BIKING

Best Balance Bike: Steering Your Child in the Right Direction

Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

When you have a child, you want to give them everything you didn’t have. You virtually want them to be a better person than you and to have access to materials you never did. In order to teach them everything, it is important to get a head start and begin as early as possible. Though not everything can be taught at ages as young as 18 months, you might as well take advantage of the lessons you can teach that early.

It may seem strange at first, but you can teach your children how to ride a bike, or the essentials needed to ride a bike, at 18 months! How you may be pondering. Well, with the best balance bike, that’s how! Imagine all the additional information you can be teaching your child at ages of 4 or 5, when other children are still learning to ride bikes with training wheels.

Teaching child to ride balance bike

We’re not saying pedal-less bikes will make your child superior at all, but were just saying, bikes let you take advantage of time so you can ingrain other important information into your children’s mind. They kind of provide a head start at life! However, before you go online and buy the first bike you see, you must make sure it is the right size for your child.

You also will want to make sure it meets your safety requirements, mom or dad! That is what this article is mainly about, informing you on the right features to look for so your mini me can begin their journey as a bicyclist on the road of life (too much?). Moving forward, lets get on with the best features to look for in a great pedaling bike.

Where Do I Begin in This Bike Hunt?

Size

When choosing a bike, you want to make sure it is perfect for your child. Though, most bikes online will say they fit all ages between 18 months and 5 years old, this isn’t always true. You will want to make sure the tire size and the seat height is synonymous with your child’s size.

Many balance bikes on the grass

Most pedal-less bikes come with tires that are 12-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch. While the tire size tells you the overall height of the bike, the seat height is even more important to create a personalized fit. When your child is sitting on the bike, their feet should be flat on the floor with a slight bend in the knee. If their feet barely hit the ground, it is too big. If the child’s knees are too bent, the bike is too small.

Weight

As a rule of thumb, you should make sure the bike doesn’t weigh more than 30% of your child’s total weight. Math is hard, we know. So an example would be, for any 30 lb. toddler they would be fine riding a bike that is 9 lb. or lighter! And yes we know, children grow up and get bigger. This is something that you can’t avoid, even if you want to. However, the size of the bike should not be a problem for your children as they grow.

A kid on a balance bike

The main concern with weight is made so children who are more petite can move the bike around and get the same experience as their peers.

Natural Movement

Children this young have just recently learned to walk, you don’t want to limit their natural ability to move, you want to encourage it. The well-designed bikes have a geometry to it that allows a lot of space between the handlebars and the seat post. This space allows the child to have legroom as they walk and glide.

A kid riding balance bike

When the bike’s seat is set to the lowest position, there should be a small gap between the back tire and the seat. This is another form of great geometry that is even found in the best mountain bikes on the market.

Tires

Depending on the type of riding surface you have around your home, you will want to make sure the bike can operate correctly. The different types of tires include air tires, EVA foam tires, rubber tires, plastic tires, and big apple tires. Keep reading to learn which one is best for you!

  • Air or “pneumatic” tires have been known to provide the best traction and cushion out of all the options. If you live on gravel or encourage your child to ride on grass, these tires will perform the best.
  • EVA foam tires are the cheaper and lighter options. However, these tires provide limited traction and very little cushion. These are best for paved surfaces or gym floors.
  • Rubber tires are also puncture proof like the EVA foam tires, but they are uncommon in bikes. They have a little better cushioning and traction than the foam tires, but not by much.
  • Hard plastic tires are the worst in quality and are not recommended. The only positive about these tires is that they are the lightest weight of the options.
  • Big Apple tires are very wide profile tires that offer extra traction and cushioning for the more adventurous children who like to do tricks. These are the most expensive, but they are worth it if your children are up to it!

Two wooden balance bikes

Brakes

Though there are no pedals with balance bikes, that doesn’t mean momentum cannot be built. The additional feature of brakes, often found on the handles, can be used to prevent injury. Adding a brake system also can save the soles and toes of your child’s shoes. Learning the habit of using a hand brake is helpful as they transition to bikes with pedals so they know how to stop.

A kid riding balance bike

Now that you know the main features to look for in the best balance bike, consider the following options on the list below. We have gathered a handful of highly acclaimed bikes for your picking preferences. While considering the information above, it should be easy to sift through these bikes and find the ones that stand out the most. Have a look for yourself!

Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike

Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike

Price: $100.00-$120.00

Dimensions: 15 x 33 x 22 in

Weight: 6. 7 lbs.

Product Features: offers a steel and lightweight frame, toddler sized grips, comfortable seats, and doesn’t require tools for assembly or adjustment. The seat and handlebars are adjustable for height, and no pedals are featured.

Best Uses: for teaching children how to ride bikes without training wheels

The Strider Sport Balance Bike is designed to help your children become more your comfortable with bikes at ages as young as 18 months! The Strider Sport can be adjusted as your child grows until they are 5 years old. This gives your child 3 ½ years to get comfortable with a bike before transitioning to a traditional bike.

Instead of purchasing multiple bikes as your child grows, this one bike has the ability to adjust and evolve as your child does.The main focus of the strider bike is to teach your child how to balance like they would when riding a bike. With seat upgrades, handle bar adjustments, and flat free EVA polymer tires you have a simple yet quality bike that will last you and your child for years.

Related Products: The Cruzee UltraLite Balance Bike is made for children from ages 1.5 to 5 years old just like the Strider Sport Bike.  They both don’t have pedals and can adjust with age and size, but the Cruzee Bike is offered at a higher price.

Check the price on Amazon

Schwinn Balance Bike

Schwinn Balance Bike

Price: $60.00-$80.00

Dimensions: 12 x 30 x 20 in.

Weight: 7.5 lbs.

Product Features: offers a foot to floor frame design, air tires and tubes, adjustable seat height and adjustable handlebars. Features thick and rubber tires for a smoother ride.

Best Uses: teaching children how to ride on bikes without training wheels

The Schwinn Balance Bike features a foot-to-floor frame without the need of pedals so the child can propel themselves around at their own speed. Unlike other bikes, the Schwinn bike comes with air tires that are easy to roll around on any surface. The thick and rubber tires offer a smoother ride that buffers bumps in the ground.

The Schwinn bike is sturdy enough to withstand years of use with your rough and tumble toddler. Customers like the bike because it is made for use with added comfortable seats and footrests for your child as they coast. This is a great bike for kids who are adventurous and parents who want to teach their children the basics of riding a bike.

Related Products: The Joovy Bicycoo Balance Bike is made with a heavy frame that allows for easy balancing capabilities like the Schwinn Bike. Unlike the Schwinn, the Joovy bike is made with pneumatic tires and wheels instead of rubber tires and the Joovy is more expensive.

Check the price on Amazon

KaZAM Classic Balance Bike

KaZAM Classic Balance Bike

Price: $75.00-$240.00

Dimensions: 23 x 4.75 x 33 in.

Weight: 13.75 lbs.

Product Features: offers a 12-inch steel frame, central footrest, air inflated tires, adjustable seat, and adjustable handlebars. Can support children that weigh up to 75 lbs. and offers hand breaks.

Best Uses: teaching children how to ride their bikes at young ages

Unlike other bikes, the KaZAM Balance Bike offers a brake system in the handles. Other bikes don’t have a brake system at all. With no pedals and a central footrest, children can get used to the form of a normal bike when pedaling. Training wheels are detrimental to learning because they aren’t balancing at all.

By losing the pedals and adding a foot rest the child can glide around at their own speed while learning how to handle their weight. The KaZAM bike has smooth tread and a no friction metal headset for a safe and smooth ride. Parents and children like this bike because the assembly is easy and it rides like a scooter but teaches the essentials of bike riding.

Related Products: The Tauki Balance Bike is like the KaZAM bike because they need little to no assembly and are built with a solid construction to last years while your child perfects their balancing capabilities. However, the Tauki does not have a footrest and is also significantly cheaper.

Check the price on Amazon

Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike

Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike

Price: $100.00-$120.00

Dimensions: 12 x 31 x 18 in.

Weight: 8 lbs.

Product Features: offers a frame made from bamboo, biodegradable tires, foot pegs for a relaxed ride, and a cushioned seat. Each purchase supports the environment.

Best Uses: teaching children how to balance on a bike and encouraging artistic abilities

The Kinderfeet’s Balance Bike is more than a device to help your child learn. Each bike comes with a chalkboard finish so your child can alter the looks of their bike in addition to riding it. Every time a Kinderfeet’s Bike is purchased, a tree is planted to keep our forests sustained.

The morals associated with this bike is not the only difference, the bamboo frame makes the Kinderfeet’s bike a durable and high quality bike because bamboo is a material that is stronger than steel! Customers like the idea behind this bike, but say that the foot pegs are not helpful and can be placed in different positions. If you are interested in an environmentally bike that can teach your child more than one skill in their early ages, this bike is great for you.

Related Products: The Wishbone 3-in-1 is a sustainably built bike that encourages an active life and exercise with children like the Kinderfeet’s Bike. However, the Wishbone has the ability to transform from a baby walker, push tricycle, and bike. the Kinderfeet’s bike stays in the shape of a bike.

Check the price on Amazon

EZee Glider Kids Balance Bike

EZee Glider Kids Balance Bike

Price: $90.00-$160.00

Dimensions: 6.7 x 14.5 x 31 in.

Weight: 13.5 lbs.

Product Features: offers unique geometry like downhill mountain bikes, removable pegs for a challenge, and easy adjust seat clamp with height adjustment. A child-sized handbrake is made to keep the child safe and rubber tires for a smooth ride.

Best Uses: allowing children to build confidence and learn how to balance themselves on a bike.

The EZee Glider Kids Balance Bike was made to be different than other bikes because the design and frame. The bike has a low center of gravity and unique geometry to keep the children moving at slow and safe rates. This bike is also made for children in the age group between 1½ years old to 5.

The EZee Glider was also made to keep the child in control of the peed because there are no pedals. The EZee comes with handbrakes and the handle grips for safe stopping power. The brakes are also great for keeping the child in control and confidant. People like this bike because the easy assembly and adjustable seat and handles. Others simply like the bike because their child does.

Related Products: The PUBLIC Mini Balance Bike is like the EZee Glider because they both have lowered seat for easy riding. However, the PUBLIC Bike was made for children 3 years old and up, and the EZee Bike is made for children in their earlier stages through 5. Though the years overlap, the PUBLIC Bike is a bit taller.

Check the price on Amazon

FirstBIKE Limited Bike

FirstBIKE Limited Bike

Price: $160.00-$190.00

Dimensions: 33 x 15 x 22 in.

Weight: 8.6 lbs.

Product Features: offers an emergency stop on the handles, a limited steering for a safe ride, and a flexible frame to absorb the shocks of bumps in the road.  Comes with a unique horse saddle seat.

Best Uses: teaching younger children how to balance on a bike.

The FirstBIKE has a frame that is made out of 30% glass fiber and reinforced nylon composite, which is different from the normal steel or aluminum frame. This frame is guaranteed to last for years and can outlast any weather forecast.

The seat is also different than other bikes because it is made with a horse saddle shape to encourage a better posture and avoid easy slipping. The tires are rubber and are made for the grass and roads. Parents like these bikes because the added safety features, like the limited steering ability. This ensures that there aren’t any sharp turns or jackknifing.

Related Products: The VOKUL Gx02 Balance Bike is made with a similar material on the frame like the FirstBIKE. However, the smaller back wheel and no air tires makes the VOKUL more like a scooter than an actual bike.

Check the price on Amazon

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Training Bike

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

Price: $50.00-$100.00

Dimensions: 10 x 23.9 x 6.6 in.

Weight: 6 lbs.

Product Features: offers an ergonomic and lightweight steel frame, adjustable handlebars and seat, and soft tires. The bike is recommended for ages 3-6

Best Uses: helping children how to gain balance on their own

The Chicco Red Bullet makes it easy for children to learn how to ride a bike with puncture resistant tires for a smooth ride in any terrain.  Your toddler will be able to ride and push through the neighborhood safely and in control with the height adjusting seat for easy access to the ground.

There is no air in the tires, which means they are plastic and very sturdy. They may offer problems on bumpy roads because there is no shock absorption. Parents seem to believe this bike is better for smaller sized children, but the bike is easily adjustable so it should work for most children in the age range.

Related Products: The WeeRide 2 Balance Bike is similar to the FirstBIKE Bike because they both have lightweight steel frame that are ideal for smaller sized children. However, the WeeRide features inflatable pneumatic tires while the FirstBIKE has airless tires.

Check the price on Amazon

Glide Bikes Kids Mini Glider Balance Bike

Glide Bikes Kids Mini Glider Balance Bike

Price: $100.00-$120.00

Dimensions: 26 x 18 x 24 in.

Weight: 9 lbs.

Product Features: offers a patented slow speed design, mountain bike geometry, rear brakes, and maintenance-free steel spoked alloy wheels. Comes with additional hand break and removable foot pegs.

Best Uses: helps children learn how to balance and have fun on a bike

The Mini Glider Balance Bike was made to help children improve their motor skills, coordination, and ride a bike at a young age. Whether you children need support of foot pegs, or prefer to ride without them, they are removable according to your preferences.

The patented design is made to keep a slow yet steady moving bike. The mountain bike geometry and lower sitting seat makes it harder for all the child’s weight to propel the bike forward. But the lightweight aluminum frame makes it lightweight enough for your child to move it around. Parents like the EVA tires featured on the bike because they are lighter weight and easier to maneuver.

Related Products: The Ace of Play Balance Bike is made with flat-free EVA tires and a lightweight metal frame like the Mini Glider Bike. However the Ace of Play does not feature any breaks, which could require more attention from the parents as their child is learning how to ride a bike.

Check the price on Amazon

The Final Verdict

We have taken you through the many options of bikes that are built for your child’s ultimate growing experience. We hope you have a better idea of what you want moving forward. Investing in a reliable bike that can last you through your child’s youth is a key to their learning capabilities. If you are interested in finding the best balance bike for your child to learn and grow with, we challenge you to keep looking. You will know when you have chosen the best of the best.

Brum Brum wooden baance bike

If you have any questions or concerns regarding balancing bikes, please comment below. We understand it may be hard finding the perfect bike for your child, but we are here to help! Not to mention, we enjoy and appreciate the feedback!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Lou Smith

    We purchased Strider 12 for my son a couple of months ago. There are so many good reviews of the product that’s why we chose the brand and now I understand why so many people are raving about it. Aside from having a sturdy frame, the seat is also padded perfectly. It is really well-made.

  • Sean Wright

    Schwinn Balance is hands down the best on your list. We bought it for my son and it is more than awesome. It is heavier and sturdier compared to other brands in my opinion, though not too heavy to the point that it is uncomfortable. In fact, he loves riding it so much. The tires are great too.

  • Jerry Mueller

    Schwinn is a classic brand that never goes out of style. We love this brand and agree with you.

  • Jerry Mueller

    Glad you love it! Definitely a great balance bike, and your son will enjoy it for hours.

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