The best balance bikes for young kids that are easy to ride and give your child the confidence to balance and develop coordination skills as they learn.
As kids get older, they grow out of the standard balance bikes that most parents purchase for them around the age of two or three.
However, with the right kind of balance bike, kids can continue riding past their third birthday and even into their fourth year if they want to. A balance bike is a special type of two-wheeler that helps children learn how to ride a bike without any gears or pedals.
These are not the same kind of balance bikes you might remember from your childhood. Rather, modern versions are much lighter and smaller than those heavy contraptions of yesteryear.
Today’s best balance bikes for kids come in a variety of styles, colors, sizes, and price points. They’re also much safer than their predecessors thanks to features like training wheels and hand grips for stability.
what Is A Balance Bike
Balance bikes are intended to help toddlers establish balance and comfort on a bike before their feet leave the ground. When the pedals are removed, little kids are totally foot-powered, just like the Flintstones. This provides them far more control and a gradual introduction to the use of muscles they may not have used previously.
Using a balance bike to learn how to ride allows for a gradual and close-to-the-ground technique of learning to ride. Starting a young toddler on the local mountain bike trails here will be beneficial for their future confidence.
Even for what appears to be a simple beginner’s toy for toddlers, there is a lot to consider.
Why Balance Bikes Are Great for Kids
There are many reasons to buy a balance bike for kids, but here are some of the most important:
- Balance bikes are a great introduction to two-wheeled transportation.
- As the name suggests, balance bikes help kids gain the skill of balancing without the distraction of pedals or gears. Kids can then apply this knowledge as they grow and transition to pedal bikes.
- Because they don’t have to worry about shifting or pedaling, kids are free to focus on things like steering, acceleration, and braking.
- This makes balance bikes a great option for younger kids who aren’t quite ready to operate a pedal bike just yet.
- Pedal bikes can be tricky for little ones to master. All that stopping, starting, shifting, and clutching can be pretty confusing. Balance bikes are much simpler in comparison.
- With a good balance bike, kids can learn how to ride at their own pace and experience success early on. They don’t have to worry about being too young to operate pedals or being too old for training wheels.
Which Type of Balance Bike Should You Get?
Most parents know what a balance bike is, but not every balance bike is created equal. In the world of balance bikes, there are a few key features to watch out for.
- Wheel size – The larger the wheel on the bike, the easier it will be for your child to ride. Smaller wheels, on the other hand, allow kids to accelerate, brake, and navigate turns more easily.
- Assembly – Do you plan on assembling the balance bike yourself? If so, make sure you select a model that comes partially assembled or is easy to assemble.
- Weight – The lighter the balance bike, the easier it will be for your child to lift and maneuver.
- Safety features – Does the bike have training wheels? What about hand grips? These features can make a big difference in your child’s riding experience.
- Price – Most balance bikes will fall somewhere between $35 and $200.
How to Teach a Child to Ride Using a Balance Bike
Learning to ride a bike is an exciting time for both kids and parents alike. However, it can also be a bit scary. The good news is that there are ways to make the learning process easier and less stressful for your child. The most important thing you can do when teaching your child to ride a bike is to be patient and use the right technique.
Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
- Start Early – No matter what type of bike you end up buying for your child, it’s best to start learning to ride as early as possible. The younger your child starts riding, the easier it will be for them to get the hang of things.
- Use a Wipe-out Mat – As tempting as it might be to let your child fall and get back up on their own, it’s best not to let them fall during the early stages of learning to ride. A wipe-out mat can help you keep your child from falling while they’re learning.
- Use a Push-bike – If you have a small child who is just starting to learn to ride, consider using a push-bike instead. This will make it easier for your child to balance on two wheels without having to worry about shifting, pedaling, and applying the brakes.
how To Measure Your child For A Balance Bike
The key to picking the perfect bike for your young children is to measure his or her inseam. Measure your young children without shoes by having him stand against a wall. Squeeze a book between your child’s legs and slowly raise the book until it reaches his/her crotch.
Once you’ve determined that the book is level, measure the distance between the top of the book and the floor. The result will be the inseam height. The minimum and maximum seat heights are the best size indicators.
To allow for growth, choose a bike with a maximum seat height that is at least two inches higher than the inseam length. This will give your child access to the bike for the next two to three years.
To allow your child to sit properly, the seat height should be one to two inches below the inseam. Height should be checked on a regular basis to account for growth. Other size indications include:
- Your toddler can easily stand over the bike.
- Your child can ride the bike by himself.
- While seated in the seat, your toddler may easily reach the handlebars.
- When your child sits, her knees will bow slightly to allow her to push off the ground.
Things to Consider When Buying a Balance Bike
When it comes down to it, any balancing bike can help your child learn to ride, but you want your child to have the finest experience possible. As a result, you need pay attention to key characteristics in order to encourage a positive experience.
When it comes to the best bike, one size does not fit all, despite the fact that certain manufacturers may sell balance bikes in this manner. In reality, size is the most critical factor because the bike must suit your young children right now, not in six or nine months. Getting one that is too huge will make your young children feel uneasy, and he or she will refuse to use it.
The two most essential parameters are tyre size and seat height. Most balancing bikes have tires that are 12 inches or 14 inches tall, while others have tires as little as 10 inches or as large as 16 inches for the tiniest and largest learners. Be mindful that if you get one with 10-inch wheels, your child will outgrow it shortly.
Pneumatic tires: Pneumatic tires are the most common and provide the most cushioning and traction on the ground. Several tread patterns are available, although standard treads are sufficient for most young riders. If your child will use her balance bike on gravel or other rough surfaces, consider knobby tires. Note that pneumatic tires will add three to four pounds to the bike’s weight. In most cases, air-filled tires can be repaired but in most cases, we recommend replacing the tube or tire whichever is damaged.
Foam tires: Although foam tires are lighter, less expensive, and can never go flat, they offer limited traction and cushioning. Tread is minimal and can soon wear out. Foam tires are adequate for paved areas, but they can cause issues while riding on hilly terrain or on extremely smooth surfaces, such as some indoor floors. They have a lower profile as well and are more typically found on smaller motorcycles.
Rubber tires: Rubber tires are likewise puncture-proof and of slightly higher quality than foam, but they lack grip and softness when compared to pneumatic tires. This type of tyre is used on Firstbike’s entry-level model.
Plastic tires: Plastic tires are the lightest and have the poorest quality. They are only suitable for indoor use due to their lack of traction.
Looking at the age range is one of the greatest places to start. This will instantly tell you if your toddler is even eligible for a specific bike. The age range for balancing bikes coincides with one of the seasons when children grow the fastest and require a new pair of pants every other day.
One of the best markers of fit on a balancing bike is the seat height. Unlike age range, this may be easily measured before making a purchase and used to make a better informed decision.
A balancing bike with a wide range of seat heights is more likely to grow with your child. In general, you may expect a minimum height of 10 inches and a maximum height of 19 inches.
Weight and Frame Material
We’ve discussed how parents often find themselves constantly transporting equipment for their children. You could be interested in getting an extra workout, but you definitely don’t want to drag a 30-pound piece of steel around unnecessarily.
Fortunately, bike technology has advanced tremendously over time, especially in balancing bikes for children. Steel is still the most frequent material, although aluminium bikes are becoming more popular and are a less expensive option.
Best Balance Bikes For Kids
The Woom 1 ($199) was designed with all of the safety elements that mom and dad need to feel confident and delighted about sending their child soaring down the street. Woom’s steering limitation avoids unintentional overturning for additional safety.
According to the specifications, this bike is manufactured to the requirements of top-tier bike manufacturers. A lightweight aluminium frame with a low entrance and a big wheelbase makes this bike easy to jump onto and ride. The small V-brake has been specially designed for kids, and the ultralight “SOOPA DOOPA HOOPS” aluminium rims indicate to safety and comfort for all toddlers.
Overall, there are numerous reasons why this balance bike is the “best of the best.” Even with a reduced seat adjustment range, this is still the ideal option for novices. While it may benefit from a longer seat post to accommodate larger children, it has enough adjustment to grow with your child for several years.
The strider balance bike is a tough high quality steel-framed bike with never-flat foam tires, built-in footrests, and a fully adjustable seat post and handlebar that doesn’t require a single tool. This is one of the most low-maintenance bikes available, making it one of our top selections and a great option for parents who already have a lot on their plates.
Strider bikes provide a wide choice of accessories for their balancing bikes. Strap it into the Strider Rocking Base and have your child practise their balance before stepping onto the pavement. While the bike does not come with a hand brake, you can purchase one when your child is ready.
Kids quickly outgrow their bikes. It’s one of their specialties. If you don’t want to spend more than $100 on something that may end up gathering dust in your garage in a few years, the Chillafish Charlie balancing bike ($50) is a good choice. It even accomplishes this without compromising any of the quality.
This low-cost balance lightweight balance bike that has puncture-resistant tires. Furthermore, a carrying handle has been designed for all the moms and fathers who are obliged to drag the bike back to the car once their child tires out.
The Charlie rider is devoid of fluff. It is simply built and does just what it is intended to do, nothing more, nothing less. Chillafish promotes a stylish design that can be personalised with stickers, adding a distinctive and creative touch.
Overall, this is a fantastic and reasonably priced balancing bike. The only thing we’d change is a little more variation in the seat height so kids don’t outgrow it so quickly.
The design is simple and suitable for children from one to two years. Retrospec states that the Cricket promotes bilateral coordination without the risks of faulty training wheels or high seating.
This bike not only introduces kids to biking, but it also does so in a safe manner. The wheels are rounded, so they don’t endanger small children’s legs, they don’t damage your kitchen flooring, and they keep the bike from moving too quickly.
While the Cricket appears to be a good buy on paper, it only comes in one size that will be rapidly outgrown. An adjustable seat would vastly improve the design and allow your toddler to ride until they hit the older kids ages.
The tricycle design is readily convertible to a two-wheel version, allowing it to adjust as your toddler grows in confidence and skill. Because the wood is sourced from sustainable sources, repairs and changes can be performed without the need for an engineering degree.
A steering limiter and an adjustable seat are built into the elegant wooden frame design. The frame may be adjusted from low to high rise, thereby doubling the seat height range. There isn’t much to say against this bike until you consider the price. It is an investment, but it might last for a long time in the family.
The Strider 14x not only has a wide age and seat height range, but it also has the option to convert to a pedal cycle when the time comes. It’s designed to instruct and assist young riders in getting started and continuing to shred.
The bike is naturally larger than the others, so if you want to start young, you may need to add another bike to the mix. Otherwise, the Strider 14x has the ability to last a long time.
When you compare it to the other motorcycles on this list, you’ll see a lot of similarities. There’s a step-through frame for little children, airless tires, a fully adjustable seat and handlebars, a steering limiter, and all the additional bells and whistles you might want.
The only concern we have is that it is difficult to modify the bike’s sizes and that it has the potential to fall apart. To keep this balancing bike in working order, you may need to be adept with tools and feel comfortable performing a bit more tinkering.
Parents who want their younger children to carry their own bikes will appreciate the aluminium frame and EVA foam tires.
In addition to the usual features, TheCroco boasts sealed ball bearings that reduce tyre wobble and protect it from the elements. Most ultralight gear is prone to breaking, but TheCroco’s aluminium will never corrode and the tires will never go flat. Essentially, even the most rowdy of children will struggle to break this bike.
The Prevelo Alpha Zero is a high-end balancing bike designed for choosy parents looking for the greatest bike for their children. It was fantastic to get our hands on a Prevelo and experience firsthand what made these bikes so special.
The Prevelo Alpha Zero redefines the concept of a balance bike. A bike with so many features that you’re left dumbfounded.
The Prevelo’s frame is made of 6061 aluminium alloy with custom formed tubing. The design of the bottom main frame tube reveals the unique tubing. With all of the amenities on this bike, it’s amazing that it’s still one of the lightest bikes we’ve tested. The bike weighted 8.5 pounds on our scales. The Alpha Zero fits the needs of quality-conscious parents looking for a lightweight bike. When it comes to smaller, more delicate riders, weight is everything. It increases their sense of control and the ride quality, especially when driving off-road.
A Kazam is one of the most prominent balancing bikes that provides an acceptable area for a child’s feet to rest while travelling. They started offering balance bikes in 2010 (or earlier). They began their firm by painstakingly creating a patented toddler bike for their two and a half-year-old child based on an idea that was growing outside of the United States.
Since then, much has changed: newer models, an expanded product line, and a partnership with famed shark tank investors Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran.
Both aluminium and steel variants are available, and both give a long-lasting, sturdy frame that is built to last. The aluminium frame drops a stunning 2 lbs of weight, which is a big benefit for younger riders who benefit from increased manoeuvrability as a result of the weight.
The Schwinn balance bike is not only supported by a well-known company, but it also has a slew of great features! A standard bike’s handlebars are frequently too far away, which is a problem for many children. Falls will occur because to the difficulties of controlling and riding.
The Schwinn 12-in Balance Bike adjustable handlebars and and adjustable seat so that your young children can ride it securely. As parents, we want our children to be as safe as possible when riding their bikes!
Yedoo is a Czech manufacturer of larger-wheeled foot bikes and scooters. With their success in developing these fantastic scooters, it was only logical for them to include a balance bike. Quality and safety are prioritised in its design and manufacturing. The term “Yedoo” is derived from the Czech word “jeduu,” which is an expression similar to the word “wee” while children ride their bikes and scooters.
The Too Too is a 12′′ balancing bike with a lightweight steel frame, aluminium wheels, a rear v-brake with an easy-to-reach lever, and steering limits to avoid jackknifing. The ergonomic seat, which adjusts farther away from the handlebars as the seat rises, is one of our favourite features.
It makes sense because children’s legs and arms grow in tandem. At 8.2 pounds, this bike is remarkably light, despite having a sturdy steel frame. For the price, this may the best balance bike available.
The materials utilised to construct Firstbikes are very unique. The bike frame, fork, wheels, seat post, and handlebars are all comprised of a long-lasting composite plastic resin.
The frame serves as a shock absorber, limiting the impact on a child’s spinal cord. The frame not only improves riding quality, but it is also resistant to fading, cracking, rusting, warping, and even fracture.
Another distinguishing feature is the rear drum brake, which provides a more gradual stop, is adjustable, and keeps young fingers from becoming pinched in the moving parts.
The FirstBIKE Limited Bike and Cross come complete with Schwalbe tires, reflective frame highlights, sealed bearings, adjustable saddle height, and a steering limiter.
There aren’t many high-end components on this model, but that’s how they keep it at 4.4 lbs. This bike ranks high because lightweight is a widely desired feature for a baby balancing bike. The Cruzee has lightweight 12′′ mag wheels with EVA foam tires, and buyers can choose between black and white mag wheels.
The Downsides of a Balance Bike
There are a few things to watch out for when using a balance bike. It’s important not to over-rely on these bikes and to transition your child away from them as soon as they’re ready. – Balance bikes are really only suitable for kids who are two years old or older.
Also, younger kids might not be able to reach the ground and may require a footrest or toe clip. – These bikes aren’t suitable for all kids. If your child is very tall, has wide feet, or has trouble balancing, a balance bike may not be the perfect solution. – It’s important to remember that balance bikes are just a stepping stone.
As your child grows, they’ll need to learn how to operate pedal bikes. You shouldn’t let your child stay on a balance bike for too long.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Age Is Best for a Balance Bike?
There is no “ideal age” for a child to begin riding a balance bike. Some children are ready by one year, while others may be ready at two or three. Development is difficult, and only parents truly understand when their child is ready to ride a bike.
To give an approximate age, 18 months is the approximate sweet spot for beginning to ride a balancing bike. Anywhere between 18 months and 3 years is a good time to start riding a bike. When they are ready, that is the finest age. If they’re 18 months old and running around the home, go for it.
Why Choose a Balance Bike
Riding a bike is all about learning how to balance while moving forward. This necessitates muscle growth, which training wheels do not provide. Balance bikes aid in the development of those muscles as well as the confidence required to ride a pedal cycle.
Balance bikes aren’t for everyone, but they’re a great fit for most athletically inclined children. Because some children prefer a scooter or a four-wheeler, it is not always certain that your child will like riding a balancing bike.
If your child gets on a balancing bike, he or she will be on the fastest track to learning how to ride a pedal bike. The balancing bike familiarises them with the most challenging component of riding a bike, so when the time comes to add pedals, they’ll be ready.
Are Balance Bikes Better Than Training Bikes?
Balance bikes are the new training bikes as of today. They’re the next step in learning to ride a bike and blasting down singletrack lines. Even if technical riding is not the goal, balance bikes are often recognised as the greatest way to learn to ride while also having fun riding on their own.
Balance bikes are so near to the experience of riding a bike that they are superior to any other method of learning to ride. The balance bike teaches children to balance on a moving bike before progressing to braking and pedalling.
Surprisingly, pedalling a bike is one of the most natural aspects of biking. Moving your legs to move ahead makes sense with the addition of pedals. Balancing upright is where the latest skills come into play, and balancing bikes can aid with that.
Because of the gradual pace of the procedure, you can avoid using training wheels entirely. It’s the experts’ new favourite method for teaching kids to bike.
How Long Do Balance Bikes Last?
If you choose the right balance bike, it will be ridden by future generations of children. A good balance bike is made to last. So, while your child may outgrow the bike by the age of 6 or 7, it will be ready for your next toddler (if one is in the picture).
A balance bike is a great choice for toddlers and young children who are just learning to ride a bike. These bikes are designed to help kids build the skills they need to ride a bike without the distraction of pedals or gears.
They’re great for younger kids who aren’t yet ready to operate a pedal bike and can be an excellent way to help your child learn to ride.
That being said, there are many different types of balance bikes to choose from. Make sure you pick the right one for your child and you’re sure to have success.