FirstBIKE

FirstBIKE

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: $129 to $199

Where to Buy:

The entire line of FirstBIKE is available at WeeBikeShop.  All their bikes are shipped for free and monthly coupon codes are available and listed in sidebar above. 

For Canadian residents

For European Readers

Various models of the FirstBIKE are available on Amazon.co.uk (link to FirstBIKE).

 

 

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.

      • Devon Caroselli

        This website is awesome. Thanks for the info Natalie. I am afraid that there is no good answer for my question but here goes: My two year old’s birthday is coming up and I wanted to get her a balance bike, but the issue is her 4 year old sister has never had one (she has a three wheeler schwinn). I just know that if I get the little one a balance bike and the big one is stuck on the clunky three wheeler it is going to be an issue, especially if the little one can just zoom off so easily. I was hoping to find one that they could take turns on, so the big one doesn’t feel too jilted. But the 4 year old has an in-seam around 19 inches and the little one has one around 13 inches. I really like the FIRST bike but the lowering kit looks like it would take a lot of work to make it go back and forth between them on a regular basis. Are there any bikes that can be easily adjusted to bridge the gap between them? FYI – the 4 year old is a proficient pedaler so I am confident that if she could get the balance thing down she could go right to a pedal bike. I don’t really want to buy her her own balance bike at this late stage when she will probably move quickly onto a pedal bike – plus its not her birthday until February.

        • Glad to be of help. I agree, putting the lowering kit on and off the FirstBIKE would not be an option.
          Besides the LikeaBIKE Jumper (13.4″ to 18.5″) which is pricey at $269 (yet an amazing bike!!), the Ridgeback Scoot, which is soon to be available in the US would work for you. It is listed as having a minimum seat height of 11″ (but according to my measurements of my demo model should be closer to 13″) but it does go up to 18″. It also comes with a second seat post that will raise the maximum seat height to 20.5″. You essentially could put the second seat post on right away, but when lowered to fit your youngest it would stick out pretty far beneath the bike and could get caught up on a curb, etc. The bike retails for $175, but is currently listed on sale for $160 at WeeBikeShop (http://weebikeshop.com/store/bikes/ridgeback/balance-bikes.html). They are directly importing the bike, so it won’t be available any where else. The problem is availability. I was told by the end of summer, which may not be soon enough for you.

          Your other two options would be the KinderBike Laufrad (13″ to 18″) and the TykesBykes 12″ (13″ – 17″). Between the two, I would hands down go with the TykesBykes over the KinderBike as the build is far superior, plus it is cheaper and currently on sale for $89: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AR8LYJQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00AR8LYJQ&linkCode=as2&tag=aperpla-20). With a maximum seat height of 17″, you technically could squeak another inch out of the seat post (although it is not recommended by the manufacturer!) to make it 18″. My very tall six year old daughter and four year old son both love riding the “little green bike” around, so I’m sure your daughter will enjoy it even if she is technically too big for it as well. The downside of the TykesBykes versus the KinderBike or the Ridgeback, is that it does not have a quick-release seat adjust, so you would have to use an allen wrench to adjust the seat between riders. Hope that helps!

          • happymom

            Hi Natalie, I have a 1.5yo and also a not very well coordinated 5yo who isn’t very daring when it comes to riding bikes (or trying new things). I’d love to find a balance bike that both kids could use, but more importantly, for the 5yo to be comfortable and confident on. Would the Firstbike be good for us? Or should we wait a little bit for the Ridgeback Scoot? We really need one that would be the easiest to master and boost confidence. Thanks!

            • I generally do not recommend the FirstBIKE for older kids as the frame does tend to flex when set at it’s highest setting. With such a vast difference in size, I would recommend waiting for the Ridgeback. The Scoot may be slightly big for your 1.5 yo, but will work great for your 5 yo.

              • happymom

                Thanks Natalie! I just checked and the Scoot is now available at Weebikeshop! Do you mind posting a full review and rating for it soon? We’re looking forward to getting one, but wanted to hear your thorough review of it first. Thank you!

              • Not to worry a complete review is in the works and should be up by next week. While the Ridgeback is listed in stock, I believe they won’t be available to be shipped out until September 10th. The first batch of Ridgebacks however won’t drop to 11″ (that model won’t be available until later this year), but rather closer to 14″. So if you want your 1.5 yo to ride it, be sure to check his inseam. As a reference, our 19 mo is still too small for the bike (but does enjoys being pushed around on it) while out 4 yo loves the bike and still has room to grow on it.

      • henrythefifth

        I agree with Devon, thanks so much for this website Natalie. We are purchasing a FirstBike from WeeBikes for our 2.5 year old after doing much research. I’m glad I found your site and its thorough reviews before I just pulled the trigger on a Strider without looking any deeper. The FirstBike looks amazing, and we’ll be sure to follow up with any thoughts.

        • Thanks and please do, the more feedback the better!

      • Handong Chen

        I would like to point out that the webikeshop price (before 10% discount) is the same as amazon. Amazon carries the ones with brake at $159.99 while webikeshop has $159.95 (with brake) or $149.95 (without brake). I did not pay enough attention and ordered two of the lower price ones only to realize they do not come with brake after I opened the box today.

        • You’re right, I hadn’t noticed the change on Amazon. I would give WeeBikeShop a call at (401) 654-0029 and see what they can do for you.

        • Ivan M. Altinbasak

          Amazon does not actually stock the FirstBIKE in any of their warehouses. Orders placed with Amazon are transmitted to one of two warehouses: either WeeBikeShop in RI or to the importer’s warehouse in PA. When you purchase FirstBIKE or any other brand from WeeBikeShop, you are buying direct and dealing with a retailer that has invested a lot of money in inventory [instead of sending your order to a 3rd party for fulfillment]. We urge parents to KNOW who they are buying from. Many retailers have not physically touched or seen any of the products they sell, which is unfortunate. How can they answer questions about the product you are paying them for, if they know so little about it?

      • Kim

        Hi! I am considering buying a FirstBike Basic for my son who turned 2 about a month ago. I read on one store site that the non-air tires will still work well on most surfaces but another site specified for mostly indoor use only. Thoughts?? I so appreciate all of the info on your site!!! Kim

        • I personally have yet to test out the new FirstBIKE Basic, but will be receiving one shortly to demo. From my understanding, the solid rubber tire works great inside and out, however seeing as FirstBIKE makes less of a profit on the Basic model, they are attempting to market it as an indoor bike in hopes that parents will buy the more profitable air tire models. In the next couple weeks I will be sure update my findings about the Basic on this review. Finally, sorry for my delay in responding as I have been traveling.

      • Jason

        Hello,
        Terrific website! Thank you!
        We’re considering the FirstBike or TykeBykes 12″ for our 27-month old son. Do you have thoughts on the relatively higher stand-over height (“top-tube”) on the FirstBike vs. the TykeByke? It seems high and I was wondering if it was ever a problem. Our son is 36lbs and about 37″. He’s got a Radio Flyer model 20 Scoot-Around that he rides like a maniac. He glides, does ‘tricks’ and goes too fast on corners which is funny to him, scary for us. We’re ready for the next step, and want air tires and a brake.
        Thanks-

        • Glad to be of help! For two-year-olds I generally prefer the FirstBIKE simply because it is lighter and less bike to handle. However, seeing as your son is already familiar with the sitting and pushing action, he may be ready for the TykesBykes. Between the two, the TykesBykes does have a lower step-through frame, but considering he would have to lower the seat essentially to the bottom of the TykesBykes as well, he won’t be benefiting from it’s lower top tube. My son graduated from his Strider (with a low-frame) to the FirstBIKE at age two without an concerns. In the end, if you feel that your son is more athletic and ready to handle a heavier bike for his age, then I would go with the TykesBykes, if not go with the FirstBIKE.

      • farah

        Natalie,
        Love the site. tremendous amount of information but very well organised. We were able to zero in on the FirstBike because of your reviews. The thing we cannot decide on is whether to go with the Cross or the Street. We do think early on (24mos) he will be riding mostly on pavement, but i do feel there will be some off roading down the road, the question we have is, are the Cross tires reliable on pavement or will they pose as a problem.
        Thank you

      • Nadina Popescu

        Natalie ,would you consider buying one with a brake or not for a soon to be 2years old?
        Thanks a lot,
        Nadina

        • Daniel Herd

          I’d definitely do it. At Wee Bikes it’s only $10 more for the brake and there’s not a downside that I can think of since most kids ignore them until they are already comfortable with the bike itself. Think about where you want to bike with her/him and if there are even any small hills it will be nice in a year to have a brake. My cousin said that with the brakeless Strider his son went out into the street a few times from not being able to stop and another friend said that they have gone through shoes faster because her 4 year old is using his feet to stop the bike and he’s going fast and far now so it’s either brake shoes or new shoes. I’m going for the cross model with brake from BalanceBikeTrainer.com since they have a 7% discount right now, saving about $12, which is the cost of the drop kit. Make sure you get the lowering kit so your kid can get on the scooped seat. Our 23 and 25 month old girls can just get over their Kinderbike’s seat and this one is going to be an inch higher at least.

          • Daniel Herd

            I went with WeeBikes because Natalie’s site is so helpful, she recommended the site and they seem to have great customer service and support (also active FB page). I’ll try to get my Emma to give a quick review of the brake when she tests the bike out next week!!

            • Thanks Daniel, I am very appreciative of your support and yes, please report back as the more opinions the better!

        • Looks like I missed this comment sorry. Daniel below actually gives some great advice. If a brake is in your budget I would absolutely recommend it. There really are no downsides to a hand brake, but are certainly some advantages. In addition to being an added safety feature and saving shoes, it also helps kids learn how to use a hand brake which is very beneficial upon moving up to a pedal bike. When converting to a pedal bikes, coaster brakes (pedal backwards brakes) can actually the transition more difficult as kids often pedal backwards when learning. If a child is fully confident on a hand brake and relatively tall for their age, they can often transition to a 16″ pedal bike without a coaster brake.

        • Daniel Herd

          The brake on the FirstBike is a lot easier to use than on the other bike we have. It adjusts and is easy to squeeze. Both our daughters can operate it, but are still learning when to use it.

      • Nadina Popescu

        Natalie ,would you consider buying one with a brake or not for a soon to be 2years old?
        Thanks a lot,
        Nadina

        • Daniel Herd

          I’d definitely do it. At Wee Bikes it’s only $10 more for the brake and there’s not a downside that I can think of since most kids ignore them until they are already comfortable with the bike itself. Think about where you want to bike with her/him and if there are even any small hills it will be nice in a year to have a brake. My cousin said that with the brakeless Strider his son went out into the street a few times from not being able to stop and another friend said that they have gone through shoes faster because her 4 year old is using his feet to stop the bike and he’s going fast and far now so it’s either brake shoes or new shoes. I’m going for the cross model with brake from BalanceBikeTrainer.com since they have a 7% discount right now, saving about $12, which is the cost of the drop kit. Make sure you get the lowering kit so your kid can get on the scooped seat. Our 23 and 25 month old girls can just get over their Kinderbike’s seat and this one is going to be an inch higher at least.

          • Daniel Herd

            I went with WeeBikes because Natalie’s site is so helpful, she recommended the site and they seem to have great customer service and support (also active FB page). I’ll try to get my Emma to give a quick review of the brake when she tests the bike out next week!!

            • Thanks Daniel, I am very appreciative of your support and yes, please report back as the more opinions the better!

        • Looks like I missed this comment sorry. Daniel below actually gives some great advice. If a brake is in your budget I would absolutely recommend it. There really are no downsides to a hand brake, but are certainly some advantages. In addition to being an added safety feature and saving shoes, it also helps kids learn how to use a hand brake which is very beneficial upon moving up to a pedal bike. When converting to a pedal bikes, coaster brakes (pedal backwards brakes) can actually the transition more difficult as kids often pedal backwards when learning. If a child is fully confident on a hand brake and relatively tall for their age, they can often transition to a 16″ pedal bike without a coaster brake.

        • Daniel Herd

          The brake on the FirstBike is a lot easier to use than on the other bike we have. It adjusts and is easy to squeeze. Both our daughters can operate it, but are still learning when to use it.

      • Daniel Herd

        So. We ordered the red cross FirstBike on Tuesday at 1:40pm (with the lowering kit). It shipped within a few hours and arrived 24 hours later to our Philly house. Wow that was fast. The handlebars are higher than on the Laufrad, most probably due to them being at a fixed height rather than with a movable stem as metal bikes have. It’s light enough and I like the turning limiter, though it’s pretty limited, so think about it as a motorcycle, which has to be turned in wide areas. We were hoping that the descriptions just missed the fact that it was good for younger children too and it is very accessible (after being lowered) to our 23 month old. The scooped seat puts her farther from the handlebars but not improperly so. She isn’t as hooked as her sister yet, but they’ve both been out on them 2-3 times already and they are back at the park for another ride right now. Here they are riding, fixing a thrown shoe and blinking at the evening light.

        • Love it, so cute! Thanks for sharing and glad to hear you got great service from WeeBikeShop. I really appreciate your pictures and pointing out the slight differences in the handlebar height and seat. Those small details, as well as your comparison shots, can certainly help parents decide which of the two bikes is best for their son or daughter. Any future updates are also much appreciated. Thanks again!

      • Daniel Herd

        So. We ordered the red cross FirstBike on Tuesday at 1:40pm (with the lowering kit). It shipped within a few hours and arrived 24 hours later to our Philly house. Wow that was fast. The handlebars are higher than on the Laufrad, most probably due to them being at a fixed height rather than with a movable stem as metal bikes have. It’s light enough and I like the turning limiter, though it’s pretty limited, so think about it as a motorcycle, which has to be turned in wide areas. We were hoping that the descriptions just missed the fact that it was good for younger children too and it is very accessible (after being lowered) to our 23 month old. The scooped seat puts her farther from the handlebars but not improperly so. She isn’t as hooked as her sister yet, but they’ve both been out on them 2-3 times already and they are back at the park for another ride right now. Here they are riding, fixing a thrown shoe and blinking at the evening light.

        • Love it, so cute! Thanks for sharing and glad to hear you got great service from WeeBikeShop. I really appreciate your pictures and pointing out the slight differences in the handlebar height and seat. Those small details, as well as your comparison shots, can certainly help parents decide which of the two bikes is best for their son or daughter. Any future updates are also much appreciated. Thanks again!

      • Kristen

        Your website is wonderful! Thank you for providing us with so much information! I was hoping you could help me figure out which balance bike would be best birthday gift for my only child. She turns 2 in April, and she is currently about 27 lbs, 33 inches tall, with a 12.5 inch inseam. She’s between 2T and 3T clothes right now, because her torso is so long. If she takes after me, she’ll hit a huge growth spurt in the next month and be 35.5 inches on her 2nd birthday (40 inches on her 3rd birthday). If she’s like her dad, she’ll be petite throughout her childhood. It’s hard to say who she resembles most. She’s consistently been a little bigger than average so far.

        I’m torn between the Firstbike and Mini Scoot (while it’s available), and I may be overlooking another option. My daughter is not a risk taker and will definitely just want to be pushed around on her bike for awhile, so I’m not sure that the weight of the Mini Scoot is a huge problem, and I like that it would last her longer if she isn’t ready for pedals at age 4. I appreciate the safety features and relatively indestructible materials of the Firstbike, especially because my adorably klutzy daughter will be on curvy, hilly neighborhood sidewalks.

        Our budget is a little tight, but I’m willing to invest in quality in order to save money over time. I’d prefer to buy just one balance bike rather than a smaller one now and larger one when she’s older. What do you suggest for my situation?

        • Daniel Herd

          For us, the difference between the FirstBike and the others came down to about $40 which was less than the value of having all the features we wanted (pneumatic tires, recessed bolts, good bearings, etc). We had a bike that was very similar to the Mini Scoot and it worked well, but the brake didn’t work for 2yo hands. If you want a brake, the FirstBike is the only one with a really good drum brake that works for small hands.

          If money is really an issue, look at Craigslist as there are plenty of them being sold for $40-80. You might find something nearby and not that expensive. eBay seems to mostly be the better condition bikes that are near to new prices. Almost any balance bike with decent bearings and a seat at the right height will work well. After having two to compare though, we, like Natalie felt that the FirstBike is the best option for younger kids who aren’t super tall or heavy. It rides really well, is lightweight, waterproof and lots of fun. But those options aren’t essential so look at used.

          My advise though is to not pay $150+ for the FirstBike and then bend over to push your daughter around. Don’t use training wheels either. Just get one of those tricycles that have a handle so she can sit while you push her from a standing position. Balance bikes don’t work well if you are trying to “help” your child stay upright since the entire point is that the seat is low enough that your kid can stand and walk with the bike under them.

          • Kristen

            Thanks for the advice. I should just wait a year, I guess! Those trikes hard to steer and I really don’t want to buy a new cycling device every year, so I’ll just continue to use our stroller.

            • I agree with Daniel and would start shopping around for a used bike if you can’t afford a new bike now. If your daughter is already wearing 2T clothes she is certainly tall enough for a bike. I would try to get a bike with the lowest minimum seat height that is really close to her inseam so that she will have plenty of time to grow into it. Plus, the sooner she starts riding, the more likely she will be able to transition into a pedal bike sooner, which could actually save you money in the long run. Most taller preschoolers who ride balance bikes are able to skip 12″ bikes and training wheels altogether and go directly onto a 16″ inch bike. Since balance bikes are generally cheaper than decent quality pedal bikes, starting with a balance bike can often save you money than waiting until a child is tall enough to fit onto a 12″ bike.

              Between the FirstBIKE and the Mini, if you daughter is a little klutzy, then the lightweight go the FirstBIKE would be a good choice vs. the heavy Mini. If however you are worried about her outgrowing the bike too soon, then I would consider the Yedoo Too Too (link to my review: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/yedoo-tootoo-fifty-balance-bikes-scooter-review/) as it is the best of both worlds as it only weighs 8.4 lb., but has a maximum seat height of 18″. The FirstBIKE also goes up to 18″, but the bike does tend to flex when used at it’s highest setting, so I generally don’t recommend it for taller kids. The Too Too is currently selling for $129.95 and comes with a brake. The promotional code “ToyFair14”, will also get you $10 of the Too Too at WeeBikeShop, making it an even better deal. Hope that helps!

              • Kristen

                Thanks for so many useful suggestions, Natalie! Craigslist hasn’t shown me any balance bikes in a 50 mile radius since I started searching in September, not even a Strider! But I snagged the last blue Limited Edition Firstbike for $162 sold by Amazon LLC. I can’t wait to see it in a few days!

              • A Limited Edition for $162! Good call, I’m sure you will love it.

          • Thanks for sharing your opinion Daniel, I really appreciate it as the more opinions the better!

      • Kristen

        Your website is wonderful! Thank you for providing us with so much information! I was hoping you could help me figure out which balance bike would be best birthday gift for my only child. She turns 2 in April, and she is currently about 27 lbs, 33 inches tall, with a 12.5 inch inseam. She’s between 2T and 3T clothes right now, because her torso is so long. If she takes after me, she’ll hit a huge growth spurt in the next month and be 35.5 inches on her 2nd birthday (40 inches on her 3rd birthday). If she’s like her dad, she’ll be petite throughout her childhood. It’s hard to say who she resembles most. She’s consistently been a little bigger than average so far.

        I’m torn between the Firstbike and Mini Scoot (while it’s available), and I may be overlooking another option. My daughter is not a risk taker and will definitely just want to be pushed around on her bike for awhile, so I’m not sure that the weight of the Mini Scoot is a huge problem, and I like that it would last her longer if she isn’t ready for pedals at age 4. I appreciate the safety features and relatively indestructible materials of the Firstbike, especially because my adorably klutzy daughter will be on curvy, hilly neighborhood sidewalks.

        Our budget is a little tight, but I’m willing to invest in quality in order to save money over time. I’d prefer to buy just one balance bike rather than a smaller one now and larger one when she’s older. What do you suggest for my situation?

        • Daniel Herd

          For us, the difference between the FirstBike and the others came down to about $40 which was less than the value of having all the features we wanted (pneumatic tires, recessed bolts, good bearings, etc). We had a bike that was very similar to the Mini Scoot and it worked well, but the brake didn’t work for 2yo hands. If you want a brake, the FirstBike is the only one with a really good drum brake that works for small hands.

          If money is really an issue, look at Craigslist as there are plenty of them being sold for $40-80. You might find something nearby and not that expensive. eBay seems to mostly be the better condition bikes that are near to new prices. Almost any balance bike with decent bearings and a seat at the right height will work well. After having two to compare though, we, like Natalie felt that the FirstBike is the best option for younger kids who aren’t super tall or heavy. It rides really well, is lightweight, waterproof and lots of fun. But those options aren’t essential so look at used.

          My advise though is to not pay $150+ for the FirstBike and then bend over to push your daughter around. Don’t use training wheels either. Just get one of those tricycles that have a handle so she can sit while you push her from a standing position. Balance bikes don’t work well if you are trying to “help” your child stay upright since the entire point is that the seat is low enough that your kid can stand and walk with the bike under them.

          • Kristen

            Thanks for the advice. I should just wait a year, I guess! Those trikes hard to steer and I really don’t want to buy a new cycling device every year, so I’ll just continue to use our stroller.

            • I agree with Daniel and would start shopping around for a used bike if you can’t afford a new bike now. If your daughter is already wearing 2T clothes she is certainly tall enough for a bike. I would try to get a bike with the lowest minimum seat height that is really close to her inseam so that she will have plenty of time to grow into it. Plus, the sooner she starts riding, the more likely she will be able to transition into a pedal bike sooner, which could actually save you money in the long run. Most taller preschoolers who ride balance bikes are able to skip 12″ bikes and training wheels altogether and go directly onto a 16″ inch bike. Since balance bikes are generally cheaper than decent quality pedal bikes, starting with a balance bike can often save you money than waiting until a child is tall enough to fit onto a 12″ bike.

              Between the FirstBIKE and the Mini, if you daughter is a little klutzy, then the lightweight go the FirstBIKE would be a good choice vs. the heavy Mini. If however you are worried about her outgrowing the bike too soon, then I would consider the Yedoo Too Too (link to my review: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/yedoo-tootoo-fifty-balance-bikes-scooter-review/) as it is the best of both worlds as it only weighs 8.4 lb., but has a maximum seat height of 18″. The FirstBIKE also goes up to 18″, but the bike does tend to flex when used at it’s highest setting, so I generally don’t recommend it for taller kids. The Too Too is currently selling for $129.95 and comes with a brake. The promotional code “ToyFair14”, will also get you $10 of the Too Too at WeeBikeShop, making it an even better deal. Hope that helps!

              • Kristen

                Thanks for so many useful suggestions, Natalie! Craigslist hasn’t shown me any balance bikes in a 50 mile radius since I started searching in September, not even a Strider! But I snagged the last blue Limited Edition Firstbike for $162 sold by Amazon LLC. I can’t wait to see it in a few days!

              • A Limited Edition for $162! Good call, I’m sure you will love it.

          • Thanks for sharing your opinion Daniel, I really appreciate it as the more opinions the better!

      • Bec Miller

        Hi
        I’m based in Australia and bought my 2year old daughter a FIRSTBIKE cross based on your reviews. We fitted it with the lowering kit too as she has just turned 2. I’m not sure if we have made a mistake putting it together but it seems to big for her as her feet don’t sit flat on the ground. Her inseam measurement is 12-12.5 inches. Should we just put it away till she grows a little more?
        Thanking you for your time.
        Rebecca

        • Daniel is right, the first thing to do is to make sure the lowering kit is installed correctly. If your daughter’s inseam is 12″, she should be able to at least touch her toes. As a point of reference, our little guy was able to finally fit on the FirstBIKE with a lowering kit when he transitioned into size 24-month pants. If your daughter is still in 18-months pants, the bike could be too tall. As you will see in the picture below, the lowering kit does raise the tire like Daniel mentioned. My son (20 months old in picture) was also able to place his entire foot on the ground.

      • Guest

        Hi! I’m undecided between the FirstBIKE and Islabike for my 2 year old daughter. She’s 35″ with a 13.5″-14″ inseam and heavy for her age. Can you please help me? Which would you recommend?

        • Honestly, they are both great bikes, so really can’t go “wrong” with either. However, since she is already at a 14″ inseam, I would go with the FirstBIKE as it is slightly taller than the Islabike as shown in the picture below.

      • Guest

        Hi! I’m undecided between the FirstBIKE and Islabike for my 2 year old daughter. She’s 35″ with a 13.5″-14″ inseam and heavy for her age. Can you please help me? Which would you recommend?

        • Honestly, they are both great bikes, so really can’t go “wrong” with either. However, since she is already at a 14″ inseam, I would go with the FirstBIKE as it is slightly taller than the Islabike as shown in the picture below.

      • Ruth

        Thank you so much for such an informative website. I was wondering if you have heard anything about the EuroTrike balance bikes? Thanks in advance.

        • I have not, but based on what I’ve read, my only concern would be that the seat only adjust from 33-37 cm (13-14.5″), which really limits the length of time that the bike will properly fit a child. It is however very light at 2.7 kg. (5.95 lb.), which would be really beneficially for toddlers, but with a minimum inseam of 33 cm, it will most likely be too big for a lot of them. Here the site where I found the bikes stats as they were not listed on EuroTrikes’s website, http://www.thinktrikes.com.au/eurotrike_glide_balance_bike_blue.

        • I have not, but based on what I’ve read, my only concern would be that the seat only adjust from 33-37 cm (13-14.5″), which really limits the length of time that the bike will properly fit a child. It is however very light at 2.7 kg. (5.95 lb.), which would be really beneficially for toddlers, but with a minimum inseam of 33 cm, it will most likely be too big for a lot of them. Here the site where I found the bikes stats as they were not listed on EuroTrikes’s website, http://www.thinktrikes.com.au/eurotrike_glide_balance_bike_blue.

      • Preethy

        Hi,

        I have an almost 3 year old who weighs around 27 lb and is normal height. Haven’t measured the inseam but would this be a good first bicycle for him – something he can use till he’s at least 4? My concern is only if he will outgrow it (height-wise) soon.

        • Generally yes, he should be able to fit the bike for at least a year. My very tall 3yo was able to easily ride the bike up until his fourth birthday, so if your son is average height, he should be fine. However, when set at the maximum seat height of 18″, the bike does tend to flex with older riders, so if your son’s currently inseam is already around 16″, then I would be hesitant to recommend the FirstBIKE.

      • Cath Riley

        Our daughter who is tall for her age used her pink Street until she was about 4.5 years old. She then moved on to a pedal bike without training wheels with out any help from us… it was a natural progression for her.

        • Isn’t it amazing watching your kids simply ride away on a bike without any help? You are right in that it is certainly a natural progression!

      • HeatherC

        I’m thinking about getting a firstbike for my son who is only 18mo, but is tall for his age (12″ inseam, 33″ tall) and is always trying to get on other kids bikes/ scooters/ cars at the playground. With the lowering kit, will this bike fit him now? Is it a bad idea to start him this early?

        • Daniel Herd

          There is no too early. If he can walk, he can ride. okay I’ll take that back, since I have noticed that if the child can’t get on or off the bike, they may repeatedly fall trying to get on it and get scared of it, which may keep them from trying it again for a while. Our girls started at about 14 months I think. Maybe a bit more, but I believe at least one of them was under 18 months when we got the first bike (Laufrad). The FirstBIKE takes a bit more height to get on because of the sticky, scooped seat and high main frame. The lowering kit did really get the seat down to 12″ though and it’s preferable to have the child just barely able to stand flat footed.

        • I agree with what Daniel said below, as long as they are interested in bikes (which you son clearly is), I would go for it. My son also started before 18 months, but didn’t actually fit on the FirstBIKE with the lowering kit until he starting wearing 24 months pants, which was around 20 months for him. So yes, as long as he is in 24 month pants and is interested, I would absolutely go for it.

      • Carol

        Just wanted to let you know that FirstBikes are on ZuLily today for $112-160 depending on bike.

        • Thanks for the tip. That is a great deal!

      • Amy

        Amazon also has the Street ones for $112. a few colors for that price and free 2 day shipping if you have Prime. Thanks for this great site. I went to explore and now we are buying a bike. Ha! I really appreciate all of the reviews.

        • Yeah, glad you found a bike that will work for you!

        • Daniel Herd

          I almost used Amazon, but the folks at weebikes are great, gave me 10% off just for asking, and the bikes seriously arrived 23 hours later. Amazon is fast and they may use weebikes sometimes, but I’d just go directly to their site or Facebook and say hi. They usually ru are running some sort of deal. And BTW I consider the brake to be essential. Just had the girls out and both saved catastrophic crashes with their brakes.

      • Sarah

        Hi All,

        I am looking at purchasing a FirstBIKE for my son and I’m unsure about whether to purchase the cross version or street version. He is 2 years old so I’m not sure how much he will be riding “off road”. Does anyone have any input on each version and which is best? I appreciate any information anyone has to share.

        Thank you!

        • In most cases, the Street and the Cross tires will work just fine. While we used the Cross for our review, the majority of our other bikes have street tires like the Street and for the most part, we haven’t had an issues with loosing traction, even on dirt trails. In the end, I don’t think you could go wrong with either tire, as either will suit riding on pavement and some dirt just fine.

        • In most cases, the Street and the Cross tires will work just fine. While we used the Cross for our review, the majority of our other bikes have street tires like the Street and for the most part, we haven’t had an issues with loosing traction, even on dirt trails. In the end, I don’t think you could go wrong with either tire, as either will suit riding on pavement and some dirt just fine.

        • Daniel Herd

          In almost every situation it doesn’t matter. We have one of each and never see a difference in real-world use. The lugs on the cross would only be important if you are going to frequently be in sand or loose gravel; someplace where there is real sideways shift from loose material. The street is nicer almost always because it doesn’t pick up as much dirt (nicer on cars, inside riding, carrying around).

          On Saturday they logged about 1/2 mile through a combo of dirt, grass, pavement and packed gravel. There was no noticeable difference. The brake did save at least two falls though. At high speeds, putting your feet down is much harder to master than the brake. It’s really too bad that they sell these without brakes because I’m sure it’s led to some kids being scared of riding them after going too fast and falling. The girls could use the brake at 18 months. To me that’s what makes these the best out there. It’s a real brake that really fits their small hands and really works. I’m overstating it because I haven’t seen one other balance bike in Philly that has that feature.

      • GL

        Thanks for the great info on this website. I have a question regarding mounting and dismounting the FirstBIKE at the lowest seat setting. Because the down tube is arched up and rises above the seat, does this mean the child needs to mount and dismount from the back of the seat and slide forward? I know in tricycles, a pass through frame helps alleviate this issue. Also, during a crash, would the arched down tube pose a greater risk of injury vs. a down tube that extends from the “bottom bracket”, then angles up? Thanks for any insight into this.

        • Daniel Herd

          I think you are referring to main frame of the bike as the top tube, but it doesn’t much matter since both the down tube and the top tube are the same structure. The down tube would be the bottom of the uniframe. The simple answer is that if you give it to a kid and that kid is big enough, they will figure out how to get on. They don’t step over in front of the seat, but usually swing their leg over from the side. The seat is a tacky rubber so there is no scooting forward on it and it’s also scooped, so the child is always right in the middle. It works well.

          We had a different one first and that could be mounted from in front of the seat, but our kids usually still swung their leg over from behind. The FirstBIKE is maybe more prone to mounting failures, but since the bars are limited in their turning, they can’t swing around and hit the child in the stomach.

          There is no bottom bracket either, but I get what you are saying and I don’t agree that there is more risk with these bikes. They are very good in crashes and you aren’t going to be injured by the frame of the bike, but rather the handlebars, the ground or the cement step you just crashed into. Our girls sometimes crash and get their legs trapped under the bike, but there isn’t a chain, chainring, or pedal to cut them.

          Also, you should have them use a soft helmet for everything except road riding. Hard bike helmets do almost nothing and will not stop a concussion since they are designed for high-speed impacts and do not cushion much or at all from low-speed impacts, whip back falls onto concrete or pitching forward off of the bike. That’s much more important than the shape of the frame. The girls get on their bike without a problem 99% of the time and the other 1% is a chance for them to figure out how to hold the bike up while pulling themselves out from under it.

          • Soft helmets? Please share more as I was under the impression that a CSPC approved helmet (which soft helmets are not) was required by law for kids in most states. That being said, I’ve never used soft helmet before and am intrigued by the idea of them.

            • Daniel Herd

              While there are bicycle lass in place in many states, I think it is safe to say that no one will get a ticket or charge for wearing a non approved helmet in a park.

              Also I’d definitely recommend wearing a hard foam CSPC helmet when riding around cars.

              But, is also never put my 2 year old on a bike lane and head out for a ride.

              Hard foam bike helmets aren’t designed to stop concussions, and that it more of an issue for me than vehicle impacts.

              Plus, soft helmets transition to the playground where bicycle helmets are more of a danger than a help.

              Here’s one take on it:
              http://www.bicycling.com/training-nutrition/injury-prevention/precious-protection

              • Makes sense, thanks for sharing. It’s quite clear that there is still a lot of research to be done regarding helmets and concussions but as it states, “Even though helmets weren’t made to prevent concussions, they may reduce their severity.” Plus, for those concerned about concussions, the MIPS system (as mentioned in the article) does help relieve angular rotation in the event of a crash and is available to kids in the Lazer Nutz and P’Nut.

                Regardless, you are absolutely right in that bike helmets are not safe on playgrounds and soft helmets would be certainly be beneficial in non-paved areas.

        • The frame design of the FirstBIKE does make is slightly more difficult for the smallest toddlers (in least 24 month clothes) to mount the bike. When mounting, essentially all kids I have watched hold onto the handlebars with both hands and then swing one leg over the seat. Due to the gel seat, the small toddlers often need help getting completely over as their pants won’t slide smoothly over the seat. This problem generally short-lived as toddlers grow quickly and a mere 0.5″ of added height allows them to completed get their leg over without any help.

          In terms of crashes, I can see your concern that the top of the frame is essentially really close to the seat, but since the gel seat is “tacky” and U-shaped, younger kids generally never fall off the seat, but rather fall to one side of the bike versus forward or backward. For this reason, I consider the seat of the FirstBIKE to be a real safety features as well.

      • Brytny

        This seems like a great bike. My question is though that my daughter, 18 months old, is in the 95% for height, 2’7″ but mostly torso it seems, despite her height her inseam is ~12″. She’s also 98% for weight, 26.5# at 15 months. I’m looking to only need to buy one bike. I also want a good one that will last to hand down to future kids. What would be the best bike to get?

        • While the FirstBIKE is an amazing bike, it is generally not my first pick for tall kids for two main reasons. First, when set at is highest position, the seat post does tend to flex, which can negatively affect the handling of the bike. Generally this is not an issue with kids of average height, but taller kids generally outgrow the FirstBIKE before they are ready to move onto a pedal bike. Secondly, the handlebars do not adjust, which can be an issue for kids with longer torsos. Considering your daughter is in the 98% percentile for weight as well, my first pick would be the Ridgeback Mini. It also comes with air tires and a hand brake, but has height-adjustable handlebars and comes with three seat posts to adjust the height of the seat from 11″ to 20″. The one downside of the Mini is its 11 lb. weight, versus 7 lb. of the FirstBIKE. For most toddlers this weight difference would be huge, but if your daughter is coordinated and you feel that she could handle the extra weight, that would be by first pick. My second would be the Yedoo Too Too, but with a minimum inseam of 13.8″, I think it would actually be too big for her from the start.

          • Toofast4u

            Firstbike weighs 8.5 pounds, not 7. Scoot is only about 2.5 pounds more, but has no weight limit, and is built like a real bike.

            • Your right, the FirstBIKE does NOT weigh 7 lbs., that was a typo. I just re-weighed our Cross model with air tires, a hand brake and a lowering kit and it does weigh 8.5 lb. Plus, you are right in the Ridgeback does have a much higher weight limit an is built like a bike.

      • Juliette

        My son will turn 3 in one week, and you’ve mentioned that the frame tends to flex for older kids. He is on the 50th percentile in terms of weight and height. Would the FirstBike still be a good choice? I’m also considering the Early Rider classic, but can’t seem to decide which one would be a better one for him. Any other tips/details that could sway me either way? Thanks!

        • Daniel Herd

          My decision: I looked at the early rider and thought that even though they said it was water resistant, after a few scratches through the varnish, it would start to be affected by moisture. If you look at used Riders they do tend to have visual signs of water damage, though the marine plywood shouldn’t warp or crack from water.

          The biggest reason is the brake. Flat out best brake in the business is on the FirstBIKE. At high speeds putting a foot down can cause a crash and kids need to learn to drag both feet evenly. With the brake this isn’t an issue since an 18 month old can squeeze it hard enough to stop the bike. Whenever I think I spent too much on the FirstBIKE I remember that the brake is what makes it an actual vehicle. Our girls (2.5) just went 10 city blocks with some downhills, then another 5 mostly uphill and then most of the 12 blocks home, using their brakes at each intersection and on the downhills.

          To me the Early Rider would have been the best choice, except that they priced it $50 too high. With a brake and lowering kit, the FirstBIKE was still less. Just my experience and honestly I think that any kid who gets a balance bike, is allowed to get used to it indoors on a flat non-dangerous surface and learns that falls aren’t horrible, and doesn’t have lots of friends and relatives pedaling around training-wheeled bikes, will love whatever bike it is, even if it’s a $30 third hand Scoot off Craigslist.

          • Juliette

            Thank you so much for your detailed response. I want to love the FirstBike, but I’m hesitant due to the bike flexing. I don’t know when he will be ready for a pedal bike so I’d like to get a balance bike that will fit him until 5. So would you say that anyone over 40lbs and/or has a longer torso would have problems with it?

            • Daniel Herd

              We’re not worried about it because by 4 they will be riding pedal bikes I’m pretty sure. We did start a bit earlier, but balance bikes teach . . . balance which is the hard part of a bicycle.

              Our 7 year old cousin rode on it and the seat flexed, but he could still do most things. Our 4 year old cousin can ride on it no problems with the seat about half way up.

              Plus, the bike will resell for about $100 since it doesn’t weather, doesn’t rust, doesn’t chip, doesn’t peel, and won’t degrade. Until they are 16, almost everything we buy for them has include what we can resell it for since they will only use it for a short time. Our cheaper Laufrad was bought for about $100 but sold for $60. So over time the FirstBike will probably only cost us $10 more and be 7x more used.

              I can ride the FirstBIKE too though my wife freaks out because she thinks it will break. It won’t since the tires are each about the same as a wheelbarrow and the frame is more sturdy than a solid piece of metal.

              After 2 years of actual balance bike riding, real riding several times a week or daily driveway use, a kid is going to be ready for pedals and make that jump. Pretty sure. Our 2.5 year olds jumped on their cousins’ pedal bikes and would have taken off if they could figure out how to only push down with the front foot.

            • Juliette

              Here’s another question: I do love the fact that FirstBike has a great brake feature. I think it would help with the learning process. I am curious to find out if those who learned on balance bikes without a brake (thus, learning to drag their feet to stop), had the habit of dragging their feet to stop when they transitioned to a pedal bike; or maybe it’s a non-issue?

        • If your son is in the 50th percentile and is just turning 3, I think the FirstBIKE will work just fine for him. As long as he currently does not have an inseam greater than 15.5″ he should have plenty of room to grow into the bike before he transitions to a pedal bike. As Daniel pointed out, there are many benefits to the FirstBIKE, such as the high resale value, durability and the hand brake. As for other bikes, the Early Rider Classic is an amazing bike, especially is you plan on riding on non-paved surfaces. The higher profile tires provide extra-cushion that is quite noticeable for kids. The same tires, however, are available on the FirstBIKE Special Edition. Finally, the brake can make a big difference. I generally always recommend a bike with brakes as I considered them a safety features, but they also help save countless pairs of shoes.

      • Juliette

        My son will turn 3 in one week, and you’ve mentioned that the frame tends to flex for older kids. He is on the 50th percentile in terms of weight and height. Would the FirstBike still be a good choice? I’m also considering the Early Rider classic, but can’t seem to decide which one would be a better one for him. Any other tips/details that could sway me either way? Thanks!

        • Daniel Herd

          My decision: I looked at the early rider and thought that even though they said it was water resistant, after a few scratches through the varnish, it would start to be affected by moisture. If you look at used Riders they do tend to have visual signs of water damage, though the marine plywood shouldn’t warp or crack from water.

          The biggest reason is the brake. Flat out best brake in the business is on the FirstBIKE. At high speeds putting a foot down can cause a crash and kids need to learn to drag both feet evenly. With the brake this isn’t an issue since an 18 month old can squeeze it hard enough to stop the bike. Whenever I think I spent too much on the FirstBIKE I remember that the brake is what makes it an actual vehicle. Our girls (2.5) just went 10 city blocks with some downhills, then another 5 mostly uphill and then most of the 12 blocks home, using their brakes at each intersection and on the downhills.

          To me the Early Rider would have been the best choice, except that they priced it $50 too high. With a brake and lowering kit, the FirstBIKE was still less. Just my experience and honestly I think that any kid who gets a balance bike, is allowed to get used to it indoors on a flat non-dangerous surface and learns that falls aren’t horrible, and doesn’t have lots of friends and relatives pedaling around training-wheeled bikes, will love whatever bike it is, even if it’s a $30 third hand Scoot off Craigslist.

          • Juliette

            Thank you so much for your detailed response. I want to love the FirstBike, but I’m hesitant due to the bike flexing. I don’t know when he will be ready for a pedal bike so I’d like to get a balance bike that will fit him until 5. So would you say that anyone over 40lbs and/or has a longer torso would have problems with it?

            • Daniel Herd

              We’re not worried about it because by 4 they will be riding pedal bikes I’m pretty sure. We did start a bit earlier, but balance bikes teach . . . balance which is the hard part of a bicycle.

              Our 7 year old cousin rode on it and the seat flexed, but he could still do most things. Our 4 year old cousin can ride on it no problems with the seat about half way up.

              Plus, the bike will resell for about $100 since it doesn’t weather, doesn’t rust, doesn’t chip, doesn’t peel, and won’t degrade. Until they are 16, almost everything we buy for them has include what we can resell it for since they will only use it for a short time. Our cheaper Laufrad was bought for about $100 but sold for $60. So over time the FirstBike will probably only cost us $10 more and be 7x more used.

              I can ride the FirstBIKE too though my wife freaks out because she thinks it will break. It won’t since the tires are each about the same as a wheelbarrow and the frame is more sturdy than a solid piece of metal.

              After 2 years of actual balance bike riding, real riding several times a week or daily driveway use, a kid is going to be ready for pedals and make that jump. Pretty sure. Our 2.5 year olds jumped on their cousins’ pedal bikes and would have taken off if they could figure out how to only push down with the front foot.

            • Juliette

              Here’s another question: I do love the fact that FirstBike has a great brake feature. I think it would help with the learning process. I am curious to find out if those who learned on balance bikes without a brake (thus, learning to drag their feet to stop), had the habit of dragging their feet to stop when they transitioned to a pedal bike; or maybe it’s a non-issue?

        • If your son is in the 50th percentile and is just turning 3, I think the FirstBIKE will work just fine for him. As long as he currently does not have an inseam greater than 15.5″ he should have plenty of room to grow into the bike before he transitions to a pedal bike. As Daniel pointed out, there are many benefits to the FirstBIKE, such as the high resale value, durability and the hand brake. As for other bikes, the Early Rider Classic is an amazing bike, especially is you plan on riding on non-paved surfaces. The higher profile tires provide extra-cushion that is quite noticeable for kids. The same tires, however, are available on the FirstBIKE Special Edition. Finally, the brake can make a big difference. I generally always recommend a bike with brakes as I considered them a safety features, but they also help save countless pairs of shoes.

      • Mark Boisvert

        I purchased the First Bike Street based on your review…..How do you determine the right seat height for your child – i

        • Glad to hear my review was helpful! Ideally you will want the seat to be about a half of inch below their inseam. By doing so, kids will be able to comfortably walk the bike before they learn how to glide on the bike. With the FirstBIKE however, because the seat is U-shaped and slightly tacky, you may want to lower it close to an inch below their inseam as that will allow them to get on and off the bike easier.

        • Glad to hear my review was helpful! Ideally you will want the seat to be about a half of inch below their inseam. By doing so, kids will be able to comfortably walk the bike before they learn how to glide on the bike. With the FirstBIKE however, because the seat is U-shaped and slightly tacky, you may want to lower it close to an inch below their inseam as that will allow them to get on and off the bike easier.

      • Danielle

        My son will be 3 in June. He’s really short and skinny for his age, 33 1/2 inches, 23lbs. I don’t know his inseam, but he is wearing 24m/2T depending on the brand. He has a few developmental delays and is more at the level of a child who just turned two. Would this be a good balance bike for him, or can you recommend something else? Thanks.

        • First off, balance bikes have done wonders for kids with developmental delays, as they truly allow kids to learn to balance at their own rate, without the added confusion of pedals or the unstable feeling of training wheels. There are many benefits to the FirstBIKE, such as its lightweight, recessed bolts and turning limiter, but due to the higher stand over height of the FIrstBIKE, I am tempted to point you towards another bike. My two-year-old son was finally able to fit onto the FirstBIKE with a lowering kit when he transitioned into 24 month clothes. The picture below is his first time riding the FirstBIKE. While he could fit the bike, it was still a struggle for him to get on and off on his own, which frustrated him. As a result, he much prefers our other bikes with a lower top tube (which determines the step-through height, aka how high they have to step over to get on the bike). Since your son does have some developmental delays, I think that a bike with a lower step through height would be to his advantage as in the early months (when you want him to learn to love it, versus hate it) it would be much easier for him to ride. My first pick would be the Islabike as it is lightweight and has a much lower top tube (as shown in a picture posted below). If you are looking for a more budget friendly bike, I would look into the KinderBike Mini or the Strider.

      • Danielle

        My son will be 3 in June. He’s really short and skinny for his age, 33 1/2 inches, 23lbs. I don’t know his inseam, but he is wearing 24m/2T depending on the brand. He has a few developmental delays and is more at the level of a child who just turned two. Would this be a good balance bike for him, or can you recommend something else? Thanks.

        • First off, balance bikes have done wonders for kids with developmental delays, as they truly allow kids to learn to balance at their own rate, without the added confusion of pedals or the unstable feeling of training wheels. There are many benefits to the FirstBIKE, such as its lightweight, recessed bolts and turning limiter, but due to the higher stand over height of the FIrstBIKE, I am tempted to point you towards another bike. My two-year-old son was finally able to fit onto the FirstBIKE with a lowering kit when he transitioned into 24 month clothes. The picture below is his first time riding the FirstBIKE. While he could fit the bike, it was still a struggle for him to get on and off on his own, which frustrated him. As a result, he much prefers our other bikes with a lower top tube (which determines the step-through height, aka how high they have to step over to get on the bike). Since your son does have some developmental delays, I think that a bike with a lower step through height would be to his advantage as in the early months (when you want him to learn to love it, versus hate it) it would be much easier for him to ride. My first pick would be the Islabike as it is lightweight and has a much lower top tube (as shown in a picture posted below). If you are looking for a more budget friendly bike, I would look into the KinderBike Mini or the Strider.

      • Tiffany

        Hi! I just ordered the FirstBike and am hoping it will be the right fit. After reading some of the comments, I’m not as sure as I was when I ordered it. My daughter is 27 month. She’s on the small side, but is solidly in 2T clothing. My main question is how to accurately measure an inseam? I’ve seen some varying instructions on that online. Is it from the crotch to the floor? Or just below the ankle?

        • Tiffany

          Oh, and I did order the lowering kit. I’m just slightly worried about her mounting and nominating with ease. We practiced on a bike in store (not sure of the brand) and She liked it ok, but was a bit timid when the bike leaned. Also, I was just wondering about how long it takes for a child before they can actually balance and start gliding with their feet up?

          • Tiffany

            Nominating =unmounting

            • The best way to measure a child’s inseam in regards to balance bikes is to measure from the crotch to the floor. I’ve found the book method to be the easier, especially for toddlers. Simply take a larger hard bound book and have the child squeeze their legs together to hold the book in place and then slowly push the book up until it reaches their crotch. Adjust the book so it is level with the ground and then measure from the ground to the top of the book.

              In terms of size, I think the bike will fit her just fine. My son is currently 27-months-old and is still in size 24 month clothes and can mount the bike himself. Mounting our other balance bikes is easier for him, but I imagine once he is a little taller, it shouldn’t be problem at all. The picture below is of my son and was taken two weeks ago. As you can see, it fits the bike much better as compared to six months ago (the picture attached in the comment below).

              Lastly, how long a child takes to learn to really sit and glide on a bike varies greatly. I have seen some two years olds pick it up in less than two weeks, while others, like my son, have been on balance bikes for six months and are still walking on them (all the snow here certainly hasn’t helped). On average, I would say around a month or so, but it really depends how much time they have with the bike and their personality.

              • Tiffany

                Thank you Danielle and Natalie! It came today and she can mount it mostly on her own. She’s still maybe a teensy bit too short, as the back of her heels didnt quite reach the floor. But her tennis shoes she had on had pretty thick soles. I think even with some of her other shoes it might be better and she will definitely grow into it very soon if not. She took a few paces with it and did great, but as it leaned got off and wanted nothing to do with it. I guess I need to just figure out how to make it fun for her, without getting frustrated, and exposing it to her enough. Thanks for this super helpful site!

              • Yeah! Glad she fits. Plus, don’t worry if she is hesitant at first. Some kids take right to it while others take some time. If she is still hesitant after a couple more attempts, try exposing her to kids on bikes (in person, not in video) as much as possible. Generally seeing other kids tends to get kids motivated to ride their bike.

        • Daniel Herd

          She’s plenty big enough. With the lowering kit her inseam won’t be a problem. The problem is always how the bike is introduced, what the other options are and how motivated the child is towards practice. She will fall off the bike getting on it. It will happen a lot at first. Is she also allowed to fall while climbing a tree or a chair? Is she comfortable with her body at this size and can she climb on other toys like teeter totters, tricycles, ladders and swings? Again our girls were young, about 14 months at first but a bit older when they really took to it. By 27 months they had their feet up for 5-10 feet of coasting and could operate the brake to stop on downhills. I don’t think age is a big limiter. It’s time on task, so the trick is to get them excited about riding and trying it without causing frustration from a lack of immediate success. This photo is from when they are 22 months old. The FirstBIKE still has the lowering kit on, but you can see that she’s solidly on it and actually the seat was moved up a bit soon after that and the lowering kit was moved to her sister’s new bike about a month later. She is average height for her age.

      • Tiffany

        Hi! I just ordered the FirstBike and am hoping it will be the right fit. After reading some of the comments, I’m not as sure as I was when I ordered it. My daughter is 27 month. She’s on the small side, but is solidly in 2T clothing. My main question is how to accurately measure an inseam? I’ve seen some varying instructions on that online. Is it from the crotch to the floor? Or just below the ankle?

        • Tiffany

          Oh, and I did order the lowering kit. I’m just slightly worried about her mounting and nominating with ease. We practiced on a bike in store (not sure of the brand) and She liked it ok, but was a bit timid when the bike leaned. Also, I was just wondering about how long it takes for a child before they can actually balance and start gliding with their feet up?

          • Tiffany

            Nominating =unmounting

            • The best way to measure a child’s inseam in regards to balance bikes is to measure from the crotch to the floor. I’ve found the book method to be the easier, especially for toddlers. Simply take a larger hard bound book and have the child squeeze their legs together to hold the book in place and then slowly push the book up until it reaches their crotch. Adjust the book so it is level with the ground and then measure from the ground to the top of the book.

              In terms of size, I think the bike will fit her just fine. My son is currently 27-months-old and is still in size 24 month clothes and can mount the bike himself. Mounting our other balance bikes is easier for him, but I imagine once he is a little taller, it shouldn’t be problem at all. The picture below is of my son and was taken two weeks ago. As you can see, it fits the bike much better as compared to six months ago (the picture attached in the comment below).

              Lastly, how long a child takes to learn to really sit and glide on a bike varies greatly. I have seen some two years olds pick it up in less than two weeks, while others, like my son, have been on balance bikes for six months and are still walking on them (all the snow here certainly hasn’t helped). On average, I would say around a month or so, but it really depends how much time they have with the bike and their personality.

              • Tiffany

                Thank you Danielle and Natalie! It came today and she can mount it mostly on her own. She’s still maybe a teensy bit too short, as the back of her heels didnt quite reach the floor. But her tennis shoes she had on had pretty thick soles. I think even with some of her other shoes it might be better and she will definitely grow into it very soon if not. She took a few paces with it and did great, but as it leaned got off and wanted nothing to do with it. I guess I need to just figure out how to make it fun for her, without getting frustrated, and exposing it to her enough. Thanks for this super helpful site!

              • Yeah! Glad she fits. Plus, don’t worry if she is hesitant at first. Some kids take right to it while others take some time. If she is still hesitant after a couple more attempts, try exposing her to kids on bikes (in person, not in video) as much as possible. Generally seeing other kids tends to get kids motivated to ride their bike.

        • Daniel Herd

          She’s plenty big enough. With the lowering kit her inseam won’t be a problem. The problem is always how the bike is introduced, what the other options are and how motivated the child is towards practice. She will fall off the bike getting on it. It will happen a lot at first. Is she also allowed to fall while climbing a tree or a chair? Is she comfortable with her body at this size and can she climb on other toys like teeter totters, tricycles, ladders and swings? Again our girls were young, about 14 months at first but a bit older when they really took to it. By 27 months they had their feet up for 5-10 feet of coasting and could operate the brake to stop on downhills. I don’t think age is a big limiter. It’s time on task, so the trick is to get them excited about riding and trying it without causing frustration from a lack of immediate success. This photo is from when they are 22 months old. The FirstBIKE still has the lowering kit on, but you can see that she’s solidly on it and actually the seat was moved up a bit soon after that and the lowering kit was moved to her sister’s new bike about a month later. She is average height for her age.

      • Jennifer Reeves

        Hi…I’ve been reading over the comparison chart trying to figure out what bike would be the best for our daughter who turns two next month. She is in the 96th percentile for height but it seems to be mostly in her legs. She has an inseam of around 13″ and is still hovering just under 30lbs. We want something that will transition her safely to a pedal bike when she is older and she hasn’t had any experience with a trike. She has very strong legs and is pretty fearless but I’m not sure that she could handle one of the heavier bikes. I really like everything about the FirstBike but have seen you don’t really recommend it for taller kids. What would your suggestion be?

        • Considering your child’s age and height, I still think the FirstBIKE would be a great options for her. Since she is starting at a young age, she will most likely transition to a pedal bike before she outgrows the FirstBIKE. My hesitation with the FirstBIKE for taller kids is generally when they are already 2.5 or three and are likely to outgrow the bike before the transition out of it. If you are still hesitant to go with the FirstBIKE, I would take a look at the Yedoo Too Too. It has air tires, a hand brake, has a seat post that extends to 18″ and only weighs 8.4 lb. The downside of the Too Too is that the minimum inseam is 13″, so it may be slightly too tall for your daughter at first.

          • Jennifer Reeves

            Thanks, Natalie. I also was able to find some of the Mini Scoots available and, despite the weight, was seriously considering one of those. It seems like it would fit better initially and grow further with her even if she continues to grow very tall quickly. After watching her play I think I may have underestimated her strength in general and am starting to feel like the weight of the Scoot would not be much of an issue given some time and practice. I am torn between the two…the biggest thing pushing me to the Scoot is that no one has the FirstBike options we are looking at in stock.

            • The Scoot certainly provides the most room for growth and is generally my top pick for taller toddlers who really need a bike that they can grow into, but the weight is an issue for some kids. If you think your daughter could handle a 12 lb. bike, then I would go for it! At 30 lbs., she might be okay with the weight if she is coordinated. My two-year-old only weighs 23 lbs. and he does have trouble with heavier bikes, but he is in the lower percentiles for height and weight.

              • Jennifer Reeves

                Awesome! Thanks so much for the input! You’re site is so incredibly helpful!

      • Jennifer Reeves

        Hi…I’ve been reading over the comparison chart trying to figure out what bike would be the best for our daughter who turns two next month. She is in the 96th percentile for height but it seems to be mostly in her legs. She has an inseam of around 13″ and is still hovering just under 30lbs. We want something that will transition her safely to a pedal bike when she is older and she hasn’t had any experience with a trike. She has very strong legs and is pretty fearless but I’m not sure that she could handle one of the heavier bikes. I really like everything about the FirstBike but have seen you don’t really recommend it for taller kids. What would your suggestion be?

        • Considering your child’s age and height, I still think the FirstBIKE would be a great options for her. Since she is starting at a young age, she will most likely transition to a pedal bike before she outgrows the FirstBIKE. My hesitation with the FirstBIKE for taller kids is generally when they are already 2.5 or three and are likely to outgrow the bike before the transition out of it. If you are still hesitant to go with the FirstBIKE, I would take a look at the Yedoo Too Too. It has air tires, a hand brake, has a seat post that extends to 18″ and only weighs 8.4 lb. The downside of the Too Too is that the minimum inseam is 13″, so it may be slightly too tall for your daughter at first.

          • Jennifer Reeves

            Thanks, Natalie. I also was able to find some of the Mini Scoots available and, despite the weight, was seriously considering one of those. It seems like it would fit better initially and grow further with her even if she continues to grow very tall quickly. After watching her play I think I may have underestimated her strength in general and am starting to feel like the weight of the Scoot would not be much of an issue given some time and practice. I am torn between the two…the biggest thing pushing me to the Scoot is that no one has the FirstBike options we are looking at in stock.

            • The Scoot certainly provides the most room for growth and is generally my top pick for taller toddlers who really need a bike that they can grow into, but the weight is an issue for some kids. If you think your daughter could handle a 12 lb. bike, then I would go for it! At 30 lbs., she might be okay with the weight if she is coordinated. My two-year-old only weighs 23 lbs. and he does have trouble with heavier bikes, but he is in the lower percentiles for height and weight.

              • Jennifer Reeves

                Awesome! Thanks so much for the input! You’re site is so incredibly helpful!

      • Mia

        Hi. My daughter is almost 3.5 years old, and I am trying to get her a balance bike.
        Actually I ordered kinderbike Laufrad, but there is delay because of some manufacture issues. It won’t arrive another 3-5weeks…. So I am considering different bike…
        Both Firstbike and Kinderbike’s maximun seat height is 18″, but you do not list Firstbike for preschoolers (over 3.5 years old). Is that because Firstbike cannot adjust handle bar height?
        I want her to use balance bike at least for one year, until she is 4.5 years old.
        She is taller side, and her inseam now almost 15″.
        Do you recommend Firstbike or Kinderbike Laufrad? If Kinderbike is worth for wait, I will wait.
        I would appreciate your advice.

        • Wow, I hadn’t heard that KinderBike was having issues again!! Ahh, right when I starting recommending them again. Oh well, at least they caught the issue and are taking care of the matter. That being said, I wouldn’t wait the 3 to 5 weeks simply because I would hate for your daughter to lose that much time with her bike, especially with summer quickly approaching. As for the FirstBIKE, I do not recommend it for older preschoolers because when set to it’s highest setting, the seat post tend the flex, which can negatively affect the handling of the bike. Two other bikes I would recommend would be the TykesBykes 12″ or the Yedoo Too Too. They are both similarly sized to the Laufrad, have air tires, a handbrake and a maximum seat height of 18″.

      • Mia

        Hi. My daughter is almost 3.5 years old, and I am trying to get her a balance bike.
        Actually I ordered kinderbike Laufrad, but there is delay because of some manufacture issues. It won’t arrive another 3-5weeks…. So I am considering different bike…
        Both Firstbike and Kinderbike’s maximun seat height is 18″, but you do not list Firstbike for preschoolers (over 3.5 years old). Is that because Firstbike cannot adjust handle bar height?
        I want her to use balance bike at least for one year, until she is 4.5 years old.
        She is taller side, and her inseam now almost 15″.
        Do you recommend Firstbike or Kinderbike Laufrad? If Kinderbike is worth for wait, I will wait.
        I would appreciate your advice.

        • Wow, I hadn’t heard that KinderBike was having issues again!! Ahh, right when I starting recommending them again. Oh well, at least they caught the issue and are taking care of the matter. That being said, I wouldn’t wait the 3 to 5 weeks simply because I would hate for your daughter to lose that much time with her bike, especially with summer quickly approaching. As for the FirstBIKE, I do not recommend it for older preschoolers because when set to it’s highest setting, the seat post tend the flex, which can negatively affect the handling of the bike. Two other bikes I would recommend would be the TykesBykes 12″ or the Yedoo Too Too. They are both similarly sized to the Laufrad, have air tires, a handbrake and a maximum seat height of 18″.

      • James

        Natalie, or anyone else that owns the limited edition firstbike? The one with the dark frame (looks black or charcoal). I really like the look of it but am concerned that the frame will get hot in the sun. Does anyone have any experience with this?
        Thanks!

        • I haven’t heard of an issues with it, but the folks over at WeeBike would certainly know if you don’t get an answer here. I would post their question on their Facebook pages as well.

        • I haven’t heard of an issues with it, but the folks over at WeeBike would certainly know if you don’t get an answer here. I would post their question on their Facebook pages as well.

        • Here is the response I got from WeeBikeShop, “While at rest, all colors of FirstBike will get hot in the sun, just like any other bike, but not so much while riding- the airflow while in motion will keep it cool.” Does that helps?

      • Jed

        Hi, my daughter will be 3 years old in a month and is about 37 inches tall. Would this be a good first balance bike for her? Thanks!

        • It really depends on her inseam. If her inseam is around 14″, then yes, it would be the perfect bike for her. If her inseam is closer to 16″ or 17″, then I would look elsewhere.

          • Jed

            Hi Natalie, thanks so much for getting back to me. Our daughter’s inseam is 15.5″. Doing some more reading on your site it seems like maybe the ridgeback scoot would be a better option. What do you think?

            • If the Scoot was in your budget, I would take that route just to be safe, however as long as she is somewhat “athletic” and eager to ride a bike, the couple inches of growth the FirstBIKE offers should be enough to fit her until she is ready to convert to a pedal bike. Another bike to consider, would be the Yedoo Too Too, but it is currently sold out in North America.

      • Jessie

        I’m shopping for my son who will be two this month. He’s small for his age (inseam ~11″) but very strong and athletic. We’re a mountain biking family so we want something that can work on trails and roads. We really like the sound of the Burley MyKick but would that be way too big for him? Is first bike a better option?

        • Daniel Herd

          To me, the solid tires of the Mykick are an instant rejection. In my experience, solid tires don’t grip or move like pneumatic and they tear up on rocks, having to use the rubber structure to create cushion instead of air pressure. It also must be heavy with a steel frame and solid rubber tires.

          Also, the MyKick is over $100, meaning you get to a baseline FirstBike $20 later. With that $20 you get:
          A seat that is actually built for a 2-5 year old and scooped to keep him in place
          Rugged tires that take regular 12″ tubes and will last for years
          A rust free frame and fixtures which means being left in the rain isn’t a problem
          Sealed bearing hubs
          A brake ($15 extra) which actually works for small hands
          Durability and resale price (you’ll get to sell it for 3/4 the purchase price)
          A lowering kit ($12) that will get you down lower than the MyKick

          But in reality, they both will be awesome. It really may not matter much except for build quality, which can ruin a kid’s experience if something doesn’t work right. the FirstBike is harder to get on and off because of it’s upward sloping frame, so that may be a frustration for a smaller kid. Ours started at about 14 months, maybe less, but they didn’t really ride until about 18-20 months.

          To me, the FirstBike makes sense because it’s plastic, can be tossed around, is light enough for them to carry and doesn’t have sticky out parts and rides really well. I also think that if you do anything on a slope, the FirstBike’s drum brake is the only brake that a 2 year old can operate with any success. Balance bikes without brakes are awesome for flat concrete and parks, but not for trails or hilly back yards.

        • With an inseam of 11″, both the FirstBIKE and the MyKick will be too large for him. Even with the lowering kit, the minimum inseam of the FirstBIKE is 12″, but kids generally need an inseam of 13.5″ to comfortable get on or off (in my son’s case it wasn’t until he was wearing 2T pants). The Burley is even bigger and heavier than the FirstBIKE, so I wouldn’t consider it for your little guy. My first pick for you would be the Islabike Rothan, but it is pricey and is out-of-stock until mid-August. If you prefer not to wait until he is taller or pay for the Islabike, another option is the KinderBike Mini (which just came back in stock). The quality of the KinderBike is not as good as the others, but it does have a minimum inseam of 11″, a hand brake and is very lightweight.

      • Handong Chen

        We ordered two bikes and one set of lowering kit for our two sons. The left lowering kit broke after 3 weeks with very very very limited in-door riding. Weebike was nice enough to quickly send us a set of replacement parts for free. However, I am very disappointed to report that the lowering kit broke again today after about 12 rides :(. This is definitely well below my expectation for high quality products. Otherwise, the bikes are fine and my sons enjoy riding it.

        • Wow, I have never heard of one breaking before, especially with such limited use. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, as I completely agree with you that I would expect more from FirstBIKE. We have had ours for several years and even with heavy use, never had an issue, so perhaps FirstBIKE lowered the overall quality of the kits or perhaps they are having issues with their current production line. Either way, thank you for making others aware of the potential issues with the lowering kits.

          • Biruk Woldu

            Mine also broke after three weeks in door use by my two year old son. I asked Weebike for a replacement they said yes but didn’t get the replacement kit. It has been two months since I asked. I should wait to buy the bike after my son high enough to ride.

            • I would contact WeeBikeShop and ask about a replacement. Funny thing is, that my lowering kit actually broke as well, but only when I jumped on the frame of the bike to show how resilient the frames are. I quickly learned that the lowering kits are not as strong as the frame and appear to brake easily with any horizontal force.

              • Biruk Woldu

                Thank you WeeBikeShop for sending me a replacement lowering kits and a free basket for FirstBike. I really appreciate it.

              • I’m not surprised, they have great customer service!

      • jen

        Good day, My daughter just turned 2 yrs old this month. she has app 14 inch inseam. I was looking at the first bike. Would that be appropriate for her? Thank you for your help. cheers, Jen

        • Yes, the FirstBIKE would be a perfect bike for her. If you inseam is truly 14″ however, I would buy the lowering kit as well. The U-shaped seat of the FirstBIKE, while amazing, does tend to make the bike harder to get on and off. With the lowering kit, however, she will have plenty of clearance to get on and off the bike.

        • Yes, the FirstBIKE would be a perfect bike for her. If you inseam is truly 14″ however, I would buy the lowering kit as well. The U-shaped seat of the FirstBIKE, while amazing, does tend to make the bike harder to get on and off. With the lowering kit, however, she will have plenty of clearance to get on and off the bike.

      • John

        Are the different FirstBIKE tire options substantially different in width, enough that they would affect the sizing of the bike? My 18 month little one sees neighborhood kids on their bikes and desperately wants one of his own, and I’m wondering if tire choice might change the timing of when he’ll get to start riding.

        • I have actually never thought of that, but I yes, I’m quite sure they do play a role in the minimum seat height. The basic with solid rubber tires is certainly going to be lower to the ground than any of the models with air tires, but by only about a quarter or maybe a half of an inch, so not that much as to make a huge difference.

      • Nicole

        Hi, might you know where I can buy a FirstBike Cross or Ridgeback Scoot in New Zealand, or which stockists have reasonable international delivery rates? Thank you.

      • Nicole

        Further to my query below, a limited range of FirstBikes is available from the NZ FirstBike website, however this does not include the Cross with brakes, which is the model I am interested in. Thanks.

        • You are right in that their site shows a picture of a Cross with a brake, but doesn’t actually state that it has a brake like the other models do. I would try to contact them directly, http://firstbike.net.nz/contact-us/, to see what they say. For some weird reason it could be that they don’t offer the Cross with a brake in New Zealand, but if FirstBIKE sell them directly, then I’m quite sure other stockists would either as FirstBIKE really prefers selling their bikes directly.

        • Nicole

          Thanks very much Natalie. Any idea if how to get a Ridgeback? My son’s inseam is 14 inches, which makes me think this might be better. Also, are you familiar with the Byk snd Cruzee balance bikes, and if so I’d be really interested in your opinion on them. Many thanks.

          • I don’t believe that Ridgeback has a distributor in New Zealand, but I do know that WeeBikeShop.com has shipped bikes to other countries, so I would try them first. Between the FirstBIKE and the Ridgeback, the Ridgeback is a much better bike for taller kids, but is a little heavy for lightweight kids. Although the FirstBIKE does tend to flex when used at it’s highest setting, for most kids it is generally not a problem as kids who ride them on a regular basis generally transition to a pedal bike before they need the seat at the highest setting. For kids who may not get to ride as often, who are taller, or who may be hesitant to transition, I generally recommend the Ridgeback simply because it allows them more room to grow.

            For the Cruzee and ByKBikes, I have seen the Cruzee in person, but not the ByKBikes. The Cruzee was very light weight and looked great, but did not have air tires (which I do believe they offer). The ByKBikes balance bike however, looks amazing! Based on what I have read about their bikes as well as gathered from others with experience with them, I don’t think you could go wrong with one.

      • Anita

        My 2/5 year old’s inseam is 13.5. Do I need to buy the lowering kit with the FirstBike?

        • Yes, the minimum seat height of the bike without the lowering kit is 14 inches. To comfortably fit on the FirstBIKE without the lowering kit, a child’s inseam needs to be closer to 15″.

          • Anita

            Thank you! Also – can you tell me what the real difference is between the tires on the “limited” FirstBIKE and the tires on the “street” model? Are they really that much better at different kids of terrain? I’m hoping that we will eventually be able to take our daughter on some dirt trails with her bike but I imagine she will mostly be on pavement for a long time. I don’t want the “cross” since those tires seem too cumbersome for pavement riding. So deciding between the street and limited versions….also FYI my 2.5 year old daughter is on the tall & heavy side for her age (95 percentile). How concerned should I be about her outgrowing it before she is ready to transition to a pedal bike? What is the height and weight where riding it becomes a problem for stability?

            • The main difference between the tires on the Limited model versus the Street model is that they are high-profile and provide extra cushion when going down curbs and over bumps. As a result, they will provide additional cushion for off-roading, but not additional traction (which the Cross model would). Overall, I think you daughter would do just fine on the Street model and I wouldn’t splurge for the limited models unless you really likes the different colors they offer. As for your daughter’s size and height. I generally don’t recommend FirstBIKE for taller kids, however, since she is starting at a young age, as long as she rides the bike on a somewhat regular basis, she should be ready for a pedal bike by the time she outgrows the FirstBIKE. However, if you happen to live in an area where biking is seasonal, due to cold weather or snow, then I would probably look at another bike just to ensure she won’t outgrow it.

              • Anita

                Yes – I live in New Hampshire. So unless I get a ski attachment (is this actually a good idea?) her learning would be seasonal. What other bikes would you recommend besides FirstBIKE that would fit her right now? I’d really like air tires and a hand brake. The seat height on the Yedoo Too Too and Ridgeback scoot seem too high for her now with her 13.5 inseam. Does ridgeback even still make the mini? UPDATE: Decided just to bite the bullet and buy the Blue Limited FirstBIKE that still seems to be available. I called the company and asked about the flexing at an 18 inch seat height and they said the company recently fixed that problem. So I guess I will take their word on that. I like that there is the ski option since we do live in NH. Seems like a good idea. And everything else about the bike seems good for fitting her right now. Worst case scenario we have to buy another balance bike in a few years. Not a big deal since hopefully a limited FirstBIKE would have some decent resale value….In other news – my 2.5 year old’s head circumference appears to be 50cm!!! What kind of helmet do you recommend?? 🙂

              • Hey, great news! I need to reach out to FirstBIKE and see if they can send me the new model so that I can do an update. Thanks for sharing! As for helmets, if he has a shorter forehead I would go for the Uvex Hero, if he has a taller forehead, then the Uvex Quatro Junior.

              • Anita

                Yes let me also know what you hear from first bike. I hope I understood them correctly about the one I bought! Silly question – how do I know whether her forehead is shorter or taller? Is there a measurement you can give me that would be considered tall or short? I can’t seem to find uvex helmets in a store so would have to just buy online without trying on first….

              • First, sorry for my delay in getting back to you as we are moving next week and things are crazy! I wasn’t able to email FirstBIKE until recently, so I have not yet heard back from them. As for a taller or shorter shorter forehead, if the bridge of her nose to her hairline appears to be longer than other kids her age, then I would go for Quatro if it appears smaller, then I would go with the Hero.

              • Anita

                Yes let me also know what you hear from first bike. I hope I understood them correctly about the one I bought! Silly question – how do I know whether her forehead is shorter or taller? Is there a measurement you can give me that would be considered tall or short? I can’t seem to find uvex helmets in a store so would have to just buy online without trying on first….

        • Yes, the minimum seat height of the bike without the lowering kit is 14 inches. To comfortably fit on the FirstBIKE without the lowering kit, a child’s inseam needs to be closer to 15″.

          • Anita

            Thank you! Also – can you tell me what the real difference is between the tires on the “limited” FirstBIKE and the tires on the “street” model? Are they really that much better at different kids of terrain? I’m hoping that we will eventually be able to take our daughter on some dirt trails with her bike but I imagine she will mostly be on pavement for a long time. I don’t want the “cross” since those tires seem too cumbersome for pavement riding. So deciding between the street and limited versions….also FYI my 2.5 year old daughter is on the tall & heavy side for her age (95 percentile). How concerned should I be about her outgrowing it before she is ready to transition to a pedal bike? What is the height and weight where riding it becomes a problem for stability?

      • Rachel Nobel Fields

        Can you comment on the “basic” model at all? The FirstBIKE website specifies that it’s for “indoor use only”; just wondering whether that’s accurate.

        • Ahh! Sorry I am so late at responding! We just moved to a different state and well, things got a little crazy, so I apologize for my delay. For the Basic model, honestly, I don’t see why the recommend it only for indoor use. We have had a Basic one for a couple months and it has done just fine outside. Due to it’s solid rubber tires, I am assuming that FirstBIKE doesn’t recommend it for outdoor use simply because it will get less traction that their model’s with air tires. While true, we have not had any experiences with loss of traction so as to caution people against using the bike outdoors.

      • Rachel Nobel Fields

        Can you comment on the “basic” model at all? The FirstBIKE website specifies that it’s for “indoor use only”; just wondering whether that’s accurate.

      • Lisa

        We love our First Bike — chosen primarily because of your review — but I’m having trouble with the seat post. No matter how hard I crank the tightener, the seat always drifts back down to it’s lowest position after a short period of time. Maybe my hands just aren’t strong enough, but what do I do to get the seat to stay up?

        • Humm, honestly I haven’t heard of this being an issue, so I headed out to our garage to see if there could possibly be something you are missing, and nope, it’s pretty straight forward. Has the seat always caused you problems, or has it only been an issue when the seat it set at higher settings? Have your tried to have someone else tighten the seat to see if a tighter fit prevents it from sliding? Lastly, I would double check to ensure there isn’t any noticeable damage to the composite “V” bracket that holds in the bolt in place. If none of these work, then I would contact the company you purchased the bike from as there could possible be a defect on your bike. Regardless, please report back as I want to ensure that you find a fix to your problem.

          • Heather

            we’ve had this problem too. First Bike promptly sent a replacement bracket…but still a problem (even with help to make it super tight). Recently put a piece of rubber drawer liner (like you use to grip a jar to open it) between the bracket and the post…and it has stayed up so far…we’ll see if it lasts. Otherwise we’ve loved the bike, but frustrating to have such a basic problem on such an expensive balance bike.

            • Great thinking on your part, but I agree that the seat post should stay put! We recently received the new metal clamp and I didn’t experience any problems with it, but I am currently having a local reader, who has has problem with the seat post, try it out to see if it makes a difference for them and will post about it here when I get feedback from her. Regardless, I agree that some a redesign is likely needed.

        • Lindsey

          Hi Lisa,

          Contact the shop where you bought the bike from, the manufacturer should warranty that for you – and send you a new clamp!

        • Lindsey

          Hi Lisa,

          Contact the shop where you bought the bike from, the manufacturer should warranty that for you – and send you a new clamp!

      • Cat Sinclair

        Hi there I am interested in buying a firstbike for my son this Christmas. He will be 18 months old by then. On the firstbike website they mention the starting age as 22 months…. His inseam is currently 11″ (at 14 months) do you think this bike is suitable for 18 months or should I wait for his 2nd birthday? He is already moving around on a wooden 3 wheel bike using his legs but I don’t want to buy it for Christmas if he can’t use it yet! Have you tested 18 month olds on this bike? Thank you!

        • I started my youngest son on a balance bike at 18-month, so yes, you can start earlier, BUT my son just walked around on the bike. Unlike some of his friends, it look him until he was about 2.5 to really learn to run and balance. That being said, he had a lot of fun walking his balance bikes around the neighborhood, so even though he didn’t “get” it that young, he enjoyed it nonetheless. At 18-months, however, my petite son was too small for the FirstBIKE even with the lowering kit, so he simply didn’t fit on it. The U-shaped gel seat is great for kids with an inseam over 13.5″, but makes it more difficult for littler ones to get on, which is why I assume FirstBIKE suggest that you wait until they are older. So, if you expect your son to have on inseam greater than 13.5″ by Christmas, then I would get it from him along with a lowering kit, if you don’t expect him to grow that much, I would wait.

      • Tim

        I’m surprised the amount of flex this bike has isn’t an issue for more people. I almost bought a used FirstBike, but even with a light touch the bike was flexing a good inch from it’s center line. I haven’t had the chance to compare it to a new firstbike. Is this something that was fixed in the newer version, how the bikes become after a few years of use or is it just how they are?

        • Flexing is certainly an issue with older/taller kids, which is why I only recommend it for younger kids. For this review, we didn’t have any issues with the bike flexing, but we never used the bike with a child who needed the seat raised to its highest level. Since this review, my kids have grown and we have experienced flexing of the frame and as a result, they no longer ride it as they are too tall. For those who have experiences flexing, FirstBIKE does provide a “fix” kit, which is essentially a new seat post clamp (the kits are shipped free of charge). They claim that this has fixed the problem of the seat post flexing, but I can’t image it also fixing the frame from flexing. The new FirstBIKEs will be shipped with the new seat clamp installed. I have not, however, tested out the new seat clamp, but will be receiving one from FirstBIKE within the next month.

          • Tim

            Thanks for the reply Natalie. Yes even with the seat post at it’s lowest setting the frame was flexing a lot. I really need to get into a shop and compare what I was seeing on the used bike with a new one. The used one did look like it had a fair bit of sun damage to it so maybe that had softened the plastic.

            • Very interesting to hear. As soon as I get my new bike, I will be sure to compare my old one (over 2 years old) to the new one to see if there is a difference in the flexing. Could you by chance post a picture andor video of the frame flexing? I strive to be very open about any issues with bikes and would love to add a picture of the flexing as to show that others what you have experienced.

      • Cp

        My daughter is 2.5 years old and has a 12 inch inseam. We are looking at firstbike for her. But we recently heard that wishbone now makes a composite balance bike too. The wishbone composite bike looks like it is about 2 pounds heavier than firstbike. We were told that that makes the bike much stiffer, which makes it handled better. Can anyone give us insight into first bike versus the wishbone composite bike?

        • Yes, Wishbone did recently release a composite bike that is made from recycled carpet. I was able to see it briefly at a bike show and was impressed by its rigidity. It did not flex in any way and I would agree that it is stiffer than the FirstBIKE. In the next month or so I plan on reviewing the Wishbone, but in the meantime, I can certainly give you some first impressions on the bike. First off, it has a REALLY low minimum inseam at 9″ and maxes out at 20″. As a result, it would be a great bike for two siblings, with various heights to share. I will say, however, that while adjusting the seat only takes one allen wrench, it does take a little time to adjust the seat and get everything lined up again. Unlike FirstBIKE, the Wishbone does not offer a brake. Lastly, as you increase the seat height of the Wishbone, the wheelbase of the bike shortens. Ideally, the taller the kid, the longer the wheelbase should be (for maximum stability and maneuverability) and the Wishbone does the opposite. While not a deal breaker, the bike it certainly going to be on the longer side for younger kids and on the shorter side for taller kids. Compared to the FirstBIKE, the Wishbone is better for the smallest kids as it has a lower minimum seat height and the frame is easier to step through, but its longer wheelbase may make it more challenging to ride as compared to the FirstBIKE. Due to the lack of flexing, the Wishbone is also better for taller kids, but the shorter wheelbase is going to make the bike a little more twitchy. So in the end, there are pros and cons to each, as it which is best really depends on your child’s size as well as if they need a brake or not.

          • CP

            Thank you for your helpful information about first bike versus the wishbone composite bike. I think I have moved on to looking at the islabike vs. the scoot due to the flex in the firstbike and the sizing of the wishbone. Our daughter will be three years old in January and is fitting well into 3T pants right now. I measured her inseam at 12 inches, but I’m starting to wonder if I measured her incorrectly given what I am reading on the site. Hopefully telling you her pant size helps. Her overall height is probably close to 35 inches tall right now. Given the lead time for getting an islabike, should we be worried that she will outgrow this bike by the time she gets it and rides it for a short time? We want to buy something that she will get years of use out of. I am worried she’s too small for the scoot, but the islabike won’t last very long. Do you agree that she will outgrow the islabike quickly? We want something that is very good quality like the islabike. Should we be considering the Laufrad? Size wise that seems to be in between the islabike and the scoot. Am I misinterpreting the sizing information? The handlebars just seem very low to me on the islabike. Is there another model I should be looking at also? She is a very athletic kid with good balance. Am I thinking about this the wrong way? Should I not expect her to ride a balance bike bike for a few years? Should I be expecting her to fit onto a 14 inch pedal bike sooner rather than later

            • Your concerns are spot on. The Islabike is a small bike and as a result, I do not recommend it for tallerolder kids. If you daughter is already comfortably in 3T pants and the bike won’t arrive for a couple months, then I would look into getting another bike. While the bike is absolutely amazing, I do think that your daughter would outgrow it too soon as my 2.5 year-old in 2T pants will probably only get another year of use out of it. If quality and size are your top priorities, then I would consider the Scoot, but not the Laufrad as it is not on par with the others quality wise. While heavier and not as fine tuned as the Rothan, the Scoot is an amazing bike that is well made and is my top choice for kids over 3. Even though you measured your daughter with a 12″ inseam, she should fit just fine on the Scoot as my son in 2T pants can just barely fit on the Scoot. Plus, I was overly generous with the inseams vs. pants size as since measuring the inseam of a toddler can be difficult, I provided some wiggle room as it is better to have a bike that is slightly smaller than you thought vs. too big that it can’t be ridden.

              As far as how long she will be riding a balance bike, it really depends on where you live. If you live in area that will allow her to ride year round, then by next summer she will certainly be ready for a pedal bike. If you live in a colder climate where she won’t be able to ride throughout the winter, she may not be ready to transition to a pedal bike until the following Spring. That being said, until a child is tall enough to fit on a 16″ bike, it is generally more efficient for them to run on a bike vs. pedal, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about moving her up (unless of course she really wants to).

            • Daniel Herd

              I just don’t know why people are mseat post extended. It’s a red herring. The bike doesn’t flex with a regular rider on it.

              Get another bike for one or more reason, but don’t pass on the FB due to a made up problem. I rode the thing down a few hills with the seat almost all the way up and I was fine.

              Pass on it due to cost, inseam issues, difficulty mounting, or because it looks too plastic. Those are all legit. Oh and the basket mounts are junk.

              Other than that, it’s by far the best bike we’ve ever run across and is so uniquely awesome that we get comments every time take them out.

              • Ivan M. Altinbasak

                This is not a made-up problem. Parents who do a lot of bike riding themselves prefer a balance bike that performs like a real bike. Ideally, a successful balance bike facilitates an easy transition to the next [much heavier] pedal bike, so it’s important to make a correct distinction between the balance bikes that are actually toys.. and the balance bikes that share genetics with real bicycles. FB has an excessive amount of lateral frame flex and seat post deformation with children over age 3,5 and/or children over 35 lbs, especially with the seat height raised.. Compared side by side in our showroom, parents of older kids always choose a metal balance bike instead of FirstBIKE. However, when shopping for a child under age 2 through age 3, FirstBIKE always wins. FirstBIKE’s design, materials, and flexibility definitely appeals to kids age 1,5 to 3. Two year olds who are otherwise intimidated by metal balance bikes usually gravitate towards FirstBIKE in our showroom. They love the look and the materials, they are like a friendly cartoon to them.

              • Daniel Herd

                Oh. I’m sorry. I guess having two 35 lb 3 year olds on the FB makes me unaware of the real vs. perceived problems with the FB. I’m sure parents have plenty of reasons to chose one thing vs. another. Flex just isn’t an issue in reality. The bike just doesn’t flex enough for it to be a problem. Bikes without brakes are a problem if you want to talk about “performs like a real bike”. V brakes, canti brakes, or missing brakes are a problem. The FB has a really nice drum brake that’s easy to pull and works.

                The FB has a really stable and easy to use design that works just fine for kids up till when they learn to ride a 2 wheeler. Why is a 7 year old on the FB? I just don’t get it. It’s a made up problem, just like you not so subtly saying that it looks like a cartoon, which somehow makes it less of a bike to the Parent, who is the real measure of whether or not it’s a good bike. Just silly.

          • Ivan M. Altinbasak

            “Ideally, the taller the kid, the longer the wheelbase should be (for maximum stability and maneuverability) and the Wishbone does the opposite.”

            I have to disagree with this statement. As a competitive cyclist for the past 27 years, I can assure you that a novice/beginner needs/prefers a longer wheelbase and a slack head tube angle on their bike for more predictable, smooth handling (such is the case with Wishbone RE: when configured for the smallest riders, the wheelbase is extended). An expert/professional prefers a shorter wheelbase and a steeper head tube angle, for more responsiveness and better performance with aggressive high speed cornering (as is the case with Wishbone RE when configured for older taller riders). Following the example of adult bike riders, Wishbone has engineered this bike’s frame correctly relative to the wheelbase dimension.

            • Thanks for your input Ivan as you certainly know the ins and outs of bike geometry a lot better than I do! My statement, however, was based only on my experience with toddlers and preschoolers on balance bikes and small pedal bikes. Bikes with shorter wheelbases and a higher center or gravity tend to be more difficult for taller kids to ride. This was particularly noticeable in our test of 12″ pedal bikes where the short and tall Huffy was very difficult for three-year-olds to ride while the longer and lower Islabikes couldn’t be easier. With balance bikes, the longer wheelbase of the Scoot helps to make it easier to ride as compared to the short and tall Chicco Red Bullet. Of course, both of these examples are not perfect as the weight and geometry of the bikes also play a huge role, but considering the wheelbase makes a huge difference with the center of gravity of a bike, I would say that for preschoolers, longer seems to be better.

              That being said, considering kids can begin to ride the Wishbone RE at such a young age, they are likely to transition to a pedal bike long before they ride the bike with the seat set to 20″ where the wheelbase it at its shortest length, so in the end, I doubt it will be a major concern.

      • This makes me want to get one for my son and get some rollerblades for myself and get outside!

        • Seriously, you might need them as kids get fast on these bikes really quick! My two-year-old can run faster on his bike than I can run, and as a result, these bikes are a great work out for parents as well as kids 🙂

          • My son is nearly 4, so I wonder which one he should get

            • It really depends on his height, his desire to ride and his level of coordination. One of my favorite bikes for three-year-olds is the Ridgeback Scoot as it is well built, has a hand brake as offers a high range of seat adjustment (from 14″ to 20″). If you are looking for a more affordable option, is your son is really tall and coordinated, he could fit on the TykesBykes 16″, otherwise the TykesBykes 12″ would certainly work.

      • Stephan

        Our experience after 13 months of hard use is that we could not have made a better choice than FirstBike. It is still in perfect condition. My son is smaller than average, and moved on to a pedal bike by the time he weighed 38lbs (just shy of 5)… didn’t experience any flexing that seemed negative, if anything the slight give in the composite frame just made the bike that much more comfortable on long rides. I am amazed by the bike handling skillset he developed on his FirstBike, starting on day one. It was thrilling to see him become so capable, so quickly, with this light and well-designed bike… and all the more so when he later transitioned to a pedal bike in about 10 minutes with no training wheels. Great design, killer looks, high quality. Love this little bike. The only question now is who will be the lucky kid who gets ours as a hand-me-down!

        • Thanks for sharing and glad to hear that you had a great experience with your FirstBIKE. I know my son (shown in the pictures above), truly loved the bike and even with daily use, it is still in great shape. We also didn’t experience any issues with flexing, but my son did transition to a pedal bike at 3, so he was off the bike before that would have been an issue. At 38 lbs. and almost 5, it’s good to hear that the bike performed great for him, even during long rides.

          • Stephan

            He definitely could have gotten off of it and onto a pedal bike sooner, but that’s on me… I was in no rush, and he was just enjoying it so much. Once he started talking about really wanting pedals was when I pursued the next step. An additional benefit of the delay, since he’s on the small side, is that he was then big enough to go right to a 16″ bike. We didn’t need to buy a 14″ bike with the short growth window it satisfies.

            • Good job dad, you were right to not push him onto a pedal bike. Until kids are old enough to fit on a 16″ or even 20″, it is usually much more efficient and fun for them to run versus pedal. Since their legs are so short and smaller bike generally have poor geometry, balance bike are usually a lot more fun and easier to ride. So unless a child is really begging to move up to a pedal bike, I generally tell people to wait, like you did.

      • Jody

        I’m wondering what bike would be best for my athletic 19 mos old. She is wearing size 24 mos pants. I was planning on getting the Strider sport, and I’m still leaning that way. Her riding will be on paved roads I think. I don’t anticipate other surfaces, but can’t be sure. I feel like she’ll transition to a pedal bike on the early side from what I’ve seen about her balance already (she loves to stand on her rocking horse without holding anything). Any advice for our use?? This one costs a lot more and I also worry it could be too big.

        • If she is more on the independent side then the Strider might be better as she would be able to get on and off the bike by herself. It’s really not until kids are 2T pants that they can mount and dismount the FirstBIKE on their own. Plus, considering you will just be using it on pavement, the tires of the Strider should be fine.

      • Becky

        Hi!
        I am thrilled and grateful for your site..thank you!
        I was thinking of going with the FirstBIKE for my 3 yr old. (turned 3 a week ago)
        His inseam is 15 1/2 in., height is 39 in, and his weight is 30 lbs.
        I would love one with good air tires as he would be on different types of terrain, maybe the Cross?
        He has not enjoyed trying out tricycles, but he jumped on an age appropriate scooter, and he was like a fish in water…. SO, that brought me to investigate the balance bikes. Do you think the FirstBIKE would be the best in his current age, weight, and height? I am a little concerned over this updated review and the bending of the seat. I am not looking for it to last forever, as you never really know how fast they grow, but I want him to have stability, safety, confidence, and the ability to ride most terrains.
        Thank you again for this awesome site!!

        • Considering your son’s size and hesitancy to ride, I would probably recommend a different bike as I would hate from him to outgrow the FirstBIKE in the event it takes him a while to warm up to it. Some kids take to them right away, while others can take months! Considering he already weighs 30 lbs. he can probably handle a heavier bike, but not too heavy. I would take a look at the KinderBike Laufrad, which only weights slightly less than the FirstBIKE, as well as the TykesBykes and the Muna. Between the three, the Muna has the best tires for off-road adventures, but it also the heaviest. All three of these bikes also have a longer wheelbase than the FirstBIKE while will help him feel more stable.

          • Becky

            Thank you so much 🙂

      • Shane

        Two Wheeling Tots is a great site and was extremely helpful in my purchase of a balance bike for my little man. I went w/ the FirstBike and my son is jamming on it. After cruising on mostly flat surfaces for awhile he’s stepping up to the dirt trails w/ some pretty big hills. He’s three & I don’t think I could be any more proud of him. Along w/ his confidence growing so are the wipeouts which brings me to a point I wanted to share. I like how the FirstBike doesn’t have any protruding parts or bolts.. something to consider perhaps. Thanks again for doing what you do two wheeling tots and thank you to all the smart, dedicated and kid-minded people who design/build cool balance bikes. Going to be awesome when he’s ready for his first pedal bike, the top two contenders right now are the Cnoc or Hedgehog.

        • Yeah! I’m glad to hear that you’ve had a great experience with the FirstBIKE. Even though many other bikes have come out, it is still one of our top picks! When he is ready to move up to a pedal bike the Cnoc or the Hedgehog would both be good options.

      • Julie Leis

        Thanks so much for your extremely helpful reviews! I was about to purchase the first bike for my daughter for her 2nd birthday which is in 2 weeks but after reading the updated review, I’m not so sure…. She is already in 3T clothes and weighs approximately 30 lbs and is 37 inches tall. Will she outgrow the first bike too quickly? If so, can you please recommend a bike that has the same safety features, especially the recessed bearings and handbrake, for my extremely talk girl? In case it helps, we live in a downtown area and will be using the bike on sidewalks and parks and my daughter seems to be on the timid/less adventurous side at this age. Thanks in advance!!

        • She should be fine on the FirstBIKE as long as she is just getting into 3T versus coming close to growing out of them. As long as she rides the bike regularly (a couple times a week, even for just 15 minutes), she should have plenty of time to ride the FirstBIKE before she is ready to transition to a pedal bike. If you prefer another options, unfortunately I don’t know of another bike in her size that has recessed bolts AND a handbrake. There are several that have one or the other, but not both. Some other options to consider would be the Yedoo Too Too (which won’t be available until Spring), the Frog Tadpole (has a great brake, but exposed bolts) and the Joovy Bicycoo’s (which have covered bolts and as well as a brake).

          • Julie Leis

            Thank you so much for your extremely helpful response! I’m off to do more research but have a feeling I’ll end up with the firstBIKE.

      • Sarah P.

        This website is wonderful. Thank you for all the research you have done. I am looking to buy a balance bike for my child who just turned two and wears 24m/2 t clothes. The FirstBIKE sounded great until I read about it not being a great choice for older children. I am afraid that older siblings and neighbors may cause wear and tear on the firstBIKE. Also, would the firstBIKE classic with rubber tires be difficult to handle in an indoor gym? Further, I have an almost 5 year old who doesn’t ride a bike yet. Would you still recommend the Strider sport as the best model for sharing, or should I just get two separate bikes? thank you!

        • You’re welcome! The FirstBIKE would be a great choice for your 24mo/2T. With older kids, the bike does tend to flex as they ride it, but it does not damage the bike. When I had my older son in size 7 clothes ride around on the bike, the frame and seat post did flex, but it did not damage the bike. So while I would ask them not to ride it, I don’t think they could do any real damage to the bike if they did.

          For the FirstBIKE Basic, I have not had a chance to see the rubber tires on an indoor gym, but I have heard they work great. Foam tires, however, do not, so try to stay away from them! Lastly, the Strider Sport is still my favorite bike for sharing. Because it comes with two seats and two seat posts, it is really easy to switch between to kids, while other bikes requires you to remove the seat from one seat post and mount it onto another.

      • iyacyas

        Can you give any comparison with turning radius say to the Frog? How limiting is the First Bike compared to others?

        • The FirstBIKE limiter is much more restrictive than the Frogs. In the 5th set of pictures from the top you can see just how restrictive the steering is on the FirstBIKE. That being said, I have yet to see the limiter restrict the maneuverability of the bike. Hope that helps!

      • greenkiwi2000

        Do you know if they have improved the stiffness for bigger kids? Or does it still have this issue?

        I’m a little concerned getting this for my soon to be 2 year old, as he’s already 33#.

        • Lindsey

          I had some older kids rip on this bike down our steep driveway and brake just before the garage door again and again (kids old enough to ride pedal bikes). They had TONS of fun and no damage to the bike. They flex, but that’s by design not weakness!

          • greenkiwi2000

            @Lindsey – thanks. they didn’t have issues with the flex?

            • Lindsey

              No issues at all… in fact, I think the flex makes it easier for them as its more forgiving. There is no way its going to break on them, they are super strong!

        • Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Yes, the bikes does flex, but I highly doubt it would be an issue with a 22 lb. two-year-old. As shown above, the flexing made the bike uncomfortable for our five-year-old, but seeing as he was already on a pedal bike, I wouldn’t consider it to be a huge issue as most 2yo who ride balance bike regularly will easier transition to a pedal bike before the flexing becomes an issue.

          • greenkiwi2000

            Hi Natalie – he’s a 32 lb two year old, not 22 lbs. If he were 22 lbs, I agree that it would be all within the range.

            Thanks.

            • Sorry, typo on my part. Even at 32 lb., I think he would be fine. My 2yo, the first child shown in the pictures above, weighs between 30 and 35 lb. and still has plenty of room to grow on the bike, which shown no signs of flexing for him.

          • greenkiwi2000

            I guess the flip side is that if he doesn’t have other bikes to compare it with he won’t know the difference.

            • That is true, but if the bike does flex when he rides it will diminish the efficiency of your child’s riding.

      • Hilary

        My son just turned 2,weighs 36lbs and is 39″ tall….which would be best for him- rothan,tadpole,first bike,yeedoo too too or another? He’s a very solid/dense big lil guy,verrrrry athletic.

      • Kristi

        Hi. Would you suggest FirstBike (or smth else) for my 2,5months petite (only 27lbs) girl? I measured her inseam 13” (14” with shoes on), but her hips are quite narrow. Though she has long legs, she sometimes still wears 18-24m clothes. I am in between of choosing her firstbike, earlyrider, puky or kettler balance bike (there aren’t many options to buy in Estonia and I don’t like Strider because of hard seat). We’ll be mostly riding on pavement, but when her confidence increases, I’d like to take her to dirt/forest trails.

        • If she has really narrow hips, I would go with the narrower FirstBIKE or Early Rider over the Puky or the Kettler. Between those two, I would go with the FirstBIKE with a lowering kit as it has brake, which will certainly come in handy as she gets older.

      • Tonyandmirit Webb

        Just wondering what the actual wheel sizes are on these size bikes, does 12″ include the tire?

        • Yes, 12″ is the diameter of the tire. All 12″ tires certainly aren’t the same size as the width and depth of them do vary, but most of them (including FirstBIKE) are 12″ in diameter.

      • nategriffin

        Great information! First of all, I’m looking at the cross (with brake) version because I can get a better deal on it. How much more difficult will those knobby tires be on pavement compared to the street tires?

        Also, the child is 32 months old, 36″ tall and an inseam of 14″ (i believe). Should I get the lowering kit?

        Thanks so much!

        • On paved surfaces, you won’t notice any difference between the Cross and the Street tires, so no worries there. With a 14″ inseam, I would highly recommend getting the lowering kit as the “U” shaped seat will make it hard for her to get on and off until she has an inseam of about 15″.

      • Neil

        We bought this bike for my son, and he road it past his 4th birthday with no problems! I have seen lots of kids older than 3 ride this bike.

        • Thanks for sharing! You are absolutely right that kids older than 3 can ride the bike without any problems, but since several readers have had issues with the bike, I tend to error on the side of caution.

      • Laura

        My daughter is about to be three. She is very petite, wearing 2t/24 month pants for fit, though 3t pants are the right length. She is about 36 inches tall and weighs about 26-28lbs. Her inseam is somewhere between 14-15 inches. We’re looking at the FirstBIKE for her. I want to make sure you think it’s a good investment for both fit and longevity since she is so petite. I appreciate your help

        • Yes, the FirstBIKE sounds perfect for your daughter. With a ~15″ inseam, she will easily be able to get on and off the bike, and the lightweight will make it easy for her to use.

      • Suki

        I have a tall skinny 3.25 year old. Her inseam is about 15″ but she only weighs 26lbs. I want to get a her as light of a bike as possible because she is light herself but I’m worried that as she is already tall, the bike won’t last long. Please do you have any suggestions?

        How about the Yedoo Too Too?

        P.s. This website is amazing and I’m recommending it to everyone!

        • Thanks for the recommendation, and yes, with a 15″ inseam, the Yedoo Too Too would be a great choice for your daughter. If it’s in your budget, I would also consider the WOOM1, but if it’s not, then don’t hesitate to go with the Yedoo.

          • Suki

            Thanks so much for your help! Yedoo Too Too arrived today. Only had a quick run in the house so far but seems to be perfect!

            • Wow, that was fast! I’m glad you like it!

      • Marisa

        My son is 22 months and I am looking to purchase a bike for his 2nd birthday in May. Right now he is in size 18-24 pants. What bike would you recommend? I think he may be a little timid based on his reaction to other ride on toys.

        • I would stick with a lightweight bike that is easy to get on and off (the FirstBIKE is not for his size). I would look at the Yedoo Too Too or the Kinderbike Mini.

      • GotoDr3w

        Hello, very informative site, I read a lot about it before, but yours had the best examples and etc.. Well, I had the Micro G in a local store here in Switzerland. I didnt like it very much, so I begun doing research. for me it seems it comes down to: the FirstBike or the Strider. But after reading about the bolts on Strider, I think I narrowed down to the FirstBike. So this is where my question starts: My daughter is 2yrs and 7 months. She can use the scooter ok, and her inseam is 35cms +/- while looking for the FirstBike on Amazon.ch, I see several models listed: such as L2014 or L2006 or BV L2018… well, how do I know which one to buy? I don’t want a very expensive one, but I wanted air tires and a break and pink if possible. where should I look? what is the “correct description” …and is the firstbike really the one to go? we will use this in the playground, in the streets, in the lakeside.. “all around bike”… thanks!!!! great job helping people out.

        • Those numbers are tricky, but it looks like they are based only on color. The color of the bike frame as well as the rims, however, can tell you more about what model of FirstBIKE it is. If the frame is black and the rims are blue or red, that is the higher end model that has Big Apple, extra cushion tires. You will only need this model is you plan on doing a lot of jumps or riding on uneven paved surfaces. The other models are all Street and Cross models, in which the only difference is the type of tire. Both models work great on paved surfaces, but if you are planning on riding on dirt trails, you will want the Cross model which comes has the red or silver frame. Hope that helps.

      • Jberriospr

        Hi. Thanks for all the advice. I have a DS turning 2 y/o next week. He wears 24mo clothes, weighs about 27-28lbs and his inseam is about 12in. I want to get him something that will last him a couple of years. What would be the best buy for him?

        • My suggestion would be the Islabikes Rothan (which will fit him perfectly now), the WOOM1 (which will fit, but is a bigger bike) or the Yedoo Too Too (which is cheaper than the other two and may be slightly too big for him until he is in 2T pants). For a more affordable option, I would look at the KinderBike Mini.

      • 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.

      • James C-hen

        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.

          • James C-hen

            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.

            • Wow, still nothing but empty promises. Not okay. I will try again, but I agree with you that it is pretty much far too late for that. I believe a warning about their customer service is warranted on the review. With so many other bikes to choose from, it’s simply not worth the risk.

            • 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!

      • 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.