Q: Why balance bikes? Why not just use a tricycle or training wheels?
A: Balance bikes have a lot of benefits over tricycles! Tricycles are very inefficient and as a result, kids generally don’t ride them very long by themselves, which is why many of them come with handles. In addition, tricycles teach kids to pedal first which is a really easy skill to learn, versus teaching balancing first. When kids learn to balance first, they never use training wheels and are on a regular pedal bike by 3 or 4. With tricycles to training wheels, they generally don’t transition to pedal bikes until they are 5 or 6. Furthermore, balance bikes are very versatile as they can go over dirt, jumps, curbs, grass and gravel just fine, while tricycles can’t (or need to be pushed). The main concern most people have with balance bikes is that kids can’t simply sit on them and take off. The learning curve with balance bike is longer than with tricycles, but once they learn, they take off! Kids as young as 18 months start riding balance bikes and do just fine, although most don’t master sitting and balancing until they are closer to 2.
— Two Wheeling Tots
Q: What do they typically learn at a clinic? My kid is really good on a balance bike. They got the hang of it at 2. Not at all meaning that They couldn't learn something new, just curious what the clinic entails.
A: Our kid, Asante is proficient as well. He started at 9-months and at 3-years-old could ride a pedal bike without training wheels, so we totally get what you're asking. The reason our family started Asante Cycles was manifold but as it relates to your question: COMMUNITY. Our kid loves to ride and we want to be in community with other families that feel the same.
We are certified League Cycling Instructors (LCIs) with the League of American Bicyclists. Registering for a clinic gets your family our professional instruction. We'll help show you how to adjust your child's bike and helmet to fit their needs; how to maintain and care for their bike; and how you, as their adult, can create a supportive environment for your young rider.
We have ramps. We have cones. We have obstacle courses. We play games. We talk about bike and pedestrian safety. We have a cargo bike available for families to touch and try. We stay late after our clinics are over to give one-on-one instruction to families that want to hang out. But mostly, our programming is about building COMMUNITY. If any of that appeals to you, we'd love to meet your family and have you attend!
And thank you to our Partner, Xtracycle™ for supporting our programming by providing us with an Xtracycle Cargo Node™ for families to touch and try! This bike is nimble and zippy, and in our opinion, one of the most perfect family biking options out right now. Come take a test ride!
— Adisa & Lauryn (Asante Cycles' Co-founders)
Q: What's the difference between a Strider® balance bike and the Balance bikes you carry?
A: The woom™ 1 and woom™ 1 PLUS balance bikes are lightweight and child-specific with quality components that you wont need to do ANY upgrades on. More specifically:
The woom™ 1 comes with a turning limiter, the Strider® does not. This prevents the handlebars from turning all the way around on themselves and oversteering.
The woom™ 1's handlebars are significantly wider than the Strider®, making steering less twitchy and providing more control for children.
The woom™ 1 comes stock with a child-specific handbrake (the Strider® does not) which is great for when children are ready to transition to a pedal bike because they'll already be familiar with a handbrake and know how to use it.
The woom™ 1 also comes stock with air tires whereas the Strider® comes with foam, which while they wont ever go flat, they also wont provide the traction and cushion your rider will need once they get more ambitious and decide to ride on dirt, loose gravel, wet concrete, etc. Also, if you wanted to eventually upgrade those foam tires on your Strider®, you'd be just $20 shy of what it would've cost you to just buy the woom™ 1.
Plus, upgrading the tires on your Strider® will add an additional 3.6lbs (6.7lbs stock + 3.6lbs for tires = 10.1lbs vs the woom™ 1's stock 7.3lbs) to the bike which might make it more difficult, if your child is petite and/or less coordinated, to maneuver.
The woom™ 1's frame is made of aluminum alloy 6061 which is lightweight, strong, and rust-proof whereas the Strider®'s frame is steel and prone to rust.
Finally, woom™ is a small, family-owned and operated bike company that focuses all of their time and energy on designing high quality, lightweight bikes for kids of all ages. They value ergonomics, handling, design, being responsive to customers, and using non-toxic parts.
Q: We bought our kid a bike for their birthday. Can we use that one at the clinic?
A: For safety, quality of instruction, and the continued support of our Partners, the only bikes we allow at our clinics are woom™ with the exception of kids who currently own a 26" bike with at least 8 gears and V-brakes. We recommend and carry only the highest-quality family bike gear and expect to provide nothing less to your family.
Q: What is inseam and how do I measure it?
A: For kids who have not yet learned to start and stop a pedal bike confidently and on their own, the seat height of the bike should be set to match their inseam. This allows them to safely stop the bike with their feet if need be. If your child is an ambitious rider, the ideal position for them to be in is on their tippy toes. Approximately 2″ above their inseam. This allows for proper leg extension with each pedal – providing a comfortable and efficient ride. Take measurements accordingly.
Have your child take their shoes off and stand up straight, with their back against a wall.
Place a book between their legs and slide it up the wall to meet the crotch firmly as if they are seated on a saddle.
Make sure your child still has their heels on the ground, then mark with a pencil where the top of the book the touches the wall.
Measure the distance from the floor straight up to the mark.
Q: I have a helmet but I don't think it fits my kid properly. Is there a brand that you recommend?
A: Yes! We sell the helmets that we recommend and all proceeds go directly back into supporting our programming and developing a scholarship fund for families that need it. We carry only the highest-quality family bike gear and expect to provide nothing less to you. Most families buy helmets based on color or how they look — neglecting factors like fit, adjustability, construction, safety certifications, and buckle type. No worries! We've got you covered. Please note that because kids grow so quickly, it isn't practical to expect that a helmet will last them for for 3 to 4 years.
Q: How should a properly-fitted bike helmet look?
A: Helmet fit is essential. Wearing one that doesn't fit or that isn't properly adjusted reduces the helmet’s ability to offer protection during a crash. It can fall off or move around. Knowing your head circumference (grab a soft/flexible tape measure and wrap it level around your head, one inch above your eyebrows and ears or use a string and a ruler) plus head shape are necessary when selecting a helmet that's going to fit you properly. Avoid helmets that have non-essential elements that protrude from the helmet (i.e., decorative horns, ears, etc.) -- these may look interesting but they may prevent the helmet's smooth surface from sliding after a fall which could lead to injury.
Helmet should be level on your head (not tilted to the back or forward or to the side) and fit snugly but not so tight it gives you a headache.
If you shake your head "no" and the helmet moves side-to-side, it's too big. Cinch down the strap/dial in the back or add the additional padding that came with your helmet to get a snug fit. If that doesn't help, try a different size, style, or brand.
If the helmet wont sit flush, it might be too small. Check by either opening the strap/dial or removing the extra padding from the inside and try again. If it still wont sit flush, try a different size, style, or brand.
You should be able to fit one or two fingers above your eyebrows while it's on. No more or less than that.
Straps by your ears should form a "V" right below, and slightly in front of, your lobe when they are buckled.
When your helmet is buckled only one or two fingers should fit between the strap and your chin. If you can fit more, make it tighter.
You should be able to eat and talk comfortably while your helmet is buckled without it being pulled down by you opening your mouth.
Before every ride, recheck, and make sure everything is how it should be and that your helmet doesn't need to be readjusted.
NOTE: Typically when fitting a small child, one of your adult fingers constitutes two of theirs. Adjust accordingly.
Q: Do you recommend any additional safety gear? Pads? Gloves?
A: Unless your child is a super aggressive rider -- going off jumps, bombing hills, etc. -- the only safety gear we recommend in additon to a helmet, long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes with grippy rubber soles are gloves (as that's how kids brace themselves if they do take a tumble) and a bell (for letting people ahead of them know that they are close and want to pass). Regarding pads, most on the market are too bulky and thus, cumbersome for young riders..
Q: Do you offer scholarships?
A: At this time, we don't but we are working on it! Please check back in with us. If you're interested in donating, fundraising, and/or being a board member, let us know. We are always looking for committed individuals who share our passion for getting families on bikes.
Q: Do you carry adaptive cycles for kids with disabilities?
A: Unfortunately, we don't have the funds for a fleet of adaptive cycles. These bikes are manufactured in low volumes and are specialty in nature. It's the difference between units of ten produced per week versus tens of thousands per week which makes them more expensive. And sadly, this is perhaps why (although we wish they did because the need is there) mainstream cycling manufacturers don't invest in producing adaptive cycles.
Didn't get the answers you need?
Feel free to contact us.
We want to make sure you have the opportunity to touch, try, and compare as much bike gear as you need to make your purchase an informed one. We pride ourselves on the level of knowledge and expertise we possess and want to get your family the right bike and/or helmet for your needs and budget.