If you’re reading this and over the age of 40 (like me), you probably learned to ride a bike with training wheels. I still remember my dad taking me to the local fire station for that first non-training-wheel lesson.
So what’s wrong with training wheels? Quality time with dad. The fire station!
Nothing wrong with that.
But IMHO a balance bike sky rockets the learning experience. Your kid will learn to ride much faster, and that quality time you missed can be spent at the ice cream parlor instead. See where I’m going with this?
To ride a bike, your kid has to learn to balance at some point. Am I right? Training wheels don’t teach this, they simply deliver a false sense of control. All they really do is delay the entire learning experience.
A balance bike has NO training wheels and NO pedals. Your child sits on the seat and runs with their feet. Balance bikes gradually introduce the concept of balance while you’re kiddo is having fun. It all happens naturally! No screams of terror, tears or pressure to make the switch.
Training wheels simply deliver a false sense of control, and delay the entire learning experience.
Our daughter is four years old. After probably less than five combined hours on her new balance bike, she was already saying things like, “Daddy look!” as she lifted both feet in the air. And once they start doing that, you simply move them to a bike with pedals. BOOM!
You’re probably like, “I clicked on your blog post to read about the best balance bike, not get lectured on the benefits.”
As the manager of the Cardinals said to Jerry Maguire: “I know, I know.”
Let’s get reviewing…
When our daughter hit the age of four, it was time for a balance bike. I read reviews and took the plunge with WOOM.
A good decision.
And check this out: You’ll notice in the image above that my daughter’s WOOM 2 bike has no pedals, but it has the crank for them. Although it’s not called a balance bike, WOOM designed it to be either.
BOOYAH! Now I’m saving time and money — More ice cream!
After my daughter learns on her balance bike, I raise the seat a touch and screw on the pedals. It just doesn’t get easier.
Christian Bezdeka and Marcus Ihlenfeld (out of Europe) started WOOM while Mathias Ihlenfeld (Marcus’ brother) runs the USA branch in Austin, TX. According to WOOM, it all started with a search for perfection. They wanted to know exactly what it took to build the ultimate children’s bike.
WOOM bikes are made overseas, but not China, which made me happy. Their US branch inspects everything for quality control — Another cool detail.
Not only do WOOM bikes look beautiful, you get cool features typically only found in adult bikes. Quality seats with quick release. A smooth stem with no exposed screws. Pedals that screw on and off. Aluminum frames that make the bikes LIGHT (This makes for easy carrying when your kiddo’s ambition outdoes their stamina).
The chain guard is completely enclosed! Say goodbye to grease and grime, along with dirt and rust filled chains. This also keeps young fingers out of areas that might bring some tears. With this design (on the smaller bikes) there is a small amount of associated noise. I don’t mind it, as it’s minimal.
Things like the steering limiter just make sense. It’s designed to stabilize steering and prevent overturning and falls. You’ll see it in the image above, attached to the fork and the frame. Brilliant!
Remember how cool it was to get handbrakes as a kid? I remember manually adding them to my pedal-braking dirt bike. They come standard on WOOM. Not only are they designed to fit very small hands, but WOOM colors the right one green to encourage safe braking vs your child launching themselves into cyber space. Bravo!
WOOM bikes have pro wheels in mini-size! They’re made with ultra light aluminum rims, aluminum hubs with sealed bearings and 16 stainless spokes. The WOOM 2 bike is required to ship with a pedal (coaster) brake setup – It’s federal law. But you can order their freewheel kit for only $19. They send you and ENTIRE new wheel that can be installed by any bike shop. This gives your kiddo the freedom to pedal backwards as they cruise!
I can’t imagine not having the kickstand. Super easy to add to the bike. It’s made of lightweight aluminum and designed to be kid-friendly (spring loaded) and there’s no sharp edges.
For all of the features you get with WOOM, you also get a price tag. But here’s the thing: How long the bike lasts (and how it helps your kid) is where the value lies.
My parents didn’t have much money, but somehow they managed to buy me a little bike that was well built when I was young. Guess what? Not only did my brother and sister use that same bike after me, my sister’s kid has even used it! It’s still going strong. So when you do that kind of math, that was a very inexpensive bike.
Sure, you can go to Target and buy a $99 made-in-China bike that will rust next week, or you can eat out a little less and invest in something your kid and other kids will really, really love.
I hope this review proves helpful. You can read more about WOOM on their website: https://us.woombikes.com. As always, that’s not an affiliate link. I write about what I love.
Enjoy your next bike purchase!
Fun Fact: Our 4-year old daughter snapped the photo of me at the top. Not bad!