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The Best Balance Bike

Last updated on September 12, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Balance Bikes and dug through the reviews from 100 of the most popular review sites including Best Reviews Guide, The Gear Hunt, Born Cute, Bike Bell, Lil Bikers, Bike Station and more. The result is a ranking of the best Balance Bikes.

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Our Picks For The Top Balance Bikes

Show Contents
Our Take
  Also Consider

Cruzee

Ultralite Balance Bike

Overall Take

Durable TiresA lightweight balance bike with durable rubber tires.

  Best Overall

Strider

12 Sport Balance Bike

Overall Take

Adjustable PartsA durable balance bike with adjustable seat and handlebars.

  Best Value

Chicco

Red Bullet Balance Training Bike

Overall Take

Comfy SeatA comfortable balance bike with a cushioned seat for kids ages three and up.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the balance bikes available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

100

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

9,906

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target.

The Best Overall

Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike

Our Expert Score
10.7
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
0.0
0 user reviews
Our Take

The rubber tires included on this bike are durable and shock absorbing, so it does well on any and all surfaces. It's also extremely lightweight, weighing less than five pounds. That means it's a lot easier than other models to tote around. In our testing, we found this bike incredibly easy to put together, plus it was lightweight and easy to transport.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Training Bike

Expert Summarized Score
10.0
19 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
665 user reviews
Our Take

Since comfort remains a top priority when riding, this model includes a cushioned seat and comfortable handlebars. While recommended for relatively older kids (ages three and up), this bike adjusts to fit your rider as they grow. The low price point also makes it a great value. We found this bike to be incredibly sturdy and well-made.

Our Findings

Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike

What We Liked: The rubber tires included on this bike are durable and shock absorbing, so it does well on any and all surfaces. It’s also extremely lightweight, weighing less than five pounds. That means it’s a lot easier than other models to tote around. In our testing, we found this bike incredibly easy to put together, plus it was lightweight and easy to transport.

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Chicco Red Bullet Balance Training Bike

Best Value

Chicco 1716000070 Red Bullet Balance Training Bike (Toy)


List Price: $47.39 USD
New From: $47.39 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: Since comfort remains a top priority when riding, this model includes a cushioned seat and comfortable handlebars. While recommended for relatively older kids (ages three and up), this bike adjusts to fit your rider as they grow. The low price point also makes it a great value. We found this bike to be incredibly sturdy and well-made.

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Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike

Also Consider

Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike, Ages 18 Months to 5 Years, Green (Sports)


List Price: $109.99 USD
New From: $109.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $109.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: This balance bike earned the “Best Overall” stamp of approval, thanks to its high-quality build and durability. The adjustable seat and handlebars allow it to accommodate a range of sizes. We really like the foot rests on the bike frame.

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Our Balance Bike Buying Guide

Learning to ride a bicycle is an essential part of childhood, but it comes with an exceptionally steep learning curve. Some kids end up having traumatic experiences when they first try to ride without training wheels, effectively ruining the activity for them.

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The woes of learning to ride a bike are often sensationalized in movies and TV shows. Most of the depictured scenarios are the same: The parent begins pushing their child forward on a pedal bike, eventually letting go and sending the screaming kid crashing into the bushes because they don’t know how to steer properly.

But a childhood without riding a bike seems a little sad. Bike-riding helps kids learn motor skills that are crucial as they develop and eventually begin to play sports, drive vehicles and/or operate machinery. Plus, the activity allows youngsters to travel independently, visiting friends and neighbors as they please.

Balance bikes are a positive alternative to training wheels that help kids better learn how to ride before making the switch. Balance bikes eliminate the need for training wheels in the first place, allowing for a smooth transition to pedal bikes. Kids can begin using balance bikes at a remarkably young age, allowing time for them to get used to balancing, develop motor skills and train their muscles to ride properly. Without pedals, kids push their feet against the ground to propel themselves forward.

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Experts say kids can learn how to ride a bicycle quickly by using a balance bike because they can concentrate on learning to balance and steer before adding pedaling to the mix. With training wheels, kids can acquire bad bicycle-riding habits by relying on them too much. Parents dedicated to seamlessly teaching their young child to ride should look into balance bikes.

When it comes to shopping for new products, price is always a top concern. Balance bikes range widely in price. Models like the Chicco Red Bullet Balance Training Bike are great values, but they tend to lack components that more expensive bikes have. For example, some models come with a steering limiter to prevent oversteering and promote straight riding, while others do not.

It’s also important to understand the fit of the balance bike you’re purchasing. If purchasing online, be sure to measure the balance bike rider to ensure proper fit. Otherwise, find a store that sells balance bikes to find one that suits your child perfectly.

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Everyone knows how quickly kids grow. That’s why many balance bikes are adjustable. That means parents won’t need to shell out extra cash on a new one each time their child undergoes a growth spurt (which, depending on age, can be quite often).

Most balance bikes come with adjustable seats, which can be raised as your child grows taller. Only some, however, also have adjustable handlebars. This allows for a significantly larger size range, meaning the bike can accommodate a growing child with ease. The Chicco and Strider balance bikes come with adjustable seats and handlebars.

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If your child learns quickly and will not need to rely on the balance bike for a long period of time, growth is not an issue. In that case, any balance bike should do well to suit your needs.

Take material into consideration, too, as it determines how much the balance bike will weigh. Heavier bikes can be difficult for young children to maneuver, which can be a serious safety issue. Aluminum bikes, like the Cruuzee Ultralite balance bike, are significantly lighter than steel models like the Strider 12 Sport.

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On the other hand, heavier balance bikes are more durable and can last many years — even generations — without requiring body repair or replacement. Steel models are a good choice if you’re planning to use balance bikes for a longer period of time. Make sure to check the weight of your balance bike before purchasing to confirm it will work for your child.

Simplemost Fun Fact

Balance bike company Strider holds several balance bike-riding events for kids across the globe. They have both recreational and competitive events.  The competitions are called the Strider Cup, and there’s even a Strider Cup World Championship. The company’s goal is to provide a fun and positive space for riders of all abilities while encouraging kids to keep improving their balancing skills while fostering their love of riding. From Ecuador to Japan to Texas, balance bike riders are eagerly participating in these interesting family-friendly events.

The Balance Bike Tips and Advice

  • Parents should never pressure their child to switch from a balance bike to a classic pedal bike. Sometimes, the transition can take years. The process should be fluid and natural in order for a child to consistently feel safe and in control while riding.
  • Anyone riding a bicycle should always be wearing a helmet on their head. This important piece of safety equipment is especially crucial for kids whose bodies are still developing. The fit of the helmet is perhaps the most important part — after all, it won’t be able to do its job if it doesn’t cover and protect your child’s head properly. Be sure to measure the circumference of your child’s head before purchasing and try it on before use.
  • Balance bikes are great for all ages, but the younger they begin using them to practice their skills, the better. Most balance bikes will display what ages they’re suited for in their product description, so look there before purchasing. Typically, balance bikes are suitable for kids as young as 18 months. Get them started early!
  • The tires of balance bikes are typically not as durable as regular pedal bike tires. Usually, they’re made of foam or plastic to absorb bumps and shocks. For this reason, you should stick to low-impact surfaces, like grass and dirt, when using balance bikes.
  • Hydration should be your rider’s No. 1 priority. As we exercise, we radiate heat and sweat, sometimes leading to headaches and stomach pain from dehydration. Always keep a water bottle handy and encourage frequent water breaks.
  • Falls are inevitable, especially when your child is first learning on the balance bike. You should always keep a first aid kit nearby in case you need it. Balance bike accidents often lead to minor injuries, like cuts and bruises, so be sure to include antibiotic ointment, cotton pads and bandages in your kit.

About The Author

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Lauren Murphy 

Lauren Murphy is a professional writer based in the Pacific Northwest. Lauren is constantly spending time with her family, whether that means partying at the family cabin or babysitting her little cousins. Beyond that, Lauren was a nanny for elementary-aged kids for years where she learned the ins and outs of childcare (including what the best products are).