The bike that converts from balance bike to pedal bike as your child grows.
3-in-1 Design Allows Simple Conversion To a Pedal Bike When Your Child Is Ready
LittleBig starts out as a balance bike. No ordinary balance bike mind you, but just perfect for any child learning to cycle.
As your child grows, you can increase its size by twisting the frame around to raise the seat and handlebars. Then, when your child is confident enough to give pedalling a go, simply attach the pedals and watch them pedal off into the sunset!
Designed With Comfort, Safety, Looks & Budget In Mind.
With a lightweight aluminium frame (usually only found on expensive road & mountain bikes) and fitted with chunky 14″ wheels and all short-reach V-brakes, LittleBig stands apart from all other kids bikes.
The convertible design will save you money too, as you won’t have to fork out on a new pedal bike once your child outgrows the balance bike stage. Plus your child will find pedalling so much easier on a bike they’re already familiar with.
Frequently asked questions
If your child can walk, chances are they can ride a balance bike.
Balance bikes are easy for kids to propel and steer because they don’t have a drivetrain (pedals, cranks etc.), plus they’re much lower to the ground and much lighter than traditional kids bikes.
As balance bikes come in a variety of sizes, you should have no difficulty finding one to suit suit a child from 18 months to 7 years old.
A balance bike allows your child to master the fundamental skills of balance and coordination much better than riding a normal bike fitted with stabilisers (aka training wheels).
This is because a balance bike promotes independent cycling as it requires the rider to actively maintain an upright orientation by coordinating body lean and steering.
Recent studies have found that children who had only ridden balance bikes were able to cycle independently at a younger age, compared with those who practiced on a bike with stabilisers/training wheels.
Most kids find balance easy to ride, so they don’t require much instruction.
Here are a few tips on how your child can learn to master a balance bike quickly and safely:
- Find an obstacle-free open space that has a fairly smooth surface.
- Make sure your child wears a decent helmet just in case they lose balance initially and fall.
- Adjust the height of the seat so your child’s feet are flat on the ground with their legs straight.
- Test the brakes (if the bike has any) and show your child how to use them properly.
- Give a gentle push if required, just to get them on their way. Get them to practice pushing themselves along to get used to the balancing sensation.
- After a short while, your child should be gliding along quite happily and enjoying the new experience. Job done!
Balance bikes are sized based on inseam rather than wheel or frame size. Your child should be able to have their feet flat on the ground while sitting in the saddle. To check if the bike is a good size, measure your child’s inseam, with shoes on. This should be the same or slightly longer than the minimum saddle of the bike. If your little one’s inseam is longer than the maximum saddle height of the bike, you need to choose a bigger bike! Your child should be able to reach the handlebars comfortably with their torso leaning slightly forwards. Balance bikes with a longer arm reach will allow your child to go faster and maintain a more aggressive, forward leaning stance on the bike. If the bike is more upright (like a Dutch Bike), it will be okay for shorter distances but more difficult to propel the bike forward. The geometry you choose depends on the type of terrain you envisage your child riding on.
Brakes aren’t really necessary on a starter balance bike for kids 18 months or so. However, as children grow older, they get more confident and glide along much quicker, so a rear brake is preferable to help them stop safely. Brakes are particularly important on inclines or rough surfaces where dragging your feet won’t slow the bike much. Having brakes on the bike also saves kids wearing out the soles of their shoes!
For children with special needs, trying to coordinate balance, pedalling and steering can be extremely difficult.
A balance bike is far easier to control, so is a great way for kids with special needs to learn to glide along independently. The independence it provides is great for personal development and confidence building.
Gliding along on a balance bike is also great exercise and helps improve motor skills.
The LittleBig’s unique design allows it to be used as a balance bike for 5 years. If your child has slower growth (such as kids with Down syndrome), they may be able to use it for even longer. Kids with low muscle tone are fully supported by the saddle while they have their feet on the ground, making it even easier than walking.
The light weight of the LittleBig means it is much easier to push forwards and steer than traditional kids bikes with stabiliser wheels.
However much your child enjoys gliding around on a balance bike, there will inevitably come a time when they want to start pedalling. Your child will probably initiate this by asking for a pedal bike.
If they have good hand/eye coordination and have shown they’ve mastered the balance bike by gliding along confidently and safely, they’re probably ready to try pedalling.
But as pedalling adds a new skill for them to coordinate, it may still take them a little time to adjust before they can pedal away confidently. It’s important therefore that they practice pedalling in a safe place, away from obstacles and traffic, and that they keep wearing a helmet.
The LittleBig bike makes the transition from balance bike to pedal bike easier by having the option to attach a set of pedals. This means your child can learn to pedal on a bike they’re already familiar with which will give them extra confidence.
Balance bikes are designed specifically for children to ‘glide’ rather than ride. So while your child is still in ‘balance’ mode, pedals would just get in the way.
Unlike other balance bikes, the LittleBig has the option to transform into a balance bike with pedals with very little adjustment needed.
When your child is ready to cycle independently, you just attach the specially designed pedals and it converts to a standard pedal bike without the hassle of buying a new bike.
As with anything, balance bikes vary in terms of build quality and features. Some bikes are so cheap they’re almost disposable and are likely to start falling apart after a few weeks.
If you’re after a bike with superior build quality that could be handed down for years to come, it’s likely to cost a little bit more. The more children that get to use it, the more likely it will be viewed as a worthwhile investment.
What’s especially good value about the LittleBig bike is that it can be transformed into a pedal bike, just by adding a specially designed pedal attachment. And, with the aid of some clever design, the frame can be twisted around to make it fit your growing child.
So, while some balance bikes are designed to be just a short-term stop gap, we love hearing back from customers whose children are still riding their LittleBig bike years later, making great memories along the way.
There are some great balance bikes out there. But we’re obviously a little biased. LittleBig is, hands-down, the perfect choice if you want a balance bike that’s astonishingly well-built, stylish and cleverly designed.
Most importantly, your child will love it. And they’ll love the fact that their friends will be secretly envious :)