The 14 Best Balance Bikes in the World – Posted in: Bikes, Product Reviews – Tags:

14 best balance bikes

Back in the days, learning to ride a bicycle meant sitting on a bicycle with two small wheels attached to the back axle. But things have changed these days as parents are turning away from ride-on toys and towards balance bikes for toddlers

Unlike traditional pedal bikes for kids, which only taught us to pedal a tricycle, balance bikes ditches that theory. It is still a two-wheeled bike but minus the pedals. It features a low seat height so children’s feet can easily reach the ground. The riders’ knees are bent, and they use both their feet to push the bike and hold it upright.

Check this comparison chart...

Our Choice
GOMO Balance Bike - Toddler Training Bike for 18 Months, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Year Old Kids - Ultra Cool Colors Push Bikes for Toddlers/No Pedal Scooter Bicycle with Footrest (Black)
Rider Age
Max Rider Weight
Wheel/Tire Type
Customer Rating
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Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike, Ages 18 Months to 5 Years, Blue
Product
Rider Age
Why We Like Em'
Max Rider Weight
Wheel/Tire Type
Customer Rating
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FirstBIKE Cross Balance Bike, Orange
Product
Rider Age
Why We Like Em'
Max Rider Weight
Wheel/Tire Type
Customer Rating
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Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike (4.4 lbs) for Ages 1.5 to 5 Years | Blue - Best Sport Push Bicycle for 2, 3, 4 Year Old Boys & Girls- Toddlers & Kids Skip Tricycles on The Lightest First Bike
Rider Age
Why We Like Em'
Max Rider Weight
Wheel/Tire Type
Customer Rating
Prime Eligible
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As soon as they have mastered balancing and steering and their speed and familiarity increase, they can lift their feet off the ground and enjoy exciting moments of balanced flight on two wheels. kids' balance bikes are gifts for kids and a great way to teach a child how to ride a bicycle. It gives them more control, and they are less likely to get stuck on uneven surfaces. They can glide and jump with ease while minimizing the risks of getting scrapes and bruises from crashing.

In recent years, manufacturers have added extra features and have even developed larger balance bikes for toddlers. They have installed front and rear brakes and higher quality tires and wheels. But at the end of the day, they are all used in the same way and for the same reason.

So the question is: what is the best balance bike on the market today? By the time you finish our guide you know which is the right bike for your kid! They’ll be on their way to learning to ride in now time. Here is the full list of bike brands we're sure you will choose a bike on this listathletic kids can ride a bike very soon. 

gomo balance bike reviews

Our favorite bike for 3 year olds, the GOMO is a great option on our list. Stacks up well against the strider making it the Best budget buy!

Short for “Get Out More Often,” GOMO Bikes are designed for those who want a high-quality, budget bike. It is best for kids 18 months and 5 years old. Its low minimum seat height can be adjusted from 12” to 17.5”, giving kids more room for growth. The seat is installed well so it will not easily spin around. The bike also has a wide-grip T-bar handle that measures up to 14.6” and a solid, lightweight build at only 6.4 pounds.
This new GOMO provides a slightly bigger space between the handlebar and the seat. This improves the overall comfort of the kids. It also allows them to extend their arms properly, giving them better control of the bike.
It has a decent wheelbase and high handle height. The combination of these two features provide better balance and force kids to sit more upright so their weight is more centered on their hips.
The bike comes with hard plastic rims and EVA tires, which will never go flat. It also has a built-in footrest plant that most kids used during tricks. Although this is considered a minute detail, the grips have bumpers at the end for cushioning. A turning limiter has also been installed to prevent sharp turns.We love the GOMO and deem it to be one of the best balance bikes for toddlers.

Highs:

  • Long wheelbase great for younger and older riders
  • Footrest does not interfere with a stride
  • Wider clamps with easy release on seat post and handlebar
  • Equipped with steering limiter to prevent spills
  • No air tires to worry about
  • Great standover height

Lows:

  • Foam tire have less traction and cushion
  • Plastic rims tend to be unstable
  • A little big for 1 year olds
  • no hand brakes option
  • Would have be cool to offer a removable footrest
Sale
GOMO Balance Bike - Toddler Training Bike for 18 Months, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Year Old Kids
  • 🔥THE HOTTEST BLUE BALANCE BIKE🔥 JUST LIKE A BIG KIDS BIKE! Do you remember your first toddler bike? It needed to be light enough to drag, but strong enough for those moments of frustration when you threw it to the ground! It had to be safe, but of course, look cool too! So naturally we packed all that into the GOMO, so your kids can fondly remember their first bike too!
  • SAFETY FIRST: The GOMO kids bicycle has a turn limiter for greater control while they master the skill of steering. The custom footrest lets them place their feet safely as they go fast for their very first time. Through-Wheel Axles stop wheels from falling off while the padded seat lets kids hit their first tiny "all terrain bumps" without jarring.
  • STURDY ENOUGH TO GROW WITH THEM! To ride like the big kids', there'll be a few spills along the way. So we gave the GOMO push bike a Steel Frame that's as light as it is tough. It's the first bike that grows with kids and their confidence! The adjustable seat allows for a ride height 12" - 17.5" and grows from 18 months to 5 years; and up to 60lbs.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: GOMO means "Get Out More Often", so we've made this boys and girls bike 6.4 pounds - light enough to do exactly that! Toddlers can lift and drag it, just as easily as they can scoot along. The 14.6" T-Bar with its special GOMO Grips are easy for little hands to grab while the 12" Heavy Duty Foam Wheels, can be dragged over gravel without punctures.

2. Strider 12 Balance Bikes

strider bike reviews

The most popular balance bike for toddlers, Strider Sport Balance Bike shown in red

Strider bikes have long been known for its well-designed, well-built bike, and the Strider 12 Sport is no exception. Suitable for kids between 18 months and 5 years old, this lightweight bike is easy to adjust and handle. Weighing in at only 6.7 lbs, this is one of the lightest and smallest rides for toddlers on the market. But really, within its price category, its well-designed geometry is a gem.

The Strider Sport has a narrow handlebar grip with knob-like ends. It features puncture-proof tires that provide good traction. You’ll find It also comes with a non-intrusive footrest (with grip tape strip) to put their feet and unique footbrake, which can easily be activated using their heels. Strider does offer a good amount of benefits like the Strider Cup. Think of it like a Tour de France bike racing event designed for children where they develop skills of cycling from a young age. Strider is a brand parents love and events like this helps children form lifelong love affinity to the brand. You just can’t go wrong with a Strider. 

Highs:

  • Easy for a child to ride
  • Maintenance-free tires
  • Features an ideal geometry
  • Easy to assemble

Lows:

  • Exposed bolts can scratch children’s inner legs
  • you’d find its Not ideal for taller riders
  • higher priced on the best balance bikes list
  • No front rear hand brakes option
  • Thin grips
Sale
Strider 12 Bike, Ages 18 Months to 5 Years
  • JOIN THE STRIDER FAMILY - Meet the bike that set the world on fire and revolutionized the way kids learn to ride. Children as young as one are experiencing the thrill of riding without training wheels before they're out of diapers.
  • GROWS WITH YOUR CHILD - The seat and handlebar heights adjust to accommodate ages 18 months to 5 years, or a 12- 20 in. inseam (no tools required). The adjustable 12 Sport is perfect for future upgrades like a foot brake or heavy-duty tires.
  • FOR YOUNG KIDS - Weighing in at only 3.0 kg (6.7 lbs.), the 12 Sport push bike makes it easy for your boy or girl to ride and stride. Mini-grips mean your child's little mitts can easily take control. This bike gives you the biggest bang for your buck!
  • IT'S MORE THAN JUST A RIDING TOY - Boring specs aside, this is the bike that introduces kids to the freedom, power, and responsibility of riding. Now they have the power to keep up with you when you're out and about, experiencing amazing freedom.

3. FirstBike Balance Bike w/ hand brake

Firstbike balance bike review

great balance bike with air filled tires and a unique frame design

FirstBike has helped transform the popular balance bikes for kids industry in the United States, thanks to its wide range of safety and durable features. This waterproof bike is suitable for older children kids ages 5 years of age and up. 
It boasts of a smooth and unique nylon composite frame material, which lessens injuries caused by falls. The bike’s U-shaped saddle inhibits children from sliding off their bike seats. It also has a turning limiter, easy knob dial, quick release seat post adjuster, and to top it off the bike has a hand brake.
To customize design options, there are several accessories you can buy, including a lowering kit, a monoski, and molded nylon baskets. Of note, a monoski transforms the bike into a sled. Although its features remain unmatched, it has a flexing frame that is not recommended for taller and heavier kids. This kids’ balance bicycle is built so similar to a traditional bike with pedals they could technically hook to bike trailers.

FirstBike has five different models, namely, the Basic, Cross, Street, Limited, and Special Edition. The last four models have identical features and differ only in color and tires. For instance, the Cross model is best for off-road surfaces, whereas the Racing and Limited Edition have more cushioning. The Basic model does not come with a handbrake.

Highs:

  • Weatherproof composite frame and fork
  •  Handbrake / rear brake
  • Wide tires improve the bikes balance
  • Lightweight at only 8.6 lbs
  • Super easy for a child to ride

Lows:

  • Not recommended for taller and heavier kids
  • U-shaped seat, range of seat not suitable for small riders
  • Air tires can go flat and are added weight​​
  • Standover height is too low
Sale
FirstBIKE Cross Balance Bike, Orange
  • Award-winning German design no-stress method of learning to ride a bike
  • High-strength yet flexible frame absorbs shock and helps protect a child's spine; made of durable high-tech material
  • Child-friendly rear drum Safety Stop brake ensures gentle braking and safe for little fingers
  • Steering Limiter helps young riders ride much smoother and prevents rough falls

4. Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bikes

cruzee ultra lite balance bike

Similar to the Islabikes Rothan balance bikes the Cruzee is an affordable alternative best baby bike.

From the name itself, Cruzee Ultralite weighs in at only 4.4 lbs making it suitable for kids as young as 18 months old. This best budget bike features a highly adjustable two seat posts that range from 11” to 19” and handlebars that can be raised up to 4”. Both can be adjusted through a tool-free quick-release lever.

The bike comes with metal rims and durable tires. It has sealed bearing hubs that are securely mounted using 0.5” flat and scratch-proof axle bolts. Other notable features included are quick-release clamps and a well-padded seat. It also boasts of a rust-proof, anodized frame that provides the bike its attractive and shiny metallic finish.

Highs:

  • Lightweight
  • Comes with air tires
  • Flat axle bolts to protect against risks of injuries
  • Ideal for petite and hesitant riders

Lows:

  • No hand brakes
  • Footrest too big to fit a child’s heel
  • Seat range not wide enough
  • air tires can be a hassle
Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike (4.4 lbs) for Ages 1.5 to 5 Years | Blue - Best Sport Push Bicycle for 2, 3, 4 Year Old Boys & Girls- Toddlers & Kids Skip Tricycles on The Lightest First Bike
  • TRY A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO LEARNING - Skip tricycles and training wheels. On a no-pedal blue Cruzee balance bike children LEARN TO BALANCE FIRST on two wheels. Pedaling on a traditional bike comes easy after learning on a Cruzee.
  • MAKE A LONG TERM INVESTMENT IN YOUR CHILD'S HAPPINESS - Constructed of rust-free anodized aluminum, Cruzees come with a LIFETIME WARRANTY. Wide seat and handlebar adjustment lets the bike grow with your child deliver as much as 3 years of use.
  • THE LIGHTEST BALANCE BIKE IN THE WORLD - In cycling, lightweight equals performance & safety. Weighing just 4.4lbs, the Cruzee delivers effortless control & builds confidence in the smallest riders, no matter what terrain they choose to ride.
  • THERE'S SO MUCH TO LOVE ABOUT CRUZEE - The Cruzee is incredibly comfortable with soft grips, a super comfy seat, low-profile axle bolts & flat-free foam rubber tires. Your child will love it, and you will too!

5. Schwinn 12” Balance Bikes w/ Air Tires

schwinn balance bike review

Schwinn balancing bike with one of the softer child bike seats

This is another budget balance child bike on the list, priced under $100. Weighing in at just 10.5 lbs, this bike is a perfect match for kids between 3 and 4 years old. You can easily adjust its seat height from 14” to 16.5”. It has a solid build and comes with air tires, which have a good solid feel. We like air-filled rubber tires on this setup and think they complement the bike perfectly.

The Schwinn budget bike comes with a protruding footrest far out from the sides of the bike seats. This may be a problem for small children as there is a tendency for their calves to hit the footrest. Pre-schoolers won’t likely face this issue though.

Highs:

  • Comes with cushioning air tires
  • Price won’t break the bank
  • Best for preschoolers
  • long wheelbase

Lows:

  • Protruding footrest on the far sides of the seat
  • Air tires can go flat
  • Minimum seat height not low enough
Sale
Schwinn Balance Bike, 12" Wheels, Blue
  • The Schwinn Balance Bike is designed with a BMX look and a steel frame-its pedal-free, low center of gravity makes it easy to ride and perfect for young riders.
  • With an adjustable, quick-release seat collar, this kid's bike is designed to grow with your little one as they learn to balance.
  • The 12-inch spoked mag wheels are made with air-filled tires.
  • A ball bearing headset allows for easy steering with chrome-finished handle bars.

6. Early Rider Road Runner w/ air tires

Big kid approved, sturdy frame construction similar to a BMX bike. Perfect for kids ages 3 and up

If you are hunting for a do-it-all great 14 inch balance bike, then this baby is for you. Nothing beats the Road Runner’s chic diamond frame when carrying off drop bars. The drop handlebars give riders a sense of control and added stability, thanks to a lower sense of gravity.

Weighing in at 7.9 lbs, this is great for kids from 3 to 5 years old. You can easily adjust its seat height between 14” and 18.5”. The Road Runner boasts of a lightweight frame, aluminum fork and steerer, and aluminum stem. It also uses riveted faux leather seat to achieve style and comfort.

Designed for the future road riders, the Road Runner has low resistance cartridge bearings and an integrated headset. It comes with a 14” pneumatic wheels too.This is one of the premier balance bikes with air tires.

Highs:

  • Made with lightweight aluminum materials
  • Drop handlebars imitate a mountain bike
  • Integrated threadless headset
  • great seat height range adjustable seat height
  • air tires for smooth riding
  • ball-bearing headset

Lows:

  • Hefty price tag
  • Air tires can be unreliable
  • No padding on this balance bike’s top tube
  • seat and handlebars
  • Rather hard for child bike seats


Sale

7. Kazam v2e w/ Air Tires Review

Kazam v2e Balance Bike review

At under $60 the Kazaam is solid budget bike option

If you have been binge-watching the famous Netflix series Shark Tank, then you may have probably seen this in one of its episodes. The Kazaam bike is like no other as it comes with a patented, ergonomic step-in footrest. Thanks to this, kids no longer need to lift their legs in the air when gliding.

The bike features foam tires, which work pretty fine in the dirt. Compared with the bike in this list, the v2e is a bit heavier at 9.9 lbs. But for its price range, this is one of the lightest along with the enkeeo 12 sport.

Its seat height can be adjusted between 14” and 17”. However, the v2e bike frame can be too wide for petite kids. This is highly recommended for average- to large-sized kiddos.

Highs:

  • Comes with air tires
  • Different color options available
  • Long wheelbase great for older kids
  • Great for toddlers and kids
  • Long wheelbase for stability

Lows:

  • Too wide frame for petite kids
  • Expensive compared with other balance bikes
  • Weird top tube design
  • Plastic tires
  • Ergonomics make it harder to balance
Sale
KaZAM v2e No Pedal Balance Bike, Blue/Yellow
The only no-pedal balance bike options with an easy step-in patented footrest design - KaZAM's footrest is in the natural place, where feet would be if coasting on a pedaled bike, helping to find their center of gravity - Adjustable seating and handlebars - Kazam accommodates ages up to 5 years - Puncture resistant, maintenance free EVA tires - never need air - As seen on Shark tank

8. Haro PreWheelz 10

Haro PreWheelz 10 Balance Bike review

Haro is no stranger to consumers and enthusiasts because of its reputation in the bicycle market and premium quality. In case you do not know, Haro is a manufacturer of high-quality BMX and mountain bikes. Thus, it is safe to say that the z10 got those same manufacturing skills.

The Haro z10 can accommodate kids as early as 18 months old. The seat can be adjusted to as low as 11” and its smaller frame and wheels make it a very good choice for very young kids.

The Haro z10 is a sturdy bike that can handle a lot of abuse. However, the bike contains some exposed bolts, which can be a concern for some parents. But for its price of under $100, the Haro z10 is definitely a bang for the bucks. In terms of overall quality construction, size, and affordability, Haro z10 are a great bike for your toddler who is seeking some adventure.

Highs:

  • High-quality construction
  • Hi-ten steel frame Durable frame 
  • Great seat height adjustability ideal for kids 24 months 
  • Affordable price
  • no air tires

Lows:

  • Exposed bolts
  • Small enough kids can easily outgrow
  • Minimum seat height too high
  • Colors are dark for a kids' bikes
Sale
Haro Bikes Prewheelz 12 Balance Bike, Black
  • Aluminum alloy crank-less frame dressing with foot rests
  • High impact 12 inch mag wheels
  • Scuff resistant tubeless tires
  • Adjustable handlebar height

9. Ridgeback Scoot w/ hand brake

Ridgeback Scoot Balance Bike

The Ridgeback scoot  balance bikes come in 4 colors – blue green pink red

Ridgeback has been crafting premium bicycles since the 1980s, and its excellent quality can be seen in its toddler balance bikes. Aimed at kids between 4 and 8 years old, this bike is made for children who want a worriless learning experience. This is a bit heavier at 11.6 lbs, but it would not be a problem since it is meant for an older age group.

Compared with most on the best balance bikes list, the Scoot is taller and longer. And performance-wise, this is more like a push bike than a toy. It also comes with two seat posts, allowing for a seat height adjustment of between 14” and 22”. You can easily adjust the seat height using a quick-release seat post clamp. Also, swapping the seat post is as simple as removing one screw below the saddle.

The Scoot is certainly built to last with its sturdy 6061 aluminum alloy. It has a longer wheelbase and more upright handlebars. It boasts of puncture-resistant 12” inflatable air tires and extra-wide handlebars. Such features allow riders to assume a more natural and comfortable riding position. This good balance bike with air tires also comes with handbrakes and turning limiters.

Highs:

  • Heavy-duty, puncture-resistant inflatable air tires
  • Wider handlebars and longer wheelbase
  • Comes with two seat posts
  • Easy reach handbrake lever w rear brake
  • Has soft, padded leatherette seat

Lows:

  • Too heavy for small, young riders
  • Exposed bolts can pose scratching risks
  • Ridgeback Scoot kids’ bikes can be expensive for some
  • Seat and handlebars

Sale
Scoot 12" Balance Bike in Gloss Tangerine Orange
  • Perfectly proportioned for children age 3-6. Seat height ranges from 14" to 20"
  • Sturdy 6061 aluminum frame will not flex, deform or twist. Built like a real bike, not a toy!
  • Available in 8 vibrant colors to suit any taste. Impeccably painted finish with decals under the topcoat make Scoot easy to clean.
  • Rear V-brake provides excellent stopping power and brake cable is routed through the frame for clean lines

Critical Cycles Cub balance bike review

Although these balance bikes are cute consider which helmets fit your child best for their protection.

The Cub is one of the most sought-after from the best balance bikes for toddlers list, thanks to its unique foot-to-floor construction. It has a nice color combination and great safety features that can ease parents’ minds. Crafted for kids between 18 months and 5 years old, the seat can range from 12.5” to 16”. However, for a small bike, this can be a bit heavy at 9.2 lbs.

It takes durability to a whole new level having one of the strongest frame designs made from high-tensile steel. The frame’s step-thru design provides a low profile. It also gives kids more room for growth as it features an adjustable bar and ergonomically designed seat.

The Cub has puncture-proof 12” foam tires, which are maintenance-free and never go flat. However, foam tires offer less traction, little cushioning, and minimal tread, which decreases their road grip ability.

Considering its material and size, the Cub is light enough at just 9 lbs. However, its footrest is too big it can interfere with kids during a stride.

Highs:

  • Cheap price
  • High-tensile frame
  • Step-thru frame design
  • Unique foot-to-floor construction
  • Ease of assembly helps kids start riding fast

Lows:

  • Footrest too large
  • Should have an option with air tires
  • Strider bikes

Sale
Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike No Pedal Bicycle
  • Critical Cycles Cub balance bike cultivates confidence in children learning balance and bike riding with its foot-to-floor and step-thru frame design
  • Extremely safe design reduces risk of injury common on tricycles and training wheels
  • Improves balance and coordination at crucial developmental stages, enabling a Seamless development towards a pedal bike
  • Maintenance-free, Worry-Free, Minimal assembly, air-free tires never go flat, CPSC compliant to ensure your child's safety

11. Woom 1

woom one balance bike review

The Woom is the choice for someone who isn’t governed by a budget. Available in pink red blue

Woom balance bikes are a little pricey but they are extremely high quality with no expense spared in the design or manufacturing processes. The Woom 1 balance bike is a little pricey but they are really really nice. Woom bikes is based out of Austin Texas and their mechanics actually tune each bike before shipment.

Sale
Woom 1
  • Hassle-Free Assembly: Our Austin, TX based team of qualified mechanics prepare and quality check each bike prior to shipment. All tools and easy-to-follow in-home assembly instructions are included
  • First experience on two wheels: The Balance Bike is the perfect introduction to the concept of two wheels. Designed for ages 18 months to 3.5 years or overall height 32"-39"
  • Safety: The balance bike teaches the most essential element: Safety. Learning to use the break at an early age will ease the transition to a pedal bike and will reduce the risk of accidents
  • More safety: Our woom steering limiter is an important safety feature and it prevents oversteering of the handlebar. It also promotes straight-riding and limits swerving

12. Banana Bike Kids’ Bikes


Banana makes a simple yet extremely nice bike. The Banana GT will get your kids out and about. Known for the banana-shaped frame,  the design makes it easy for kids to use but still cool enough for older kids. Like most of the other bikes based on the list, the bike by Banana features puncture proof EVA foam tyres, meaning you never have to worry about inflating these tires. What we like the most is the candy paint that graces the bikes frame. The metallic colors make this children’s balance bike look more high end and elegant.

Overall these Bikes are a excellent choice but not our favorite. The simple curve design is a little too simple. While the paint treatments make up for the lack of creativity we feel there are better bikes on the market for the same price or less.

Highs:

  • Easy reach handbrake lever w rear brake
  • Has soft, padded leatherette seat
  • Heavy-duty, puncture-resistant EVA foam tires
  • Cool metallic paint
  • Comfortable bike seats

Lows:

  • Too heavy for kids, young riders
  • Exposed bolts can pose scratching risks
  • ​Could use hand brakes


Banana Bike GT - Balance Bike for Kids (Candy Blue)
  • NEW BALANCE BIKE FOR 2018 - Brand new GT model with 3 dazzling candy paint colors, jet black alloy wheels and hubs for a slick look, new handlebars with adjustable reach for growing kids, alloy quick release seat stem for easy quick saddle height adjustment, 12" inflatable tires for maximum grip, rugged looks and ultimate smooth ride, super padded wide seat for ultimate GT cruising comfort.
  • Based on the Original LT Banana Bike, the GT shares the same banana shaped frame that's so great for small kids. The GT comes complete with new wheels, seat and handlebars, ideal for cruising.
  • The saddle starts as low as 13.4 inches, extending up to 18 inches. It's the ideal way for any child to start their biking journey. From toddlers up to 5 year olds.
  • Small kids can easily handle the bike and travel further than on scooters or pedal bikes. Better than a scooter, tricycle or starter pedal bike with stabilizers. It's the perfect birthday present or Christmas gift for healthy outdoor fun.

13.Radio Flyer All-Terrain Bike


Radio Flyer has a long history of making quality product. You can't go wrong with a Radio Flyer Glide N' Go bike. It's actually the cheapest balance bicycle in this article.

Sale
Radio Flyer All-Terrain Balance Bike
Pedal-free beginner bike allows child to focus on learning balance - Sturdy, light weight steel frame for durability; 12

14. Chicco Red Bullet Balance Training Bike

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Chicco 1716000070 Red Bullet Balance Training Bike
  • Helps the child gain balance. Seat adjusts from 13 up to 15 inches in height
  • Ergonomic and adjustable lightweight frame
  • Adjustable handle bar and seat
  • Soft tires
best balance bikes

Consider all of the points below to help decide the best bike for your toddler. Look for features, bells and whistles. In addition, check the customer service solutions from the brand.

The Ideal Balance Bike Should...


Be Light Weight 

Here’s a rule of thumb when considering the overall weight of a balance bike: it should not weigh more than 30% of your child’s weight. For instance, if your child weighs 30 lbs and we apply this rule (30 lbs x 0.30),the ideal bike should weigh no more than 9 lbs. Aside from ensuring safety, a lightweight bike is also much easier to grab and carry. Although becoming more popular the wooden balance bike is typically heavier.

Feature Seat Adjustability

Failure to choose the right bike size poses kids at risk of danger and inhibits them from properly learning how to ride. That being said, buy a lightweight balance bike that fits your kids now and not something that they will eventually grow into. Think of it like car seats you wouldn't get the wrong size and risk injury to your child.
How to find the right size? Find out your child’s legs inseam measurement. The perfect saddle height for your kids should have them sitting on the seat saddle while their feet are flat on the ground and knees slightly bent. A measurement of less than 1 inch than the child’s inseam standover height is a good starting point. One more thing to consider the ideal bikes will feature an easy-to-adjust seat function. This will save you a lot of time and energy especially if you have two kids sharing one ride.

Bike Features to Consider


Air-Filled Tires vs Foam

best balance bikes in the world

There are different types of tires available for balance bikes, and all come with various tread patterns. Keep in mind the kind of environment and surface condition the bike will be used in. 

For example, EVA foam tires weigh less than all the other bikes and are maintenance-free. They are good for both indoor and outdoor use. Safe for hardwood floors! However, they have little cushioning and less traction.

On the other hand, the air-filled tires are the standard and can provide cushion and comfort. But on the flip side they can be prone to flats, and air pressure maintenance is required.

Rubber tires do not go flat like air tires or wear like foam or plastic tires, are maintenance-free, and have a lot of traction. But they are most suitable for indoor areas only. Rubber will hold wear and tear better than foam.

EVA, rubber or foam tires can all be suitable. Foam tires are great because of their weight and are reliable because they don’t go flat. They can wear down so its a give and take between foam and air. However, foam tires are our pick because we are talking about kids who need lightweight balance bikes. Ultimately you’ll get a good balance of weight and durability with foam, giving your kids a decently smooth and comfortable ride. If you want pure comfort go for the air tires just remember they will be heavier although a bit more durable. We also think its only a matter of time before a brand brings pneumatic tires to this niche. Another option when it comes to tires selection are pneumatic tires. Typically found on the highest end bikes pneumatic tires are slightly heavier but they do deliver the absolute best performance adding extra traction.

Quality Balance Bike Frame materials

Best Wooden Balance Bikes

Just like tires, different bikes are made from various frame materials. There are metals, alloys, and even woods!

Metal bikes, obviously, tend to be heavier than the rest. They are most suitable for heavier and older kids though. In terms of resilience, they are top-notch. But like all metals, they are prone to rust and paint chips.

Aluminum or alloy bikes are best for those who are hunting for lightweight bikes. They are appropriate for best kids below 3 years old. The weight capacity limit of these kinds of bikes is between 60 and 75 lbs. Once the max weight limit is achieved, most kids find it easy to shift to learning a classic bike.The Bixe extreme light is a great example.

Composite bikes are the newcomers and have gained increasing popularity. Their frames are lightweight, almost indestructible, and easy to clean. But its key feature is they are able to survive most extreme weather conditions.

Wooden balance bike frames are the most environment-friendly of them all. But in terms of adjust-ability, they certainly have their limitations. They are best for flat or hard terrain surfaces and urban areas.

Turning limiter, hand grips, and footrests

Some bikes include a turning limiter that prevents both the handlebars and front wheel from steering a full 360 degrees and creating sharp turns. This reduces the potential risks of injuries and falls. Some bikes come with turning limiters, while others don’t.

Hand grips, while considered minor a feature, provide comfort and protection to the riders. They help absorb impact and keep the child’s hands safe from being accidentally scratched or pinched in case an accident occurs.

Lastly, having a footrest is okay as long as it does not interfere with the child’s ability to stride. Also, this is most often utilized by kids who have already mastered their balance and want to challenge themselves by doing “tricks.”

Frequently Asked Questions About Balance Bikes

How does a balance bike work?

Which is better: balance bikes or training type wheels on a standard bike?

Kids who have learned to ride using add on wheels might need to relearn how to ride a bike without them. Children who are used to stabilizers are likely to depend on them greatly and they tend to have no sense of coordination. Once maintained, a high quality bike will give your children more focus and control.

Often times, add on wheels are not spread evenly on the ground. With this in mind, trikes lean to one side. There are two potential problems for this issue. First, the child will compensate their weight on one side, and this will only be corrected once they shift to a regular two-wheeler. Second, it can present hazards especially when moving at faster speeds and at an uneven surface.

In addition, training add on wheels tend to hold the bike vertically. This prevents the child from correctly maneuvering the bicycles when cornering or turning directions since they are always upright. A balance bike will develop and boost the maneuverability skills of kids, which are important when transitioning to a two-wheel bike. If you are someone who isn’t 100% convinced on getting a balance bike you can always opt for one that converts to a normal bike. That way once your child has learned to ride you don't need to get another bike.

When to buy a Balance Bike?

There are different bikes designed for various ages. The smallest balance bike for toddlers as young as 18 months old. Older toddlers can easily jump on a balance bike and begin scooting around. A good rule of thumb to know when to buy a bike is if your kid is trying to walk all the time. This conveys they have the confidence they need to be successful,therefore the child is ready to start their balancing journey.

The longer exposure kids have on a 12-inch balance bike, the faster they will likely master their skill, before you know it they’re ready to progress. Usually, they move up to a regular bike at the early age of 4 years and from there on to a bmx bike. In some cases, a child might not be interested in balance biking and it takes them longer to learn if this is your situation opt for a bike with larger wheel size.

Can’t I just remove the pedals off a bike?

The traditional bicycle is harder to maintain, and they are heavier than a balance bike. They are not a wise choice bike for your toddler nor preschoolers too. Besides, a balance bike offers more independence and is a great exercise in coordination and movements. Mastering the art of riding a balance bike is the best foundation for getting on a standard bike and begin learning to pedal in the future. Again the main reason being a classic bike with training style wheels teaches a kid how to pedal not balance. A traditional bike will also have a seat height range that is too high. Just think of the proportions of a cruiser bike compared to a balance bike frame there is a huge difference.

Benefits of Balance Bikes

Although it only looks like a toy to kids, there are some benefits they can actually reap from using a balance bike.

First, it is way safer and more practical compared with tricycles and stabilizers. Instead of learning how to pedal, its best kids learn how to balance and therefore they learn to ride faster. That being said, they are unlikely to fall as they are more prepared for an unexpected loss in balance.

Second, they give kids an avenue of learning and independence. It can provide kids with a sense of accomplishment and freedom. Also, experts have noted that kids who ride balancing bikes are learning to ride regular bikes earlier than kids who used training type wheels. Balance bike riders usually begin riding a bike at 3 to 4 years old, while training wheel riders start at 5 or 6 years old.

Third, it encourages families to do more outdoor activities. Even the best Kids these days are always on their gadgets and social media. Letting them cruise along sidewalks or bike paths would be a nice family thing to do. And since it does not have bulky pedals on the sides, transporting these bikes is easy. Before you know it your kid will be riding a mountain bike with a hand brake lever after a few months of balance bike riding.

How do I teach my kid to ride their bike?

Before anything else, make sure that your child has worn a helmet properly and the saddle and handlebars have been adjusted accordingly. From there forward they can safely begin learning how to ride!

Getting on and off the bike

It is important to show kids how to lean on the bike and swing their legs over the rear wheel. When seated your child should have both feet flat on the ground and both hands on the handlebars. If there are brakes, make sure the kid can easily reach it. Allow the child to get on and off the bike independently. Never lift them over.

Scooting

Encourage kids to walk slowly with the child bike and push on the ground using their feet. Remind them that if they want to stop, they simply need to stop walking. Allow them to sit up, and remember to tell them to always look where they are heading. Repeat this step until they are able to sit naturally and gain some speed.

Lifting their feet off the ground

Once mastered, encourage them to start taking longer steps. You can verbally guide them too so they won’t get distracted or confused. Find a gentle slope and encourage them to try to lift their feet from the ground. This is a reason why the ideal child bike will have footrests that allow them to glide and not interfere with their strides. ( proper saddle height is important for riding while sitting both feet flat on the floor is ideal)

Bike Steering

High quality bikes should be easy to use and easy for your child to get used to. Most kids do take some time to grow accustomed to riding their balance bike. After they are able to comfortably lift their feet, it is time to teach your child how to steer. Let the kids lean slightly and turn the handlebars gently. Most of the bikes on our list feature turn limiters, which are beneficial and a primary reason why these kid's bikes are superior to the typical bike. On the pedal bike, it’s a free for all in the turning department allowing a young rider to turn so far as to fall over. With a turn limiter, a young rider is restricted on how far they can turn the handlebars. Just another powerful reason to opt away from a pedal bike and opt into the balance bike.

Stopping with and without the hand brake

Remind them that they can stop by putting their feet down. But for the bikes with a hand brake, this is the best time to teach them how to gently squeeze the lever. In our opinion we don’t really view the hand brake option as important and here’s why. When teaching your kids to ride a balance bike that’s what you are doing, adding a hand brake complicates things. Instead of the child concentrating on grabbing the hand brake, they can focus on riding their new bike.

As soon as the kid masters these basic steps, they can then move on to the next level perhaps a rear hand brake. Also, try to make learning fun by creating some challenging activities or obstacles. Furthermore, keep in mind that kids easily get bored. So, stop your practice before this even happens. As much as possible, keep their cycling activity as fun, positive, and encouraging.

Features to Consider

Don’t forget the kids bike helmets! Even though we are talking kids bikes never underestimate the effects of even slight head trauma. You can think about build material as well. The wooden balance bicycles are becoming more popular these days. Read our guide on the best helmets for kids.

Bike Accessories

Looking to make a unique bike for your child? Consider these accessories that will spruce up any bike and make it even more fun to ride. Another cool thing to note about these add ons is that work great for kids of all ages. Use these same customized pieces for their next bike too. Bike helmets are the most important though. Remember to protect your kids from other dangers to! Riding in warmer weather can dehydrate your little one. Keeping hydration packs around or water is also important. Your local bike shop may also have some cool add on items.

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Honorable Mention Balance Bikes

Below you’ll see the list of bikes that were good but didn’t make our top 10 bikes on the market, what you won’t see is the wooden balance bicycle but we will do a specific review on this specialty segment. Even though they weren’t top picks the following bikes are good for getting the kids out of those child bike seats and developing their toddler balance. Another fun option is the frog tadpole these bikes help your kids learn to pedal.

Strider 14x Sport

14x Sport Balance Bike
  • INSTANT SUCCESS - That's what we want kids to experience on the Strider 14x Sport. We've assembled all the necessary ingredients to give your tyke a taste of confidence, so your little racer can successfully shift from riding a balance bike to pedaling like a pro as quickly as possible. Why? Because the success your child experiences when they ride a Strider begins building confidence they'll use for life.
  • GROWS WITH YOUR CHILD - If your mini-me is sprouting faster than a weed amped up on fertilizer, the 14X is the bike for you. The adjustable seat and handlebars accommodate ages 3 to 7 years, or inseams ranging from 16 - 23", so your little one always has a bike that fits.
  • DESIGNED FOR KIDS - The lightweight frame weighs only 12 pounds (pre-pedals), making it easy for your child to handle. The footrests are perfect for learning to balance and glide until they're ready for pedals, which can be easily attached when the time comes.
  • COMFORTABLE AND SAFE: The chain guard prevents cuts and scrapes and helps keep the chain mud-free. The padded seat and soft handlebar grips offer extra comfort, so your kids can ride all day (because you know they'll want to).

The only reason this 14x Strider balance bike didn't make our bests list is because its really a convertible balance bike for older kid. While many of the other bikes on this list are designed for younger kids the Strider classic 14x is for kids 3 years old and up. Another key difference with the Strider 14x is that it included pedals that can be added on to the run bike when its time for your child to transition from balance bike to pedal bike. Besides being a balance bike that converts Other features include full adjustable seating post, 14-inch wheels, inflatable tires for cushioning and traction, bottom bracket, coaster brake, comfortable seat and footrest.

Overall the 14x by Strider sport is a smart buy but not a true balance bike. The Strider 14x sport balance bike will give your child confidence in stage #1 by developing their riding skills and then in stage #2 it will open up a world of adventure by becoming their first run bikes. As two bikes in one, Strider 14x sport is a great first bike for any kid (especially older kid since this is a larger bike, older kid pedals the strider). We like the blue Strider sport because it is the only bike on our list that converts to a pedal bike. Similar to the Strider 12 sport balance the 14x balance pedal bike is large and comes with the added pedal assembly. If you are in the game to help your child to ride quickly the Strider 12 sport balance is the better choice. 

Prevelo Alpha Zero Balance Bike

High end toddler balance bikes, Prevelo Alpha shown in “Speed Silver” nice alternative to islabikes rothan

Prevelo Alpha Zero is like the Porsche of  bikes for kids. There are no flamboyant attention grabbing colors or tassels just an amazingly elegant and well designed bike.  Everything about the Prevelo screams high end, from its quality finish and high end quality components. In comparison with some of the other kids bikes on our list it feels like the Prevelo Alpha's seat post could be more expensive than some entire pedal bikes.

This bike features an extra long wheel base for added balance and stability but what really makes this bike unique is the attention to detail. An ultra light frame, light weight aluminum fork, tektro rear v-brakes, and rounded bolts throughout to prevent young ones from getting any scrapes. One of the other things that we LOVE about the Prevelo is that they offer customization at checkout. Select your own custom colored hand grips, add a bell and customer name lettering. Overall the Prevelo Alpha is an incredible balance bike but it is a little expensive for the average parent @ $199.99 and for that reason we left it off the main list.

Yedoo Tootoo

The Yedoo is another great honorable mention best kids bike. What we love about is most is the wide array of color options and themes, making this bike really fun for kids. It's probably color options wise one of if not the best on the market. This Yedoo features inflatable tires on both wheels front and back wheel alike, a fast release feature on the extended seat post, great geometry for the perfect upright position, and a decent price. However, the purchase price point is what made it fall short of our best balance bike list. If you fall in love with a particular color you can't go wrong grabbing this bike for your toddler. Just know there are better options for less cash, we would suggest going for the pello ripple, radio flyer glide, Gomo or Strider bikes.

Overall, children’s cycling life should start with a baby bike. It helps them develop all the necessary balance skills to cycle. Hopefully, this guide will help you sift through the balance bike age options to make a well-informed decision and select the best for your kids. If your whole family loves biking you'll need something to hook your bikes to for weekend rides read the best bike trailers review.

Want something different for you kids? Check out our buying guide on ride-on toys here. Want even more on these bikes? Check out our list. Need tips for you kid to learn how to ride? Check out even more in depth reviews on two wheeling tots website they spent a few hours with the copious research in their guide. To prevent returns maybe even consider visiting your local bike shop for side by side comparisons.

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