Crafts for Kids DIY balance bike from pedal bike (2 of 4)

Published on May 20th, 2013 | by Julie Finn


How-to: DIY Balance Bike from a Kid’s Pedal Bike

DIY balance bike from pedal bike (2 of 4)Balance bikes are great for kids who aren’t quite ready for a “real” two-wheeler. Balance bikes teach kids how to balance, steer, and coast on a real bicycle, while being just as easy for a kid to use as a bike with training wheels attached. A balance bike is also a great confidence-builder for a nervous kid.

At least that’s why I wanted a balance bike for my kid, who, at the ripe old age of seven, had taken to claiming that she was NEVER going to learn to ride her bicycle.

Nope, too scary. She’d rather walk.

Unfortunately, balance bikes can be super-pricey, unless you go for a cheap knock-off of the wooden ones, and those are meant for toddlers, and they’re not uber-durable.

Fortunately, being a DIYer means that not only can you figure out how to make something new using only what you already own, but it means that you can basically custom-build for yourself whatever you’re dreaming of. Here’s how my partner and I dismantled my kid’s existing pedal bike and turned it into a balance bike for her:

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

  • Tina

    We also have a 7 (and 1/2) year old that isn’t all that crazy about biking. Not sure why she’ll eagerly jump onto a horse that is 3 or more times bigger, faster, and more unpredictable, but hey, whatever. It’s an especially touchy subject here as the papa LOVES mountain biking and wants to take us along, but the kiddo isn’t ready.

    We converted her bike to a balance type at the end of last year (we just zip-tied the chain). It seemed to help. Maybe this year she’ll be ready to try the pedals again.


    • Julie Finn

      Zip ties?!? Does that mean that you can put the pedals back on it later? I need more details, STAT!

      • Tina

        Hmm. The hubby did it all, so I’ll have to check with him before I give you false info, but I think you should be able to reassemble the bike. I’ll get back to you.

  • GJ

    Have been wanting to try this on an adult bike but don’t want to mess up my good regular bike. Thought of getting one from a garage sale and experimenting. Has anyone tried this?

    • Julie Finn

      My only concern would be that adult bikes have parts that kid bikes don’t have–gears for shifting and hand brakes, in particular. I don’t know specifically how you’d take those off, but in theory, if you just keep removing parts, eventually you’ll be left with that plain bike frame.

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