The 6 Best Balance Bikes for Kids

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Learning how to ride a bike is a monumental part of any kid’s life. It’s the first real obstacle for many and it isn’t uncommon to spend weeks learning how to maintain balance as your parents are pushing you up and down the street. Back in the days of training wheels, this was a lengthy process.

These days we have balance bikes which are specifically designed to make this whole thing easier. Today we will show you our picks for the top 6 best balance bikes for kids. Let’s take a closer look at each model and their respective specs.

Top 6 Best Balance Bikes for Kids:​

Pros

  • - Great build quality made to counter whatever your kids throw at it
  • - Comes with an upgrade kit that will turn it onto a regular bike
  • - Safe bike that is all about being comfortable during use

Cons

  • Ease of use and great durability​

At the very top of our list we find a model that will get your kid started and then some. Unlike most other balance bikes, this one actually comes with an upgrade kit that allows you to change it later.

In other words, once your kid is confident that they have mastered maintaining balance on a bike, you can simply take the pedal assembly that comes complete with sprockets and a chain, and mount it on the bike rather easily.

The overall build quality of this bike is great and its size is appropriate for kids from 3 to 7 years old. Or if you’re looking at inseams, then the range is from 16” all the way up to 23”.

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Pros

  • One of the most robust bikes on the market
  • Designed for kids ranging from 12 to 20 inches in inseam
  • Built tough to withstand all kinds of abuse and exploitation

Cons

  • Still fairly expensive for a standard balance bike

Next up is another model from the Strider family of balance bikes. This one is a pretty standard design that is more in line with what most think of when they think of balance bikes. You’re getting a good deal.

Strider 12 is a light bike that is made every bit as tough as their flagship series. After all, these things need to survive quite a bit of abuse. As far as size goes, 12 is meant for smaller kids.

You are looking at an inseam of 12” to 20” while Strider claims that this model is meant for kids between 18 months to 5 years old. These also come in a variety of cool colors for you to choose.

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Pros

  • Solid build quality with an aluminum body and flat free wheels
  • Features comfort and safety oriented components that work as advertised
  • Adjustable seat and handlebar to fit kids from 18 months to 5 years

Cons

  • - Easy assembly but you really need to pay attention to instructions

Right near the middle of our list we find a model that is just about optimal when it comes to bang for the buck value. It packs all the right features at a price that makes it a solid deal.

TheCroco went with a set of soft handlebars, a large, comfy seat and a sitting position that is suitable for kids ranging from 18 months to 5 years old. Since it’s made of aluminum, the bike weighs only 4 lbs.

The company behind this bike offers it in a variety of colors, including green, blue, orange and pink. With no chance of rusting and flat-free wheels, this is a robust platform for your kids to learn how to ride on.

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Pros

  • Good build quality with tamperproof components ensuring safety of your child
  • Made out of solid materials that will endure all kinds of use
  • Foam tires eliminate the risk of puncture issues or similar

Cons

  • Lacks a bit of diversity in terms of colors available

Our next pick comes from Bixe and represents a fairly standard, run of the mill design. What makes this particular model stand out is its attractive price and the fact that it comes with everything you would want to have.

The setup of this bike makes it a perfect choice for kids whose inseam goes from 11” to 17”. One thing that sets Bixe apart from many manufacturers who offer a similar deal is the safety aspect of their bikes.

This company invests a lot into making every component tamperproof, meaning that your kid will have a safe and secure platform to learn on. Bixe Fox Air is easy to set up and assemble without the need of specialized tools.

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Pros

  • Features 20 different color options making it quite aesthetically versatile
  • Made out of decent materials that can withstand the abuse
  • Uses a step-through frame design making it easy to use

Cons

  • - Oversized foot rests could be an issue for some kids

What Retrospec offers is a simpler looking bike that is reminiscent of older design. As a matter of fact, it goes perfectly with the company’s name. These are rather affordable bikes that offer great value for the money and more.

Firstly, these are meant for kids who are 20 months to 5 years old. The adjustable handlebars and seats will allow for that much of height correction. The bike is easy to set up and assemble out of the box.

One of the coolest features are all of the color options you can choose. Where most other bikes on our list come in 3-4 colors, this one comes in 20 styles. Also, it’s a step-through design which means easier use.

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Pros

  • One of the more interesting bikes considering it comes in wooden version as well
  • Optional air tires are a great choice for those who want a more traditional look
  • Comes with a proper ringing bell that is definitely a plus

Cons

  • The wooden version offers no steering whatsoever and isn’t cheap either

Last but not the least, we have the Radio Flyer’s All-Terrain Balance bike. This awesome model features a great price that makes it easily one of the most attractive options on the market right now. But wait, there is more.

The bike comes in a number of different versions and we are not talking about color schemes either. Radio Flyer offers these with air tiers instead of puncture proof ones. Additionally, you can get different frame designs and options too.

Fans of the more traditional look can enjoy the wooden framed version of the bike that comes in either red or pink color. Overall, the bike is robust no matter which version you go for. There’s also a ringing bell.

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Why Balance Bikes?

Learning how to ride a bike can be a scary experience for a kid. We take this skill for granted, especially those who live in countries with a rather developed cycling culture. However, with a 20-20 hindsight we tend to forget just how traumatic this whole thing can be.

Back in the day the only way to learn how to ride was to start with learning wheels and then progress to independent riding at some point. The problem is that this transition wasn’t always smooth. On the contrary, it tended to be quite problematic.

Balance bikes were created with the mission of solving the issue of balance without putting the child at risk of falling since there are no pedals to serve as a distraction. As it just so happens, balance bikes are the best way to prepare your kid for that mountain bike. you want to get them in a few years.

How to Choose the Right Balance Bike?

There is no denying that balance bikes are rather simple in nature. However, even though they are far less complicated than cruiser bikes or similar full sized designs, there are still a few things you might want to pay attention to when choosing one for your kid. Let’s cover some of the more basic things first.

Size

Before we get to any other specifics, it is important to understand that not all balance bikes are made to fit every child. Balance bikes are made with specific ages in mind and most will advertise that up front. Make sure that the bike you are getting matches the size and age of your kid. It is very important that they can operate the bike without their feet dragging on the ground too much. Otherwise, the whole point of balance bikes makes no sense.

Build Quality

Build quality is an important factor when it comes to anything your kids are going to use. This is due to the fact that kids are notorious for being able to put dents into things regarded as indestructible. Also, you don’t want your kid riding around on something that isn’t 100%. This rings especially true for any bike that is going to be ridden on the street, whether it is a balance bike or a high quality folding bike. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to look for a solid aluminum frame, puncture-proof tires and a comfortable seat. Everything else comes in a distant second place.

Frame Design

Lastly, make sure to get the frame design that best fits your kid. Some bikes are step-through, while others have a rather high bar. In the grand scheme of things, former are going to be less risky for everyday use, but some kids just like that standard bike design.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding balance bikes.

What Age is Best for Balance Bike?

Balance bikes are usually made for kids who are anywhere from 18 months to 5 years old. This is also the perfect time to start your kids on bikes. Anything before that is questionable at best. Since every kid is different, you will need to figure out when your child is best will want to learn and what will they learn on.

Do Balance Bikes Work?

Balance bikes absolutely work! By eliminating the need to pedal, kids can spend more time focusing on achieving that balance with their feet almost touching the ground at all times. Such a sense of security and safety works great for self-esteem and will undoubtedly lead faster results. Compared to training wheels method, balance bikes are leagues ahead.

Do Balance Bikes Have Pedals

Although most balance bikes don’t have pedals, some balance bikes do. If you go ahead and take a look at our list, you will find that there are models that offer optional pedals as well. These are great for parents who want to buy once, cry once at least for a while. Considering that it will be a while by the time your kid outgrows a balance bike, it might come in handy to have those pedals around and pop them on when the time is right. This way you can make the transition between pedal bikes and balance bikes without introducing new unknowns to your kid’s routine. They will already know how the bike feels, how it moves and where everything is. The only difference being that they will have pedals available now as well.

The Verdict

Balance bikes are a great tool to get your kid started on learning how to ride. This type of bike offers a much more intuitive and natural alternative to other methods, and thus brings better results. We did our best to find the best models on the market and put them on a single list for you to check out. The bikes we’ve added are by far some of the best you can get right now. No matter which one you decide to go with, your kid will love every moment with it.