Training-wheels don’t really train. Keeping your balance on a bike with training wheels is very difficult. Going around a corner with training wheels is difficult. And yet, the child thinks that they need them and are terrified to go without them. I know I was. With a pedal-less bike, the child learns to balance first, slowly and at their own pace, then when they are ready, they quickly and easily transfer to a pedal bike.
Our first bike was the Mini-Glider from www.timberdoodle.com
(transcript of these videos are on YouTube)
Yesterday we bought our daughter a Strider, purchased from a local dealer, Alpine Adventures, but also available with accessories from www.stridersports.com. My good friend Ashly bought one for her toddler and recommended it to me. We bought from a local dealer to make sure it would be small enough for petite Helen, and it was.
We love both of these bikes. Both are high-quality and we imagine that they will hold up to the wear and tear of the large family we intend to have. There’s nothing cheap about either one.
If you are purchasing for a 3-year-old, I would recommend the mini-glider because it comes with the seatpost quick release, which we use a lot, especially when other kids want to try it (and they do!). It also has the break built in, and a nicer foot-post.
If you are purchasing for a 1-2 year-old, I recommend the Strider. The seat is in front of the back tire instead of over it, which lets the seat go much shorter, even though the frame isn’t that much smaller than the mini-glider. It still has a footrest, although it will be awhile before she can use it. The handlebar also goes shorter than the glider. Michael likes the handlebar design more on the Strider. You can purchase a break and a seat adapter separately on the Strider website.