The first time your toddler takes off on his or her two-wheeled balance bike, you’ll be amazed at the mobility they’ve acquired in such a short period of time. Kids can learn to ride a bike without ever using training wheels! Balance bikes are also better for their physical development because it allows them to build strength and coordination from the ground up. The best part is that toddlers have more fun when they’re not restricted by stabilizers–they are free to explore their world with confidence as soon as they master steering and stopping.
The worst thing about training wheels is that kids don’t get enough practice balancing on two wheels before being expected to pedal, which makes it difficult for some children who never quite manage this crucial skill.
But, on the whole, balance bikes are a great way to intriduce your kid to the joy of two wheel transport. So, lets dive in and take a look at what makes them so good and discover the do’s (and dont’s) of picking the best one for your kids.
What are balance bikes and how do they work?
Balance bikes are small balance wheeled bicycles. Their design is based on balance bikes that were first used in the 1800s and they enable a child to balance themselves on two wheels while riding. A balance bike enables toddlers to ride independently, without training wheels, which means they learn how to balance much faster than if training wheels had been used. They have no pedals or chain (although some brands do make 3-wheel balance bikes) and come with rubber tires instead of inflatable ones.
Why should I buy a balance bike for my toddler?
Balance bikes allow your toddler to balance and ride through their own efforts. This means they learn balance much faster than if they had been using training wheels, which have to be pushed by an adult in order for the child to balance. Training wheels effectively force your toddler’s legs up and down as they balance on two tiny pieces of metal; a balance bike does not require any pushing.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of balance bikes?
The biggest advantage in my opinion is that balance bikes can teach toddlers to balance without using training wheels. This means they learn to balance much faster, since their legs don’t have to be pushed up or down (like on training wheels). Not only will your toddler balance more quickly, but balance bike riding is much easier than balancing with training wheels; as a result, balance bike riders fall less often and get hurt less often when they do fall.
Since balance bikes don’t require any pushing from an adult in order for them to work, adults won’t need to bend over repeatedly whenever the child falls down – unlike when using training wheels. Therefore, these bikes are easier on parents’ backs and knees, while also improving balance in the kid.
Balance bikes are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to training wheels. They’re a great solution if you’re looking for balance bikes for 2 year olds or balance bikes for 3 year olds ; otherwise, with any balance bike, make sure to get one that’s the appropriate size so your toddler can reach the ground while sitting on it. They come in many shapes and sizes and they might look similar at first glance (especially when viewed from afar), but all balance bikes have different characteristics that will fit. So, lets look at that next….
How to pick the right size of balance bike for your child?
Balance bikes for toddlers come in a variety of shapes and sizes so the most important thing is to get one your child will be able to reach the ground with while sitting on it (otherwise, they’ll be left hanging in the air when trying to balance). The ideal bike shoudl also be comfortable enough for them to sit on for a long time. You might also want something that looks attractive and fun so your toddler will enjoy spending time on it.
The most common balance bike designs include:
- classic balance bike (cargo bike)
- balance trike
- balance with pedals
- balance tricycle
- balance quad/cycle
Typical balance bike sizes are
- 12-18″ balance bikes which are recommended for toddlers ages 1-2
- 18″-20″ balance bikes for toddlers ages 2–3
- 20″-23″ balance bikes for toddlers ages 3-4
Tips for teaching your child to ride a balance bike
Since balance bikes have no pedals, your child will need to balance by themselves. You can start with a balance bike that only has one wheel; balance bikes for 2 year olds generally work well in this case. If the balance bike has 2 wheels (a dual-wheel balance bike), it’s highly recommended you put training wheels on the back of it instead of trying to teach your toddler balance in this case (they’re practically useless once they learn how to balance). As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to get a balance bike that’s the appropriate size so your toddler can reach the ground while sitting on it. Your child should be able to comfortably and easily sit with their feet flat against the ground; if not, they won’t be able to balance effectively and safely.
When you start riding with your toddler, help them balance at first by pushing or holding the bike from behind, and then quickly take your hands away as they balance themselves. Balance bikes for 2 year olds will likely require a push at first (and even balance bikes for 3-year-olds may still require a push if your child is small). However, if it’s too difficult to balance when sitting down all the way onto the seat – this indicates that the balance bike is probably too big for them.
At first, let your toddler stand on their own balance bike while you hold onto it; this will help prepare them for balancing. It’ll also be easier to control your balance bike before he gets going fast on it. Let your child balance by themselves as much as possible when they’re first starting out; balance bikes for toddlers are easy to balance once you’ve gotten used to them, so balance bike riders tend to quickly develop balance skills on their own (there’s no need to learn how to balance using training wheels or tricycles).
If the balance bike has pedals, be sure not to step on them with your foot while your child is trying to balance. This will mess up his balance and he’ll lose control of the bike. If there’s a pedal on one side that can’t be blocked from below, then hold onto the seat instead (or block this pedal with something like a piece of wood / a book); if there’s another pedal on the other side, balance bikes for toddlers can usually lean to one side when your child is riding it.
Common mistakes parents make when buying bikes for their kids (and how to avoid them)
A common mistake is getting balance bikes for toddlers that are too large or difficult to balance; balance bikes with training wheels, trikes (balance tricycles), and 3-wheeled balance bikes are usually the worst when it comes to this. The reason balance bikes work so well is because they’re designed in a way that makes balance very easy, so if you get something difficult to balance (which most 3-wheeled balance bikes are) then this will make balance harder.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to properly size the balance bike for your child’s height and weight. Your child should be able to easily reach the ground with their feet flat against it when they’re sitting on the balance bike. If balance bikes for 2 year olds have pedals, make sure you block these with pieces of wood / books so they don’t get in the way.
The benefits of using a balance bike over training wheels or other methods that teach biking skills
Balance bikes for toddlers and balance bikes for 2 year olds have a lot of benefits over other methods of teaching kids how to balance and ride a bike. They’re easy to balance on once you’ve gotten used to them, so balance bike riders tend to develop balance skills quickly (there’s no need for training wheels or learning how to balance using a balance bike). balance bikes for 2 year olds also teach balance at slow speeds, so balance bike riders also learn how to balance while moving at slow speeds.
A balance bike is therefore a great choice if you want your child to develop balance skills as quickly as possible, and balance bikes with training wheels are probably the worst way of teaching balance (because balance is learned at low speeds on balance bikes, whereas balance with training wheels is learned at high speeds). balance bike riders also learn how to balance while moving at slow speeds, which means balance bike riders develop the skills they need for riding a real bicycle more quickly.
Parents (and sometimes children) are often concerned about balance bikes with pedals because balance bike riders can de-bike by pedaling back, but balance bikes for 2 year olds with pedals don’t teach balance very well because balance bike riders can more easily steer themselves and balance as they pedal. This feature of balance bikes for toddlers means that you’ll need to prevent your child from accidentally pedaling the balance bike, which is a lot easier than parents think. balance bikes for 2 year olds with pedals are mainly useful if you want your child to be able to pedal up hills, or when balance bike riders get tired of pedaling back on balance bikes with training wheels (which is a common occurrence). However, balance bike riders learn to steer themselves forward and balance while pedaling as fast as balance bike riders balance and pedal at the same time, which means balance bike riders learn balance while moving much faster than balance bike riders balance on a balance bike with training wheels.
If you’ve read this blog post, then I hope that it has helped make the process of purchasing a balance bike for your toddler easier and less stressful. There are many great brands to choose from, so don’t be afraid to do your research before making a purchase.
The last thing you want is for your child’s new toy not to work well or worse- break quickly! We’ve provided some links below in case you need more information on how to buy the right size or what kind of features should look out for when comparing models. Now its time to grab a great deal on your next balance bike!
Our Top Picks
Best Value Balance Bike For Kids
- JOIN THE STRIDER FAMILY - Meet the bike that set the world on fire and revolutionized the way kids learn to ride. Children as young as one are experiencing the thrill of riding without training wheels before they’re out of diapers.
- GROWS WITH YOUR CHILD - The seat and handlebar heights adjust to accommodate ages 18 months to 5 years, or a 12– 20 in. inseam (no tools required).
- FOR YOUNG KIDS - Weighing in at only 3.0 kg (6.7 lbs.), the 12 Sport push bike makes it easy for your boy or girl to ride and stride. Mini-grips mean your child’s little mitts can easily take control. This bike gives you the biggest bang for your buck!
- IT’S MORE THAN JUST A RIDING TOY - Boring specs aside, this is the bike that introduces kids to the freedom, power, and responsibility of riding. Now they have the power to keep up with you when you’re out and about, experiencing amazing freedom.
- YEARS OF FUN - We know kids put things through rigorous…*ahem*…testing. With the 12 Sport's durable steel frame and puncture-proof tires, you don't have to worry about damage or maintenance and have a child’s bike they won’t outgrow in a few months.
Best Build Quality Balance Bike For Kids
- lightweight 3.79 kg (8.4 lbs) but sturdy integrated steel frame and air-filled tires with steel spokes for greater shock absorption, Competition level bearing, smooth low resistance, suitable for a variety of road fancy taxiing competitive competition
- 12” wheels,adjustable seat with faux leather soft saddle designed for riders ages 2-6 years with a minimum inside leg of 14.5" and the maximum is 20 "
- 360 rotatable handlebar can adjust the distance from handlebar to seat with your kids grows,more easily control for kids form 18 month to 6 year old
- Excellent rubber tires for competition, more elastic and shock absorption, more durable, strong grip, suitable for different road conditions,providing an extra level of safety and comfort so they can ride all day long
- Includes all the tools for easy instructions. Quick release seat-post for easy height adjustment.
Best Balance Bike For Young Kids
- FOR EARLY RIDER:12" Balance bike is a fantastic first bike and a great way for your child to learn the basic of biking,learning to balance and steer whilst having massive fun.This is the perfect first bike for early riders. Designed to fit all children from 2 years to 5 years old kids.
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE: The bike comes with partially assembled, so you just need to put the seat, handlebars, and wheels in the right position and fasten them with the tools provided, it will take just 5 minutes to install.
- ADJUSTABLE HANDLEBAR AND SEAT: The balance training bike features an adjustable handlebars,Quick release clamps for adjustable seat & handlebar height. can be adjusted easily while the child grows up.the seat can be adjustable from 30-41cm(11.8"-16.14")
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND PROTECTIVE: The toddler bike is made of carbon steel, weights only 6.3lbs, Eesy for you and your toddler to lift & handle.
- HIGH QUALITY EVA TIRES - The Balance Bike comes with flat-free EVA polymer tires, no need to ever inflate,five-star tire,better bearing. help provide a smooth ride and PP wheel enhance stability; perfect for riding exercise no matter the surface (on the playground, the lawn or trail)
Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API