What is Balance bike!?

The Basics

The premise of a balance bike is simple! It is basically a bicycle frame without pedals. Your child propels the bike with their feet. They stop with their feet. Their feet are always just inches from the ground. As soon as your child can walk, they can begin to straddle the bike and simply walk it forward. Once this is mastered the sky is the limit!

Choose Your Style

The options are far and wide from bike material like wood to steel or aluminum, colors galore, features such as handbrakes, foot rests or pegs, bikes with pedal kits to add when your child is ready. It’s hard not to find something you know your child will love, and that you will feel fits your vision of their first bike.

Skill Building

While your child is just super excited about walking, riding or rocking on their balance bike, they are learning critical skills such as coordination, balance, and spatial awareness. You don’t even have to tell them....just let them enjoy! These skills also prepares them for other sports they will easily master after having so many basic skills ingrained from an early age.

A Bike For All Ages

Balance bikes started out for young toddlers, but soon the need and shout out for preschoolers started bringing 14" and 16” bikes to the market. Then a few companies with the true vision of biking for all started building out bikes for young adults and adults who needed the security of feet on the ground to build those essential skills needed for pedal biking.

Sizing is the Most Important Step

Courtesy of Strider Bikes

Frequently asked questions

A 12 inch pedal bike is extremely heavy, averaging around 16-17 pounds!  This would be impossible for an 18month – 2 year old to handle safety.  The other issue is the seat height.  The average seat height of a 12” pedal bike is 41.5cm or 16” off the ground. Most children will not reach that until they are in their 3’s.  Seat heights on balance bikes start as low as 11” from the ground weighing as little as 5 pounds, making it extremely easy for an 18 month old to manage independantly 

This will of course vary from child to child.  I found myself anxious for my child to transition due to my own excitement and knowledge that he was capable of riding a pedal bike at 3 after being on his balance bike for several months.   He did hop on a 12” pedal bike one day that I had purchased and was able to ride it within a few tries.  But you know what?  He preferred his balance bike on a day to day basis until he was over 4 years old.  Why?  I think it was easier, felt safer, and was more fun.   He could zip around anywhere on his balance bike and we frequently took it on outings, to the store, swim lessons, etc…   I could even carry it under my arm in a pinch.    The bottom line is your child will tell you (loud and clear) when they are ready to start pedal biking!   Expect them to go back and forth for awhile before moving on from their balance bike. 

The simple answer is probably not… depending on their age and size.  A 2 year old will need a smaller, lighter 12” balance bike one with a very low seat height off the ground.  An average sized 3 year old?  Yes, there is a great chance that any 12” balance bike your choose will fit.  The best course is to measure your child’s inseam and find a model that will fit now, but give them a few inches to grow before growing out of the bike. 

A lot goes into the design and manufacturing of any product.  The lighter the bike, the more expensive the materials.  Additional features such as pegs, foot rests, and handbrakes require extra safety measures and standards,  producing multiples colors instead of one or two raise the overall production and inventory cost.  Wooden and composite bikes of good quality will be more costly than steel.   Specialty designs that are limited additions with limited supply will cost more.  Balance bikes for kids research the reputation and quality of all bikes sold on this website. 

The simpler the bike, the easier it will be to go budget and maintain quality.  Most bikes sold by dedicated bike or balance bike manufacturers have a good track record for safety and dependability over time.   Bikes made by toy manufacturers should be researched for good reviews over extended use, and how they stood up over time. 

Bottom line is you are in good hands at our store.  We back all the bikes sold here.  We have done extensive research, talked directly with the manufacturers, tested most of the products here and have first hand experience with their quality and dependability. 

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