Best Balance Bikes by Age
When selecting a balance bike, it is critical to remember that they are not one-size-fits-all. A toddler in 18-months clothes who are just getting started will fit on a different balance bike than a toddler or preschooler in 3T pants. And there are larger balance bikes for grade schoolers as well!
The ages listed below indicate the child’s age when you buy the bike. These age groups are approximate, as a bike’s seat height should also be considered for the best fit (seat heights provided in bike descriptions below).
Best Balance Bikes for Young Toddlers
18 months or 2 years old is a perfect time to start a toddler on their balance bike journey. Introducing a balance bike early will allow your toddler to learn to ride independently from the very start. With little ones, a lightweight bike is especially key!
Banana Bike GT
Budget Pick – Preschoolers
FITS KIDS: Kids in tall 2T to 4T pants
SEAT HEIGHT: 12.5″ to 17″
FEATURES: Air tires, long seat post for plenty of room for growth, true headset so handlebars stay aligned better
FULL REVIEW: Banana Bike GT/LT
At this budget price point, the Banana Bike GT is missing two key features for older riders: larger 14″ wheels and a handbrake. That said, for $69, this little bike really can’t be beat!
It does feature a longer wheelbase so growing kids won’t be cramped, and its seat post boasts 4.5″ of seat height range. This is plenty of room for growth! If you’re looking for a budget bike, or think your child will only be on a balance bike for a short time, the Banana Bike GT is a solid option.
- Surprisingly good design for the price
- True headset – handlebars less likely to twist out of alignment
- Quick release seat post clamp
- Air tires at a great price!
- As with all budget bikes, it’s not as durable as the other bikes we recommend
- Requires quite a bit of assembly
Mid Priced Pick – Ages 4 to 5 years old
FITS KIDS: While the manufacturer recommends from ages 3 to 7, based on our testing, we recommend only from ages 4 to 5, or with inseams ranging from 17″ to 20″ in balance bike mode and 16″ to 20″ in pedal bike mode.
SEAT HEIGHT: 15″ to 22″
The Strider 14x has gained fame for being a larger balance bike that converts to a pedal bike. No need for training wheels, once a child has learned to balance while in balance bike mode, simply put on the pedals and within a couple of minutes they’ll be pedaling away! Once your child outgrows the pedal bike mode, they will be ready for a 16″ bike.
Based on our testing, the pedal bike mode of the Strider 14x is a very temporary solution, and a child will need a true 16″ pedal bike pretty quickly. As a result, we don’t generally recommend the optional pedal kit, but do like the Strider 14x as a larger balance bike.
- Starts as a balance bike and easily converts to a pedal bike
- Larger frame and wheel size fit kids from ages 3 to 5
- Comfortable, upright body positioning promotes confidence for beginners
- Cushioned, ergonomic seat
- No hand brake, coaster brake in pedal mode
- Very short crank arms in pedal mode – difficult for kids over age 5 to ride
This Month-Kids Sneaker
The spirit of “Be Playful” conveyed by the brand and the concept of trendy playfulness and innovation are warmly sought after by young fashionistas around the world.
B.Duck Boys Kids’ Sneakers Mesh Sports Shoes Breathable Lightweight Running Shoes For Kids Fashion Athletic Casual Shoes
Applicable gender: boy/girl
Function: Wear-resistant, shock-absorbing, lightweight
Applicable season: autumn
Applicable age: 3-6 years old
Applicable people: young children
Lining condition: none
Applicable scene: outdoor, sports, daily, campus
Upper: Low Top
Product selling point: cartoon tide brand fashion sports
Surface material: fabric + synthetic leather
Year of listing: 2022
made in China
Are they better than a tricycle?
Balance bikes are much safer and more practical than tricycles. With three wheels, tricycles are slow, awkward to maneuver, and easily tip on uneven or angled surfaces. On a balance bike, children are focused on balancing, rather than pedaling. As a result, they are more prepared for an unexpected loss in balance and are much less likely to fall.
Toddlers can also walk or run for several miles on a balance bike, but can rarely make it to the end of a block on a tricycle. Tricycles are simply too inefficient for kids to ride long distances, which is why they often come with handles for parents to push.
You can read more about the debate between balance bikes and tricycles on our page: Balance Bikes vs Tricycles.
How do you ride one?
There are four stages to learning how to ride a balance bike. While some kids need a little instruction, most kids intuitively move through these stage on their own. So you don’t really “teach” a child to ride a balance bike. These stages simply help parents to understand what this process should look like.
- Stand and walk
- Sit and walk
- Sit and run
- Run, glide, and explore!
Perhaps the most important take away is that kids move through these stages at very different rates. Depending on age, athletic ability, temperament, and desire, the amount of time a child takes to “master” a balance bike varies greatly. For a much more detailed look at these stages.