Balance Bikes Aren’t Just for Toddlers

Balance Bikes Aren't Just for Toddlers

There is a constant transfer of bikes and strollers and wagons from the garage (which is 1 car and mostly taken up by the car) to the shed and back again. My kids are indecisive little things and like their pedals and “motorcycles” (AKA Balance bikes) and scooters and whatever is hung WAY in the back of the shed. It’s honestly drives me a bit crazy, but I figure if they are getting out and wanting to ride and play and burn off energy, I’m for it. Plus, them going fast means ‘Lil L gets to go in the stroller and I can chase them and get a little exercise too. Win, win.

But, this post is all about those motorcycles balance bikes. If you don’t know what I am talking about, read this post about why you should stay far away from training wheels

The thing is – balance bikes come in a bunch of different sizes and options. Wooden and ultra light and tiny and bigger. It’s a booming industry, as it should be! While the end goal is to get kids comfortable with balancing and moving on to pedals and then gears, it doesn’t mean the balance biking is done when the pedaling starts. Our boys love flying around on theirs – all they have to think about is their forward motion and what tricks they can try.

Speaking of tricks – Mtn Papa made the “mistake” of showing them some YouTube videos of teeny kids doing some serious tricks on balance bikes. Now I can’t keep them from trying to jump off of nearly everything.

Right now J (almost 6 years old) zips around on a 16″ TykesBykes. We had the opportunity to try one out, but were honestly not sure if he would touch it. However, it’s for the tricks and makes him feel super cool. We’d recommend a 16″ balance bike at minimum for kids that are 5 and nearing 6 years old.

Strider Bikes also makes a 20″ balance bike for riders aged 13+.


Here’s a few great reasons why a larger balance bike (16″ or 20″ ) are a great invention:

  • Not all kids learn to ride a bike at 2 or 3 or 4 years old. If they aren’t starting until 5 or 6 years (or older), they need something bigger to be successful. Even for the kids starting out older, training wheels are not necessary and a balance bike of some kind should be given precedence for learning.
  • Since balance bike are all about teaching and practicing balance (what a great name, right!??!), they are also ideal for those struggling with large motor skills and/or special needs people of all ages (not JUST toddlers).
  • They’re super fun for tricks and unfamiliar territory – we are always so shocked how comfortable our kids are on them now.
  • They are lightweight and easy to travel with and take camping, etc.
  • They all come with a handbrake, which is great practice for kids coming off a 12″ coaster brake bike when they can concentrate JUST on braking and not worry about the pedaling part


While we certainly haven’t tried out every balance bike there is, here is a list of ones we HAVE used extensively and recommend:


Balance Bikes Aren't Just for Toddlers
Photo Credit: Alyssa Erickson of The Kid Project


Interested in purchasing one?

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© 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.


  • Jami and her husband Greg were born and raised in Michigan, but now call Appleton, WI home. They have two little girls, Kylie and Nora, and two Springer pups, Reece and Lucie. They love getting out as a family camping, hiking, hunting, running, biking, and just playing outside. Jami and her family love spending free time in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula looking for adventure. Jami mostly stays home with her girls but also works part-time as an Athletic Trainer and a Personal Trainer. She also enjoys helping other families get outside as much as possible.

4 thoughts on “Balance Bikes Aren’t Just for Toddlers”

  1. My husband has arthritic hips as well as poor balance. He can pedal an exercise bike but finds even a “ladies’ model” bike hard to get going on. I’m wondering whether a large balance bike (he’s 6’3″ and 250 lb) would be helpful…
    or should I just remove the pedals from my old bike and see what happens?


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