Balance Bikes are the new way to teach your child to ride a bike. We look at why, and which balance bikes other parents vote the best, as well as what we recommend.
What are Balance Bikes?
Balance bikes are the new way to learn to ride. Gone are the days of stabilisers and then running up and down the path holding your child’s saddle so they don’t fall over!
The idea is that you start your child on a balance bike instead of a bike with stabilisers.
This way they learn to balance right from the word “Go”.
What’s wrong with stabilisers
Stabilisers give a false sense of security.
If you’ve taught any kids to ride a bike the ‘old way‘, you’ll know that after you take their stabilisers off, they immediately lose their balance. They have learnt to ride a big that doesn’t tip over, so they effectively have to learn all over again.
What? No pedals?
You may have noticed that balance bikes have no pedals.
- The idea is that your child learns to balance first. They master one thing at a time.
Pushing down on pedals can make it harder to learn to balance.
- With no pedals in the way, they won’t hurt their legs by getting them caught in the pedals.
- It might even help with confidence as they can easily put their feet down to steady themselves at any time.
- The lack of pedals also makes balance bikes lighter, which makes it easier for smaller people.
It’s almost like riding a scooter but sitting down.
Teaching your kid to ride
In this fun video, professional mountain bike rider, Eric Porter, shows how he taught his son Milo to ride using a balance bike.
- Start with a balance bike first.
- Progress to the pedal bike (but no stabilisers).
- Keep it fun.
What are the Best Balance Bikes?
Our older two children learnt the traditional way with stabilisers, but we’re thinking of getting a balance bike for our youngest.
So what’s balance bikes are the best?
For this, we went to Amazon and spent some time researching what other parents think are the best, and here’s the results: the best balance bikes currently available (as reviewed by parents).
Balance Bike Comparison Table
Still having trouble deciding? Use the table below to help narrow down your choice.
|TinyBike Balance Bike||Kettler Sprint Air Balance Bike||Wooden Motorbike Balance Bike||Stompee Balance Bike||WeeRide Deluxe|
|Recommended Age||2 – 4 years||2 – 5 years||2 – 5 years||2 – 6 years||2 – 5 years|
|Seat Height||N/A||35 – 43 cm||38, 40, & 42 cm||35 – 45 cm||45 – 52 cm|
|Available Colours||Black, Blue, Pink, Purple, Red, White||Red and White||Many colours and styles||Many colours: Red,
Blue, Hot Pink, Black, Green-Red-Blue, RASTA Yellow-Red-Green, Yellow
The TinyBike Balance Bike
This balance bike from TinyBike is a rather funky little bike, with its solid rubber tyres and range of bright colours, making an ideal junior starter.
Check out the reviews.
… we’re looking to upgrade straight to a pedal bike with no stabilisers!
…the moment she saw it her face was enough to justify the purchase alone!
Just the right size for two year old. Would recommend this to anyone.
It’s not all positive, though. If your child is quite tall for their age, the TinyBike may be a little too small, as one parent found with their 3-year-old.
Kettler Sprint Air balance bike
This Kettler Sprint Air balance bike has a lot of features of a bigger bike, with a steel tube frame, inflatable tyres, and a brake.
It’s a much bigger bike than the TinyBike, with an adjustable padded seat that goes from 35 to 43 cm, providing some room to grow. The manufacturer recommends this bike is suitable from 2 to 5 years though that obviously depends on how big your child is. As it is a larger balance bike (and 6kg too), younger or smaller children may struggle with it at first.
Note that there’s also some safety padding on the handlebars, that unfortunately may be put to good use. Another useful feature is the little stand.
You also have to put it together yourself (one parent reported it took around 10 minutes to assemble). You’ll want to make sure you’ve set-up the brake correctly. (If in doubt, take it to somewhere like Halfords and get one of their bike technicians set it right).
Very well built and sturdy. Within days he was zooming comfortably…
…bought this bike for my almost 2.5 years old boy. He absolutely loves it….
Duke Wooden Motorbike Balance Bike
This is a wooden balance bike. These are very popular and is of the sort you may have seen appearing at some pre-school centres.
Being made of wood they can be more affordable, but perhaps a bike that is not best outside in the wet, though this hasn’t been a problem for other parents.
There’s a broad range of styles with the wooden balance bikes (Kidzmotion has many different wooden bikes).
This one looks like a dirt bike and is suggested to fit most two to five-year-olds with adjustable saddle heights of 38cm, 40cm, and 42cm (many wooden balance bikes adjust to different heights). However, although the seat adjusts, the handlebars don’t.
Although made of wood, it does have a soft padded seat.
We go for long walks and he follows me for miles with this brilliant bike.
We bought this for our sons second birthday & he absolutely loves it!
Very very easy to assemble.
Stompee Balance Bikes
This Stompee balance bike has steel tubing and looks much more like a proper mountain bike, with its black alloy rims, chunky tyres, and a ‘V’ brake.
Stompee suggests that this bike is suitable for 2 to 6-year-olds and has an adjustable seat (from 35cm to 45cm). Stompee Balance Bikes are really popular and come in a range of sizes and colours.
Absolutely fab balance bike, my son loves it.
Love this little bike.
There are reports of a couple of issues, though. Some found a few parts missing (a nut, a brake spring). All replaceable, but not a good start.
Some people also had difficulty assembling and getting the brake setup correctly. If in doubt, pop along to your local bike shop or Halfords, and get them to adjust the brake properly.
Adventure Zooom Beginner Balance Bike
The Adventure Zooom Beginner Balance Bike is another one that looks like a proper bike and also comes with a ‘V’ brake.
This one has an aluminium frame and is recommended for ages 2 to 4 years.
This bike has some great reviews though one person reported that the frame was dirty and scratched when they received it. It does appear a little pricey compared to others.
One reviewer said that their son learnt quickly and was on a proper bike within the year. Another said that their grandson was riding within a few hours.
It’s a well made sturdy bike, but it needs putting together…
…even without stabilizers he was on the bike like a shot…
He was on a real bike with no stablisers well within the year.
WeeRide Deluxe Balance Bike
This WeeRide Deluxe Balance Bike is recommended for children aged 3 to 5 years and is slightly larger than balance bikes aimed at 2-year-olds. There is a smaller WeeRide balance bike made for 18 months to 3-year range.
This deluxe model is for taller children.
The bike comes with a brake and has 14″ wheels.
My son is 4 years old and just a bit taller than the average, still I had to set the seat at the lowest point so he can use this bike.
…bought this bike for my son’s fifth birthday…He found it easy to use…
Strider Classic Balance Bike
You can get this Strider Balance Bike in a range of colours: blue, green, orange, pink, red, and yellow.
Unlike some of the other models, this bike doesn’t have a brake, but it is a much simpler design, and only comes in at 3kg making it ideal for smaller riders. The recommended age range is 2 to 5 years, but of course, it will depend on your child’s height.
Bought for my 2 year old son, he instantly loved it, and was bombing around in no time…
What a hit! Definitely our grandsons fave Christmas gift.
We certainly did not expect him to take to it so readily and to like it soooo much.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this bike!
Of course, all the bikes we listed have good reviews and good specifications. What we would buy might of course not be the best choice for yourself.
But what ever you choose, even if it’s a traditional bike with stabilisers, just remember to get out with the kids 😉
Be in the know!
Join thousands of other parents and receive our regular newsletter containing a round up of the latest articles, days out, campsites, and reviews for helping you get your family outside and active.