Balance Bikes for Kids
Get your toddler rolling with one of these great push bikes specially designed for little cyclists
Long popular in Europe, balance bikes (also called push bikes, pre-bikes, and run bikes) look like tiny two-wheelers, but with no pedals. Kids as young as 2 begin by sitting on the seat and powering them with their feet, like a scooter. As they get more comfortable, they can raise their feet off the ground and glide, learning how to balance on two wheels. By the time they're big enough for a “real” two-wheeler, most get on and start pedaling with no problem.
“We don't recommend any one brand,” says Elizabeth Kiker, vice president of the League of American Bicyclists, in Washington, DC. “The main thing is to buy it so it fits your child. Don't buy a bike that's too large and say he'll grow into it. That's not safe.” It's absolutely crucial that the balance bike is small enough—and the seat low enough—that your child's feet can rest flat on the ground. And of course, make sure your child always wears a helmet, even if the bike never leaves your driveway. Check out some of our favorites.