Best Balance Bikes for Kids | Review & Buyer’s Guide

Balance bikes have long been popular in other countries and in Switzerland you’re unlikely to see a small child on anything but a pedal-free set of wheels and now the craze is finally spreading around the US too.

For a toddler, learning to ride a bike can be a scary task, especially if they’re skipping the tricycle stage and going straight for a two-wheeler. But with a balance bike, that initial fear is taken away from them as they are able to push off with their legs and start pushing them along, stopping as easily as they started.

Balance bikes are a great way to build a tot’s confidence on two wheels and to harness their cycling skills. After a year or two on a balance bike, it won’t take them two minutes to master a set of pedals too.

Best Balance Bikes for Kids

Need more information? Check out our comprehensive guide to buying your child’s first bike.

Bikes for kids turning 2 or younger this category is meant for kids who are fairly average height for their age. If you’re turning 2 year old is wearing a 3T and is as tall as an average 3 year old, then visit that recommendation page for a better fit. It is always best to back up this recommendation with a measurement of your child’s inseam to make sure they are at least at the minimum seat height and not at or over the maximum seat height for the bike

Best balance bikes for kids (Important things to know about kids 16 months – 2 yrs old):

Their legs arbest balance bike for kidse short – even if they are taller for their age. So always measure their inseam! These kids usually have an inseam between 10″ – 12″. Measure with shoes from floor to crotch.

Some are still wobbly on their feet or were late walkers. If this is the case – choose a lighter bike like the Strider Balance Bike (6.5 pounds), Kinderbike E-series Air (7 lbs), or the wishbone 3 -1 balance bike.

Their coordination skills in general are still developing. A balance bike will grow with them as their skills develop. Some kids will walk the bike while standing for weeks or longer – this is great and normal! Don’t rush these kids to sit and start riding like an older child. You will be shocked that in a few short months, you will have to run to keep up with them!

They may be hesitant or shy at first about riding. This is normal. Show them pictures online of what biking is about. If there is an older sibling or neighbor child who can demonstrate the bike and show how fun it is, that may speed up the interest. I’ve seen online of people selling their balance bike saying their child did not show interest a few months after buying it. Don’t do this! They will eventually be interested in biking and the fastest way to learn the skills to pedal bike is by first playing on a balance bike.

Some Top Best Balance Bikes

1. Strider Prebike Review: Strider Balance Bike review

This is the lightest of all balance bikes, at 6.4 lbs, and one of the longest selling bikes in the U.S. The seat starts at 11″ and is a small seat as well, making it possible for kids even younger than 18 months to hop on. XL seat is available to bring seat to a 20″ height making it last until about the 5th birthday. One of the widest range balance bikes on the market.

2. Kinderbike E-Series Air Review:

Kinderbike E-Series Air ReviewThis newer model from kinderbike brings a low starting seat range and light bike with air tires! (Only 7 pounds) Just what parents have been asking for! 2015 models come with XL post included in an affordable price from a company you can trust. (Need a handbrake? See Mini below)

3. Kinderbike Mini Review:

Kinderbike Mini Review

This balance bike also starts at 11″ from the ground, but with a bike weight of 9 pounds. It’s is of interest for many for its air tires and steel spokes as well as a handbrake. But keep in mind that kids 2 and under usually will not use a brake for up to a year from now and this bike is a little heavier – so choose it for a child that is confident and athletic. Little bit shy and petite?

Look at the kinderbike E-series with air tires and no brake at only 7 pounds will be easier to handle!

4. Wishbone 3 in 1 or 2 in 1 Balance Bike Review:

Wishbone 3 in 1 or 2 in 1 Balance Bike reviewThis is the only wooden balance bike on the market that we know of that goes down to 11″ seat height and would fit kids younger than 2 years. You can buy the 3 -1 which turns it into a 3 wheeled bike for kids not walking steadily yet or needing a little more time before switching to only 2 wheels.

The frame flips over eventually making the seat range go up to 18″. This is a long lasting and beautiful bike for kid’s 1 – 5 years. Like for kids 1 – 5 years.


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