Riding is fun, especially for kids. Sadly, an astonishingly high number of people are oblivious to the fact that learning how to balance is by far the most effective way to master riding.
Since the induction of balance bikes, the learning process of riding has entirely been revolutionized.
As the name suggests, ‘balance bikes’ are designed in such a way that the rider focuses on and learns the concept of balancing a bike without the distraction of pedals. From there, they can then undergo a seamless and natural transition to pedal bikes having already mastered balancing and steering.
Get the gist of it?
Well, as with many other learning tools, there are very many confusing kids balance bike options in the market today. But the truth is that very few companies have mastered the design and art of piecing together components that ease this new bike-training method.
In this article, we reveal the ultimate guide to the best balance bikes in the industry today.
The best part? We have categorized these balance bikes in terms of their most salient features. That way, you can easily scout your way through and find the best balance bike for your kid.
WEIGHT: 6.7 pounds
AGES: 18 months -5 years
SEAT HEIGHT: 11-19 inches
DIMENSIONS: 27.8 x 6.3 x 12.3 inches
The Strider 12 Sport balance bike makes the first cameo in our expert-approved list but not nothing. In our opinion, based entirely on its performance, this bike is the best way to introduce a kid to the concept of bicycling.
At under 7 pounds, this bike is one of the lightest in the industry. It is hard to come by any bike whose frame is made of steel and whose weight is kid-optimized. However, this bike from Strider, not only has a sturdy frame but is also super-easy for a toddler to navigate.
Apart from being the lightest toddler balance bike, the Strider Sport also boasts of a no-tool adjustable seat and handlebar height. With an extended seat height range of 11-19 inches and a handlebar height range of 18-22 inches, this bike will surely stay with your tot as they grow from a 12-inch inseam to a 20-inch inseam.
For comfort, the two-wheeler has built-in footrests that properly-proportioned such that they can’t get in the way of your toddler’s glide. Other than a comfy foot-placement, the bike’s ergonomic seat and padded handlebars also add to the overall comfort of the bike.
It further features mini grips appropriate for the tiniest mitts and puncture-proof tires which means you can say bye-bye to flat tubes for good. The icing on the cake? The bike can easily be put together within five minutes.
With great geometry for enhanced stability, the Strider 12 Sport Balance bike is thus the ideal first bike to start little people on riding!
WEIGHT: 7.5 pounds
AGES: 18 months - 4 years
SEAT HEIGHT: 10.16-14 inches
DIMENSIONS: 23.4 x 12.6 x 19.9 inches
WOOM has made a name for themselves in the kids’ bikes industry. No other bike industry has quite grasped kid-specific components as they have!
The Woom 1 boasts of having one of the lowest minimum seat heights as compared to its competitors. At 10.16 inches, the center of gravity on this bike is lowered to a level that makes it very easy to balance at low riding speeds.
Additionally, the 10.16 to 14-inch seat height range is appropriate for toddlers whose height ranges between 32 and 39 inches. The anatomically-shaped saddle and low-step through the point of the bike speak of how the bike is designed to fit the ergonomics of a kid.
Not only that, the 12-inch wheel bike is further endowed with small brakes that tiny hands can easily compress. By learning to use the rear hand V-brake at such an early stage, young riders will surely undergo an easy transition to pedal bikes.
But safety does not just end with the braking system, as the bike also features a steering delimiter that inhibits the bike rider from jackknifing themselves while riding. This is in addition to its fully integrated bolts which ensure that there is no chance of the rider hurting their knees.
As for performance, the Woom 1’s air-filled tires offer superior traction and cushioning that makes them unmatchable on all terrains.
This bike’s high-quality aluminum frame construction is credited for its weight-optimized nature. Available in four striking colors, the Woom 1 is a must-have balance bike for the smallest kids.
WEIGHT: 6.7 pounds
AGES: 18 months - 3 years
SEAT HEIGHT: 11-16 inches
DIMENSIONS: 33 x 15 x 22 inches
The Strider standard 12” balance bike comes in 3 different models: the Strider Sports, Classic and Pro. While they share a similar frame, the Classic differs from the other two in that it lacks an extended seat height range as well as a padded seat.
The Strider 12” Classic Balance bike has a seat height range of 11 to 16 inches. This height is appropriate for young kids with a 12-17 inch inseam. As we all know, the ideal seat height should always be an inch lower than the rider’s inseam to allow for the knee curve while riding.
Thanks to its adjustable seat post and handlebar height, this bike will surely stay with your kid throughout their growth spurts.
Another pleasant feature of the bike is that it can surely take a beating owing to the solid construction of its steel frame. Despite its steel frame, the Strider” 12’ Classic only weighs 6.7 pounds which makes it extremely easy for 18 months to 3-year-old kids to maneuver.
Strider hit it right again with its flat-free foam tires which ease the maintenance of the bike. This is in addition to a non-intrusive built-in footrest which enhances the overall comfort of the bike. As the name suggests, ‘Strider’ balance bikes will have your tot balancing and coasting in no time!
Available in four appealing colors, the Strider 12” Classic Balance bike is definitely a classic; yes pun intended!
WEIGHT: 9 pounds
AGES: 20 months to 5 years
SEAT HEIGHT: 12.5 - 16.5 inches
DIMENSIONS: 33.5 x 20.5 x 6 inches
The Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike is another great starter bike that easily made its way to our list. You can tell that Retrospec put as much thought into creating this ‘mini-me’ bike as they do to adult bikes.
From its lightweight high-tensile steel frame to its puncture-proof foam tires, this bike is filled with features that make it the best for both indoor and outdoor riding.
This bike’s adjustable seat and handlebars ensure that it will grow with your kid throughout their childhood stage. Its sturdy design is built to last and can only be described as ‘indestructible.’
Additionally, its bike’s minimum seat height, although higher than others, is still appropriate for toddlers depending on their inseam measurements.
Our only reservation is that while its footrests account for pedal-free independent riding, some may view its placement as a hindrance to a child’s glide.
Even so, your kid will definitely not go through a hassle while navigating this bike. This is because it has a low step-through point that is awfully easy to climb through.
However, the ease of use of this bike is topped by the fact that it already comes partially assembled. All you have to do is attach the seat, handlebars, and tires to the frame of the bike and the bike will be ready for a go!
Even with all these remarkable features, the thing that will please you the most about the Retrospec Cub is that it comes in 17 different and exciting colors for your tot to choose from. Talk about versatility goals!
WEIGHT: 4.4 pounds
AGES: 18 months to 4 years
SEAT HEIGHT: 12 -18 inches
DIMENSIONS: 28 x 6 x 13 inches
Cruzee earned a spot in our list due to its child-specific features but especially for its lightweight design.
Weighing just 4.4 pounds, it is by far the lightest balance bike we have come across. This is thanks to its rust-proof anodized aluminum make that is far lighter than steel frames.
The aluminum construction of the bike means that not only can the bike withstand corrosion but kids can also effortlessly handle the bike on their own for hours at a time!
Other than a rock-solid construction, this nifty bike also features integrated footrests, a wide seat and padded handlebars for comfort. Its low center of gravity will boost your toddler’s confidence in their ability to balance while its puncture-proof foam tires guarantee that flats are a thing of the past.
We can state with confidence that the Cruzee Ultralite Balance bike is an amazing tool to teach toddlers to balance quickly and safely regardless of their age. Why? Because the seat and handlebars of the bike are fine-tuned to serve kids as early as 18 months and can adjust to serve five-year-old starters.
For its super-easy installation and lifetime warranty in addition to its lightweight design, the Cruzee is definitely a worthy investment!
WEIGHT: 6.39 pounds
AGES: 18 months -5 years
SEAT HEIGHT: 12.6-18.5 inches
DIMENSIONS: 24.1 x 12.4 x 6.7 inches
Here’s the thing that won our hearts about this balance bike: its features are comparable to those in higher-end bikes, but you get them for half the price!
The Joystar 12” Balance bike’ is sturdy. Its sturdiness is accredited to its high-tensile steel frame construction.
Although steel frames are usually heavier as compared to the aluminum frame, this bike’s 12 x 1.75 EVA polymer foam tires not only ensure that they are puncture-proof but that the weight is also minimal.
The tires are also protected from dirt thanks to the mud-free guard it sports. For comfort, it possesses a footrest whereby toddlers place their feet as they pick up the speed while gliding.
We can assure you that this bike will stay with you through the years. Its handlebars and seat post which can both be adjusted within 20.4 to 22.4 inches and 12.6 to 18.5 inches respectively, ensure that you will not have to replace the bike as your kids get older.
In addition to coming partially preassembled, the JOYSTAR balance bike further features a quick-release seat post clamp that is entirely easy to use and extremely secure.
Our only qualm about this bike is that its seat height could be a little lower. Other than that, the only other problem you’ll have is the fit you kid will throw when it is time to get off!
Brand: Radio Flyer
Weight: 6.6 pounds
Ages: 2.5 - 5 years
Seat height: 14.5-18 inches
DIMENSIONS: 34.25 x 16 x 20 inches
There really is no other way around introducing kids to the concept of biking! Radio Flyer all-terrain balance bike is a well-made bike that completely eliminates the need for training wheels.
This bike beats all the rest in terms of performance on both paved and rugged terrain. Its 12” air tires offer the best traction. Furthermore, the pneumatic tires cushion impact on bumpy roads in such a way that little riders will not feel it.
It boasts of a sturdy, lightweight steel frame that maximizes its durability and ensures that it can survive a good beating. Much like Joystar balance bike, the Radio Flyer All-terrain bike is a lot cheaper than the competition and weighs a mere 6.6 pounds. Seriously, who wouldn’t want all these features wrapped in an affordable price?
The bike further features an adjustable cushion seat that grows with your child. Not only that, the adjusting is made much easier with the release of a lever.
This bike features a real ringing bell for safety and fun in addition to soft-touch hand grips. To assemble it, you only need to follow the simple instructions that come with the package, and you won’t have to visit a shop for professional assembly.
As we said, no tires beat that of the Radio Flyer all-terrain bike. So if you really want that smooth ride for your kid, then this is just the bike to purchase.
BRAND: Banana Bike
WEIGHT: 6.39 pounds
AGES: 2 to 5 years
SEAT HEIGHT: 12.2 – 15.7 inches
DIMENSIONS: 33.5 x 18.1 x 23.6 inches
When hunting for the perfect bike, many people seldom think about its shape. But the reality is that a bike’s shape can be manipulated to either bring comfort or discomfort to the user.
The Banana Bike LT is a new and improved model whose features made it make its debut in our list. To begin with, this bike has a unique banana shape frame designed in a way that mounting onto the bike will be the least of your kid’s worries.
Secondly, this bike low seat setting encourages a low center of gravity, which has an overall effect of enhancing balance. The 12.2-inch seat height is appropriate for young riders and can easily be adjusted to fit the rider as they grow.
Thirdly, this refined version features a more comfy seat, better bearings, stronger metal, and a quick-release seat clamp; that makes it better than previous models. Additionally, this bike is endowed with puncture-proof foam tires, so you don’t have to worry about blow-outs.
Lastly, the Banana Bike LT’s safe child-proof handlebar clamp can attest to its kid-friendly nature. This is in conjunction with its lightweight (6.4 pounds) feature that makes it perfect for any toddler as they can easily tow it around.
Now, let’s just say that any bike whose installation is not hectic is a good bike in our books. And the Banana Bike LT is just that as its assembly is much easier and quicker than before. At under 70$, this is one of the best value options on the market!
WEIGHT: 8 pounds
AGES: 2- 5 years
SEAT HEIGHT: 13.5 – 16.5 inches
DIMENSIONS: 35 x 4.5 x 20.5
The topic of footrests is one that most people are yet to agree on. Some people propose that footrests get in the way of the learning process as kids are forced to use them while others contend that footrests are a great for feet placement, especially when correctly positioned.
In our opinion, if footrests are to be included in a bike, then they had better be appropriately positioned so that they do not get in the way of the rider’s feet when gliding.
KaZAM v2e’s footrests are by far the most naturally-positioned of all the bikes we have reviewed. With the bike’s patented step-through frame, not only is the bike easy to mount but it also encourages the natural placement of feet when coasting.
Why do we say this? Simply because the footrest is wide yet not cumbersome.
Enough about the footrest, this bike also boasts of soft grips and a paddle seat all of which make the bike super comfortable to ride. As for its tires, the puncture-proof EVA tires require little to no maintenance.
With a seat post that can be adjusted between 13.5 and 16.5 inches as well as handlebars that can be modified within a 19-20.5-inch range, this bike can accommodate kids up to five years of age. Not to mention that this adjustment does not require any additional tools!
If you are not a fan of intuitive positioning of feet, then the KaZAM v2e is just the bike for your toddler.
WEIGHT: 4.5 pounds
AGES: 18 months - 5 years
SEAT HEIGHT: 11-17 inches
DIMENSIONS: 28.4 x 12.3 x 7.5 inches
It goes without saying that one of the primary features to look out for in any product is the level of comfort it offers.
Bikes; especially those designed for kids, are not left out when considering the level of comfort they provide. The Croco Premium Ultra-light bike is built on coordination of balance and steering but also packed with many comfort-enhancing features!
For starters, its ultra-light nature is attributed to its high-quality aluminum frame construction. This material is not only rust-resistant but also very light hence easy for toddlers to maneuver.
The comfort of the young rider is further enhanced by this bike’s ultra-soft handgrips and padded seat. It also features a properly positioned footrest for feet placement and sturdy sealed bearings for that added protection.
Trust us; you do not need to be a professional to assemble this bike. From the word ‘go’ you only need about five minutes to adjust the bike’s seat and handlebars. And all this without the use of extra tools as the seat can be adjusted using quick-release clamps.
Its handlebar height can be raised or lowered between 20-24.5 inches while the seat height can also be adjusted between 11 and 17 inches to fit kids between 18 months and five years old.
This bike further features flat-free EVA polymer wheels, yet it is still extremely lightweight. At 4.5 pounds, this bike could have easily won the lightweight category, but its comfort-enhancing features stood out more.
Your search for the best budget balance bike for 18 months, 2, 3, 4, and 5-year-old kids ends. That only happens soon as you set your eyes on the GOMO balance bike. We were amazed by its hottest and kid-friendly design. Living to its name of “Get Out More Often,” the GOMO bike comes in a combination of many colors (blue, black, pink, and red), so your kid is spoilt for choices. Automatically, it is a bike that your kids will always want to ride when free- A perfect way to get them off screens, huh!
On this, Fuzion built a balance bike that comes at a family-friendly price. For a bike this kind, the price tag makes it automatic entry to the list of budget-friendly balance bikes. It is a bike you can get for a special person as a birthday or Christmas gift, and they will never be disappointed.
Here is why it perfectly fits the title. First off, it comes with a high-quality and kid-friendly design. Although you might confuse its solid look for bulk, it is utterly lightweight. Also, it neither makes noise nor rattle; we were amazed by its compactness. One contributing factor to this is the stable seat that once clamped into position remains unmoved and does not spin either. Its selection of bright colors is a demonstration of understanding the kids love colors. Your kids can choose any, and the best thing, you can always accessorize it for them.
The GOMO bile is designed for kids between 18 months and five years old.
Its seat height is adjustable and ranges from 12-inches to 17.5 inches.
If your kids love comfort, GOMO bike brings that and more. It offers a bigger space between the seat and the handlebar, which allows kids to extend their arms properly and maintain a posture. Besides, the wheelbase is also decent enough, which when combined with the high handle height inspires confidence on kids to balance. Besides, the combination helps maintain a great posture, as it distributes the weight of kids evenly.
The GOMO balance bike comes with a pair of hard plastic rims and EVA tires. For this, the maintenance of the wheels is not something to worry about. Also, the durability of the tires is assured.
It also features a built-in footrest plank where kids can rest their feet as they sit and glide. We are a bit reserved on footrests on balance bikes, but with this great design, we were forced to reconsider our stance.
GOMO also has a turning limiter that prevents kids from making sharp turns that can cause accidents. This is a feature not so common among budget balance bikes.
Given the high-quality build, long wheelbase, extra-innovative foot-rest plank, the GOMO balance bike is a better choice compared to Radio Flyer Glide and Go. However, when compared with Banana Bike GT and Strider-classic, the two would win the day, only for their air tires. We highly recommend Woom 1 for its superior balance bike design. But for under $100 go for the GOMO bike.
For all the beautiful things about GOMO, it is a great bang for your buck, especially if you want to impress your kid, but you are on a budget. It sets the bar so high for other budget-friendly balance bikes. There is much room for adjustments on the GOMO. For kids from 18 months to 5 years, it sounds like a great buy. Its optimal use would be for 2-4 year-olds who wear at least 2T clothes. We highly advise you against purchasing the GOMO for kids with an in-seam below 13- inches.
We were amazed during our tests. A first glance at the First Balance Bike sends a statement that it is a great balance bike with air-filled tires plus a unique frame design. We consider this a great balance bike for 18-month olds to three-year-old kids. By five years, most likely they will outgrow it.
Mage by FirstBike Company, it stands out as the perfect training bike for children from 2-5 years. And the company is also known for its safety and durability focus. Reviews online indicate that it is the first choice for most parents worldwide. The award-winning balance bike comes with comfort, quick assembly, limited lifetime warranty, and aesthetically pleasing design and colors that will entice your kid to be on the bike often.
The FirstBike balance bike’s nylon composite frame reduces the chances of injuries in case of accidents. We all know how enterprising kids are, and sometimes, they fall. It also features a U-shaped saddle that prevents kiddos from slipping off the bike as they glide around. Another safety feature is the turning limiter that prevents sharp and dangerous turns.
The FirstBike comes in five models (Basic, Cross, Limited, Cross, and Special Editions). The Basic model has neither air tires nor handbrakes but has solid puncture-proof tires. The Cross FirstBike model has tires that offer traction for off-roaders. The Limited and Racing Edition Big Apple tires offer better cushioning. Any model is a great pick for riding in paved neighborhoods as they come with sealed industrial bearings. To note the Racing Edition, Limited, Cross, and Street models are identical except for the tires and colors.
The composite frame lacks any sharp edges or exposed bolts that can spell doom during falls and slips. The good thing yet is that you can accessorize the FirstBike balance bike. You can opt for the lower kit, which is a critical upgrade for children in 2T and 24-month clothes, and you do not have to break a bank for that.
We can compare it to the Islabikes Rothan and Yedo Too, which fall within the price range. So, if you are pleased, the two are also a good choice.
This is an exceptional balance bike or beginner bike for toddlers between 18 months to 5 years old. It comes with many safety and comfort features that give you a bang for your buck. It is an award-winning high-quality as well as a kids-friendly balance bike that has adoration by parents and kids alike globally. However, given its flexing frame only buy it for petite kids. Heavy and taller kids more than three years can have trouble riding it.
We could not resist including the Early Rider Road Runner on our list of the best balance bikes for toddlers and kids. If you have a big kid, its combination of sturdy construction that closely looks like that of a BMX and adjustable seat will make you fall in love with this little monster. It is a 14-inch balance bike that comes with a pair of drop handlebars like those for a road bike. The drop bars are excellent for aggressive riders as they inspire confidence, enable control, and allow for stability.
With a weight of 7.9 lbs., this bike is perfectly suited for 3-5-year-old budding cyclists who cannot resist being on the bike. It is best for beginner kids who are taller and well-built – big kids. You can only match its prowess and performance to that of Strider 14X Sport, which is another great 14-inch balance bike that can convert to a pedal bike.
Its chic diamond frame gives it a look to glance at twice, which makes it pride of many children. To make it even appetizing for the little riders, the Road Runner’s frame is lightweight, featuring an aluminum fork and a steerer.
If you feel like watching your kid simulate the tour de France or Giro D Talia cyclist, and satisfy their thirst for being a young road cyclist, get them this little piece of art. It is an industrial piece of art evidenced by the low resistance cartridge bearings, integrated headset, modern componentry, aluminum stem, and pair of 14” wheels.
This is a premium balance bike with air tires and can be taken around to the trails and for that great family road trip.
As the seat can adjust to a height of between 14 and 18.5 inches, the Road Runner is a perfect balance bike that kids can grow with. If you are cash-strained and would like a lightweight balance bike for kids, please look at the Banana Bike LT.
For many years, children continued to suffer subtly at the mercy of training wheels. If you are like most of us, you probably wobbled from side-to-side with the pedals mercilessly hitting the back of your legs all while you tried to awkwardly maintain an upward riding position.
But your kids don’t have to suffer as you did. Balance bikes do the trick so effortlessly that your little one will be ready for a pedal bike in no time.
And trust us, the perfect balance bike does exist! Feel free to use this guide to find the balance bike that best suits your budget and your child’s needs.
Apart from just presenting the 10 balance bikes, we believe to be the best bunch, we have also compiled a comprehensive buyer’s guide. The buyer’s guide addresses all your concerns before purchasing a balance bike for your kid.
Happy riding! Better yet, happy gliding!