Forget Stabilisers A Balance Bike Is The Perfect Tool To Help Kids Get Comfortable On Two Wheels
Balance bikes are a safe way to get your kids up to speed with cycling. Learning how to ride on a balance bike is not only more fun, but it’ll allow for a smooth transition when it comes time to pedal without support.
We’ve picked balance bikes here for a range of ages from 18 months up to six years and at a spread of prices. A more expensive balance bike might seem like a luxury, but don’t forget that a quality bike from a well-known name will retain its value, so you might recoup a lot of the initial cost if you decide to resell it.
Doing away with finicky pedals and cranks, a balance bike enables children as young as two the chance to get cycling. Kids start by scooting along using both feet on the floor, allowing them time to develop the ability to balance and steer. Once this is mastered, the hard part is done, and they’ll be ready to ride a traditional pedal bike with confidence.
A balance bike also offers all the benefits of cycling, including positive effects on health and confidence, plus it’ll give you a break as you won’t need to push or carry your young ones around.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
The Strider 12 Sport comes without a rear linear-pull hand brakethe ideal kind for a balance bike. Though a hand brake isnt of much use to a beginner-level balance biker, once a child gets the coordination and the basics of striding down, a kid-size hand brake does become a desirable safety option. Most kids can indeed stop a balance bike even on moderate hills with nothing more than their feet or simply step off the back of the bike, but a good squeeze of a hand brake can stop them faster. Strider does sell a $20 simple add-on foot-operated brake, which can also help teach coaster braking skills. This is an important safety feature for hilly terrain, but wed love to see a hand brake option.
Two other shortcomings are foam tires and the 12 Sports narrow handlebars. While we did find that Striders foam formulation is stickier and a bit softer than the foam tires on the Kazam or Banana, it still doesnt offer the traction or rebound of old-school inflatable rubber. Our tester feedback has us split on the Striders narrow handlebars: They do allow the bike to turn more quickly, but some testers felt they made it harder to balance. And although the bars can be nicely adjusted for height, because they arent curved, we couldnt tilt them away from the bigger kids knees, as we did with the Strider 14 Sport and the Co-op REV 12.
Other Bike Shopping Tips
You May Like: Thule Bike Rack Trailer Hitch
Air Is No Longer Rare
Direct and reliable feedback from a balance bikes steering can help a child feel immediately comfortable, so low-grip tires can make the learning process a little frightening. The most affordable balance bikes have hard plastic wheels, more or less as you remember from the Big Wheel trikes of the Seventies, with all the attendant drawbacks. Moving up to a foam tire on a plastic mag wheel, as found on the segment-defining Strider Classic, offers a bit more traction . More and more balance bikes are using a traditional pneumatic tube and tire, which improves the riding experience but increases the likelihood of maintenance.
More From Bicycling
Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
You can find a wide range of balance bike options from Strider as it is quite a popular brand that makes various models, including this 12 Sport one.
The Strider 12 Sport balance bike is one of the best options out there if you are looking for a bike that suits kids of different age groups. It is made for kids of age 18 months to 5-year-olds and fits them perfectly. This is possible due to the fact it offers a comfortable seat that can be easily adjusted if needed.
One of the best things about this Strider balance bike is that it offers a great build quality to the user. You also get a 2-year long warranty that is always great to have in any kind of bike. If your kids want a specific color, that is easily possible with this balance bike as it comes with multiple color options for the user to use.
- Made for 18 months to 5-year-old kids
- Adjustable seat height of 12 inch to 20 inch
- 2-year long warranty
- Reliable and durable balance bike
- Comes in various color options
- A bit on the expensive side
- Tires could have been better
Don’t Miss: Dirt Bike In The Snow
Hwf Big Kids’ Balance Bike
The HWF big kids balance bike has 16″ wheels and is recommended for the 7 to 12 age group with a height of between 125 to 150cm.
The seat adjusts from 58 cm to 69cm, so the seat height range is quite high compared to other bikes on this page, making it an option to consider for taller kids who want some growing room. Measure your child’s inseam before you make the purchase to ensure the maximum seat height will be the right size.
The bike has a sturdy steel frame with a maximum weight capacity of 100kg.
It features include a padded seat with ergonomic design for comfortable riding, a non slip foot handlebar, a rear brake and footrest.
Hand brake – some balance bikes for younger children don’t have hand brakes as they tend to stop the balance bike with their feet and there hand / eye co-ordination often isn’t good enough to use a hand brake yet. As children get older, faster and heavier a hand brake is very important.
The Ridgeback Scoot Balance bike is aimed at kids between 4 and 8 years old.
It has 14 inch wheels and comes with 2 seat posts of 40cm and 55cm so you should be able to adjust the seat to the perfect height for each child.
Tyres – older children are heavier and need more cushioning and traction. Therefore a balance bike for an older child should have pneumatic tyres. EVA foam tyres are fine for younger children but air tyres are a must for children aged 6 plus. They also offer more traction and are better for uneven surfaces and terrain.
My Child Wont Ride His Balance Bike Whats Wrong
Every child has a will of their own, and sometimes they just refuse to do what you want! It often takes younger toddlers several months to be consistently interested. For example, at 18 months, our toddler walked with her balance bike for about 2 weeks. And then for 5.5 months she wouldnt touch it! Miraculously one day, she just picked it up and started going. We havent been able to stop her since!
If your child doesnt seem interested, keep the bike around so they can see it and use it when they feel the time is right. Resist the temptation to pressure them. Weve seen time and again that kids will be interested when they want to be interested.
It can also be helpful to take your child somewhere that they can see other kids riding balance bikes. When they see other kids doing it, they realize that its not that hard and they want to be in on the fun!
Kids who have tricycles, scooters, or bikes with training wheels can be more resistant to ride a balance bike. Why? Balance bikes require a little more effort to learn but offer far greater rewards in return. If you think this might be the problem, remove these other distractions and only offer up the balance bike as a possibility.
Best case scenario, we encourage parents to not introduce a tricycle, training wheels, or scooter until after a child has mastered a balance bike.
Don’t Miss: 26 Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Benefits Of Balance Bikes
As the name suggests, a balance bike teaches your child a very crucial skill: balance. Learned early, this can have a notable impact on their confidence when it comes to cycling unsupported. Not only this, but a balance bike will also teach your child to control the movement of the bike with their body weight and how to steer.
While a child learning to pedal using training wheels might find the transition to balancing, steering, and pedalling all at once a little overwhelming, a child who has graduated from a balance bike will mainly just be adding pedalling to their existing skillset.
What Is A Balance Bike
A balance bike is peddled bike for children. Which gives them the experience of riding a real bike. It is the safest bike for a growing childlike 5-7 years as they want to be adventurous. The balance bike teaches the little kids how to run a bike with their legs. A balance bike is so simply organized that no guidance need for a child when they run a bike. For this reason, children can run the bike independently. A balance bike surely boosts a childs confidence as they can run the bike without anyones help. It also gives them the knowledge about balancing and how to run a bike
Children are very curious about nature and always want to do what they see doing the elder. Like many other things, they want to run a real bike.
So, to fulfill the desire of riding a bike the safest bike you can buy for your child is A balance bike as it is specially made for children aged 18 months to 7 years.
Recommended Reading: What Is Mips Bike Helmet
Should I Buy A Balance Bike With A Brake
Balance bikes are designed to be stopped by simply putting one’s feet onto the ground, but some models do still come with traditional bicycle brakes.
These are mainly useful for preparing a child for their first pedal bike, but aren’t strictly necessary unless you live on a steep slope . In any case, the choice and the responsibility lies with the parent.
Early Rider Charger 12
If your family likes to ride off-road, the Early Rider Charger 12 is the bike you want. Its 2-inch wide, plus-sized tires provide plenty of traction as well as comfort. Its also great for playing in the snow.
We also love the brushed aluminum frame and faux leather saddle. This is one beautiful bike.
Also Check: Measure For Bike Frame Size
Are Balance Bikes Better Than Training Wheels
You might be thinking about training wheels or stabilizers depending where in the world you live. After all, the majority of adults learned to ride a bike with stabilizers. What we have forgotten though is that the stabilizers held us back.
With training wheels fitted, we become reliant on them to help us with our balance. So when you take the training wheels off your childs pedal bike, they have to learn to balance, which is one of the hardest skills of cycling. They also have to learn how to steer all over again. Effectively, your child has gone back a step.
If you start with a balance bike, your child only needs to learn to pedal and, depending on the balance bike you had, brake. These are fairly easy skills, and the transition will take less than a day. Some children will even manage it first try.
In the battle of balance bike vs training wheels we would say that the balance bike wins.
The 7 Best Balance Bike For 3 Year Olds Reviews And Buying Guide
June 25, 2021bySwetha
If your child is 3 years old or something around that, then it is a great idea to teach them how to balance a bike. You can easily do this with the help of balance bikes that come in all shapes and sizes. These differ from each other on the basis of basic factors like these ones:
Ideal Age Range: Even though we are focusing on 3-year-old kids in this article, most balance bikes are made for a certain age group. This includes options like 1 year to 3-year-old or 2 year to 5 year old.
Bike Height Range: The bike height rating of a balance bike can be another great option to ensure that it fits your childs height. It includes options like 12 inch to 16 inch or 11 inch to 17-inch height ranges.
Tires: You should look out for balance bikes that offer a proper grip with their tires. Such bikes are safe for your kids, even if the driving surface is uneven. Some tires are made out of foam and cannot be punctured.
We are here with some of the best balance bikes for 3-year-olds. You can even learn how these differ from each other, as we have mentioned their major features and details. And since this article also has a detailed Buying Guide, you can pick up the perfect balance bike by following this article.
Read Also: Schwinn Boundary Electric Mountain Bike
Banana Lt Balance Bike
Banana LT can be another great pick if you want to buy a balance bike for your children. This bike model from Banana LT has a high user rating because of its features.
Banana LTs balance bike is a great option out there if you are looking for an affordable bike. This is due to the reason that this bike is the cheapest option present in this article. Even then, you get various useful features with it that makes it a great value for money option.
If your kids are between the age group of 2 year to 4 year old, then this bike will fit them perfectly. It is able to offer this ideal age range because of the adjustable seat that can go from 12.2 inch to 15.7-inch height from the ground if needed. Despite the affordable price tag of this bike, it comes with a 1-year warranty that is always great to have.
- Ideal for 2 year to 4-year-old kids
- Variable seat height of 12.2 inch to 15.7 inch
- 1-year long warranty
- Comes with a decently comfortable seat
- Weighs 6.4 pounds
- Could have included more color options
- Handlebar could have been wider
Why You Should Buy A Balance Bike
A balance bike has one of the best components for which you can ensure that your child will be safe while enjoying the ride. The main components of a balance bike are
- Wheels and tires
- Effective Hand break
These components made the balance bike unique, trustable, and safe for children so any parent can buy this bike without worrying!
Read Also: 2021 Mcqueen 750 Destroyer E-bike
At What Age You Should Get A Balance Bike For Your Child
Balance bikes are specially designed for children. These bikes are fit and suitable for kids aged 18 months to 7 years old. As a parent, you can choose any kind of balance bike for your children as the balance bikes offer you different types of options. So, according to your kids age, you can pick any size of balance bike which fits your child.
But, most importantly whether a balance bike is suitable and idle for your child is the length of their legs, not their age. Because, when your child is seated on the balance bike, their feet should be able to touch the ground to run on the bike. As we have already mentioned that a balance bike is a paddle bike so your childs legs must touch the ground so that they can feel confident while running a balance bike!
You should be happy to know that there are several available bike options for toddlers to growing up children. So you can decide which balance bike you want for your kid!
Why Choose A Balance Bike Do They Really Work
Riding a bike is all about learning how to maintain balance with forward motion. This requires muscle development that training wheels dont allow for. Balance bikes help develop those muscles and gain the confidence needed for a pedal bike.
Balance bikes arent for everyone, but they are an excellent fit for most athletically trending kids. Some kids naturally prefer a scooter or a four-wheeler, so its not always guaranteed that your child will take to a balance bike.
If your kid latches onto a balance bike, it is guaranteed to be the most direct route to learning how to ride a pedal bike. The balance bike makes the most difficult part of riding a bike familiar, so when the time comes to add pedals, theyll tackle it with confidence.
Read Also: Best Bike Trails In Austin
Best Balance Bike To Start Any Kid Riding
Balance bikes, as the name clearly indicates, are special types of bikes designed for children in the 1 to 8 year age group. You can even find some special options that are suitable for toddlers. These bikes are the safest option for your children as they teach them how to balance without the possibility of falling off or losing balance. And since these bikes are quite small, you can let your children ride them indoors without any problem. If you are also looking for such a bike for your kids, here are some factors that will guide you towards the best option as per your needs.
Today, we will introduce you to the best balance bikes available in the market for a wide range of age groups. And to help you pick up the right option, we will also discuss the crucial details of a balance bike along with their specifications, pros, and cons. This way, you can easily understand the product fully and get an idea of whether it is the right option for your young one or not. You can also consider checking out our Buying Guide in case you have a doubt about the features and qualities of a balance bike.