Want to develop your child’s self-confidence and give them a sense of independence with the advancement of their psychomotor skills? No doubt, riding a bike is an enjoyable activity, but the learning process may be tricky for kids; hence the reason many parents look for easy and simple ways to teach their child about stability and balance before they start learning to ride a bike. Although training wheels were used for such activities in the past, newer and more innovative designs such as balance bikes now reign supreme. Balance bikes are designed to teach both balance and steering without the added stress of using pedals. As there are many on the market, it’s vital to research so you can opt for one that will be most suitable for your child. The list below offers some of the best balance bikes out there, their features as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
The Best Balance Bike
The Critical Cycles brand has introduced the Retrospec Cub Kids Balance bike, a product built to be worry-free and maintenance-free to help instill the needed confidence in your little one. This is an extremely safe pedal less bike designed to help your child learn all about balance and bike riding without the occurrence of injuries which are typical with most training wheels and tricycles. It features a step-thru frame and a foot-to-floor design that ultimately helps improve the balance of your child and also helps in their coordination while they learn to ride.
The Retrospec balance bike features minimal assembly and is almost ready for play outside its box. It also features airfree anti-flat tires and is ideal for children aged between 20 months up to 5 years. This age range is made possible mainly because it makes use of adjustable seat posts and handlebars which offer comfort at every growing stage. What’s more, this no-pedal toddler bike also helps make the transition of your child to a pedal bike seamless. It is easy to get on or get off thanks to its low-down tube and kid-friendly frame.
Step-thru frame design
- Weight9 pounds
Available in numerous colors
The bike can be used on any surface
Easy to assemble
Quality of the handle could be improved
Would have been much better with rubber tires
Doesn’t come with mudguards
Teach your little one to ride a bicycle in a fun yet highly effective manner with the Glide N Go Balance Bike. Built with air ties just like the Retrospec, the Glide N balance bike is an ideal unit for any beginner. It is produced as a pedal-free bike and as such, using it enables your child to focus entirely on learning how to stay balanced. It is a generally lightweight first balance bike built with a sturdy steel frame for exceptional durability. The use of air-tires ensures that every ride your child takes is an enjoyable, stress-free one. The absence of air also makes the product maintenance-free, since no tires have to be pumped or replaced.
The Glide N Go unit from Radio Flyer has an adjustable seat which is meant to help the model grow with your child. For extreme comfort, while riding, the chairs of this balance bike feature the use of the cushion. There are also hand grips that are soft to touch but still, offer the needed grip to help your child with steering. The Glide N Go balance bike is well suited for all children between the ages of 2 ½ to 5 years. One additional feature loved by many children is the presence of a real ringing bell. This bell is an exciting feature child can use to announce their presence or get their puppy out of their way while they enjoy a great ride.
Soft touch hand grips
Sturdy, lightweight steel frame
Pedal-free beginner bike
- BrandRadio Flyer
- Weight9.75 pounds
Perfect for beginner riders
Handlebars need tightening daily
Tires are rubbery
Zero turn limitation
Your child’s infant year will never be the same as the Croc Premium and Ultra-Light Balance Bike. The most lightweight unit being sold in markets today; the unit is designed for an exciting transition of your child from no pedals to pedals! In five minutes after purchasing this boys balance bike, it will be ready for use by your little one. It comes with a quick release clamp feature that eliminates the need for adjustment tools and also features a padded seat, soft hand grips, safety-ends which screw to keep your child safe from foot strikes and gripped footrests for ultimate stability.
The Ultra-Light Balance bike is made from aluminum, a lightweight yet robust material. With such a material this balance bike weighs 4.3 lbs, a weight that is easily maneuverable by our little riders. The process of riding a bike must offer children a sense of control, to boost their confidence and make the transition to pedal bikes easier. This boys balance bike from The Croco is prepared to fulfill that need for control. It also has features that help children develop their motor skills while they ride. Since rubber tires are generally heavy, they might make the riding process a little uncomfortable for your little one. To eliminate this chance, the Croco premium balance bike uses EVA polymer tires, long-lasting flat-free tires that are very light in weight.
Ultra soft hand grips
- Weight4.3 pounds
Easy to assemble
Safe for ankle strikes
The seat is not adjustable
Non-existent customer service
Zero turn limitation
The New Banana Balance Bike GT is one of GT’s newest models of balance bikes for children. Available in three unique and catchy colors, this unit has been designed to grow with your child. It is suitable for children who are toddlers, up to children aged five and features an alloy quick release seat stem and new handlebars that are easily adjustable. The quick release feature makes the adjustment of your saddle height very easy and swift, while the inflatable tires included in the design of this bike aid with the much-needed grip your child requires.
The Banana Bike GT features a rugged design and offers the ultimate smooth ride to your infant. The seat design features padding with an extra extensive form that enhances your cruising comfort. This balance bike is an improvement on its predecessor, the Original LT Banana Bike; thus, this balance bike age exhibits the trademark banana shape frame that most kids enjoy and appreciate. The difference between this unit and an earlier version lies in its handlebars, wheels, and seat which have been improved for a more comfortable ride.
Quick release seat
Quick saddle height adjustment
Super padded wide seat
- BrandBanana Bike
- Weight11.42 pounds
Very well made for the price
Extended wheelbase gives more room for the rider to move around
Easy-to-use, tool-free seat post, and handlebar clamps
Foam tires provide less traction and little cushioning
Plastic rims provide less stability
Zero turn limitation
There are several models of balance bikes from many manufacturers being sold in stores around the world. Concerning durability and comfort, none comes close to the BIKFUN Balance Bike for kids. Identified by many parents as the safest balance bike for children, this pedal less bike is built by professionals to help develop your child’s coordination, balance, and confidence, to have them riding again and again. It reduces the risk of nasty falls and other accidents, and yet it makes it easier for your child to explore the entire universe behind your backyard.
The BIKFUN balance bikes are made with adjustable parts, all in a bid to help it grow alongside your child. It features an adjustable saddle height and handlebars, with a footrest design that is generally wider than that of the regular balance bike. This footrest has been built in to maintain the durability of the product, and also to enhance stability for your child. The pedal less bike also features an upholstered that is perfectly designed to deliver safety and comfort. Ideal for children aged 18 months to 6 years, the BIKFUN balance bike is extremely easy to put together. Because it’s light in weight, you can carry it around your home with ease, and even move it from the interior to the exterior to please your child.
Toddler walking bicycle
Wider footrest design
- Weight9.92 pounds
Seat wobbles if not tightened correctly
Zero turn limitation
The FirstBIKE Cross Balance Bike is an award-winning kids balance bike designed in Germany with the no-stress method for a hassle-free ride by your children. This is a balance bike that makes learning to ride a bike very easy for your little one and it features a flexible frame with high strength along with the ability to absorb all shock that occurs upon impact. Since such shock can cause physical damage to your child’s body, the Firstbike cross balance bike seeks to eliminate that occurrence via the use of durable high-tech material.
This balance bike is safe for the little fingers of your child as it also features a child-friendly rear drum brake design that ensures gentle braking and also features the use of a steering limiter meant to prevent sharp falls and make every ride smoother and more comfortable. There’s no risk of your little one slipping off this kids balance bike mainly because of its horse saddle shaped seat as well as the fact that this bike can also be used on various terrains such as loose dirt, grass and gravel surfaces. The Firstbike unit seeks to helps your child get ready for his first bike and also helps improve your child’s sense of balance in conjunction with his motor skills.
Durable high-tech material
Child-friendly rear drum
- Weight8.6 pounds
Turn limiter built-in
Handlebar grips don’t slide off
Intimidating for a shy kid
The seat comes loose after a few rides
Footrest hinders small riders’ stride
From its large frame to the use of cushioned air tires, parents across the globe are raving about the Schwinn Skip 2 Balance Bike. This balance bike is one unique monster built with inspiration from the BMX; thus, it features the BMX look and frame design. It is low gravity, pedal-free toddler bike, developed by professionals to make the riding process more comfortable and more enjoyable for young riders. The Schwinn Skip 2 balance bike comes with a ball bearing headset which makes the steering process easy and also can grow with your child year after year. This is made possible via the installation of adjustable parts and a quick release seat collar.
The Schwinn Skip 2 comes ready to be assembled and is meant to be used by children between 2 to 4. With every purchase made, users receive a lifetime warranty which is limited to those who purchased at verified outlets. When it comes to the wheels of this toddler bike, a lightweight and maintenance free EVA foam material has been used for the construction of this bike’s tires. The soft-riding nature of these foam tires ensures that steering is exceptionally comfortable and enjoyable. Parents around the world command the brand for their use of large, adjustable parts and larger frames that make the balance bike a worthy investment.
Designed with a BMX look
Quick-release seat collar
12-inch plastic mag wheels
- Weight9.8 pounds
Large, cushioning air tires
A broader framework provides room for growth
Heavy for petite kids
High step-through makes it harder to get on and off
Exposed bolts can scratch kids’ ankles
The Ridgeback Scoot Balance Bike is a perfectly adjustable and proportioned strider bike, designed for use by children between the ages of 3 to 6. This bike is made from a lightweight material known as aluminum. Its frame is built in a manner that eliminates the occurrence of deformation, flexing or twisting. Unlike other balance bikes on the market, the Scoot bike from Ridgeback is designed as a real bike and not a toy and is available in four vibrant colors to suit your child’s preference easily, with each version of the model spotting a painted finish that is impeccable.
Maintaining this balance bike unit is extremely simple and requires only cleaning of the body, which is finished with decals beneath the topcoat. For clean lines, the brake cable is routed through the frame via the model’s rear v-brake, to offer excellent stopping power. The Scoot from Ridgeback has its heavy-duty tires made from rubber which are inflated and sit perfectly on aluminum rims with serviceable wheel bearings. One good thing about the Scoot balance bike is how it teaches your child good posture via its design. It offers comfort while you sit, and ensures that you’re sitting at the right place.
For children age 3-6
Seat height ranges from 14″ to 20.”
Four vibrant colors
- BrandRidgeback UK
- Weight15 pounds
Teaches children posture
Built to last
Seat wobbles if not tightened correctly
Zero turn limitation
Toddlers aged between three and six years old are the target group for the Zum CX Wooden Kids Balance Bike. Designed as a balance bike for toddlers, this one promises to help develop your child’s balance coordination and also make the transition to a pedal bike more fluid and comfortable. Just as it’s functional, the Zum CX is also an economic wooden balance bike, built with adjustable seats and an easily reversible frame. Its overall design is made from hand-carved wood, and this form of construction is one of the most durable.
The Zum CX is a lightweight, kid-friendly wooden balance bike designed to enhance imaginative play. It helps to take your child’s eyes from staying glued to the laptop or television, to enjoy the breeze and some sunshine. The engagement with nature can help improve the imagination of your child, as they play roles such as a package delivery service, a motorcycle cop, and many other things. The ergonomics of this unit makes it easy to use by most children aged from two to six. This balance bike takes away the anxiety and deprivation of training wheels and helps develop the neurological and muscular condition and balance within your little one.
Adjustable seat and reversible frame
Kid friendly lightweight frames
Made for ages 2-6
Durable handmade wood construction
- Weight9.2 pounds
Padded vinyl seats for comfort riding
Comfortable rubber handlebar grips
Prevents jack knife related accidents
Bike’s overall appearance is not that attractive
May require tightening of screws after some use
No footrest installed
Our final review highlights the amazing Haro Prewheelz 12 Balance Bike, a balance bike built with a crank-less aluminum alloy frame dressing, featuring footrests. This bike is designed to grow as your child does. To make this unit adjust to your child increasing height and size, this balance bike features adjustable units that will accommodate all body types and sizes.
The Prewheelz balance bike features the use of high impact 12-inch mag wheels and comes with scuff resistant tubeless tires and an oversized padded seat. For more grip, while your child rides, she can comfortably rely on the rider-assist grab handles that work perfectly well when needed. Some of the reason why parents love the Haro Prewheelz bike include its real headset feature, its level of adjustability and a limited warranty on the frame and front fork.
Aluminum alloy crank-less frame
High impact 12-inch mag wheels
Scratch and scuff resistant tires
- BrandHaro Bikes
- Weight6.3 pounds
Lifetime warranty on the front fork and frame
Footrest reported to hinder the stride of smaller riders
Rough grip tape on footrest scratches legs
Exposed bolts can scratch kids’ ankles
Balance Bike Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Balance Bikes
Brand - The list of balance bike manufacturers is endless, with more springing up every day. It is true that the requirements for the design of a balance bike may be fixed, but to beat the competition and stay ahead in the market, some manufacturers have resorted to providing all necessities in an innovative manner that is both appealing and intriguing to their potential customers. For our review, our team took a look at the design veterans with decades of bike production to their name, as well as some of the newer brands that have recorded great reviews by users around the world.
Reviews - Each product selected above has a lot of positive feedback from customers, as seen on various online balance bike forums. The user experience is significant for the sale of every product. Reports from users inform potential buyers of what to expect with regular use of an item and also gives them a brief overview of the specifications attached to that model.
Price - Balance bikes are generally affordable units; thus, creating a range of budget-friendly bikes didn't prove to be a tough activity. Our list of recommendations offers you the ultimate value for your money since many of them feature a long-term design that will grow with your child.
Features To Look For In Balance Bikes
As a parent seeking to make the transition to pedal bikes easy and hassle-free, you will need the very best in balance bikes, and such a unit must have specific features. Below, we discuss some of the essential features that potential buyers must look out for during their scouting process, to ensure that any product they choose is a worthy investment.
Age Range - Balance bikes are usually designed to work for a specific age range. When a manufacturer creates for a fixed age range, all the parts are designed to conform to their body and size; thus, any other size and body frame will experience great discomfort. When searching for the best balance bike, consider the age of your child and if possible, opt for a model with adjustable parts that will enable it to grow with your child.
Height - The height of the seat of a balance bike is a great factor to be considered during the selection process. The seat height mostly helps determine how best a bike will fit your little one. It is advised that parents purchase balance bikes with a seat height that is above their child's height by 2 feet. This will allow room for growth and will accommodate your child for an additional 2 to 3 years, by which time they'll be ready to move onto a pedal bike.
Brakes - Most often, balance bikes make use of your child's feet for its operations; thus action such as braking will be controlled by your little one's feet. There are some models however that offer handbrakes to keep your child’s feet safe and free from injury. Invest in a balance bike with hand brakes if you plan on your child using the balance bike for some years.
Wheels - There are various tire types, and the selection of this will be solely dependent on the terrain your child will ride on the most. In total, balance bikes are made with five different tire types; foam, hard plastic, air, rubber, and big apple, and each performs excellently in different locations.
Material - The material used for the construction of your balance bike must be durable and sturdy enough to accommodate your child's weight for some years. Consider the use of materials such as wood as this material is robust.
Balance Bike FAQ
Q: What are balance bikes?
A: Balance bikes are transitional bikes used to teach children the basics of steering and balance before they start riding regular bikes. They are often designed without pedals and are worked mainly by foot; thus the main focus of your child is learning how to turn and steer and also how to keep himself well balanced while he moves around.
Q: What are the benefits of balance bikes?
A: Balance bikes come with features that improve coordination and also boosts the confidence of your child before pedal bikes are introduced.