How to convert a Kids Pedal Bike into a Balance Bike?

Can you take pedals off a bike to make it a balance bike?

Yes, you can convert a regular pedal bike to a balance bike by taking off the cranks, pedals, and chain. However, the saddle will probably still be too high for smaller toddlers to have their feet flat on the ground. Many kid’s pedal bikes are made of steel and will likely be too heavy for kids to push along. Not to mention, you need the required skills to take off and then re-assemble the cranks, chain, bottom bracket, etc., which can be a bit fiddly.


How to choose a pedal bike for conversion?

So, you have decided to build yourself a balance bike from a pedal bike. To make sure the balance bike is the right fit, we need to carefully select the pedal bike. Balance bikes available on the market tend to be on the shorter side. Here, we can choose either of the following two methods to get the desired result.

But, before we buy a pedal bike, we need to carefully measure the inseam height of the child. Measuring inseam is pretty simple. Make your child stand straight against the wall and make them hold a book between their legs. Slide the book up until it just touches the crotch. Now, take a measuring tape and measure the distance from the top edge of the book to the ground. Note this length as the child’s inseam length.


We have two options to buy a pedal bike, we can either buy a bike that is 1 to 2 inches shorter than the inseam or at par with the inseam length. The con of buying a shorter bike is that it won’t last long and soon has to be replaced by a bigger one. Whereas if one gets a bicycle of the same height as the inseam, one might have to cut the seat post to fit the child properly.

We would recommend getting a bike shorter in size. Cutting a bike seat post is a risky decision and might mess your DIY balance bike up, and once damaged, you can’t go back. A shorter bike will have good resale value compared to an altered bike, on top of that, it will save one from the hassle of cutting the seat post.


How to Remove the Chain from a Kids Pedal Bike?


There are three common types of chains found on bicycles.

    1. Regular Chain
    2. Quick Link Chain
    3. Split Link Chain

To keep the article short, we will only discuss the removal of a link from a regular chain. Check the article “How to remove a chain from a kid’s bicycle?” for detailed coverage. In the article, we have explained the process of removing a quick link as well as a split link along with the necessary tools required for the job.

A regular chain can be unlinked using a special tool called a chain tool. The tool is used to push the rivet out of the center.

    1. Snap the chain onto the device such that the rivet is in line with the screw tip.
    2. Start screwing the handle until the rivet is nearly out from the other end.
    3. Make sure to grip the chain firmly with the tool. One should also use gloves to enhance the grip and protect their hands.
    4. It might require some extra force at the starting but quickly becomes easy to push through.
    5. After pushing the rivet, unscrew the handle and pop the chain out of the tool.
    6. Give the link a bit of a shake, and the chain should come off.
    7. Now to put the link back in, align the link with the rivet and use the chain tool in a reverse manner.

Check the article on “How to remove the chain from kid’s bicycle?” for removing the chain without using a chain tool.


How to Remove the Crank/Bottom Bracket from a Kids Pedal Bike?


After we have successfully removed the chain, now we have to remove the crank from the bike. To proceed further, we are required to have a wrench and a crank remover.

    1. Remove the dust cap on the bolt. One can find one of the two types of dust caps-Pressed-in dust cap; which can be removed using a flat-end screwdriver. Threaded dust cap; pin spanner can be used to pop it out.
    2. Use the wrench to turn the bolt counter-clockwise until it is fully out. Make sure to check for the washer in case it’s left inside.
    3. If we try to pull the arm, we will notice it is still tightly held onto the spindle. To remove the arm we will need a crank remover.
    4. Screw the threaded coupler into the bolt cavity and make sure it has a firm grip on the arm.
    5. Once the coupler is set, begin screwing the spindle driver, and the arm should start to slide out. Keep rotating until the arm is fully separated.
    6. Repeat the process on the other side.

Before performing the removing process, check if the bike has a three-piece crank or some other variant.


How to Remove the Chain Guard from a Kids Pedal Bike?

If the bike came along with a chain guard then remove it. It is a pretty simple process with just the removal of some screws.


Lower the Seat Post of the Pedal Bike

After the lower portion of the bike is cleared, we need to make sure the seat height is favorable for the kids. When standing on the seat, the feet should lie flat on the ground. Lower the seat or make a cut onto the seat post if needed to achieve the desired result.
There it is! The balance bike is ready. Now let your child use this DIY balance bike and master the art of cycling in mere few months. If one finds this a lot of work. Don’t worry. We have a detailed repository of over 70+ balance bikes which can make selecting a balance bike a piece of cake. Take pictures of the disassembling process. That way it will be easier to put the pieces of the bike together.



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