Balance Bikes have become enormously popular over the last few years. Some people think this is a new invention that has only really hit the market recently. The truth is the Balance Bike was invented sometime around 1817-1818. Originally it was an adult sized bike called the Dandy Horse which was invented by Baron Karl Drais. The Baron, who was from Germany, invented the machine and eventually patented the idea in 1818. In German the name the baron gave the bike was Laufmaschine which is essentially German for 'running machine'.
This design endured until pedal were added to the front wheel, and later the back. In all our years we have never seen a Balance Bike for adults, they just aren't cool these days it seems. The pedal bike appears to be an obvious winner in terms of it's ability to travel over long distances in faster time. The idea, however, has taken on really well with kids, as we now see these days where more and more Balance Bikes can be seen at the park and on the sidewalks (or seawall if you live in Vancouver).
The idea of the balance bike has proven itself an excellent teacher for kids learning to balance, get their skills up, and gain confidence with less falls, more fun and less parental intevention.
So, while Balance Bikes might appear to be a recent phenomenon, they are infact a very old design brought to life with modern tools and materials. Kids today have a fair bit to thank Baron Karl Drais for.
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