Easy to use, easy to maintain – the ZippiZap balance bike offers young riders a great introduction to two-wheel riding.
What: ZippiZap balance bike is suitable for ages 18 months to 5 years.
I am a big fan of balance bikes (one of my best friends used to live in Switzerland and she introduced them to me over 10 years ago – so when it came to Immi’s first bike we got a wooden balance bike – that’s all there was back then). When we got Immi her balance bike she was almost four, so she used it a little bit but passed it onto her little brother. Unfortunately it was left in the rain a few times and that sped up its aging process – so towards the end it was literally held together by gaffer tape!
Charlie used the bike as soon as his legs were long enough to reach the ground (sometimes I wondered if he could actually walk without wheels) – and he thrashed it until he was nearly 4 – when he was 3.5 he was given the smallest sized bicycle you can get for Christmas.
We never put training wheels on the regular bike – at that stage he was still using the balance bike most of the time, but over a period of 4-6 months he began to explore his regular bike and gradually he switched from balance bike to regular bike, just by messing about with it in the backyard – never needing training wheels. By the time Charlie was 4 he was confidently zooming about on his regular bike – and his mates at kindergarten were supremely jealous.. people used to stop me in the street and exclaim that he was so small but had no training wheels… he’s now 7 and relatively fearless when it comes to riding.
Immi had a slightly different experience – when she turned four she was given a “big” bike, that is a bike she could grow into. While this was well intentioned it actually meant she couldn’t reach the ground and her feet could only just reach the pedals – so she didn’t have the same kind of transition as Charlie, and when she got tall enough (about 18 months later) we had to “teach” her how to ride.
ZippiZap sent us one of their balance bikes to test ride and I am super impressed. Being a metal frame means it’s incredibly durable, weatherproof and lightweight. I also LOVE the fact that the tyres are solid and don’t need to be pumped up (ours seemed to need daily pumping up towards the end!). The seat literally takes 3 seconds to change the height setting – making it suitable for children aged 18 months up to 5 years old. Oh and it comes in loads of different colours too.
I enlisted my little friend George (aged 4) to take the ZippiZap for a test drive – George is as tough as nails and the ZippiZap cruised through its paces. Thanks George!
Here are some more facts and figures from ZippiZap:
Bike weight: 2.8kgs – the lightest bike in its category.
Min seat height: 33cm – one of the lowest seat heights.
Max seat height: 44cm
Maintenance free: EVA polymer tyres are maintenance free and never need pumping up. (EVA polymer = industrial strength foam, Super light and very durable. Smooth ride.)
High tensile steel frame: great durability and can be passed down between kids in the family. Warranty on frame is 3 years. Zippizap love being left out in the rain……unlike wooden balance bikes
Quick release seat and handlebar clamps – Means this bike will grow as your child grows. Also comes in handy when setting up the bike on the spot for different sized siblings, or even other kids in the playground.
Balance bike Benefits
- By having 2 feet on the ground, a balance bike enables kids to concentrate on balance and steering, without the confusion of pedals and without the risk of falling and hurting themselves.
- Having 2 feet on the ground builds confidence and allows the rider to test the boundaries of riding on two wheels without fear.
- Once a balance bike is mastered, the transition to a pedal bike without training wheels is easy. Balance bikes effectively remove the need for training wheels.
- Balance bikes are more nimble, fun and safer than trikes, and pedal bikes with training wheels.