Our tips for buying a learner bike
The learner bike is the first "two wheeler" in the life of a child (apart from the scooter). It is excellent for training the sense of balance and coordination, and is a very simple introduction to riding a bike for children, without overtaxing them. The best prerequisites for an optimal introduction to a learner bike are:
1. "PUKY®" recommends that children are approx. 2.5 years old before they are introduced to a learner bike.
2. The learner bike should ideally have a low step through frame, so children can get on and off safely. As a result, they always feel safe when driving.
3. Because children grow very quickly, a learner bike should not only have a height-adjustable saddle, but it should also be possible to adjust the height of the handlebar. If only the saddle can be height-adjusted, the geometry of the vehicle deteriorates enormously, and as a result, so do the basic conditions for the learning child.
4. A special learner bike saddle is ergonomically designed. It provides secure hold to the child and as a result, it provides perfect support to the child's walking movements. In contrast to a bicycle, a child pushes the learner bike forwards at the contact points (seat and handlebars).
5. Safety handlebar grips and thick handlebar pads protect against injury.
6. High-quality wheels ensure healthy comfort and smooth running.
7. PUKY® learner bikes have a respectable resale value, which can easily be invested in the next vehicle (e.g. a play bicycle).
Learner bike with brakes or without?
Children who are just starting to use a learner bike are mostly not yet able to use a handbrake effectively or to coordinate it. On the one hand, they quite often cannot muster enough force with their little hands to press the handbrake lever strongly enough - on the other hand they are not yet able to coordinate different movements (looking around, balancing, steering and then braking as well) at the same time.
Parents should never have the false sense of security that the child is able to bring their vehicle to a standstill independently and in a controlled fashion by using the brakes (this is extremely dangerous, especially on steep terrain, etc.). However, observation shows that even children that are experienced in using learner bikes continue to enjoy learner bikes for a long time, even if they may already be able to control a bicycle. For this reason, it makes sense to equip some learner bikes with a child-friendly brake system.
Learner bike with steering angle limiter?
A steering angle limiter is dangerous on a learner bike because the handlebar automatically points steeply upwards when the vehicle is lying on the floor, and cannot turn away when a child falls on it. In extreme cases, severe injuries can be caused by falling on to this end of the handlebar with the upper body, abdomen or genitals. Such a limiter should be avoided in the interest of you child's safety, and that of all other small test pilots.
Settings / learner bike handlebar
The handlebar of a learner bike should be adjusted so that the child can sit as upright as possible and finds it easy to grip the handlebar. The arms should not be fully extended, but slightly bent. This is the only way that the child can have an optimal overview and can react to possible risks in good time. If the handlebar is set too low, the viewing angle is drawn too much to the floor. The child first has to lift their head to get their bearings, and as a result, loses valuable reaction time in dangerous situations.
Settings / learner bike saddle
The learner bike saddle should be adjusted so that the child can safely reach the floor with their feet when they are in a seated position. The legs should even be bent a little while riding, so that the child can strongly push off from the floor.