The 7 Best Balance Bikes

Updated October 03, 2017

7 Best Balance Bikes
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If your kids are not quite ready for a big kid's bicycle but are hankering for a little independence, one of these balance bikes will help develop their steering skills and stability while giving them just the right amount of mobility and freedom. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best balance bike on Amazon.

7. Schwinn S7116AZ

The Schwinn S7116AZ is well made and has a low step-through bar, making it easy to mount. While the frame is taller than most, both the frame and handlebars are height adjustable, so your little one should be able to ride along safely.
  • well-oiled bearings roll smoothly
  • steel frame has good welds
  • paint scratches off easily
Brand Schwinn S7116AZ
Model S7116AZ-PARENT
Weight 13.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Vilano Push

The Vilano Push is ideal for smaller children who may have trouble with heavier bikes. Not only is this one of the lightest options on our list, it also comes in five different colors, has airless tires, and it is extremely easy to assemble.
  • extra wide handlebar pad
  • fun to use bell
  • no ball bearings in wheels
Brand Vilano
Model 575-PUSH-GRN
Weight 8.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Kazam v2e

The Kazam v2e comes in 6 different colors, so you can easily find your child's favorite, and it has an easy step-in footrest that has been placed in a very natural position. This unique approach doesn't require children to raise their legs in the air while moving.
  • rapid transition to regular bikes
  • thick foam tires
  • larger than most models
Brand KaZAM
Model KZM14EBL
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. TooToo 12

The TooToo 12 lets children master balance and steering without having to worry about crashing. The adjustable-reach brake lever effortlessly stops and slows the bike from the rear tire, while the ergonomic saddle keeps everything in place.
  • aluminum handlebars won't rust
  • great for 2 to 4-year-olds
  • comfortable padding for hands
Brand Yedoo
Model pending
Weight 8.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Radio Flyer Glide and Go

The well-built Radio Flyer Glide and Go is made with a classic design that will likely match your kid's wagon. Its cushion is very comfortable and the handles are soft for long-term use, which is good because the bike has a big age range of 2 to 5 years old.
  • extremely affordable
  • tires have excellent traction
  • easy to reach bell
Brand Radio Flyer
Model 803X
Weight 9.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Strider 12 Sport

For flexibility among many ages, you can swap seats and adjust heights with the Strider 12 Sport that comes in an incredible 14 different colors. While made with simple high-end components, it does feature some finer details, such as a gripped mounting bar.
  • comes with toddler and child seats
  • great for any terrain
  • light industrial foam tires
Brand Strider
Model ST-SC4-HON-RD
Weight 10 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Joovy Bicycoo

If you want your child to learn to balance with the added challenge of suspension, you will need a Joovy Bicycoo that comes with pneumatic tires instead of the more standard foam. This provides a more realistic and bumpy ride to properly prepare kids for the real thing.
  • light aluminum frame
  • easy to use hand brake
  • extremely attractive design
Brand Joovy
Model 157
Weight 11.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Walk Before You Ride

If you ride a bicycle, there's a good chance that you learned the way thousands, if not millions of children have learned over the past few decades, and that's by training wheels. You may recall that training wheels are smaller wheels that attach to the back portion of a bike frame so that they flank and provide balance to the bike's back wheel.

Training wheels are great in that they give your kids an opportunity to get a feel for pedaling a bike before they have to also learn how to balance it. The big problem with that method, however, is that the balancing act is often the hardest part, and as soon as a lot of kids feel that the security of the training wheels has been taken away they panic. Falling off of a bike hurts, so their fear is justified.

What a balance bike does is enter the scene before the larger bike with training wheels is even a thought. These balance bikes are essentially small, two-wheeled bikes without any pedals or gears. They're built low enough to the ground that a child can use his or her feet to move it along, while still getting a feel for the biking experience.

At first, this may seem silly. How could the experience of walking a bike along actually help teach you how to balance it? Well, balance and speed share a fascinating relationship. It turns out that the faster you ride, the easier it is to balance on a bicycle, or even a motorcycle. That's why it's important to run along side your child on his or her first attempt to ride a pedaled bike without training wheels, so they can build up speed before you let go.

When (and I mean when) your little one eventually builds up enough speed on his or her balance bike–going down a hill, for example–, two things will happen. First, the speed will necessitate that the kid picks his or her feet up off of the ground, as the bike will be moving too quickly for their legs to keep up. Second, once those feet come off the ground, the bike, moving quickly enough to do so, will balance itself.

It's experiences like this that make it so much easier for kids to transition to a bike with training wheels, and then a bike without them. By that time, they'll be so comfortable on a bike, and so experienced with the ease in balancing one, that they'll ride off into the sunset without you.

Minor Variations

I've always found the simplicity of a bicycle very appealing. Even with a dozen gears added to the frame, there's an elegance to the streamlined nature of bikes, to the way in which they're all essentially the same machine. Sure, some of them are easier to ride up hills or get up to higher speeds, but the mechanics of a bike never really change.

As you evaluate the balance bikes on our list, you'll notice that the similarities among them far outnumber their differences. Still, there are some perhaps unexpected particulars for you to consider when making your selection.

For starters–and this might be the most important variable in your choice–, you'll want to take a look at the style of the bike. This includes color, and if you follow the price links to a given bike, you'll see that several of them come in multiple colors. It also includes the nuances of its shape. While some of these bikes have their seats placed in more of a low-rider position, others feel more like mountain bikes or road bikes.

Next, you're going to want to look at the tire material. Some of these bikes boast actual rubber tires complete with inflatable tubes. This type tends to be more durable, and is significantly easier to maintenance than its plastic counterpart, but it also demands more upkeep, like making sure the tires are inflated and fixing flats.

Finally, check the weight of each bike. When your little one gets tired, it's up to you to carry the thing around, and a few pounds in this department can make all the difference, especially if you've got the bike in one arm and your kid in the other.

A Dandy Of A Time

One of the reasons that it took a while for the bicycle to catch on as a popular means of transportation or as an instrument of leisure is that, until its invention, human beings hadn't been asked to balance anything of its kind. The only comparable experience to riding a bike at that point in history was riding a horse, and horses either balanced themselves or they were taken out behind the shed, never to return.

In 1818, Baron Karl Drais invented something called the dandy horse, which was, for all intents and purposes, a balance bike for adults. It was a full-sized bicycle without pedals or gears. It had a hinged front wheel to allow for additional steering, but it didn't have any brakes.

Use of the dandy horse is one of the things that prepared the populace for the explosion of the bicycle in the middle of the 19th century, but its design faded well into the background until the balance bikes we now use for our kids came back into style over the past few decades.



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Last updated on October 03, 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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