One of the most difficult things about getting a child to practice cycling is balancing. In addition, parents will also be very concerned about the safety of the children if they let their children ride the bicycle too early. Balance bikes are created to solve this problem. Together with AbikeZ's experienced experts, we have compiled a list of the best balance bikes, included with buying tips that you may need.
1. The benefits of the best balance bikes
- Safety: In the early stages of practicing balance cycling, if your child is unsure or lacks confidence, you can put your feet down when needed. No, not for anger, but for stabilizing oneself. With a balanced bike, your child can comfortably stand over the car, allowing him to walk while standing on the bike for even more confidence!
- Confidence: Confidence is everything for children and the ability to learn at their own pace is important. Balanced cycling encourages children to first master the basics and gradually develop more advanced skills related to cycling.
- Coordination: Balanced cycling improves children's coordination and fine motor skills. Both will inevitably move on to other aspects of life. In addition, horseback riding enhances depth perception, spatial awareness, and overall physical abilities, including strength, flexibility, and mobility.
- Basic traffic rules: Riding outdoors with a sibling, friend or parent teaches kids basic traffic rules like stopping lights, finding directions, and crossing the street. Mastering these rules is essential before children can freely explore the world.
- Health: With the abundance of electronic devices we use today, it's great that kids can seek out as many pursuits as possible. Daily balance cycling practice is a great way to keep young children active! And when they see their progress, they definitely want to ride, even more, for a win-win! In addition, being outside helps them stay active for the rest of the day.
- Exercise: Exercise also improves their fitness. The rate of obesity is rising at an alarming rate; not only in adults but also in children. So, anything we can do to increase our activity and teach our kids good lessons is sure to benefit them in the long run. Incorporating young children into a healthy, active routine is also important for building a lifelong fitness routine. If you start them young, physical activity will seem like a daily chore and not a chore.
- Reacting to stimulants: Riding outdoors encourages children to react to their environment and learn to deal with external factors such as temperature, wind, possibly rain, and different terrain. Getting to know these factors early will make their transition to self-cycling a lot more comfortable.
2. Know the right time for your child to use the best balance bikes
It's not that your child needs to be able to walk confidently in order to use a balance bike. In addition to being able to keep their balance, they need to be able to motivate themselves to pursue.
Your child also needs to be able to stand comfortably on a balance bike and put their feet on the ground. This assures your child that they are in control and provides stability if they need to stop or put their feet down. Also, it is not wise to force children to ride a balance bike. Children need to enjoy the experience and have a positive relationship with a bicycle to want to learn how to ride it and do it in the long run.
3. Choose the right size
Size is a top consideration when buying a balance bike. Don't think a balance bike is like a pair of shoes, it should fit your baby now, not after 6 months. Riding a bike that's too big or too small can make your child feel uncomfortable and lead to a negative experience. If they are not satisfied with the bike, they will not want to ride on it.
The most common size for a balance bike is 12" or 14" in relation to the size of the tires. While the tire size is a useful measurement, it doesn't indicate a bike's frame size or saddle height. As well as looking at bicycle tire sizes, note the minimum and maximum saddle height.
- Example of 12” wheel balance bike: Strider Classic.
- Example of 14” wheel balance bike: Strider 14x Sport.
4. Seat height
Saddle height can vary widely and does not depend on the size of the bike or tire. The saddle height of a balance bike usually starts at 10 ”and can be more than 40” taller than an adult bike. The best way to know if your child is a good fit for a bicycle is to ask them to stand over it. If not, measure their inseam and leave a distance of 1.5 ”- 2” for the seats.
For example, if your child's height is 16 ”, the height of his or her balance bike should not exceed 14”. Be sure to measure your child's walk without wearing shoes.
Tires come in many different forms; condensed foam, compressed air (A type of tire that is inflated with air), honeycomb rubber, solid rubber, and hard plastic. The two main types of balanced bicycle tires are pneumatic and foam tires.
- Pneumatic – Standard air-inflated tire: These tires are most popular for their comprehensive benefits. Pneumatic tires provide a smooth ride and good grip. In addition, they will have many spiny patterns. The tread type, the same as a mountain bike tire or the standard model, is the same as a road bike tire. Banana GT is a balance bike that uses pneumatic tires.
- Foam tires: This tire is popularly used for its lightweight, durability, low profile, low maintenance, and low cost. They don't offer the cushioning or grip like standard tires, but they're cheap and have nothing to puncture. In addition, these foam tires have a lower build so they are sometimes used to create smaller and more economical bikes. Our recommendation if you are interested in foam tire balance bikes is Banana LT.
The materials for the leveling of a bicycle can vary with price and will affect the bike's durability, weight, and style. Below are the materials most commonly used for balance bicycles.
- Steel: The steel balance bike (such as Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike and Radio Flyer Air Ride Balance Bike) has one significant advantage over other materials: durability. Not many ‘child-resistant’ materials can withstand the rigors of a toddler, and young children will put their belongings. This durability comes at a price. Steel balance bicycles are heavier than some other materials and are generally more expensive. The extra weight of a bike can be an issue for some young children. Steel can also rust if left outdoors or worn out in all weather conditions.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is a material commonly used in adult bicycles for its lightness and performance. Aluminum balance bikes will be light, durable, and rust-resistant, but can be more expensive than other materials. One of the best balance bikes that use aluminum is Banana Balance LT.
- Plastic: On smaller and cheaper balance bikes, plastic is a material commonly used. Plastic is generally not as durable as other materials but is lightweight, capable of making bike use more comfortable than more important materials. An important exception to this is seen with ‘FirstBike’ from Germany, which uses an extremely strong glass-reinforced plastic for high strength, strength, and lightweight. Of course, such materials are not cheap.
- Wood: Wooden balance bikes are reviving thanks to their stylish look, vintage feel, and sometimes recyclable. The wooden bike offers a good choice at an affordable price that balances cost, weight, and durability. The concern when choosing wood is that it will most likely degrade more quickly if left outside of the elements. They also often allow limited seat height adjustments.
Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Strider Classic Balance Bike
The Strider is one of the best balance bikes designed to teach young children how to ride and balance on two wheels. The carriage is designed with just the push of the legs to teach the fundamentals of riding. Because they don't have pedals or other complicated forms of pushing, most kids find riding a Strider as easy as walking. Once the basics of balance and steering have been mastered, switching to a pedal bike is easy.
Strider Classic's simple design helps kids quickly build confidence in their riding skills by allowing them to land on the ground and progress at their own pace. The unique design of this balance bike helps young children balance on their two wheels from the very beginning, avoiding the developmental delays commonly found in tricycles or other walkers. I have seen toddlers on these bicycles enjoy learning to ride.
The height of the handlebars and saddle are fully adjustable on Strider Classic. You can adjust the seat height as low as 11 above the ground, allowing younger racers to learn by using the included 5mm wrench. The shell is made of EVA polymer, super light, and durable. Even if these are not inflatable tires, they still deliver a smooth ride, and best of all they will never go flat.
2. Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike
This balance bike from Retrospec is suitable for 4-year-old children or younger. This is a safe bike with some flair for kids who love fun. It comes in 17 color combinations, great for both boys and girls. Vehicles meeting CPSC standards, with air-tight tires and safe design, help to reduce the risk of injury. Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike has leg room in the middle of the frame and is a great bike to learn. With its low-lying frame, the banana-shaped design promotes balance. The handlebars and saddle can both be adjusted to support your growing child.
Children of this age love color and the fun element on this bike is in full equipment. Retrospec Cub comes in a variety of color options, which means there's something right for every kid. All the combos are exciting and eye-catching for preschoolers. The pedal-less design is very safe as your baby always keeps his feet close to the ground. Retrospec adds a little more, ensuring the frame's design is optimized for safety. It is a high-tensile steel frame that offers outstanding durability. The low profile keeps your kid up and down quickly. In addition, the small legroom helps them keep their center of gravity in flight.
3. Banana LT Balance Bike
The Banana Balance LT is one of the best budget balance bikes we've ever tested. Having thoroughly tested a lot of balanced bikes over the years, we can confidently say that the Banana Bike is among the best balance bikes for those on a tighter budget. Available in two models - the Banana GT with pneumatic tires and the Banana LT with foam tires - both have a long and sturdy frame for a stable and easy-to-balance bike. Read the review below for all the details!
As soon as you look at the Banana LT, you will clearly see that this bike is made for children. Children as young as 18 months can go faster and learn balance with the bike's sophisticated setup, but this is purely for young children and young children. While the bike is adjustable, it doesn't adjust high enough to accommodate children who are accustomed to the concept of pedaling and braking.
The bike's lightweight design is good news as it ensures that you don't get overwhelmed with pieces and a box that's too big when it hits your doorstep. The Banana Balance LT package includes a frame, saddle, two puncture-resistant tires, handlebar, wrench, and hexagonal key to assist with your assembly.
4. Radio Flyer Air Ride Balance Bike
Radio Flyer reminds us of childhood time. It brings back fond memories of red wagons and a time when balance bicycles did not even exist! Like red wagons before, the Radio Flyer is fun (yet modern!) Way to get your kids out and about in the neighborhood.
Real balance bicycles vary in size quite a bit. Radio Flyer Air Ride Balance Bike has a saddle height of 14.2 ″ - 18.5 ″, making it one of the largest budget balance bikes on the market. Toddlers and children wearing 3T and 4T pants (change to size 5) are generally the best fit for the Radio Flyer. Compared to other budget balance bicycles, the very popular Banana Bike GT saddle height range is shorter at 12.5 inches - 17 inches, and well suited for children ages 2T to 3T. Larger Bike 16 balance bikes have a saddle height of 18.25 "- 22.4", better suited for children ages 5 and up.
One of the Radio Flyer's wheel features that we really appreciate is its flat shaft bolts. Most budget balance bikes have open or rounded bolts that protrude and are susceptible to scratches. After that, they can scratch their small feet. Radio Flyer flat pegs are less likely to get scratched when falling and because they lie on top of the bike they are less likely to come into contact with children's feet as they stretch their stride to run.
5. Strider Sport Balance Bike
The Strider 14x Sport represents a small balance bike segment that can be equipped with a crawler cluster that quickly converts them into rugged, unobtrusive bicycles. While we love both the Strider 14x Sport and its closest competition, the LittleBig 3-in-1, the Strider is lower priced and more likely to be resized.
Geometrically, the 14x, which has 14-inch wheels (unlike the rest of the balance bikes we tested with 12-inch wheels), Strider 14x Sport is for kids 3 and up to 7 years old. has a suitable low step height of 10 inches, a long, steady 28½ inch wheelbase, and a considerable seat height of 15 to 22 inches.
Our favorite feature: is intelligent half-width pedals that allow kids to put their feet down to stop without the possibility of being hit by the pedal and won't get scratched when cornering. Pair all of that with a handlebar body that lifts almost 4 inches, and you've got incredibly snappy well-sized best balance bikes.
1. Is my child too old to ride the best balance bikes?
Wrong. Balanced bikes are available to suit children of all sizes - from 18 months to adults. A balance bike is NOT a fit vehicle and comes in 5 different tire sizes. For older children, usually around 5 years of age, you can remove the pedals from the bicycle and let them use it as a balance bike. However, bicycles are usually much heavier than a bicycle and can take a lot more effort to learn to balance than a balance bike. We, therefore, find that for most children, balancing bikes help older children learn to balance their bikes faster and with less anxiety than bicycles without pedals or bikes with exercise wheels.
2. How do I measure my child's inseam?
The easiest way to measure your child's height is to have your child stand against the wall, feet together and heels touching the wall. While your child is standing upright, gently slide a thin, cardboard book up between his or her legs until it reaches the crotch (spine). Make sure the book is parallel to the floor, and then measure from the floor to the spine. This measurement can be done with a shoe they can wear while cycling.
3. At what age are children old enough to ride a balance bicycle?
Children as young as 18 months old can begin to practice balance cycling. Some one-year-olds successfully and quickly learn how to run and balance bicycles, but others can take months to learn. Before learning to run and surf while sitting, toddlers stand in chairs and ride bicycles. Over time, they shifted from 1) sitting and walking to 2) sitting and running and finally 3) sitting while gliding.
4. How long does it take for children to learn to ride the best balance bikes?
It depends on a child's age and athletic nature. Most kids learn to sit and ride on a balance bike within a few months, while really healthy kids can pick it up in less than a week. Before sitting and gliding, children first ride a bicycle while standing and then learn to sit and run on a bicycle.
5. When is my child old enough to switch from a bike to a bicycle?
If your child can easily run, balance, and stop a bike, he or she may be ready to switch. However, balanced bicycles are much easier and simpler to operate for toddlers and preschoolers, so unless your child is eager to ride a bike, it's generally best to allow them. Continue to have fun riding a balance bike and switch them over to a pedal bike when they express interest.
Let your kids have the freedom to play with the best balance bikes while still being safe. There are many products on the market, however, we aim to present you with the highest quality products. And here is a short list that Studydroid has put together for you to easily refer to, including: