In this article, we review the best balance bicycles available in 2015. Balance bicycles are an effective tool for teaching your child the core skills of riding. Unlike training wheels, which don’t teach a child to maintain stability, balance bikes don’t have pedals or even brakes in many cases. Instead, a child contberols his speed using his feet.
Unfortunately, finding a top rated one for your child isn’t always easy. There are some great one available, often costing much less than you might think, but the market is also filled with overpriced or low-quality models. Parents often struggle to find the best balance bike for their child, and may even make costly mistakes.
For this reason, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you choose. The article below lists all the main factors you need to consider when choosing, including how to find one that fits your child perfectly. We break each factor down in detail so that it’s easy to buy the best option for your child.
The article also contains a list of the top five models available in 2015. We investigated a plethora of reviews and looked at users comments to see which provided the best value for money and performance.
If you are struggling to decide which one to buy, one of these five options is almost certainly a good choice.
Our Top 5 – Balance Bikes For Kids
1. Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike
It a product that almost any child will love. It’s available in a variety of different colors, and the newest version comes with a padded seat for extra comfort. Other features include an easy-to-assemble design, lightweight frame and several adjustment options. The seat can also be adjusted without tools.
A reviewer on Amazon, called “Test Subject 42,” awarded it five stars, and said that the low minimum seat height of 11” was one of the main reasons she chose it over other models. She also mentioned that it is lightweight and assembly was straightforward.
Another reviewer, called “Mama,” bought two of the bikes for her children, and says they have both been a hit. She says that the Strider 12 has taught her kids to steer much faster than other ones she’s tried in the past.
The Strider 12 doesn’t come with a footrest. While some parents like their child to have a footrest, in reality most young children never use them. The lack of a footrest on the Strider 12 removes an additional distraction for your child to think about, so they can focus entirely on balancing.
2. Schwinn 12-inch Balance Bike
If you’re looking for a simple product then the Schwinn is a good option. It’s available in several different colors, and comes with both adjustable handlebars and seat height. It is built with air tires for extra grip and comfort.
It has received excellent reviews on Amazon. One reviewer, called “Pacific NW Girl,” says that her child loves the it and that it provides a smooth ride. She also added that it is well-constructed and feels like it will last a long time.
Unlike the Strider 12, the Schwinn is only available in four colors. Even though there is less choice, you can still choose from blue, pink, green and red, so there’s almost certainly a color your child will like.
3. KaZAM Balance Bike v2e
The KaZAM v2e model is a relatively cheap option that provides excellent value for money. It is built with foam EVA tires, a lightweight frame and comes in five different colors. It also has a footrest, making it suitable for when your child starts to go faster down hills.
A reviewer on Amazon called “Josh” says that it has already started to improve his child’s confidence after just a few days. Another reviewer says that the KaZAM v2e is easy to assemble and durable.
While the foam tires of the KaZAM don’t provide the same grip as air tires, reviewers seem happy with the quality. A bonus is that foam tires can’t get punctures.
4. Mini Glider Kids Balance Bike
The Mini Glider is slightly more expensive than some of the other models on this list, but is built with a lightweight alloy frame and “slow speed” geometry. It’s a lightweight model, weighing only 8 lbs, and is designed to teach children to balance and steer easily. The Mini Glider is available in five different colors.
A reviewer called “TX Mom of 2” wrote a very positive review of the Mini Glider. She says that her child loves it, and that its lightweight construction makes it easy for him to use. She also says that the tires provide enough traction, even though they aren’t air tires.
The Mini Glider comes with a hand brake, which for most young children isn’t necessary and can cause a distraction. If you want one to help an older child transition to a regular model though, then teaching him to use a brake is important.
5. MyKick Balance Bike
The MyKick Balance Bicycle is the most expensive option on this list, but provides a number of features that justify the extra cost. Firstly, it is built with high-quality wheels, including aluminum rims. It also comes with comfortable handlebar grips, adjustable handlebars and flat-proof tires.
A reviewer on Amazon called “superdaddy10” says that it has exceeded his expectations. He liked that the bike came with rubber wheels, and says that it was easy for his child to handle. He also added that the durable construction means he won’t have to replace the it for a long time.
While the high price might put some people off, the MyKick is an excellent model. If your budget stretches to around $130, it is one of the best ones available right now.
How To Choose The Right Balance Bike For Your Kid
Most children start riding one with one foot on the ground, before progressing to both feet up. Unlike traditional training methods, this style of bicycle is fun for children to ride, even when they first start riding it. When your child is ready, the balance bike can easily be replaced with a model for the next stage of learning.
The ideal one should be durable and fun to ride. It should fit your child correctly, be easy to adjust and have suitable tires. Top rated models are also not too heavy for your child to handle, and have the right features for your child’s current level of experience. It should fit your child correctly, be easy to adjust and have suitable tires. The top rated models are also not too heavy for your child to handle, and have the right features for your child’s current level of experience.
What is a Balance Bike?
It’s important to understand what a balance bike is – and also its limitations. It is a training tool to teach children to steer and balance a two-wheeled bicycle. This style is great for younger children, and many models are suitable for kids as young as two years old. They are typically used until around the age of five, beyond which a child should start to use a full-featured bike.
Unlike regular bicycles, the child doesn’t have to think about brakes and pedals when this style of bike. The only goals are for the child to propel himself forward and not fall over – tasks that are made easier by using his feet.
They are quickly replacing stabilizers as the most popular training tool. Most children learn faster on a balance bike than using stabilizers.
How to Choose a Balance Bike
The first consideration when choosing one is the size your child. You shouldn’t rely on age guides as these may not be accurate for your child.
One of the best measurements for finding the right size is your child’s inseam length. This is the distance between the crotch and the floor. The inseam length should be longer than the minimum height of the bike, so that his feet are flat on the floor when standing.
Try to choose one with a minimum saddle height that’s slightly shorter than your child’s inseam. This ensures that it fits straight away, but gives you plenty of space for height adjustments as your child grows. If it has a high starting seat height, then your child may struggle to balance until his legs grow longer.
Additional Tip: Choosing one with an easily adjustable seat height can make your life much easier. You won’t always have tools on hand, so seats that can be adjusted by hand are often useful.
Your Child’s Ability
They come with a range of different features. Some just have two wheels and a seat, while others include brakes and other additions such as a foot platform.
If your child has experience riding, then a more complicated option can be a great way to transition to a real bike. For children who’ve never ridden a bike before, we recommend choosing the simplest model. This allows the child to focus on balance rather than dealing with extra distractions.
Some parents are surprised that many don’t have brakes. It’s usually easier for a child to stop using his feet, as a brake lever can be difficult to pull. In general, younger children don’t need brakes, and having them can cause confusion. If your child is close to moving to a regular model, however, then you may want to buy one with brake levers for him to practice with.
Weight of the Bicycle
The frame material is the main factor affecting the overall weight. Most are either made from wood or metal. Aluminum frames are typically lighter than steel, but are more durable and likely to last longer.
Smaller children usually learn better on a lighter bike. It’s difficult for a young child to steer a heavy model, which can make riding less enjoyable. Lighter ones are also less tiring to carry around when your child gets bored with riding for the day!
There are a number of different tire materials available for balance bikes. Some, like foam and solid rubber tires, are designed to be puncture proof. Others are built for comfort and grip. The right type of tire depends on the age of your child and where you plan to take him to ride.
Hard plastic wheels are the least versatile. They are usually only suitable for indoors, and provide little traction. We usually recommend choosing other options, although plastic wheels can be useful if you don’t have a yard to practice in, or want a highly durable and inexpensive wheel.
Foam tires are one of the lightest options. They are also puncture proof, yet provide much more versatility than hard plastic wheels. The downsides of foam tires are that they don’t provide any cushioning and have poor traction. Foam tires tend to be cheaper, so are often found on less expensive bikes.
Air tires are similar to regular bike tires. They provide a more comfortable ride than solid options and also more grip, but are prone to punctures. If you plan on taking your child to parks or other paths without pavement, then deep treads on air tires provide more traction. If you aren’t sure which wheels to go for, and don’t mind dealing with the occasional puncture, then air tires are probably the best choice.
There are several other options available. Solid rubber, for example, has many of the benefits of foam but with greater grip. Some models also come with wider air tires for greater grip.
Other Features and Components
While the components of a balance bicycle aren’t as important as the size, frame material and weight, they are still worth considering. The main factors to consider are:
Seat material and shape. Cheaper bikes tend to come with harder, triangle shaped seats. These aren’t as comfortable to sit on, as they have no padding, but are likely to last a long time. More expensive models come with curved seats, which help keep the child in a secure position.
Footrests. Younger children often don’t need a footrest, as they are likely to keep a foot on or close to the floor at all times. Older children may use a footrest when they gain some speed, although they are certainly not essential.
Component materials. Higher quality components are usually made from metal and are more expensive. Cheaper options are often plastic, making them less durable and more likely to break.
Handlebar grip style. Some handlebars on this style of bike are built with large ends. This provides extra protection for the hands if the it tips over. While the handlebar grip isn’t one of the primary considerations when one, it’s important to make sure that you child can hold the bars comfortably.
Advantages of a Balance Bike
Many parents love them because they teach them to ride from a young age. Most children who learn to ride a one can transition to a regular bike much quicker than those who learn using training wheels.
Other advantages include:
- Riding a it teaches your child to steer and balance safely.
- They are fun to ride and also healthy.
- They can be used anywhere, including indoors, and are easy to carry or fit into a car.
- Usingone helps develops a child’s confidence, so that moving to a regular bike isn’t a major step.
- Children are much less likely to fall off, making them safer to use.
They provide years of fun and don’t have to cost a huge amount of money. Most also come with adjustable seats, meaning your child can use the same one for a long time. For many families this product is a long-term investment rather than just another toy.
There are a ton of reviews to sift through. After our conducting our research, we’re proud to say the Strider 12 is the best options available in 2015.
They provide a simple and safe way to teach your child to ride. Unlike training wheels, which don’t teach your child to maintain stability while riding, they build confidence and makes transitioning to a regular bike much easier. Most children also enjoy riding them, which is often half the battle when teaching a child to cycle.
The main considerations when choosing one are the size and age of your child, the frame material and minimum seat height. It’s also important to choose a tire type that matches your requirements, although the wheels on high-quality balance models are suitable for most situations.
If you’re having trouble deciding on a model, we recommended the Strider 12 Sport, as it provides excellent value for money. It is easy to adjust, fun to ride and available in a range of different colors. It is also built with an aluminum frame that only weighs 5 lbs. If you aren’t sure which one to buy, then the Strider 12 Sport is one of the best options.