Balance bicycles offer a unique and effective alternative to training wheels and tricycles for kids. Balance bikes also claim to be safer than training wheels and tricycles because it reduces the risk of tipping over when encountering a bump or a sharp turn.
These bicycles, which are generally designed without pedals, teach children as young as a year and a half to as old as 10, the balancing skills they need to successfully ride a traditional, two-wheeled bicycle. Balance bikes generally have certain characteristics in common, such as a lack of pedals, the presence of a footrest, and adjustable seats. They tend to vary, however, in the ages they serve. The exact design, tire, and many other details can affect which one is the best choice for your child. The following five bicycles, however, are some of the best-regarded and most reliable balance bikes on the market today.
|Image||Balance Bicycle||Seat Height||Colors Available||Price||Star Rating [out of 5]
Strider Sport No Pedal
|14" - 19"||Black, Blue, Green, Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow||$$||4.7
|14" - 17.5"||Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Red||$$||4.1
Go Glider Kids
|17.5" - 25"||Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Red||$$$||4.5
|14" - 16.5"||Blue, Green, Pink, Red||$||4.5
Smart Gear Classic
|14" - 17"||Wood||$||4.1
The Schwinn 12-inch balance bicycle is the ideal way to teach your three or four year old how to ride a bike. Designed to make learning how to balance easy, this bicycle offers a preschooler-sized frame, air-filled tires, and kid-centered details.
The bicycle is sized to fit most three- and four-year olds, though older or younger children may fit the bicycle depending on their size. The bike best fits children who have an inseam of more than 14 inches. It boasts a seat that adjusts from 14 inches to 16.5 inches.
Despite being designed for children, it possesses a sturdy design and adult-bike features, such as all-steel construction, rubber filled wheels, and metal spokes. Its design allows children to learn how to balance, preparing them for a transition to a big-kid bicycle. The only downside, is that the bicycle tends to rust if exposed to water. Otherwise, it receives high praise from parents who have seen their children transition easily from the balance bicycle to a regular or training bicycle.
The Strider 12 Sport No-Pedal balance bicycle is designed to grow with the child. For instance, the bicycle is extremely lightweight, at just around six pounds, allowing the child to easily carry it. It comes with a mini-seat as well as a larger seat to accommodate children as young as a year and a half and as old as five. In addition, it sports small handlebars (only half an inch around) to make them easier for children to grip and a padded saddle for comfort.
Consumers report that the bicycle is ideal for use by more than one child In addition, the Strider is easy to assemble and adjust. Because it is designed to teach children how to balance, it allows them to more easily transition to a two-wheeled bicycle with pedals without having to take the intermediate step of using a tricycle or training wheels to learn how to remain upright.
The only downside to this bicycle is that the wheels, which are a polymer, are more prone to slipping than are standard rubber wheels. Otherwise, the Strider receives high praise from consumers for its versatility, durability, and effectiveness.
The Go Glider balance bike offers children from 5 to 10 years old a tool for learning how to ride a pedal bicycle. The Go Glider is designed for safety, fun, and balance. Its design enables it to balance at speeds as low as 2 mph, allowing even the most nervous children to confidently begin learning how to balance on a bicycle.
In addition, the bike boasts a footrest that allows children to put their feet up and glide when they want to, a low to the ground design that allows children to put their feet down to stop, and a hand brake for added confidence and stopping power.
The result is a safe, but fun and effective bicycle that children can use to learn the balancing skills they will need to successfully pedal a bicycle. In addition, the bicycle is parent-friendly, lightweight, and sports easy assembly with a one-step process for adjusting the seat. The only downside to the Go Glider is that consumers occasionally report a less than stellar construction. Otherwise, the bicycle earns high praise for its effectiveness in preparing children for riding more traditional pedal bikes.
The Smart Gear Classic balance bicycle sets itself apart from the competition by its green practices and its emphasis on safety. The bicycle itself is constructed out of renewable birch wood and even comes packaged in a recyclable box. In addition, it is designed for safety.
Its wheels are covered by a wooden wheel disc instead of metal spokes that could trap a child’s legs as they pedal. In addition, the Smart Gear Classic provides only a limited radius for turning in order to prevent over steering and resulting accidents.
The bicycle’s no pedal design encourages children to learn how to balance as they ride, enabling them to switch to pedal bicycles without requiring the intermediate step of a tricycle. The bicycle is easy to assemble and easy to operate. The only downside is that some consumers report receiving the bike with the tubing slashed. Otherwise, the Smart Gear Classic is an environmentally friendly, as well as effective, tool for giving children the balance they need to successfully ride a bike.
The KaZam Classic is a balance bike designed to help 3 to 6 year olds learn how to ride a bicycle without ever needing to use training wheels and tricycles.
The KaZam comes with a footrest instead of pedals to encourage children to rest their feet and test their balance as they travel along sidewalks and down hills. The KaZam features; an adjustable seat, handlebar, air-filled rubber tires and metal spokes on the wheels. At a light weight of 10 pounds, this bike
is jam packed with features.
Consumers report that the KaZam remains a favorite bicycle over the course of several years, mainly, because it is adjustable. The bicycle also receives praise for being fun to ride, with many consumers reporting that the KaZam is a favorite toy for their children. They also report that the bicycle is extremely effective, allowing children to graduate directly to a bicycle. The only downside to the bike, is that some consumers find the quality to be less than ideal, and many consumers report that the rubber tires do need to be refilled with air fairly regularly. Otherwise, the KaZam serves as an effective, classic, and appealing option in the balance bike category.
Have your children tried any of these bikes? What did they think? Please leave your comments below.