10 Best Balance Bikes in 2017

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Just a few more weeks and we’d be saying goodbye to 2016 and welcoming 2017, hopefully, with more enthusiasm and a more favorable mindset. While we are counting down towards 2017, it’s not yet too late to give our loved ones, especially children, the best christmas gift they could ever receive this 2016. In this regard, we are giving you the top 10 balance bikes to wrap up the truly exciting year of 2016.

10 Best Balance Bikes

112 Sport Balance Bike by Strider

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Age Range: 18 months to 5 years old

The Strider Sport Balance Bicycle is one truly marvelous piece of balancing engineering. The low profile of the seat give it the look of a baby bike sans the two wheels in the rear. This low seat height has one very good advantage for the very young rider: he or she can easily prop his or her feet to provide the stability that the kid needs. This should really come in handy especially in situations where the young child is still pretty much being weaned off a tricycle or even a 4-wheeled ride on toy. The seat is actually designed like a mini saddle to allow for comfort fit of your child’s pelvis and hips. It can also be easily adjusted to accommodate your growing child. He or she may start using it at 18 months and by 5 years of age, he or she may still prefer it over standard bicycles. In such cases, the adjustable seat surely comes in handy.

The Strider has all the elements of a kiddie bicycle except for the fact that it doesn’t have any pedals and chain and gear mechanisms to help propel the vehicle over any pavement. But this does not necessarily mean it’s not going to be as mobile as its pedal-powered brother. The Strider has super-lightweight wheels that provide framework for its high quality EVA polymer tires that are guaranteed never to run flat and which, together with its lightweight design, can help improve the mobility of this kiddie vehicle. More importantly, however, is the fact that a footrest has been duly integrated into the frame of the Strider glider bike. So, by the time your kid has already perfected the art and science of balancing on two wheels, he or she can just as easily propel himself or herself around the neighborhood with his or her feet resting conveniently on the wide frame-integrated footrest.

What We Like about It – The Striker’s excellent combination of lightweight design and versatility make it clearly one of our favorites. The zero-tool adjustments are also a welcome feature.

2Schwinn Balance Bike by Schwinn

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Age Range: 2 to 5 years old

For those who think that the Striker is an excellent pedal less bike but are quite concerned about its lightweight frame, maybe you’d like to consider the Schwinn Balance Bike. It is actually almost similar to the Striker except for three very distinct features: a sturdier and heavier frame, a wider integrated footrest, and a fully pneumatic tire complete with the steel spokes of a standard bicycle wheel. Will these really make a difference?

Many customers, particularly parents, love the heavier and sturdier construction of the Schwinn. This gives them the peace of mind of greater stability that their kids need while still learning how to maintain equilibrium riding on a bicycle. If you’re thinking that the heavy weight will have a tremendous impact on the mobility of the bicycle, we can guarantee that it doesn’t. This is made possible by fully pneumatic tires which allow for better traction and help facilitate the more efficient movement. The wider integrated footrest is one of the best differences we have seen from the Striker. A wider footrest simply translates into better comfort for your child. Additionally, because of the wider surface area of the footrest, your kid will be able to safely rest his or her feet without danger of them getting snagged on the rear wheel. This added safety should really be a welcome feature.

The Schwinn bike for 2 year old kids has the same fully adjustable seat and handlebar. This allows it to be used by your kid even as he or she is already a preschooler.

What We Like about It – The sturdier construction of the Schwinn is what many consider as its strongest points and we are inclined to agree. Moreover, the pneumatic tires allow for a more comfortable ride so your kid will be better motivated to ride it all day long.

3Go Glider Kids Balance Bike Lightweight Alloy with Patented Slow Speed Geometry by Glide Bikes

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Age Range: 5 to 10 years old

Designed specifically for older children who have not yet learned how to ride a bike at 5 years of age, the Go Glider Kids Balance Bike is a wonderful piece of bicycle design. With a slightly curved frame that allows for a slower speed ensuring safer riding experience for your kid, the Go Glider is a no pedal bike that we guarantee your child will fall for instantly. The design is pretty much like that of a mountain bike, complete with steel spoke high grade alloy wheels and pneumatic tires, a rear mounted brake system mated to a hand-operated lever on the handlebar, and custom integrated foot pegs on the lower third of the frame. The Go Glider is a superbly looking pedal less bike with comfortable seat that is also designed to mimic that of a standard bicycle seat. Truly, this is the best training bicycle for older children who may need to really train hard before they can safely ride a real bike.

What’s really interesting about the Go Glider is the patented slow speed geometry design. This helps provide the peace of mind that you need whenever your young kid holds onto the bicycle-like handlebar and push the Go Glider with his or her feet. By the time he or she is already fully confident about his or her balancing abilities, you can then buy a standard bicycle. Until then, your child will have to rely on leg power for propulsion and on the removable foot pegs for smooth gliding. The good thing is that the Go Glider also features a handbrake so your kid technically everything he or she needs to train properly before you can get him or her his or her very first standard bicycle.

What We Like about It – The Go Glider is a no pedal bike designed primarily to mimic a real bicycle. The only thing that is actually missing is the pedal and chain mechanism that moves a 2-wheeled vehicle. Aside from this, the Go Glider already has making it an excellent training system.

4Cub No Pedal Balance Bike for Kids by Critical Cycles

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Age Range: 20 months to 5 years old

The first time we laid our eyes on the Cub No Pedal Balance Bike for Kids, we thought it was a scooter with an integrated seat. The reason for this was the unusually sleek profile of the Cub but with an extra-large footrest platform at the base of the frame and the seat. The only thing that really gives it away as a unique glider bike is the two wheels that are too large to be considered a scooter. Regardless, the Cub is one fascinating ride for young tots as the comfy seat naturally conforms to the still-developing hips and pelvis of growing children. The seat as well as the handlebar are fully adjustable, too. You don’t actually need any special tools to do this. Moreover, the adjustability of both components is just perfect for growing children.

The wide footrests are a joy to behold as they provide added security and safety for your kid’s fragile feet. This helps provide greater stability as your kid can easily rest his or her feet on these structures instead of letting them dangle on the sides. The unitary design melding the seat structure, the frame, and the rear wheel fork adds to the stability of the Cub. Adding to this safety and stability is the step-thru design of its bike frame. It’s like the frame of ladies’ bicycles allowing them to easily hop onto the seat. This minimizes the risk of falls especially if your kid’s motor development is not yet that fully advanced. The tires are fully rubberized, too, and as such, you don’t have to worry about tire punctures and blowouts. This should spell an added benefit in the form of low maintenance requirements.

What We Like about It – The Cub’s sleek and curvy appeal betrays the functionality of its overall design. What is truly amazing about the Cub is its wide footrests as well as spectacular step-thru frame.

5Red Bullet Balance Training Bike by Chicco

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

Chicco is well known for producing excellent baby and kid’s products. That’s why if you get the Red Bullet Balance Training Bike for your sweet little child, we’re pretty sure it will last him or her several years without having worry about it buckling down. The Red Bullet pedal less bike has a very unique gorilla type handle bar that gives your kid a superbly chopper-like feel. This should help enhance your child’s imagination being a great Harley-Davidson biker. Of course, we know we’re pushing it. But the point is that the handle bar alone is already enough reason to get the Red Bullet this Christmas for your child.

The Red Bullet also comes with a lightweight yet highly durable bike frame that has been duly tested to accommodate children weighing up to 55 pounds. The frame is made of high grade metal alloy that has been engineered specifically for the young bikers of today. The seat doesn’t disappoint either as it comes fully padded. Its height can be fully adjusted so even if your kid is already in school and he or she still prefers riding the Red Bullet, then let him or her be. We’re pretty sure there’s something about the Red Bullet that children will have difficulty letting go. The tires are made of puncture resistant and maintenance-free materials so there’s no need to buy a separate portable air pump as the tires will keep on rolling long after your child has already reached the golden age. If there’s one thing that we miss in this glider bike, that would be the integrated footrest. Perhaps Chicco found it totally unnecessary since the Red Bullet is primarily designed as a transition or training bike anyway.

What We Like about It – Does the name Chicco ring any bell? This is often enough to make a lot of customers buy a particular product. However, in case you insist, the sturdy design of the Red Bullet is what we love about it. For some individuals, though, the absence of a footrest can be considered a drawback.

6Classic Balance Bike by KaZAM

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Age Range: 3 to 6 years old

We know how frustrating it can be to teach young kids how to ride a bike. There’s simply a lot of things that need to be considered such as your kid’s ability to balance. While some may prefer a tricycle, many prefer a no pedal bike such as the KaZAM Classic Balance Bike. This is one truly revolutionary training bicycle technology is one of the most preferred by many parents wanting to teach their kids the intricate art of balancing. And it’s very easy to understand why.

The KaZAM Classic has plenty of features that are designed to make your kid’s training a lot safer, more comfortable, and truly easy. The molded seat, for instance, allow for superb riding comfort which is further enhanced by its fully pneumatic tires. This is one feature that is well-received by many parents as it does provide for a more comfortable ride. This is not to say that there are no detractors as well, especially those who are concerned about the tires getting punctured and needing remediation. Well, it’s all about your personal preferences whether you are more concerned about riding comfort or about the ease of its maintenance. Adding comfort to the riding experience are the grip handles that have been beautifully wrapped in soft and cushiony padding.

But if there’s one thing that is truly captivating in the KaZAM Classic no pedal bike, that would be its super sleek designer frame. The frame of this glider bike can be best described as a letter “S” that has been turned on its side. So you can just imagine the sexiness of the curves of the KaZAM Classic. The fully integrated footrest is located in the inner curve of the bike frame, unlike the usual arrangement located on the rear fork. This arrangement allows for optimum comfort riding as your kid will be able to put his or her feet directly in front of him or her and not towards the side and back. It is thus, no wonder why a lot of people actually love the KaZAM Classic. And we simply cannot say otherwise.

What We Like about It – The overall design of the KaZAM Classic is truly a marvel, to say the least. The placement of the footrest is one of the main reasons why we chose this over the others. Plus, the other features like a fully adjustable handlebar and seat make this a true gem to have for your children.

7V2S No Pedal Balance Bike by KaZAM

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Age Range: 2 to 4 years old

If you love the KaZAM Classic because of its unique features and really superb styling but would have wished if they had a smaller version for your younger child, maybe KaZAM is listening and has decided to answer your prayers. Introducing the KaZAM Classic’s little brother (or sister): the V2S No Pedal Balance Bike. This baby bike is as sleek and sexy as its bigger brother. Actually the only slight difference between the KaZAM Classic and the V2S is the thinner profile of the S-shaped step-in frame. This makes it quite more appropriate for young children who have just mastered the art of cruising using their walkers.

The V2S is made of the same sturdy material as the Classic giving it superb durability that you clearly would want for your young prince and princess. Adding to the durability is the metal alloy wheel spokes giving it structural rigidity while maintaining the stability that is needed to ride one of these babies. Perhaps, like the Classic, the more appealing feature of the V2S no pedal bike is its center located foot rest allowing your young child to find his or her balance with his or her feet firmly planted in front of him or her. This is unlike the other glider bike systems we have in our list where the footrest is integrated into the base of the frame where the rear fork, frame, and seat attachment meets. This particular arrangement puts the child’s feet towards the back and side making it quite awkward.

The pneumatic tires have highly durable rubber tubes to get the tires inflated to the correct pressure. While some individuals don’t necessarily like the idea of tires getting punctured, this type of tire is nonetheless preferable to solid rubber because of the level of comfort that they provide. Adding to the comfort is a fully padded seat and grip handle. Both seat and handlebar are also fully adjustable.

What We Like about It – If you’re looking for a really great bike for 2 year old kids, the V2S is an excellent purchase. The sleek design plus the center located footrest as well as other features are simply splendid.

8Active Skuut Wooden Balance Bike by Diggin

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Age Range: 2 to 5 years old

Want a glider bike that is built like your soapbox car? Well, we’d highly suggest getting the Active Skuut Wooden Balance Bike. Made of premium quality wood, the Active Skuut comes in a very ingenious design. The styling is pretty much like a kiddie trike except that it only has two wheels. The frame is continuous from the steering column all the way to the rear wheel giving it superb structural rigidity that is sure to guarantee prolonged use. It’s actually stronger than some of the training bicycle systems we have in our list as the Active Skuut can take the weight of a 75-pound child. Even the wheels are made of wood. The only parts that are not made of wood are the fully pneumatic tires, the handle grips, and the padded seat. Of course, bolts and nuts are also not made of wood to give it superb strength. The solid disc design of the wheels reminds you of the types of wheels that professional cyclists use.

What We Like about It – If it’s a unique balance bike for 2 year old kids that you’re looking for, the Active Skuut is the best choice. And if you’re concerned about the trees that are cut because of these products, don’t worry as Diggin has a comprehensive tree planting program for every unit sold. Now isn’t that great?

9BMXie-RS by Chillafish

Age Range: 2 to 5 years old

One of the most iconic bicycles of all time is the BMX. It’s one of the preferred bicycles especially for stunts, tricks, and even extreme games. The BMXie-RS aims to give very young riders the wonderful opportunity to train in a BMX-type of balance glider bike without the drivetrain and pedals. The overall design of the BMXie-RS is very characteristic of a standard BMX bicycle. The lightweight, fiberglass-reinforced, and high quality frame is distinctly BMX. The handlebar, front fork, and even the padded saddle seat are also very BMX-like. The only thing that is really missing is the drivetrain as well as the pedal. Instead of a pedal system, the BMXie-RS features a foot peg directly where the pedal assembly would be found. This helps simulate the position of an actual BMX rider. There’s even a detachable plate on the handle bar for placing your kid’s racing number. Now, your kid will not only be training full time to master the art of balancing a bike; he or she will also be exploring the magical world of BMX biking. So, the next time you get your kid a bicycle, it should be relatively easier already.

What We Like about It – The BMX styling of the BMXie-RS is very noteworthy. There’s simply no mistaking that the BMXie-RS has its origins in a standard BMX bike. This should make transitioning to a real BMX a lot easier for children.

10UltraLite Balance Bike by Cruzee 

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Age Range: 18 months to 5 years old

If you’re looking for an ultra-lightweight pedal less bike so that, even if your child falls and the bicycle falls on him or her, he or she won’t get hurt, then maybe you’d be interested in the 4.4-pound UltraLite Balance Bike. You read that right. This no pedal bike weighs just 2 kilograms so it should pose no threat to your young kid. This also makes the UltraLite an ideal baby bike especially if he or she is already trying to learn the rudiments of balancing a bike. While the UltraLite is lightweight, it is never light on features. The handlebar and the padded seat can be easily adjusted. It also has EVA polymer tires for added comfort. The footrest has been duly integrated into the frame although it’s a bit narrower than other balance bikes we have in our list. Nevertheless, the UltraLite is a wonderful tool to help your child learn to balance. 

What We Like about It – The UltraLite’s main strength is in its lightweight features. Thankfully, this is not the only thing that’s good about it. Its versatility, comfort riding, and structural durability are also superb.

How We Chose the Best and Most Amazing Bikes in Our List

In picking a product to include in our list of the most amazing balance bikes, we had to look at the safety first. This is because these ride on toys are technically replacements for training wheels and tricycles that many young kids use. However, since they don’t have pedals or any mechanism other than a frame, a steering handle, and 2 wheels, their safety is one of the utmost concerns. In ensuring the safety of these kinds of bicycles, we looked at their overall construction. It must be highly durable, otherwise you’d be expecting a lot of wipeouts from your young rider. The safety features can come in different forms, though.

It was also crucial for us to look at the different features integrated into the design and construction of the pedal less bike. These can include the braking system, a turning limiter, the height of the seat, and any available footrests. The latter is actually for practical purposes especially if your kid is already cruising along pretty well with his or her glider bike. It would be awkward having his or her feet dangling on either side of the bicycle simply because he or she doesn’t have a structure with which to rest his or her feet. The weight of the balance bicycle had also been factored into the equation. Too heavy and the risk of falling because of poor balance and control is also great. Too light and one wrong move can send the bicycle up into the air like E.T.

All of these features were cross-referenced with the developmental needs of children at a specific age. We had to make sure that the recommended age matches the developmental level of the child riding it. Otherwise, any mismatch can have implications to the young rider’s overall development. In general, balance bicycles serve to develop or train a kid’s sense of balance which should be the spring for improving the kid’s coordination and confidence. If the ride on toy cannot guarantee this basic developmental need, then we had to scrap it off our list.

The bicycle maker’s reputation was also scrutinized. As much as possible we only included those with an excellent reputation as it somehow speaks of the quality workmanship and safety that they put in every product that they manufacture. If we can establish their credibility, then we can be sure it’s a high quality product.

Should You Ditch the Tricycle for the Balance Bike?

Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for every kid. The scrapes, the wobbly training wheels, and the nervous moms and dads running after their kid as he or she attempts to balance the bicycle are all part of the learning process. That’s why many parents give their younger children a kiddie tricycle to help them make the successful transition into a two-wheeled ride on toy. Unfortunately, evidence suggest that doing so does not really prepare the child to one very fundamental requirement of riding a bike: balancing.

Riding a bicycle requires excellent proprioceptive senses as well as superb coordination of the different body organs to achieve balance. Regrettably, giving young children a tricycle with which to train to transition into bicycle riding does not help them learn the very basics of balancing simply because a trike has three wheels which make it a lot more stable than a two-wheeled ride on toy. As such, when a tricycle-trained child moves onto a bicycle, the only thing he or she has learned is how to pedal and how to hold to handlebar. Clearly, the most important element of all is missing – balancing.

It is for this reason that a balance bike is now regarded as a much better approach to teaching kids how to ride a bike without necessarily pedalling first. They are essentially taught how to achieve and maintain balance especially while the pedal less bike is already moving. So, when these kids do get to ride a bicycle complete with a drivetrain, they are able to make the transition a lot more successfully without bruises, cuts, and scrapes. This leads to better confidence among kids and greater peace of mind for their parents.

If you’re still wondering whether to ditch the trike for a balance bike, just ask yourself if you want your kid to learn how to ride a real bike a lot faster and safer. If your answer is yes, then you’d have to ditch the trike.

The Bottom Line

Balance bikes serve a purpose: to prepare your kids for the real thing. With the top 10 balance bikes we’ve listed here, we’re confident you’ll be in the right track helping your child learn how to balance riding a bike.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!
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