FirstBIKE

Balance Bike Review

Unmatched in safety features and durability, FirstBIKE is a hands-down favorite. Due to flexing of the frame, we don't recommend FirstBIKE for taller or heavier preschoolers. All FirstBIKE models - other than the Basic - come standard with air tires and a hand brake.

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Product Specifications

MSRP: $160

Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Seat Height: 12/14" - 17.5"

Weight: 8.6 lb.

Brakes: Hand Brake

Footrest: No

Limiter: Yes

Tire Size: 12"

Grips Bumper: Yes

Bolts: Rounded

Frame Material: Composite

Review

FirstBIKE Awards

Over two years ago, FirstBIKE helped to revolutionize the balance bike market in the US. Built with an emphasis on safety and durability, rather than affordability and visual appeal (i.e. tassels and cartoon characters), the FirstBIKE was the childhood prodigy amongst a sea of poorly constructed toddlers tricycles. With its weatherproof composite frame, child-sized handbrake, air tires, recessed bolts, turning limiter, sealed-bearings and air tires, the FirstBIKE quickly rose to the top of the market. Years later, countless other bikes have entered the market, but in many ways, the FirstBIKE is still the bike to beat.

FirstBIKE 1

Why? Why many other bikes offers the same safety features as FirstBIKE, it is the only one to offer all of them together in four different models.  The perfect combination of safety features, value and durability, the FirstBIKE is our Best in Class for Safety Features and is rated as Exceptional for toddlers aged 18-months to 3 years.

Video Overview

Safety Features

Having reviewed over 20 different balance bikes over the years, our favorite feature of the FirstBIKE is its unique composite frame. While not suitable kids aged 5 and up, the nylon composite frame’s smooth surface is free of any protrusions or sharp edges that may potentially hurt a child during an inevitable fall. When kids fall while riding a balance bike, they generally land directly on top of the bike. The flexible frame, smooth edges and recessed bolts of the FirstBIKE, helps to minimizes and/or prevents injures as a result of these falls.

FirstBIKE 2

The U-shaped saddle is another standout feature of the FirstBIKE. The shape helps to prevent kids from sliding off the seat, but also partially wraps around the child which provides a much needed sense of security for hesitant kids. The gel-like composition of the seat is also non-porous which makes for easy clean-ups as the result of potty-training accidents. Due to its shape and “stickiness”, the seat is problematic for the youngest toddlers in size 24-month-clothes (toddlers in 18-month clothes will not fit on the FirstBIKE, even with the lowering kit) as they will have trouble getting on and off the bike by themselves.

FirstBIKE 5

Additional safety features include the turning limiter, easy knob dial seat post adjuster (block knob shown below seat above) and hand brake. While we haven’t seen a compelling reason for turning limiters over the years (we haven’t seen a negative impact from them either), we have seen kids greatly benefit from learning how to use a hand brake while on a balance bike. In addition to saving their shoes and preventing crashes at higher-speeds, most balance bike graduates have a difficult time using coaster brakes (back pedal brakes) on pedal bikes, so knowing how to use a hand brake helps them smoothly transition to a pedal bike.

Various Models

The FirstBIKE is available in five different models, the Cross, Street, Basic, Limited and Special Edition.  The Basic is the only model that does not come with a hand brake or air tires.  The solid rubber tires on the Basic are puncture-free and provide a lot more traction than the standard foam puncture-free tires found on lower-end balance bikes.  The Cross, Street, Racing Edition and Limited models are identical except for color and tires. For all air tires is it highly recommended to seal each tire with sealant to prevents flats.

FirstBIKE 4.5

The Cross models will provide the most traction on off-road surfaces and the Limited and Racing Edition Big Apple tires will provide the most cushioning. For basic riding around paved neighborhoods, any of the models will do just fine.  All models also come with industrial-strength sealed bearings.

Accessories

While FirstBIKE offers many different accessories, the lowering kit is an essential upgrade for any child in 2T or 24-month clothes. The lowering kit is available for $15 and attached to the back axel to lower the rear tire about 2 inches. Older toddlers who are in 3T clothes, or about the transition into them, will fit the FirstBIKE just fine without the lowering kit.

FirstBIKE 6

Due to issues with the seat post sliding down on riders, the current FirstBIKE models are now shipped with an aluminum seat post clamp instead of a composite one. These clamps better secure the seat post and are available directly through FirstBIKE if needed.

FirstBIKE Seat post clamp

With its all-weather frame, the FirstBIKE is also a great choice for year-round riding.  In addition to being waterproof, a mono ski is available for $40 and quickly converts the balance bike into a sled. Our testers, aged 3 to 6, all-loved the ski and parents loved the worry free, weather-resistant frame, for when the bike was accidentally left outside during a snow storm.

FirstBIKE 3

FirstBIKE’s molded nylon baskets are also top notch as they are strong enough to withstand anything your child can fill them with, even large rocks. In fact, we found the basket to be much stronger than the zip-ties used to adhere the basket to the bike. The baskets are available for $25 and can attach to any bike via a zip-tie.
FirstBIKE 8

Comparisons to Other Bikes

Compared to other bikes, FirstBIKE certainly has some pros and cons. The Islabikes Rothan has a lower minimum seat height, lower-step through height and is easier for the smallest toddlers to mount.  The Yedoo Too Too weighs the same as the FirstBIKE, but is a much better fit for older kids as its rigid metal frame will not flex when ridden by older riders.

FirstBIKE 7

The Flexible Frame

The one major drawback we’ve seen with the FirstBIKE over the years is its poor performance with older, heavier and/or taller riders in size five clothes and up. The extra weight and stress on the frame and seat post cause significant flexing which negatively affects the handling of the bike. In attempts to document the flexing, we had our five-year-old tester, who also our main tester of the bike two-years-ago, take his old FirstBIKE for a ride.  From the get-go, he complained that the rear tire was wobbling, which made it difficult and uncomfortable for him to ride. The flexing was visually apparent, but hard to capture in stills. As a result, we strapped a GoPro to the rear of the bike to and filmed him as he rode.  The video showing significant flexing and will be posted here shortly.

As a result of the flexing, since kids typically ride their balance bikes for two years, we do not recommend the FirstBIKE for kids older than three as they could potentially outgrow the bike before they are ready to transition to a pedal bike. Kids who start riding the FirstBIKE at or before the age of three (or in 3T clothing) should have no issues with flexing before transitioning to a pedal bike and shouldn’t hesitate to buy the FirstBIKE.

FirstBIKE 9

FirstBIKE in Action:

Bottom Line:

An exceptional bike to buy for for toddlers to 18-months to three; as they may outgrow it by 5. Unmatched in safety features and durability, the FirstBIKE is sure to be well-loved by toddlers and parents alike. Due to the flexing of the frame, we do not recommend the FirstBIKE for taller or heavier kids older than three.

 

 

MSRP: $160

By: Natalie Martins

Last Updated: December 31, 2016

FTC Disclosure: Two Wheeling Tots received a FirstBIKE Cross from WeeBikeShop and a FirstBIKE Street from FirstBIKE.us to help facilitate this review. No monetary compensation was provided for the review and all opinions are that of Two Wheeling Tots.  Two Wheeling Tots is not an affiliate of FirstBIKE, but is an affiliate of WeeBikeShop and Amazon.

  • Will

    Good to know about the aluminum seat clamp! We bought a Limited Blue when they were first being sold in the US. We started our boy on it at 18 months. He was big for his age, by the time he was a year old we noticed the seat kept sliding down. After just assuming it was because our boy was big I thought there had to be a problem. After repeated attempts with FirstBike they sent a new seat assembly. It had the same materials so the seat kept sliding down. After a few more inquires/complaints we just gave up on the issue since FirstBike indicated we were the only ones with this issue. Every other ride I would just readjust the seat. I made marks with a sharpie so I could put it back to the prior height. Yeah, that got old. At 4 years of age we got him a pedal bike, he took off with it! Now, our 2nd is now 18 months old and he too is big. I was about to buy a different balance bike for him considering the seat issue. I will approach FirstBike about going with an aluminum clamp. Excluding the seat issue, we love the FirstBike! Thanks for all the info Natalie! This site is such a huge asset.

    • Glad to be of help and I can assure you that you are not the only one to have an issue with the FirstBIKE seat clamp. The aluminum seat clamp is better than the previously composite one, so I would start by reaching out to FirstBIKE to see if they would be willing to send you a new seat clamp.

      • Will

        Thanks Natalie. FirstBike is sending an updated clamp.

  • Kyle

    Hi Natalie, I love your site. It is super informative for a parent looking to purchase a balance bike for the first time. I have read your buying guide, comparison chart and a few reviews. My daughter is 21 mos old, has an 11″ inseam, and is about 30″ tall. She is very curious about our neighbor’s training wheel bike, so I am of opinion that she’s ready for her first balance bike. I was leaning towards to the FirstBike due to all the great features (e.g. safety, u-shaped seat, lightweight) and buying the lowering kit but I’m concerned that it will still be too big for her. What are your thoughts? If it is indeed too big right now, what would be a good bike for her right now? An additional caveat is that we are expecting number 2 in August. So I am okay with buying a bike that she can use right now and then transition to the FirstBike when she gets a little bigger knowing that #2 will be able to use the smaller bike in a couple of years. Thank you so much for your help, it is greatly appreciated!!

    • Hi again! Here’s my thoughts again 🙂 “You are right in that the FirstBIKE will be too big for her right now, even with the lowering kit. With an 11″ inseam, the Islabike Rothan is an amazing bike, but it is on the pricier side. A more affordable option would be the KinderBike Mini. At first, the seat may be slightly too tall, but kids her age generally walk the bike for a month or so before they sit on it, so by the time she learns to sit on the bike, it should fit her just fine.”

  • Kristyn

    Hi. I would like to get my son a balance bike for his 2nd birthday this month. His a rather large — he is just into 3T clothes and has a 14″ inseam. I am leaning toward purchasing the FirstBike, but wanted your opinion in case you believe there might be a better fit for him. I would like the bike to last until he moves onto a pedal bike down the road, so my concern with the FirstBike is that he will outgrow it relatively quickly since you mention it isn’t the best choice for older children. Many thanks for your help.

    • As long as he rides the bike regularly, then he should have no problems riding the FirstBIKE until he is ready to transition to a pedal bike. If, however, you don’t plan on having him ride much or you have long winters, then I would consider the Yedoo Too Too as it will certainly not have any flexing problems is he doesn’t transition until he is closer to 5 vs. 4 (which is typically the age in which balance bike kids transition over.

  • Patty

    Thank you so much for your extensive product reviews and comparisons. I was so grateful for the information and confidence when buying a bike. We decided on the FirstBike for our daughter when she was 22 months old. She absolutely Loves it. She’s always been pretty fearless and after a month and a half, she is already “running” and occasionally pulling up her feet when she goes down driveways. We can’t help but smile watching her. The bike is light and hasn’t hurt her when she’s fallen because of the recessed bolts and flexible frame. It fits her well (we got the lowering kit) and we couldn’t be happier with it.

    • Yeah, I’m so glad she loves it! Isn’t is just amazing to watch how quick and nimble kids can be on these toddler bikes. One of my favorite things about this site is hearing about great success stories, such as yours. I just love these bikes and what they provide for kids and families :)!

  • Dana

    Wow! So many different pros and cons to take in. I hope you can help. Thanks so much for a wonderful website. I have twin girls that will be 2 years old this month. They are in 3T clothes, 34.5 inches tall with inseams of 12.5 and 13 inches. They weigh 29 and 27lbs (the one with the longer inseam is the lighter one). We will need to buy two bikes and don’t have any other children, so I don’t want to spend an outrageous amount. I want sealed ball bearings, air-filled tires and recessed or covered bolts. They have opportunity to do off-roading in the grass or pea-gravel trail at the park. Each time I read a review I think I’ve decided on something and then read a con such as First Bike isn’t good for older/heavier kids! Ack! I am hoping they will use these for a while since we need two. Please, please help me!

    • John

      Dana, it simply isn’t true that firsBIKE isn’t good for older or heavier kids. We have one and kids as old as 5 and 6 ride it (using the handbrake) aggressively without problems!

      • Dana

        Woo hoo! Yay! I must have misinterpreted the flexing issue in the review.
        That’s good because I kept going back to the FirstBike on your super-duper sortable comparison chart. Would you mind answering one more question?
        Its a really silly one.
        I like the colors the street version come in, but they kids will go on pea-gravel trail and grass, so should I let go of the color options and get the better cross tire?
        My kids do not have favorite colors. Its completely me. Its a lot of money though.

        • Dana, based on our experience, the FirstBIKE does flex with older kids, BUT since you kids are starting at a a young age, they will most likely transition to a pedal bike before the flexing becomes an issue, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. As for the tire issues, while the Cross model certainly has a higher tread on it, unless they are doing really aggressive riding on dirt, they should be fine on a Street model.

      • John, thanks for sharing. I’m glad to hear that you haven’t had any issues with the bike flexing with older kids. I can’t say that we have experienced the same, but my 5yo is pretty heavy for his age. Regardless, it is still a great bike and most kids will transition to a pedal bike before they outgrow the FirstBIKE, so the flexing generally isn’t an issue.

  • WarINC

    Brought a Firstbike directly from their website but when I received it, it was missing a part. Two months later, three phone calls, and nine emails and counting, I’m stuck with an incomplete bike. Apparently FirstBike has only one customer service rep named Mandi who “responds” to both calls and emails.

    The bike seems great but after sales support is abysmal. I would not recommend this brand.

    • Ugh, seriously, that it the worst. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Customer service is a HUGE in my book. If you could email me at natalie @ twowheelingtots.com, I would love to forward your info over to my contacts at FIrstBIKE to hopefully get this resolved quickly. If they don’t fix it, then I agree, that I wouldn’t recommend their bikes either.

      • WarINC

        Update from my previous post:

        Original Issue:
        Missing screw straight out of a brand new Racing Edition FirstBike

        Extremely brief Summary: After months of contacting FirstBike and only getting Mandi, received replacement screw, was wrong size (too big), damaged the Fork’s screw hole, asked for refund or replacement, received replacement fork (cannot be used as it does not have a screw hole) and second replacement screw (Again wrong size, too small)

        Current Situation:
        I am left with trying to explain to my very disappointed 3 year old why his FirstBike isn’t the same as his older sister’s. Kids being kids, they don’t want to share the other “complete” bike I previously brought. (Yes, I am a repeat customer!)
        ——-Ended up throwing both of them in the garbage where this company’s customer service belongs. My very simple request for a replacement part missing fresh out of the box for a bike that cost 169.99 each went unanswered. To make things worst, their representative Mandi is polite but breaks promises and not once had I received an apology but was told the bike can still be used “as-is.”

        Warning to all: stay away from FirstBike if you value your time and money.

        • Julia

          .

    • Any word from them yet? I did contact them and they assured me they would look into the matter, so I would love to know if they kept their word. Thanks.

  • Melissa

    We had the lowering kit for the bike and after a month of use one of the brackets snapped in half, rendering it useless. Luckily my son was tall enough to use the bike on the lowest seat setting without it. I contacted Firstbike about it thinking they’d offer a refund, and Mandi just said she’d let quality control know. No offer to replace or refund. I threw the kit away and vowed never to buy anything from them again. We love the bike, but what a disappointment.

    • Wait, what?! No refund? I am starting to see a pattern here that I don’t like. They previously offered replacement parts, why now the change? I’ll see what I can find out, but certainly can’t promise anything.

      • Melissa

        I was told they had never heard of the issue before and she would let QC know. I know for a fact that others have experienced it because I read a review on Amazon that said the same thing happened to their lowering kit. I don’t know if the person on Amazon contacted Firstbike or not. In the end I only paid $11.99 for the kit so it’s not the end of the world, but it’s still irritating. I expected more after I paid so much for the bike itself. I also contacted them about replacing the plastic seatpost adjuster because ours is slipping a bit when my son sits on it (36 lbs) and I was told they needed picturtes of the issue before they could do anything. Pictures of the issue? How? I decided not to bother, as my son is getting a Woom2 for his 3rd birthday next week, and if we end up passing the Firstbike down to another child, the weight thing probably won’t be an issue for long with that child, either. It’s just not worth the hassle.

        • Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I have written their CEO as well as their PR rep about these issues and so far, haven’t had any luck. As a result, I will be adding a “warning” on the review about potential issues with their bikes if I don’t get any answers soon. In fact, I wouldn’t probably do so now, but my site is currently haven’t issues, so I can’t currently update anything. 🙁

          • FirstBIKE Canada

            I’m writing from FirstBIKE Canada, we are a separate company than
            FirstBIKE in the US but of course we carry and love the same product!
            Lowering kits will brake now and then, but almost always when a child is
            too big for the lowering kit. Regardless, we ALWAYS send out a
            replacement promptly. It is a rare issue though, we’ve only replaced
            about 3 in the past year.

            Please do be in touch if
            you have any issues, I will do my best to get you in touch with the
            correct people in the US! FirstBIKE stands behind their product.
            ([email protected])

          • Thanks so much!! It makes a huge difference when companies stand behind their product. I know FirstBIKE’s themselves are great bikes, so I’m glad to hear that all of our readers up in Canada have your support!

    • FirstBIKE Canada
  • Amanda

    I’m a firstBIKE owner (in Kentucky) and we’ve had ours for about 2 years. We’ve loved every aspect of it, including their customer service. We purchased a firstBike for my son for his 2nd birthday. Earlier this year, the brake system broke. I contacted customer service via email on how to purchase a replacement brake system, and that started my contact with Mandi in their customer service department. She asked a few questions, requested a picture of the broken part (to which I complied) and about a week later I received the entire brake system, free of charge, in my mailbox. My husband installed it without problem and my son was back in business. That was it. I was THRILLED!! And so was my son.

    Fast forward to this summer and my son asked to take his training wheels off his pedal bike, which I did not think was a good idea. My husband did and without hesitation, my newly turned 4 year old took off, riding circles around everyone standing around, watching with their mouths hanging open. Our 9 year old neighbor had just told him “this isn’t a good idea” and that my son wouldn’t be able to ride without training wheels until he was “at least 8, like me”. My son simply replied “C’mon Jackson, catch up!” HA! That was all firstbike. My son isn’t the most coordinated 4 year old around, and I still can’t believe the lack of instruction/training/anything on our part to teach him how to ride a conventional bike. FirstBike did it all.

    I’ve been blown away by their product AND their customer service, so I wanted to share my experience and my story. I rely heavily on reviews when making a purchase, so I wanted to add my 2 cents in here, for what its worth. I’d hate for someone to miss out on an experience like mine, all because this blog says to stay away due to poor customer service. I hate that some of you had a negative experience, but I think you should give them a second chance. They make a top-notch product and have top-notch customer service (in my opinion) to back it up. That is truly hard to find these days.

    Our firstBike has now been passed down to our 2 year old (with the lowering system attached again) and I can’t wait to see what happens!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! I am glad to hear that you have had great experiences with the bike and with their customer service. We have never had an issue with our FirstBIKE itself and still believe it is a great bike. I also agree that I would hate to have someone skip over the bike because of some issues other have had with customer service, which is why I simply recommended not buying the bike directly through them, but rather a third party. Since FirstBIKE.us is the US distributor for all the FirstBIKEs in the US, they will still profit from the sell of any of their bikes in the US, but buying from a third party gives the buyer another person in their court IF any issues arise.

      My issues with FirstBIKE’s customer service started with complains here and in emails, which happens from time to time with various retailers and bikes. Generally, I do not step in unless the customer can show that they have attempted to contact the company repeatedly with no success. In this case, I did step in, which only lead to more frustration for me. As a result of my experience and after weeks of frustration, I added the warning to this review. While I won’t go into details, I will say that months later, I have received enough correspondence from them to remove the warning (albeit hesitantly). I can only hope, going forward, that more readers will have experiences like yours versus mine.

  • wolflik3me

    I love the site and the extent of the reviews. It has been helpful to me in narrowing choices for my daughter’s first bike. She turns two in September and is 30 lbs, average height. I’m still deciding between the FirstBIKE basic and the Yedoo TooToo. I’ve budgeted $200 for both a bike and a helmet, and with each our primary concern is with safety. I’d also like for the bike to be able to grow with her, at least until 3 1/2 or 4, because she will only have 3 months or so before it’s stored for winter. We are expecting another child who can then inherit the bike as our oldest transitions to a pedal bike.

    Are the tires and safety features better on one bike over the other? Would you recommend one over the other for overall quality alone?

    As for helmets, I have been unable to find some of the recommended ones on Amazon or through online US retailers. Would you recommend something like the Giro Me2: http://www.amazon.com/Giro-Toddler-Me2-Pink-Leopard/dp/B00N19VYK2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440645392&sr=8-1&keywords=giro+rascal?

    Or are there others available on Amazon or through the affiliate shops that have vents, are adjustable, and are less likely to pinch?

  • As the owner of the company that imported and distributed the first 5000 or so FirstBikes ever sold in the USA, and that still works closely with FirstBike.US as a preferred dealer, we would like to express our utmost respect for the customer service team at FirstBike.US
    They work very hard to provide excellent customer service to not only hundreds of customers every month, but also to dozens of authorized FirstBike retailers in the USA. We don’t like seeing anyone thrown under the bus because of one bad experience.
    http://www.WeeBikeShop.com

  • Megan Dobyns

    Thank you so much for this incredible site! I wish I’d found it before I invested in the three tricycles sitting in our garage that get absolutely no use! I am now convinced that my children should be on balance bikes instead, and I am hoping to get your input on what to select for Christmas presents.

    I have two (small in size) girls who by Christmas will be 18 months (12-18 month clothes; 31″; 22 lbs.) and 3 years, 8 months (3T clothing; 39″; 32 lbs). I am open to getting one bike, though I foresee that leading to many complications at play time:) Based on what I’ve read on your site, I am leaning toward getting the Strider Pro for my 18 month old and the Scoot for my 3.5 year old. However, I can’t shake my interest in the FirstBike. Based on your review, however, it doesn’t seem that the FirstBike would be quite right for either of them –my 18 mo old would be too small for it, and my 3.5 year old on the verge of being too big, perhaps? The Islabikes Rothan is also interesting to me for my 18 month old.

    Advice would be greatly appreciated! It’s hard enough having three wasted tricycles in the garage, so I certainly don’t want to add two expensive, unused balance bikes to the mix! Thank you so much for any help!

    P.S. After reading your helmet information, I think my children’s helmets are not up to par, and I plan to purchase the Giro Scamp helmet for my 3 year old and the Joovy Noodle Helmet for my 18 month old. Sound good? Thanks again! You are very appreciated!

    • Glad to help! Starting with your 18-month old, I agree that the FirstBIKE is going to be too big. The Strider Pro would be a good option, but the Rothan is a much better bike, so if it in is the budget, I would go for the Rothan. My youngest is pretty petite and with a garage full of options, it was the bike he consistently goes to.

      For your 3.5 year-old, the FirstBIKE will work great for her if you live in a place were she can ride year-round. If so, she will have plenty of room on it to grow until she is ready to transition to a pedal bike. If you live in a colder climate, which will limit her riding in Fall and Winter, then I would go with the Scoot. Since she is over 30 lb., the weight of the Scoot won’t be an issue.

      In the end, any of the balance bikes you mentioned will be better than their tricycles. Keep in mind, though, that kids generally don’t hop onto balance bikes and take off. There is a learning curve, but it tends to go quickly, so don’t let them give up!

      • Megan Dobyns

        Thank you so much, Natalie! Happy Holidays!

        • You’re welcome and Happy Holidays to you!

  • angelica

    I love your site, thanks for all of the info! I’m trying to find a balance bike for my 3 year old who wears 4T, 38lbs and tall. We live in Mexico and our options are limited, but I found this bike in a local store. Do you think it’s worth it or while she out-size it too soon? We do live in great weather to use it year round, so I’m hoping she’ll get enough use out of it, but I’m worried because of her larger size. I also found an Injusa Jumper bike a Walmart here, do you know anything about it? It costs significantly less. Thanks for any suggestions!

    • angelica

      I also found the Prince Lionheart for sale here, although significantly more expensive than in the US it is still about $70 USD lower than the FirstBike. I like the wooden look but curious about it’s durability (especially in our humid climate). Any thoughts?

  • Nazanin Soroush

    I just ordered the Firstbike racing limited for my 2 years old son birthday it came w the damage on the body and seat. Super disappointed, I was so looking forward to get this bike for my son spend more than 200 dollars . So I contacted their company via email the box wasn’t damage at all and seems like the bike got damaged before even been mailed to amazon So their customers service Mandi responded that I should contact the amazon instead. Does anyone have any suggestion?

    • Ugh, that’s the worst! I would contact Amazon and explain to them the situation. I’m sure they will work with you and there is still plenty of time to get a new one out to you. If the bike was damaged prior to going into the box, it could be an issue with manufacturing, which would mean that other bikes could have the same issue. Amazon will want to be aware of these issues so that they can take it up with FirstBIKE directly. It could have also possibly been a return to Amazon, which wouldn’t make FirstBIKE responsible.

  • Divya

    Hi Natalie,
    This is an amazing site.
    My son is 3 years 7 months old,40 inches high,inseam of 15.5 inches and weighs 33 pounds.We live MA.I was initially considering FIRSTbike but now i think he will outgrow it too soon.Although i love all the features FIRSTbike offers I am a little hesitant in buying it.What is the best option for me?I want the bike to last long because my son has a long learning curve and I dont want him to outgrow his bike before he is ready to transition to pedal bikes.
    Thanks,
    Divya

    • If he were able to start right away, the FirstBIKE would actually be a great fit for him, but considering you are in MA, I assume he won’t be able to ride regularly until late Spring, so you might want to consider some other options. I would look at the Ridgeback Scoot as it will last him plenty of time (even with long winters), plus the longer wheelbase and wider handlebars work great for older toddlers. It is much heavier, but with his age and weight, he shouldn’t have an issue with it.

      • Divya

        Thanks you for the reply!
        Scoot is sold out on Amazon.Where else to buy these?How much does it cost?
        Thanks.

        • The Scoots are sold out everywhere, but a new shipment is being dispatched to the US shortly and will arrive in February. Pre-ordering will be opened to customers who prefer to reserve a bike from the shipment in advance. In the meantime, we do have some previous year models of Scoot that are coming available at weebikeshop.com (check in 1-2 days) but they are mostly orange in color. Will be offered at a slight discount due to small cosmetic defects (scratch or chip in paint)

        • As Ivan mentioned below, the Scoot are currently sold out (sorry, I forgot previously) until February, but as he stated some discounted one are available. They normally retail for $175. The Saracen is another great similar to the Scoot that is available now for $180, that is also worth considering, http://weebikeshop.com/store/balance-bikes/brands/saracen/tt-runner-balance-bike.html.

      • Divya

        Also how does Tykesbykes compare to scoot.I saw the comparison chart -seat of tykesbykes goes only upto 17″ while scoot goes to 20″.
        Do you think tykesbykes would be the second best option for us?Scoot is pricier that tykesbykes.Thoughts?

        • The Scoot has a longer wheelbase than the TykesBykes so it can support a longer seat post. If the Scoot it out of your price range, I would certainly consider the TykesBykes 12″.

      • Divya

        What is difference between tykesbykes charger and tykesbykes 12″?There is a price difference of about $20.

        • There are slight differences, but essentially the TykesBykes 12″ (formerly called the Scamp) is the same bike as the TykesBykes Charger 12″.

  • Kristen Scott

    How do I decide between the FirstBIKE and Yedoo Too Too??? My son is 22 months old. Inseam of 11.5″. Tall for his age with a long torso at 34″. Average weight at just under 27lbs. Very active and strong little boy who loves adventure! I really like the durability and safety features of the FirstBIKE along with its ski attachment option. However, I was told the FirstBIKE is more of a toy than a bike and the Too Too is an exceptional balance bike as well that’s in my top 2. I’d REALLY appreciate the help Natalie and reader’s! Thank you!

    • Mark B

      FirstBike’s minimum seat height is 14″. With optional $10 lowering kit, it only reduces to 12-3/4″. According to specs I’ve observed for the TooToo, it has a minimum seat height of 12″ without any extra accessories necessary. Also, for a very active rider who is likely to test their skills on rough surfaces, off-road trails or on a pump track, the FirstBike’s flexible frame and fork has a tendency to buck like a Bronco and throw the rider off. We observed this with our son while he was riding down a grassy hillside and ended up doing a face-first superman onto his chest, nearly knocking the wind out of him. FirstBike’s frame and fork are connected with a 3/8″ diameter pin, not exactly a bike industry spec. It appears that the TooToo has a standard connection between frame and fork- meaning that there are bearings top and bottom, locked together with opposing nuts just like a real bike. This is the biggest tell between a real bike and a toy. If there are no bearings connecting frame and fork (commonly referred to as a “headset”), if it uses weird proprietary parts or uses quick release clamps to connect frame and fork, then you are buying a very expensive toy. It’s your money.

      • Kristen Scott

        Thanks! I’m pretty sold on the TooToo!

        • As Mark said, the Too Too is great, but for your son the minimum seat height of 12″ is going to be too big for your son right now. Kids needs at least a 0.5″ clearance to easily get on and off the seat, so he would have to have an inseam of 12.5″ to comfortably use the Too Too.

          • Kristen Scott

            Should my son be wearing shoes when I measure his inseam? I’m concerned I didn’t measure him correctly because according to his age and clothing size he should fit on the Too Too. He’s tall for his age, but with a long torso his inseam may be of a shorter toddler. If my 11.5″ inseam measurement is correct with bare feet and he is an inch away from fitting on the Too Too I will buy the Rothan and hope with his long torso and being big for his age he doesn’t outgrow it before he transitions to a pedal bike.

          • Yes, I would measure his inseam while wearing the shoes he is likely to wear while riding the bike. The best way to measure a child’s inseam is to them stand against a wall and then carefully push a hardbound book up as far as it will go. Level the book with the wall behind him and then measure from the top of the book to the ground. If he is only off by a 0.5″ and he has a longer torso, the Too Too is better for him in the long run, BUT he may not fit on it yet. Then again, he should be able to walk with the bike, while he is learning on it, just fine.

          • Kristen Scott

            My inseam measurement was way off. I remeasured him at 13″ with shoes and 12.5″ without. We will be purchasing the Too Too!

      • Excellent point’s there, thanks for sharing!

  • Nicole Keating

    I’m looking for a little advice on a balance bike for my almost (3 weeks away) 2 year old. His inseam if I measured correctly is about 13.5 inches without shoes. He’s 30 pounds. He loves scooting around on his 3 wheeler. I think he will really take to riding a balance bike. I’m just not sure what to get. I want something that will last until it is time to buy a pedal bike and is under $200. The qualities I am looking for are light weight (we live in a 3-story walk up), hand break and safe. We will mostly be riding on city sidewalks or at the playground. I was originally thinking of the FirstBIKE, but am second guessing that. Anything else you think I should consider?

    • The FirstBIKE would be a good choice for him, but if expect him to be a more aggressive rider, I would look at the Frog Tadpole. The Tadpole has a longer wheelbase and wider handlebars which will give him more stability. Another option is the Yedoo Too Too, which is lighter than the Frog, but has narrower handlebars. If you plan on carrying the bike a lot, I would go with the FirstBIKE as it is lighter and has recessed bolts, but if you are looking for a better overall ride for your son over time, I would go with the others.

      • Nicole Keating

        Thanks so much! Great advice and a fantastic web site. So much information!

  • Diana Turetsky

    I’m a little confused about the ideal age for this bike. In the pictures you have a kid in 3T fitting it comfortably but a 24mo size barely does. But then in the bottom line you say best for 18month to 3yo?
    I am looking for a balance bike for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. She’s currently in 3T and 36″ (not sure the inseam yet. Will measure it later). Will she grow out of this bike too quickly?
    It’s out of our price range new but I found it used for about half the retail price and was going to get it. Just want to make sure it will last for at least a little while. Thank you. (Love your website by the way!)

    • You’re right, that is confusing! The FirstBike with the lowering kit fits kids in 24 months clothes, which many 18-month old kids wear. Kids will outgrow the FirstBIKE around the time they are transitioning into 5T clothes. For your daughter in 3T, the FirstBIKE will be a great fit for her now and still provide plenty of room for growth. If, however, you expect her to grow quickly or if you live in an area where she won’t be able to ride for a good portion of the year, I would considering looking at another bike to prevent her from potentially outgrowing it too soon.

  • Leigh Ng

    hello Natalie. Firstly thank you for such a great blog! i am getting our 3yo (in a week time) daughter her first balance bike and cant decide between kinder bike morph and first bike. they seem to be on the small side but how do they compare side by side? we live in singapore and it will be mostly neighborhood pavement, concrete and some park paths, summer all year round. She is 94cm tall but yet to weigh her recently or get her inseam. any advice? many thanks!

    • I would go with the FirstBIKE. By the time your son is ready for pedal on the Morph, the Morph as a pedal bike is likely going to be too small for him. I have not seen the Kinderbike Morph in person though, just in pictures, but from what I have seen, it is on the smaller side for a bike. Most kids who graduate from 12″ balance bikes (like the KinderBike and the FirstBIKE) move up to a 14″ or 16″ pedal bike, not a 12″.

      • Leigh Ng

        Thanks Natalie! I now have the opportunity to get a lightly used, pre owned cruzee and will be going for it. thanks!

  • LC

    My 4 year old got a First Bike for her third birthday. This week, two months past her 4th birthday, she rode a two wheel pedal bike! No training wheels for this kid. We love First Bike!!!

    • Awesome! Isn’t is amazing watch your kids simply pedal away :). Thanks for sharing!

      • LC

        This is the pedal bike that she is riding right now: https://www.amazon.com/Micargi-Cruiser-Bike-Purple-12-Inch/dp/B00A7T534M/ref=pd_sim_468_2? I got it for $5 at a thrift store. It’s a really poor quality bike but it only weighs 10 or 11 pounds- I lifted it up at the thrift store and immediately knew it would be a good bridge from a balance bike since it is so light. We had a used Huffy that easily weighs twice as much- and she wasn’t having any luck with it.

        I’ll be reading through your reviews to see if there are any 14 inch pedal bike options with handbrakes that won’t break the bank.

        • For $5 that’s deal. The geometry is pretty bad, but if it is lightweight and she can ride it, then no worries! Thanks for pointing out the bike as I agree there really aren’t any well designed 14″ bikes that are still affordable.

          • LC

            We moved this fall, and the Micargi was donated back to the thrift store and we sold the First Bike for 2/3 of what we paid for it– really happy with the resale value. The Byk E-350 will be under the tree on Christmas. It seems like a good balance of weight, geometry and price. Thanks for all of your reviews- Love your website.

  • Seth Seidman

    I bought the firstbike for my 2 year old and he has loved it and done
    well for almost 2 years. He’s almost 4 now. He doesn’t appear to have
    outgrown this bike yet, but I see it is only recommended to 3.5 years.
    Since I have the need for another bike for his sister who turns 2 next
    week what would your recommendation be? Should I buy a bigger bike for
    the almost 4 year old and give the firstbike to the 2 year old? Or
    should I buy a new bike for the 2 year old? I tried the 2 year old out
    on the firstbike and it might be slightly big for her (she’s in 2T
    clothes), but should certainly be big enough by next spring when she’ll
    start using it much more. The almost 4 year old is not that big, really
    wears 3T clothes comfortably. Please help – thanks!

    • No worries, the recommendation for the age group is only until 3.5 as I don’t want parents to buy a bike their child will outgrow too quickly. As long as he fits, he is still good to go. Whether or not to buy a new bike really depends on your daughters desire to learn to ride now as well as if you can ride through the winter. If she wants to ride now, then I would pick up a smaller bike. Considering she will be able to move up to the FirstBIKE, I would look for a used Strider as they are cheap and generally easy to come by. If she doesn’t have a strong desire to ride now, then I would wait until Spring as by then your 4yo may be ready to transition to a pedal bike, when would then allow your daughter to ride the FirstBIKE (with the lowering kit). Hope that helps!

      • Seth Seidman

        thanks for the tips. i had thought about getting a strider, but thought i read about the seat not being good for little ones and i didn’t want her to get discouraged and completely turned off about a balance bike. i think your advice makes sense though – thanks!

  • Barbara

    Dear Natalie,
    First, thank you thank you thank you for your awesome explanations. Based on what I read I purchased a FirstBike for my daughter when she was a few months from 2 years. She is petite so we used the lowering kit for about the first year. She took to the bike immediately and now at 4-1/2, without the lowering kit and the seat in its highest position she coasts around the neighborhood but dearly wants a pedal bike…she is fixated on them mostly because she wants to go FASTER! I am not opposed to spending money on something she will use for a while. She has a 16-1/2″ inseam. I’d like to get her a 16″ pedal bike for longevity sake but worry that it might be too big. I also want handbrakes since she already knows how to use them. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Yeah! Love hearing about little ones cruising around:). I agree that a 16″ would be best for longevity sake. My son is also 4.5 and can now ride a 16″ bike, but did learn on a smaller 14″. He was very hesitant and not eager to learn to ride, which is why he learned on the 14″. If you daughter is more ambitious, then she may be able to pull of learning on a 16″. The main problem is that she won’t be able to touch the ground with her full foot, which many balance bike graduates are comfortable doing. Since she already knows how to use a handbrake, she won’t have to rely on her feet to stop, which will help. The smallest 16″ bike is the WOOM3, but it isn’t cheap at $369. The minimum seat height is almost 19″, so she would be on her tippy toes. If you remove the reflector on the seat post, you can lower it down to almost 18″, which will help. If she is adventurous, I would go for it. I had watched many kids learn to ride on the WOOM3 as it is very stable and easy to ride.