Monday, 25 June 2012


We got the kids pushbikes. Somewhere around age 2 with the middle child, 3 with the eldest.
Oh, by "pushbike", I mean "bike with no pedals". Here in .au "pushbike" often means "pedal cycle" and has faintly condescending overtones. I'm not using it in that sense.

They work pretty well. They're a pretty popular toy (watching a 2yo grab a bike and shoulder it cyclocross-fashion is just priceless too) and really help with balance and steering. As advertised, the transition to pedals is fairly straighforward. Pedalling, you have to deal with that another way. We've gone for bike with training wheels. You prat around a bit with taking pedals off and lowering the saddle and whatnot when you ditch the trainers (which are only good for learning to pedal IMO), but it's doable.

One area where pushbikes win out over pedal cycles with training wheels is in riding over rough terrain, particularly if the pedal cycle has training wheels. Watching a 2yo head for the swampiest patch of ground in sight is also priceless. I think we've got us a cyclocross racer in the making.

The limiting factor, we've found, is saddle height. There's a big difference between different brands. Wierdly, it doesn't seem to be a selling point. Netti make pushbikes in two sizes (the pink one is smaller), but nobody seems to know about it, let alone make an issue of it to consumers.

We've got a Netti (the pink one), featuring wood frame and 12" (I think) pneumatic tyres, no brakes and plastic wheels. We've also got a WeeRide, with a front handbrake (unused, AFAIK), metal frame and 10" solid tyres. I haven't noticed any dramatic solid/pneumatic difference.

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