See a slide show of Balance Bikes in the New York Times.
From the New York Times:
BALANCE bikes, long popular in Europe, are making inroads in the United States as a way to teach children to ride a two-wheel bicycle without the need for training wheels. The bikes do not have pedals; instead, toddlers use their feet to steady themselves, propel forward and brake. Eventually they learn to coast — and balance.
Technically, the bikes are ride-on toys, because they lack gears. But they do look like small bicycles, with rubber tires, adjustable seats and adjustable handlebars (on the metal-frame ones, at least). All are low to the ground, so that diminutive riders can straddle them while standing on both feet.
“This makes them a better option than taking the pedals off a regular kids’ bike, since the bike may still be too tall to stand over,” said Tim Blumenthal, the executive director of Bikes Belong, a nonprofit advocacy group in Boulder, Colo. Velo Bartolome, age 2, recently tested five balance bikes, each no more than 11 pounds or $98. His father, Arsenio, a sales representative for City Bikes in Chevy Chase, Md., and Washington, D.C., said that a lightweight bike was easier for younger riders to control. “The learning curve for building and riding the bikes was quick,” Mr. Bartolome said. “About 15 minutes for each of us.”
League Policy Director
Flusche joined the League in April 2009 and has a B.A. in history from Syracuse University and a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in public policy analysis from New York University.