Choosing the right balance bike for your toddler can be a challenge. There are so many different brands and models to choose from, knowing which is best is almost impossible. That’s why we have created this guide, which aims to inform parents of what they should consider when selecting a toddler bike. We have also reviewed over 10 great bikes to help narrow down your choice.
Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers
In this section, you will find our reviews of the best toddler bikes available today. Each bike chosen here is stylish, practical and safe, and will grow with your child during the toddler years and beyond. We have chosen some well-known names to ensure high-quality, and included bikes in a range of colors and styles to suit all tastes!
The Mini Glider balance bike features a steel alloy frame to ensure it can stand the test of time. However, the bike is lightweight coming in at just 8 pounds. This means it’s easy to carry when your little one has had enough of riding it. It comes with air tires which can easily handle a variety of terrains and ensure a comfortable ride.
This Glider bike can hold a weight of up to 100 pounds, and can be adjusted to easily fit growing kids. The seat can be adjusted from 12.5 to 17.5 inches high, whilst the handlebars go from 22.5 – 24 inches high. The seat is adjusted with a quick-release clamp, so it only takes a moment to raise or lower the seat. There are foot pegs on this bike, which can be removed if required. The bike comes in a choice of 4 different colors, so there is something to suit boys and girls.
WeeBikeShop Saracen Freewheel
Saracen bikes offer a range of great features, and are also extremely stylish! This bike comes with a bell your toddler is sure to love. There is also a hand brake which is perfect for helping your child learn to stop smoothly, in preparation for learning to ride a pedal bike. The saddle is adjustable to fit most 2 year olds, as well as taller 4 year olds. The bike features a sturdy frame and fork, which handles all surfaces with ease and ensures the bike is very durable. In fact, it is so strong there is no upper weight limit on this bike!
The oversized tires on this bike help kids further with their balance. They are also air-filled, so more air can be added or released depending on riding conditions. This means the bike handles equally well on off-road and paved surfaces. The toddler bike comes mostly assembled; all that is required is too add the handlebars and front wheel, and all tools required to do so are included.
The Joovy bike is a sturdy and durable toddler bike which is ideal for children over the age of 18 months old. The saddle is cushioned for comfort, and can easily be adjusted to different heights as your child grows taller. There’s a hand brake which controls the rear wheel, just like on a ‘real’ bike. The 12 inch, air-filled tires are wider than on most similar bikes, which helps kids to balance.
The Joovy balance bike features an aluminum frame, meaning it is lightweight, just under 9 pounds. It comes in a choice of either black, red, blue or pink, so there is something for all tastes. The bike looks really stylish, toddlers will love riding it and parents will be proud to show it off too!
Enkeeo Balance Bike
The Enkeeo bike comes in a choice of either a 12 or 14 inch sizes. The larger wheel size is perfect for older or taller children who are not yet ready to move to a pedal bike without training wheels. It is suitable for kids up to 49 inches tall, whilst the 12 inch bike is ideal for kids up to 43 inches.
This bike has some excellent features, including a rear brake so your child doesn’t have to use their feet to stop. It also has extra-thick tires which easily handle a range of surfaces. There’s a wide footrest for kids to put their feet up when cruising. The bike also has super-soft grips for comfort and a bell which toddlers are sure to find lots of fun to use!
Strider Baby Balance Bike with Rocking Base
The Strider rocking base makes the bike suitable for babies as young as 6 months old. The bike slots into the base, allowing it to be used in a similar manner to a rocking horse. Once your child is older, it can be removed from the frame and used in the same way as a regular balance bike. The Strider bike can be adjusted to fit children with an inseam of between 12 – 20 inches.
The Strider bike features tires which never go flat, meaning you won’t have to worry about checking them before your toddler goes out for a ride. The bike is very lightweight, at under 7 pounds, so toddlers can pick it up and start riding independently. There is a choice of five different colors, and the bike features a padded handlebar to help prevent injuries.
Strider Sport Bike
The Strider Sport is suitable for children between the ages of 18 months to 5 years old. The bike includes many great features such as heavy-duty tires, toddler-sized mini grips, and it is also lightweight. There is a choice of seven great colors, so there is something to suit boys and girls of all tastes. Kids with an inseam of 12 to 20 inches can comfortably ride this bike, so there is plenty of growing room for younger children.
The Strider Sport 12 has a steel frame, so it is durable enough to withstand whatever your child might throw at it! The tires are punture-proof, so there’s no need to worry about testing the air before every ride. There is also a handlebar pad to help prevent bumps in the event of a tumble. The seat is padded to ensure your toddler remains comfortable even on longer rides.
Retrospec bikes are a well-known brand which offer many great features for children. The step-thru frame makes it easy for young children to mount the bicycle by themselves. Children as young as 20 months old can use this bike, and the adjustable seat and handles mean it will last until the reach the age of 5. The bike comes in a range of amazing color schemes, including some with stylish white handle grips and saddles.
The Retrospect bike is virtually indestructible, with a steel frame, yet it is also lightweight. There is no brake on this bike, as it is not designed to go fast. Kids can easily control their speed with their feet, and they can put them on the footrests when cruising. The tires are made from very durable foam material, meaning they will never go flat.
Radio Flyer Bike
The Radio Flyer balance bike has a sturdy yet lightweight steel frame, and 12 inch air-filled tires. This gives a smooth and comfortable ride on a variety of surfaces and terrains. The bike also comes with a real bell to let your toddler warn others when they are approaching! The hand grips are soft and make it easy for kids to stay in control of their bike.
The Radio Flyer bike comes in a variety of styles and colors, including the classic red, pink, silver and wooden designs in different colors. The seat is cushioned and can be adjusted in height to grow with your child – it is aimed at those aged between 2 1/2 – 5 years old.
Banana Bike LT
The Banana bike features a unique frame design which is aimed at making climbing on and off easier for young children. The minimum seat height starts at just over 12 inches, making it perfect for even the youngest cyclists! The bike comes in a choice of three different colors – pink, blue or green. It is lightweight, so carrying it when your little one gets too tired won’t be an issue.
The tires on the Banana bike will never need inflated, as they are made from EVA puncture-proof foam. Assembling this bike is straightforward and won’t take long. Kids will have years of fun riding it, and will easily be able to transition to a pedal bicycle when they are ready. This bike offers all the features of a pricier model, so it’s perfect for those on a budget.
Schwinn Balance Bike
The Schwinn bike features a low center of gravity making it easier for young children to learn to balance. It has a stylish BMX design which both parents and children are sure to love! There’s a choice of four great colors, bold green and red, and pastel pink and blue. The quick-release seat clamp means the seat height can easily be adjusted as your child grows.
The Schwinn bike features air-filled tires so it feels just like riding a real bike. The ball bearing headset also ensures the steering is responsive and efficient. These factors make this bike a great choice for helping toddlers learn what a ‘real’ bike feels like, to make transitioning easier once they are ready. The bike is sturdy and slightly heavier than some other similar bikes, but a preschooler will still be able to lift it on their own.
This is one of the lightest toddler bikes available on the market today, coming in at just 4.3 pounds. Unlike many similar bikes, the frame is made from aluminum, which is why it is so light. It comes in a selection of colors, ideal for both boys and girls. Parents will love the tool-free assembly, which takes only 5 minutes. Similarly, the seat height can be adjusted without the use of tools. Kids between the ages of 18 months and 5 years old can make use of this bike, so it is sure to get a lot of use!
There are many premium features on this bike, making it practical, comfortable and safe to use. There’s a handlebar pad for safety, soft handgrips, and gripped footrests. The tires are long-lasting and don’t need to be inflated – they are made from EVA polymer.
Boppi Kids Wooden Balance Bike
This wooden toddler bike is easy to maintain – there are no pedals, brakes or gears. It is also very lightweight, weighing just over 5 pounds. When your child gets tired of riding, there is a handle built into the frame to make carrying the bike really easy. The seat has two height positions, and is padded for comfort. The handlebars feature non-slip grips as well as a detachable bell.
The wooden bike comes in four different designs, suitable for either boys or girls. The tires measure 11 inches and are made from EVA foam, perfect for indoor and outdoor use. Assembling this bike consists of three simple steps, so kids don’t have to wait long before they can start riding. The bike can carry users weighing up to 66 pounds, and the size is ideal for kids between the ages of 3 – 5 years old.
The Kazam balance bike is one of the only models with a footrest in the center. This makes it easy for kids to put their feet up and go fast! It means the feet don’t get in the way when cruising, unlike on many other bikes where kids don’t have anywhere to put their feet. Resting the feet in the middle of the bike is similar to resting on the pedals of a pedal bike when coasting. So, riding in this position will help kids find their balance and their center of gravity. There are eight fantastic colors to choose from, so you are sure to find something your child will love. There is even a Peppa Pig design for toddlers who love the cartoon.
The Kazam bike has adjustable handlebars and seat, meaning it can fit children up to 5 years old. Like many similar bikes, this one has tires made from EVA, so they are puncture-resistant and never need air. The shape of the bike makes it easy for kids to lift it and step through without help. It’s also light enough for them to do this with ease. They will love the sense of independence they get when climbing on without assistance!
Chicco Red Bullet
The Chicco Red Bullet is a practical and stylish bike which is perfect for toddlers to learn to balance with. The seat adjusts in height from 13 to 15 inches, making it ideal for growing kids. The handlebar is also adjustable to ensure your child is always comfortable when riding. The frame is lightweight, so kids can handle it independently. The bike weighs only around 6 pounds, which is also ideal for parents who might be left carrying the bike when your child has had enough of riding it!
The Chicco balance bike is also available in pink, which might be preferred by your little princess! It can hold kids up to 55 pounds in weight, and is ideal for those aged 2 – 5 years old. The seat is padded for comfort when riding, and the tires are foam filled meaning they don’t need inflating. The handlebars feature a rubber grip for comfort and safety when riding.
Considerations when Choosing a Strider Bike
There are a few things worth keeping in mind when looking for the best bike for your toddler. Of course, safety is important and you should look for a model which is highly-rated in this area. For older kids, ensure there is a brake and your child can easily reach and operate it. You should also check the frame is sturdy and the handlebars should come with suitable grip.
The height, weight and suggested age range are also important to think about when it comes to finding the right bike. Don’t choose one which is too big for your child hoping they will grow into it – they will be more likely to have an accident if they can’t safely reach the ground and the brakes. However, you want to ensure your child will be able to use the bike for some time before it needs upgraded for a larger model.
It’s also important to think about style when it comes to choose a bike. We all know how picky toddlers can be – they won’t be happy if the bike isn’t in their favorite color! Choosing a bike which is well-designed and attractive can help encourage your child to want to ride it more often.
What are the Different Types of Balance Bike?
Many toddler bikes come with 12 inch wheels, although some are larger than this. The 12 inch size tends to be best for children from 18 – 24 months old up to the age of 4 or 5 years old. Some come with wheels up to 16 inches in diameter, and can be used by kids up until the age of around 10. Strider bikes are commonly made from aluminum or steel, but there are also wooden models available. Aluminum is ideal as it is durable, yet also lightweight – perfect for when mom or dad has to carry the bike!
Some toddler bikes come with one hand brake, to help prepare your child for the transition to a pedal bike. However, many do not include brakes and are simply stopped by putting the feet flat on the ground. The seat can be adjusted in height to fit growing children on virtually all bikes. Some come with air-filled tired, whereas others have tires made from sturdy foam to ensure they never go flat.
What are the Benefits of Riding a Strider Bike?
The main benefit of such a bike is to prepare kids for eventually learning to ride a pedal bike without training wheels. It’s thought that it is easier to progress to a pedal bike from a balance bike because kids have already learned the tricky part – keeping balance when riding. If a child learns to pedal a bicycle with training wheels, they still have to learn how to keep balance when the wheels are removed. So, for most kids who transition to a ‘proper’ bike, learning to pedal is easier than learning to balance.
Getting some fresh air and keeping active are further benefits attached to riding a bike. Getting your child doing this at a young age is a great way to set them up with healthy habits for life. Because pedal-less bikes are lightweight, toddlers can pick them up and climb on by themselves. They will love this sense of independence, and it is sure to boost their confidence too.
Should I Choose a Balance Bike or a Tricycle?
Whilst there are benefits to both, if you are looking to help your child learn how to ride a bike faster, a balance bike is definitely the way to go. As mentioned above, they can help your child learn to cycle much quicker, and will make the process easier too. Tricycles can be fun for young children, and are a great way to get them playing outdoors and developing strength in the legs. However, they do little to help kids learn to balance when cycling. Falling off is less of an issue with trikes, however with proper safety gear your child won’t sustain any injuries if they fall off their Strider bike. See below for more information on safety when learning to ride a bike.
Safety Considerations When Riding a Toddler Bike
It is crucial that your child always wears a helmet when on any kind of bike. It’s even better if they can wear knee and elbow pads too, as these are the areas which are commonly scraped and bruised in the event of a fall. It’s inevitable that your child will take a tumble or two as they learn to ride, however serious injuries are extremely rare when proper precautions are taken. Toddlers should never ride their bike on the road – at home or in the park is much safer. If they are riding on the street, ensure they stay close to you and on the inside, as far away from the road as possible.