$495 Kids Bikes? No Pedals? What’s Going On?

Every parent will one day come to the point where they have to decide on their kids first bike. Often, we just pick up one from Walmart, or the local bike shop and off we go. But my obsessive analytical behavior drove me to do far too much research when I purchased my kids first bike. After countless hours of reading we ended up with a Tykesbykes balance bike. 

Now you’ll quickly notice that this bike does not have pedals. Crazy right? When I grew up all bikes had pedals, I mean it’s a bike, if you want to walk you don’t need two wheels under your groin. But some brilliant whiz figured out that the hard part of biking really isn’t pedaling, it’s balancing. So they came up with a bike where kids can glide and learn how to balance without training wheels or pedals.

Now it’s slow at the start. My son took a while to get used to it and we were essentially walking for the first few outings. But before long he could do this

Fast forward two years and he’s ready for his first pedal bike. He’s four and pretty big for his age at over 40 lbs, but the bikes in the stores around me weigh over 20 lbs. That’s like a 200 lb adult riding a bike that weighs 100lb or more. I couldn’t learn on that. So what did I do? I got out my wallet and paid up, big time.

Now when you’re looking into 14” and 16” bikes that are lightweight and built for kids you’ll run into Woom, Spawn and a bunch of other top tier brands. Then you’ll gasp at the prices. A 14” Spawn Furi retails for $495. This is the same size bike as the little Ninja Turtle one you see when you walk into Walmart that’s $80-100. So what did I do? I got on Craigslist and Kijiji.

After watching for days I spotted a Spawn Furi for $325. I raced across town, met with the owner where I discovered the bike had been ridden by two kids over three summers and they had bought it used for $365 last summer. I tried to bargain, but as the bike was only just posted and it took them a month to get one last year they were having none of it. So I bought it. Guess how many Spawn Furi ads there were in my city of a million people that day… One. But there were three wanted ads asking for the same bike.

So now I’m the proud owner of a bike that is lightweight, has amazing components and doesn’t have coaster breaks. These are the brakes that stop you when you pedal backwards, which apparently are a pain for kids as they sometimes pedal backwards when they’re learning how to pedal. Best of all, I can sell it in a day or two when we’re done, just like the family I bought it from.

From their perspective they had a great bike for a year and it only ended up costing them $40 for the year after they sold it. How much do you think you can sell that $100 Ninja Turtle bike for? Take a guess on how many are for sale on Craigslist. A ton. So invest in your kids health, keep garbage out of the dumps and make learning how to ride a bike as easy as can be. Get a good one. Used. Then sell it after.

And if you’re looking at detailed guides on fit, the best bike for each price point then check out Two Wheeling Tots, it’s a kids bike enthusiasts dream.