Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers
Getting young kids out on two wheels (with, ahem, no training wheels) is maybe the best gift you can give your toddler. However, there are a zillion balance bikes out on the market and it can be tough to navigate through which one the mini light-of-your-life really needs.
After testing dozens and dozens of them, here are our favorites for kids aged 18 months – 5. This is based on the following criteria:
- They have to have high quality components and be durable enough to handle some really tough play by kids.
- They have to work for a variety of sizes or ages.
- They have to have a hand brake (for safety and learning hand brake use for pedaling a bike)
- They have to have an adjustable seat
A little fuzzy about what a balance bike actually is? Don’t worry, we were too! This post does a great job explaining what they are and why they are so amazing for kids.
Who needs a balance bike?
Personally, I think a balance bike is the best gift you can give a toddler. Not only do they help them with their balance and fine motor skills, but they also give them a unique opportunity for independence, which every 2 and 3 year old craves.
Biking is a life-long skill that now, thanks to balance bikes, can be taught and formed early.
Don’t forget the helmet
As a mom who has watched way too many kids go way too fast and fall HARD, I implore you to make sure your child is wearing a helmet every single time they get on their bike.
While balance bikes do give kids an amazing gift of freedom, they also give parents a really good opportunity for some sprint workouts….often when you least expect them. If you start from the very beginning teaching that the helmet goes with the bike every single time, there’s a lot less fight.
Need some more data? This post covers why we think helmets just aren’t optional.
Best Balance Bikes for Kids
If you have a young child (18 months or younger) or a petite child, the WOOM 1 is the best choice because of the fact that it is extremely lightweight (6.6 pounds), has a low stand over and low step through.
That said, while the Woom 1 excels a bike for the tiniest of riders, it doesn’t work as well for kids who are in the 3-4 age range.
The Prevelo Alpha Zero is another bike on the smaller end like the Woom 1 for the youngest (or shortest) of riders. As a mom of 5 shorties, I really appreciate bikes like this with a super low standover, a seat that adjust really low and a comfortable ride for little legs.
If your kids are slightly older when they start or you have a reluctant rider, the WOOM 1+ gives just a little more height and room to grow. We love the footrest that really lets kids balance and ride.
In a line-up of balance bikes the Pello Ripple Balance Bike certainly stands out as a favorite for our family. It is a very high quality bike built for helping kids be successful on their journey towards eventually riding a pedal bike.
While the Pello Ripple is slightly heavier than, for example, the Woom 1 (9 lbs vs. 6.6 lbs.), we have found that it is a go-to choice for toddlers because of the optimized geometry for kids learning how to balance. The adjustable handlebars that move in and out for different size riders is a unique feature of the Ripple we love.
Only want to purchase one bike for balancing and beginning pedaling? The Little Big Bike is your perfect fit. It starts as a balance bike and then you can flip the frame to make it taller and add pedals.
While it is certainly the heaviest bike in this line up, it is also the most versatile and best for taller kids.
Note that Little Big Bikes are made and shipped from Ireland so they do take some time to arrive, but are worth the wait.
- Tips and tricks to starting a toddler on a balance bike
- All our bike reviews
- Just say NO to training wheels
- Best bike helmets for kids
Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers
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