In the blink of a parenting eye, training wheels have gone by the wayside and balance bikes are now the only way to go when it’s time for kids to learn to ride a bike. The hardest part about learning to ride is getting the balance down – using your core muscles to keep from going splat onto the sidewalk (insert wailing child here!) – and balance bikes help kids conquer that part first, then they can easily add the pedaling skills when they’re ready. Countless parents will tell you that after using a balance bike, their kids hopped right on a two-wheeler without skipping a beat – many of which hadn’t even celebrated their third birthdays yet! So, we know that balance bikes are amazing, but now we need to know… which one is right for your kid?
KaZAM Balance Bikes
Awesome Factor: What sets the KaZAM Balance Bike apart is the cool foot rest, where your kiddo can tuck their feet while they are learning to balance, eliminating the crazy leg-sticking-out situation that seems to happen on other balance bikes.
Ages: Recommended for ages 3-6
Sweet Features: Colorful metal frame and 12-inch rubber, inflatable tires, plus a quick-release seat for easy adjustments on the go.
Stats: Maximum weight is 75 pounds and the seat adjusts from 14 to 17.5-inches high
Buy One: They offer free shipping if you purchase your KaZAM bike straight from the KaZAM website!
Awesome Factor: LIKEaBIKE was one of the first balance bikes that came on the scene in the late 1990s and many families say that they are a great investment that will stand the test of time for your kids, being passed down from siblings and cousins for years to come. We love all the cool accessories you can add on to your LIKEaBIKE, including trailers and even kick-stands for that real-bike feel.
Ages: Recommended for ages 2-5
Sweet Features: The frames are made of birch wood, making them super lightweight, and the tires are inflatable rubber. We love that the seat covers are removable and washable!
Stats: Seat adjusts from 13 to 17 inches high
Price: $289 and up, depending on the model
Buy One: Check out the long list of local and online retailers that carry LIKEaBIKEs on the LIKEaBIKE website.
Skuut Wooden Balance Bike
Awesome Factor: One of the most popular balance bikes available, Skuut (rhymes with hoot!) balance bikes are a favorite for both parents and kids and for good reason – they have a simple, easy-to-use design, Skuut bikes last forever and the frame is lightweight. Plus, they are more reasonably priced than some of their comparable wooden friends.
Ages: Recommended for ages 2-5
Sweet Features: Made of non-toxic laminated birch wood with 12-inch rubber tires. We love that Skuut also makes a version with pink accents for the girls who love to get their balance bike on too!
Stats: Seat adjusts from 13.5 to 16.5 inches
Strider No-Pedal Balance Bikes
Awesome Factor: Another top-contender in the balance bike game is the Strider No-Pedal Balance Bike. Strider makes a variety of bikes, including the Strider PREbike that can be used for kids as young as 12 months old and their bikes can be used for kids on the older end of the balancing range too – great for kiddos who may have had an unsuccessful attempt at riding with training wheels.
Ages: Recommended for ages 1-5
Sweet Features: Steel frame and an integrated footrest that’s tucked right behind the seat. Plus, Strider bikes come in a variety of cool colors, so your kiddo can definitely find his or her fave. The super awesome custom parts have caught our eye too, including different colored wheels and handlebar grips for a truly personalized balance bike.
Stats: The seat can go as low as 11 inches from the ground, making them great for kids who are too short for other balance bike options. Also, a seat extension piece is available for kids who are taller and need some extra legroom to ride.
Price: $100 and up, depending on the model
Buy One: Available online at the Strider website, or through your local bike shop. They’re also sold through Home Based Dealers, who are parents in your own city or neighborhood that can meet you at the park to give a Strider a test run!
YBIKE Balance Bike
Awesome Factor: One of the only plastic balance bikes available, YBIKEs are a fun option for kids who are just learning to balance. They look a bit like a mini-motorcycle, with two-wheels that are doubled up on the rear for more stability than other balance bikes.
Ages: Recommended for ages 2-4, although they can hold up to 100-pounds, so children up to age 8 can easily enjoy a YBIKE
Sweet Features: We love that these are plastic, so you don’t have to worry as much about them being left out in the backyard overnight or about making sure the tires are inflated to a precise pressure.
Stats: Maximum weight capacity is 100 pounds
Buy One: Available for purchase on the YBIKE website, which offers free shipping. However, you can also pick one up on Amazon, sometimes for up to $20 cheaper, especially if you aren’t picky about color.
We’d love to hear your tips about using a balance bike for your kiddos! Share with us in the comments below.
Psst: safety first! Don’t forget to pick up a helmet for your little balance bike rider while you’re at it!
— Katie Kavulla