A review of the Balance Bike by Micro
You’re probably familiar with Micro’s range of scooters but did you know that they also make balance bikes for kids aged 2 to 5? Micro balance bikes have the same clever Swiss engineering as their scooters, and given our daughter’s love of her Micro scooter we were keen to get our son to try out the balance bike. We were delighted to receive a Micro balance bike to review for the blog.
Why should you consider a balance bike for your child?
Balance bikes are designed to help your child learn to ride a bike without the need for stabilisers. The bikes don’t have pedals and the child propels themselves by pushing along with their feet. Balance bikes steer just like a pedal bike.
The lack of pedals means that the child has control over their speed. As they get more confident they can “free-wheel” the bike by lifting their feet off the floor and coasting along – so they’re properly riding at this point!
A balance bike is ideal for beginners as the child can easily stop themselves and isn’t likely to fall over – they just put their feet back down again!
There are several different balance bikes in Micro’s range to choose from. Models include the Classic which has a handbrake on one side, and the Air Wheeled Balance Bike which also has a handbrake. We tried out the Lightweight Balance Bike which is a little simpler and doesn’t have any brakes.
First impressions of Micro Balance Bike
When the bike arrived it was securely packaged in a large box and had some bubblewrap and foam around the frame for extra protection. It was very simple to put together and adjust to my son’s height, and everything you need to adjust the bike is included.
The Lightweight Micro Balance Bike comes in several colours, and there was only one choice for my son: a cheerful sunflower yellow. I wish I’d got a photo of his face when he saw it – it was love at first sight.
The available colours are all bold and bright and your child is bound to find one in their favourite colour. The bikes aren’t patterned but some of the accessories are so you can easily personalise the bike if you like. Micro’s lightweight range has the best choice of colours compared to the other Micro bikes.
Design and build quality
The first thing you’ll notice about the Micro Balance Bike is its simplicity of design. There aren’t any pedals, chains, gears or anything like that. The bike’s frame is a streamlined curve connecting the two wheels and seat.
The straight handlebars and seat are easily adjustable making the bike suitable for kids aged from 2 – 5. There is also the Micro Chopper Balance bike which has curved handlebars if that’s what your child prefers.
The second most notable thing about the Micro Balance Bike is its weight. At only a smidge over 2 kilos, it is so light that my son (aged just 4, and small for his age) can easily carry it himself and manoeuvre it without any trouble.
The bike’s frame is made of aluminium, and yellow rubber hand grips on the handlebars complement the colour of the frame and provide a comfortable and secure grip for small hands.
The wheels are a shiny black rubber – while there’s no tread, they grip the pavement well. The lack of tread means that the tyres are wipe-clean so the bike can also be used indoors. A huge advantage of these tyres is that they are puncture resistant; so no having to replace a popped tyre and the bike can be ridden on all surfaces. We did find that the bike goes best on pavements of course.
Despite its feather-light construction the Micro Balance Bike feels nice and sturdy; I’m pretty sure it can withstand the occasional toddler bashing and crashing. Thankfully we’re moving out of this stage and the boy is now a lot more careful with his possessions!
Testing out the Micro Balance Bike
Our kids are very outgoing socially but less physically confident. It’s been a bit of a struggle for us to get them to do anything that needs a bit of physical co-ordination (other than bouncing on the trampoline).
The boy already has a bike with stabiliser wheels and chains but it’s the sort that you have to keep pedalling or it stops. He was getting really frustrated with it, especially as the gear kept slipping, and he wasn’t really enjoying learning to ride at all. As riding a bike is such an essential childhood skill we were a little concerned that he wasn’t making progress or having much fun!
So it was fantastic to see that he took to the Micro Balance Bike like a duck to water. He was thrilled with the colour of the bike and wanted to try it out straight away.
My son had never tried a proper balance bike before, but he got the idea pretty quickly. He found the balance bike much easier to use and control than his old bike. Within a few minutes he was starting to build up his speed and was even lifting both his feet briefly.
The pictures for this review were all taken on his second go so you can see how confidently he was riding the bike almost immediately.
He loved being able to build up his speed on the Micro Balance Bike and enjoyed putting his feet up so he could coast along without touching the ground. Riding the balance bike definitely put the fun back into learning to ride!
Since we’ve had the Micro Balance Bike the boy has insisted on riding it every day. This is something that he never did with his old stabiliser bike, which he’d only ask for occasionally. As well as riding it around our estate he’s also been playing with it in our garden and now wants to ride it to school so it’s been a real hit with him. He’s also really developed his steering skills since he’s been riding the balance bike.
I can already see the progress he’s made with his balance and his confidence. Most importantly his enjoyment has increased so much while riding this balance bike.
Accessories available for Micro Balance Bike
Helmets and bike accessories
Micro make a range of helmets for using with their scooters and balance bikes. As well as the colour yellow, my son’s other great love is dinosaurs so he was over the moon with his funky dino covered helmet. For once, it hasn’t been a struggle to persuade him to wear one! There is a huge range of helmets, both plain and pattered, on Micro’s website.
You can also pick up accessories like lights and bells for the bike so your child can personalise theirs. We tried out a matching dinosaur bell and a flashing light, which added to the fun.
Cost, and how to buy the balance bike
You can order a balance bike from Micro’s website. The lightweight balance bike model that we tried out costs £59.95, and the other designs are in the same sort of range.
This seems to be at the higher end of mid-range when compared to other balance bikes available in the UK, and given the Micro’s lightweight and sturdy design I’d say that it’s worth the money.
Would we recommend a Micro Balance Bike?
Yes we would recommend the Micro Balance Bike! Having now tried out both, we’d recommend a balance bike above a typical starter bike with stabilisers. A bike with stabilisers isn’t going to teach your child to balance properly so they almost have to learn all over again when you try taking the stabilisers off.
The Micro Balance Bikes are well made and sturdy, and can withstand younger children dropping them. They are lightweight and easily manoeuvrable for even toddlers to use independently. The bikes come in a range of cheerful colours which appeal to small kids.
With a Micro Balance Bike your child will learn to balance straight away as well as learning to steer; so all they’ll have to do when it’s time to move them to a regular bike is to pedal.
My son absolutely loves his bike and he’s already made fantastic progress with balance and steering since he’s had it. He’s so much more confident riding his balance bike than he was with his starter pedal bike. He won’t need a bike with stabilisers now; we’re confident he’ll be able to handle a normal bike once he’s outgrown the Micro.
Disclaimer: We were given a Micro Balance Bike and accessories (helmet, bell and flashing light) in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own. Please see our disclaimer for more information.
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