Updated: May 29, 2015
Balance Bike Reviews:There are certain steps that each child must take to learn how to ride a bike. You start with training wheels and then slowly loosen them or take them off completely once the child has developed a sense of balance on the bike. That notion is being challenged as the innovation of the balance bikes is making bike riding for kids much easier. In case you haven't seen these new kids bikes that have no training wheels or pedals, they are amazingly simple. They look very similar to a traditional kids bicycle, yet they are lower to the ground and essentially let the child put their feet on the ground and run along while the bike moves. Your child will be able to walk or run while sitting on the bike and not have to worry about balancing. The two wheels let the bike move freely while your kid holds onto the handle bars and steers the bike. There are no brakes, kids just use their feet to stop or slowdown. With a concept so basic I can't believe I didn't think of something like this.
Choosing a Balance Bike - There are some variations to balance bikes - some frames are made of wood, others have larger wheels, and a few have places to rest your feet (almost like a pedal). You can find them in stores like Walmart, Toys R Us, Target, and lots of bike stores. The top brands include Kazam, Strider, YBIKE, Wee Bike, Schwinn, and Glide. What is pricing like? We found prices ranged from $60 to $120. Most of the balance bikes are designed for toddlers - say ages 2 to 5. The years before they are capable of pedaling and balance at the same time. Researchers have found that once you take the pedaling aspect out of learning to ride a bike, the balance and coordination come much quicker. Your child will develop that confidence while learning to balance on a bike and then incorporate the need to pedal at a later time on a difference bike. Balance bikes are lightweight and easy to control - many have adjustable seats and handlebars so that they grow with your child. Look for those with puncture proof tires so you don't have to fix a flat. As your child understands the basics of 'gliding' on the bike, they will learn the art of balancing. I like the idea of being low to the ground with no pedals to get in the way. That way, in case they fall, the child will have a lower risk of hurting themselves. The top 2 sellers online and in stores are the Strider PREbike Balance Running Bike and the Kazam Balance Bike. Both get excellent feedback and comments from owners. Some people and stores refer to these bikes as 'training bikes' so watch for that name as well. Balance Bike Reviews - The best source online is at Amazon.com although we also found some online at Walmart.com and Target. The reviews give you pros and cons to each make and model allowing you to make an informed buying decision.You can browse the best selling balance bikes here.