As you may or may not know, a decent balance bike can half the time it takes a toddler to gain full control over their motor skills. Along with balance, such a bike can also boost your toddler’s control over his/her limbs, while helping them boost their coordination to some extent. Now, for the most part, balance bikes seem fairly simplistic in their design, which unfortunately makes the selection process a bit more difficult.
When choosing a balance bike, one must pay close attention to its size, weight, geometry, tires, bearings, and a multitude of other equally important characteristics. It just so happens that even decent balance bikes sometimes lack one or two essential features, which means that you cannot rely on reputation alone when determining whether a balance bike is suitable for your toddler or not. To get a better idea of what’s out there, let’s take a look at the ten best balance bikes the market has to offer at this point in time.
My Top 10 Best Balance Bikes Recommendations & Reviews
#10 Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike
The Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike makes it easy for kids to transition from balance bike to traditional bikes. There are no training wheels or tricycle features here which is great for kids to get their balance quicker. This convenient bike is made from rust-proof anodized aluminum and the seat and handles are easily adjustable which make it perfect for kids of any age. The soft grips on the handles, the air-free foam tires, and comfortable padding on the seat are some of the standout features on this bike, features you should look for when buying any type of bike.
- Made from rust-proof materials
- Adjustable grips and handles
- Comfortable padding on the seat
- A bit too simplistic design-wise
#9 Banana Bike GT – Balance Bike for Kids
This particular bike offers greater control thanks to the turn limiter which enhances the bike’s maneuverability. The bike also features a footrest for when your kid is racing down the street. The axles on the bike go through the wheel to prevent it from falling off while riding. The padded seat is also great for smooth and comfortable riding while the frame is made from steel which is both sturdy and lightweight. The adjustable seat and handles make it perfect for any kid between 1 year and 5 years of age.
- Curved frame ensures its overall comfort
- The axles go through the wheel for added security
- The adjustable seat is a big plus
- Has an odd shape
#8 Joovy Bicycoo Balance Bike
The Joovy Bicycoo Balance Bike is definitely one of the most popular ones in the market and for good reasons. Its design is, by far, the best looking among the other balance bikes. The seat on the bike is well cushioned and makes riding comfortable. It is also adjustable to make it easy for any size kids. On the front, the bike features a handbrake that offers more control over movement over the rear tire. The tires are pneumatic tires which make the balance bike extremely smooth and comfortable.
- It looks very aesthetically pleasing
- Well-cushioned seat adds to its comfort
- Features a reliable handbrake
- Some might find it too futuristic in its design
#7 Glide Bikes Balance Bike
With the Glide Bikes Balance Bike, your child will get full control while learning to gain his balance and confidence. The seat and handles are adjustable which make it perfect for different children. The included hand brake makes it easy for kids to have complete control while riding and prepares them for more advanced bikes. The frame of the bike is made from steel alloy which is lightweight and easy to control while the Composite Mag wheels it incorporates are perfect for any kind of terrain. With removable foot pegs, your child can learn how to ride faster and more efficiently.
- Features very reliable wheels
- Benefits from a steel alloy construction
- Very light in weight
- A bit ‘stretchy’ in its design
#6 Teddy Shake Balance Bike
The Teddy Shake Balance Bike is easy to set up and can be put together in just 4 minutes. The only tool required for assembly is an Allen wrench. With only 5 pieces, this balance bike is quite simple to assemble and use. It is also light in weight which is ideal for kids as the tires don’t require air. The design of the bike is made for easy use and the paint used on it is safe for children. It also is rust-resistant which is great for kids as young as 24 months that can easily ride the bike thanks to its adjustable seat and handle.
- Can be assembled in minutes
- Incorporates safe materials
- Features an adjustable seat
- It is quite tall
#5 Critical Cycles Cub Kids Balance Bike
The Critical Cycles Cub Kids Balance Bike is the official Blippi bike from Retrospec. This particular bike encourages kids to gain confidence on a bike and get their balance. The design is simple and safe for small kids and it reduces the risk of injury. The bike is perfect for kids who are not yet ready for pedal bikes. Setting up the bike is easy and the air-free tires free you from ever inflating them. The seat and handlebars are adjustable for kids from 20 months to 5 years old.
- It is brightly colored
- Quite versatile in its design
- Features air-free tires
- The bike feels a bit stiff due to its tires
#4 KaZAM v2e No-Pedal Balance Bike
The KaZAM v2e No-Pedal Balance Bike is a unique bike by most standards, one that offers your child the very best in regards to sturdiness and reliability. It has an easy step in footrest that cannot be found on other balance bikes. The footrest is in the perfect place where your feet would naturally rest when riding a traditional bike which enhances your child’s stability while riding. The adjustable seat and handles make it perfect for girls and boys up to 5 years old. The EVA tires are puncture-resistant and require no air. Furthermore, the grips on the handles make it easy for a child’s small hands to control the bike better.
- Features a footrest platform
- Benefits from a fully adjustable seat
- Has EVA, puncture-resistant tires
- Can feel a bit heavy
#3 Banana Bike LT
You always want the best for your kids and the Banana Bike LT Balance Bike is just that. It is upgraded to ensure that your child enjoys nothing but the best in terms of its design, seat, and handlebars, which have been upgraded to meet the highest possible standards while the metal used in its making is a lot stronger than most. It is also easier to assemble and suitable for children as young as 18 months. It is also lightweight and maneuverable, which means both girls and boys can use it with no limitations to speak of. Thanks to the airless EVA foam tires, you will never have to worry about punctured tires ever again.
- Enjoys a quite amusing design
- It is very sturdy in its construction
- Uses airless EVA foam tires
- The wheels need a little getting used to
#2 Chicco Red Bullet Balance Training Bike
Chicco is one of the biggest brands for children toys in the world and the Red Bullet Balance Training Bike showcases why that is. The puncture-resistant tires ensure your child has a smooth ride at all times while the seat is easily adjustable so that your child can always get their feet to touch the ground when needed. There is also a soft padding on the seat for a comfortable ride while the handlebars have rubber grips for better control. The metal used in the bike is durable yet lightweight and can carry loads of up to 55 pounds.
- It has a fully adjustable seat
- A very durable bike by most standards
- Can support large children with ease
- The bolts on the back tire stick out
#1 Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
Thanks to the Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike, kids as young as 1-year old are enjoying and learning how to balance themselves while riding a bike. Both the seat and handlebars, are adjustable to suit children aged between 18 months and 5 years while the bike itself is very lightweight and easy to control thanks to the mini grips on the handle. These added feats make it perfect for your children’s small hands. Last but not least, we should point out that assembling this balance bike can be done rather easy and requires just a few minutes of your time.
- Boasts a simplistic yet reliable design
- Features mini grips on the handlebar
- Its seat and handlebars are adjustable
- Its plastic tires require some getting used to
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What To Look For In A Balance Bike
Those of you who are unfamiliar with balance bikes should know that these type of bikes vary quite a lot in their utility. Even so, good ones have to boast a reasonable geometry, reliable tires, equally reliable brakes, turning limiters, footrests, decent bearings, and sturdy frame materials for good measure. With that out of the way, you should take the time to judge the bike on its particularities. This may prove a bit difficult unless you know precisely what characteristics make a good balance bike in the first place.
What Are Balance Bikes?
Balance Bikes are pedal-less bicycles that are also known as push bikes or run bikes. Crafted specifically for young kids who are ready to learn how to ride a bicycle, this type of bike has two wheels and can be used by children of all ages. Ideally, however, by children around 18 months of age, as it is recommended for children who are already walking and who can move around on their own.
Benefits Of Using A Balance Bike
Safety and Confidence – The first stage of learning how to ride a balance bike requires confidence. Children lacking confidence can instantly put their feet down when they feel they are losing balance. The child should find it easy to stand over the bike allowing them to walk and move freely. This helps with the child’s confidence and also leads to safety while enhancing and improving their balancing skills. Riding a balance bike also helps encourage children to learn the basics first, before advancing on to the next step of learning how to ride a bike.
- Coordination – A balance bike helps children with their coordination and motor skills quite a bit. Such a bike can help them with their physical abilities such as flexibility and maneuverability and can definitely help them develop their strength and coordination.
- Health Benefits– With technology now at its highest, electronic devices have taken up most of our children’s time. Getting out of the house and being active is a huge plus in this respect, which is precisely why riding a bike from an early age is such a great idea. It provides a way to keep your child energetic because the more they learn the more they want to continue learning. This, in turn, helps with keeping them healthy and fit without exposing them to any serious injuries.
- Reacting to Stimuli – Teaching your child how to ride a balance bike from an early age also exposes them to the great outdoors. It helps them to react to the environment and their surroundings including factors like the wind, sun, rain and other surfaces like grassy terrain and roads. Encouraging your child to know this at an early age will help them in their transition to learning how to pedal a real bicycle.
What To Consider
One of the primary factors that need to be considered is the height of the seat. This solely depends on the age and the height of your child. If the seat is too high, your child will have a problem in putting their feet on the ground, which would cause unnecessary strain. If the seat is too low, it would lead to discomfort. Therefore it is very important to know the height of your child and compare it to different bikes with different sized seats. Not just that but it is also essential to know that the minimum seat height should match your child’s inseam or should be a little lower to help with the overall durability of the bike.
Purchasing a balance bike that is too big or too small would lead to discomfort and a lot of strain. Sizing of the bike is a vital thing to consider as it needs to perfectly fit the child. This is simply because it is being used to help the child learn the first stage of riding a bicycle. The child should be able to stand over the bike with ease. They should be able to walk with the bike and the handlebars should always be at reach while seated. It is also important to choose a bike that comes designed with an adjustable seat. This helps as it can be altered to match the height of the child, while they grow.
- Pneumatic Tires – These tires are the most common type and are the standard air inflated tires you find on most bikes. They provide optimum grip and a cushioned ride. Available in a wide range of tread patterns, these tires are used for mountain biking as well.
- Foam Tires – Light in weight, durable, budget-friendly, and low maintenance, these tires do not provide the same amount of grip as compared to pneumatic tires but are much cheaper. Mostly found on smaller bikes, these tires do not puncture and do not require any maintenance.
The heavier the bike, the harder it will be for the child to move. Keep in mind that this bike is going to be used to help your child learn how to balance perfectly and that it shouldn’t interfere with their natural balance. Therefore, it is important to choose a bike that is light in weight and easy to balance. Always remember, the weight of the bike should not be more than 30% of the child’s body weight.
- Steel – This type of frame ensures an optimum durability long-term. Heavier in weight as compared to other frames, bikes made of steel are usually more expensive than plastic models. It is also important to keep in mind that steel bikes can easily rust if exposed to varying weather conditions.
- Aluminum – A common material used on adult bikes, aluminum frames are light in weight, resistant to rust, and ultra-durable, but are usually more expensive.
- Plastic – Used on small sized balance bikes or cheap bikes, plastic frames are not the sturdiest. Light in weight and easy to move around in, this type of bike is a good option if your child is short in height.
- Wood – Aesthetically pleasing and environment-friendly, wooden frames are easy to maintain and light in weight. These bikes are also sturdy and budget-friendly and sometimes can be recycled. The only drawback for wooden bikes is that when left outdoors, they tend to deteriorate rather quickly.
Most balance bikes do not employ brakes for a variety of reasons. This is completely normal as toddlers do not know how the mechanism works. They would rather just stop using their feet. However, some balance bikes are designed with a handbrake of sorts that can be used when the child is ready and depends solely on their strength and physical abilities. Hand brakes are usually designed to fit the size of a child’s hand and do not require too much force to operate. Before purchasing a balance bike with brakes, always remember that the lever must be suitable for small hands.