Spherovelo: Curvy ride-on aims to improve toddlers' balance and motor skills
By Simon Crisp
April 15, 2012
We bet you can remember your first bike. We also bet it looked nothing like the Spherovelo - a sphere-based ride-on for children as young as one year old. Makers Early Rider, from Henley-on-Thames, UK, say the Spherovelo has been designed to improve your little one's balance and motor skills, making it the perfect pre-cursor to a "normal" balance bike.
And those curves are not just there for the good looks, the bike has been created around the idea that spheres are better than traditional wheels because they are harder to fall off. In theory this means that a slight loss of balance should see the bike simply move to the side… rather than toppling over and leaving you with a crying toddler.
Designer Andy Loveland says that the idea for the Spherovelo first came to him about two years ago and he's spent the past 12 months working with some clever industrial designers to take his sketches and turn them into something you'll wish had been around when you were young enough to ride one.
In its ride-on stage (for riders at the younger end of the one to two-and-a-half age bracket) the two large spheres - which are encased in an extremely light, hard wearing nylon shell with a molded foam saddle - are supported by two stabilizing balls. While preventing the bike from tipping over, these mean it retains the ability to move in any direction.
Once little Johnny or Jill has mastered whizzing around the house, the stabilizing balls can then be removed to convert the Spherovelo into bike mode and make it unstable - forcing the young rider to utilize their developing motor skills if they want to continue scooting around and having fun.
A spokesperson for Early Rider said: "By replacing wheels with a certain arrangement of spheres we've been able to simulate a bike but with increased lateral forgiveness so that it becomes very difficult for a child to fall off or fall onto."
The Spherovelo is due to go on sale next month and will retail at around £69 (approx. US$103).
Personally, I'm so impressed with the bike even the creepy CGI kid in the promo video (below) couldn't put me off wanting to get one.