-road performance. The Cross model is more attractive for children who enjoy off-roading and motorcycles, because the rough tread looks like a mountain bike and sounds a bit like a motorbike. The Street model has a more subtle look and is best suited for children who enjoy the look of city or trekking bikes. However, this is matter of taste.
Inflatable tires offer much better on-road performance (the bike is springy, and therefore, much more comfortable). “Basic” models with solid polyurethane wheels are preferred by customers for whom low maintenance is more important than a comfortable ride.
The tires are made of quality materials, but if you puncture it, the inner tube can be bought almost anywhere that sells bike tires (it has the standard size of 12 in).
Unfortunately, it is not possible for technical reasons – it would require replacing several components, including the rear wheel, and drilling into the frame.