10 Best Balance Bikes in 2020
Teaching a child to ride a bike can be frustrating, and often toddlers and very young children are simply too young to be able to get a grasp of it. There a number of different options for this age bracket – from training wheels to tricycles – however these do not address the main issue most kids have when they first start learning to ride a bike – balance. Thankfully the past few years have seen an increase in the sale of balance bikes.
These are bikes that do not have pedals and are specially designed for toddlers. Kids simply push along with their feet and learn to glide. This helps them build their balancing abilities before progressing onto bikes with pedals.
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We consulted experts, bloggers, and customer reviews to bring you this guide to the top ten best balance bikes, as well as a short guide to what you should be looking out for before you make a purchase.
View the Best Balance Bike, Below.
There are a number of important factors that should be considered before you go ahead and buy the perfect balance bike. Some of them have additional features – including the ability to be converted into a full bike with pedals – however, there are certain features which are far more important. Here are the main things to check out.
Sturdiness and Durability
You want a bike where the frame is made out of steel or aluminum, and where the components are easy to put together. This ensures it will be as safe as possible for children to use and will last for as long as they need it. If possible it should also be coated against rust, as it is likely the bike will be used outside.
Most product descriptions will give you an idea of what materials the bike is made out of, and customer reviews will tell you how it is built and how sturdy it is after constructing. In general, the bikes only require a couple of minutes of construction so this is less of an issue than it might be with regular bikes.
Balance bikes are not as expensive as they used to be, although there are still some which are considerably more expensive than others. Often this price is not justified, so make sure you are getting value for your money before you make your purchase. We suggest that as long as the main safety features are considered, the only real feature that would make a higher price point worth it would be if it could be converted into a regular bike with pedals.
These are more expensive but will last longer. Otherwise, you should consider that in an ideal situation the child will not be using the balance bike for that long, as it is mainly to help them learn about their balance. Keeping this in mind will help you stick to a fair budget.
Lightweight bikes are better as they are easier for toddlers and young children to control. They also allow kids to focus on making sure their center of gravity is in the right place for balancing the bike. You should also consider how portable you want the bike to be, and if it is likely the child will try to lift it themselves.
Most, if not all, balance bikes can easily be carried by adults and transported in regular sized vehicles – but many of them are so light they can even be lifted by the children using them. Getting a lightweight bike means that if the child should try to lift it they will not harm themselves.
Adjustable Seat and Handlebars
If you expect the child will be using the balance bike for a while, it can be a good idea to get a bike with adjustable seats and handlebars. This allows you to adjust the bike as they grow – particularly whilst they are in a period of their life when they can grow quite rapidly. Always read the comments to double check how adjustable the seat and handlebars actually are.
Many product descriptions will simply say the lowest and highest height, without saying how many different placements are possible. Some bikes only have two height settings, whilst others have a few more allowing you to better fit the bike to your child’s proportions.
Comfort can be an important factor to consider – seats and handlebars can be padded to allow for extra comfort, and both handlebars and footrests should have grips for safe use. Footrests can also be configured in two different ways – they can be either side of the seat, or they can be in front. Side footrests make it easier for users to balance, whilst front footrests better mimic the sitting position they will adopt on actual bicycles.
Finally, you can also check out what the wheels are made out of. Foam wheels will not need to be blown up, are generally sturdier and require less maintenance. Despite this, air wheels can also be a good option if you are fine to maintain them as they better mimic what it will feel like to ride a regular bike.
The range of balance bikes available has expanded over the years to include a variety of designs and features. When picking a bike you should, of course, consider the safety of the bike first and foremost as well as how sturdy it is. Keep in mind that you will likely not need it for more than a couple of years, so do not go overboard on the extra features that you do not necessarily need.
We suggest checking out what materials the bike is made out of, as well as how it is constructed, before considering anything else. These are the most important aspects of safety and sturdiness. As always, make sure to check customer reviews to ensure the product description is accurate and the manufacturers live up to their claims.
When it comes to balance bikes, more expensive does not necessarily mean better. If the price seems a little high, check out what features it actually has and weigh up how much you need these before going ahead with the purchase.