As the snow melts, the best place to buy a run bike in Prince George, BC is not your local maternity and children's shop, it's our friends at Koops Bike Shop.
Run bikes are also known as a strider bike (brand name) or a balance bike or a push bike. These bikes have no pedals, and only two wheels. Run Bikes are a great alternative to tricycles, and often training wheels, as they are designed to teach kids to balance, glide, and bike with simplicity. Kids from 18 months to 5 years old enjoy the thrill of a run bike. This will be a bike they use for more than one summer.
What do I need to think about when buying a run bike?
Not all run bikes are created equal and there's a lot of options on the market geared towards new parents, and cycling enthusiasts. We like to consider the size of the big, the material of the bike, the accessories or add ons, and of course budget.
1. Size & Weight of the Bike
Perhaps the most important question to ask because a balance bike that is too heavy or too big or too small will be challenging for your toddler to use. The height of the seat is the most important factor to determining if your toddler will fit a run bike. This should be just shorter than their leg inseam. For more information, check out this fantastic article on choosing a perfect run bike.
It's generally recommended that a run bike seat is positioned 0.5-1" below your Childs crotch. They should be able to straddle the seat, and rest on it when they choose to glide. Not all run bikes offer this movement of the seat.
Too often, I've seen kids gifted run bikes that just didn't fit, or were too heavy for the child to pick up. Have your child practice picking up the bike when it falls on the ground. Independence and the ability to do these thing son their own will make the transition to biking easier for you and them.
2. Bike Material
Run bikes can be made out of aluminum, wood, or plastic. Some feature plastic tires, air filled tires, or foam. The combo of materials used in the frame and wheels can impact overall use and durability of the bike.
One thing, I urge new parents to consider when thinking about the materials is what kind of experience are you looking to have? What kind of terrain are you thinking of using the bike in? If you're thinking of hitting the trails, maybe something with rubber tires and aluminum frame. If it's an inside toy or for the drive way a wooden would be great.
3. The Other Stuff
This is that topic of brakes, baskets and more. Do you want your run bike to have a brake? Generally the concept of a run bike is to use your feet to stop the bike, but perhaps you want a brake.
Run bikes will vary in price depending on materials and quality. We see balance bikes from $75 to $300 in Prince George, BC.
One thing I wouldn't underestimate in budget is resale value and longevity of some of the more expensive bikes. At Koops, they offer a trade in program where we were able to bring back our run bike after two kids used it and get a credit towards our kids next bike. This helped a ton and I didn't have to do that second hand thing.
Where can I buy a run bike in Prince George, BC
Awesome question and many of us struggle with this because you do your research and you come up with all these amazing brands that you just can't source in the small towns of the North, or even in Canada. You have a few options. 1) check out your local bike shop 2) check out your local box store and 3) order online.
There are no guarantee bikes will be in stock. We've done some research and this is what we've come up with. Some of the local bike shops might sell refurbished bikes for a discount. You might also check your local online market place on Facebook (including Facebook BST - buy sell trade - or swap pages) to find one-second hand for a lower price.
- Koops Bikes, Prince George -
- Everything Baby, Prince George
- Cycle Logic, Quesnel and Prince George
- Sport Check
- Canadian Tire
What's the best bike?
The best bike is the bike that works for your budget and your kid!
Check out your local bike shop for some great tips on fitting the perfect bike.
We had the DK Nano Bike from Koops Bike Shop and it's been the best tool in learning to balance and bike. My kids have both transitioned into a pedal bike with ease, and were able to do fun things at the bike park and taken on jumps with their balance bike.
So many balance bikes out there are not designed with kids in mind, you want it to be easy and practical for them to kick their leg over, to pick up off the ground, and to run around with. Stop into your local bike shops and try it out in person. It'll make a huge difference and ensure the product you buy gets to put to use.
Don't Forget a helmet.
Just because it doesn't have peddles doesn't mean you can forgo the helmet. Instil good habits and always ride your run bike with a helmet. This mom will also encourage long pants for when wipes out occur!
--- Taking toddlers and preschoolers to the Duchess Bike Park in Prince Geroge when school is in session (because then the big kids are not around) is a great place to practice the skill and have some fun!
Tell me about the best bike paths and parks in your Northern BC town in the comments below. Or if you have a balance bike you'd like to see available in Prince George, let us know. Maybe it'll be a good fit for the shop.
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