Early Rider Bikes
Sunset Cycles is the first bike shop in Portland to bring in the Early Rider balance bikes. We have long been recommending this style of bike for kids trying to get the “balance” part of biking. Although we’ve had a great option for this type of bike from Specialized, we continue to get tons of requests for a wooden version. We looked at them a few times before, but always hesitated because of lack of quality, fit and finish. When one of our local reps brought in a Early Rider yesterday, the first question was not if we were going to stock them, but how many! The Early Rider website shows the bike off well, and after you pick one up you will realize they are great! The fit and finish is amazing, front/rear real cartridge bearing wheels (never seen that on any kids bikes), two skill level steering settings, adjustable seat height, simple assembly and a truly “Portland” look.
What Is A Balance Bike – from earlyrider.com
“The concept of a balance bike is beautifully simple. As soon as a child can walk and run they can ride a balance bike. It’s effectively walking and running but sitting down.
All the gross motor skills they have been subconsciously honing whilst learning to cruise, walk and run away from you are exactly the same ones that they will utilise on the bike. If they wobble to the left their centre of gravity shifts to compensate and bring them upright. If they wobble to the right… You get the picture. It’s what’s happening naturally as they grow and develop without them even knowing. The human body is genius like that.
The simplicity is that there is very little to ‘learn’, it’s all very instinctive. It might take a few minutes to work out the sitting-while-walking thing, but once they have this down they’ll be off. Slow at first but confidence will build fast. Their low seating position with legs bent and feet flat to the floor mean that it is very difficult to fall off – their legs act as the stabilisers. And as confidence builds it starts to become easier because with speed and forward motion comes stability. That’s just physics.
Uniquely, every Early Rider comes with adjustable steering. When they are first learning steering should be restricted so they only have a very limited range. This not only helps to keep them upright and stable, keeping the bike facing forward, but allows them to concentrate on balancing rather than worrying about steering too. Once they are competent and confident on their bike you can adjust the steering to a fully open setting, at which point they can add steering and additional control to their cycling repertoire.
At this point your work is done! Riding a bike will become second nature, and when they are ready and old enough for a ‘grown up bike’ with pedals and brakes (generally somewhere between 4 and 5) there will be no painful transition and absolutely no need for training wheels/stabilisers.”