If you’ve ever spent a summer adventuring with me you’d know that one of my favorite outdoor activities is biking. I own a road bike and a mountain bike (because you can never have too many bikes, right?) and as soon as Elliott was born I dreamed about taking him on bike rides with me and getting him a bike of his own. This winter as I began looking into bikes for Elliott I quickly became overwhelmed with all the options out there. There are tons of inexpensive off-brand bikes on Amazon, a lot of gently (and not so gently) used bikes for sale on Facebook Marketplace, and so many higher end balance bikes on the market. I didn’t even know where to start!
First of all, starting off with a balance bike is a great idea! The hardest part about riding a bike for kids isn’t the pedals, it’s learning how to balance. If you give a child a bike without pedals, training wheels, or breaks, they’ll focus on learning how to move forward and how to balance on a bike. They’ll be able to keep their bike under control with their own two feet and slowly gain the skills and confidence to ride a real bike someday. As someone who remembers how traumatic it was to learn how to ride a bike once the training wheels came off I definitely want to avoid putting my son through that! At the moment Elliott isn’t able to ride a balance bike on his own yet, but I wanted to start looking early so that we had one when he was ready.
Like I said, there are many balance bikes out there, and some are a lot cheaper than others. Is it really worth spending more money on a bike from a “real” company? Yes! Balance bikes are just like regular bikes – if you buy a cheaper one you’ll save money but you’ll have a harder time using it and it won’t last as long. I’ve heard stories about kids who try to learn on a cheap knockoff balance bike who actually struggle and give up because the bike is too heavy or uncomfortable to ride. It needs to be lightweight and be able to adjust to fit your child as they grow. Plus, this is a piece of gear that your child will use for years so it’s worth the investment. So as I narrowed down my search I knew I’d be looking for a lightweight bike from a reputable bike company that cared about the safety and comfort of my child.
That’s when I heard about Bambino Bikes! They reached out to me on Instagram to share with me some information about their new online bike shop which opened this spring. Bambino Bikes sells a variety of bike gear including balance bikes, ride along bike seats, helmets, bike gloves, and cute kid-sized accessories. Their shop is 100% geared towards young bike riders and only sells equipment and gear that is safe and age appropriate. Their chosen balance bike brand is Bixbi Bikes. These bikes are lightweight and have the option of adjusting down to fit the smallest riders.
Picking out Elliott’s first bike was so exciting! Parents are able to choose between a classic balance bike or a mountain balance bike with rugged wheels. I picked the mountain bike because it’s going to be so useful living in Alaska. I use my mountain bike more here and I’m excited to be able to take him out to some rugged places on his balance bike. The hardest part about ordering the bike was choosing the color! The classic balance bikes come in 9 colors and the mountain bikes come in 5 colors. I went with orange because Elliott seems to like that color so far, And then to make his bike really special, they personalized it with Elliott’s name on it! Now he’ll never lose his bike! When measuring Elliott for his bike using their simple bike measuring directions (which was a wild experience in itself – I had to do it 5 times because he moves around so much!) I realized that he was a bit too short for the bike. So after chatting with the gear experts at Bambino Bikes, we determined that he’d need a Lowrider attachment on the back of the bike to make it low enough for Elliott to use. This is a quick and easy addition to the bike that allows your child to start riding as soon as they’re ready, even if they’re a little bit shorter than the bike.
Once I put in the order, it literally arrived two days later. TWO! If you live in Alaska you’ll know that nothing has ever arrived in two days, not even Amazon Prime! We went for our morning walk and when we came home we had a bunch of exciting mail from Bambino Bikes waiting for us. The packaging was adorable, and I couldn’t wait to open it up. Inside the package was the bike, which was about 80% assembled. The back wheel was already attached with the Lowrider installed. All I had to do was install the front wheel and the handlebars. All of the necessary tools and supplies came with the bike and the directions were easy to follow. I don’t know anything about tools and it only took me about 5 minutes to put together the bike. The hardest part for me was finding a bike pump small enough to fit inside the tiny balance bike wheels to inflate the tire. I reached out to Bambino Bikes and got some suggestions on pumps that might fit, and luckily my friend had one I could use. The bike also came with some fun stuff for Elliott like a hand written card from the owner of the company, bike themed coloring sheets, and a sheet of fun stickers. Now Elliott can have his water bottle look more like mommy’s with lots of stickers on it!
Overall, this was the best bike selection process I’ve ever had. I ordered one of my own bikes online and the other one was in person at a local shop, but it was the best of both worlds being able to order Elliott’s bike from an online shop dedicated to bikes for toddlers and younger kids. Being able to message Bambino Bikes with all of my questions and get a quick answer was so helpful. I could take my time measuring Elliott when he was is a good mood, and make a decision without feeling rushed. Plus there’s not an overwhelming amount of gear to choose from, which helped me make a quick decision. The best part is that you get to support a small family owned business who cares a lot about biking (read their story here!). If you’re thinking about buying a balance bike sometime soon, check them out!
Disclosure: Bambino Bikes sent me a free balance bike in exchange for my honest opinions. In addition, the link to Bambino Bikes is an affiliate link. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. However, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.