You miss half of your childhood if you have not tried balance bikes. If your child is not yet ready for a big kid’s bicycle, give him or her one these fun and exciting balance bikes on our list. It will develop stability and steering skills, giving the right amount of freedom and confidence to your child before taking their next step!
#4: Strider 14x Sport Balance Bike
This balance bike is ideal for beginners that are old enough or large enough to graduate from a 12-inch balance bike to something bigger that will balance now and pedal later. It is very impressive with its comfortable geometry, wide adjustability, the sheer genius of its add-on pedal/sprocket setup, and printed or online instructions and technical support. It is intended for older kids, from the late 3s up to 6 or 7. This bike weighs 12 pounds without pedals, 15.5 pounds with pedals. It offers key features, in this case, a low step-in height, of 10 inches; a long, stable wheelbase of 28.5 inches; a bottom bracket that’s only 5.8 inches high, lowering the center of gravity; and a remarkable seat height range of 15 to 22 inches. Plus, it comes with a non-coaster setup such as hand brakes and a freewheel, allowing a child to “pedal backward” when they need a quick stability check.
#3: Woom 1 12-Inch Balance Bike
This balance bike has an aluminum and stainless steel construction. It has a featherweight frame and rubber-tired wheelset, custom-built and selected componentry, a powerful handbrake, ideal geometry, and a solid customer support. Amazingly, the package of this bike is a slightly oversized box that allows the bike to be shipped with its wheels and handbrake pre-attached and perfectly-adjusted from Woom’s facility in Texas. It weighs 7.4 pounds which is the lightest bike on our list, with air-filled rubber tires, proprietary alloy wheelset, which also relies on a mere 16 stainless steel spokes per wheel. The seat is adjustable between 10¾ and 15¾ inches. It is perfect for 18-month to 4-year-olds!
#2: Banana Bike LT V2
This balance bike offers important features for beginning kids: low stand-over height, kid-friendly geometry, and a lightweight without compromising on too much else. Its curved frame is well-engineered with a very low step-in height of 8.5 inches. The handlebar grips are marginally kid-scale with a grip circumference of 3.5 inches, and the seat is also right at the edge of what a little kid would need at a large 5.5 by 8 inches. You can easily raise and lower the seat via a quick-release lever from a minimum height of 12.25 inches to a max of 15.5 inches while you can raise the handlebar stem 3 inches. Its super-light foam tires and wheels work fine on paved and carpeted surfaces but are quite slippy on kitchen linoleum and hardwood floors. Unfortunately, it lacks the fit and finish, ease of construction, brakes, and quality componentry.
#1: Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
This bike is kid-friendly, high-grade design, wide availability, proper geometry and a great bike at a very affordable price that put is at the top of our list for the best balance bikes you can buy. It has the easiest assembling process compared to other bikes. It has a strong-yet-light steel tubing that results in a very light overall weight of 6.7 pounds. It comes with a six-page Learn to Ride guide which is also available on Strider’s impeccably maintained website that clearly lays out how to teach your child to ride a balance bike, the science behind how a child learns to balance, and best practices for transitioning from a balance to a pedal bike. It has handlebars that are a kid-size 14.5 inches wide, which makes the bike very responsive, while the tapered grips are toddler-friendly at 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter. Plus, it comes with two easily interchangeable seat tubes (one short (8.6 inches) and one long (11.5 inches) allowing adjustment heights from 11 to 20 inches. Its very lightweight plastic wheels and foam rubber tires that never need inflating. The downsides are the foam tires that does not offer the traction or rebound of old-school inflatable rubber and narrow handlebars.