If you’re looking for a great balance bike for your young child, but finding it difficult to choose between all of the different models, types of tires, seat heights, etc. you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a short list of the top balance bikes currently available on the market, and put together some information on each bike in order to make it easier for you to find what you need.
Choosing the best balance bike for your child can be difficult. A child’s first bike experience can either make or break their enthusiasm for riding later on in life. You want them to have fun, and be able to maneuver around by themselves on their new bike. It is essential however that you know that they are also going to be safe during these beginning steps to riding a bicycle.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Balance Bike
The Height of the Bike VS The Length of Your Child’s Inseam. Many people are completely lost when it comes to choosing the right size balance bike for children. It’s actually a lot simpler than you might think however. You measure the child’s inseam and then make sure that the balance bike’s seat can be positioned to roughly 1-2 inches shorter than that.
How Easy it is to Adjust the Height of the Balance Bike. This is mostly just a convenience issue; but we do all love convenience features, right? The easier it is for you to adjust a bike seat the more likely you are to continue using it over time. Whether it just needs a tightening, or your child needs it raised up after a growth spurt; convenience is key.
Safety. Safety is a critical requirement for children’s balance bikes. Of course there are going to be some scraped knees and bumped elbows from time to time (on any bike), but you need to know that all of the reasonable design precautions that can be taken, have been.
With the exception of a few wooden models (we’ve actually listed 1 above), metal-built balance bikes are typically much better. They require less effort to put together and/or adjust their seat height. They don’t run the risk of splintering or splitting. They’re far more weather resistant, and typically much lighter; making them easier for children to steer.
Just to reiterate (because it really is that important!), you absolutely have to make sure that you choose a bike that is the right size. Refer to the top of this article to read up on how to properly measure a child for a bike seat.
In case you haven’t noticed yet (from looking at the above chart), Strider is a great company that produces a wide variety of great bikes for children; all of which are incredibly safe and well developed for kids. Three of their models made it into our top five best balance bikes list!
This isn’t just our opinion though; hundreds of happy customers can’t be wrong; the Strider St-2 Prebike Balance Running Bike is an excellent beginner bike for any child (ages 1-5). This model is colorful, sleek and appealing to toddlers of all ages. In addition to its wonderful age range appropriateness, it’s also incredibly easy to assemble and make adjustments on; it doesn’t even require any tools.
This bike is safety certified, as well as easy to assemble/adjust. Both the handlebars and the seat post are adjustable to accommodate your child appropriately and safely, until they are ready for they are ready to leave their balance bike behind, and tackle the new and exciting challenge of their first pedal bicycle.
This great balance bike is made with a durable, steel frame (welded). It has launch pad footrests; which are a great convenience feature for kids that are beginning to develop more advanced coordination skills. The seat and handlebars are both padded for protection and comfort.
The seat saddle height is adjustable between 11-19 inches from the ground; the perfect height range for most children within the 1-5 age group. Strider is one of the very few (and notably the first) companies that has provided children with starter bikes that will last them from age one to age five; making them a safe and affordable investment.
The TykesBykes Charger Balance Bike is yet another really great option for toddlers (ages 4 and up), whether they are just beginning to learn balance and coordination skills; or upgrading from a smaller balance bike after a growth spurt. This model is safety certified, and designed for comfort.
It is equipped with extra-grip, rugged, inflatable tires; which gives the ride more cushion. One of the other really neat features of this balance bike is the adjustable back break; which gives toddlers a little more confidence in their ability to stop if they can’t comfortably do so with their feet. This additional feature also gives parents and caretakers more confidence in allowing children to explore on their balance bike.
The TykesByke Charger is made out of a light weight metal alloy; which makes it easy for children of all ages/sizes to steer. The bike seat sits 16 inches from the ground at its lowest position; but is easily adjustable to accommodate a taller child. The weight limit for this model is 110 lbs.
The Strider Childrens No-Pedal Balance Bike Suzuki is not only safe and easy to assemble/adjust (no tools!); it’s also one of the most stylish, cool models currently available on the market. It comes with customized Suzuki graphics and BMX style handlebars.
This model isn’t just about looks however. It is far better suited for the more adventurous toddler in your life. The Strider Suzuki comes equipped with single piece, (tested and proven) no-flat, EVA Polymer tires. It easily cruises over grass, gravel, pavement, dirt, etc… giving young children more freedom to explore and gain confidence in their skills.
The Strider Childrens No-Pedal Balance Bike Suzuki seat sits at 16 inches from the ground as well. It is adjustable to a higher height than the majority of other toddler balance bikes (with the purchase of an extension post).
It should come as little to no surprise at this point in the guide that the Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike is yet another top 5 worthy balance bike for young children of all ages (1-5). It also carries the reputation of being held to the highest safety requirements and standards; just like its relatives the Strider St-2 Prebike Balance Running Bike, and the Strider Childrens No-Pedal Balance Bike Suzuki.
This bike requires no tools for assembly, or for adjustments; making it a very appealing, light weight metal design for those seeking the convenience of quick-adjustability. Both the handlebars and the seat post are adjustable; no tools required.
This bike model’s seat sits at 14 inches off of the ground, and is adjustable to 19 inches with the included extension seat post.
The Kinderfeets Chalkboard Balance Bike is a bit unique. Unlike the other models that we’ve listed in our top ten best balance bikes, it is constructed of eco-friendly wood (quick growing Birch trees), by hand. It is called the chalkboard balance bike because its side panels are made of a chalkboard material so that kids can customize the look of their bikes whenever they feel like it.
Everything about this bike is biodegradable, for those parents that are environmentally conscientious. Don’t let that affect your judgment of this models quality however. Each bike is carefully smoothed, and treated with natural wood preservers to stop splits and splinters. This bike lasts just the right amount of years for your child to learn confidence in their biking skills and then move on to a pedal bike without littering a landfill with their old balance bike.