Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wesley's First Bike {Balance Bike Review}

Wesley has loved riding things with wheels since his first birthday when he was gifted a riding car. Since then, he graduated to a Radio Flyer trike and bike. When the weather got nicer a month or so ago, I began researching balance bikes. I'd heard that they were incredible and thought perhaps Wesley would enjoy one.

After much research, crowd-surfing, and reading reviews on amazon.com, we settled on the FirstBIKE Cross Bike. It was not the least expensive bike we reviewed, but the expense bought incredible features. Here are a few reasons I went with the FirstBIKE Cross Bike:
  • Light-weight - It is light. Several friends mentioned that it was an incredibly light bike. 
  • Lots of adjustments - It is adjustable and can be used until the child is older than many of the other balance bikes.
  • Limited turning - The turning radius is very limited on this bike. I thought this would be a problem, but quickly realized it is an incredible asset. Our kid sometimes turns the handle bars like a maniac, but thankfully can only jerk slightly from side to side because of this limitation. 
  • Hand brake - Several reviews said this was an incredible feature. I was skeptical, but it is. Even at 3, my boy can use the hand brake and it slows him down better than just using his feet... and hopefully saves his shoes! 
  • Well-built - The reviews said this bike was very well-made. I wanted to get a bike that would last through Wesley and Eloise! 
Wesley has ridden countless miles on his balance bike already and I am incredibly impressed. He's had a few spills, but it took just 3 days of riding to get the hang of it. He's a bit of a clumsy kid, but has taken really well to the balance bike. He's fallen a few times, but nothing drastic and is actually a lot more graceful on the bike than I thought.


Wesley is a little guy and the seat is all the way down on his bike. We will probably need to raise it in the next month or so. Thankfully, the FirstBIKE Cross Bike has lots of adjustments and can grow with Wesley until he is ready for a real two-wheeler!

Here are the things I love about the FirstBIKE Cross Bike:
  • It's light - I knew I'd love this and I do. Wesley can get on and off the bike all by himself. If he happens to fall, it doesn't hurt him and he can easily get himself up. 
  • It's easy to use - After about 30 minutes 3 days in a row, Wesley was riding like a pro. He never got frustrated or overwhelmed and took to riding immediately. At first he would just walk with the bike. By the second day, he was sitting some and walking some. By day 3, he was riding like a professional!
  • He can go very fast! - I've wanted to be a biking family for a long time, but now I REALLY want to be a biking family! Wesley does the best on his bike when it's just me and him. He can go fast, I can keep up, and we both have a blast. If it's the 4 of us and one of us has Eloise, it makes it harder to keep up with him and he gets bored.
  • Balance, attention, and watching the world around him - Because he can go so fast, I've had to teach Wesley to watch for cars and pay attention. He is amazing at getting to the side when he sees a car even before I've asked him to. He's gotten really good at watching where he's going and balancing. This is HUGE, folks! Prior to the bike, Wesley would routinely run into things because he wasn't looking forward - in the direction he was moving. 
My only regret is that we waited until after Wesley was 3 to get him started on this bike. I think, even as short as he is, he could have enjoyed this months ago. I'm so thankful that he has something that helps him gain confidence, uses energy, and helps him enjoy being outside!

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