balance bike reviews

Balance Bike Reviews – Cycling Has No Age Limit [2020 Update]

Balance bikes are the latest innovation in helping to train kids to get better at riding bikes on two wheels instead of using training wheels or tricycles. The absence of pedals allows for the kids to be closer to the ground and have more control over the speed they will be travelling at.

With our wide range of balance bike reviews, you will be able to make an informed decision to get the perfect bicycle for your little one.

7 Balance Bikes – Reviewed

1. Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike

This may just be the best balance bike for toddlers. Perfect for riders from the age of 1.5 – 5 years of age. The absence of pedals means your kid is closer to the ground and can control their speed more actively. Not only is this frame sturdy and safe, but it is also adjustable according to your kids’ height, which means that this is a one-time purchase and your kid is good until he or she outgrows it.

Being lower allows for an easier and more seamless transition into pedal bikes as they would learn to balance much more efficiently than usual.

The tires are air-free, which means they would never run flat. These are safe for your kids as well as they would be puncture resistant and makes for increased grip on the pavement.

Best of all, with a frame and fork molded from steel allows for little to maintenance and it can withstand rough operations on the bike. This particular bike does not have brakes, which is considered a downside, however adult supervision is necessary at all times when kids are on the bike.

The downside to this bike is the big footrest than might disturb the stride. The other is the foam tires which provide no shock absorption at all.

Pros

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Big footrest
  • Foam tires

2. Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike

Strider believes in one thing. If you can walk, you can ride. Therefore, they have built this bike with one goal in mind – making your child more confident and helping them have better balance.

Strider is a well-known balance bike brand in the business. The fact that they’ve begun making bikes for children only goes to show their commitment and how they want everyone to be able to enjoy their products regardless of age or gender.

The Strider 12 uses aluminium for its frame and fork, which unlike other metals is much lighter in weight yet still extremely durable. The frame of this bike is so lightweight that your kid can move it around with ease.

The handlebars are quite thin as well, allowing your kid to have a better grip on the bike which increases their ability to control it at all times.

The tires are once again made out of foam and air-less, what does this mean for you?

You do not have to worry about them being punctured, and needless to say, the grip has been increased due to its creative molding.

However, foam tires have poor shock absorption capabilities so it’s only ideal for a paved road.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Seat can go quite low

Cons

  • Plastic wheels

3. Co-op Cycles REV 12 Balance Bike

Co-op Cycles REV 12 Balance Bike

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An aluminium frame makes for a lighter yet stronger bike, which is ultra-durable in the long run. This bike sports some alloy wheels and tires with air in them as compared to its airless/foam tire competitors.

Although this bike weighs in at around 9lbs (just over 4kg), it is considered to be on the heavier side.

The REV 12 has some kid-friendly adjustments which allow for a seamless experience altogether. The seat is adjustable up to 5-inches and a much lower top tube allows for your child to have more control as it generates a lower centre of gravity.

However, the handlebars cannot be adjusted to the preferred ride height. This may seem like a disadvantage, but many users have not complained about this as the wider stance of the handlebars allows for a more comfortable riding position which gives you more control over the bike.

This increased level of control is necessary as the air-filled tires allow your child to travel faster than with foam tires.

Pros

  • Adjustable seat
  • Low center of gravity
  • Air-filled tires

Cons

  • No footrest

4. Banana GT Balance Bike

The Banana GT is perfect for kids of 2 years and above due to its adjustable seat post as it grows with you. The seat post can be adjusted from 12 inches to 17 inches, making it your perfect companion while growing up.

The new and improved low tube height allows for kids to reach the ground with ease and have more control of the speed and agility of the bike.

On the other hand, the handlebars are not adjustable so your kid will tend to lean over more the taller they get. However, after they have turned 5 it may be time to move them on to the bigger bikes.

For being under $100 for children’s balance bikes, the Banana GT comes with a set of aluminium wheels and air-filled tires. These tires increase the grip and resistance against the ground, providing your kid with extra support and traction throughout their ride and allowing them to tackle almost any terrain.

One of the biggest downsides of this bike is the lack of a steering limiter. Due to the absence of a steering limiter the handlebars may tend to over-rotate at times if the children are not careful.

This has proven to be the cause of more crashes among kids as they tend to lose control more often, which can discourage them early on.

However, for its attractive price, it has a much nicer build compared to most of its competitors out there.

Pros

  • Quick Release seat post
  • Air tires

Cons

  • Flimsy construction

5. Bixe 16” Pro Balance Bike

Balance bikes are not just meant for toddlers. Even older kids who may have not learned to ride when they were younger will have an easier time learning on balance bikes before making the transition to bigger, more advanced bikes.

This particular bike with the enlarged 16” frame has been on the top of the list for many parents as it is more suited for kids aged 5 – 9 years old.

The frame is amazingly sturdy and can support a child of up to 70kg, which is quite astonishing considering that we are reviewing children’s bikes. Not only is this bike sturdy but the assembly of it could not be simpler.

Turns out that all it requires you to do is adjust the height of the seat, fix the handlebars, and pump up the tires before your bike is ready to go.

Once again, this bike features air-filled tires which allow for improved grip and traction allowing your kid to learn to balance on almost any terrain.

However, the seat is quite rigid. Bike seats are in contact with some of the most tender parts of our bodies and when it comes to kids, its even more important to ensure comfortable seats.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Air tires

Cons

  • Uncomfortable seat

6. Schwinn Skip Toddler Balance Bike

With a lightweight all-steel frame and fork, this could be the best balance bike for beginners. Fitted with 12-inch wheels it is perfect for kids aged between 2 – 4 years.

The airless foam tires provide a smooth ride while being puncture-resistant, therefore making it all the safer for your child when they are out. The steering limiter makes it easier for your child to have control over the bike allowing them to practice more on their balance and gain confidence in doing so.

The lower centre of gravity provides your child with the beginner’s balance that is needed and adds to the level of control the child has over the bike.

Pros

  • Low center of gravity
  • Quick-release seat collar

Cons

  • No footrest

7. GOMO Balance Bike

This balance bike is perfect for the crazy boys out there. It is your typical boys’ bike ready to tackle off-road terrain and take on bumpy roads as well.

The steering limiter is the perfect addition on this bike as it helps your kid to have the utmost control over the bike and it stops them from falling if they were to lose control.

Fitted with 12-inch puncture-resistant tires and handlebars with added grip, your toddler can push their skills to the limit while still being in control and having a proper grip all the way.

It is advisable to note that the foam tires tend to get a bit slippery on smoother surfaces as they do not provide as much grip as rubber tires. This will not prove to be much of a problem as it is a balance bike, but it is better to take necessary precautions when your child is travelling downhill or on any wet terrain.

Pros

  • Solid construction for the price
  • Subtle footrest

Cons

  • Lacks Air tires

Buying Guide

When buying a balance bike, there are some aspects to look into if you want to make the best purchase for your kid. Let’s take a look at the components required for the perfect balance bike.

Size

Getting the size right is of utmost importance for the comfort of your child, and more importantly their safety. Many balance bikes claim that “one size fits all”. However, this may not prove to be true.

It is wiser to buy a bike suited to your kid’s age. This will make it easier for your child to get accustomed to it and the bike will last about 4 years after purchase as the seats and handlebars are adjustable according to how much they grow.

To find the perfect height of the bike for your child, you need to find one with the perfect seat height. To know what height is best, measure your child’s inseam. The height of the seat should be around 1” – 1.5” above that measurement.

This is because balance bikes have no pedals, so your child’s feet should be able to push off easily and be able to touch the ground once they have come to a stop.

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Weight

A general rule is to have a bike weigh less than 30% of your child’s body weight. They would find it more difficult to handle the bike the heavier it is.

The main contributors to weight are the frame, fork, and tires. Whereas air-filled tires tend to be heavier than foam tires, many balance bikes are more likely to have foam tires fitted on them. The only downside is their reduced grip when compared to air-filled tires.

Tires

There are two main types of tires for balance bikes. They play an important role in your child’s level of comfort and the amount of grip the bike gets when it’s being used.

Air tires these tires have the most amount of traction and grip when being used. However, they add to the weight of the bike. As these tires are made out of rubber they have a significantly higher grip than usual when compared to the foam tires.

Foam tires foam tires are the most common type of tires among balance bikes as they are lightweight, puncture-resistant, and extremely cheap to produce. These tires do not provide any dampening or shock reduction and if you were to go over a bump you would feel it.

Foam tires are perfect if your kid were to stick to paved surfaces but if you’ve got an adventurer on your hands, it is better to choose the air-filled tires.

Brakes

Usually, kids tend to stop the bike with their feet. However, it is much safer to look for options with hand brakes. This helps to reduce any injury caused to the child’s feet as they could use their hands to brake if they were travelling too fast. It also helps improve their hand-eye coordination as they grow older.

Having a balance bike with hand brakes allows for a more seamless transition to bigger, more advanced bikes.

Frames

Many balance bikes are made out of either steel or aluminium alloys.

Steel frames tend to be heavier and are found mainly on the lower end bikes. Steel frames are prone to rust and may need more active maintenance in the long run, to keep the bike running smoothly.

On the other hand, aluminium frames are lightweight, strong, and rustproof as the infamous aluminium alloy 6061 is used. This alloy is used on bigger, adult bikes as well due to its high durability and lightweight nature.

Now that you know which bike you’re going to get your kid, let us give you some parting advice on balance bikes.

Always put your kid’s safety first and avoid purchasing a bike because of the brand name or because it fits your budget. Do your research and find the perfect bike for your kid. In our review, we have tried to cover all the necessary components required.

Balance bikes are the best way for your toddlers to ride with more ease and safety. If you take a look at our balance bike comparisons you will be able to find one that’s suitable for your kid’s needs.

Now go along and get your kid the perfect gift, and always remember to make them wear a helmet!

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