Kids and bikes go together like PB and J. When I was a kid, I was stuck to my bike like peanut butter on the roof of my mouth, and today I am an avid cyclist looking forward to passing on the love to Rosemary, my 13-month-old daughter. Hopefully when she’s old like me, she’ll be an avid cyclist too. She’ll have many bikes in her lifetime, but her first is the Chillafish Bunzi.
The Chillafish Bunzi is a balance bike which offers an alternative way to learn how to ride. Unlike a traditional bike with training wheels, a balance bike has no pedals. Instead of pedalling to move forward and relying on training wheels to provide balance, your child basically walks along and once up to speed can lift her feet and coast. If she starts to wobble, she can easily put her feet on the ground. This makes learning a lot less scary, and by teaching balance first over pedalling, you child can actually learn how to ride on two wheels faster. When it comes time to upgrade to a bike with a crankset and pedals, she’ll already have the balance thing down.
The Bunzi makes learning to ride even easier with an innovative design that can switch from two to three wheel mode. In the more stable three wheel mode, it can stand on its own like a trike. But it isn’t quite as stable as a trike, as Rosemary and I learned the hard way. At 13 months, she still may be a bit too young, and she tipped right over.
But by next spring, I’m convinced she’ll be ready to go, and once she has learned to steer and push off, I can switch the Bunzi to two wheel mode and she can really focus on learning how to balance. And if she has grown a lot by then, no problem. The Bunzi has two seat positions to accomodate a child’s growth.
Transforming between the two modes is easy and doesn’t require any tools, so if we need to switch back, no problems! And another great feature of the Bunzi is the storage trunk located in the seat. The top of the seat lifts up and there’s the perfect space for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.