Gear

Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers

by Bethany Braun-Silva


Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers
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Balance bikes are all the rage these days, and toddlers as young as 18 months are cruising like pros on their two-wheelers. For those unfamiliar with the pint-size vehicles, a balance bike is similar to a regular bike, but without any pedals. Toddlers first learn to sit on the bike with their feet touching the floor, then set themselves in motion by pushing off and walking or running. They’ll eventually begin to go faster, even lifting their legs and gliding while balancing. This helps them learn coordination and, of course, balance right from the start, making the transition to a big-kid bike a breeze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While some kids have trouble adjusting to a balance bike (in which case you can opt for a traditional bike or trike), others will take to it like they’re prepping for the Tour de France, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly they learn this lifelong skill.

 

What to Look for in a Balance Bike

There are tons of balance bikes on the market, and each has different features that will best suit for your child. Here are some things to consider when picking a balance bike for your toddler:

 

        • Tire size

          The size of the bike’s tires will determine how close to the ground your child’s feet are. The closer to the ground, the easier it will be for them to balance on their own.

 

        • Bike weight

          Lighter bikes are better for younger children, for obvious reasons.

 

        • Bike height

          The height of your child will likely determine how tall the balance bike needs to be.

 

        • Brake type

          Most balance bikes do not have brakes, but a few do offer handlebar brakes. Since they will likely use a handlebar brake when they advance to bigger bikes, you might want to get them started now.

 

        • Adjustable seat and handlebar

          A bike with adjustable features will easily grow with your toddler and extend their enjoyment of the two-wheeler.

 

7 Best Balance Bikes for Your Toddler

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Overall Balance Bike

Strider Classic

Price:$110.00

This is a favorite among parents for its lightweight, sturdiness and puncture-proof tires. Kids as young as 18 months old can ride on this bike and, as it’s fully adjustable, it will work for them for the next few years. The bike weighs only 6 pounds, so it’s great for little ones to lug around the house or at the park.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Bought this bike for our two year old and he loves it so we love it! Super light weight and easy for him to manage.”

“My son is 3.5 years old and had never tried to ride a bike. He loves this balance bike. Within a month he was able to balance for about 100 yards at a time. In his words: ‘I love it”

“I like that I can balance on it.”

“We bought this for our son's 3rd birthday after seeing another child gliding along the sidewalk like a pro. We've had it for 3 weeks and our son has hardly gotten off of it. He walks it around in our house as well as going outside with it. He hasn't been brave enough yet to 'glide' but loves walking around on it.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Affordable Balance Bike

Radio Flyer Glide & Go

Price:$50.00

If you’re looking for a no-frills balance bike, the sleek Radio Flyer Glide & Go is a top pick. It features 12-inch air tires and an adjustable padded seat. This sturdy, steel-frame bike can be put together without any tools and also has a fun bell that kids will love to ring. Outta my way, coming through!

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Great quality”

“great looking bike. My four-year-old son is crazy about it and is already balancing for 10 feet at a time.”

“My three year old loves it! He can go really fast, and has much better control on a bike with pedals. He almost never falls, because he is able to break his fall with his feet. He has learned balance, and can glide on it for quite a ways.”

“Excellent way to get your kids on two wheels at an early age. Got it for our son on his 4th birthday, was ready for a pedal bike in 6 weeks. Awesome.”

Image Credits: Walmart

Best Balance Bike to Grow with Your Child

Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike

Price:$230.00

This bike is suitable for kids ages 1 ½ to 5, so it’s the perfect investment to get your child gliding. It features a soft-grip handlebar, cushioned seat, low-profile axle bolts and foam rubber tires that won’t go flat. Even better? It’s super light and weighs just over 4 pounds. Once kids start gliding, they can kick up their heels on the convenient foot rest on either side of the bike.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Very impressed with this bike! Not only is it super light, it was very easy to put together! Well made product and my daughter loves it! Adjustable seat and it's low to the ground.”

“We bought this for our 15 month old daughter after going through several other balance bikes. This is by far the best, and worth the extra money. It is very lightweight, and she can pick it up and move it around all by herself.”

“We love the Cruzee. We bought it for our youngest son, just 16 months old, who is on the taller side. He “got it” almost instantly - on the absolute lowest settings. After about 3 weeks of riding, he really glides on it and gets some speed!”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Eco-Friendly Balance Bike

Kinderfeets Wooden Balance Bike

Price:$99.00

The ergonomically designed seat and handlebar provides comfort for your kiddo, while promoting good posture. The no-air tires mean you never have to worry about them getting deflated or punctured. Parents love that the cool-looking, eco-friendly bike is made from natural wood while kids love the chalkboard finish that they can customize themselves!

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“An awesome first time bike for toddlers! I bought this for my 2 year old on his 2nd birthday so he could get used to riding a two wheeled bike.”

“Very sturdy bike. I love that it doesn't have spokes in the wheels for little fingers/hands to get caught in. It's also nice to not have to worry about airing up a tire.”

“Easy to put together. My Toddler loves it! At 18 months she's able to ride it on the low setting. Foot rest are a nice touch.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Tricycle That Turns Into a Balance Bike

Chillafish Bunzi 2-in-1

Price:$40.00

Help your toddler make the transition from trike to balance bike with this 2-in-1 bike, which is designed to help little ones learn how to balance at their own pace. The rubber tires are great for indoor and outdoor use, and the bike easily converts from three to two tires in just a few seconds without the use of tools. It’s lightweight, easy to carry and has a storage compartment in the seat that’s perfect for stashing snacks.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“My 2 year old loves this bike. It is the perfect height for a small child, easy to set up, has two options for balance, and a cute little storage box.”

“Fabulous bike for my active two-year old. He hasn't let it out of his sight since getting it and can easily zoom around the house or the block, and it's light enough for him to easily pick up or carry.”

“Our daughter, 1 1/2, LOVES this balance bike! Easy & durable, plus once she’s ready we’ll easily switch it to two single wheels. Definitely recommend”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best for Younger Toddlers

KaZam v2e No Pedal Balance Bike

Price:$70.00

This balance bike has an easy, patented step-in footrest design that falls in the natural place where your child’s feet would be if coasting on a pedaled bike. This helps beginner riders find their center of gravity. The tires are puncture-resistant and will never need air, and the easy-to-maneuver handlebar teaches children how to develop balance and proper steering.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“My 2yr old son loves this bike. He feels like a big boy, while being able to learn how to balance on his own. The concept of this bike is great, and just seeing the difference in him riding it from day one to a couple months later is huge.”

“We got this bike for our son's 3rd birthday and it has been a huge hit. He was almost instantly able to figure it out without coaching from us, and he loves it.”

“So far we are loving this balance bike! It was so easy to put together. The pieces come almost fully assembled, there's really no way you can mess it up.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Balance Bike for Older Toddlers

Schwinn Balance Bike

Price:$85.00

This easy-to-assemble, adjustable bike is built with a steel frame, chrome-finished handlebars and a cool BMX look. Its low center of gravity makes it simple to ride and helps kids gain confidence. The 12-inch spoked wheels feature air-filled tires that make for one easy ride.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“I purchased this for my son's fourth birthday, and was a little worried he'd be too tall (he's average height). But the seat adjusts and it is fine.”

“Our four year old LOVES this. It literally took him less than 30 minutes to start balancing. Our third time out someone actually commented how his balance skills would put the bigger kids to shame!!”

“Our 4 year old was gliding within 2 days. She is a little big for it and likes the seat low, but we wanted something to get her started. She loves this bike.”