Best Balance Bike Reviews 2017 – Ultimate Buying Guide to Buy Balance Bike

Introduction

Learning how to ride a bike is one of the most important milestones in a child’s early years. Parents often have difficulty teaching kids both the skills of riding a bike and how to be confident while riding. There are several ways to make the learning process earlier. One method which has become very popular in recent years is the use of balance bike. In this review, you will find:

  • An overview of balance bikes
  • The benefits of using these bikes when compared to tricycles
  • • Common features of the best balance bikes
  • Reviews of the 5 top-rated balance bikes for overall quality on the market today
  • Highlights of the best balance bike for safety, affordability, and features

Image

Brand

Size 

Our Rating

Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner

14"-20"

Detail Review

Strider 12 Sport

28"x13"x7"
15 pounds

Detail Review

Kiddimoto Kurve

2"x2"x0.6" 
2 pounds

Detail Review

Cruzee UltraLite Balance Bike

23"x6"x13"
4.4 pounds 

Detail Review

Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike

30"x15"x 25" 
8 pounds

Detail Review

What Are Balance Bikes?

Balance bikes are a unique type of transition bicycle that help children develop the skills and confidence needed to ride normal bicycles. They are usually used for children from the ages of 2-6, depending on their size and physical maturity.

These bikes are unique because they do not have pedals or a drivetrain. Essentially, a balance bike consists of a frame, a seat, handlebars, and wheels. These bikes are designed to be low enough that the child’s feet can rest flat on the ground while they are seated. Children can then push themselves with their feet to learn balance and steering.

In the past, balance bikes were created by removing the pedals and drivetrain from an ordinary bicycle. This is often difficult because there are few bicycles made for children at such a small size. Today, companies are beginning to create high quality balance bikes alongside standard bikes.

Benefits of Balance Bikes

Using a quality balance bike has numerous benefits for the child’s development. Most importantly, however, it allows the child to learn without a risk of injury, as they simply place their feet on the ground if they lose balance.

In addition, these bikes help children develop skills at their own pace. Kids will often begin moving the bike simply by walking. They will then develop into a run or scooting motion.

Finally, they will have the confidence to build up speed and glide, using their balance and steering skills just as they would on a normal bicycle.

For this reason, many experts believe these are the best bikes for teaching children how to ride a bike. It helps them learn crucial skills like counter steering and balance while their closeness to the ground gives them confidence.

Of course, these bikes are not just for education. They are also great fun for children because they will love gliding around, exploring the world in a different way than they are used to. In addition, kids will love to ride around like their older siblings and parents.

Balance Bike vs Tricycle

Parents may wonder why balance bicycles exist if tricycles already help kids learn how to ride bikes. However, there are numerous advantages to using a balance bicycle instead of a tricycle.

With a tricycle, children virtually never have to worry about falling due to the training wheels. This means that they can steer in any manner they please while focusing on pedalling. While this certainly helps them get accustomed to riding and pedalling, it often leaves them dependent on the stability of training wheels.

Without the possibility of falling, tricycles can cause children to learn poor steering habits which must be corrected later on. In addition, they often prevent children from learning valuable skills like counter steering. Tricycles can unfortunately teach children how to ride quickly without ensuring that they know how to stay safe while doing so.

This is all in contrast to balance bikes. One of the main benefits of balance bikes is that they teach kids to focus on their balance and steering instead of pedalling. Once these skills have been mastered, they can begin to learn pedalling. This is a much safer process which first teaches children how to stay upright instead of how to move quickly.

What Features Make the Best Balance Bike?

Just as with any product, there are poor balance bikes and excellent balance bikes. The difference in quality often comes down to the inclusion of several key features. Parents should be careful to look for these in order to know which balance bikes are worth spending hard-earned money on and which are not.

Some of the most important features that combine to form top-rated balance bikes are

Seat and Grip Quality

Kids need to feel comfortable sitting on their balance bike and secure when they hold the handlebars. Large, cushioned seats and thoughtfully-placed handlebars are crucial so that the child will put their feet down when off-balance rather than let go with their hands.

Adjustable Height

In order to maximize safety, kids must be able to comfortably have their feet flat on the ground while seated on the bicycle. Instead of buying a new bicycle every time the child grows a few inches, the best balance bike will offer adjustable height settings to use as the child grows. This can also be a deciding factor for parents who have multiple young children but only have the funds to afford a single balance bicycle.

Safety Features

While the ability to put their feet down will keep kids safe, there are also a number of features which should be included to maximize safety. High-end balance bikes often feature steering locks, which prevent the child from turning to quickly on a sharp angle. There are also rear brakes included in many models which are useful if the child begins moving too quickly. Lastly, the thickness of the tires should be taken into account, as thicker tires are able to handle rough terrain better.

Convenience

As young children are very low when seated on balance bikes, it can put a strain on parents to bend down and lift the bikes. For this reason, it is important that the bikes feature a light frame without compromising durability. Often, the bikes will also include handles for easy carrying. Further, some models can even be folded for discrete storage and transportation.

Design

An important feature which should not be overlooked is design. Kids love bright colors and clean, smooth curves. Some bikes come in a variety of exciting designs to make the bikes look like firetrucks or police cars which kids adore. The more interested the child is in the bike, the more likely they are to spend more time riding and developing their skills.

Top 5 Best Balance Bikes 2017

Image

Brand

Size 

Our Rating

Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner

14"-20"

Detail Review

Strider 12 Sport

28"x13"x7"
15 pounds

Detail Review

Kiddimoto Kurve

2"x2"x0.6" 
2 pounds

Detail Review

Flip Balance Bike

25.7"x10"x11.6"
5.7 pounds

Detail Review

Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike

30"x15"x 25" 
8 pounds

Detail Review

While they are small, the best balance bikes can be costly. Before spending hundreds of dollars, parents should read the best balance bike reviews in order to make an informed decision. The reviews below are based on both the objective facts such as the quality of material used to build the frame and subjective experiences of parents. Each of the five bikes on this list are exceptional in overall quality. They do vary in the particular features offered, which will allow parents to find the ideal model for their child.

Here are the top five balance bikes on the market in 2017

1. Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner

A scaled down electric powered dirt bike, this single speed dirt bike runs at a maximum speed of 14mph. The bike has 12” pneumatic knobby front wheels to give it more power transfer and a hand operated rear brake. It has a quiet chain driven motor and a twist grip throttle controller. Designed for kids 13 years and up.

https://www.amazon.com/Dimension-Balance-Bike-Age-3-5/dp/B01I8TPWTS


Pros

  • Super light frame for easy lifting- Sturdy construction means this bike will last for years and can be handed down.
  • Schwalbe Big Apple tires offer great traction.
  • Sleek design is visually pleasing.
  • Very smooth ride thanks to thoughtful construction.
  • Very smooth ride thanks to thoughtful construction.

Cons

  • Too expensive for many people to spend on such a small bicycle.

Summary

Very few balance bicycles can offer the quality and features found in the Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner. Its main attraction is simply the quality of its frame, handlebars, and wheels. With an exceptionally light frame and Schwalbe wheels, kids will have no trouble safely steering this balance bike on streets or bike paths. While it is quite expensive, this bike offers unparalleled quality, safety, and durability.

2. Strider 12 Sport

The Stider 12 Sport is one of the highest-rated balance bikes on the market today. It has earned a place in many “Top 10” lists, and for good reason. This bike offers everything parents and children alike could hope for in a balance bicycle.

It is sturdy, safe, and very attractive. With a metal frame and thick tires, children will be safe riding around on smooth and rough terrain. It is designed to accommodate children from 18 months to 6 years of age.


https://www.amazon.com/Strider-Sport-Balance-Months-Years/dp/B00IZXCADO/


Pros

  • Great design will catch child’s eye.
  • Rear brake is included for added safety if child is moving too quickly.
  • Comfortable with a large seat and padded handlebars.
  • Super lightweight at only 3 kg, making it easy for children to manoeuvre and parents to lift.

Cons

  • Lacks some convenience features like handles for easy carrying.

Summary

The Strider 12 Sport is an incredible balance bike that offers exceptional value for the price. It is significantly cheaper than the Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner but still offers high-end features. Its rear brake is particularly attractive for parents who worry about their child riding too quickly. As well, its tires are built to keep great traction no matter the terrain.

3. Kiddimoto Kurve

This is the highest quality wooden balance bike on the market today. It is extremely popular with children and parents, and offers tremendous value for its reasonable price. It comes packed with features for both safety and convenience, making this a purchase parents can be confident will help their child learn while keeping them safe. It is recommended for children ages 3-5.

https://www.amazon.com/Kiddimoto-Kids-Kurve-Wooden-Balance/dp/B0050HMFZQ


Pros

  • Comes equipped with three height settings to accommodate different sizes of riders.
  • Steering locks at 30 degrees which helps prevent kids from performing tight turns and falling.
  • Wide variety of designs means there is a model that will suit every child’s personality.

Cons

  • Less durable than best models.
  • Slightly heavier than top models because of its wooden frame.

Summary

The Kiddimoto Kurve is one of the most stylish and fun balance bikes on the market today. Its numerous playful designs allow kids to find a bike that matches their personality. As well, it comes with safety features like steering wheel locks at 30 degrees in order to prevent sharp turns.

With a reasonable price, outstanding design, and great safety features, the Kiddimoto Kurve is one of the best balance bikes a parent will find.

4. Cruzee UltraLite Balance Bike

A brightly colored and fun balance bike for kids, the Flip Balance Bike may be a purchase that pleases the parent just as much as their child. This balance bike comes in a variety of colors and is made of a strong steel frame.

 This makes storing and carrying this bike incredibly easy. In addition, it comes with convenient features to accommodate smaller and larger children.

https://www.amazon.com/Cruzee-UltraLite-Balance-Bike-Years/dp/B01AYMBFCU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497107686&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=cruzee+balance+bike&psc=1


Pros

  • Strong steel frame means this bike will last for years.
  • 3 height settings allow children of different sizes to enjoy the bike.
  • Bright colors will keep kids happy and excited to learn how to ride.

Cons

  • Not as comfortable as top models.
  • Steel frame is heavier than other balance bikes.

Summary

The Cruzee UltraLite Balance Bike is good choice for parents. In addition, it is built to last with a durable steel frame. While it has some drawbacks like a relatively uncomfortable seat and heavier build, there are so many positive features that it is still a fantastic purchase.

5. Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike

Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike is the most unique and creative bike on this list. This is a bike that helps kids learn to ride bikes while also exercising their creativity and expressing themselves.

The bike’s wooden frame comes equipped with a chalkboard for drawing. Kids adore customizing their bike with their names and drawings. In addition, this bicycle includes thick, durable wheels and is recommended for children aged 3-6.


https://www.amazon.com/Kinderfeets-Chalkboard-Balance-Classic-Training/dp/B00AC5D00A/


Pros

  • Comfortable seat and well-positioned handlebars ensure that children are comfortable and secure while riding.
  • Sturdy wooden frame will last for years.

Cons

  • Chalkboard comes at cost of convenient features like folding and footrests.
  • Not adjustable for different heights.

Summary

While it may not boast the widest array of features, the Grattify Draw On Me is a unique and fun balance bike for kids. It comes equipped with a chalkboard on its frame which kids love to draw on.

This will ensure that kids never tire of their bicycle as adding new pictures can make it feel like a completely new bike. It is also built to last with a strong wooden frame and high-end, thick wheels.


Best Balance Bike for Safety: Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner

The best balance bike will not only offer great style and a versatile selection of features; it also much be very safe. The Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner is an exceptionally well-built balance bike that is made by one of the premier bicycle companies in the UK.

Firstly, this bike is tremendously safe simply because of the quality of its construction. With an aluminum body and remarkable craftsmanship, this is a bike that will not fall apart after some bumps and falls. In addition, its high-end Schwalbe Big Apple tires are the best tires on this list. They offer superior traction and ensure that the bike will not slide even when on rough terrain or traveling quickly.

In addition, the bike comes equipped with a break to help the child slow down if they begin moving too fast. It is also very light which makes for easy manoeuvring. Although the Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner comes at a significant cost, parents who want peace of mind while their child is riding should consider investing in this incredible balance bike. Its durability means that it can be passed down to younger siblings in the future.

Best Affordable Balance Bike: Strider 12 Sport

Strider 12 Sport

Of course, parents will never sacrifice the safety of their child in order to save money. However, there are many affordable balance bikes that offer incredible value without forcing parents to take out a second mortgage. As it strikes a balance between high-end features and reasonable pricing, the Strider 12 Sport balance bike is the perfect choice for parents who want a quality bike for their child.

What is truly impressive about the Strider 12 Sport is the features that it includes despite coming at a mid-range price, around $100. While it is highly affordable, the Strider 12 Sport offers features and quality which rival high-end models.

Some of the highlights of this bike include its lightweight frame which make it easy to lift and transport. As well, it comes equipped with a rear brake for added safety when the child begins to ride too quickly. For parents who want a quality balance bike without breaking the bank, the Strider 12 Sport is the way to go

Best Balance Bike for Features: Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike

WOOM BIKES USA Balance Bike

It is no secret that young children love to draw, doodle, and express themselves. Many parents can attest that leaving a piece of colored chalk with a child is a sure-fire way to have hundreds of pictures drawn on the laneway. For this reason, the Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike balance bike is perfect for parents who want a bike that offers more than just a fun ride.

With the chalk board attached to its frame, the Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike  bike becomes a moving masterpiece. Kids will never tire of writing and drawing on the board. This can be important, as children often tire of using the same toy repeatedly. By drawing new pictures before every ride, kids will feel like they are using a new bike every day.Its quality is good, although it does not compare to high-end models like the Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner.

However, for parents who care more about their child having a blast while riding their bike than having the best quality frame and wheels, the Kinderfeets Chalkboard Wooden Balance Bike model is the perfect choice.

Conclusion

Balance bikes are becoming increasingly popular with parents who are teaching their children how to ride bicycles. They offer a wide range of benefits that are unmatched by the usual methods such as using tricycles. Instead of simply teaching the child how to peddle, balance bicycles allow the child to develop coordination, balance, and steering skills. This makes the transition to normal biking much easier.

Finding the best balance bike, however, can be difficult. Due to the rising popularity of these bikes, the market is being flooded with new models all the time. There are certain features which parents should look for in order to ensure they make an intelligent and informed purchase. These features include strong, light frames, brakes and steering locks, and colorful designs.

With all factors such as craftsmanship, tire and frame quality, and the range of features offered have been taken into account, the best overall balance bike is the Ridgeback Dimension 12 Runner. This is a superb balance bike which will keep children safe and comfortable as they learn to ride. However, it does come with a hefty price tag. For those looking to buy a quality balance bike for a reasonable price, the Strider 12 sport is the ideal model.

Any of the balance bikes reviewed on this list will make excellent purchases and are sure to keep children entertained for hours on end. Watching a child develop skills and confidence on one of these balance bikes will be a treasured memory for any parent.