Updated: December 2017

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.
balance bike

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.

Best Balance Bike:

RECOMMENDED - The #1 seller is the Strider PREbike Balance Running Bike which goes for about $100. It is available in a variety of colors - red, orange, pink, blue, green, and yellow. Something for every little boy or girl. There are no cables, chains, sprockets, pedals or protrusions on the bike. Parents all agree that the kids ability to maneuver this bike is much easier than say a tricycle or even a small childs bike with training wheels. Being low to the ground and having your feet set to stop you makes learning to ride a balance bike easy. The Strider is parent approved as reviewers say things like "superior handling and lightweight" or "great learning bike". I will agree with a few owners that the footrest is not in the ideal place - too me it's too close to the back wheel/tire and potentially asking for a kids foot to get caught in the wrong place. The Kazam (see below) offers a different foot rest position, although most experts agree that kids should have their feet out and ready to stop - not resting on the bike. Overall the Strider Balance Bike is a great buy and an excellent learning tool for your toddler.

Balance Bike with No Training Wheels:

RECOMMENDED - The Kazam Balance Bike is another perfect solution to parents that want their kids to learn how to balance on a bike but not one with training wheels. The Kazam costs about the same ($100) as the Strider but the frame is slightly different. The goal of these bikes is to develop balance in our children while they are sitting on a bike. The concept of no pedals or training wheels allows them to concentrate on the motor skill of balance only. Again, the seat and the handlebars are adjustable which lets you adjust as necessary as your child grows. There is limited assembly required and the tires are air inflated. The foot rest frame design is what sets this bike apart from the others. Personally, I prefer the more basic designs than this model simply because I would want my childs feet out to the sides of the bike for balance. Moms and Dads agree that the Kazam is very lightweight and a great training bike for youngsters that aren't quite ready to move up to a traditional bicycle yet. My complaint with all these 'balance bikes' is the price. If they don't have components like pedals, cranks, chains, etc. why are they still $100. Seems like they should be selling for $50 or less.