Easy, practically free dolly bike seat

dolly bike seat for glide bike

(Tuesday biked the 2.5 mile round trip to the library… got hot and had to change into Bennet’s extra shirt!)

I bought Tuesday this balance bike three years ago (when she was two). I tried to get her the ubiquitous Skutt, but had to return it because it was way too big for her. We found this Early Rider bike on clearance at Gilt and decided to give it a go since it has a smaller profile. Not that any of that really mattered since she basically took no interest in it whatsoever for years. She would never try and sit on it and we didn’t push it. Every once and a while I’d get it out, but she loved her trike, and preferred that.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I don’t even know what happened. She saw the bike in the garage, or we were talking about bikes or hmm, I don’t know. But she wanted to try this so she put on her helmet, got on and away she went. Within two days she could glide with her legs out in front of her for almost a block! As soon as she showed interest in the bike I jumped on it and asked her if she wanted to make a dolly bike seat for Apple (I showed her this pin). She said yes!

dolly bike seat-5

This is the seat we came up with after a little trial and error (the pink is simply a design element Tuesday added). The basic idea of the seat is the same as the original post, but we tweaked it a bit. First of all, Apple would not stay in the seat with out a seatbelt. So I just folded duct tape length wise and cut a hole through the cardboard to cinch it up. Tuesday specifically requested this next picture to show how she makes sure her dolly* is snug:

dolly bike seat-9

Eventually that tiny bit of cardboard above the hole gave way, I just put tape above it, which I should have done in the first place.

dolly bike seat-4

This is the bottom of the seat, and the main thing we changed. Instead of just cardboard we used a piece of balsa wood we had laying around as a secure base to attach the dolly seat to the seat of the bike. We tried cardboard first and the weight of the doll quickly bent it.

dolly bike seat-3

Now, lest you think I’m crazy for putting packing tape all over her fancy looking balance bike, let me introduce you to Hugo’s Amazing Tape. I’m pretty sure we will be keeping a roll of this in our house indefinitely. And since it’s reusable it will probably be the same roll! Why is it so amazing? Because it only sticks to itself. Yes, it really is amazing. So there is no sticky residue on the dolly seat or the bike seat. And since you can use it again and again I wrapped around a liberal amount.

dolly bike seat-7

(Tuesday could not believe I even wanted her to pose with her bike without her helmet, the sun was fading, but we always wear a helmet! It’s the law here in Oregon!)

The dolly seat was made with the thickest cardboard we could find, from a booster seat box. It’s held up great. The bike has no kickstand so she has to lay it down, or lean it up against things. This hasn’t been a problem for the seat. Now we’re just trying to decide when to move her to a pedal bike. Has anyone used one of these balance bikes? How did the transition go?

*the doll with rainbow highlights is Pepper, Bennet’s doll… Tuesday’s doll Apple was already dressed in Pj’s, and unfortunately, not available for this impromptu shoot.

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6 Replies to “Easy, practically free dolly bike seat”

  1. We have never used a balance bike, but it looks cool! I love the photo of Tuesday by the tree with Apple… so cute! The dolly seat is the cutest idea ever!

    1. I think we’re going to get Tuesday a bigger balance bike for older kids, I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ve heard that big kids (even those that can already ride two wheelers) like them for being more adventurous (trails, tricks, etc.).
      Amber

  2. How cute!Both my boys have had balance bikes since they were about 2.5. At almost 5 & 3.5, they are still loving them! And their balance is incredible (on and off the bike). When my oldest was 3, after only a few months using his, he jumped onto a friends pedal bike without trainer wheels & off he went like he’d been doing it for years!He now has both and uses them equally, depending on his mood(without trainer wheels). My youngest isn’t at all interested in a peddle bike & prefers to speed around on his balance bike. When the time comes, we probably won’t bother with trainer wheels for him either though. It’s incredible how quickly they learn to balance on these bikes!

    1. Kerry, I’ve heard that from so many parents, and it totally makes sense! I can’t wait to see her on a pedal bike!

  3. I don’t remember balance bikes being around way back when, but they sure look like a great idea! Love these photos… Tuesday looks like she’s having so much fun!

  4. What a cute idea!
    We converted a toddler bike to a balance bike (took off the pedals) for my son when he was 3. He used it a bit that summer and a lot the next when he was 4. By the end of summer, he just hopped on a friend’s two wheeler bike at a play date and took off. It was awesome not having to do training wheels or anything. So for my youngest, my husband took off the whole pedal assembly. (We didn’t do that sooner just in case we decided to turn it back into a pedal bike.)
    We got so many comments/weird looks because my son’s bike was missing the pedals. It was awesome and I’m so glad I heard about balance bikes when he was younger!
    I would suggest borrowing a neighbor’s/friend’s bike in a few months and see how she does.

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