Ian is really into bikes. He has a little plastic ride on toy, but he is always after the big bikes outside our building. When looking for bikes, I found a great site called runbikes.com. It has both wooden and aluminium run bikes and several different brands ranging in price from a reasonable $69.99 to $329.99 (for a handmade German LikeaBike). The site allows you to compare the features of the bikes. This is very helpful when trying to choose from such a dramatically different price points. The bike was post marked on June 25 and was delivered today on July 1. Not bad for APO. For the continental US, they ship via Fed-ex so it would come much sooner. The bike is very easy to assemble and even comes with the wrench you need.
Balance bikes do not have pedals. Pedaling should be learned separately, either on a tricycle or on a regular bike later. The idea is that children do not learn to balance on a two-wheeler with training wheels. If they use a balance bike, they will learn to balance themselves and be able to skip the training wheel phase and graduate to a proper two-wheeler easier.
We chose the Strider Sports model. It is aluminium with foam tires and an adjustable seat and handle bars. When the child is sitting on the seat, his feet should be flat with a slight bend in his legs.
Ian is very cranky today. We had to leave playgroup after gymnastics and go straight to lunch. He was starving and it was only 11:30am. He was all over the bike as I was trying to put it together and then sat on it for about 30 seconds before going after his new helmet. He refused to pose with the bike and has just been a crank today, not to mention it is raining. So I will have to update later about how he does riding it.