"Glider" Balance Bike





Introduction: "Glider" Balance Bike

Ever wanted to make a tiny bike? Of course you have! Make that tiny person in your life ecstatic with joy by surprising them with a new tiny bike! Get your hands on the following materials and let's get started.

Shopping List:
1. Plywood (3/4". About 1/4 of a 4x8" sheet)

2. 1" Dowel (Length & Diameter) - This dowel is for the handlebar.

3. Foam & Fabric - Cushion and upholstery for the bike seat.

3. Wheels - We got ours from Orchard Supply for 13.99 each.

4. Axles - You'll need two of these. Guess why!

Step 1: CNC Milling

Enough talking, let's start making! Download the above zipped file and get over to the nearest CNC Machine.

Step 2: Assemble Frame & Fork

Now that we've got all our parts milled, it's time to start sticking them together. First step is to laminate together the main frame and front fork into two different coherent pieces. Take a look at the exploded axon for guidance and the picture of Chris and Bernie having so much fun for motivation.

Put a good amount of wood glue between each set of Plywood and then clamp it up for an hour or two. Easy!

Just incase you wanted to also worksome metal during this process, you can fancy up the collars for your axles by creating an insert that looks like the bit in the picture up there with a lathe. Our wheels had a 1/2 interior diameter but needed a little bit of help to stop the axles from rattling around, so Chris whipped these little beauties into shape. They even have lock screws! Amazing!

Step 3: Upholstery & Final Assembly

The two most important parts of any ride are comfort and style. And
what better way to satisfy that requirement than with some shiny upholstery?

1. Cut out a piece of foam to cushion the bumps outta your ride. Glue your new luxury seat to the top of your plywood seat.

2. Cut out a matching piece of your fabric of choice to match the profile of your seat. In our photos you can see Noa using a heavy duty stapler to hold the fabric in place.

3. Take some more of that fabric and cut nested rectangular forms for the grips.

4. Sew up the fabric and then roll and insert the felt pieces on the inside.

5. Slide those bad boys onto your grips and Bam!

If you've been following the instructions with any sort of fidelity, you should have a collection of parts that might one day resemble a tiny bicycle. Let's now take them and turn them into an actual tiny bicycle for an actual tiny person.

1. Attach the seat to the main frame. We're using screws. They worked!

2. Hinge attachment?!

3. I think that's it?! Give the bike to the tiny person! Do it now!

Step 4: Give the Tiny Bike to the Tiny Person

This step may happen spontaneously, as molecular interaction between tiny people and tiny bikes is vigorous.

Nice work! You did it!



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    18 Discussions

    This looks great, how long did the whole priocess take you from start to finish?

    Are there any more details on the hinge component and attachment? The plans seem to gloss over this piece. It seems moulded or printed with a 25mm aluminium tube as an axle?

    That looks great. Nice project to teach balance to tiny person. Looks like you'll need to add training wheels too for a while.

    5 replies

    No trainingwheels required because there are no pedals. That makes it easyer to ballance and become one with the bike.

    You're right. Now I understand the kid can use his feet for maintaining balance and pushing. He can then balance for a short time while gliding on the push and soon he'll be gliding longer and longer on those pushes.

    The point of the "glider" is to teach kids how to balance on a bike. Training wheels cannot teach kids to hence the reason kids these days aren't able to ride bikes until they're 6 or 7 years old. My twins who are now 3 have been on Striders since they were 2 and currently race BMX because they are AWESOME at balancing thanks to these kind of bikes.

    Ah ok. I've never seen such bikes so images in step-4 made me think the little guy will need some help when the big guy isn't around.

    Personally, I feel training wheels are like stepping stones. You learn how much you can tilt at what speeds without falling over. Then once you get a hang of it, they can be removed. Going without them means you learn faster but fall a lot more as well. Depends on what you want.

    No training wheels required. As soon as they can walk they cam ride. Its a great way to learn.

    Fant√°stico ! Excelente !! Very detailed and helpful. Thanks !!!

    The only thing I might change about the plans are the handlebars and the lack of a foot resting place. If the handlebars are up some the child can sit more upright, a much more natural "bicycle" position. This will be helpful when they transition over to a traditional bike (and therefore a traditional bike position). Additionally, a resting place for the feet to stay on while the child is gliding along can help quite a bit. Traditionally, Striders (name brand of a balance bike company) actually have what amounts to skateboard grip tape on the chainstay of the bike. This allows the child to get up to speed, tuck their feet back behind them, and glide along until they need to push off again.

    On a side note, as JessicaE3 commented, the point of these bikes is to teach children how to balance without training wheels and therefore skip the dreaded training wheels stage (in which children never want to go without them).

    I like this bike, haha! I will make a plan to create one for my little sister!!!!!

    i will make it.

    I love it! Want to make one for my grandson. Regrettably I don't happen to have a cnc mill sitting around. Fortunately I do have an engine lathe. Any chance to get hardcopy plans with dimensions etc...? Thanks.

    Very cool! With a bend in the frame, your tiny little man could reach the floor now.

    So cute!