At about 19 months, our eldest son was clearly too big for his Scuttlebug. It looked uncomfortable for him to ride it, but he was happy enough continuing to do so. By 23 months, he was catching his feet on the back wheels and that, we felt, was just an accident waiting to happen. So we took his beloved Scuttlebug away.
We then set about finding something to replace it with as quickly as possible. He used the Scuttlebug several times a week on trips to the park, so we knew he would need something fast.
My initial thought was to simply try and find a bigger version of the Scuttlebug – essentially a foot powered trike. I had no joy finding anything like that and quickly discovered Scuttlebugs really are one size only.
We tried him on a friend’s son’s pedal trike but he didn’t like it.
That left us with 2 options:
- A balance bike
- A bike with stabilisers
Ultimately, we felt he wouldn’t be able to get to grips with the pedals at his age having tried him before and we wanted him to have an experience as similar to the Scuttlebug as possible. So we opted for balance bike.
Choosing a Balance Bike for a 2 Year Old
I’d heard different views about balance bikes for 2 year olds. Some friends told me their children loved balance bikes and rode them well at 2 years old and others had the opposite experience.
So, of course, I did a load of research into various models suitable for toddlers of his height, but in the end, I needn’t have bothered. We took him to Halfords and he picked one of the bikes from the stand, sat on it and started riding it around the shop.
However, he was soon bored of the designated child track area in the shop and took about darting around the entire store as his quickly tiring Daddy chased him around. That alleviated any concerns I might have had about whether he might be able to ride one!
Although we typically order online, we bought in store with this purchase just because he’d taken so well to that specific model he’d tried – the Yvelo Junior.
So what I would say is that it’s well worth popping to a bike shop to let your little one try one or two models, even if you then go off and do more research and ultimately buy online. It’s so reassuring seeing them try one.
The Y Volution Y velo Junior Features and Price
Ok, so in a nutshell, here’s what you need to know:
- It’s recommended by the manufacturer for children from 18 months to 4 years
- There are 3 different height settings for the seat (our 2 year old is quite tall and is still just about on the lowest setting – though we will be moving it soon, I think)
- The back wheel is actually two wheels together, so as the child gets more confident you can take one of (we have not done that yet)
- It’s an aluminium framed balance bike
- Weight – [3.8kgs
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 66 x 30 x 45 cm
- Seat height: 28-36 cm
Price wise, you can get the Yvolution Y Velo junior from the manufacturer’s website for £49.99, which is the same as what we paid for it in Halfords.
How our Toddler Managed with it
In a nutshell, Oliver managed really well with it from the very first ride in the bike shop! The wheels are slightly thicker, I think, than on many other balance bikes. And this helps a lot! It helps to have the double back wheel as well.
When we gave him the bike, about a month before his second birthday, he had a little ride around the house and managed just fine. But in a confined space he is obviously speed restricted, so that played a part!
Here he is on his first journey out on the bike in a small, flat and quiet park (always helpful). No falls, but we did stay very close and he was moving at a slower speed than he would have done on the Scuttlebug.
His second time outside on the balance bike, he got a little faster. Here he is…
By his third time out, he was a bit of a speed demon. And after five or six times, we didn’t feel the need to be within grabbing distance of him at all times. He’s fallen off once or twice, but the bike is so small that he’s never really hurt himself. Also, if he realises he’s going to fall, he tends to start the process of slowing himself down with his feet, so it’s usually a case of rubbing his hands together and getting straight back on.
We will remove the second back wheel at some point, but at the moment he’s enjoying it as it is.
He’s been riding the bike since he was just under 2 years old and we expect he’ll still get a another year or more out of it even though he’s quite tall.
The idea with balance bikes is that when the child moves to a pedal bike, they’ll already have enough balance to get started without stabilisers easily. We’ll let you know how that works out for us.
Thoughts on the Yvelo Junior
The Yvelo Junior really is a great bike for a younger toddler because of the extra back wheel. The sturdiness and flexibility of 3 seat positions is also fantastic for younger children.
We also thought it was really good value. We saw much more expensive bikes out there in this category, but have been happy with ours.
On the whole, we’re really happy with the purchase and would definitely recommend it. And more to the point, so would our 2 year old!
The whole Yvolution range is available on Amazon by clicking here.