When you have a growing toddler, there are certain things to buy that are on an imaginary tick-list. Paint set? Tick. Julia Donaldson books? Tick. Scooter? Tick. You look around at other kids for inspiration and ideas, because, when it’s your first child, you usually have to constantly learn what kids of that age are into, and need ideas for how to stimulate their minds and encourage their creativity.
For a while now, I’ve had ‘bike’ on my imaginary tick list. From chatting to other mums and reading blogs, I knew that age three is a pretty good age to get your kid using a bike. The options for bikes are either a) get a regular bike with stabilisers, to get the child used to pedalling, and then removing the stabilisers when they’re ready to balance themselves. Or b) get a balance bike, which has no pedals and encourages the child to balance and use their feet to propel themselves along. Then you buy a regular bike and teach your child to pedal.
Oh blimey, just the thought of it makes me want to sit down with a cold glass of wine. Or three. I know teaching your child to ride a bike is meant to be seen as a special experience – something you’d see in the opening credits of The Wonder Years – but I just envisage the child getting frustrated, falling off and scuffing their knees lots, and yells of “just pedal!”
But I digress. So those are the two choices when it comes to buying a child’s first bike. OR SO I THOUGHT.
Paul’s Yard make a whole different option of first bike – the Boomer 2 in 1 Balance bike. Made from steel (like a proper bike), the child uses it like a regular balance bike and then when they are old enough, you just attach the chain and pedals that come with it, and it transforms into a proper bike. Genius.
We have been road testing the red Boomer 2 in 1 Balance bike (it’s so red and shiny!) for Paul’s Yard, and so far, we love it. The three-year-old loves the novelty of just having a bike – something she’d previously only seen older boys and girls with. One important point to make is that when Paul’s Yard say that this bike is recommended for 3 years and up, they mean it. We received the bike a few months ago, and being a typical blasé mum, I thought our nearly-three-year-old would be fine on it (“She’s used her friend Ethan’s balance bike before, so she’ll manage this one,” I thought.) But her little feet didn’t touch the floor, even with the seat on its lowest setting. But a few months, and a little growth spurt, later and she can use it just fine.
Stuff I love about the Paul’s Yard Boomer 2 in 1 Balance bike:
- It was really quick to put together when it arrived – the less time that an impatient child has to wait for her new bike, the better, in my book.
- It’s sturdy and will take a bashing. I can’t be doing with flimsy toys.
- It has a handle on the back of the seat for parents to hold onto – really handy when you’re first using the bike and when they’re learning to pedal.
- The seat is adjustable by hand.
- The removable chain comes with a plastic chain guard to protect trousers and legs from getting oily.
At £130 it’s not a cheap option, but that includes postage and it’s kind of saving you in the long run – going for a 2 in 1 balance bike means you don’t have to fork out for a ‘proper’ bike in a few years time. Plus! Paul’s Yard is a family run business, based in North Berwick in Scotland. I love the idea of supporting a family business. Check out their website.
bloomin’ marvellous. She looks so grown up and loving it…although think Mr P looks happier ;D xx
ha ha – yes he was having lots of fun!
I’m on the look out for a balance bike to get E for her 3rd birthday in Jan. Will defo be hopping on over to the website to take a look at these xx
Ooh and they’re on special offer at the mo apparently – £99 inc delivery. Check out the Paul’s Yard Twitter for a link.
That’s brilliant! We have a balance bike and i was wondering when someone would invent a convertible one so you didn’t have to get two separate bikes.
Such a great idea, isn’t it?
We bought a boomer bike for our daughter lila who was struggling on a scooter and a normal bike.once she got on the boomer bike her confidence seem to rocket over night and loved it.
The fact she had all the functionality of a traditional bike to start with really allowed her to master the basic controls like steering and brakes- she now has the pedals on like a big girl and tells all her friends how clever she is!
Definitely recommend the boomer to anyone thinking of their 1st bike.
That’s so great to hear – I bet the moment the pedals are added is so exciting for them.
Our daughter now has a boomer bike. Literally
She learnt to ride a bike overnight! She got it on
The Friday and by the Saturday evening she had
The pedals taken off and that was her!! Such a clever idea!
Is a must for santa’s list!!
Wow! I’m impressed!
I just had to write and say, I have two girls, aged 4 and 2 and two boomer bikes. The eldest was straight on it, and was whizzing way ahead of us in no time. Our youngest took a few weeks before her wee feet could touch the ground but now she is off.
Building the bikes was easy and I cannot go on more about the build quality. Our Boomer bikes take a beating but all the components are really robust. I hate it when toys have loads of cheap plastic parts that break after two goes.
I have recommended this bike to alot of my friends who have it on the list for Christmas presents.
I hate it when toys fall apart too. This bike looks really sturdy. Love it!
bought a boomer from Paul’s yard recently and it’s been the best thing we could have done for our daughter. We started with a scooter but in fact looking back I wouldn’t have bothered if I’d knowen about the boomer. Much easier to get to grips with ballence and great that it can be addapted for when they are ready for peddles.
Great product with great service. Lovely people. Put on your Xams list!
We bought a boomer bike as a birthday present for our 4yr old boy who previously had shown no interest what so ever in bikes. Couldn’t get him on them for love or money. And then this – after falling to the fall to examine it in every detail he quickly picked up on the fact that there were no pedals. We showed them to him and said that when he was ready we would add them – but only on his say so. With that he got on and pushed off. He loved it as he got his balance straight away and if he did come off, there were no pedals stabbing into him. He had the boomer for about 4 months before asking to add the pedals. We popped them on and again, he pushed off, but this time naturally found the pedals and he was riding around! Brilliant idea – great chap at Paul’s yard too. Would 100% recommend.
Me too 🙂
We LOVE our Boomer bike. We’ve had a couple of balance bikes in the past for our older two boys but they both fell apart within months. This one has taken a beating from not one but three boisterous boys in the last 10 months and is still much loved, fought over and in perfect condition! We’ve resisted putting the pedals on because our little boy loves it as a balance bike but, having put the whole thing together myself within a few minutes (and I’m not known for my DIY skills!), converting it holds no fear! Great bit of kit – my only complaint is that they should be available in grown up sizes!
Oh wouldn’t that be a great idea!
Just bought one of these for my son for Xmas after reading this blog. Been to-ing and fro-ing between a balance bike as a ‘proper’ bike and in the end I got both! They’re also on offer at the moment for £99. Bargain! Xxx
Glad the review helped you, Katy. Hope he likes the bike on Christmas Day -I bet he does!!
R these still for sale, have looked on the website but don’t no weather there still making them?
Hi Emma – yes you can buy them from here: http://boomerbalancebikes.co.uk/buy-boomer-balance-bike/