In recent years, bikes without pedals have become fashionable and are gaining more and more supporters among families with children. However, this type of bike actually dates back to 1817 , when the German Karl Drais invented what he called a “walking machine” that was nothing more than a kind of cart with two wheels and a handlebar. Centuries later, in 1997, Rolf Mertens reinvented the design and created the balance bike we know today.
How does the balance bike work?
Also known as a pre-bike, training bike or balance bike, the balance bike is, as its name suggests, a very simple bicycle that It does not have pedals or stabilizers or training wheels. By not having pedals, children must use their feet both to propel themselves and to keep the bike stable, so they have greater control over the vehicle.
Unlike bicycles traditional with training wheels in which children first learn to pedal and then to maintain their balance, with a bike without pedals, they first train their balance and then learn to pedal. In this way, when they switch to a bike with pedals they will learn to carry it much faster than if they had trained on the typical bike with training wheels.
Why bet on a bike with pedals? no pedals?
1. They improve balance
One of the main advantages of balance bikes is that they help develop balance in children. By having to propel themselves with their own feet while riding the bike, the little ones develop their body and space awareness, while gaining stability. As they feel more confident, they dare to take their feet off the ground for short periods of time, which is not only fun but also a great exercise to improve their balance.
two. They develop coordination
Coordination is one of the motor skills that children take the longest to develop, but with a bike without pedals this will no longer be a problem. What happens is that when children are on top of the bike, they must work their upper and lower limbs in a coordinated way to stay on top of the vehicle and direct it wherever they go. With the passage of time, they will learn to coordinate much better not only the extremities but the whole body.
3. They promote muscle development
It’s no secret to any parent that riding a bike is an excellent exercise to strengthen muscles and gain tone, and the bike without pedals is no different. When riding the bike, children work the muscle groups of the entire body, but they especially activate all the muscles of the legs, arms and hip flexors. This training helps them gain muscle mass and strength, while improving tone and responsiveness to stimuli.
4. They stimulate respiratory and cardiac function
Riding a bike, even one without pedals, is an excellent aerobic exercise for children that strengthens their cardiac and respiratory capacity. This is because while the little ones push themselves and try to maintain their balance, their heart rate and breathing speed up, while increasing their oxygenation levels throughout the body. The result is a healthier, stronger heart and lungs.
5. They promote autonomy
Unlike a bike with pedals in which children need the help of an adult, at least until they learn to maintain their balance, in models without pedals the little ones have more control on the bike and can learn on their own. This simple gesture not only saves parents unnecessary spinal pain but also develops autonomy and independence in children from an early age.
6. They channel excess energy
Practicing physical exercise is one of the best ways to channel children’s excess energy and help them release tension. For this reason, the bike without pedals is an excellent alternative so that the little ones not only have fun but also do physical activity and keep moving. Unlike the conventional bike, the bike without pedals requires a greater effort to hold it up and keep it moving, which will make the children more tired at night.
7. They reduce the risk of accidents
As they do not have pedals, this type of bike is much safer than traditional bicycles since it gains less speed and is much easier to control. In addition, it is usually much lower than bikes with pedals, precisely so that children’s feet can touch the ground without problems. This considerably reduces the risk of childhood accidents and, in case of falls, the injuries are usually much less serious.