It’s almost impossible to really wrap your head around just how quickly your little ones grow up.
Almost faster than you can blink they go from being just a few seconds old to almost two or three years old, outside and ready to learn how to ride a bike. And while you’re probably excited at the prospect of teaching them how to ride a bicycle, the odds are also pretty good that you’re at least a little bit nervous.
After all, trying to learn how to ride a bike can be a significant challenge for little ones that have yet to build up the kind of balance and dexterity necessary to propel a two wheeler down the driveway. Thankfully, and with the help of the best balance bike reviews out there, there are a bunch of different things that you’re going to be able to do as a parent to teach your kid how to ride better than you used to as a child!
It all starts by getting your hands on the best balance bike you can find, something that we are hopefully going to be able to help you out with. We’re going to break down some of the best balance bike options on the market today below, but were also going to point out a couple of special features that you should look for so that you always choose the right option for your little one’s needs.
Look for a Comfortable Bike
Of all the different things that you’re going to want to look for in a new balance bike, one of the most important features has to be the fact that they can comfortably ride one in the first place.
There isn’t too terribly much of a difference between balance bikes and traditional bicycles as far as overall construction is concerned, but you’re definitely going to want to make sure that they can comfortably stand up straight without even touching the seat before you send them out to learn.
Find a Bike they Can Grow With
You’re also going to want to make sure that you try and find a balance bike that has the potential to grow with your child as they learn how to ride. After all, this entire adventure is going to be about building up confidence as much as it is about building dexterity and the ability to multitask, so you’ll want to make your that they have every opportunity to grow with the bike.
Safety is Always First
Finding a well-made balance bike isn’t all that difficult, but you’re going to want to look for one that is very well-built, incredibly well put together, and has as many safety features as you can find. Look for very soft inflatable tires rubberized steel frame construction, and the best breaks money can buy in our next balance bike purchase. You won’t regret it!
How about we start digging into the best balance bike options at their already? Great! Let’s get right to it!
Best Balance Bike Reviews for 2017
1. Schwinn Balance Bike
There are only a handful of names in the bicycle business that are anywhere near as legendary as Schwinn – and certainly not a single name is anymore well-regarded.
When you get your hands on a Schwinn bicycle (or, in this case, a Schwinn balance bike), you know that you are purchasing a very well-made piece of equipment that is going to be as safe and as practical as possible while at the same time looking fantastic.
The 12 inch Schwinn Balance Bike is no exception.
- This Schwinn balance bike takes advantage of proprietary “foot to floor” frame design
- Fully inflatable tires and tubes stay soft without decreasing performance
- Completely adjustable seat height makes this bike very easy to ride while offering growth potential
- Adjustable handlebars make this bike easy to control for any and every child out there
- The Schwinn Balance Bike isn’t going to bring bank account
What’s to like about Schwinn Balance Bike
There are a bunch of standout features that this balance bike brings to the table, but one of the most impressive – maybe the most impressive – as be the inclusion of the proprietary Schwinn foot to floor frame design.
Your little one is going to be able to learn how to balance on this bicycle without having to worry about pedals come all thanks to the fact that they’ll be able to reach the floor with their feet while sitting down – but will also have a comfortable place to rest their feet on the frame when their motoring downhill.
What’s not to like
It’s really difficult to find anything bad about the main Kaplan’s Bike, but if there was a single drawback it would have to be the overall expense of this particular option. When you are looking for the best of the best, though, you are going to have to expect to pay a little bit more – and that’s exactly what you do here.
There are a lot of other balance bike options on the market today, but maybe only a handful of them can even come close to what Schwinn has with their balance bike. It gets 4.8 out of 5 without breaking a sweat.
2. Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
Another great balance bike option, the Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike has been completely redesigned in 2016, bringing a bunch of new features to the bike that the 2013 option didn’t include.
Parents that want to make sure that their children are able to learn how to ride a bicycle without having to worry about pedaling as well are going to fall in love with almost everything that this bicycle brings to the table, that’s for sure.
- Proprietary design favored by parents all over the world has been improved for 2016
- Completely safe design makes it easy for toddlers and young ones to learn how to ride a bike without having to worry about pedals or training wheels
- Almost effortless assembly with household tools as this bike up and running in 10 minutes or less
- Manufactured out of only the highest quality construction materials
- Includes fully inflatable tires that are soft but focused on performance as well
What’s to like about Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
New for 2016 is the inclusion of a padded and a fully adjustable seat, a lighter weight all steel frame construction, and the overhaul of the balance of this bike. The 2016 Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike is easily one of the best balance bike options on the market today, and is an even better bike than the world class favorite 2013 version.
Children aged 18 months through five years old are going to be able to almost heartlessly learn how to ride a bike using this option.
What’s not to like
Any time you’re talking about a price tag like this on a bicycle with no pedals, you’re going to upset at least a few people. Not anywhere near the cheapest balance bike on the market today, the people behind this option can define the high price tag because of the reputation that this bike has as the “ultimate training tool”.
Even still, it may be a bit of a difficult pill to swallow for some.
As far as ratings are concerned, you’re going to have a really difficult time trying to find anything better than the Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike. It gets a 4.9 out of 5 from us (and much everyone else, too).
3. KaZAM Classic Balance Bike
While not exactly a “plain Jane” balance, this particular set up doesn’t include a lot of the bells and whistles or special features that many of the other higher price tag balance bikes afford. That isn’t a reason to avoid moving forward with this balance bike, though, not by any stretch of the imagination.
Parents looking for a simple and straightforward bicycle riding training tool are definitely going to be over the moon at everything this bike has to offer.
- Sitting 12 inches tall, this bike is going to be comfortable for almost everyone up to the age of five
- Fully inflatable air tires are soft for safety but firm for performance
- Three adjustable seat and handlebars make this comfortable to ride across the board
- Quick adjustment saddle system makes learning how to ride a bike almost effortless
- 75-pound weight capacity means every kid gets the opportunity to learn how to ride
What’s to like about KaZAM Classic Balance Bike
The KaZAM Classic Balance Bike is certainly one of the best-designed balance bikes you’re going to find anywhere, at any price point, and it certainly shows. The entire setup is simple, straightforward, and very classic while at the same time promoting intelligent and fundamental riding basics that your little one is going to be able to carry over when they get a real bicycle.
What’s not to like
There are no special features, there are no bells and whistles, and there are no real surprises coming from this bike. That’s not a bad thing (as we mentioned above, it’s one of the best tools to do your checkout ride), but it’s definitely something that you’re going to want to be aware of before you drop any money on it.
People absolutely love the KaZAM Classic Balance Bike content for good reason. We feel completely comfortable giving it a 4.5 out of 5.
4. ZÜM CX Wooden Balance Bike
Most of the balance bike options you’re going to come across on the market today are manufactured out of high-strength aluminum or heavy-duty steel, but this bike is made almost entirely out of wooden construction materials.
It makes for a lighter weight bicycle for sure, but it also adds a number of other interesting wrinkles to the design as well – wrinkles that we are going to touch on in just a moment.
- Manufactured out of 100% clear top grade Birchwood materials
- Includes rubber handgrips for extra control and safety, even when the summer is at its warmest
- Completely sealed cartridge bearings make for a maintenance free experience and some of the smoothest running wheels will find anywhere
- Tires are soft air inflated rubber for safety with enough tread to improve performance
- Adjustable seat goes from 12 inches high at its lowest position to 17 inches high at its highest
What’s to like about ZÜM CX Wooden Balance Bike
The coolest thing of this bike is that it is really two balance bikes in one. When it’s flipped to the “low rider” set up, pretty much anyone and everyone is going to be able to sit and ride on this balance bike. When it is flipped over to the “Grown Up” mode, children that are a little bit taller but still not quite ready for a real bicycle are going able to finish out their training on the exact same bicycle.
What’s not to like
Even though it’s possible to flip the bike upside down and still write it comfortably, it’s not nearly as adjustable or as comfortable as some of the other options out there – especially those that are manufactured out of aluminum or steel. Not exactly a dealbreaker, by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely something to think about.
Lightweight, durable, and impressive, this wooden balance bike is one of the best and we feel totally comfortable recommending it with a 4 out of 5 rating.
5. FirstBIKE Limited Bike with Brake
Of all the different balance bike options that we break down in this quick guide, this one has to be one of most intelligently designed options you’re ever going to cover us.
Built on the back of award-winning German engineering (surprise, surprise), it’s almost impossible to find a better balanced balance bike anywhere and at any price point. It’s a lot easier to teach a child to ride a bike on this than one with training wheels, that’s for sure!
- Award-winning German engineering and design produce impeccably balanced bike
- High-end construction materials offer the perfect strength to weight ratio
- “Safety Stop” rear brake allows children to slow or stop the bike whenever they wish
- Steering Strut Limiter helps to produce smoother rides and avoid rough tumbles and accidents
- Smartly designed and innovative “more saddle” seat make sure that children stay on the bike without slipping off
What’s to like about FirstBIKE Limited Bike
Though there are a bunch of different balance bike options on the market right now, none of them take advantage of this amazing and award-winning German design methodology. The Germans have absolutely knocked it out of the park as far as engineering is concerned (no surprise there), and this bike is beautifully balanced, very lightweight and well-made, and as durable as they come.
What’s not to like
It’s absolutely impossible to find even a handful of things wrong with the FirstBIKE Limited Bike with Brake. It’s as close to picture-perfect as we think it gets in the balance bike world, even though it’s a little bit past year than some of the other contenders.
If you have the budget for it, it is impossible to find any better balance bike then this one. It gets a perfect five-star rating from us.
6. Royalbaby Jammer Balance/Running Bike
A bit of a minimalist balance bike (as much as it can be, anyway), this design abandons all of the bells and whistles that a bunch of other bicycles bring to the table in order to produce a very intelligently designed training aid.
Your child is never going to struggle to learn how to ride a bike when they get started on the Royalbaby Jammer Balance/Running Bike, that’s for sure.
- Monotube steel frame and fork design makes for a very solid and durable bike
- Oversized wheels are inflatable with the air and designed for safety and performance
- Impeccably balanced bicycle is easy for all children to maneuver
- Built-in foot brake makes it easy for children to stop the bike on a dime if they need a bit of help
- Seat and handlebars are both completely adjustable
What’s to like about Royalbaby Jammer Balance/Running Bike
The adjustable seat and handlebars help to make this one of the best balance bike options on the market today. Turn of all ages and sizes are going to be able to jump on this balance bike and learn how to ride with just a few seconds worth of adjustments.
What’s not to like
Not exactly as feature-rich as some of the other options that you’ll find him the market today, there’s a lot to like (a lot to love, really) about the Royalbaby Jammer Balance/Running Bike. If you’re looking for a more streamlined bike that doesn’t come with a lot of fancy mumbo-jumbo, this is the one for you.
Because it isn’t quite as feature-rich as some of the other options that we have reviewed, we are going to give it a 4.5 out of 5 – but that’s still pretty good!
7. Chicco Arrow Balance Bike Ride On
Perfect for boys and girls that are hoping to learn how to ride a bicycle without forcing them to learn how to peddle, steer, and keep their balance all at the exact same time, the Chicco Arrow Balance Bike Ride On is a nice bike that is perfectly balanced on its own and should give your little one the confidence they need moving forward.
- The overall balance of the bike practically guarantees that your child will learn how to ride “real” bikes much faster
- Ergonomic lightweight frame is adjustable to fit almost any child
- “Always inflated” tires have been designed for safety and for performance
- Handlebars and seats are adjustable as well
- Manufactured out of lightweight tubular steel for improved durability
What’s to like about Chicco Arrow Balance Bike Ride On
The lightweight frame that this balance bike is built on the back of makes sure that every child is able to learn how to ride a bicycle with the help of this balance bike, no matter their level of strength. This is especially useful in teaching those that are a little younger how to learn a bike, all without having to put them on a bicycle with training wheels.
What’s not to like
This bike isn’t quite as well designed or as “solid” as some of the more expensive balance bike options out there, but that doesn’t mean that you should avoid it by any stretch of the imagination. At this price point, it really doesn’t get much better than this.
For the money, we feel very comfortable recommending this bike with a 4.6 out of 5 rating.
Choosing from the Best Balance Bike Reviews
Trying to find the best balance bike isn’t exactly the easiest thing that you’re ever going to have to tackle – but hopefully we’ve been able to help you out a little bit in this area.
Of all the different balance bike options we recommend above, we feel most comfortable recommending the Schwinn Balance Bike, Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike and the FirstBIKE Limited Bike with Brake. They really are the cream of the crop, and you won’t be able to go wrong with either one of them.
What to Look for in the Best Balance Bikes
Have you ever thought about what might have helped you ride a bicycle fast and effortless when you were a child? Although the only expectation you had back then was to go home with a few bruises and a bunch of memories, today’s inventions are helping toddlers and young children gain the perfect balance faster.
How are They Different
The balance bikes’ purpose is obvious: they are meant to help children maintain their balance before actually learning how to ride a bike. They are similar to regular bikes, but they have no pedals, stabilizers or brakes. Basically, they are comprised of the two wheels, the frame, and the seating. They help children train and they are much safer than tricycles or training wheels.
Balance bikes can be used by 2 years old children and upwards, but not all models are suitable for all children. There are plenty of aspects to look at when looking to buy a balance bike for your child.
Things to Look For
First of all, check the bike’s specifications before actually buying it. Most of them have labels that contain basic information about the bike, as well as recommendations. Your child’s age and height are the two most important things that you should be considering.
After deciding which bike size you need, you should start looking for an ergonomic design that will perfectly fit your children’s needs. The seating should be comfortable and adjustable and should have extra-thick padding. Gel seats are the best choices for children, but in the event that you cannot find a bike with such padding, choose the thickest available.
The frame’s material is also important. There are foam, air or rubber wheels, so you should choose the bike you need depending on their playground or road quality where they will be playing. Moreover, you will have to choose between metal frames or wooden ones. They are both resistant, but wooden bikes are less adjustable, yet environmentally friendly.
Another recent feature in balance bikes is the existence of brakes. Although these bikes were first designed without brakes, they are now present on the market. From a parent’s point of view, safer is better than nothing, which is why many parents choose to buy balance bikes with breaks, even though they might never be used.
If you are in the process of buying a balance bike for your child, set a budget before going shopping. There are plenty of models out there that are overpriced and are no better than cheaper ones. After all, it is a simple device that will teach your child how to ride a bike, before getting on one. If you are looking for a durable bike, look for the heavier ones that are made of steel. On the other hand, if you are looking for a lightweight or eco-friendly one, look for aluminum or wooden balance bikes.
These being said, we hope that you will invest the right amount of money in the safest balance bike for your children.