16 Best Balance Bikes (Review) In 2021

Brad Robinson
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Bikes are fun and kids love them. However, they have some downsides. Some of them don’t work well (often because of low-quality, cheap products).

Some kids get tired of bicycles after a week. It’s very expensive to get a new one.

And some children are not allowed to ride bicycles because manufacturers do not produce such models. What we choose to do in such cases is to buy a balance bike.

Nowadays balance bikes have adjustable seats (from 12 to 36 months) and innovative designs. Moreover, they come in many colors and styles.

So, if you are still questioning whether you should buy a balance bike or not, or you want to find the best balance bike on the market, then you’re in the right place.

These bikes are excellent for kids who can’t use pedals yet (for any reason, though usually such kids are less than a year old).

You might think that they are not the best for older kids, but what you need to know is that they work even for 2 years old kids. Moms and dads praise these bikes for the fact that kids can start using them as soon as they can learn to use pedals.

The design of these bikes is made to support the upper body. The seat can be adjusted to a comfortable height for the child.

NameCategoryProduct
Strider – 12 Sport Balance BikeBest OverallStrider - 12 Sport Balance Bike
Baby Balance BikeBudget PickBaby Balance Bike
Ridgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12" Balance BikeUpgrade PickRidgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12" Balance Bike

1. Strider – 12 Sport Balance Bike

Our rating: 9 / 10

Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike

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Pros:

  • Unique design to encourage a natural, healthy, and inline body positioning.
  • Manufactured using steel to ensure durable construction and reliability.
  • Seat and handlebar are adjustable to accommodate varying body sizes.
  • Low center of gravity helps to ensure an upright riding position.
  • Light enough to be carried by children, but heavy enough to prevent tipping.
  • Perfect for kids to practice balancing, turning, and steering with no fear of falling over.
  • Rugged, sturdy, and weather proof material ensures this bike will last from 18 months to 5 years.
  • The Strider comes in a variety of colors and size are suitable for younger children.

Cons:

  • Only one color is available for older children.
  • The package arrives with assembly instructions, but assembly is not required.
  • The included air pump does not work well, so it's recommended to purchase your own air pump.
  • The bike is unsuitable for rough or uphill surfaces.

Pink.

With the Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike, any parent can ensure their toddlers get a healthy start when learning to ride. Similar in design to a traditional bicycle, it provides a stable, upright riding position that is comfortable and easy to learn on.

2. Baby Balance Bike

Our rating: 9 / 10

Baby Balance Bike

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Pros:

  • Nice colors
  • Durable/high quality
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes with an ATV style pedal system
  • Alloy rims

For a reasonably priced educational toy that your children can use for a good chunk of their childhood, the Baby Balance Bike is a great option. It’s not a toy, it’s something that your children will ride.

This definitely seems to have been made with several features in mind. The rims on this balance bike are made of alloy, which means that your children will be able to enjoy riding it for a longer time. The bike is also outfitted with real looking tracks. This helps children accept the bike sooner and transition better than bikes that have plastic tracks.

One of the nice things about this balance bike is that it comes with the ability to add a parent kickstand. It’s not included in the box, but you can easily order it and have it shipped to you.

3. TheCroco Lightweight Balance Bike

Our rating: 9 / 10

TheCroco Lightweight Balance Bike

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TheCroco is a lightweight riding bike that is portable and suitable for toddlers as young as eighteen months old and weighing around 30 pounds.

It’s made from a sturdy steel frame and covered with durable foam tires.

The Croco can adjust its seat height from 24 inches to 32 inches. This is good news for parents who want their children to move around on a bike as they grow.

4. Banana GT Balance Bike

Our rating: 9 / 10

Banana GT Balance Bike

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Pros:

  • Extremely hardy
  • Great for beginners
  • Good for kids of all ages
  • Included accessories the quality of which are better than expected
  • Relatively easy to assemble
  • A great gift

The Banana GT Balance Bike is a great bike for small children looking to learn to ride. The design also makes it an ideal gift. The bike is slightly different from the standard design in that it has 12 inch tires.

Another interesting feature of this balance bike is the hand brake, which is an adjustable, non-jamming wedge that your child can easily use with his or her foot.

Overall, this is an excellent bike for a small child and will give them hours of enjoyment. It is also great for a larger child who needs a bike that will grow with them no matter how tall they are. You would be hard pressed to find anything wrong with this bike.

5. Bixe 16" Pro Balance Bike

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bixe 16" Pro Balance Bike

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This Bixe 6-Inch is one of the better balance bikes for kids you can buy for the money.

Bixe 6-Inch Speed Black is a cheap yet good quality balance bike made out of strong aluminum alloy material which is very lightweight and sturdy at the same time as well as comes with sturdy rubber padded handle grips and wide rubber vintage looking wheels which makes the ride comfort and easy on the go experience for kids and let them learn how to ride a bike in a safe and natural way that allows them to get the skills needed without having to use pedals from scratch.

Bixe 6-Inch Speed Black V2 is the latest, upgraded version made with innovative folding design and more stylish sleek design which makes it more lighter and more convenient and portable to take with you or store.

6. JOYSTAR 12" Balance Bike

Our rating: 8 / 10

JOYSTAR 12" Balance Bike

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Pros:

  • Children from 1-5 years will love it
  • Good customer service
  • Durable

This is a 12-inch bike which means it can be used even if your child is 1 year old. It is designed for children from 1-5 years old and it can be a great first bike for your child.

The seats are not the same as on normal bikes. The rear seats are wider and they provide better support for the child and makes it more comfortable.

Many parents praise this bike because it helps their children learn to ride a bike pretty fast.

7. Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike No Pedal Bicycle

Our rating: 8 / 10

Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike No Pedal Bicycle

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The Retrospec Cub bike is an awesome balance bike that has been built to last with an aircraft grade chromoly steel frame.

Cantilever cromoly fork with steer tube and cross brace joins the frame with the handlebar, triple butted handlebar, and the chromoly crank and crankset. All of these are safely covered with rubber handgrips and thick tires.

With a weight capacity of up to 55 lbs, you can start training your child in just 2 years old as it can carry even heavier kids than the competitors.

8. Schwinn Skip Toddler Balance Bike

Our rating: 8 / 10

Schwinn Skip Toddler Balance Bike

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Pros:

  • Multiple color choices
  • 12” wheels

This Schwinn bike is designed for beginners of all ages. The lightweight frame and large 12” air tires make this product travel easily around rough terrain. With the colorful paint and graphics, you can easily spot your child in a crowd or when riding on a busy road.

The adjustable seat and handlebars can be set up to suit different heights, allowing this bike to grow with your child. The deep, turning brakes are also easy to operate.

This bike is designed for play as well as exercise. The lightweight frame and large 12” air tires make this product travel easily around rough terrain. With the colorful paint and graphics, you can easily spot your child in a crowd or when riding on a busy road.

9. Zum CX Wooden Kids Balance Bike

Our rating: 7 / 10

Zum CX Wooden Kids Balance Bike

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Pros:

  • Minimal contact points with the saddle
  • Provides a feeling of stability and steering when the rider is in a seated position
  • Smooth bearings
  • Fully adjustable seat
  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Made with inexpensive materials
  • Headrest can only be adjusted up and down, and not forward and backwards
  • Pedals are small and reportedly do not grip well

10. FirstBIKE Cross Balance Bike

Our rating: 7 / 10

FirstBIKE Cross Balance Bike

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6.

The FirstBIKE Cross Balance Bike comes with a unique, adjustable frame that goes from 30.5-34.5 inches long. It can be adjusted into 5 stages so that you can continue using it as your child grows.

FirstBIKE is an award-winning company that has been dedicated to creating quality biking toys for kids.

11. Radio Flyer All-Terrain Balance Bike

Our rating: 7 / 10

Radio Flyer All-Terrain Balance Bike

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Made in the USA

You can find the All-Terrain bike in your local toy store, and it even comes in different colors: red, blue, green and pink!

The All-Terrain bike is perfect for kids who want to get the hang of riding a two-wheeler before they grow out of it. The classic design of the traditional balance bike makes it the ideal first bike for your little one.

It has a classic design and proven technology (the running, but not pedaling, wheels). The handlebar does not rotate (a very nice safety feature for parents), and after testing a bunch of bikes out, we found this to be a bonus – the bike does not have a tendency to flip or tip. Nice design, Radio Flyer!

12. Ridgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12" Balance Bike

Our rating: 7 / 10

Ridgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12" Balance Bike

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Pros:

  • Great for beginners
  • Easy to assemble
  • Lightweight
  • Customizable saddle

Thanks to the adjustable saddle, the best balance bike can be used for ages 3 to 6. For kids that are about three years old, the dimensions come out to 16-inch seat height, 18-inch handlebar height, and 18-inch wheel base. The pedals are equipped with removable rubber, so it’s easy to transition from a tricycle to this balance bike.

The hinged pedals are easy to get your feet out of so you don’t have to worry about your little one getting stuck. Plus, the brake is incredibly easy to disengage. Just press the pedal lever down, and the brake arms disengage. The brake itself is located between your child’s feet, so it is incredibly safe because it is highly unlikely that they would be able to reach it accidently and get stuck.

13. BIKFUN Balance Bike

Our rating: 6 / 10

BIKFUN Balance Bike

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Pros:

  • Large design, handy grip and wide seat makes it the best for toddler with long legs
  • Sturdy plastic frame

Front wheel is larger than what I'd prefer. See the toddler trike listed below.

This 2020 model is a lightweight, folding balance bike that great for kids of almost every age group. It is a perfect early-learner bike for younger toddlers. For older kids, it can still be a great way for them to soak up fresh air and get exercise while they are still interested in playing.

Designed by BIKFUN, this is one of the best lightweight balance bikes on the market, with a nice sturdy plastic frame. Great for toddler or kid who already has good balance when learning to ride.

14. Haro Bikes Prewheelz 12 Balance Bike

Our rating: 5 / 10

Haro Bikes Prewheelz 12 Balance Bike

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The Prewheelz has been specifically designed to be a durable balance bike for kids aged 2 to 6, yet still appeals to older kids. They are ideal for learning to ride a bike as they are very light weight. Features include a hand-welded steel frame and fork, a high-tensile steel basket front fork and a BMX style bar.

When the bicycle is not being used it will need to be taken apart and either stored in a cupboard or under a mattress. This is difficult to do with all the nuts and bolts, so unless the child is old enough to do this themselves, you may find yourself having to take time out to do this and that could be frustrating for some people!

Assembling the bike is also tricky at first unless the child has a certain amount of dexterity. The bike comes in many different parts, which then need to be assembled using the nuts and bolts provided. For some younger or less skilled children this can lead to frustration and even tears, however if you are helping to supervise this process it should not be too much of a problem.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What age is best for a balance bike?

We recommend the Strider 12 Sport as a first bike for kids as young as 18 months. This is the latest in balance bikes from the brand that pioneered balance bikes for kids with its innovative run bike. Like its predecessors, the 12 Sport has no metal parts, which makes it safer and easier for kids to learn how to balance on two wheels.

If your little one is a bit older, use the Strider size chart to find the best bike for your child. The Strider 12 Sport is the single best-selling balance bike in the world, so if you’re new to balance bikes, it’s a great place to start!

Keep in mind that a balance bike should be an introduction to a cycling experience, not an end-goal. The Strider 12 Sport is an excellent tool to begin, and they are excellent for using in combination with a pedal bike.

What are the best balance bikes?

The 16 best balance bikes mentioned below can be the best choice for parents who want to have the fun experience for their kids. The balance bikes listed below are highly rated on several categories which are quality, durability, reliability, and safety.

Are balance bikes any good?

Yes, they are very good! The idea of a balance bike is that they allow your child to focus purely on balancing and the physical act of riding a bike, before issues of pedaling. They also free your hands so you don't have to hold on to your child while they ride.

This means they're a great option for parents who want to let a child try riding a bike but don't want the learning experience to end in a crash. Even if your kids want to learn to pedal a bike when they're older, they'll still likely be better pedalers thanks to their experience riding balance bikes.

Without the distraction of worrying about having to pedal, and just the fun of riding, kids are more likely to want to ride their balance bike. That means more outdoor time, and more exercise!

Why balance bikes are better?

Balance bikes have a number of clear advantages over training wheels. The most obvious is the undeniable cool factor. Kids love them because they feel like they’re riding a bike like mom or dad! However, there are other important reasons for choosing a balance bike.

The biggest advantages are how much safer balance bikes are. By riding on a balance bike, the child becomes familiar with the more difficult aspects of bike riding without being at risk for serious injury. Kids can start learning the important balance and turning techniques while in an environment that’s safer and more forgiving, which makes balance bikes perfect for young preschoolers!

A balance bike is also more appropriate for kids that are not yet able to pedal independently. This includes children who are not yet physically able to ride as well as those that haven’t mastered a good enough pedal stroke and grip to get moving.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the best balance bike, there’s a lot to consider and a lot of choices to make. If you’re looking for a bike that matches your child’s personality, is durable and will last for many years of use, and most importantly, lets your child establish the key skills of riding a bike, you’ve come to the right place. Hopefully, this guide will help you find the best balance bike for your child.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Strider – 12 Sport Balance BikeBest OverallStrider - 12 Sport Balance Bike
Baby Balance BikeBudget PickBaby Balance Bike
Ridgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12" Balance BikeUpgrade PickRidgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12" Balance Bike