Balance bikes are a game changer when it comes to training kids on how to ride a bike. However, convertible balance bikes take the notch higher by not only making training easy but also making an investment in a kid’s first bike worthwhile.
Here’s the thing; these all-in-one balance bikes give parents and their young ones the best of both worlds. These bikes; whether they are converted from trikes to balance bikes or from balance bikes to pedal bikes, have one thing in common - they can be adjusted to stay longer with the child.
The aspiring rider starts off with learning how to balance the bike then as they grow and gain more confidence, they can then transition to more advanced riding with the same bike.
That said, here is a round of top 7 of the best convertible balance bikes in the market today.
Recommended age: 1 - 4 years
Weight – 6.19 pounds
Kicking our list off is the Playmonster Free Wheelin’ Rider bike whose design conveniently converts it from a three-wheel trike to a taller two-wheeled balance bike; all in a matter of minutes!
We love how with the adjustment of the rear axle, the bike easily moves across both configurations. Plus, because the handlebars adjust to a height of 17 inches while the seat height adjusts to 12 inches at its highest, you can rest assured that the bike will stay with your little one even as they advance their skills towards fully riding.
Weighing a mere 6.2 pounds, this trike/bike is suitable for kids within the two to four year old category or for kids with a weight of less than 80 pounds; which is one of the reasons why kids can easily ride it.
However, this lightweight nature comes as an advantage and a disadvantage. On one hand even the youngest of riders can easily maneuver this trike but on the other hand, it can easily topple over. So while even the child can carry it, the lightweight nature can pose a danger depending on the rider.
That notwithstanding, what is more exciting for parents is that the bike appropriately combines fun and safety.
For starters, to keep the child from crashing by overturning the bike, it features a steering limiter which restricts turning up to a certain degree. Not only that, but thanks to handlebar grips, little shredders are also protected from smashing their hands in case they run into walls.
For parents with preschoolers who are looking for a bike that will last longer than the traditional push bike, this is just the bike for you!
Recommended age – 5 - 10 years
Weight – 11 pounds
Tire size - 16 inch
Brake type - rear hand brake
Colors- green, orange, pink
The Go Glider balance bike is a hit among older kids who are just getting introduced to the world of riding. Reason being, that this bike is engineered to fit older kids seeking the confidence in riding that training wheels just can’t do.
With a separately purchased pedal kit, the glider can be easily converted to a pedal bike as soon as the kiddo is ready for that step.
Now, there are many reason to love this bike. To start with, it is engineered with a low center of gravity which enhances stability making it great for the less confident riders.
Additionally, the seat easily adjusts up and down with the use of a lever that locks after adjustment to the desired height. But aside from the seat height, the handlebars also allow the bike to easily adjust to an older child’s frame.
One thing’s for sure, it will take some time before the child outgrows this bike!
Notably, the foot rests are a great addition as they allows the rider to rest their feet as they glide on. Plus, the bike’s pneumatic tires are great for just about any terrain and the handbrakes allow the rider to have more control and stopping power in general.
Last but not least, this bike comes with a much appreciated addition of a kickstand for good storage when in rest mode.
Needless to say, this bike works great at instilling confidence right before older riders get to the pedal bike stage. So if your child is yet to gain confidence in operating a two-wheeler; it’s not too late, the Go Glider 16” will definitely do the trick!
Recommended age: 2 - 4 years.
Material - aluminum
The Piarrow 3-in-1 tricycle is the epitome of versatile toys!
As a parent, having a toy that adjusts to the child rather than the child adjusting to it is such a huge bonus!
As a balance bike, the Pairrow is a great starter bike holding a maximum weight of 55 pounds. Moving on, it can be converted into a tricycle with the pedals that come with it. Finally, the most exciting part is that unlike other convertible tricycles, this one can be converted into a scooter.
With our little testers, we found that they immediately took to the bike because of the great balance it offers. In no time, they were pushing themselves away.
We are happy to report that the bike performs exceptionally well in all its configurations and all it takes to move across the three bike modes is the press of a frame rotation button.
As far as safety and user-friendliness goes, it is extremely safe for toddlers to use. This is because it comes with a handy brake for stopping power as well as protective helmet and knee pads.
What’s more, the bike has just the right balance of simple yet sturdy aluminum construction meaning that it will definitely hold up well to lots of use and abuse.
In conclusion, we loved how grippy the wheels are as well as how quietly they ride, how simple the assembly was and how easily the handlebar height adjusts to accommodate the kid’s size.
Overall, children as young as two will have fun pushing themselves with this one! And even when they are ready for a pedal bike they can still use it as a scooter!
Weight – 13.8 pounds
Recommended age – 12 months – 5 years
Nothing screams eco-friendly like the Wishbone 3-in-1 bike; made from materials such as birch and post-consumer recycled plastic.
In fact, if you’re an eco-conscious parent then this is just the bike for your child.
At its earliest stage, it’s one of the best tools to train little ones to walk. Then just after they gain confidence, the trike can be converted to a two-wheeled balance bike for training on how to balance. Lastly, by raising the seat, it becomes an even bigger balance bike.
That way, the bike stays with your child even as they grow as it is engineered to accommodate their fast-growing size.
We loved that thanks to its sturdy construct, this bike ranks as one of the most durable. Plus, if your child wants to take it out then you’ll be pleased to know that this bike performs just as well off-road as it does indoors! The tires just roll wonderfully!
Other than its convenient transition and durability, the bike is lightweight and therefore very easy for kids to maneuver; and it banks on safety with full rims that keep the child’s hands away from harm’s way.
That said, it’s only drawback (and it’s a small one) is that the bike’s frame may be a bit tall for the smallest riders. But if your one-year old is on the larger end of the size scale, then they will definitely love this bike.
Listen, if there’s any guarantee you can take home with this trike it’s that you won’t need any other means to train your child on how to balance a bike. The Wishbone 3-in-1 bike will stay with your child, as they learn one skill at a time.
Recommended age - 18 months to 4 years.
As far as versatility goes, very few bikes come close to the option that convertible balance bikes offer. And that versatility is exactly what you get with the Y Velo junior toddler bike.
Easily converting from a trike to a balance bike that teaches balance, this bike just gets it right!
It champions with a unique (removable) double rear wheel design that enhances the stability of the bike. With extra confidence and experience in balancing the bike, the child can then move on a single rear wheel for the ideal two-wheeler experience.
This is another bike that counts as an appropriate indoor toy as its tires are non-marking and noiseless even on hardwood floors. However, this may also suffice as a flaw depending on the intended use as the bike is more of a toy than an outdoor bike for aggressive riding.
At the very most we recommend riding on a smooth driveway.
In addition, the tires roll smoothly and have great grip as compared to the plastic wheels found on most balance bikes.
Its low minimum seat height (10.5 inches), 10-inch wheels and minimal weight (7.6 pounds) make it perfect for riders as young as 18 months old.
Not only that but the suitability for the youngest riders is also enhanced because of the bike’s abundance of safety features such as recessed bolts that combat any self-injury to the child and an integrated steering limiter to prevent hazardous sharp turns.
We loved that the handlebar and seat post adjust easily. Through a screw knob, the seat height can be adjusted and locked in place while an included hex-wrench enables easy and solid handlebar adjustment.
As a drawback to some, the saddle design entails minimal padding. But to us, this is not a big problem as most riders at this stage are still in diapers.
Here is an installation video
Recommended age – 3 - 7 years old
Weight – 12.5 pounds
Tire size – 14 inch
The Strider 14x is a balance bike like no other. Coming from such an industry beast, to say the least, we were not disappointed by its performance.
Unlike other Strider balance bikes, this one converts to a pedal bike allowing the user to get the most out of the bike. The separately sold pedal kit is easy to install, quickly and smoothly transitioning the balance bike into a very stable and great first pedal bike.
With 14-inch pneumatic tires that never go flat and a low step-in height, this bike is great for aspiring riders.
Notably, with 14-inch tires, a handlebar height that can be adjusted about 4 inches and seat height adjustment of about 7 inches, this bike is more befitting for taller 3-year olds rather than those on the shorter end of the scale.
And contrary to how most of the balance bikes that we’ve reviewed are set up, this one comes with rear coaster brakes in place of handbrakes. Knowing the controversy that comes with coaster brakes, we leave that up to personal preference but to us, they work just as great as safely stopping the bike.
Our only reservation about this bike is that it has rather short crank arms which means that while it works well in the introductory stages of riding, the bike may not be appropriate for older kids as advertised.
Still, this bike has a wider range of size adjustability in comparison to most of the convertible balance bikes that we’ve listed. So it’s a solid purchase at the end of the day.
Strider, hands-down, makes the best balance bikes and the Strider 14x is an exceptional proof of that statement.
Recommended age: 2 – 7 years
Tire size – 14 inch
As the name suggests, the LittleBig bike is exactly that and more. This three-in-one bike easily transitions from a small balance bike to a big balance bike and finally to a pedal bike.
Its first stage is as a low 14 inch balance bike which even the youngest riders (2 years old) could easily hop on with both their feet on the ground. Eventually it transitions into a pedal bike with 100mm more seat height and 50mm reach; suitable for the more skilled rider.
Best part? The conversion takes no more than five minutes.
We love how this bike offers dual handbrakes which are optimal for use by even the smallest of hands. More exciting is the fact that the little one will be used to operating handbrakes by the time they transition into pedal bike mode.
It also has high-end features such as internally routed cables as well as wide pneumatic tires.
Weighing 12 pounds in the balance bike mode and 15 pounds in full pedal bike mode and greatly engineered with a 6061 aluminum frame, this bike’s weight is appropriately manageable for kids within its recommended age range.
While some may argue that its weight is considerably high, the fact still remains that it’s lighter than most steel-made bikes of the same size that are in the market. Plus, because it allows innovative conversion in three modes, the weight is not a deal breaker for us.
The seat height can easily be adjusted while the handlebar height can be raised with the use of a spacer to ensure the right fit for the older kids. And it comes with an optional drivetrain which has a 28/14 ratio when fitted; appropriate for flat terrains.
Our only qualm about this bike is that contrary to how it is advertised, it is more appropriate for kids up to five or six years rather than the 2 to 7 range it is recommended for. This is because it has a rather compact frame for rider in the older age range.
We are big fans of all the balance bikes in this review.
But even with all the aforementioned assembled convertible balance bikes ranking high in the market today, if we had to narrow down the best three it would boil down to the following:
We loved that this bike stays in balance bike longer before it finally transitions into a pedal bike. That means that the child can start of older and still get to master the art of balance before they learn how to pedal on the same bike. And even if they start young, they still have time to stay in balance bike mode if the learning process takes some time.
That, added to this bike’s premium construction make it one of the best convertible balance bikes.
The versatility of this balance bike is just like no other!
This bike can seamlessly convert from a balance bike to a tricycle and finally into a scooter that can still be in use when they child outgrows the balance bike and tricycle.
Plus it is availed with a protective helmet and knee pads, proving that the company cares for the little ones’ safety. Not to mention the prime quality that back up the catchy yellow/black design.
And that is why we rank it as one of the best balance bikes in the industry today.
This bike caters to eco-conscious families yet it doesn’t compromise on quality. With a sturdy construction, the bike holds up well to abuse. But our favorite feature about this bike is that it transitions from a trike to a balance bike whose seat and handlebar height can be adjusted to stay with the child longer.
Does it get any better than that?
The answer to this question depends on who is asking. If you are a parent whose main aim is to get just any bike that your kid can grow with for a while, a convertible balance bike is your answer. In this case, you would preferably go for the bikes that convert from trikes into a two-wheel balance bike.
On the other hand, if you are a parent who systematically do stuff, you would buy a balance bike either size 12-inches or 14-inches depending on your child. Afterwards, when your child is ready for a pedal bike, you will equally purchase them a suitable first-pedal bike depending on so many factors we’ve discussed elsewhere on our website.
Note that converting balance bikes can be a solution in the short run. However, going systematic can raise a cycling enthusiast like we are.
Knowing that your child quickly goes through growth spurts can making purchasing a bike a very challenging task. However, convertible balance bikes offer a great solution to this problem as they train the child and still stay with them even as they advance in riding.
Fundamentally, the little rider easily masters the skill of balancing a bike and depending on the conversion options, they can jump straight onto the pedaling stage.
That way, the parent saves up some coins while the child conquers the world of cycling.
If that sounds like a worthy consideration for you, be sure to check out our recommended list of the some of the best convertible balance bikes in the market today.
Our promise is that your little one will be gliding down the streets in no time with these extremely versatile bikes!