Balance Bikes: Comparison Charts

Finding the best balance bike for your child is not as easy as it seems.  Very few brick-and-mortar stores actually sell balance bikes and even fewer have demo bikes on the floor.  Online isn’t much easier as over 20 different balance bikes are available and the majority of reviews are biased, reviewing only the concept of a balance bike, rather than the bikes themselves.



While relatively simple, balance bikes are more complex as they appear.  From the size of the frame, to the type of tires, before you purchase a bike, be sure to familiarize yourself with the various features on balance bike by reading 11 Distinguishing Features of Balance Bikes.

balance bike group 780*275
A Portion of our Balance Bike Test Fleet

In terms of cost, be prepared to spend around $100 for a good quality bike. Cheaper bikes are available, but higher-quality bikes are a better investment as they have a high resale value and will last through several kids.  Higher-end bikes are also significantly safer than cheaper bikes as their air tires provide better traction and their low center of gravity allows kids to balance (and remain balancing) at slower speeds.   In the end however, any balance bike is better than no balance bike.  Although some bikes are certainly better than others, any balance bike will in fact teach your child to balance and provide hours of quality fun. Exceptional ratings are awarded to bikes with the most desirable features within an age group. Highly Recommended Ratings are awarded to bikes that have many desirable features, but not as many as Exceptional bikes. Scroll down to view.

Best Bikes for Toddlers 12 Months and Up

Twelve-month-old toddlers are not going to learn to balance and shouldn’t be expected to, but they can enjoying learning to sit and scoot around the house or outside on paved areas.  Instead of a new shiny tricycle for their first birthday, consider a “pre” balance bikes instead.  Small kids or those whom may be hesitant are better off on a three or four-wheeled push bike as they are easier to use and require less effort.  Two-wheeled bikes are better suited for larger and/or older kids as they are more difficult to master.  Regardless of the “pre” bike you select, consider purchasing a true balance bike around the age of 2 (unless you invest in a Wishbone 3-in-1 which converts to a full size balance bike).

Best “Pre” Bikes for 12 -18 Month-olds (Inseam 11″ or less, 18 mo clothes)
Brand/Model MSRP Seat Height Total Weight Tires # of Wheels Warranty Other
Step2 Motorcycle  $30 ? (age 1-3)  ? Plastic 4 (2 sets of 2) Two wheels in front, two in back.  Seat does not adjust.
Schylling Tiny Rider $79 ? (age 1-3)  ? (~8 lb.) Rubber 3 (stands on own) 1 Year Two wheels in front, one in back.  Seat does not adjust.
Cruzee $149 11″-19″* 4.2 lb. Foam 2 Lifetime Traditional balance bike, but light enough for 12-18 month olds.
Early Rider Spherevelo $110 7.6″ 4.4 lb. Plastic 2 1 Year Two large sphere wheels, for kids as young as 8 months
Hape Tricycle Walker $89 ? (age 18mo-3)  7.9 lb. Rubber 3 (stands on own) 1 Year Two wheels in front, one in back.  Seat does not adjust.
Radio Flyer Scoot-About $60 ? (30″ tall child)  10.5 lb. Rubber 4 1 Year Seat does adjust.
Chillafish by Bunzi $69 8.6″,9.8″ 4 lb. Plastic 2 or 3 1 Year Converts from tricycle to balance bike
yBike $60 10.2″ 7 lb. Plastic 2 6 Months Seat does not adjust
Boot Scoot Bopper $95 11″ – 13.5″ 8 lb. Foam 2 5 Years Wide, flat tires to aid in balancing
Pewi yBike $65 10.6″ 4.4 lb. Plastic 4 6 Months Four caster wheels, teaches kids to sit and push
Scuttle Bug $45 8″ 5 lb. Plastic 3 6 Months Three-wheeled trike teaches kids to sit and push
Wishbone 3-in-1 $229 11”-18” 8.4 lb. as bike Air 2 or 3 1 Year Converts from tricycle to full-size balance bike

 

Best Bikes for Toddlers 18 months and up:

With toddlers, a lightweight bike with a short saddle height is key.  Brakes and footrest are not essential as they will most likely never use them.  If you are starting your child on a balance bike when they are young, they will most likely be ready for a pedal bike about the same time they are coordinated enough to use a brake or footrest. Foam tires are great for toddlers as they are light weight and puncture proof, however they do not provide the proper traction needed for an older rider.  If your child is athletic and is most likely to convert to a pedal bike early, then a bike with foam tires is a great starter bike.  If however, you plan on having your child ride their balance bike until the age of 4 or older, then a balance bike with air tires is a worthy investment.  To prevent flat tires on air tire I highly recommend adding tire sealant to the tires from the get-go.  My top-pick for toddlers is the FIRSTBike, from its solid built to the sealed bearings, it is quite simply, the cream-of-the-crop in the balance bike market.

Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers 18 mo. and Up (12.5” inseam, 24mo/2T clothes)
Brand/Model MSRP Seat Height Brake Footrest Limiter Total Weight Tires Wheel Bearings Bolts Warranty
Exceptional
Islabike Rothan 12″ $199* 11.5″-15.5″* Hand No Yes 7.7lb. Air Sealed R 5 Year
WOOM1 $199 10.8″-15.7″ Hand No Yes* 7.9lb. Air Sealed R 2 Year
Yedoo Too Too $159 12″-18″ Hand No Yes 8.25lb. Air Sealed E Lifetime
Highly Recommended
Cruzee $149 11″-19″* No Yes No 4.2lb. Foam Sealed R Lifetime
FirstBIKE $159 14″-18″* Hand No Yes 8.4lb. Air Sealed R Lifetime
Strider $109 11”-16” Option Yes No 6.4lb. Foam Sealed E 2 Years
Early Rider Lite 12 $120 11.6”-15” No No Yes* 7.2lb. Air Sealed E 2 Years
Recommended
Haro Z10 $109 11″-17″ No Yes No 8.8 lb. Air Regular E Lifetime
Wishbone 2-in-1 $199 11”-18” No No Yes 8.4 lb. Air Regular R 1 Year
Glide Bikes Ezee Glider $99 11”-17” Hand Yes* Yes 10lb. Air* Regular E Lifetime
Recommended with Reservations
ZUM-CX $90 12”-17” No No No 7.2 lb. Foam Sealed R 1 Year
Glide Bikes Mini Glider $99 11”-16.5” Hand Yes* Yes 8lb. Foam Regular E Lifetime
Not Recommended
WeeRide Learn2Ride $49 14″ – 18″ Hand No No 12 lb. Foam Regular E 6 months
Chicco Red Bullet $49 13″ – 15″ No No No 9 lb. Foam Regular E 1 Year
yBike Original $80 10.5” No No Yes* 7.7lb. Plastic Regular R 90 days
Bolts Key: R = Recessed, E = Exposed, C = Covered  Notes: Rothan price does not include free shipping.
Rothan offers an extended seat post for $15 to raise the seat to 18″. FirstBIKE lowering kit is $15, lowers the minimum seat height to 12.5”.
FirstBIKE’s prices range from $129 to $199. Some Ezee Glider models come with foam.  Early Rider’s & WOOM1’s limiter is removable.
Cruzee’s seat post extends to 19″ with their extended seat post. Mini and Ezee Glider’s footrests are removable.

Best Bikes for Toddlers Aged 2.5 and up:

Whether your toddler is an off-roading maniac or a street cruising princess, with the countless bikes available on the market, you are sure to find the perfect bike for your child.   Assuming your child will ride the bike for several years, air tires are preferred.  With a little practice a 2.5-year-old will quickly be riding over mountains and hills if you let them, so be sure to purchase a bike with knobby tires (offered by FIRSTBike Cross model, LIKEaBIKE and Specialized), if your child will have access to off-road terrain.

Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers 2.5 and Up (inseam at least 15”, 2T to 3T)
Brand/Model MSRP Seat Height Brake Footrest Limiter Total Weight Tires Bearings Bolts Warranty
Exceptional
Islabike Rothan 12″ $199* 11.5″-15.5″* Hand No Yes 7.7lb. Air Sealed R 5 Year
WOOM1  $199 10.8″-15.7″ Hand No Yes* 7.9lb. Air Sealed R 2 Year
Yedoo Too Too $159 12″-18″ Hand No Yes 8.25lb. Air Sealed E Lifetime
Frog Tadpole $189 13.3”-16.5” Hand No Yes 9.3lb. Air Regular E 5 Years
LIKEaBIKE Jumper $299 13.4”-18.5” No No Yes* 7.5lb. Air Regular C 2 Years
Ridgeback Dimensions 12 $299 14″ – 20″ Hand No No 8.95 lb. Air Sealed E Lifetime
Highly Recommended
FirstBIKE $159* 14″-18″* Hand No Yes 8.4lb. Air Sealed R Lifetime
Charger 12″ $119 12.5”-17.5” Hand No Yes 11lb. Air Regular E 2 Year
Early Rider Alley Runner 12″ $210 13.8”-17.8”* No No Yes* 7.5lb. Air Semi-Sealed R
Ridgeback Scoot $175 14″-20″ Hand No No 11.2 lb. Air Sealed E Lifetime
Saracen Freewheel $199 13″-19″ Hand No No 10.7 lb. Air Sealed E Lifetime
Burley MyKick $129 12.5-16″ No No No 11.3lb. Rubber* Regular E 3 Years
Early Rider Classic $160 12”-15.5”* No No Yes* 10.5lb. Air Sealed R 2 Years
Specialized Hotwalk $170 13.5”-17” No Yes No 9.5 lb. Air Regular E 5 Years
Verde Scout $129 14″-16.5″ No No No 9.35lb. Air Regular E 2 Year
Muna $110 13”-18” Yes No No 11lb. Air C
Bixbi Bikes $210 13.8″-17.8″ No No No 7.4lb. Air Sealed R Lifetime
Recommended
Cruzee $149 11″-19″* No Yes No 4.2lb. Foam Sealed R Lifetime
Kundo Ultralight $129 14.5”-17” No No No 7.1lb. Air Sealed R
Haro Z12 $139 12.5″-18.5″ No Yes No 11 lb. Air Regular E Lifetime
Joovy BicycooGT $150 14-15.25” Hand No No 8.75lb. Air Regular C 1 Year
Strider $109 11”-16” Option Yes No 6.4lb. Foam Sealed E 2 Year
Joovy BicycooBMX $140 15”-16.25” Hand No Yes 7.25 lb. Air Regular C 1 Year
Glide Bikes Ezee Glider $99 11”-17” Hand Yes* Yes 10lb. Air* Regular E Lifetime
Recommended with Reservations
Schwinn $109 14″-16.5″ No Yes No 10.5 lb. Air Regular R 2 years
Kinderfeets $109 13″-16″ No Yes Yes 8 lb. Foam Regular R 2 years
Radio Flyer Glide & Go $49 14.5”-18” No No No 8.7lb. Foam Regular R 1 year
Vilano Balance Bike $60 15.5”-17.7” No No No 5.5lb. Foam Regular R 1 year
Kettler Verso $109 13.5”-17.5” No Yes Yes 14 lb. Air Sealed E 3 Year
Kazam  $65 14”-17.5” No Yes No 8 lb. Foam Regular E 2 years
Prince Lionheart $85 14”-16.5” No No No 10lb. Air Regular R 1 year
Wishbone 2-in-1 $199 11”-18” No No Yes 8.4 lb. Air Regular R 1 Year
Skutt $99 13.5”-16.5” No No Yes 10lb. Air Regular E 1 Year
Glide Bike Mini Glider $99 11”-16.5” Hand Yes* Yes 8lb. Foam Regular E Lifetime
Boot Scoot Zoomer $90 14”-17” No No No 7lb. Foam Regular E 5 Year
Not Recommended
Smart Gear Classic $89 12.5”-17.5” No No Yes 11lb. Air Regular R 90 days
Chicco Red Bullet $49 13″-15″ No No No 9lb. Foam Regular E 1 Year
yBike Extreme $99 14” fixed No No No 7lb. Rubber Regular R 90 days
Bolts Key: R = Recessed, E = Exposed, C = Covered *Notes: Rothan price does not include free shipping.
Rothan offers an extended seat post for $15 to raise the seat to 18″. FirstBIKE lowering kit is $15, lowers the minimum seat height to 12.5”.
Early Rider’s have an optional extended seat post that adds an additional 3″ to seat. TootScoot has wide tires and a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.
FirstBIKE’s prices range from $129 to $199. Some Ezee Glider models come with foam.  Early Rider’s & WOOM1’s limiter is removable.
Burley MyKick has long lasting, flat-proof, air-filed rubber tires. WOOM1, Early Rider and LikeABike’s limiters are removable.

 Best Bikes for Preschoolers Aged 3.5 and up:

By three-and-a-half kids need a bike as close to a real bike as possible.  While foam tires are still durable enough for preschoolers, there is a lot to be said of the increased traction and “bike-like” feel air tires offer.  Hand brakes are also a bonus, as most kids can fully utilize them by age four.  Preschoolers may also be old enough to use a footrest, but not at the expense of foam tires.

Best Balance Bikes for Preschoolers 3.5 and Up (inseam at least 16”, 4T)
Brand/Model MSRP Seat Height Brake Footrest Limiter Total Weight Tires Bearings Bolts Warranty
Exceptional
Saracen Freewheel $179 13″-19″ Hand No No 10.7 lb. 12″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
Ridgeback Dimensions 12 $299 14″ – 20″ Hand No No 9.95 lb. 14″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
Ridgeback Scoot $175 14″ – 20″ Hand No No 11.2 lb. Air Sealed E Lifetime
Ridgeback Dimensions 14 $299 16″ – 22″ Hand No No 9.95 lb. 14″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
Ridgeback Scoot XL $199 16″ – 22″ Hand No No 12.5 lb. 14″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
Highly Recommended
LIKEaBIKE Jumper $299 13.4”-18.5” No No Yes* 7.5lb. Air Regular E 2 Years
Yedoo TooToo $159 12”-18” Hand No Yes 8.25 lb. Air Regular E 2 Years
Charger (Scamper) 12″ $119 12.5”-17.5” Hand No Yes 11lb. Air Regular E 2 Year
Early Rider Evo $199 14.3”-18.3” No Yes Yes* 10.5lb. Air Sealed R 2 Years
Early Rider Alley Runner 12″ $210 13.8”-17.8” No No No 7.4lb. Air Sealed R
Kundo Ultralight $129 14.5”-17” No No No 7.1lb. Air Sealed R
Muna $110 13”-18” Yes No No 11lb. Air C
TykesBykes Charger 16″ $159 16.5”-23” Hand No Yes 13lb. Air Regular E 2 Year
Bixbi Bikes $210 13.8″-17.8″” No No No 7.4lb. Air Sealed R Lifetime
Recommended
Cruzee $149 11″-19″* No Yes No 4.2lb. Foam Sealed R Lifetime
Haro Z12 $139 12.5″-18.5″ No Yes No 11 lb. Air Regular E Lifetime
Kettler Verso $109 13.5”-17.5” No Yes Yes 15lb. Air Sealed E 3 Year
Joovy BicycooBMX $140 15”-16.25” Hand No Yes 7.25lb. Air Regular C 1 Year
Joovy BicycooGT $150 14”-15.25” Hand No No 8.75lb. Air Regular C 1 Year
Raleigh Lil’ Push $139 13.3”-? No No No ~8lb. Air Regular E Lifetime
Berg Biky $125 14”-18.5” No Yes No 15 lb. Air Sealed E 2 Years
Recommended with Reservations
Schwinn $109 14″-16.5″ No Yes No 10.5 lb. Air Regular R 2 years
Glide Bike Mini Glider $99 11”-16.5” Hand Yes* Yes 8lb. Foam Regular E Lifetime
Boot Scoot Zoomer $90 14”-17” No No No 7lb. Foam Regular E 5 Year
Smart Gear Classic $89 12.5”-17.5” No No Yes 11lb. Air Regular R 90 days
Wishbone 2-in-1 $199 11”-18” No No Yes 8.4 lb. Air Regular R 1 Year
Kazam $65 14”-17.5” No Yes No 8 lb. Foam Regular E 2 years
Not Recommended
Trikke Bikee $70 14.5”-18.5” No Yes Yes 6.7 lb. Air Foam R 1 Year
Bolts Key: R = Recessed, E = Exposed, C = Covered *Notes: Mini and Ezee Glider’s footrests are removable.
Early Rider’s & LIKEaBIKE’s limiters are removable. REI’s warranty is 100% satisfaction.  
Early Rider’s have an optional extended seat post. KinderBike Morph converts to a pedal bike (kit included).
FirstBIKE has an optional lowering kit for seat lowering it to 12” for $15 and offer 4 different tire options.

Best Bike for Grade Schoolers Aged 4 and up:

Around five, most kids are able to ride a pedal bike, but if they are not yet ready a balance bike is they way to go (just say no to training wheels!).  Hand brakes are definitely an added bonus, while a footrest is also something to consider for kids wanting to do “tricks”.  For off-roaders, the Jumper in hands-down the best bike, but with 12″ tires, it is on the smaller side.

Best Balance Bikes for Grade Schoolers 4 and Up (inseam 17” and above, 5T)
Brand/Model MSRP Seat Height Brake Footrest Limiter Total Weight Tires Bearings Bolts Warranty
Exceptional
Ridgeback Dimensions 14 $199 16″-22″ Hand No No 9.95 lb. 14″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
Ridgeback Scoot XL $199 16″-22″ Hand No No 12.5 lb. 14″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
Charger 16″ $159 16.5”-23” Hand No Yes 13lb. 16″ Air Regular E 2 Year
Highly Recommended
LIKEaBIKE Jumper $299 13.4”-18.5” No No Yes* 7.5 lb. 12″ Air Regular E 2 Years
Early Rider Alley Runner 14″ $210 14.7”-19.5” No No No 7.4lb. Air Sealed R
Ridgeback Scoot $175 14″-20″ Hand No No 12 lb. 12″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
REI Novara Zipper $99 17.25″ – 21″ No No Yes 11lb. 12″ Air Regular E Yes*
Early Rider Evo $199 14.3”-18.3” No Yes Yes* 10.5 lb. 14″ Air Sealed R 2 Years
Recommended
Berg Biky $125 14”-18.5” No Yes No 15 lb. 12″ Air Sealed E 2 Years
Recommended with Reservations
Glide Bike Go Glider $149 17.5”-23” Hand Yes* Yes 10 lb. 16″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
Boot Scoot Cruiser $100 17”-20” No No No 10 lb. 12″ Air Regular E 5 Year
Not Recommended
Wishbone 2-in-1 $199 11”-18” No No Yes 8.4 lb. 12″ Air Regular R 1 Year
Trikke Bikee $70 14.5”-18.5” No Yes Yes 6.7 lb. 12″ Foam Regular R 1 Year
Bolts Key: R = Recessed, E = Exposed, C = Covered
Early Rider’s & LIKEaBIKE’s limiters are removable.  Go Glider footrest is removable.
Early Rider’s have an optional extended seat post.  REI’s return policy is 100% satisfaction and is pretty much amazing.

Best Bikes for Grade Schoolers Aged 5 to Adults:

Whether they are getting a late start or have special needs, balance bike are now available for older kids, teens and adults.  Due to the vast difference in sizes of these models, they are not ranked but rather listed from smallest to largest.

Best Balance Bikes for Grade Schoolers 4 and Up (inseam 17” and above, 5T)
Brand/Model MSRP Seat Height Brake Footrest Limiter Total Weight Tires Bearings Bolts Warranty
Ridgeback Scoot XL $199 16″-22″ Back No No 12.5 lb. 14″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
Charger 16″ $159 16.5”-23” Back No Yes 13 lb. 16″ Air Regular E 2 Year
Strider 16 Sport $249 19.5″-25.5″ Front and Back Yes No 17.7 lb. 16″ Air Regular E 2 Year
Strider 20 Sport $289 26.5″ – 32.25″ Front and Back Yes No 21.2 lb. 20″ Air Regular E 2 Year
Glide Bikes Super Adult $289 24″ – 35″ Front and Back Yes No 20 lb. 20″ Air Regular E 2 Year


Best in Class Balance Bikes


Best Safety Features

firstbike-215FirstBIKE – all models: With its incomparable safety features (recessed bolts, turning limiter, waterproof frame), choice of four different tires and an optional brake and lowering kit, FirstBIKE is simply the best balance bike on the market for the average rider.  Starting at $159, FirstBIKE is pricey, but certainly packs a lot of punch and is sure to be well-loved by your kids.


Best Bang-for-Your-Buck

tykesbykes 2013Charger 12″ and 16″ Charger: If you are looking for a bike shop quality on a big-box store budget, look no further than Stampede Bikes (formally TykesBykes).  Built and designed by a bike enthusiast dad, Stampede Bikes are quite simply the best bang-for-your-buck in the balance bike world.  With sales prices often less than $110, air tires, a hand brake, top-notch customer service and two sizes to ensure a proper fit (smallest minimum inseam on 12″ model is 12.5″), you can’t go wrong with a Stampede Bikes.


Best All-Around

mykick-215Burley MyKick: MyKick’s impressive trifecta of durability, lack of maintenance and affordability, truly make it the best all-around bike for families.  With an MSRP of $129, MyKick is available in red, green and pink.


Best All-Terrain

ridgeback-scoot-215x170Ridgeback Premium with Black Jack Tires:  Aggressive terrains require aggressive tread and the Schwalbe Black Jack, found only on the Ridgeback Scoot Premium, is hands-down the best all-terrain 12″ tire on the market.


Best for Siblings of Different Ages (Sharing)

strider-st4-215Strider Sport: For parents looking for one bike for two kids to share, the Strider Sport, is by far the easiest bike to quickly adjust for kids of different sizes.  Coming with two different sizes seat posts with attached saddles, the Strider Sport (or Strider Classic with an additional purchase of the extended seat post), is the only balance bike that can adjusted to fit an 18-month old and a four-year-old in a matter of seconds.  Strider’s wide array of accessories, including air tires, a foot brake and ski, truly make it a universal bike.


Best Pre-BMX

likeabike-jumper-215LikeaBike Jumper: Complete with a shock and “Big Apple” tires that provide additional cushion, the LikeaBike Jumper (Kokua) is the ultimate bike for any skate-park, BMX track loving preschooler.  Starting at $299, they don’t come cheap, but they do come with an adjustable shock, a removable turning limiter, top-notch customer service, amazing tires and an extremely high resale value.


Best Wood

early-rider-215Early Rider Bikes: Whether you want an eco-friendly bike or simply enjoy the old school look, Early Rider’s wood balance bike series has you covered.  From their embossed flames on the side of their marine-grade eco-friendly birch frame to their “Big Apple” tires on sealed ball-bearings, Early Rider’s ride as good as they look.  Starting at $180, they offer three sizes to ensure a proper fit.


Best Puncture-Proof Tires

Flat tires can be both burdensome for both parent and child.  While tire sealant can essentially eliminate all flats in air tires, if you prefer a solid tire, foam and rubber honeycomb tires are available.

Best Puncture-Proof Tires Balance Bikes
Brand/Model MSRP Seat Height Brake Footrest Limiter Total Weight Tires Bearings Bolts Warranty
Cruzee $149 11″-19″ No Yes No 4.2lb. Foam Sealed R Lifetime
FirstBIKE Basic $165 12″-18″ Option No Yes 7.7lb. Air Sealed R Lifetime
Burley MyKick $129 12.5-16″ No No No 11.3lb. Rubber Regular E 3 Years
Strider Sport $109 11”-16” Option Yes No 6.4lb. Foam Sealed E 2 Year
Glide Bike Mini Glider $99 11”-16.5” Hand Yes* Yes 8lb. Foam Regular E Lifetime

Best Budget Balance Bikes

Any balance bike is better than no balance bike, so if your budget is tight, the Strider ST-3 (non-branded) and Sun Bicycles Lil’ Rocket are both good choices for under $70.  With the release of the new Strider ST-4 models, the prices on the ST-3 are likely to stay low, but won’t last forever.  While I have not personally seen the Lil Rock’t, Biking Genius’ review of the bike is encouraging.  Both the Strider and the Lil Rock’t have foam tires, but unless you plan on riding on all-terrain areas (dirt, loose rock, mud, etc.) or are buying for a child older than 3, they should work out just fine.  If you are set on air tires, the Kettler and Kazam bikes are both high-quality bikes with air tires that often sell for less than $90 on Amazon.

Best Budget Balance Bikes
Brand/Model MSRP Seat Height Brake Footrest Limiter Total Weight Tires Bearings Bolts Warranty
Radio Flyer Glide & Go $49 14.5”-18” No No No 8.7lb. Foam Regular R 1 year
Vilano Balance Bike $60 15.5”-17.7” No No No 5.5lb. Foam Regular R 1 year
Strider Classic $89 11”-16” Option Yes No 6.4lb. Foam Regular E 2 Year
Sun Lil Rock’t 12″ $69 12″-? No No No 11 lb. Foam Regular E Lifetime on Frame
ZUM-CX $69 12”-17” No No No 7.2 lb. Foam Sealed R 1 Year

Disclosure – I received several demo bikes to facilitate my review.  No monetary compensation was provided.  All opinions are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC. The majority of all links provided are affiliate links.




  • Erik DeKold

    Be sure to check out Early Rider’s new Spherovelo Juno. My now 1 year old was actually able to sit and scoot for a bit at nearly 8mos old. Since he’s started walking recently he prefers to push it around, but once he’s walking more confidently I think he’ll realize the potential it offers. Super cool product.

    • I agree, the Spherovelo looks like a cool product, but I had no idea it was small enough for one-year-olds. I’ll be sure to add it to the Pre-Balance Bike List.

      • Erik DeKold

        This is Odin at about 7.5mos old. http://youtu.be/D0geuPJ8Mek Like I said he doesn’t scoot on it much now (5mos later), but I think once he has a better grasp of the fun he can have he’ll start doing so soon.

        • Thanks for posting! At 7 months he is already on his way, awesome!

  • David Fast

    I think that my 4 year old son has outgrown his Kinderbike Laufrad. His inseam is 19.5″ and he is about 45″ tall. The Tykesbykes 16 looks like a good option, but there aren’t a lot of reviews out there on this bike. Is the Go Glider still the best in this size range, or would you recommend the Tykesbykes or the REI bike?

    • I am currently in the process of writing up reviews on both the Go Glider with air and the TykesBykes 16″ and I much prefer the TykesBykes 16″. I feel it is an all around better bike, plus until July 1st it is currently on sale for $89 with free shipping, versus $159 with a Go Glider with air. The REI Novara Zipper is also a great bike for $99, but it does not come with a brake like the TykesBykes. If you would like some picture of the Go Glider or the TykesBykes, let me know and I can send you a few.

  • Betsy Endress

    What bike would you recommend to be passed down through several (5?) children? What is the tallest inseam (or really oldest age) you think the Firstbike would work for? I’m not sure how age and inseam usually coordinate 🙂 This bike would be for mostly street riding with some gravel/dirt trails. I’m hoping to use the same balance bike before transitioning each child to their own pedal bike. Thanks for your input and great reviews!

    • First off, for a bike to last through five kids, quality is important as well as warranty. Second, from my experience, each consecutive kid will want to ride the balance bike sooner that then the last as they attempt to keep up with their older siblings. My oldest rode her first balance bike at 3, my second at 2 and my one-year-old loves to be pushed around on a balance bike, but is still too short to manage it on his own. As a result, you are going to want to bike with a minimum inseam of around 12″ to ensure the younger kids will be able to ride it when they are ready. FirstBIKE therefore would be a good choice, as it has a Lifetime warranty and a minimum seat height of 12″. However, when set at the maximum seat height of 18″, the bike doesn’t perform as well for taller older kids. As a result, I wouldn’t recommend to you if the first child who plans on using it has an inseam greater than 15-16″ or for kids older than three if you are unsure about inseam. For kids older than three (with an low minimum seat height for future use), I would them recommend the Ridgeback Scoot, which adjusts from 13″-18″ or the TykesBykes 12″, which adjusts 13″-17″. Both are well, made bikes with handbrakes and solid frames that are suitable for all ages. The TykeBykes only has a warranty of two years while the Ridgeback is a Lifetime, however as you can see in my review (http://www.twowheelingtots.com/tykesbykes/), the TykesBykes frame is solid and I wouldn’t let the 2 year warranty scare you off. The Ridgeback however is an amazing bike that probably better suited for younger kids than the TykesBykes, but will not be available until later this summer. Hopefully I answered all your questions, if not feel free to ask away!

  • Amanda Myers

    This is such an awesome resource! My son will be two in a week and a half but he’s a total peanut. His inseam is about 11.5 inches, 25ish(?) pounds, and fairly cautious. Given all that, we were leaning toward getting him a Chillafish for the time being. Winters are pretty bitter here and he could right that around our house and we wouldn’t have to worry about the weight/height of the bike for now.

    Then we figured we could buy him an Ezee Glider as an early birthday present next summer. Care to weigh in and help us decide? 🙂

    • I can totally relate as our 18-month-old boy is small, is too short for any of our bikes and we also have frigid winters around here. I have eyed the Bunzi myself, but my I honestly think it is just too small. With a max height of 9.8″ he is already too big for it! Instead, I would go for the yBike as it is an inch taller at 10.2″, plus it has a fat back wheel and can remain upright on it’s own, thereby encouraging balancing when running without the fear of tipping over. Its plastic wheels also work great indoors. As for Ezee Glider, with so many balance bikes scheduled to hit the market in the next six months it’s hard to say what bike will be best for him them, so when you are ready to buy, check back in with me for more recommendations.

      • Amanda Myers

        Thank you so much! I hadn’t even looked at the yBike for some reason! `And Overstock.com has it for $63.99 right now. I love that he’ll have some stability along with the experience of balancing. I’ll definitely check back when we’re ready to upgrade- thanks again!

  • Cath Riley

    We could not agree more with your comprehensive review and detailed assesment of the balance bike market! http://www.firstbikesg.com From FirstBIKE Singapore !

    • Glad to hear you approve! As always, if you every feel that I missed anything or disagree, please let me know. The more opinions the better!

  • You’re welcome! I hope your little one is loving your FirstBIKE.

  • Candice

    My almost 3.5 year old has an inseam of 16.5 inches. I am leaning towards getting the 16″ TykeByke so he will grow into it for years to come. Do you think the 16″ will be too tall for him at this point? I was also thinking the Ridgeback Scoot, but since it’s more expensive I would rather get the TykeByke if that would fit him. Thanks for all the awesome bike reviews!

    • You are right in that he is just on the edge. I think the TykesBykes 16″ would currently be slightly too big for him, however within a year he would grow out of the 12″. If your son is more on the athletic side and is eager to ride a bike, I would probably go with the 16″, however if he is more hesitant or lighter weight, I would go with the 12″. Between the three, the Scoot would in fact be the best bike. It is of course more expensive, but if you happen to have a younger sibling to pass it onto, it would certainly be worth the additional investment. Hope that helps!

  • Candice

    My almost 3.5 year old has an inseam of 16.5 inches. I am leaning towards getting the 16″ TykeByke so he will grow into it for years to come. Do you think the 16″ will be too tall for him at this point? I was also thinking the Ridgeback Scoot, but since it’s more expensive I would rather get the TykeByke if that would fit him. Thanks for all the awesome bike reviews!

    • You are right in that he is just on the edge. I think the TykesBykes 16″ would currently be slightly too big for him, however within a year he would grow out of the 12″. If your son is more on the athletic side and is eager to ride a bike, I would probably go with the 16″, however if he is more hesitant or lighter weight, I would go with the 12″. Between the three, the Scoot would in fact be the best bike. It is of course more expensive, but if you happen to have a younger sibling to pass it onto, it would certainly be worth the additional investment. Hope that helps!

  • mav

    strider st-pro much like the st-4 but under 5lbs

    • You’re right, at 4.9 lbs. the aluminum Strider Pro is, as far as I know, the lightest bike in production. It’s currently selling for $169, which is pretty pricey for a bike with EVA tires. More info here: http://www.striderbikes.com/bikes/st-pro

  • mav

    strider st-pro much like the st-4 but under 5lbs

  • Carol

    This site is a great source of information, thank you. I am new to the world of balance bikes although we have an almost 6 year old (18 1/2″ inseam) and an almost 3 year old (almost 13″ inseam). My 6 year old is very cautious, poor balance, struggles with gross motor activities – for example, after 2 years of trying he is just starting to get comfortable on a mini-kick scooter. So, while I would love to see him using a balance bike I’m not sure how much he’ll use it (but also want to give him a chance to try whatever bike would be the easiest/most stable for him). My original plan was to get a bike the two boys could share to justify the cost if my older son doesn’t use it – are there any bikes you would recommend to work for both of them?

    • Glad to be of help! I agree with you that a balance bike is certainly worth a shot with your older son. My good friend had a similar experience with her 8 year old son and with time we he learned to love his balance bike and was finally able to ride around the block with his friends. He has yet to convert to a pedal bike, but the confidence he has gained in his balance bike has been amazing!

      In terms of sharing a bike, there are two bikes that I believe would work for your family. The Ridgeback Scoot Mini, which has a seat range of 11″ – 20″ and the Strider, which ranges from 12″ – 19″. Between the two, the Ridgeback is a better bike overall as it comes with a hand brake and air tires, which will greatly benefit your older son. The bike also has a wider handlebars and a longer wheelbase than the Strider. The one downside of the Scoot Mini is that while it comes with three seat posts to adjust the height of the seat, it only comes with one seat. As a result, you will have to move the seat onto the various sized seat posts whenever the bike gets switched from one rider to another. Luckily the seat only requires one screw to be removed, but it will still take some time.

      The Strider ST-4 however, does not come with the extended seat posts like the Scoot, but it is available for purchase separately. Strider’s extended seat posts actually comes with a seat as well, so unlike the Ridgeback, you will not have to swap seats, only seat posts when switching between riders. The Strider however, does have foam tires, is much smaller than the Ridgeback and does not offer a hand brake.

      Hope that helps! Feel free to reply if you need more help.

      • Carol

        thanks, that helps a lot – based on your reviews I had actually been thinking about the ridgeback mini scoot based on your reviews. For my older son i thought it sounded more stable than the Strider. However, it does seem pricey – if we’re going to spend that much I wonder if we could just get two less expensive bikes. Would you have any comments on that?

  • Carol

    This site is a great source of information, thank you. I am new to the world of balance bikes although we have an almost 6 year old (18 1/2″ inseam) and an almost 3 year old (almost 13″ inseam). My 6 year old is very cautious, poor balance, struggles with gross motor activities – for example, after 2 years of trying he is just starting to get comfortable on a mini-kick scooter. So, while I would love to see him using a balance bike I’m not sure how much he’ll use it (but also want to give him a chance to try whatever bike would be the easiest/most stable for him). My original plan was to get a bike the two boys could share to justify the cost if my older son doesn’t use it – are there any bikes you would recommend to work for both of them?

    • Glad to be of help! I agree with you that a balance bike is certainly worth a shot with your older son. My good friend had a similar experience with her 8 year old son and with time we he learned to love his balance bike and was finally able to ride around the block with his friends. He has yet to convert to a pedal bike, but the confidence he has gained in his balance bike has been amazing!

      In terms of sharing a bike, there are two bikes that I believe would work for your family. The Ridgeback Scoot Mini, which has a seat range of 11″ – 20″ and the Strider, which ranges from 12″ – 19″. Between the two, the Ridgeback is a better bike overall as it comes with a hand brake and air tires, which will greatly benefit your older son. The bike also has a wider handlebars and a longer wheelbase than the Strider. The one downside of the Scoot Mini is that while it comes with three seat posts to adjust the height of the seat, it only comes with one seat. As a result, you will have to move the seat onto the various sized seat posts whenever the bike gets switched from one rider to another. Luckily the seat only requires one screw to be removed, but it will still take some time.

      The Strider ST-4 however, does not come with the extended seat posts like the Scoot, but it is available for purchase separately. Strider’s extended seat posts actually comes with a seat as well, so unlike the Ridgeback, you will not have to swap seats, only seat posts when switching between riders. The Strider however, does have foam tires, is much smaller than the Ridgeback and does not offer a hand brake.

      Hope that helps! Feel free to reply if you need more help.

      • Carol

        thanks, that helps a lot – based on your reviews I had actually been thinking about the ridgeback mini scoot based on your reviews. For my older son i thought it sounded more stable than the Strider. However, it does seem pricey – if we’re going to spend that much I wonder if we could just get two less expensive bikes. Would you have any comments on that?

  • Tiana

    I’m looking for a good balance bike with sealed bearings and a footrest that comes in a blue-ish color that a girl would like the 2013 haro z10 is the perfect color example but I don’t want foam tires and it lacks the footrest. Any suggestions?

    • Tiana

      P.S. It is for my 3yr old daughter

      • I believe your best bet would be the Cruzee TWO, a new bike that is going to be available shortly. It looks very much like the Strider, but is made of aluminum, with sealed bearings, rounded bolts and will have the option to purchase it will air tires. It also comes in a powder blue shown here: http://www.cruzee.com/rainbow-of-colors/. I don’t believe the blue is currently available, but send them an email and see what they say. If you don’t hear back, then let me know and I’ll see what I can find out for you.

      • I believe your best bet would be the Cruzee TWO, a new bike that is going to be available shortly. It looks very much like the Strider, but is made of aluminum, with sealed bearings, rounded bolts and will have the option to purchase it will air tires. It also comes in a powder blue shown here: http://www.cruzee.com/rainbow-of-colors/. I don’t believe the blue is currently available, but send them an email and see what they say. If you don’t hear back, then let me know and I’ll see what I can find out for you.

  • Yvonne

    any comment for WonkaWoo this brand?

  • Mav

    Why is the cruzee ovo 12″ not on this page it looks like it’s in your sortable chart page though.

    • All the bikes listed here I have at least seen in person or have completely reviewed. As a result, not every bike listed on the sortable list is listed here. Within the next month I plan on having my full review of the Cruzee completed and at that point I will add it here.

  • Colleen

    Thank you for this site – very helpful! Trying to decide on my son’s first bike. He will be 2 and is tall for his age, but his height is in his torso…average leg length/inseam. This will be for street riding only. He is a cautious, but has good balance. We’ve narrowed it down to the early rider classic, FirstBIKE, or Islabike. Wondering if you recommend brakes or no brakes? Also, which will last him the longest AND hold up to be passed down to his sister who is a year and half younger. Thank you!

    • All three are great bikes, so you really can’t go wrong with either. I have found brakes to be a preference versus a necessity. I generally prefer bikes with handbrakes however, as I don’t believe there is a downside (besides a minimal weight increase), to having a handbrake on a bike. That being said, most kids don’t have the hand-eye coordination to use a hand brake until around the age of three, so it is completely understandable why most bikes do not include hand brakes. As to which bike to get, I would rule out the Early Rider first, simply because it offers the least amount of room for growth as its maximum seat post height is only 15″. Between the FirstBIKE and Islabike. The FirstBIKE is a larger bike (as shown in the pictures below) and will be better for your two year old, but it will also take longer for your daughter to grow into. If however, your daughter is one the taller side like your son, then I would go with the FirstBIKE, if she is smaller, then I would go with the Islabike.

  • Kristen

    I came across balance bikes in my search for a trike for my daughter, and I must say these are amazing. I am looking into getting one of these for my daughter’s 2nd birthday on the 20th. I’m looking into the FirstBIKE, my question as I’m looking at these charts, is what is a limiter? Also, are footrests as helpful as they seem to be?
    Thank you, this has been very helpful in my research on balance bikes.

    • A limiter prevents the steering wheel from rotating too far in either direction, thereby preventing “jackknifing”. In most cases, kids learn not to steer to fast on their own, so limiters are not essential, but many parents like them as they provide another layer of safety. Our own kids have learned on balance bikes with and without limiters without any problems, so I am pretty neutral on the subject. In terms of footrests, they certainly are not needed as well, however some kids really like them and feel more comfortable having a place to rest their feet. I generally prefer bikes without them as most footrests tend to get in the way of a child’s stride. Plus, when using a footrest, some kids tend to ride their balance bike more like a scooter (running and gliding) vs. a bike (more continuous motion). More info on the various features of balance bikes can be found here: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/10-distinguishing-features-of-balance-bikes/

  • Marcelle

    My daughter is 4 yr 3 mo and has a 17″ inseam. This would be her first balance bike… she currently is riding a Radio Flier bike with training wheels. Do you think I should go with the 12″ or 16″ TykesBykes for her? Thanks for your time, this site has been so helpful.

    • I would go with the 16″ as I believe it would be a better fit for her. The longer wheelbase and larger tires will also better prepare her for riding a larger pedal bike.

  • Carol

    Thank you so much for your thorough reviews! My company gives us points we can redeem for merchandise and I had never even heard of balance bikes until seeing one in the catalog. I immediately added the Strider to my Favorites, but as I browsed some more, saw the Chicco Red Bullet for about 1/3 as many points. I read reviews on Amazon, but that didn’t give me much info. I did a product comparison on Target.com, but the specs didn’t really help me since I have no idea what would fit my child better. Reading your reviews, especially all the problems with the Chicco, helped make up my mind with no reservations. My son is 19 months old and as spring arrives (finally!) in Iowa, and I think the Strider ST-4 will give him a great chance to start getting comfortable with it by summer. So glad I found your website!

    • Glad to be of help! The Strider is a MUCH better choice than the Chicco and is a excellent pick for a 19 month old. As a parent, I also understand your frustration with the standard specs and reviews given on most online sites, they are often fairly lacking and confusing, which is why Two Wheeling Tots was born.

  • Phil

    Hello, I am looking at buying a balance bike for the first time and as you can imagine it is quite a job getting to grips with all the information. The one thing I am confused about is the sizes. My daughter turns 3 next month and she has an 17″ inseam. That put here in the preschool category but it seems to old for her.
    I like the look of the firstbike which has great reviews but it looks like my daughter will out grow it prety quickly. Do you agree.
    Are there any other bike you would recomend for my daughter size. Should I go for a 12″ or a 16″.
    Thanks

    • I agree, the sizing of balance bikes is very confusing, which is why I emphasis inseam or clothing sizes vs. ages. With a 17″ inseam as a two-year-old, your daughter must be really tall, so I would certainly recommend a bike that can geo with her, like the Ridgeback Scoot. I would also stick to a 12″ as the 16″ bikes will probably be a little much for her to handle.

  • Phil

    Hello, I am looking at buying a balance bike for the first time and as you can imagine it is quite a job getting to grips with all the information. The one thing I am confused about is the sizes. My daughter turns 3 next month and she has an 17″ inseam. That put here in the preschool category but it seems to old for her.
    I like the look of the firstbike which has great reviews but it looks like my daughter will out grow it prety quickly. Do you agree.
    Are there any other bike you would recomend for my daughter size. Should I go for a 12″ or a 16″.
    Thanks

    • I agree, the sizing of balance bikes is very confusing, which is why I emphasis inseam or clothing sizes vs. ages. With a 17″ inseam as a two-year-old, your daughter must be really tall, so I would certainly recommend a bike that can geo with her, like the Ridgeback Scoot. I would also stick to a 12″ as the 16″ bikes will probably be a little much for her to handle.

  • Lindsey

    My son is going to turn 4 in June. He’s never had a bike. He has a 16.5-inch inseam and is 41-inches tall. Is he too small for the TykeByke 16? Other sites say that the FirstBIKE is good for a taller 3.5-year old. Which one do you think? I want to get a year out of the bike.

    • When riding a balance bike, a child’s inseam should be about an inch over the minimum seat height of a bike in order to be able to get on and off the bike without any challenges. That being said, I do believe your son is right in-between bike sizes. Considering he will be 4 this summer, I would probably go with the 16″ IF he isn’t hesitant to ride and has had some experiences with balance bikes. If he is not interested in bike and is not eager to ride, I would go with the 12″ as the smaller bike will be a little easier for him to maneuver. As for the FirstBIKE, there are two reasons why I don’t recommend it for taller three-year-olds. First, the handlebars do not adjust, but more importantly, when set to the highest seat post length (18″), the bike does tend to flex, which negatively affects the handling of the bike.

      • Lindsey

        One strore has recommended the 2014 KinderBike Laufrad Trainer. It’s supposed to be for 3-5 year olds with a 14-19.5″ inseam. Do you know if this is bigger than the previous models? I know the previous model was considered to be small for a 12″ bike.

        • The Laufrad would be a great choice as well, but it only adjusts up to 18″, not 19.5″, so he wouldn’t have as much room to grow. Like all balance bikes, the seat post does extend past 18″, but it is not considered safe to raise the height past the maximum length allowed on the seat post as it could result in the seat falling off the bike. Honestly, I am not sure if previously models were smaller, but I do know that the Laufrad is bigger than the Laufrad Mini. You can see a comparison of the KinderBikes to other bikes in my review here: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/kinderbike-laufrad/

  • Lindsey

    My son is going to turn 4 in June. He’s never had a bike. He has a 16.5-inch inseam and is 41-inches tall. Is he too small for the TykeByke 16? Other sites say that the FirstBIKE is good for a taller 3.5-year old. Which one do you think? I want to get a year out of the bike.

    • When riding a balance bike, a child’s inseam should be about an inch over the minimum seat height of a bike in order to be able to get on and off the bike without any challenges. That being said, I do believe your son is right in-between bike sizes. Considering he will be 4 this summer, I would probably go with the 16″ IF he isn’t hesitant to ride and has had some experiences with balance bikes. If he is not interested in bike and is not eager to ride, I would go with the 12″ as the smaller bike will be a little easier for him to maneuver. As for the FirstBIKE, there are two reasons why I don’t recommend it for taller three-year-olds. First, the handlebars do not adjust, but more importantly, when set to the highest seat post length (18″), the bike does tend to flex, which negatively affects the handling of the bike.

      • Lindsey

        One strore has recommended the 2014 KinderBike Laufrad Trainer. It’s supposed to be for 3-5 year olds with a 14-19.5″ inseam. Do you know if this is bigger than the previous models? I know the previous model was considered to be small for a 12″ bike.

        • The Laufrad would be a great choice as well, but it only adjusts up to 18″, not 19.5″, so he wouldn’t have as much room to grow. Like all balance bikes, the seat post does extend past 18″, but it is not considered safe to raise the height past the maximum length allowed on the seat post as it could result in the seat falling off the bike. Honestly, I am not sure if previously models were smaller, but I do know that the Laufrad is bigger than the Laufrad Mini. You can see a comparison of the KinderBikes to other bikes in my review here: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/kinderbike-laufrad/

  • Erin

    Have you heard of the Sun Bicycle balance bikes? Thoughts? Reviews? Looking to get my twins balance bikes, they are almost two, are 35″ tall with 13″ inseams. Looking at the Sun bikes as well as the Strider and maybe TykesBykes. Thanks!

    • I have heard to the Sun Lil Rockt, but have not seen it in person. Based on what I have read, it seems decent as it is affordably priced, has air tires, but is much heavier than the Strider as it weighs 11 lbs. Considering it’s price, I would be hesitant to purchase it, as I have yet to find a budget bike that is of great quality. Plus, considering your twins appear to be on the taller side, I doubt the seat post on the Sun really adjusts that much. In the end, I think you are probably better off with the Strider as it does have the ability to really adjust with your kids as they grow. If you do go with the Strider, make sure to purchase the extended seat-posts.

      • Erin

        Thank you so much for your help! We actually went to get my bike serviced and they had two of the Sun balance bikes in stock! They were very cute and the kids loved them. We measured and the seats adjusted from 12″ it 17″. My kiddos were a little short, but the owner of the shop cut the post down a little. Now the price was $89, and we all know amazon is cheaper (we can get Striders for the same price). I called Sun Bicycles and the frame is steel with a lifetime warrenty. Still not sure what we are going to buy. Going to search around for better prices. Also, this will be a gift from my parents so it will be their decision (balance bike vs. tricycle).

        • I can’t thank you enough for the specs on the Sun bike! Getting the seat heights on bike are pretty hard to get sometimes, so that is a huge help. Plus, it’s great to know that they have a lifetime warranty on the frame. As to what bike to buy, the one major concern of the Sun was the weight, but if you kids were able to ride around on them without a problem, then the weight may not be an issue for you. If possible, I would let them try out a Strider to see if they are more comfortable on that, but if not, as long as they liked the Sun, it sounds like a good buy for you.

  • Erin

    Have you heard of the Sun Bicycle balance bikes? Thoughts? Reviews? Looking to get my twins balance bikes, they are almost two, are 35″ tall with 13″ inseams. Looking at the Sun bikes as well as the Strider and maybe TykesBykes. Thanks!

    • I have heard to the Sun Lil Rockt, but have not seen it in person. Based on what I have read, it seems decent as it is affordably priced, has air tires, but is much heavier than the Strider as it weighs 11 lbs. Considering it’s price, I would be hesitant to purchase it, as I have yet to find a budget bike that is of great quality. Plus, considering your twins appear to be on the taller side, I doubt the seat post on the Sun really adjusts that much. In the end, I think you are probably better off with the Strider as it does have the ability to really adjust with your kids as they grow. If you do go with the Strider, make sure to purchase the extended seat-posts.

      • Erin

        Thank you so much for your help! We actually went to get my bike serviced and they had two of the Sun balance bikes in stock! They were very cute and the kids loved them. We measured and the seats adjusted from 12″ it 17″. My kiddos were a little short, but the owner of the shop cut the post down a little. Now the price was $89, and we all know amazon is cheaper (we can get Striders for the same price). I called Sun Bicycles and the frame is steel with a lifetime warrenty. Still not sure what we are going to buy. Going to search around for better prices. Also, this will be a gift from my parents so it will be their decision (balance bike vs. tricycle).

        • I can’t thank you enough for the specs on the Sun bike! Getting the seat heights on bike are pretty hard to get sometimes, so that is a huge help. Plus, it’s great to know that they have a lifetime warranty on the frame. As to what bike to buy, the one major concern of the Sun was the weight, but if you kids were able to ride around on them without a problem, then the weight may not be an issue for you. If possible, I would let them try out a Strider to see if they are more comfortable on that, but if not, as long as they liked the Sun, it sounds like a good buy for you.

  • Katie

    Hello,
    I am trying to decide which balance bike to get for my 3.5 yr old. He is 40 inches tall and inseam is 17.5. He also has a little brother who is 1.5 who will ride it when he is finished. I was thinking either the tyke byke 12? Or 16? Which one??? Or would you recommend something different?
    Thanks for your help!
    Katie

    • If you plan on passing down the balance bike, I would certainly get the 12″. The 16″ is generally meant for kids aged 4 and up, so not only would it possibly be too big for your 3.5 yr. old, it will delay your 1.5 yr. old being able to ride for several years. The one downside to the 12″, is that the maximum seat height is only 18″, so your 3.5 yo will most likely only fit it for one year. Generally, that isn’t a problem however as kids who master balance bikes tend to transition to pedal bikes around their 4th birthday. If you wanted a bike that will be sure to fit both, I would look at the Ridgeback Mini as it’s seat adjusts from 11″ to 20″. The one downside to the Mini is that is does weigh slightly more than the TykesBykes 12″. While the added weight won’t be an issue for your older son, it may be a problem for your younger guy if he happens to be in the lower percentiles for weight.

  • Amy Mueller

    I bought my grandson a Stryder bike when he was 2 yrs old. He is now 4-1/2. He LOVES his Strider bike!!! Knowing what I know now, I would definitely have gotten a balance bike with hand brakes. He drags his feet on the sidewalk to stop and has worn out many shoes. He lives in a typical city area with sidewalks that are ramped where they cross streets. It’s heart-stopping to watch a child head down the ramp toward the street! Even though he knows bike and street crossing safety, I would feel better if he could stop in a way other than dragging his feet. I don’t know if young children catch on to using hand brakes to slow themselves when needed.

    • I agree, if brakes are in the budget for a bike, I highly recommend them for the same reasons you gave. Typically, kids do not have the hand, eye coordination to use a brake until the age of three. However, every child and every bike is different, and in some cases, kids as young as two have mastered braking with their hands.

    • I agree, if brakes are in the budget for a bike, I highly recommend them for the same reasons you gave. Typically, kids do not have the hand, eye coordination to use a brake until the age of three. However, every child and every bike is different, and in some cases, kids as young as two have mastered braking with their hands.

  • boymom13

    Hi! I was just wondering if the Y Velo or Y Velo Jr. has been reviewed or if anyone had any feedback on it. Thanks!

    • I haven’t had a chance to review the Y Velo bikes yet, but I do have some concerned about their overall geometry. The seat on the bike looks slightly too far up the frame which can negatively affect the handling of the bike as it raises the overall center of gravity of the bike, as shown in the picture below.

      That being said, I’m quite sure the Y Velo bikes can successfully help a child learn to balance, so if it the best bike you can find in your budget, then go for it. Some other budget bikes to consider is the Radio Flyer Glide and Go (http://www.twowheelingtots.com/the-best-budget-balance-bike-chicco-red-bullet-vs-radio-flyer-vs-vilano/) and the Schwinn (http://www.twowheelingtots.com/schwinn/).

      • boymom13

        Thank you, this is very helpful. My son just turned 2 and is tall for his age. I was actually leaning toward the Ridgeback Scoot but thought I would try a less expensive bike first to see if he even like it first. I wanted the Scoot versus the mini in case he doesn’t like it my 4 year old (also tall) may want to ride it. Would the scoot be entirely too big for a 2 year old?

        • For the average two-year-old, the Scoot is going to be too big, however, if he is in the higher percentiles in highest and weight and is “athletic”, it could be a good fit for him. To fit on the bike, his inseam would have to be about 14.5″, but would also need to be able to comfortably handle to 12 lbs. of the bike. My two-year-old is quite small for his age (around 40th percentiles for height and weight) and the Scoot is simply too much for him. If you were to get the Mini, your older son may still be able to ride it as it comes with three seat posts that raises the maximum seat height to 20″.

        • For the average two-year-old, the Scoot is going to be too big, however, if he is in the higher percentiles in highest and weight and is “athletic”, it could be a good fit for him. To fit on the bike, his inseam would have to be about 14.5″, but would also need to be able to comfortably handle to 12 lbs. of the bike. My two-year-old is quite small for his age (around 40th percentiles for height and weight) and the Scoot is simply too much for him. If you were to get the Mini, your older son may still be able to ride it as it comes with three seat posts that raises the maximum seat height to 20″.

  • boymom13

    Hi! I was just wondering if the Y Velo or Y Velo Jr. has been reviewed or if anyone had any feedback on it. Thanks!

  • Dad79

    My daughter is 4 years old & in preschool. She has only rode a tricycle before. She is tall for her age with an 18″ inseam. What are your recommendations? I want to get her a balance bike that has a hand brake that fits her well now & ideally a year from now. She would also prefer pink if possible!

    • Three different bikes come to mind that I believe might be a good fit for your daughter, the TykesBykes 16″, the Ridgeback XL and the REI Zipper. All three bikes provide plenty of room for her to grow into, but the only one that comes in pink is the Zipper but does not have a hand brake. Between the TykesBykes and the Ridgeback, they both have a seat height ranging from 16″ to 22″ as well as a handbrake. The Ridgeback is a slightly better build then the TykesBykes and has 14″ tires versus 16″ with the TykesBykes. The TykesBykes 16″ is currently only available in green and orange and for the current colors available for the Scoot, I would give WeeBikeShop (the US distributor for Ridgeback) a call at (401) 654-0029.

      :

    • Three different bikes come to mind that I believe might be a good fit for your daughter, the TykesBykes 16″, the Ridgeback XL and the REI Zipper. All three bikes provide plenty of room for her to grow into, but the only one that comes in pink is the Zipper but does not have a hand brake. Between the TykesBykes and the Ridgeback, they both have a seat height ranging from 16″ to 22″ as well as a handbrake. The Ridgeback is a slightly better build then the TykesBykes and has 14″ tires versus 16″ with the TykesBykes. The TykesBykes 16″ is currently only available in green and orange and for the current colors available for the Scoot, I would give WeeBikeShop (the US distributor for Ridgeback) a call at (401) 654-0029.

      :

  • Amanda

    Do you have any opinions about the Smart Balance bikes by any chance? I’m trying to compare it to what I see here but I don’t have as much information about it as you do about all of these. Thank you!

  • Amanda

    Do you have any opinions about the Smart Balance bikes by any chance? I’m trying to compare it to what I see here but I don’t have as much information about it as you do about all of these. Thank you!

  • Ohad Platzmann

    Hi
    Do you have any opinions about the smart trike running bike ?

    Thank you!

    • I haven’t seen it in person, but the geometry looks really off on the 3 to 5 years old phase. The seat is really close to the handlebars which makes the rider very upright while riding the bike, which increases the center of gravity on the bike and negatively affects the overall handling. In addition, older kids who are confident on balance bikes really like to lean forward as they run, which becomes challenging when the handlebars are really close.

  • Ohad Platzmann

    Thanks!!
    and what about 2-3 years ??

    • The 2 to 3 year phase looks better, but most likely your child will not transition onto a pedal bike before they are ready to move into the 3 to 5 year old phase of the bike, so I would probably look for a better option.

  • Ohad Platzmann

    …and one more thing…

    Do you know the Kettler SPEEDY 10“ RALLYE Balance Bike
    ?

  • Patti

    I am trying to decide between a Chillafish BMXie and a Strider St-4. I love the air tires on the BMXie but am not sure on the quality since I cannot find a review anywhere. Any recommendations on these two?
    Do I just spend the extra money and get a Strider with the air tires and do the puncture seal inside? Or is the Chillafish BMXie worth the money?

    • I have yet to see the Chillafish BMXie in person, but have heard good things about it. My one concern with the BMXie is that the seat only adjusts 3 inches. If you child happens to have a inseam of 13″, then perhaps the Chillafish would be a good bet as you would able to get the most use out of the bike, but is their inseam is great than that, I would go with the Strider (with the extended seat post or the Strider Sport model that comes with both seat posts) as it extends up to 19″. As for the air tires, we have a set and love them, but unless you were riding on a lot of dirt/gravel areas, I would hold off on them. In most cases young kids do just fine on the foam, later down the road you can always upgrade when needed.

      • Saffi

        I have two boys, 4 and 6, the 6 year old is a special needs kiddo. I want balance bikes for them both. I’m thinking I like footrests and hand brakes. But maybe they aren’t necessary? I also like the idea that the bike isn’t too heavy.
        I’m thinking the Strider Super 16 for my 6 year old with vestibular and other health impairments (he’s 50 inches tall and 75 pounds) And I’m thinking the ST-4 with the extended seat for my 4 year old. I’m wary that you only recommend them rather than Highly or Exceptional. Are there better options for my boys around those same price ranges?

        • Saffi

          I’m reading more and thinking the TykesBykes 16 inch for my 4 year old. But there’s no foot rest, is that necessary??? But height wise, the Super 16 still has more room to grow for my 6 year old, right? I’d like them to ride them as long as they can before they outgrow them.

          • Yep, totally agree with you. The Super Strider would be best for your six-year-old as it offers the most room for growth. The only reason why I have it as only “recommended” on my charts is that it is too big for 4 year old and is designed for ages 6 and up (unlike the TykesBykes 16″, which is designed for kids aged 4 and up). Seeing as the need for balance bike for older kids is growing, I realize that I really need to make another chart for kids aged 6 and up, upon which the Super Strider would be listed as at least “Highly Recommended” if not “Exceptional”.

            For your four-year-old, I think the TykesBykes 16″ would be a great bike. Yes, it does not have a footrest, but I have actually never heard a kid asking for a footrest as they all seem to do just fine without them so I consider them to be optional. Handbrakes, however, I consider to be a real safety features, especially for older kids, and always recommend them as a result. Not only do they help older kids, who tend to ride faster, stop, they also prepare them for using a handbrake on a pedal bike.

          • Saffi

            And the TykesBykes is a better option overall than the Strider ST-4? They are priced nearly the same when you add in that I need to purchase the extra seat immediately.

          • Yes, the seat that comes with the Strider is designed for toddlers and is pretty uncomfortable for preschoolers. Plus, the seat that comes standard only adjusts to 16″, to get to 19″ you will need the additional seat. The TykesBykes is also a much bigger frame that is designed for preschoolers. It also comes with air tires and a hand brake. Then again, make sure your son’s inseam is at least 16.5″ before you order the TykesBykes as he will not fit on it if it is anything less.

          • Saffi

            Thanks SO much! He’s tall so I’ll double check, but I think he’s got a near 20 inch inseam! I really appreciate being able to come here to get expert advice. I have to research so much in all other avenues it’s nice to just be told what’s what!

          • Glad to help 🙂

          • Glad to help 🙂

          • Dr.B

            I am not sure which bike is best for my two year old. She is small, 11″ inseam, but intrepid. Our yard is not paved and has small hills and uneven terrain. We also camp a lot in places with dirt roads and fire roads that she might ride on. I am tempted by the Islanike or the Firstbike but I am not sure she is big enough. On the other hand, she is nearly too big for the pre bikes. What do you think?

          • Dr. B

            I guess the Islabike has a lower mounting angle and the handbrake is good for tiny hands, I am leaning that way but still worried it may be too big…

          • What size pants is she in? My little-two-year-old could fit on the Islabike when he was wearing 24 month pants. Here is a picture of him the first day we got the bike. He is wearing 24-month Carters pajamas and you can see that they are a little big for him. So as long as your daughter is in 24 month pants (or almost in them) I think she will be fine. Due to its small size, low step-through and light weight, I would recommend the Islabike over the others. Plus, even if it is slightly to big for her in the beginning, most likely she will be walking on the bike for the first while, so technically if she seat is slightly too tall, it should be fine.

          • Dr. B

            Thank you so much, Natalie! Your site has been so helpful. We followed your helmet recommendation as well. She has been wearing her helmet around the yard and waiting eagerly for her new balance bike.

          • Awesome, glad to hear it! Hopefully she lover her bike as much as her helmet :)!

          • Yes, the seat that comes with the Strider is designed for toddlers and is pretty uncomfortable for preschoolers. Plus, the seat that comes standard only adjusts to 16″, to get to 19″ you will need the additional seat. The TykesBykes is also a much bigger frame that is designed for preschoolers. It also comes with air tires and a hand brake. Then again, make sure your son’s inseam is at least 16.5″ before you order the TykesBykes as he will not fit on it if it is anything less.

    • I have yet to see the Chillafish BMXie in person, but have heard good things about it. My one concern with the BMXie is that the seat only adjusts 3 inches. If you child happens to have a inseam of 13″, then perhaps the Chillafish would be a good bet as you would able to get the most use out of the bike, but is their inseam is great than that, I would go with the Strider (with the extended seat post or the Strider Sport model that comes with both seat posts) as it extends up to 19″. As for the air tires, we have a set and love them, but unless you were riding on a lot of dirt/gravel areas, I would hold off on them. In most cases young kids do just fine on the foam, later down the road you can always upgrade when needed.

  • Saffi

    I have two boys, 4 and 6, the 6 year old is a special needs kiddo. I want balance bikes for them both. I’m thinking I like footrests and hand brakes. But maybe they aren’t necessary? I also like the idea that the bike isn’t too heavy.
    I’m thinking the Strider Super 16 for my 6 year old with vestibular and other health impairments (he’s 50 inches tall and 75 pounds) And I’m thinking the ST-4 with the extended seat for my 4 year old. I’m wary that you only recommend them rather than Highly or Exceptional. Are there better options for my boys around those same price ranges?

    • Saffi

      I’m reading more and thinking the TykesBykes 16 inch for my 4 year old. But there’s no foot rest, is that necessary??? But height wise, the Super 16 still has more room to grow for my 6 year old, right? I’d like them to ride them as long as they can before they outgrow them.

  • Dr.B

    I am not sure which bike is best for my two year old. She is small, 11″ inseam, but intrepid. Our yard is not paved and has small hills and uneven terrain. We also camp a lot in places with dirt roads and fire roads that she might ride on. I am tempted by the Islanike or the Firstbike but I am not sure she is big enough. On the other hand, she is nearly too big for the pre bikes. What do you think?

    • Dr. B

      I guess the Islabike has a lower mounting angle and the handbrake is good for tiny hands, I am leaning that way but still worried it may be too big…

      • What size pants is she in? My little-two-year-old could fit on the Islabike when he was wearing 24 month pants. Here is a picture of him the first day we got the bike. He is wearing 24-month Carters pajamas and you can see that they are a little big for him. So as long as your daughter is in 24 month pants (or almost in them) I think she will be fine. Due to its small size, low step-through and light weight, I would recommend the Islabike over the others. Plus, even if it is slightly to big for her in the beginning, most likely she will be walking on the bike for the first while, so technically if she seat is slightly too tall, it should be fine.

        • Dr. B

          Thank you so much, Natalie! Your site has been so helpful. We followed your helmet recommendation as well. She has been wearing her helmet around the yard and waiting eagerly for her new balance bike.

          • Awesome, glad to hear it! Hopefully she lover her bike as much as her helmet :)!

  • Amanda

    Hi (again) Natalie! About a year ago you helped me decide on the Y-bike for my peanut of a two year old. He’ll be three in August and now has just over a 13″ inseam (often still too short for 2T pants). He still cruises around on on his Y Bike, but it’s small and kind of hard for him to lift his feet up to glide- he keeps sitting just in front of the saddle to get more height! Time to do something different… 🙂

    It would be great if we could buy something now that would grow with him until he’s ready for a pedal bike. In a perfect world I’d like to stay closer to $100, but if we aren’t going to have to buy another one in a year or two, I could think about going higher. I wasn’t sure if Tykesbikes or the MyKick would be too much for him. It seems like you have Strider ranked higher now than it was last summer, and they’re running around $80 on Amazon right now, so I’m temped to do that. What would you recommend?

    • Welcome back! For under $100, I agree that the Strider would be your best bet. They have made some changes to their bike (sealed bearings, powder coat paint, quick release clamps, improved tread on tires) that has allowed me to improve their overall ratings. Because they still have foam tires, I do not highly recommend them for older kids, but if you plan on riding on only paved surfaces and an occasional dirt, the Strider should be just fine. TykesBykes and MyKick are both great bikes, but if he is still in 24 months pants, I think they will be too big for him. Plus, seeing as your son is a little guy, he is probably better off with a lighter bike. If you decide to go with the Strider, I highly recommend going with the ST-4 model as well as Strider’s extended seat post.

    • Welcome back! For under $100, I agree that the Strider would be your best bet. They have made some changes to their bike (sealed bearings, powder coat paint, quick release clamps, improved tread on tires) that has allowed me to improve their overall ratings. Because they still have foam tires, I do not highly recommend them for older kids, but if you plan on riding on only paved surfaces and an occasional dirt, the Strider should be just fine. TykesBykes and MyKick are both great bikes, but if he is still in 24 months pants, I think they will be too big for him. Plus, seeing as your son is a little guy, he is probably better off with a lighter bike. If you decide to go with the Strider, I highly recommend going with the ST-4 model as well as Strider’s extended seat post.

  • Saira

    Hi Natalie! Thank you so much for this amazing resource! I am trying to figure out which balance bike to buy my 3 1/2 year old daughter. She has a 16″ inseam (high percentile in both height and weight) and the bike MUST be pink (she won’t have it any other way). I want something that will last ideally a couple of summers and is less than $200 so was leaning toward the Scoot. Unfortunately pink seems to be sold out everywhere. I am finding this to be the same case with the Yedoo and FirstBike as well. I think the Scoot might be back in stock in 2-3 weeks. I was able to find the Scoot mini (which I hear is being discontinued) and the GT-Mach. The other thing I am considering is spending less money right now (and not worrying about her outgrowing it in a year); then I could always get the Kinderbike Morph next year. Are there any I missed? Do you have any suggestions? Do you think the sealed bearings make a big difference in terms of speed?

    • Between the two, I would go with the Ridgeback Mini over the GT Mach as it provides more room for growth and has a handbrake. However, the GT would also work as the 2″ of growth it would provide her enough time to transition to a pedal bike before she outgrew it. Regardless of what bike your chose, I would recommend purchasing at least a 14″ bike once she is ready to move on versus a 12″bike like the Morph, as 14″ tend to have a much better geometry as compared to 12″ bikes. Lastly, for the most part, the type of bearings doesn’t affect the speed of a bike front the get-go, but as the bike gets used, dirt does tend to build in unsealed bearings, which can affect the speed of a bike. Hope that helps! If I missed anything let me know!

      • Saira

        Great! Thank you!!! I was ready to get the Mini Scoot and then my daughter saw the pics of both the GT Mach and Scoot and said she wants the GT Mach. Decision made 😉

        • Awesome, don’t you love it when kids make life easier for a change 🙂

      • Saira

        Great! Thank you!!! I was ready to get the Mini Scoot and then my daughter saw the pics of both the GT Mach and Scoot and said she wants the GT Mach. Decision made 😉

        • Awesome, don’t you love it when kids make life easier for a change 🙂

  • Saira

    Hi Natalie! Thank you so much for this amazing resource! I am trying to figure out which balance bike to buy my 3 1/2 year old daughter. She has a 16″ inseam (high percentile in both height and weight) and the bike MUST be pink (she won’t have it any other way). I want something that will last ideally a couple of summers and is less than $200 so was leaning toward the Scoot. Unfortunately pink seems to be sold out everywhere. I am finding this to be the same case with the Yedoo and FirstBike as well. I think the Scoot might be back in stock in 2-3 weeks. I was able to find the Scoot mini (which I hear is being discontinued) and the GT-Mach. The other thing I am considering is spending less money right now (and not worrying about her outgrowing it in a year); then I could always get the Kinderbike Morph next year. Are there any I missed? Do you have any suggestions? Do you think the sealed bearings make a big difference in terms of speed?

  • Lauren

    Hi Natalie! This is amazing information! Thank you so much for putting this together!! I’m from Canada, so we have very limited options here in terms of balance bikes. I’m wondering how important the weight of the bike is. We got one from a friend as a gift (it’s an “Infinity, which is not on this chart) and it’s 11 lbs. Our daughter is teeny tiny. She’s 2 1/2 but with a 12.5” inseam. I understand you haven’t reviewed this bike, but would it be OK to try, or should we just go for something lighter (only the Strider seems to be widely available here – I tried looking for the TykeByke but couldn’t find it here). Any suggestions? We live in the city so she’ll only be riding on paved roads. She’s also not much of a daredevil so speed is not an issue! Thank you so much.

    • Glad to be of help! From what I gathered about the Infinity online (http://www.infinitycycleworks.com/product/infinity-balance/), in addition to being slightly too heavy for your daughter, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is too tall! That style of frame rarely fits a 12.5″ inseam, so I would considering looking elsewhere. The Strider will for sure fit, and since you don’t plan on doing a lot of dirt riding, it would be a great choice for your daughter. The FirstBIKE with a lowering kit would also be a good option (available here: http://scampergear.ca), but they are more expensive and are currently out of stock. As for the TykesBykes, I’m not 100% sure if they ship to Canada, but I would give them a call as it wouldn’t hurt to ask (http://www.tykesbykes.com/TB_GetInTouch.html)!

      • Lauren

        Thank you so much!! We’ll go with the Strider – seems to be the best option in terms of price and availability for us. I love your website and all the reviews, and especially the time you take to answer all our questions personally – THANK YOU again!!! =)

      • MissYouMarch

        Hi!
        Accoding to the infinity website, http://www.infinitycycleworks.com/product/infinity-balance/, the bike is 23 pounds! Think it’s a mistake? Would make it twice the weight of most balance bikes! Seems impossible, unless most are made of aluminium and this one is made of steel?

    • Glad to be of help! From what I gathered about the Infinity online (http://www.infinitycycleworks.com/product/infinity-balance/), in addition to being slightly too heavy for your daughter, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is too tall! That style of frame rarely fits a 12.5″ inseam, so I would considering looking elsewhere. The Strider will for sure fit, and since you don’t plan on doing a lot of dirt riding, it would be a great choice for your daughter. The FirstBIKE with a lowering kit would also be a good option (available here: http://scampergear.ca), but they are more expensive and are currently out of stock. As for the TykesBykes, I’m not 100% sure if they ship to Canada, but I would give them a call as it wouldn’t hurt to ask (http://www.tykesbykes.com/TB_GetInTouch.html)!

      • Lauren

        Thank you so much!! We’ll go with the Strider – seems to be the best option in terms of price and availability for us. I love your website and all the reviews, and especially the time you take to answer all our questions personally – THANK YOU again!!! =)

  • Tami

    Hi Natalie! I am just starting to research balance bikes. Can you tell me more about the MiiR Bambini Balance Bike (at REI) and how it compares to the bikes you have researched here?

    • Tami

      My son is 22 months old, fairly coordinated, but has very short legs so his inseam is only 10 inches. I am looking for a good bike that is not too babyish but will not be too tall for his short legs. It would be nice if it grew with him for at least a couple of years.
      P.S. I finally found some info on the MiiR Bambini and it looks like the minimum inseam is 15″! Much too big for him. But I would like to know if you recommend it compared to the other balance bikes since I regularly get 20% off coupons for REI and he will someday be big enough to ride it!

      • I have not seen the bike in person, but based on it’s picture, it looks as if it has very poor geometry and I wouldn’t recommend it. The main problem is that the seat is located very high up on the frame of the bike. The higher seat causes kids to sit higher up on the bike, which in turn creates a higher-center of gravity and negatively affects the handling of the bike. So unless you don’t have another option, I would consider looking at another bike. The problem is that at REI, the only other bike they sell is the Zipper, which is even bigger than the MiiR. If you really wanted a bike now, the only bike that has a 10″ minimum seat height that I would recommend would the the Cruzee TWO (http://www.cruzee.com/shop/). While I have not reviewed the bike, I have seen one in person and found it to be a great bike overall and very lightweight.

      • I have not seen the bike in person, but based on it’s picture, it looks as if it has very poor geometry and I wouldn’t recommend it. The main problem is that the seat is located very high up on the frame of the bike. The higher seat causes kids to sit higher up on the bike, which in turn creates a higher-center of gravity and negatively affects the handling of the bike. So unless you don’t have another option, I would consider looking at another bike. The problem is that at REI, the only other bike they sell is the Zipper, which is even bigger than the MiiR. If you really wanted a bike now, the only bike that has a 10″ minimum seat height that I would recommend would the the Cruzee TWO (http://www.cruzee.com/shop/). While I have not reviewed the bike, I have seen one in person and found it to be a great bike overall and very lightweight.

  • Shona

    Hi Natalie
    I’m trying to find a UK stockist of the Dahon TAA212C convertible 12in kids bike. I live in Scotland and had hoped to purchase this for my sons 4th birthday in June. If it isn’t possible to buy this outside the USA could you recommend a UK wide alternative?

    Many thanks

    Shona Melville

    • Based on Dahon’s website, they do not appear to have any distributors in the UK, however they do have several in Europe, if that is a possibility. A list of their available distributors can be found here: http://dahon.com/mainnav/store-finder.html.

  • Shona

    Hi Natalie
    I’m trying to find a UK stockist of the Dahon TAA212C convertible 12in kids bike. I live in Scotland and had hoped to purchase this for my sons 4th birthday in June. If it isn’t possible to buy this outside the USA could you recommend a UK wide alternative?

    Many thanks

    Shona Melville

    • Based on Dahon’s website, they do not appear to have any distributors in the UK, however they do have several in Europe, if that is a possibility. A list of their available distributors can be found here: http://dahon.com/mainnav/store-finder.html.

  • Alicia

    Hi Natalie, I’m looking for a bike for my 3 year old with a 15.5″ inseam. I also have a 1 year old that I would like to grow into this bike and be able to use it when he turns two (so hopefully in a year I can get a 14″ bike without training wheels). So what bike comfortably fit my 3 year old for the next year and that a 2 year old could use as well? I’m very interested in the kinderbike laufrad, and wasn’t sure whether or not to go with the mini or not. I’d like to stay around the $120 range. Thanks!

    • The KinderBikes would be a good option for you, however they are currently sold out in North America, so getting one anytime soon is going to be a problem. As to which one to get, it really depends on how tall your one-year-old is. If they are taller for their age and would be in at least size 2T pants by the their second birthday, then I would go with the regular, if not, I would go with the Mini. If you would prefer to get a bike now and not wait for the KinderBIkes, I would probably go for the TykesBykes 12″ if your one-year-old is taller and the Strider with an extended seat post if he is taller. Hope that helps!

  • abby

    hi! thank you so much for all of this information. it is invaluable! i am shopping for a bike for my 2.5 year old son. he is a little smaller than average – wears 24 mo on average (some 18 mo & some 2T….) he would be riding on paved sidewalks. i am looking for a bike that will grown with him and that i can pass down to my next son, 12 mo. i read a comment below that a parent said she would recommend a brake. i am wondering if you can comment on your opinion hand brake vs. foot brake? several of my friends have striders that they love (i have not actually gotten around to having my son try one yet…i will try to do that before i buy.) anyway, based on your reviews..and my budget..i am leaning toward the strider sport st-4 so that both my kids can learn on it. but i am wondering if i should be looking for something with a hand brake instead? or if there is a different brand altogether that i should be pursuing? thanks so much!! – abby

    • abby

      so now i am rethinking the strider because the bolts stick out and i am worried about scratched legs. ??

  • Jessica

    Hi Natalie,
    I would like to start by saying thank you for this wonderful website!! I have an almost 3.5 year old daughter. She’s 41″ tall, weighs 37lbs, and has a 16.5″ inseam. She has never ridden an actual bicycle before, only a tricycle occasionally. I like the TykesBykes for the features and the price, but I’m not sure if I should get the 12″ or the 16″ because she seems kind of between the sizes. Which would you suggest, or is there another you would recommend? I really can’t spend more than $150.
    Thanks!!
    Jessica

    • Glad to be of help and sorry for my delay in getting back to you as I have been traveling. Generally the 16″ TykesBykes is recommended for kids 4 and up as the larger bike is certainly harder to maneuver for younger kids. Considering your daughter hasn’t had any experience with a balance bike before, I would go with the 12″ as the additional 2″ should provide her enough room for growth until she is ready to transition to a pedal bike (which will most likely be next summer if she uses the bike regularly). Hope that helps!

  • Jessica

    Hi Natalie,
    I would like to start by saying thank you for this wonderful website!! I have an almost 3.5 year old daughter. She’s 41″ tall, weighs 37lbs, and has a 16.5″ inseam. She has never ridden an actual bicycle before, only a tricycle occasionally. I like the TykesBykes for the features and the price, but I’m not sure if I should get the 12″ or the 16″ because she seems kind of between the sizes. Which would you suggest, or is there another you would recommend? I really can’t spend more than $150.
    Thanks!!
    Jessica

  • TallAussie

    What a fabulous blog. Thank you for providing so much useful information.
    My 5 year old has a 21″ inseam and very little confidence. I am looking for a balance bike for him. (Note I also have a 32month old boy with 13.5″ inseam for future hand me downs)
    We are in Australia – so some of your reviewed models are not easily available or too expensive once shipping is included.
    There is local brand ByK http://www.bykbikes.com that has 2 balance bikes or many pedal bikes. What do you think of the specs for their E 250L balance bike model? And their geometry? Do you think I should just get a larg r r pedal bike and have the pedals and crank removed?
    Your help would be much appreciated.

    • Wow, those bikes look amazing! Lighter weight, larger wheels size, long wheelbase and a lowered geometry, they are really onto something! For the 250L looks great, but since they do not list the minimum and maximum inseam, it’s hard to say whether it would be big enough for your son, even if it comes with an extended seat post. It is possible for your son to try it out? Since your son has little confidence, I would recommend him starting off on a balance bike as without any pedal, there is one less thing for him to worry about. Plus, I am assuming these bikes have high resale values, so your overall investment in the bike should be minimal. If he is too big for the bike or if their bikes don’t appear to have a good resale value, then I would go with the pedal bike route (with the pedals removed). In that case, it looks like the E-350 would be a good it, but it is hard to say without having him actually try out the bikes.

      • Okay, I obviously forgot to factor in for your younger son. In that case, I would absolutely buy the balance bike first as even if your older son outgrows it, your younger son will still get a lot of use out of it. If he already has an inseam of 13.5″, he will most likely fit the larger model relatively soon. Once your older son has mastered the balance bike, then I would start looking around for pedal bike.

  • PeterQ

    Hi Natalie,

    Thank you for a wonderful site you’ve created! I have a question for you. My very active twin boys are almost 3 years old, but are on the short side with ~11″ inseams. I’m looking for something that they can start using now, but can last them longer than this summer. Budget is also a consideration, as I need to get two of them.
    Thanks!

    • Wow, you must be a very busy dad! As long as you are not planning on riding mainly on dirt roads, I think your best options would be the Strider ST-4. They have a minimum inseam of 11″ and have been on sale recently for as low as $65 on various sites. Actually, the cheaper Strider on sale have usually been the Strider Classic model, which comes with the mini-saddle and would still be a great bike for your little guys. Plus, another benefit of the Strider is that when they outgrow the little seat is comes with, you can upgrade by purchasing the extended seat post.

    • Wow, you must be a very busy dad! As long as you are not planning on riding mainly on dirt roads, I think your best options would be the Strider ST-4. They have a minimum inseam of 11″ and have been on sale recently for as low as $65 on various sites. Actually, the cheaper Strider on sale have usually been the Strider Classic model, which comes with the mini-saddle and would still be a great bike for your little guys. Plus, another benefit of the Strider is that when they outgrow the little seat is comes with, you can upgrade by purchasing the extended seat post.

  • Michele

    Hi Natalie

    Thank you for all the great information. It has been so helpful. My son is about to turn 2 and we would like to get him a balance bike. He’s tall for is age-about 37″ and has a 14″ inseam. I was leaning towards the TykesBykes 12″ but certainly do not want to get him anything larger than he can handle. Suggestions? I’m hoping to stay under $120.

    Thanks

    • I think the TykesBykes 12″ would be a great bike for your son, however, it can be on the heavier side for a newly 2 yo. If he is fairly active, in the higher percentiles for weight and shows a lot of interest in a bike, then I don’t think the additional weight would be an issue. If he is more hesitant or is in the lower percentiles for weight, then I would go with the KinderBike Laufrad, but they are currently sold out in North America. Lastly, I would look at the Yedoo Fifty as it is as light as the KinderBIke and cost less, but does not have a brake.

      • Michele

        Thank you so much Natalie. The weight was my concern as well. I absolutely want something he can use right now and not something he has to grow into. He is a bit of a dare devil and also on the high end of weight but I am going to look into the other 2. Thank you again. This has been so helpful.

  • SeattleMama

    My conunumdrum: My 13 month old is ready to ride! He has an 11.5″ inseam (he wears 18 month – 2T clothes) He has a big sister who is a bike-lover. I am willing to invest in a good bike and think he will spend lots and lots of time on a balance bike for several years. I was initially planning to invest in the Wishbone 3-in-1, but now that I have looked further, I am thinking it might be better to buy an inexpensive balance trike now, and then buy the FirstBike when he is about 18 months or maybe for his second birthday. We will be camping all summer with with a big, flat dirt area in our camping area, so we want to get something right away for our little guy. His big sister has a good dirt bike and will be doing some intro. mountain biking. He will want to try and keep up. (She rode her Skuut from about 18 months until she was 5. We still have it, but it looks like there are now many better balance bikes). What do you recommend for our 13 month old? Is he ready for a FirstBike? Or shall we get a cheap balance trike now? Or do you love the Wishbone? Thanks so much

    • First off, I am loving your biking family. Toddler who are chomping at the bit to ride are my favorite! As for the Wishbone, it is certainly a well made bike, but like you, I generally don’t think it is worth the money. I honestly think the tricycle phase actually delays kids advancing to the two wheel phase as parents never quite think their kids are ready, when in reality, most kids are ready at 18 months. Plus, for the hefty price tag of the 3-1, you are essentially sacrificing a really nice balance bike (such as the LikeaBike Jumper or the Ridgeback Scoot) with brakes and a true bike geometry, for a tricycle that converts to balance bike that is really good for 6 months, but subpar for several years after. That being said, I know that several families have been very happy with all the phases of the Wishbone, so it is still certainly a good bike, but not necessary a good value. So what to get your little guy now? Considering he will be riding on dirt and he is only 13 months, I would go with a yBike now (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002OEBEO6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002OEBEO6&linkCode=as2&tag=aperpla-20&linkId=ZPEG3XIDUQH4ACYX) and then upgrade to the FirstBIKE later. In your son’s case, I think the yBIKE would be a great start as he will able to ride all around the camping area without worrying about peddling or getting stuck on rocks like he would on a tricycle. Plus, it looks much more like a bike and will much better prepare him for a real balance bike later. Hope that helps!

      • SeattleMama

        Thank you so much. I really love your website and your personal advice. Definitely the best on the web! Now I am excited to buy him the Ybike to use right away. For his second bike, we might wait or we might buy his next bike at the same time so it is available for him to let us know when he is ready.
        I totally appreciate your point that many kids are ready for balance bikes before their parents think they are – and seeing his sister on her bike every day is a huge incentive. He will certainly be ready earlier than she was because she was a first child and only had one friend who was an early biker. (We bought her a Skuut at 18 months, but it was a bit tall and heavy still and she didn’t love it for about a year. Then she took off and there has been no stopping her since. Her transition from a balance bike to a pedal bike was incredibly simple.)

        For his second bike, what is your recommendation: Firstbike, Likeabike Jumper, or the Ridgeback Scoot? (or any other) I think I might only know when he is ready for his real balance bike if we have one of those for him to see and to try when he feels ready.
        Or is it crazy to buy any of those for a 14 month old? Should we wait and see how things are this Fall? If so, what should we watch for to decide which is best?

        The Firstbike looks awesome, and I saw one in real life yesterday at the playground, but I am sure the others are great too and you mentioned them.

        • Thanks and you’re welcome :). Personally, I would wait until the fall to see how your son is doing before you buy a full-size balance bike. As your experienced with your daughter, the wrong balance bike too soon can delay their ability to ride, so it is best to wait until they are a little older to ensure you get the bike that is best for their currently size and level. For example, the FirstBIKE is awesome, unless he is tracking to be really tall, the Scoot is also on of my all-time favorites, but it is heavy and often too much of a bike for toddlers, and lastly, the Jumper is amazing as well, but does not have a brake and can be hard to come by. So I would wait until he is at least 18 months (or in 18 month clothes and is happily cruising around on the yBike) and then I can certainly help you find the bike that is best for him when that time comes.

      • SP

        There is a super tiny lightweight balance bike that this site hasn’t been able to test yet: the Junior Runner. It is small enough that my 17mo is comfortable and will be able to use it for some time until she is ready for a regular sized balance bike.

        http://www.runners-bike.com/junior-runners-bike

  • Jenn

    Hi. I have a balance bike for my almost 3yr old son and after a few times he became a wiz at it. My daughter I’d about to turn 6 and has training wheels. I know it will be really difficult to take them off. Not exactly a fun summer. Since our son did so well we were thinking of getting her one. Do you recommend this at her age? Found one on Craigslist (go glider) and wasn’t sure if I should do it. Thoughts. It was on the Recommend With Reservation list
    Jenn

    • Before you buy a balance bike, I would actually remove the training wheels and the pedals on her pedal bike and have her practice pushing around the bike like a balance bike. With other kids, this method can often work, so i would start there. The one downside is that more than likely, her bike is a lot heavier than a balance bike, so she probably won’t zip around on it as much as your 3yo, but she can probably manage just fine on it. If she resists or is having trouble balancing her pedal bike, then i would look into a larger balance bike. The Go Glider could help, but we didn’t have a great experience with it as most older kids simply didn’t like to ride it. Hope that helps!

    • SP

      I took the pedals off a regular bike for my 7yo and after a few hours of practice on it, he was ready to put them back on and took off pedalling.

  • safia

    Hi. I want to get a balance bike for my almost 3.5 yr old. He is 38 inches, w/ 15 inch inseam, maybe even 15.5. I was looking at the FirstBike, Ridgeback Scoot and mini Scoot. He has a younger brother who is probably going to be on the smaller side of average. What would you recommend?

    • Safia

      Also, I hope to have older son on a pedal bike next summer, so want something he can be very comfortable in right now.

      • If you are planning on having your older son on a pedal bike next summer, then I would certainly go with the FirstBIKE as it will be a better fit for your younger son next summer as compared to the Mini Scoot.

        • safia

          Hi me again. I was wondering if you had any experience with the FirstBIKE on grass hills. Is there any issue with the composite frame not being able to handle it and flexing?

          • Nope, well none that I know of. We didn’t have any issues with my larger 3 year-old riding it up and down hills on various surfaces. The main issue with the FirstBIKE flexing is actually only the seat post when it is set to it’s highest setting, not the frame itself.

    • If you can get your hands on a Scoot Mini, I think that would be the best of the three for your boys, however, they have been discontinued so very few are still available. From there, I would go with the FirstBIKE as it will be large enough for your 3.5 yr, yet when used with the lowering kit (not included with the bike), it will be small enough for your younger son. The Scoot is an amazing bike, but with a minimum seat height of 14″, it will be too big for your younger son when he is most likely ready to ride.

  • Thanh-Tam

    Any thoughts on the new E-Series Kinderbike?

    • The E-Series is essentially the Kinderbike Mini but with foam tires. I prefer air tires over foam tires as it provides more traction and cushion for a rider and considering the Mini is only $10 more and is pretty lightweight already, I would go with the Mini over the E-series.

  • SP

    I have several run bikes and am disappointed not to see any reviewed here. Would you consider adding more brands? I have a Runner, Runner Junior, Nakamura, and Hauck Super Rider 10.

    • Let me guess, are you based in Canada? The Runner bikes aren’t are readily available in the US, so I haven’t been offered a chance to review them, however, considering I get a decent amount of readers from Canada, I would be interested in reviewing your brands if you made them available to me. Shoot me an email at Natalie @ twowheelingtots.com and we’ll talk.

      • SP

        Yes, I am Canadian 🙂 Unfortunately, I’m not a company, just a mom who’s been through several as my kids grow and I find different used ones to test out.

  • Summer

    My son is turning three tomorrow, he is on the tall side for his age and has a petite frame, but is very strong and active. He has a 4 month old brother, and I was hoping to get a bike that both of them could use (assuming little brother would begin to use it when big brother was finishing using it) I was leaning towards the Strider ST-4, but I am not fond of the tires as we live outside of town so he will be riding it around in the yard a lot. I do like that the Strider has foot rests though! This MyKick is the other bike I was considering, but hate that it doesn’t have foot rests! I am so torn between which to get. Obviously if I get the MyKick we will likely be buying little brother a smaller balance bike in a year or so that he can start on, and keep the MyKick for him to grow into, and then resale them when we’re done. SO, what I’m trying to figure out now, is what would be the best option for my three year old right now? Do they really use the footrests that much?

    Or what are your thoughts on the Kazam? All three of these bikes are sold locally and around the same price point, I think the Kazam is a bit cheaper, but I’d really like to get what would be best for my three year old now. We will also be doing a lot of road riding in town this summer, so probably 50/50 road and offroad, in a few months we might be moving and it would likely be more road then offroad, but our guy is active and nothing scares him so I’m sure he will be all over the place, wherever he can get to. Thanks so much for your help!

    • Summer

      Also…The Strider St-4 comes with the XL seatpost at 119, same price as the MyKick at 119. So that is not an issue….

      • Summer

        One more note- The Raleigh Lil Push is also available in our area, although I haven’t checked into it too much. If that is one that I should consider more than the others, please let me know 🙂 Thanks again!

        • Summer, I think I answered most of your questions over on the MyKick page with this response (but if I didn’t please let me know!), “Glad to be of help! First off, I agree that having air tires would be best and that due to the age gap in your kids, you may have to end up buying two balance bikes. Generally speaking, younger siblings tend to ride balance bikes sooner as they are usually eager to keep up with their siblings. However, if you prefer to stick to one, if you were to get a Strider with an extended seat post as well as their additional air tires, it would work great for both of your kids. It would fit your 3 yo for several years and would certainly fit your baby once your son has transitioned to a pedal bike. This route will cost your more (about $150) so it is the most expensive option up front, but may save you money in the long run. Between the MyKick and the Kazam, I prefer the MyKick, simply because kids tend to be more comfortable on it, however, if you could find a Kazam with a brake, that would be my first choice. As for the need for a footrest however, in all the years I have been working with balance bike, I have never had a kid ask for a footrest or where to put their feet! I have had several parents ask, but kids never really seem to care, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about it. Hope that helps!”

          Oh, wait, the Lil Push. I actually haven’t seen one is person, but I do believe it has a short seat post, which will most likely make it either too tall for your younger son or tall short for your oldest son, but if it is local, it is certainly worth checking it out.

          • Summer

            Thanks so much! We ended up going with the MyKick. My son is in heaven and is doing great on it! He’s already been coasting and just lifts his feet, no problem 🙂

          • Yeah!! Isn’t the MyKick the cutest little bike in action??

  • Jill

    Hi! I’m getting a late start on a balance bike for my son who will be 4 in a week. He’s 39″ tall and has a 15.75″ inseam bare-footed. He wants nothing to do with tricycles or pedal bikes with training wheels after riding them for a few minutes, so I’m hoping a balance bike will be of more fun for him. I’d like to get one as soon as possible so I can give it to him for his birthday but I’m having a hard time deciding on one. After reading your wonderful site for several days, I really like the FirstBike and Ridgeback Scoot.

    I’m currently pregnant, so I’d like to get use out of this bike for both kids. I’d like to get one that works well my 4 yr old now but can also be used for his sibling, and I’d like to start the sibling off at an earlier age than my son.

    The FirstBike seems like a good option as I *think* it would fit my son now and then the sibling could start using it 18 months and up. But will my son outgrow the FirstBike soon? At what inseam does the seat post start flexing? How long do you think my son would be able to ride it?

    The Ridgeback Scoot seems perfect for my son now but I’m concerned that the sibling would have to wait quite awhile before being able to ride it.

    I would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you!!!

    • First off, I must admire your thought process on picking out a bike as you have really though it through! Honestly, all of your concerns are right on and parallel mine. The FirstBIKE is light and small, but not great for taller kids while the Scoot is heavy and great for taller kids. For the the FirstBIKE, the seat post doesn’t really tend to flex until it is set to its highest setting at 18″, so as long as your son rides it on a somewhat regular basis, I think he would be ready to transition to a pedal bike before he began to have issues with the flexing of the seat, so I would recommend it over the Scoot. The Scoot, would of course be better for your son, but for your new little one, it is going to be too big by the time he/she is ready to ride (younger siblings tend to ride at an earlier age). Since your son isn’t currently interested in biking, another option would be the TykesBykes 12″ as it also has a maximum seat height of 18″ and doesn’t have issues with flexing.

  • Lydia Shinkle

    The new Verde Scout is an amazing bike. It has many features of an adult sized bmx bike. The geometry of the bike is unlike anything I have seen. The quality is amazing. Check it out!

    • Thanks Lydia! I’m always interested in hearing about new bikes and the Scout certainly has some good specs. Here a link to the bike for those interested in a BMX style bike: https://www.danscomp.com/products/102424/2014_Verde_Scout_Balance_Bike.html

      • Lydia Shinkle

        Dan’s Comp is a great site. My husband gets his bmx bikes from Dan’s Comp. That’s where we found the Verde Scout. The Haro looks good a well, but the geometry of the Verde is more realistic. Its basically a shrunken bmx bike.

  • lk

    wondering you you have any thoughts on the zum metal bike? http://www.amazon.com/ZÜM-SX-Metal-Balance-Bike-White/dp/B0074NK6R8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1403384871&sr=8-3&keywords=zum+bike found a good price and thinking of getting it for my smallish 2.5 yo. thanks!

  • Terry

    Hi Natalie, I was hoping you could advise me on which type of balance bike to buy. My son is a little over 2.5, 37″ tall, has a 13″ inseam, and is a little uncoordinated. I’d like a bike that will last him until he’s ready for a pedal bike and that has air tires and a hand brake. I saw you recommended the bike*star in another comment, but I was wondering about which size might be best – the 10″ seems right for now, but I thought he might outgrow it too quickly. Or is there another bike that would work better? We’d like to spend no more than $100 for a new or used bike, but if you think it would make a big difference, we can find more money for the budget. Thanks so much for your amazing website!

    • I have heard great things about the bike*star brand, but have not seen them in person, so I am not as familiar with the smaller details of their bikes. Based on the information they provide on Amazon, with a 13″ inseam, your son will fit on their 10″ balance bike (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00678XDB2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00678XDB2&linkCode=as2&tag=aperpla-20&linkId=D3U3R7VRL7LEH47L) and for $75, it would be a great deal as it has air tires and a hand brake. The only downside I can see is that seat only provides 3″ for growth, which could potentially mean that your son might outgrow the bike before he is ready to transition to a pedal bike. If your son uses the bike regularly (as to get more practice and therefore transition sooner) or if you don’t expect him to grow too quickly, 3″ will be fine, if not, then I would consider another bike. Two other bikes that you may want to consider, as they provide more room for growth, are the TykesBykes 12″ and the KinderBike Laufrad. They both have a minimum inseam of 13″, so they will be both be slightly too tall for your son at first, but they both max out at 18″, so they have plenty of room for growth. Between the two, I’ve found TykesBykes to be better quality, but seeing as your son is a little uncoordinated, the lighter weight KinderBike might be a better option. Hope that helps!

  • Amom

    Hi Natalie, I too am in need of advise on buying a balance bike. My daughter is 2.5 soon to be 3 years old, 34″ tall, has a 13.5″ inseam and isn’t athletic. I like the look of the traditional bikes like: Rothan, Burley MyKick, KinderBike Mini. I know because she is more petite we want a lighter bike, but I feel like air or rubber tires will be more enjoyable for her than the foam tires. We live in town so will be riding inside house or on sidewalks. I don’t know how important hand brakes are or turn limiters. I really like the Rothan but it is back ordered until August. I like the Burley but wonder if it will be too heavy and it doesn’t have brakes. I like the KinderBike but wonder about customer service and quality. I like TykeBikes but wonder if too heavy and too big for my daughter? Please help advise me. If you were buying a bike for my daughter which one would you go with? Thanks for the help!!

    • You have certainly been doing your research as you already know all my concerns with the bikes that you mentioned. Between the bikes you mentioned, I would go with the KinderBike Mini as it will fit her now and I believe she would benefit from having a lighter weight bike. While KinderBike has had some customer service problems, they are certainly not the standard and most parents have great experiences with their bikes. If you do decide to order a KinderBike, I would recommend ordering from Balance Bike Shop as they have had a lot of experience working with KinderBike and would certainly resolve any issues for you if any were to arise. Hope that helps!

  • Jason

    Cruzee OvO, do you have any insight to how well the ultralight frame holds up?

    • Sorry, I don’t. I only saw the Cruzee briefly at a tradeshow, so I didn’t have a chance to really put it to work. From what I saw however, the bike appeared to be very well made, so I image it would hold up fine. Currenlty, they are not available in North America, so I’m not planning on reviewing one any time soon.

      • Jason

        Ok. Thank you very much for you’re speedy response and thorough research on this subject. You’re site is truly a great example for others posting product reviews’

        • You’re welcome and thanks!

  • Shannon

    Thanks for all of the reviews. I am looking for something for my almost 2 year old who is very anxious to ride a bike. She is on the average/tall side and is a bit of a dare devil (and a bit clumsy). She will be riding mostly on sidewalks, but some dirt and gravel as well. Her older sister who is 4 (but as tall as a 6 yo) will try and ride it as well I’m sure, especially since she is scared of her regular bike, but it will be primarily for the younger one. I am mostly looking at the Strider ST-4, Haro Z-10 and Chillafish BMXie. Cost is an issue and I would like to keep it as close to or under $100 if possible. Is there a bike I am overlooking that would be a good option as well? Thoughts/preference on my current list of contenders?

    • Your best bet out of those options is the Strider ST-4 with the extended seat post as it will easily fit both of your kids. The others are simply too small for your older daughter. Your only other good option would be the Ridgeback Scoot, but it is $175, so in your price range I would go with the Strider.

      • Shannon

        I came across the Scoot Mini (even though it is discontinued), would that be a better size than the regular Scoot? My little one has a 12″ inseam and I’m afraid of a bike being too big for her. With the add-ons that you can do with the Strider ST-4, it seems like the price would ultimately end up being about the same (the air tires & hand brake being added to the Strider) if we chose to do all of them over time. I would consider the Scoot (regular or mini) if that really is the better bike for our needs, but the Strider offers a lot as well. Such tough decisions. (Height wise, my little one is 33″ and the older one is 45″ tall). Thanks again, I really appreciate the input.

        • Shannon

          I also saw the Glide Bike Ezee Glider that looks like it offers the tools free seat adjustments, air tires (on the black), and hand brake.

          • Yes, the Scoot Mini would certainly fit your younger daughter as it has a minimum inseam of 11″, but does weight just over 11lbs., which is heavy, but reasonabe for an agile 2-year-old who is ready to ride. It would also be a good fit for your older daughter, but the one major downside to the Mini is that it comes with two (maybe three) seat posts, but only one seat. As a result, every time you change rider on the bike you will have the remove the seat from one seat post and put it onto another. Not a huge deal as it only requires one screw, but it would require more time and effort on your part. The Strider, however, has a seat attached to each seat post (the included one and the extended seat post), so you never have to change seats, just the seat posts, which is a lot easier and faster to do. Between the two, the Ridgeback Mini is a better bike overall in terms of quality and features, but is more difficult for two kids to share. The Strider is easier to share, lighter weight, but does not have a handbrake or the quality of the Ridgeback. So which one to pick? It really depends on what features you find more important. As for the the Ezee Glider, it is teeny and certainly won’t fit your older daughter, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

  • Kelly

    I am late to bring a balance bike. I want to buy one that both my four year old and five year old can use this summer. I am debating between radio flyer glide and go and the tryke bike. The girls are close in size around 42″. Any suggestions?

  • MomtoCK

    Help! My littlest is turning 2 (inseam approx 11″ barefoot) and I was hoping to get him a balance bike for his birthday (I need to order it ASAP, I was hoping to go through Amazon). I also have a 3 year old (he’ll be 4 in 2 months) (inseam approx 16″ barefoot) and I don’t think I can avoid getting him one too, not without some serious battles ahead, so I am looking to get them each a balance bike. I was thinking the Strider ST-4 for my little guy since it will hopefully be short enough (all of the others small enough are unavailable – the Rothan is out of stock everywhere, Kinderbike Minis aren’t available that I can find…). My concern is I’ve been reading that the seat is really hard and uncomfortable! Any suggestion for something better??

    For my nearly 4 year old, what do you suggest? Many of these bikes have a max height of like 18″ and with him already at 16″ inseam, wondering if that doesn’t provide enough room for growth?

    I am lost and need help ASAP!!

    Thank you for this site!

  • Erica

    I just purchased the chillafish bmxie bike for my 2 year old but am wondering if I should return it and get something else. Do you have any insight on this balance bike and whether it is a good bike?

    • I actually haven’t seen the BMXie in person, but I do know that it offers very little room for growth. The minimum seat height is 12.5″ and the max is only 14.2″. As a result, unless your 2 year-old will be able to ride the bike often (so as to get a lot of time on the bike to help them progress faster) or you think he/she is most likely going to pick up balancing quickly, then I would probably return it for a bike that will provides more room for growth.

    • I actually haven’t seen the BMXie in person, but I do know that it offers very little room for growth. The minimum seat height is 12.5″ and the max is only 14.2″. As a result, unless your 2 year-old will be able to ride the bike often (so as to get a lot of time on the bike to help them progress faster) or you think he/she is most likely going to pick up balancing quickly, then I would probably return it for a bike that will provides more room for growth.

  • Briana

    Thank you for all of this great info! I have narrowed my choices down to three, but could use some advice. My son will be 2.5 next month and has never had a balance bike before. His inseam is 14″, he is small (under 30 lbs), and he is not the most physical kid (he just learned to jump on two feet this week!). We live in Philadelphia, in the city, and this would be mainly used on sidewalks at the park, or on pavement at campgrounds. I am choosing between Kinderbike Laufrad, TykeBykes 12, or Burley MyKick. I love the simplicity of the Burley (don’t think he will have the coordination to use a hand brake for quite a while) and the no-flat tires (plus we have hardwood floors so rubber tires might be nice)! But the heavier weight and the fact that the max height is only 16″ are deterrents. I see it is not on your recommended list for 3.5 year-olds and I’d like him to be able to use it as long as possible before I have to buy something new. I like the low weight and lower handlebars on the Kinderbike, but read some Amazon reviews that mentioned drawbacks, like the brake requires a lot of adjustment, the brake cable sticks out too far, and in the lowest position the seat post sticks out the bottom. Is there anything else I am missing? I’d appreciate any advice!

    • Nope, I agree with all your reservations about the Burley and the KinderBike. The Burley does have a much smaller range for adjustments as compared to the others, which is why I do not have it listed on the 3.5 year old group. The KinderBike is a great bike, but they have certainly had their share of issues with their bikes, however we found their customer service to be great and very willing to help. While their V-pull brake does require a lot of adjustments, that is typically amongst all V-pull brakes, so the brake issue certainly isn’t just for KinderBike. The TykesBykes 12″, however, has a drum brake, which requires much less maintenance than the V-pull, so if you are concern about dealing with a brake, I would go with the TykesBykes. It also has a seat height max of 18″, versus the Burley’s 16″, so he should have plenty of room to grow with the bike.

  • Tara

    I have been researching balance bikes for my almost four-year-old. She is 40″ tall barefoot and has a 17″ inseam with shoes on. I have narrowed my search down (I think) to TykesBykes 12 or 16″ or the Ridgeback Scoot and could use some advice. My daughter is pretty cautious and not the most coordinated kid ever. I like the reviews of the TykesBykes and the price, but she is right on the edge of the two sizes. I don’t want to buy a bike she will outgrow in 6 mo, but don’t want to get one she can’t use for 6 mo. For that reason, the Scoot is more appealing (seat height of 14-20″), but is quite a bit more expensive. What are your thoughts about the TykesBykes size or the Scoot?

    • Tara

      And one more consideration – I have a 6 mo old boy that I would like to use this bike with in the future, before he is 4. For that reason the TykesBykes 12″ or Scoot may be better for our situation. What is the minimum age that you would recommend on the TykesBykes 12″ and Scoot?

  • Elizabeth

    These reviews are outstanding! Have you heard of/seen the Velo balance bike? My nephew has it and I’m wondering what your thoughts are on that bike. My son is almost 3 and is the size of a 4 year old. I’m looking for something inexpensive that really just gets the job of teaching him balance and letting him have fun. Thanks for your insights!

    • Glad to be of help! While I have not seen the Velo in person, based on pictures, the geometry of the bike appears to be slightly off as it requires kids to sit very upright on the bike, which creates a high center of gravity on the bike which negatively affects the handling of the bike. Considering your son’s age and size, I would take a look at the Radio Flyer Glide and Go which I reviewed here along with several others budget bikes, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/the-best-budget-balance-bike-chicco-red-bullet-vs-radio-flyer-vs-vilano/.

    • Glad to be of help! While I have not seen the Velo in person, based on pictures, the geometry of the bike appears to be slightly off as it requires kids to sit very upright on the bike, which creates a high center of gravity on the bike which negatively affects the handling of the bike. Considering your son’s age and size, I would take a look at the Radio Flyer Glide and Go which I reviewed here along with several others budget bikes, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/the-best-budget-balance-bike-chicco-red-bullet-vs-radio-flyer-vs-vilano/.

  • Ewa Kurgan Gula

    This site is great. I’m planning on buying the FIRSTBIKE for my son who will be 3 years old in September. We live in the Caribbean and the roads are not paved where we live so it’s dirt roads with lot’s of rocks on the road. Would the tires on this bike be a good option?

    • Yes! The air tires on the FirstBIKE will be a great benefit to your son on the rougher roads. Since he won’t be riding on many paved roads, I would go with the Cross model.

  • Julie Brown

    I saw the Schwinn bike recommended with reservation. I was trying to find reviews about the Schwinn Balance 2 in 1 Bike, but was unable to locate any about this bike. I was wondering if you could share any positive or negative things about this bike or share any other bikes in which are similar. I really like the idea of a bike like this that my son that just turned three would be able to transition with. Thanks so much. You have a wonderful site with a wonderful wealth of knowledge.

    • Wow, I didn’t know they had even released a new model, thanks for filling me it! While the price seems reasonable, I honestly rarely recommend convertible balance bikes for a couple reasons. First, convertible bikes are generally much heavier than regular balance bikes. In this case the Schwinn 2 in 1 weighs 12 lbs., which is almost half the body weight of a 25 lb. toddler! Second, these type of bikes generally have a much higher minimum seat height as compared to standard balance bikes. As a result, they are essentially of no use to a 2 or some 3 year-olds who are prime candidate for balance bikes. Lastly, they are generally not worth the money. With the exception of really petite kids, most three or four years old who are ready to transition to a pedal bike are ready to fit on a 14″ or 16″ bike. Convertible balance bike still have 12″ wheels, which means that even once you put on the pedals, the bike is either already too small for them, or they are going to outgrow it in less than a year. As a result, it is much more economical to buy a regular balance bike and then a larger 14″ or 16″ bike once they outgrow it.

  • Martha Thompson

    Any thoughts on the Metro Mini Cruiser Balance Bike – With Hand Brake. I really like the TykesBykes by found this one on amazon for more than $20 less. Thank you for your work on these reviews, they have been so helpful.

    • It looks decent, but the geometry appears to be off. If you notice in the side view, the seat is placed rather high up on the frame, which creates a higher center of gravity for the rider. As a result, the bike will be harder to balance and keep balancing. As a result, if the TykesBykes is in your budget I think it is a better bike overall, but if it’s too pricey then this would be a decent option if your son is on the shorter side or doesn’t have a really long torso.

  • Tall Paul

    Ever tried the Cube balance bikes out? Might be a European brand you don’t get out there.

    • You’re right, they are not available here, but they look like great bike. Coming from a well established bike company, I image it is well made, plus it’s lightweight aluminum frame and air tires make it very versatile. Based on pictures online, the geometry of the bike appears to be slightly too upright (which is common), but otherwise it looks great!

  • Jessica

    I feel a little late to the game with our almost four year. I wanted to get him balance bike when he was two but I’ve had a lot if health issues and this got out on hold. Anyway, he loves riding around on his kettler trike and he’s ready for something bigger. I don’t want to put him straight to a pedal bike though as he needs the balance work first as I can see that being an issue since he’s not the most athletic or strong kid out there.

    I am trying to figure out which to get him as I know he will just love one. He turns four in about a month but i am going to give it to him early so he can enjoy it before winter. His inseam is 16.5 and he’s a skinny guy. I was looking at the TykesBykes for multiple reasons but also price, but felt like the 12″ is going to be too small and the 16″ may be a tad too big for him now to use. My other consideration is the ridgeback scoot. Seems like this will last him til he gets pedal bike even though it’s more expensive. I also gave another on the way, so she’ll get the benefit of using whatever we have as well when the time comes.

    Love your site and it was your site that convinced me to think toward a balance bike a couple years ago but like I said, I had some major medical issues that put it on hold. Hope I’m not too late in getting my son going on this!

    Thanks for your help,
    Jessica

    • Glad to be of help and that you are feeling better! Being in poor health with a two-year-old to take care, wow, I can’t even image. For your son, considering he is a skinny guy and not to athletic, I would probably go for the 12″ TykesBykes or the Scoot. The 16″ would probably be too much bike for him and would certainly to be big for your second. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either as they are both great bikes. The Scoot will give him more room to grow into, but it bigger and heavier, which will delay your second from riding it sooner. The TykesBykes is slightly lighter, but its minimum inseam is an inch lower. Finally, don’t worry about him getting a “later” start as I guarantee with consistent use of the balance bike he will still transition much easier and sooner to a pedal bike as compared to most kids his age. Plus, in the end, it isn’t a race. As long as he has a smile on his face, then all is well 🙂

  • MAG

    Thank you so much for compiling and presenting this data – it is an amazing service! My twin daughters will be 4 in Dec and I am feeling so late to the balance bike game. They have tricycles but I would really like to go the balance bike route next rather than training wheels. We plan to purchase two balance bikes for Christmas. My girls are on the smaller side, just over 3ft tall and if I’m measuring correctly, have just over 15″ inseams. Because we will need 2, I’d like to stay close to the $100 range. Based on your reviews, I was thinking either the kinderbike or tykesbykes. For the latter, which size do you think is best? Would another brand be better? We live in the northeast, so realistically, as Christmas gifts, these won’t get a ton of use before spring. Thank you so much!!!

    • Way to plan ahead! Last year many of the bikes sold out before Christmas, so good call by thinking ahead. Between the TykesBykes and the KinderBike Laufrad, they are both great bikes and I think they would do great on either. The deciding factor for me would probably be their weight. If they are on the lighter side, I would go with the KinderBIkes, if they are of average weight, then I would go with the TykesBykes simply because I’ve found them to be more durable with time.

  • S.Klein

    What about JD Bug bikes ? They seem to have a very nice design .
    http://www.pushys.com.au/jdbug-balance-bike-2012.html

  • T. McConnaughy

    Hi! I looked back and didn’t see any info on the Micro KickBoard G-Bike+; what are your thoughts on this balance bike? We have their scooters and LOVE them. My girls are 3 and tall for their age (80 and 100 percentile), what would your recommendation be? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Honestly, they are not my favorite as I feel the wheels are too small for how fast can go on a balance bike. Just as kids can get thrown off their scooters when their wheels hit a rock, the same applies with balance bikes. Considering kids after go much faster on their balance bikes than their scooters, I believe a larger 12″ pneumatic tire are much safer than the smaller plastic wheels on G-bike. In addition, the bike is small and doesn’t provide much room for growth. Since your girls are on the taller side, I would look at either the Ridgeback Scoot, the Yedoo Too Too or the TykesBykes 12″.

  • Sara

    Are there balance bikes where you can add on the pedals once the rider is ready?

  • Luke

    Hi Natalie,

    I just want to say thank you for a great site! Your reviews are comprehensive and thoughtful, and I really learned a lot! A friend of ours had a Skuut a few years ago and their son seemed to really enjoy it, and now that our son is 2.5 I decided to look around to find something similar. I stumbled across your website doing some research on Google, and it is fantastic! I ended up going with the TykesBykes 12″, which I just ordered. My son is very excited and can’t wait for it to arrive! Thank you again for compiling such a great resource!

    • You’re welcome, glad to be of help!

  • Hannah

    Great site! Thanks! I am unsure what size bike to get for my 3.5 year old. He has a 16″ inseam (without shoes) and is 39″ tall. I like the features and prices of TykesBykes, but looks like he is between sizes for the 12″ and 16″ bikes. I’m worried that if I go with the 12″ TykesBykes he will outgrow it too quickly. He is very athletic, and has 1 older sibling (who would would still enjoy a balance bike) and 2 younger siblings. Thoughts?

    • Glad to be of help. Because the TykesBykes 16″ not only has a larger tire size, but a longer reach as well, it isn’t recommend for kids younger than 4. Even if they can stand over it, the bike may still be too big for them to maneuver. Plus, the 16″ would be way to big for your younger kids to ride any time soon and considering younger siblings usually ride balance bikes much sooner than their older siblings, I believe the 12″ would be a better choice for your family. Plus, with a 16″ inseam, he should have at least a year of growth before the bike begins to get too small for him, which should give him plenty of time to master the balance bike and transition to a pedal bike,

  • Laura Folchi Harris

    Thanks for all the great info on your site!! I am trying to find the best balance bike for my nearly 6 year old son. He is has been riding the Chicco Red Bullet since he was two and he absolutely loves it and rides like a pro (I know you didn’t like that one, but our experience has been more than positive). We have the chicco maxed out at almost 17″ on the seat height (I know higher than recommended). He is definitely not ready for a pedal bike – have tried that out many times, but we are ready to upgrade to a better fit balance bike.

    I am trying to decide between the TykesByke 16″ and the Ridgeback Scoot 12″. I am open to other models as well, but the handbrake is an important feature, so I am only looking at bikes with brakes (tired or wearing shoes out!). My concerns are weight of the bike and overall size as related to ease of handling. The chicco is super light and small . . am worried that the heavier bikes may be harder to handle? I like the seat height on the TykeByke 16″ and the price tag, but worry about the overall size of the bike since the chicco is pretty dinky in comparison. Is that be too big of a jump? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Most stores in our area have limited selection, so it is hard to compare the different sizes. Thanks!

    • No worries about the Chicco, I know many parents who have had great experiences with it, so I’m glad it worked out for you. As for a larger balance bike, the TykesBykes 16″ would be a good fit for him, but it is significantly bigger and heavier than the Chicco. Considering his age, I don’t think the larger size would be too much of a problem and in the long run may actually make his transition to a pedal bike much smoother. If you prefer for him to have a smoother transition now, then I would go with the Scoot XL, which is essentially the same bike as the Scoot, but with 14″ tires. While larger than the Chicco, it is not as large as the TykesBykes 16″, so it would be a good in between.

  • Nicole81

    Hello,
    Thank for you taking the time to review so many options! Have you tried a Velo Jr? We are thinking of getting my toddler a balance bike at Christmas when he will be 19 months and I saw the Velo Jr in store but I haven’t found any independent reviews yet.

    • I have yet to see the Velo in person, but based on it’s components, I wouldn’t recommend it unless it was the only bike in your budget. Although I’m quite sure many kids have used it and loved it, I have found kids are more willing to ride and can ride for a lot longer on bikes with air tires, proper geometry and sturdy frames. In addition, it doesn’t offer a great range of seat heights and doesn’t have a brake (which isn’t essential, but benefits kids in many ways).

  • Amy

    Thank you so much for the wonderful information here. I am just starting to explore the world of balance bikes and this is a wonderful resource. My almost 5 year old needs a new bike and we are trying to decide what the next step should be for him. He is on the tall side with an inseam of 20 in. He has been riding a small two wheeler with training wheels up to this point. I love the idea of a balance bike, but am wondering if he would out grow it too quickly. We would like to get him a bike for Christmas. We live in Michigan so he wouldn’t be riding his bike until spring. That means he has 6 months or so to grow before even using it. I also have a two year old that I think would do great with a balance bike (inseam currently around 13 inches). Should we buy two separate bikes? Is is possible that they could share or could have one passed down easily? I do have another younger child who could use it if handed down. I want them to have bikes that they enjoy and fit them well, but I need to be economical as well. I would love your input and any suggestions you might have. Thanks so much.

    • Glad to be of help! There are a couple of different options you could consider when getting bikes for your kids. For your oldest, the most economical would be to simply removed the training wheels and pedals from his current bike and have him practice using it as a balance bike. If the bike is lower-end, it the bike is going to be much heavier and likely, harder to balance than a balance bike, but it would save you some money. If you wanted to take the traditional balance bike route, then you have two options for balance bikes. The Ridgeback Scoot, which has a seat that adjust from 14″ to 20″, and the Wishbone 2-in-1 or 3-in-1, which adjust from 9″ to 20″. The Wishbone is going to be the most expensive at $200, but will provide you the most flexibility as it will likely fit all of your kids. It also has recessed bolts, which would make it a great bike for indoor use during the winter months. The Ridgeback Scoot, on the other hand, is cheaper at $159, has a brake, but does not have recessed bolts, which would limit its use indoors and has a higher minimum seat height which would delay your youngest being able to ride it. So which would be best for your family. Considering you have three kids with very different height, I think the Wishbone would be your best bet. If that is out of your range, then I would for the Scoot or convert your sons pedal bike and get another bike, such as the Burley MyKick or Kinderbike Laufrad for your middle child.

  • Mimc

    Have you seen the Yuba Flip-Flop balance bike yet. The size charge thing seems like something a lot of kids just wouldn’t use because they would upgrade to a peddle bike instead. Pretty unique though.

    • Yes, I was able to see the Flip-Flop at a bike show and can see it doing very well for kids of Yuba riders who want a “cargo” bike like their parents. The basket idea is really cute and flipping the frame is a clever way to allow the bike to grow with kids. My main concern with the bike was that is was rather heavy and expensive for a bike with foam tires and no hand brake. For $150, a parent can certainly get a lot more bang for their buck with another bike.

  • Ruthie

    Have you reviewed the Y-Volution Y-Velo balance bike? I am looking for something for a petite 3 y.o.

    • I have not seen their bikes in person, but based on what I have read, they have very stiff tires that offer very little traction and cushioning and the seat post doesn’t offer a wide range of seat heights. While I assume many kids have had success on them, I believe there are much better options. For petite kids, the Strider and KinderBike are some good options as well as the Islabike Rothan (which is pricey I admit). Take a look at those options and let me know if they don’t fit your needs or budget.

  • Gabrielle

    Hi,
    Have you reviewed the norco air run bikes? My kids are 3 years and 19 months old and we go a lot off road, so air tires are very important.
    Thanks a lot! This site is awesome! !

    • Sorry, I have not as they are not available in the US. Having a 10″ tire, however, I assume it will be much to small for your three year old and might be too heavy for your 19 month old.

  • Jason B

    Hi, love your website! I am having a hard time deciding on a bike for my almost 5YO (about 3 weeks away). He is about 43″ tall, I haven’t measured his inseam yet, but seems rather tall for his age. Trying to decide between the top two you have listed for 4+, the Scoot XL and the TykeBykes 16″. I don’t mind the price differential, but just want the better bike for him. I like the features of the Scoot XL, just wonder if it will be big enough for him in the long run (being that it has 14″ wheels).

    He currently rides a Radial Flyer bike with training wheels, which is very old and heavy, and after having such a difficult time with our 7YO girl trying to ride a bike without the training wheels, decided we should try and prevent the same learning difficulties, and go with a balance bike for him.

    My other fear, is that the 7YO will get jealous of his bike, and want one for herself…is this even recommended for that situation, since she is so close to riding a regular bike? The problem is, she is not interested in riding her bike anymore, because of her balance difficulties.

    Sorry for all the questions…

    • Glad to be of help. For your son, the Scoot XL will provide him plenty of room to grow into the bike, so I wouldn’t worry about that being an issue, even with 14″ tires. So if you like the features of the Scoot better, I would go for it. Plus, your 7yo daughter could also benefit greatly from a balance bike. Seeing as she already knows how to pedal, but not yet balance, a balance bike would be perfect for her as it would force her to only work on balancing. She could try out the balance bike you get for your son or if she wants her own bike, I would considering removing the pedals and training wheels from her current bike and have her use it as a balance bike. This would only be possible if she was able touch ground with her full foot while the seat was in the lowest position. Balancing her bike is probably going to be much more challenging that balancing the Scoot as it is most likely heavier and could have a shorter wheelbase. Once she is able to balance either the Scoot or her current pedal bike, I would take a look at her current bike to see if it is possibly causing some delays for her. If the bike is heavy, has a shorter wheelbase and a high bottom bracket, it is most likely very hard to ride and balance, which could be a reason why she is having such a hard time balancing her bike. These articles could help explain the difference: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/specialized-hotrock-12-review/ and http://www.twowheelingtots.com/islabikes-beinn-20-review/.

      • Jason B

        Natalie, thanks for taking the time to respond to my message so quickly. I think the Scoot XL would be a good fit for my son, especially after your comments.

        I am so glad I posted here though. My daughter has had a rough time, and I’m disappointed that she has lost interest in riding her bike after pulling the training wheels off. I bought one of those Balance Buddy bars, and it’s been on there over 6 months, and I’m really disappointed in how it’s worked out for us, based on all the positive reviews on Amazon. After reading your post, I became excited about your comments about removing the pedals from her current bike. I never even thought about that.

        This is her current bike, a 16″ Trek Mystic: http://trekbicyclestores.com/product/trek-mystic-16-173381-1.htm

        For the life of me, I could not find a weight for the bike itself, but I am guessing it’s around 20 lbs. She weighs about 55 lbs, so while not ideal, it may just work, especially after removing some of the parts. I just went out and looked at it, and the seat post is pulled up fairly high, compared to where it enters the frame, so I am guessing it could be lowered enough to allow her plenty of clearance for foot pushing. Thanks for pointing out those articles, I hadn’t seen those. They are a good read for sure, and points out some of the mistakes I made.

        Last question for you, I have a fair amount of bike tools, as I am, or rather, used to be, a fairly active mountain biker. It doesn’t look like it’s that difficult to remove the bottom bracket, looks like it just requires a thin, large size wrench. My concern is what do I do with the bottom bracket? Do I somehow seal it off after I take the crank off? I assume that I wouldn’t just take the pedals off the cranks, as that could be kind of dangerous.

        Thanks again for your help!

        • Finding the weight of a Trek bike online is no easy task as, like a lot bike companies, they refuse to post the weights of their bikes as they don’t want to held to a specific weight as the individual components of bikes can often change. Treks are also made out of steel vs. aluminum, so I am going to guess that the bike is probably closer to 23 or 24 lb., but it still worth converting to a balance bike.

          While the entire crank can be removed, in her case it may not be necessary and I would start with just removing the pedals. Considering she is taller, the crank arms won’t be right below her legs, like they would on a 12″ bike, so there is probably enough clearance. If there isn’t then you would have to remove the whole crank set, which is fairly easy to get off, but can be a pain to get back on, so I wouldn’t go there unless you needed to. If you do, I know there are some good YouTube videos out there that can walk you through it better than I can, but to answer your question, you just leave the bottom bracket open as there shouldn’t be any rough edges or protruding objects that could hurt your daughter.

          • Jason B

            Thank you so much for your help. I just ordered the Scoot XL for my son last night, and plan to start working on the daughters bike this week to hopefully get her some riding time before winter sets in.

          • Great! Please keep me posted as I would love to know how things turn out for both of them.

          • Jason B

            Natalie, I just wanted to report back to you. It has been too cold here to recently ride the bikes, and we just gave my son his Scoot XL today for his 5th birthday. He will probably take a few days to get used to it, he thinks it’s broken because it doesn’t stand up by itself, LOL.

            But your advice to remove the pedals for my 7 year old daughter was brilliant! I took the pedals off her bike less than 3 weeks ago, and she was excited to ride it again. Took her a few days to get used to it, but after several trips down the hill in our neighborhood, she seemed to be doing really well with balance. We had her practicing some turns, and she was doing really well with those. So just 17 days after removing the pedals (probably about 8 times riding her bike), we decided to try with the pedals again. She immediately figured it out, and is now riding all over the place! Truly amazing to simplify the process down to learning one thing at a time, and she was able to figure it out. Thank you so much for your help.

            Hopefully the 5YO will be well on his way in a few weeks!

  • Jessica Duncan

    I’m really looking at the strider and the firstbike. However, I noticed you can adjust the handlebar height on the strider but not on the firstbike. Do you think this makes a big difference?

    • It depends. If you child is taller and you expect them to grow quickly, then an adjustable handlebar would certainly be something to consider. If you child is average or below average height, I don’t think it would be a problem. My first son was really tall for his age and eventually moved up from the FirstBIKE when he was three because it was too short, but my second son is really short for his age and, although he is only two, I highly doubt he will have any issues with the handlebar height.

  • Christina S

    I’m looking for a balance bike that can convert into a pedal bike for my almost two year old son. Any suggestions?

    • While there are several available, I don’t recommend any of them as most of them are really poorly made. This article about 12″bikes sums up my feeling about 12″bikes: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/specialized-hotrock-12-review/. I personally think you are better off a balance bike now and them upgrading to a 14″ bike later.

  • Alisha

    I am looking for a balance bike for my almost 3 year old daughter. She has an inseam of 13.5 inches, about 35.5 in tall. She knows how to pedal a tricycle. She has not had any type of balance bike yet but when on toys too large for her, instinctively pushes along with her feet. I have looked at the specialized hot walk and Ridgeback scoot. The local bike shop is trying to tell (ie, sell) me the specialized 12 in hot rock 12 regular bike and just remove the crank/pedals. I am very confused and would like to get so etching before Christmas. Pink or purple are a must.
    Any advice appreciated.

    • I would stay clear of a 12″ bike at your daughter’s age as the minimum seat heights are going to be much to high. In addition, a pedal bike will weight a lot more. For example, the Specialized Hotrock 12″ has a minimum seat height of 17″ and weighs 15 lb. The Scoot, however, weights 11 lb. and has a minimum seat height of 14″ (which is also too big for your daughter). This article on 12″ bikes should help explain the problem in more detail, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/specialized-hotrock-12-review/. My top choice for your daughter right now for a balance bike would be the Frog Tadpole, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/frog-tadpole/, it comes in purple and is a great bike all around. For a more affordable option, I would look into the Muna in Pinkie, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/muna/. Hope that helps!

      • Alisha

        Thanks so much Natalie for your advice. We live in central Illinois so outdoor use of the bike will be delayed mostly until spring, and possibly some growth of inseam. Would your recommendation of bike remain the same given this consideration?
        I want her to have the most longevity of the bike, not having to buy another before she is ready for a pedal bike.
        Thanks again,
        Alisha

        • If she doesn’t plan on riding it for a while I would go with the Muna Pinkie simply because it provides the most room for growth.

  • Saffron

    I while back i was looking for balance bikes but i never got around to getting them. I had decided on the Tykebykes 16 inch for my now 4 1/2 year old and the Strider Super 16 SS-1 for my special needs son who’s turning 7 in Feb. Are these Striders still being made? He’s about 65 pounds, at least 52 or 53 inches tall and needs OT and PT for a lot of issues, including balance and strength.

    • Yes, the large Striders are still available and are now called the Super 16, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BJMLAMA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00BJMLAMA&linkCode=as2&tag=aperpla-20&linkId=S5GN37ANEPSZA76O. Because it offers more room for growth, I do believe it would be best for your special needs son. The TykesBykes 16″ are also still available, but with updated colors.

      • Saffron

        Thanks!! Is the new model with the hefty increase in price that much better than the older model? I can find both online for purchase it seems.

        • I assume you are talking about the Super Strider and yes, they have made a lot of changes that I believe are worth the price increase. As you can see in the two pictures below, the newer version on the left has two brakes, a reinforced frame and adjustable riser handlebars. These changes have made the bike safer as well as increased the amount of adjustability you get out of the bike.

      • Saffron

        Oh goodness. I just showed my husband and he is insisting on pedal bikes for both. My work begins again. Older boy is 51 inches with a 20 inch inseam (from ankle bone up) and younger boy is 42 1/2 inches with a 16 inch inseam (ankle up). Am I looking at 16 inch bikes for both? Or a 14 inch and a 16 inch? I’m feeling even more overwhelmed now as both the cost and desired length of use increases.

  • MariaN

    This is such a great resource! I am looking to purchase a balance bike for my petite 2-year old daughter. She weighs 21 pounds, is about 32 inches tall and has an 11 inch inseam. I’m leaning towards the Laufrad Mini, but am concerned that it might be too heavy. On the other hand, the smaller and lighter bikes listed in your “Pre Bike 11inch Inseam” chart strike me as to young, especially since they have plastic and foam tires. I want her to have fun, feel confident and independent, and, of course, learn how to balance. I appreciate your feedback.

    • My first choice would be Islabike Rothan. It is lightweight and as long as your daughter is in 24 month pants, she will be able to stand over it. Since she will most likely be walking the bike (versus sitting and gliding) for the first couple months anyway, the 11.5″ inseam shouldn’t be a problem. In my review of the Rothan, you can see my petite little guy walking the bike while in 24-month pants. If the Rothan is out of your budget, I would go for a Strider for now and then upgrade it to air tires when she starts to really fly on it.

      • MariaN

        She’s actually still sporting 18 month pants! Hopefully she’ll grow more over the winter and be ready for the bike when spring rolls around. The Rothan is a little more than I wanted to spend, so I’ll take a second look at the Strider. I’m not crazy about their tires but can always follow your suggestion and upgrade to air tires. Thank you!

  • SheilaT

    Hi, our daughter is very petite, and depending on the brand she’s still in 18 mo pants but she’s already 27 mo old. She wears mostly 24-2T clothes but without her diaper she fits 18mo pants. She’s also on the smaller weight as well, she’s only about 24lbs still, but I’m only 5′ tall myself.
    What is your recommendation for the best bike for a smaller more petite toddler? She walks and runs fine and has great balance. I’m apprehensive some might be too heavy for her as well…thank you!

    • SheilaT

      I just noticed the note below and we’re in the same situation as the other person below, so we’ll look at the strider! Would you recommend a strider sport instead then as those have the air tires already? Or go with the strider classic(?) for now to save some $$$! Thank you

      • Glad to be of help. The benefit of the Sport is that it has the narrower handle bar, which is better for petite kids, plus it comes with the longer seat post you will eventually need. The Strider does have foam tires vs. air tires, but as long as she is not planning on riding on non-paved surfaces or go off of crazy jumps, then the foam tires will be fine. If she does turn into a more aggressive rider, you an always upgrade to their air tires later. If she was taller, I would go with the Tadpole, but it would be too tall for her until she is in 24 month pants.

  • Erin

    Hello! Debating between a scoot and a first bike for my almost four year old. He has never had a balance bike and is a little small. So, from the above lists I would go with the scoot, but being he is completely new to this maybe the first bike is better? Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you!!

    • I would probably still go with the Scoot as most 4-year-olds eventually outgrow the FirstBIKE. The FirstBIKE is certainly lighter, but the longer wheelbase, wider handlebars and rigid frame of the Scoot are much better for 4-year-olds.

      • Erin

        Thank you so much!!

  • Caryn

    Hello! I’m new to your website and I am amazed and overwhelmed at the wealth of information on here! I have a 3 YO who is on the much smaller side. He’s about 26 lbs, and inseam is 12″. I was considering the firstBIKE or Tadpole, and maybe Strider (based on recs from friends). I really have no idea which way to go. Which ones would you recommend that would have plenty of room to grow? Also, are there balance bikes that can have pedals added later? Or is it expected the child would outgrow the bike before needed pedals?

    • Glad to help! With a 12″ inseam I would probably go with a Strider as they others are still slightly too small. The Strider also provides the most room for growth out of the three if you were to purchase the Sport edition that comes the extended seat post. Compared to the FirstBIKE and the Tadpole, the Strider isn’t as nearly high in quality, but for the average kid who doesn’t plan on riding dirt bike trials or going off jumps, it does just fine. If you expect your 3 YO to be ambitious, then I would certainly go with the Tadpole. It is taller than the Strider, but is much better quality and has air tires and a hand brake. As long as your child is in 2T pants, he will be able to fit on the Tadpole. Between the three, my 2yo, who just transitioned to 3T pants, prefers the Tadpole, but will happily ride the others as well.

      Lastly, there are a couple of balance bikes that convert to pedal bikes, but I generally don’t recommend them as they convert in a 12″ bike, which are generally a bad idea as explained here: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/specialized-hotrock-12-review/. Plus, as you mentioned, kids generally outgrow their 12″ balance bikes when they are ready for a 14″ or 16″ pedal bike.

      Hope that helps!

  • MC

    Hello! We would like to buy a balance bike for our 2.5 yo son for Christmas. I have been to 3 bike shops and have been researching online. I’m a bit overwhelmed by all of the information and would love a recommendation from you. My son is small for his age- wearing 24 mo size pants and starting to fit into 2T (although some are still too big). A couple bike shops told us to avoid bikes with plastic tires and stick to aluminum bikes with actual air tires. Do you agree? He will be riding the bike on pavement and on trails at the local park. He has also been insistent that he wants an orange bike (no idea where he came up with that!)… there aren’t many orange options. I don’t think we have to go orange, if there aren’t good options in that color. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

    • MC

      One more thing I should add… my son tried a few bikes in the stores- a Trek, a Raleigh, and a Strider. The Trek seemed to be too big for him and I think he was intimidated. He kept saying “too big”. The Strider seemed to fit him the best of all 3. My only concern with the Strider was the tires. I’d like to get him a quality bike that will last and he can ride on different surfaces. Thank you so much for your help!

  • Madeleine Travers

    Hi there! We would like to buy a balance bike for our 2.1 year old son for Christmas. He weighs around 13 kg. Our options are the firstbike cross or the muna firetruck. The firstbike seems the best option, but i am concerned about the firstbike models available here are only without brakes, compared to the muna which comes standard with brakes. What is your opinion on this?

    • At 13kg, the Muna is going to be a little heavy for your son, but definitely still useable. If you plan on riding on around any hills, or if you think he has the potential to be a daredevil, then I would probably go with the Muna because it has a brake. If not, then I would go with the FirstBIKE. While a brake is very useful, most kids don’t actually begin using them until they are close to transitioning to a pedal bike as toddlers don’t have the hand-eye coordination to use them (but preschoolers certainly do).

  • Mom of boys

    Thanks to your great reviews, I think I’ve narrowed it down to two (or 3) balance bikes for my almost 3 year old. He is fairly tall (15″ inseam) and quite a little daredevil. I just can’t decide between the Burley Mykick or the Tykes byke 12″ (we were also considering Joovy BMX, but right now it’s 3rd choice since it’s not on highly recommended list like other two). Do you have suggestions of which would suit him better?

    • Mom of boys

      Oh, and he weighs about 32 lbs.

      • I would go with the TykesBykes for sure as the air tires and handbrake will certainly come in handy once he learns to really get going.

        • Mom of boys

          Well, now I have found a Muna which wasn’t previously available, so wasn’t considering. Any reason to go with Muna over the Tykes byke other than it probably looks really cool to a 3 year old or do you think I should stick with the Tykes Byke? Thanks.

          • Humm, the one benefit of the Muna is that it has a longer and narrower seat that is slightly better for kids to learn on, but certainly not a huge deal. If you prefer the looks of one over the other, then I would go with that one.

  • Mary

    As many people on here, I’m totally overwhelmed by all the options! I have a 27 month old who is big for her age (wears 4T clothes, 39″ tall, 36 lbs). I’m looking to spend $100 or less. I’d like it to be durable so I can use it for my newborn when he’s ready too. Thanks for all the info!

    • If you are looking to pass the bike onto a younger sibling, I would go with the KinderBike Lafraud as it will be tall enough for your daughter, yet small enough for your newborn when they are ready.

  • Amy

    Hi Natalie! I’ve been reading your site, which has been very helpful. We are looking for new bikes for our kids. We just ordered a Bike Star Sport 10″ for our 2-year-old as it had one of the lowest seat heights and she has a 12″ inseam. Our older kids, age 5 and 7, currently have pedal bikes with training wheels (which they have outgrown) and I’m thinking about balance bikes instead for them as well. Our 5 year old wears 5T clothes and is starting to get into size 6. She fits well on her brother’s 16″ pedal bike. I’m almost sold on the TykesBykes 16″ for her but was wondering if there’s anything else we should consider. Our 7 year old wears size 6-7 clothes. He fits well on a 20″ pedal bike. If we go with a TykesBykes 16″, would it be a good idea to let him ride it also, or is he too big? Is there anything else you would recommend for him? He has special needs and he’s not very coordinated, if that matters….would a balance bike be a better way for him to learn as well, or should we stick with the training wheels in his case? He is high functioning and I think he is very capable of learning to ride a bike, I’m just not sure of the best way to go about it. Thanks!

    • For your 5 and 7 year-old, I would actually wait and not buy them a new bike just yet. Instead, I would remove the pedals and the training wheels on their current bikes and have them use them as a balance bike. This will give you a generally idea of how they would react to a balance bike. More than likely, they are not going to be comfortable on the bike and will want their pedals back. If they are able to try it out and are somewhat successful after a week or so, then I would get them a pedal bike, but if they are still fighting it, then I would get them a balance bike. Because balance bike are a lot lighter than pedal bike, have a longer wheelbase and a lower seat, they are A LOT easier for kids to learn to balance on as compared to pedal bikes (especially lower-end pedal bikes). Depending on your budget and their size, I would recommend the TykesBykes 16″ or the Scoot XL balance bikes for them (and perhaps the Strider Sport 16 for your 7 year old).

      If you they are able to learn to balance on their old bikes, them I would look into getting a good quality pedal bike. The TykesBykes 16 would most likely be a good fit for your 5yo, but would probably be too small for your 7yo (then again that does depend on their size). For your 7yo, I would look into the Islabikes line of bikes. They are pricey, but we have found they are much easier to ride as compared to other bikes. If he is ready for a 20″ I would look at the Beinn 20″, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/islabikes-beinn-20-review/. If it is in your budget, I think your son would be much more successful on it as compared to other bikes, plus it can certainly be passed down to your other children. If that is out of your budget (and don’t feel bad if it is), then I would look at the Cleary Owl, http://clearybikes.com/collections/bikes, or the Cannondale 20 at a local bike shop, http://www.cannondale.com/nam_en/2015/bikes/kids/boy-s/trail/20-m-trail-cb-berserker-green.

      • Amy

        Thanks for the info! What do you think the odds are that they’d be able to learn with the pedals off? (Also, how hard are they to take off?) Neither of them have ever ridden without training wheels, and they havent spent that much time on the bikes (largely our fault as it’s been hard with a baby and no seat or trailer). We currently own a 12″ and a 16″ pedal bike, if that matters. We were hoping to get the new ones for Christmas. I was able to measure the 5 year old and she has a 19″ inseam. The 7 year old is probably 6-8″ taller overall but I haven’t measured his inseam yet.

        • Amy

          Oh, and the current bikes are just standard kids big box ones.

      • Amy

        Okay, the 5 year old has a 19″ inseam and the 7 year old’s is 22 1/2″.

        • The TykesBykes has a minimum seat height of 20.5″, so it is going to be too big for your five-year-old. If he already knew how to balance and brake, he could probably be fine on it as he could touch with his tippy toes, but I wouldn’t put him on the bike from the get go. It will however, fit your 7 year old.

          • Amy

            You mean the 16″ pedal bike, right? Not the balance bike.

  • JennyJen

    Hi Natalie!
    driving myself crazy here. I read somewhere on your site that you don’t recommend 12″ or 14″ tires for some age group or for pedal bikes or something along those lines. I’m still trying to figure out which balance bike to get for my daughter and I wanted to re read your recommendation on the tire size. she’s going to be 3 but she’s already in 4t and up. Was debating between the 2 scoots and then you recommended the too too as well when I asked. She’s pretty athletic but this will be her first time on a bike really so….? any additional input? also could you direct me to your article about the tire sizes?

    thanks

    • I believe the article you were referring two was this one about 12″ pedal bikes, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/specialized-hotrock-12-review/. Due to the geometry required in order for a child to pedal a bike, tire size is much more important on a pedal bike than in a balance bike. As a general rule for all bikes, you should get the largest tire size that still allows your child to sit on the seat with while still being to touch both heels on the ground. For your daughter, if she is still three and has never been on a bike, I would go with the Scoot as it is smaller and lighter, BUT is she is close to size 5 clothes, then I would go with the XL, which will provide her more room for growth.

      • JennyJen

        Hi Natalie!
        Thanks so much for getting back to me. she is solidly in 4t clothes and I’ve even gotten a few 5t for her so I guess I should go with the XL then for growth even though she’s not yet 3 and never really been on a bike before? she is 36lbs if that makes a difference.
        Thanks again for all your help and this awesome website!

        • I think she would be okay on the XL, but I would talk to Ivan at WeeBikeShop to confirm as he has fitted the Scoot and the XL on a lot more kids than I have. You can reach him at 401-654-0029.

  • Gwynne

    Hello! I’m really interested in a balance bike for my son (turning 3 in March). He’s 32 lbs. and in 3T shirts, but 2T pants – his inseam is about 12″. What bike would you suggest? I was thinking of the Kinderbike Laufrad Mini. But then I saw in the comments you suggested the Tadpole or Strider to someone with a similar inseam. I’d really appreciate your thoughts! Thanks!

    • Between those, I much prefer the Frog due to it’s superior quality and air tires, but it’s minimum inseam is 13″, so it might be too big. My two-year-old in 2T pants was able to ride the Frog without any issues, so I would remeasure to make sure. My next pick would be the KinderBike and lastly the Strider. The Strider is a great bike, but I much prefer air tires.

  • CindyE

    Hi, I am wondering if you have tested the Giant Pre.

    • I have not, but I have had seen it in person and have had several readers purchase it. All in all, it is a great bike that is well built. The one main drawback we found was the lack of brake for the price of the bike. While most kids don’t use the brake for a while, learning how to use one while on a balance bike greatly benefits them when they are ready to transition to a pedal bike.

      • CindyE

        Thanks. I want to get a balance bike for my grandson for his 2nd birthday in a few weeks. He is 38″ tall with a 13 1/2″ inseam and weighs 38 lbs. I like the first bike except for the price. I thought about muni, but they’re unavailable. I don’t know the height seat to floor for the Pre but it is sold locally so I guess I could measure it! Do you have a recommendation? Thanks again.

        • I would go check out the Pre if it is local, otherwise, I would consider the Yedoo Too Too (which is only slightly less than the FirstBIKE with a brake and will may be slightly too big for him right now), the KinderBike Lafraud or the TykesBykes 12″.

    • I have not, but I have heard good things about them. They are well made and have air tires, but they are also on the heavier side and don’t have a handbrake. For the price, I believe better bikes are out there, but if you happen to see one at your local bike shop and it fits your kid, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it.

  • meaghan

    Hi There, I just wanted to check if you had tested the B-bip – I have the opportunity to get it for $75 instead of $149 and want to know if its a good choice 🙂

    • I have not seen the B-Bip or any of the other bikes by MammaCangura, but with air tires, a hand brake and a lightweight frame, it sounds like a deal for $75 compared to other bikes in that price range.

  • Justine

    I think I’m just as overwhelmed as everyone else 🙂 I have a soon to be 3 year old who is wearing 4t (a little long). I don’t have an exact inseam. I’m looking for a balance bike to give him for his birthday. I would love to stay under $150ish. I’m so overwhelmed by all the choices. Any one bike you would recommend? I would love for it to last him for awhile (esp because I live in Illinois and we have LONG winters!)

    • Justine

      I measured his inseam and he is 16″ without shoes! I was between tyke byes, too too, and lafrud. But with his tall inseam I’m even more confused. He’s played around on bikes but never really handled them on his own. I don’t want to get something too heavy but would love for it to last longer than 1 summer. Thanks for any help!

      • Considering he is already tall and you have long winters, my first pick would be the Scoot, but even with the 10% coupon, you won’t be able to get it for under $150. The KinderBike is another good options, but I do think the bike is a little too small to handle the 20″ extended seat post it comes with, so I think the Muna or the TykesBykes 12″ would be a better fit for him as they comes with higher handlebars that are better for taller kids.

        • Justine

          Thank you! I love the scoot but it is a little too expensive. I like the Muna but can’t seem to find anywhere that has it? Do you know of any retailers?

          • The Muna is currently out-of-stock everywhere and I’m not sure when a new shipment is expected.

  • Taylor

    Hello, I am also overwhelmed with the number of options of balance bikes out there. Your cite is very helpful, though I’ve already spent hours trying to find the perfect bike for my daughters 2nd birthday. She has an 11 1/2″ inseam, so she is on the small side. I would like to get a bike that she could ride for the next couple of summers. We’d like to spend around $100 (less if possible). Could you please suggest a balance bike for us? Thank you.

    • First, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner! Crazy week around here. With a 11 1/2″ inseam for under $100, I would go with the KinderBike Mini. Using the coupon code “twtots” at Balance Bike Shop (http://www.balancebikeshop.com/?Click=4155), you can get it for less than $100. Your only other option would be the Strider, which is also available at Balance Bike Shop.

  • safia

    I have a tiny two year old. He is under 20 lb and wears 18 mo clothes, but is extremely active and wants to keep up with his 4 year old brother who is on a ridgeback scoot mini in 4t clothes. I don’t see the little one being able to handle too much weight on a balance bike though. Any suggestions?

    • I agree, with under 20 lb. you will really want a small, lightweight bike. My top pick would be the Islabikes Rothan, as it is small, light and is great for younger kids. A more affordable option would be the Yedoo Too Too, but it most likely won’t fit him until he is in 24 months clothes. Lastly, since he will have the Scoot to use when he gets older, I would also consider getting a Strider, as it will fit him now and when he is ready to put air tires to work, he should fit on the Scoot.

      • safia

        Thanks for the reply. I really want to maximize what warm weather we have here in IL, and I don’t see him in 24 month clothes any time soon. He just started not swimming in 18 month lol. Do you think I should consider a prebike this year?

        • If he is interested, then yes, I would certainly get him started, especially since it takes them a while to get the hang of gliding on the bikes. My youngest son actually took almost 5 months of walking the bike to learn how to glide, but most kids will take around 2 months or so.

      • safia

        also, what is the difference between the classic and sport striders? there is a significant price difference.

        • There are a couple of differences that are cause for the price increase. The Sport comes with an extended seat post with a larger size seat as well as a narrower handlebar, which is easier to grip for smaller hands.

  • LC

    Hi, I have read all your wonderful reviews. Thank you for such a detailed review on each bike. I am so happy I found your site! I think I narrowed it down to the TyesBykes 12″, KinderBike (2015 model), FirstBIKE, and the Burley McKick. I have a child turning 3 yrs old, who is 36.5″ and my other is turning 2 yrs old, at 33.5″. Do you think I have my selections correctly and if so, which one would you recommend? I’d like for them to share the bike for this summer. Thanks so much!

    • Glad to be of help! Between those bikes, if you live near any hills, then I would make sure to get a bike with a brake, so I would take out the Burley. Unless you almost 2 year old is in almost 3T pants, then I wouldn’t go for the FirstBIKE as you would also need the lowering kit to allow him to get on and off the bike easily. Between the TykesBykes and the KinderBike, if you live in a colder climate where they won’t be able to ride during the winter, I would go with the KinderBike (as it comes with an extended seat post), if not, then I would go with the TykesBykes as I have found them to be slightly better in quality.

  • Jenna

    What a helpful site! Thank you so much!! I am deciding between a Kinderbike and Tykebyke 12 based on reviews and price for my 3 1/2 year old (38 in tall and 15 in inseam) Any thoughts on this? She is fairly timid sometimes and will need to be very comfortable on a bike in order to enjoy it. I’m concerned that she will outgrow both bikes by the end of the summer. I’m envisioning her using the balance bike this spring/summer/fall and possibly getting a pedal bike for summer or Christmas 2016?? Does this seem like a reasonable timeframe? I have no idea. I’d also love to pass this on to a younger sibling in the future. Thanks again for your help.

    • Jenna

      I’m also totally open to other bike suggestions you may have!!

      • As long as she rides the bike often, then yes, you can certainly expect her to transition to a pedal bike by Christmas 2016. As for which bike, if she has a longer torso, I would go with the TykesBykes, a shorter torso, the KinderBike, if average then she would be fine on either, but I generally prefer TykesBykes due to their superior customer service. The only bike I would consider, would be the Yedoo Too Too, but it does cost more. Hope that helps!

        • Jenna

          Thank you! Your reply and the information on this site are extremely helpful.

  • Kristen

    Thanks for the site! My daughter is turning 3, but small for her age. It looks like her inseam is about 12-13″ (but I’m a little unsure of that) and she weighs 25lbs. She wears some 24mo pants and some 2T. Based on your reviews and the price points, I think I’m deciding between a Kinderbike Mini or Laufraud or a Strider, but I’m open to other suggestions at or below their prices. I want something that will last her a few years since she’s on the smaller side, and it’d be nice to be able to pass it down to her younger brother. She’ll primarily be riding on pavement and isn’t super-adventurous so the air tires aren’t a necessity, but I’m sure they provide a nice cushion and make it easier to absorb shock. Would a Kinderbike be too heavy for her? Could she fit into a Laufraud at this point (since it’s spring and she’ll start using it now) and would that be more versatile, or would the Mini be better since she’ll likely be ready for a real bike before she surpasses the maximum seat height?

    • Nope, I think the KinderBike wouldn’t be too heavy for her and would be a good fit. If her inseam is 13″, then I would go with the Laufrad, is it in 1″, I would go with the Mini. Both models come with an extended seat post, so she should have plenty of time on both.

  • Jenny

    I’m so happy to have found this incredible site! I am also getting overwhelmed with all of the info. In trying to narrow down a bike for my May baby’s 2nd birthday, I’m pretty much looking between the Kinderbike Mini or the Strider Sport. I definitely like products that will last a long time and they both appear to be equal in that regard as far as adjustable heights. Our girl is on the tall side (35 in, 26 lb) but i haven’t had a chance to measure her inseam yet. One thing, she is potty trained and I see that the Strider comes with a cushy seat, but i can’t tell on the kinderbike – otherwise it seems the kinderbike is the better value as far a tires, features, warranty. Do I have to worry about the kinderbike being uncomfortable without a diaper? Are there other options out there that would be good to consider? $100 is probably about our budget. Huge thanks in advance!

    • Sorry for my delay in getting back to you, lots of questions this weekend. For the seat, the standard Strider seat actually comes unpadded and it generally not liked by kids who are not in diapers. The seat on the KinderBike is slightly padded, so along with it’s air tires and handbrake, I would recommend the KinderBike Mini.

  • Tricia

    I have a very small 16 month old, with short legs (12 month pants, 18-24 month shirts). However, he is very physical. The four year old next door just got a bike with training wheels and my son is constantly climbing up on it (even though the seat is almost as high as his head). I think he would really enjoy a balance bike, but probably won’t be large enough until next summer. It seems like the pre-bikes mostly have mediocre to negative reviews. Any recommendations for a child who is athletic, but tiny?

    • The best pre-bike that small that I have seen some positive reviews on in the Kinderfeet 3-in-1, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LTHRWIG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00LTHRWIG&linkCode=as2&tag=aperpla-20&linkId=BDXJ5FMDOMQTBWNJ. It would certainly fit him now, but I would still upgrade as soon as he is in 18 month pants. For colors other than pink, TikesBikes has them for preorder, http://www.tikesbikes.com/products/tiny-tot-2-in-1-bike-from-kinderfeets, and you can use their coupon code at the top of the page for additional $$ off.

      • Janina

        Hi Natalie. I need some advice on what I could get my youngest. I just bought the woom 3 for my 6 year and the firstbike for my 4 year old based on your advice (love the firstbike, woom is due to arrive tomorrow). My almost 18 month old is showing interest in wanting to ride stuff and he’s already showing good striding action while riding other toys (he rides a micro scooter 3 in 1 but hasn’t quite figured out the steering yet). He seems really motivated and not put off by falling down. I think he would be into trying a balance bike for the upcoming spring and summer when the girls are out riding their bikes. Problem is that he is just on the verge of fitting into 18 month pants (his inseam is currently about 10″). I’m not real keen on the pre-balance bikes as the quality is not that great and the wishbone 3 in 1 is just a bit too pricey (especially after just purchasing the woom and firstbike) for one summer of use (I expect he will move into the firstbike by next summer). I don’t see that any of the real balance bikes can work for his inseam. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Tiff

    I have a 16 month old who will be over 18 month this summer. 2 in November. I would like to get her a balance bike this summer because I love riding myself. She has long legs but a short torso. Inseam is about 11″.

    • With a shorter torso, the KinderBike Mini would be a great fit for her. It has a minimum seat heigh of 11″, air tire and a handbrake as well!

  • Amy

    Thank you for all of your very helpful information! I am looking for a good option for my daughter who is just about to turn four (4T tops, almost ready for 4T pants). This will be her first balance bike and she hasn’t quite gotten the hang of her scooter. She’ll mostly be riding on city sidewalks (which tend to have lots of cracks/uneven spots) and semi-paved walking paths. Based on your reviews and the price point, I’m considering the Kundo Ultralight. The wider air tires sound like a good match for uneven pavement and a beginner, along with the lightweight frame. But I have a couple of questions: do you think a four year will miss/need the handbrakes? Do you have any concerns that the Kundo doesn’t seem to come with any warranty? Any updates on the when the Kundo Smarttrial will be available in the US (I love the idea of the convertible)? And, finally, am I overlooking any better options? Many thanks in advance!

    • Amy

      Also, it doesn’t seem like many people consider or discuss the Kundo UItralight. Am I missing something? Thanks again.

      • You’re right, the Kundo hasn’t picked up a lot of traction and doesn’t get discussed much. I will say it is a very well made bike, that is very light and has great tires. As long as your daughter has a longer torso, the Kundo will be a great match for her. The bike does have a longer reach than most balance bikes, so I would be sure to take that into consideration. If she doesn’t have a longer torso, I would look at the Scoot (which is pricier) or Yedoo Too Too. As for the Kundo’s warranty, I don’t see that being a problem as WeeBikeShop, the importers of the Kundo, has a great customer service and I’m sure they would help you if there was a problem. Lastly, I’m honestly not a huge fan of 12″ convertible bikes as kids who are ready to graduate from balance bikes are usually to small for a 12″ pedal and would be better off on a 14″ or 16″.

  • Kristina

    Hello Natalie! Thank you for your website and time you spend answering our questions! It’s means a lot! My daughter just turned 3 . She is 39″ tall , 16″ inseam , 30 lbs weight . Never ride a bike before. She is super hyper and scared of nothing . Which bikes you would recommend. The price for the bike I would say 100 – 200$ we live in Toronto Canada so I checked website so the bikes to consider FIRSTBIKE street balance , GLIDER 12″ glider 16″ , KINDERBIKE Laufrad 2015 or mini 2015, STRIDER , RUNNERS or maybe another brand . I whould like your opinion before I go to different stores . Thank you for your time

    • Kristina

      And what is your opinion on micro balance g-bike?!?

    • With a 16″ inseam, I would go with the KinderBike Laufrad out of all those options. The FirstBIKE is another great option if you think she will transition to a pedal bike sooner. The Strider, some of the Runners and the Glide bikes all have foam tires, so I wouldn’t recommend them.

      • Kristina

        Thank you!

  • Daisey Mae

    Hi Natalie! Thanks for both your written review and your Youtube review, they are great! My son is turing 2 and I would like to purchase his first balance bike. We will be using it indoors on hardwood, outside on pavement and grass and also on dirt roads. I am a bit skeptical of the foam tires for the hardwood floor or the dirt road. I am considering the Strider Classic, the Vilano, Kettler and Radio Flyer Glide and Go. I have not measured his inseam, but he wears a 2t pants. I can purchase the Strider Classic for $75, but would prefer to stay at $75 or under. What would you recommend? Thanks!

    • I would actually look at the bike*star 12″ bike series. They are heavier, but unless your little guy is petite, it shouldn’t be a problem. They also come with air tires and a hand brake, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004U16YHS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004U16YHS&linkCode=as2&tag=aperpla-20&linkId=L4ZBBLAMPO2PAMLB. They do have a minimum seat height of 13.8″, so he should be okay, but measure to be sure. If the 12″ will be too big, they do make the same bike in 10″ tires.

      • Daisey Mae

        Thanks for the reply! I actually broke down and purchased a kinderbike mini last night after reading most of the questions and your responses to them. I was able to get one through the balancebikeshop.com for what I thought was a reasonable price and was able to use the two wheeling tots code for an extra 10% off plus free shipping!

  • Angie

    Hi Natalie! We bought our oldest son a Strider a couple years ago, shortly before he turned 2. We really played it up, took him to the park with bike trails and let him walk with it, showed youtube videos, etc. but he never got the hang of it and never really liked it. He’s used it less than 5 times total, and will cry and opt to walk without it if that’s the only ride-on we bring somewhere. (Meanwhile he loves his scooter and plasma car.) We don’t know anyone else that has had success with a balance bike either for him to see in person. So, he turns 4 at the end of April and has long outgrown his Strider. (Don’t have measurements right now but he’s very tall for his age-regularly mistaken for a kinder student, has been wearing 5T pants since last summer and usually 5 or 6’s now for many brands, and at least 40 lbs.) My husband really thinks we should give up on the balance bike thing-a concept we both love- and just get him started with training wheels. I am hoping to find a bike that’s a better fit and hope that after taking a year off from the balance bike he will catch on now that he’s older, (especially since he loves riding down hills and putting his feet up on his plasma car when we let him use it on trails.) Since my husband isn’t even convinced this is the right way to go, price is definitely an issue, so I am leaning towards either the REI Zipper or the 16′ TykeByke. (We also have a small 2 yo and pregnant with boy #3 so we would plan to hand it down.) Thanks so much for your thoughts!

    • Ugh, that is frustrating! Does he show any interest in a pedal bike? If so, I would actually get him a good-quality pedal bike (lightweight with a long wheelbase), remove the pedals, and have him use it as a balance bike. For some kids, the rewards of getting the pedals is enough to encourage them to keep going, but no guarantees. If you do take this path, it is important that your son doesn’t see the bike with training wheels on it, even if it comes with them. The problem with training wheels is that considering his age, it will be really hard to ever take them off. Plus, they really don’t train you to do anything. If you don’t think that will work, you could go with a larger balance bike and I would recommend the Zipper over the 16″ as the 16″ will probably be too much bike for him to handle.

  • Ellie

    Hi Natalie, I have a energetic, fearless 29mo with a 15″ inseam so I reckon she’s a bit tall for her age. I considered the FirstBike as first choice but coming back to read your updated review, I am worried about how much use she will get out of it especially with the flexing issue. I also considered the Islabikes Rothan but think it might be too low. I’m now torn between the Ridgeback Scoot, the Ridgeback Scoot XL and the LikeaBike Jumper and while the Jumper is in the lead(I’m in love with the wheels), I’m quite concerned about the fact that it has no brakes and how that will translate as she grows and eventually moves to a pedal bike. We currently live in the city but might move to less slabbed environs. I’m UK resident and will appreciate your thoughts.

    • Between those, I would go with the Scoot. Being on 2, the Scoot XL is going to be too big for her. The LikeaBike Jumper is an awesome bike, but I would only recommend it for kids are plan on riding mainly at the skate park or on jumps as the shock is disservice to kids who ride mainly on paved surfaces.

  • Ashley

    Hi there,
    I love all your comparisons and reviews on the balance bikes – I live in Australia and was wondering if you have heard of the Merida balance bike and the DK Nano Balance bike. How do they compare with the others with features etc. I’d really love your opinion. Thank you in advance. Ashley

    • They both look like good quality bikes, but based on the frame along, the Merida I assume would be much lighter, so I would probably prefer it over the DK.

  • Ali

    How does the FirstBike compare to ChillaFish BMXie?

    • I much prefer the FirstBIKE as I believe it is better quality, plus is has almost three times the seat height adjustments as the BMXie.

    • Dan

      I prefer the Chillafish BMXie. It has a footsupport which the Firstbike doesn’t have. Plus it can be taken off if needed. There’s no steering limiter which I think is better : kids at an early age need to learn to control steering, before jumping on a real bicycle. A subjective difference : it looks much cooler than the technical looking Firstbike.

  • Glynda

    Hi, I have just started researching balance bikes and found your website. Thanks so much for all of the information here! I was wondering if I could also get your recommendations for my children. Both will primarily ride on streets and sidewalks but being able to go off road of course would be nice as well. Our price range is $100-$200. My daughter is turning 4 (16″ inseam, 40″ tall, 33 lbs). She has ridden a tricycle but other than that has no other experience on a bike. So far I have written down to consider the TykesByke and the Scoot. My son is 2 1/2 (14″ inseam, 37″ tall, 32 lbs). He has never ridden a bike. He has a hard time pedaling a tricycle but has scooted around on other toys. So far I have written down to consider the Yedoo TooToo, FirstBike, and KinderBike. Do you think these are good options or is there something else to also consider? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much 🙂

    • Glynda

      I’ve been doing more reading up on your site and I’m leaning the Scoot for the 4 year old. Would you agree with that? For the 2 1/2 year old I was looking at the Scoot but it seems it may be a little too large for him with only a 14″ inseam but I did read here that they typically don’t sit on the seat for a while when they first start riding so this may not be an issue. I am also considering the Yedoo TooToo for him, the TykesByke 12, and the Muna. It seems these would all work but I’m not sure which would be the best option. I suppose it would be okay to go with one of the smaller ones assuming my daughter will outgrow the Scoot and then he can move on to that. What do you think? Thanks again!

      • Janina

        I just wanted to comment on your post. My daughter who is turning 4 next week has about the same stats as your 2.5 year old son (she is small for her age). We got her the firstbike a couple of weeks ago with the lowering kit and we absolutely love it. It’s just a perfect fit for her and she’s been cruising around on it so well. I’m just so impressed with the quality, light weight, and the geometry just works so well for her height. If you are also getting a larger balance bike for your daughter that your son can then grow into (assuming he doesn’t go straight to pedal bike), I would definitely consider the firstbike.

        • Glynda

          Thanks for commenting! There are just so many good choices it seems and so much information here! I feel like my head is spinning trying to decide! Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

          • First, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner as I have been traveling. For the bikes you listed, I agree that the Scoot would be a great choice for your 4yo, but I think it would be too big for your 2yo who has no experience on a bike. For him, I would go with the FirstBIKE or the Too Too. Since he may be riding in non-paved areas, I would probably go with the FirstBIKE Cross with the lowering kit. While he technically doesn’t need the lowering kit, it will help him get on and off he bike much easier.

        • Thanks so much for commenting! I know many people have reservations about the FirstBIKE for older toddlers, so I’m glad to hear that it is working out great for you.

  • KT

    Hi Natalie! I’m looking for some help. My son is 2yrs 5months and has never ridden a bike. He is pretty rugged and weighs 33.5lbs. He is tall for his age (99%) – I haven’t measured his inseam just yet. He is in size 3T pants. I am looking at the Muna, TykesBykes, and Kinderbike Laufrad. He’ll be using it on streets and sidewalks but also on grass and other off road areas (especially when we go camping). Am I on the right track with the ones I’m looking at? Any suggestions would be great! Thank you!!

    • First, sorry for my delay in getting back to you as I have been traveling. For the bikes you have listed, I would go with the TykesBykes as it is taller than the KinderBike. The Muna would also be a good choice, but it is currently sold out. The only other bike I would recommend considering it the Yedoo Too Too, which is lighter than the TykesBykes, but considering your son it over 30 lb., the weight difference between the two won’t make that much of a difference.

  • Michele

    I have a 3 year old (just turned 3) who has an inseam of 17″ with shoes on. He’s about 33 lbs. and on the taller side. He wears 4T pants. He’d be riding on streets, sidewalks, and dirt/grass. I’d like the best bike for the buck. 😉 This will be his first bike. Also, he have a younger sister (who’s on the smaller side) who will be using it next year (or the year after) and I would like for it to fit them both in their respective heights. Any help you can give would be very helpful! Thank you!

    • Michele

      I think I want to go with the TykesBykes. My question is which size? 12″ or 16″? Which would you recommend? Is it going to be a problem if it’s on the shorter side before he transitions to a regular pedaled bike or will it be just fine? Thank you for your help!

      • Humm, with a 17″ inseam he is in-between sizes. The 16″ would fit him, but it is a really big bike for a three year old and may be too much bike for him, especially since it is his first. The 12″ will fit him now, and as long as he is able to ride on a regular basis, it should fit him until he is ready to transition to a pedal bike.

        • Michele

          Thank you for your help! I got the 12″.

  • saara

    Hi Natalie,
    I was wondering if you had a look at the balance bikes that toysrus seems to have new for this season, they are called yvelo? They look lightweight and small enough for my tiny two year old, who is just starting to outgrow 12 mo pants but is swimming in most 18 mo pants. He is 19.5 lb, but is extremely well developed otherwise. I don’t really know much about balance bikes to judge geometry though.

    • I have not, but in general, I don’t recommend the YVelo bikes as they simply have too many plastic parts, very limited seat height adjustments and no hand brake. I did have a reader, however, purchase the Y Velo and really like it. Here’s what he had to say, “We recently purchase a regular Y Velo (not the other gimmicky versions
      of it) for our 3 year old daughter. Initially, based on the pictures it
      look like a great design but because of the price (we paid about $52.00)
      we though it was going to be almost disposable. I have to say that we
      were impressed by the quality of the build. This bike actually has an
      aluminum frame (is not a all plastic as you mentioned above) and it
      really feels sturdy. Anyway, our daughter seems to be doing well with it
      and it fits her well, so we are happy so far. The seat has a total of four positions spaced at about 1 1/4″ each. I
      wish it had more flexibility but so far she’s comfortable at the 3rd
      stop that puts the seat at about 16″ from the floor.” Hope that helps!

      • saara

        Thanks for the reply Natalie. Are there any balance bikes that you would recommend for such a little guy? He has an 11-11.5 inch inseam without his diaper on.

        • The Islabike Rothan is an amazing bike for petite kids, but it is pricey. Another option is the KinderBike Mini. Both of these bikes will have a seat that is slightly too tall for him, but since kids don’t actually sit on the seat of the bike for the first couple months (they walk the bikes) the slight difference shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Chris

    Hey Natalie,

    This is a great site, and thanks for all the great info. I’m looking to get bikes for both my boys who turn 4 and 2 this month, and neither has ridden a bike before. The 4 year old has 15″ inseam and is 38″ tall. I think he’s got a short torso and long arms and legs. Transitioning from 3T to 4T clothes. I’d like him to have a bike that will grow with him for the next year or two. I think it may take him that long before wanting to use a pedal bike. The 2 year old has 12″ inseam and is 33″ tall, been in 2T clothes. He’s aggressive and wants to do everything on his own. I’d like him to have a bike that can grow with him for a couple years before moving on to big brother’s bike. The options I like are air tires, sealed bearings, brake, recessed or covered bolts, and I could go either way on a limiter. We have baby #3 due in September, and plan on having one or two more, so I’m willing to pay more for durability. We live in Louisiana, so year round riding is possible, on and off road. For the 4 year old, I like the Ridgeback Scoot, Yedoo Too Too, and KinderBike Laufrad. For the 2 year old, I like the FirstBike, Yedoo Too Too, Islabike Rothan 12″, and KinderBike Laufrad Mini. Please let me know your thoughts, and thanks for your time.

    • Glad to be of help! For you older son, I agree that the Scoot would be a good choice. Not only will it fit him well, it will last for years to come. For your younger son, I would go with the FirstBIKE with a lowering kit as it is the most resilient to the humidity and rain, which it will be sure to face over the years. My next pick would be the Yedoo Too Too.

  • Melanie

    Hi Natalie!
    Thanks for all the great info on your site! I stumbled across it when researching what size bike to get my daughter and I’m so glad I did! After doing some reading, I’d like to purchase a balance bike for her. This will be her first bike and will be used on a paved bike trail and on the grass in our backyard. She just turned 4 and is about 41.5″ tall and weighs 33 lbs with a 17.25″ inseam. I’d like to use the bike this season and maybe next (we live in New England) and then hand it down to her little brother who is currently 6 months old and in the 50th percentile for height and 25th for weight. He will most likely start using it around 2 1/2 but possibly as early as 18 months depending if my daughter uses it for one year or two. I think I’ve narrowed it down to a 2015 Kinderbike Lefraud but worry it might be a bit big for my son when he first starts using it. The 2015 mini seems enticing since the seat height goes from 11″ to 21″ but it seems the frame might be a bit too small for my daughter now. I also looked at Tykesbykes but felt that those also might be too big for my son when he is ready. The Scoot and the Yoo too also look like a good option, but we were trying to keep the price around $100. What would you recommend? At our price point should we just get my son his own when it’s time and get the best match for my daughter now? Should I go with one of the Kinderbikes and pass it down, or should I spring for something more expensive now that might be a better fit for both kids to use? I appreciate your help!

    • I would go with the KinderBike Laufrad as it will fit your daughter now, and isn’t too big, so it will fit your son by the time he is in 2T clothes. TykesBykes would be a good option, but I agree that it will be too big for him by the time he is ready to ride (younger siblings usually ride a lot sooner than older siblings).

  • Ashley

    Natalie!

    Your site is amazing!! I’m so glad I ran across it before I made a huge mistake by buying my 4 year old a bike with training wheels. I initially thought balance bikes were just a novelty item, but now I understand how important it is to allow kids the opportunity to learn to balance first before adding the pedaling in the mix. So here’s our situation and I would love some advice from you. We have 2 sons, one who is 4 years old, weighs 36.5 pounds, is 40 inches tall and has a roughly 15.5 inch inseam; the other who is almost 2 years old, weighs 27 pounds, is 31 inches tall and has a roughly 11 inch inseam. (And let me just say how hard it was to measure these guys, so the measurements could be a little bit off.) So we haven’t bought either of these guys any bicycles or tricycles before, so they’re pretty bike naive. We wanted to get the 4 year old a pedal bike for his birthday this year, but have decided instead to go for a balance bike. I am hoping that he will get the hang of it pretty quick and can get him a pedal bike next year when he turns 5. The little one wants to do everything that big brother does (and was fearless on the bikes we looked at while we were in the bike shop), so we’re planning on getting him a balance bike too. I’m planning on big brother turning over his bigger balance bike to little brother once he gets a pedal bike. We need to keep the cost down to $150 or less per bike if possible. For the 4 year old, we were looking at the Strider ST-4 Sport and KinderBike Laufrad. Do either of these seem reasonable or are there others that you would recommend? For the 2 year old, I was looking at the Kinderfeets Tiny Tot but I was wondering if it would be too small (it only needs to last a year or so since he can graduate to big brother’s hand me down next year). I was also considering the Strider ST-4 Sport and the KinderBike Mini. What do you think about these choices or do you have another suggestion? A couple of other questions: Since there are no gears/etc, do you think it is ok to buy a balance bike in-box and assemble it yourself vs. having a professional at a bike shop assemble it? For the tires with air in them, so how do you recommend sealing the tires so they’re puncture resistant? Thanks so much for all your help and advice!!!

    • Glad to help. First off, assembling balance bike is really easy, so no need to take it to a bike shop! As you suggested, I also highly recommend sealing air tires (the Strider has foam, so no need there), and here’s how to do it: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/how-to-apply-tire-sealant-to-bike-tires/. As for what bikes to buy, you certainly have a lot of options. First, the Strider Sport would be a good choice, but at 40″ tall, he is better off on a bike with a bigger frame, such as the TykesBykes 12″ or the KinderBike Laufrad. In addition to being larger, these bikes also have air tires and a handbrake which are very beneficial to older riders. For you younger son, I would go for either the KinderBike Mini or the Strider Classic and skip the Kinderfeets Tiny Tot. If he is fearless, he should be able to pick up a balance bike quickly as I have seen many almost 2yos learn to run and balance on these bikes. The KinderBike would be my first choice, but considering he can upgrade to your son’s bike later, you could probably save some money and get a Strider Classic.

  • Leah

    Awesome site! Quick question. My son measures barely 11 inches inseam with shoes on. He just turned two. Wears 18 mo or 24 mo pants and is 26 lbs. I was leaning towards the Kinder Mini, but it seems to say 12 inches is necessary. What do you think? Will he be too small? I doubt a store nearby has one in stock to test out first. I want him to be able to ride it now! He’ll be riding on rocks/trail in the park, so I think the air tires are needed. I’d like to avoid more than $100 and don’t care about color. I’m flexible about all the other specs. Thanks again!

  • Robin

    Any insight on the Trek Kickster?

    • I was able to see one briefly at a store and they are certainly well made, but for $170, there are certainly a lot better bikes out there. For those price I would certainly expect a lighter frame, metal rims and a hand brake.

  • Tara

    I’m looking for a replacement bike for my 3 year old. She has a GT Mach one from last summer (LOVED it!), but is way too tall for it now. She has a 19″ inseam (without shoes) and is 42″ tall. Any recommendations? The options are all a little overwhelming to me! 🙂 Thanks! And love your site!

    • My favorite larger balance bike is the Scoot XL, but it is pricey at $199 (has a 14″ tire). If you are looking for a more affordable bike, I would check out the REI Novara Zipper for $99. If you think she is ready to move up to a 16″, then I would look at the TykesBykes 16″.

  • Kyle

    Hi Natalie, I’m not sure where the best place for me to post this question so I’m doubling down!

    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!!

    • Glad to be of help! 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.

  • JulieFromQC

    Hi,

    I would love your advice as for which balance bike to choose for my 2 years old son (born in december). He wears 2T clothes, mesure 36 inches and seems to have a 13 inches inseam (this is NOT easy to mesure!).
    I’m looking for something available in Canada, with a hand brake (but maybe it’s not that important with younger child?) and that does well “off road”. I don’t have a set budget because I’m mostly looking for something that could be reused for my 9 months (born in july) old son when he gets older.
    I was set on the Islabikes Rhodan, but it doesn’t seem to be available in Canada…
    I excluded the FirstBike because it seemed hard to “climb” on (but maybe I’m wrong)…
    I was thinking maybe the Laufrad (regular or mini)… mostly because it seemed to be the best of the choices that I could find in Canada.
    I would be very glad for your opinion or suggestions!
    Thank you for your time!

    • Glad to help. I completely agree with the conclusions you can up with so far. A bike with a handbrake is best as it will help them transition to a pedal bike later down the road. While they won’t use it for a while, it will be there when they need it. For the FirstBIKE, you are correct in that the seat is challenging to get on and off for some kids. As for the KinderBike Mini or the Laufrad, I would probably go with the Mini since you plan on passing the bike down to your younger son, then again, if you plan on your kids being on the taller side, I would probably go with the Laufrad as it provide more room for growth, especially since they won’t be able to ride during the winter.

      • JulieFromQC

        Thank you for your advice. We have decided to go with the mini because we wanted to be sure the bike would fit right now. You have a great website and are really nice to answer all these questions. I’ll certainly come back again!

  • Emma

    Hi, I am trying to decide between the y velo jr and the strider. My one year old is big enough for both but I am not crazy about the tires on either. My almost three year old has one similar to the Novara from REI. It is from Performance Bicycle and has air tires. We do some trails and go to a bmx track often. We also ride at a small skills park. Do you know anything about the velo? I don’t see it listed. So I didn’t know if you never tried it out or if it wasn’t recommended. I like that the seat is low like the strider but the velo seems to have a higher clearance which would be good on the hills we do.

    • Between the two, I would certainly go with the Strider. In addition to having better geometry, the Strider has a higher quality of foam on the tires. While I agree that air tires are best, considering your one-year-old will be able to upgrade to a balance bike with air tires later, they should be fine with foam tires for now. Another bike you could consider is the KinderBike Mini, which is only slightly taller than Strider, but does have air tires and a hand brake.

  • Erin Ingham

    Hi, I’d love some advice please. I have a 3 year old who is very big for his age — 40lbs, wears size 5T. He used a cheap balance bike last summer and loved it, but the bike has already fallen apart. He hates using pedals of any kind right now, but I’m thinking that at this point it might make more sense to get a real bike and take the pedals off for a while rather than get a totally separate balance bike. Is there a particular “first real bike” that you could recommend? Thank you!

    • It really depends on his inseam and your budget, but my bike comparison charts can certainly help, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/pedal-bikes-comparison-charts/. My favorite bikes on that list are the WOOM bikes, Islabikes, but they are the most expensive. Cleary Bikes are also great along with Specialized, which are available at local bike shops.

  • tyra

    Hi, I’m trying to find the right balance bike for our 2 year old daughter [wears 2t]. I’ve looked around at some local bike shops and came across the Giant Pre balance bikes. They looked pretty nice, but wondering if maybe you know more about them? Or do you have another suggestion for me? Thanks so much!

    • I have had a chance to briefly see the Giant Pre and it is a great bike, but for the same price, there are several other bikes available online that are just as well made and come with a handbrake. It would like to support a local bike shop however, which I highly recommend 🙂 as well, then go for the Pre!

  • megan

    Hi I just purchased the kinderfeets tiny tots pre balance bike. It can start out as a tricycle and then convert in to a 2 wheeler. I don’t have it yet, but am now second guessing my decision. He is pretty small for his age so I think even when we convert it to 2 wheels he will be able to ride it for a while. I was looking at the strider t-4 sport, but I don’t think he would be able to ride it for a while because of his size. I havne’t seen to many reviews on it so was just trying to get your thoughts on the bike. Thanks!

    • I have not seen the Kinderfeets in person, but I have had many readers purchase it and love it. It is, however, very much a beginner balance bike. Since it is so small, once a child really learns to balance on the Tiny Tot, they are generally much to big for the bike and should upgrade to a larger bike, such as the Strider. If your son is still in 12 month clothes, then I would go with the Tiny Tot, but if he is solidly in 18-month clothes, then I would go with the Strider. Not having the tricycle option, your son will walk about the Strider, rather than ride it, but with time, they eventually figure it out.

  • Lauren Grant

    Hi there! Thank you for this amazing site and for all your help. I’m amazed at how you respond to everyone’s questions! I’m hoping for a bit of help, we are newbies when it comes to kids bikes! I watched your video comparing the bikes. Our daughter just turned 3 and our son is 9 months old. We are looking to purchase our first balance bike for our daughter and hope to pass it to our son when he is older. Our daughter is 36″ tall and has a 14″ inseam. She is a cautious little one so I can’t imagine we need anything crazy (but who knows what our son will be like lol). We live in a neighborhood with great sidewalks everywhere but I’m sure there are times she will enjoy “off-roading” as well. We would like the best bike at the most affordable price. I would say we would like to stay between $75-150. What do you recommend? Thanks so much!

    • Glad to help! At the top of your budget, I would go for the new Yedoo Too Too, which is selling for $159 on WeeBikeShop, but with the “rockstar” coupon code, you can bring it down to $145 with free shipping. It is a great lightweight bike, with a seat height of 12-18″ inches that is sure to fit your daughter for several years while also be small enough to fit your son when he is ready. I just got ours this past week for an updated review, and so far it has been great. If you are looking to spend less, I would recommend the TykesBykes 12″ or the KinderBike Laufrad.

      • Lauren Grant

        Wonderful, thank you so much Natalie!

  • Margaret Geise

    Hi Natalie – I am looking to buy a balance bike for my 4 year old daughter. She’s 40 inches tall and about 33 pounds. Last year, she easily mastered and rode a big wheel, but has never been on a real bike before. She’s pretty cautious with new things until she feels absolutely comfortable with it. I’m leaning towards the Scoot for her, as I really like all of the features. Just wondering if I should consider something else before I purchase it? Thanks!

    • Nope, I would go with the Scoot. It’s longer wheelbase and wider handlebars are perfect for older, cautious riders.

  • Wendy

    Thank you so much for all this info. Our daughter is going to be 3 in July. Her inseam is 15″. I am trying to decide which of your tables to start with. I am afraid something in the 2.5 and up she will outgrow too fast but something in your 3.5 and up section would be too big. Any helpful advice?

    • Your best bet is to get a bike with the minimum seat height about an 1″ to 1.5″ below your daughter’s inseam, so any bike with a minimum seat height of at least 13.5″ would work for her. I wouldn’t worry too much about the sections, but rather would focus on the individual bikes.

  • Courtney

    Your site is such a great resource but I’m still a bit undecided. I have a 2.5 year old that I want to purchase a balance bike for. We live on on hilly dirt roads, and it’s really important that he can use it this year and next summer as well because I’m in Alaska and it’s not going to get much use over the winter. His inseam is 13.5 with shoes. I was really interested in the Muna but can’t find anywhere to buy it. I’m considering the Kinderbike Laufrad or Mini and the FirstBIKE. Which of those three would you suggest? Any others I should consider?

    • The Muna’s are currently not available and won’t be for some time. Instead, I would look at the TykesBykes 12″ or the Yedoo Too Too. The Kinderbike Laufrad and the FirstBIKE would also be a good choice, but the KinderBike isn’t as good as quality as they others and with the lack of use in the winters, your son could outgrow the FirstBIKE before he is ready to transition to a pedal bike. If, however, he is able to use the bike indoors in the winter, the FirstBIKE would be a good choice.

  • Anna

    Natalie, Thank you for being so thorough in your research! My son is almost 3 & has a 15″ inseam (only weighing about 25 lbs!)- he is fairly cautious & if he doesn’t feel successful the first time on the bike, he will probably resist trying again for awhile. We will ride on the road and dirt trails. I was looking at the TykesBykes 12″ – but honestly wondering if it is worth the $50 more than a Radio Flyer! What would you suggest? Thank you!!

    • Yes, the TykesBykes is absolutely worth the additional $50. In addition to getting air tires, you get a handbrake (which is every more important on trails) as well as a much sturdier build. Due to their lack of cushion and traction, I wouldn’t recommend the Radio Flyer on dirt trails.

  • Devin

    Thank you for putting together this information! My son is turning 2 in a few weeks and is about 36″ tall with a 14.5″ inseam. We were leaning towards the FirstBIKE Cross, but are now worried that he will outgrow it too fast because of his height; I was hoping it would last until he gets a pedal bike. He will be riding primarily on grass with maybe some pavement. He is also pretty skinny, so something lighter would probably be preferable. Any other suggestions? Thanks so much in advance for your help!

    • If you live in an area where he can ride year-round, I don’t think you will have an issue with him outgrowing the FirstBIKE, but if riding is seasonal, then I would go for the Yedoo Too Too, which is lightweight, does not flex and also maxes out at 18″. Here’s a link to our new review: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/yedoo-too-too/

  • Lisa

    We have a son turning four in just over a month. We are looking to purchase our first balance bike. Our son is very cautious and not daring at all. He is about 40 inches tall. His inseam is approximately 15 inches. He only weighs about 30 lbs. Can you make any recommendations? I have been reading about the Ridgeback Scoot, the TykesByke 12″, the YeDoo Too Too and the Kinderbike Laufrad. I have read so many of comments and they seem very helpful, but I just cannot decide which would be best. We do not have sidewalks in our neighborhood and we live on a slight hill. What would you recommend? Thanks in advance for your help!!

    • Lisa

      I just remeasured and his inseam is about 17″ (crotch to floor) not 15″. Sorry about that.

      • Thanks for remeasuring as 15″ is pretty short for a 4 year old! Weighing 30 lb. and with a 17″ inseam, he is right on the border. For his age, the Scoot is certainly better as it is wider and longer, and therefore easily to balance and feels more stable for the rider, but it does weigh 12 lb. The Yedoo Too Too is lighter at 8.4 lb., but it has a slightly shorter wheelbase and shorter handlebars. I think in the end, however, I would go with the Scoot as I think the feel of the bike while he is on it will make him feel more comfortable rather than the weight of it.

  • Faith Sophia Munoz

    My son is 3 yrs old but fits size 5T clothes he is 40″ tall and weights 40lbs Can you make any recommendations? inseam of 15″ ? is hard to meassure. Any recommendations ? We would be using it on the city sidewalks and the park.

    • Glad to help! My first choice would be the Ridgeback Scoot as its long wheelbase and wider handlebars works wonders for taller kids. It doesn’t weigh more than other bikes, but as long as your son is over 30lb. is shouldn’t be an issue. If you are looking for something more affordable, I would consider the TykesBykes Scamper (12″).

  • Polina

    My daughter just turned 3. She is ~27lb (17%) and 36″ (25%), still in 2T clothes. We already have Early Rider Lite, which for the longest time was too tall for her, so we did not take it outside and just used at home until she got comfortable on it. She is now, but enjoys having an indoor bike, so we want to get a separate bike for outdoors. We will mostly use it on paved city streets and at the local park. I don’t anticipate much dirt biking. One of the requirements is that it needs to be light enough for an adult to carry it one-handed. We also have a 4.5 mo old brother who will hopfeully inherit her bikes when she switches to a pedal bike. We were thinking of getting Strider Pro. Good idea? Thank you, Natalie, for all your bike wisdom and research!

    • For an outside bike, I would go for a bike with air tires. While the Strider Pro is lightweight, it does not have air tires or a handbrake which are beneficial to experienced riders. Considering weight, I would look at the Yedoo Too Too.

      • Polina

        Thank you, Natalie. We followed your advice and are very happy with the result.

        • Great to hear! Thanks for reporting back. Happy riding!

  • Douglas

    Great site. My 19 month old son and has an 11.5″ inseam. It seems the Rothan would be a great bike until he hops onto pedals. Islabikes, however, does not recommend the bike for kids under 2 and only with an inseam of 12″ or more. I don’t really wait for the exta half inch or for next summer to get him on a bike. You charts say 11.5″ is fine for the Rothan. What are you thoughts about this? If not the Rothan, then which one? Thanks

    • He should be fine. The main reason why Islabikes, as well as other companies, don’t recommend their bikes for kids under 2 is that most one-year-olds aren’t able to master a balance bike (they generally aren’t physically ready to), so they don’t want parents to believe their product doesn’t work since their one-year-old can’t master it. Most one-year-olds simply walk the bikes around, which certainly helps them learn, but for some kids, it turns them off. My youngest son started at 18 months and walked around on his balance bike for 6 months before he finally understood how to sit and run, while my older son got on at 2.5 and was cruising within a matter of weeks. So, as long as he is interested in the bike, at 19 months, starting him now would be great, I would be cautious, however, to not push the bike on him as you don’t want him to lose interest before he is really able to start cruising on the bike.

  • Rosie

    I have a 3 year old who is 37″ with a 14″ inseam. I wondered what your top recommendations would be? The WOOM and Frog seem to be unavailable currently. Thanks!

    • Rosie

      He’s also 33 lbs.

      • I would look at the Yedoo Too Too or the TykesBykes Scamper. At 37 lb. he should be fine on either.

        • Rosie

          Thank you!

  • Matthew Surefire

    Hey there, awesome page, really appreciate your hard work. I have twin daughters That wear 3T, not sure of inseam and are around 37″ (haven’t been measured in a bit but should be close. I’ve been doing my own research and am leaning heavily towards the SCOOT Ridgeback for both of them. Do you think it will fit them well enough? They will mostly be on sidewalks and light park dirt paths.

    • As long as they are over 30 lb., the Scoot should be great for them, especially considering where they will be riding. My son, who is currently in 3T as well, actually fits better on the Rothan and the Yedoo, but he is a very small 3T. When on the Scoot, however, he loves it, so as long as your girls aren’t in the lower percentiles, they should be fine.

      • Matthew Surefire

        That’s great to hear! Thank you so much for your help. Just placed my order for Gloss Red and Gloss Turqoise Ridgebacks! 🙂

        • Awesome. I’m sure they will love them!

  • Heidi

    Hi! Thanks for having this review site. Your efforts and opinions are so appreciated. My daughter is 4, 38″ tall and 30 lbs. she has never had a balance bike before but was hesitant on one we tried at a bike shop. Based on your reviews and suggestions in the comments, I am considering a Yedoo TooToo or Scoot. Of course if you think another one is a better option, I am open to considering anything. She is proficient on a scooter and her tricycle and has an adventurous spirit. Thanks in advance for your advice!

    • Do you remember what bike she tried at the bike shop? If the bike she tried was a heavier one, then I would go with the Too Too. If is was simply too short for her, then I would go for the Scoot.

      • Heidi

        Thank you Natalie. We ended up going with the Scoot and I think she will be just fine. After just half hour practicing she was able to coast a little bit. And she loves it, so that is great, too. Thanks for your advice and this wonderful resource. Seriously, it was incredibly helpful!

        • Great to hear! Thanks for reporting back.

  • bobprokop

    This site is such an incredible resource. Cannot thank you enough. We are faced with a bit of a challenge; our girl just turned 19 months but is in the 99th percentile in pretty much every category — so what might work for the majority of kids her age may not be the best choice for her. She is about 34″ tall and weighs about 32.5 pounds. Very smart and very strong — and her clothes can range from 3T to 5T (even has some 2Ts she still wears). I do not know the length of her inseam, however (but would tend to lean toward the easier to mount/lower seat height bikes). Things like FirstBIKE prob wouldn’t work for her b/c they may be too light for her (or would be soon?) — so we’re kind of scratching our heads as to what we should consider. She has never ridden a bike of any kind before but is showing a keen interest in doing so. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

    • Considering her age, you will still want something light as to not discourage her when she has to pick it up. I wouldn’t worry about a bike being too light for her at her age. I would first consider the Yedoo Too Too (which is on backorder) and then the KinderBike Laufrad. Both are lightweight, with air tires and a hand brake. The Yedoo is better quality, however.

  • Audrey

    Wow, so many options, great reviews! I’d still need a little help on deciding though – I have a 2.5 years old daughter, average weight and size, and I’d like to buy a balance bike for her to use this summer, and probably next summer as well. Next summer, my son might also start using/sharing it with his sister, as he’ll be just 18 months old (average size as well). I’d like to spend around 100 to 130$, and I live in Canada so the bikes would have to be available here (so ideally, shipping from Canada, as customs and taxes can get pretty expensive if it’s bought in the States… also, the prices are usually higher here). Any recommandation for a specific model? Also, do you know how they compare to the Runners Speeders that are made in Canada? Thanks a lot!

    • I have not seen the Runners Speeders in person, but based on what I have seen online, they don’t appear to that great and there are certainly plenty of other balances bikes in Canada. Depending on your daughters inseam, I would probably go with the FirstBIKE with a lowering kit or the KinderBike Mini (or Laufrad is she is taller). Both can be found on this Canadian balance bike online shop: http://www.balancebikescanada.ca/categories/Balance-Bikes-%252d-Metal/?sort=featured&page=3.

      • Audrey

        Alright thanks! A local bike shop owner recommended to buy a small bike (a good one, like Louis Garneau’s F-12) and remove the pedals for the first summer out. What are your thoughts on this VS a true balance bike? Thanks again 🙂

  • Carly

    This is an incredible site with so much information! Thank you for all the reviews that you have provided, its amazing to have so much information in one spot 🙂
    I am from Australia and looking for a balance bike for my son who turns 3 in September. He is approx 38″ tall, roughly 39lb with an inseam of 14″. From the research I have been doing the most available brands that I have found in Australia seem to be: Strider, FristBIKE, Cruzee and Eurotrike. Would you have a recommendation for him out of these? Or if you are familiar with any others that are available here!? Would prefer air tyres too. Your advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂
    Thanks!!

    • I prefer air tires and a hand brake, so out of those, I think the FirstBIKE would be best, but another one to consider is the BladeRunna, http://www.strongsports.com.au/bladerunna-balance-bikes/all-products. It doesn’t have a handbrake, but it does have air tires. Lastly, for a bike with a metal frame, air tires and a hand brake, I would look at the ByK E-250L, http://www.bykbikes.com/kids-bike-range/e-250l-kids-learning-bike.html. Since he is on the taller side, I would probably go with the ByK bikes, but it really depends on your budget.

      • Carly

        Hi Natalie, Thank you so much for your advice. We have decided to go with the ByK as you suggested as it has all the features and will fit him better as he is a little on the tall side for his age! Bit more than what we wanted to pay but he’ll get the use out of it to make it worth while. Very much appreciated your reply!

        • You’re welcome, I’m sure he’ll love it.

  • Raven Moorehead

    Hi Natalie. I am on the hunt for a balance bike for my little guy’s 2nd birthday in a few weeks and was so excited to come across your site. What a fabulous page with a wealth of information. Thank you, thank you!! Unfortunately, I got super excited about both the Woom1 and the Too Too, but both appear to be out of stock. Ugh! In measuring his inseam, I think we are right at 14″ with shoes and about 28 lbs without clothes. For his size, what would be your next suggestion? Perhaps the Rothan or the Strider? I’m afraid the FirstBIKE is going to be too tall. Please help!! 🙂

    • Yeah, glad you found me. With a 14″ inseam, the FirstBIKE would fit him fine if bought a lowering kit as well, so that is certainly an option. Considering he already has a 14″ inseam, I wouldn’t go for the Rothan (which I think is also sold out) as he could outgrow it too soon. Another option would be the TykesBykes Scamper or the KinderBike Laufrad. Both are not as high end as they others, but are still great bikes.

  • Monica Larsson

    Hi Natalie! Thank you for putting this world of Info aunts fingertips! I’m hoping you could advise me on the best Bike for my boy who is turning two today! His father got him a Haro Z12 to use when he stays over with him. My boy loved it! I feel it is a bit heavy as my boy is quite small despite being very active and energetic. I was thinking the FirstBike or Woom. But I wasn’t sure if getting him a different halo would hamper his learning! Help! Many thanks, Monica

    • Happy birthday!! The Haro Z12 is pretty big for an average size two-year-old, but I would let him try it out and see. If it is hard for him to hold up the bike or looks uncomfortable doing so, then I would look for a lighter bike. If you can’t return the Haro, then I would keep it until he is taller/heavier and then pick up a cheap Strider Classic for him to use in the meantime. If you can return it, the WOOM1 would be great, but it is sold out, along with the Too Too, so I would then look at the FirstBIKE with a lowering kit or a KinderBike Mini.

  • Julia K

    Hi there, after using your VERY HELPFUL site, I’m going to choose the FirstBike Cross for my 2 year old daughter. I’m just wondering if I should get the brake or not? What do you think the pros/cons are for that? Thank you so much.

    • Yes, if it is in your budget, absolutely. While kids don’t generally learn to use the brakes until age three, learning how to use a brake before they transition to a pedal bike it worth the extra expense. Because kids who transition from balance bikes to pedal bikes tend to pedal backwards on their bikes at first (which activates the coaster brake), it is easier for them to learn to ride a pedal bike without a coaster brake and as a result, they need to know how to use a handbrake in order to be able to stop themselves on their bike.

  • southwestberkeley

    I used your wonderful site to pick out a Strider bike for my son when he was 18 months. He loves it, and is very proficient. He can go for several miles, and off road, and up steps. He is almost three now, and enormous – 42 inches tall and in 5T clothes. I’m wondering if you have advice on whether to get him a ridgeback scoot or an islabikes cnoc pedal bike next, or maybe something else?

    His little sister is 18 months younger, and is getting ready for the Strider, so I don’t mind getting him a bike he’d only use for another 18 months since she’ll grow right into it. Thanks so much!

    • Thanks for coming back :)! For your son, it sounds like he is ready for a pedal bike, but if he doesn’t show any interest in a pedal bike, I would wait. Kids as young as 2 can ride pedal bikes, but since toddlers are more comfortable on a balance bike, which easily allows them to go up and down hills, they are often resistant to go to a pedal bike as it does prevent them from doing as many tricks. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to try! With his size, I would consider the Islabike CNOC 14″ or 16″ (they will help you decided what is best based on his measurements). The WOOM 3 is also one to consider. All of these bikes, however, do have a coaster brake which make the transition harder. WOOM does sell a kit to allow you to remove the coaster brake, but they cannot legally sell you a bike with the coaster brake removed. If you are looking for a more affordable option, I would look into the ByK E-350, but it does not have the option to remove the coaster brake.

  • Kelly

    Hi, Natalie. Thank you for all of this amazing info – So glad I stumbled across you through a mention in an Amazon post! I have a fairly big toddler who will turn 2 in a few weeks, but I think she’s more torso than leg. She’s 2’11”, 32 lbs, 11.5″ inseam, solid size 3T but I often roll her pants up.

    I am guessing the Yedoo Too Too will be worth waiting for as a belated birthday present (I figure she won’t really know the difference!), but thought I’d reach out in case you might have thoughts on something else. Was at first tempted by the Ridgeback Scoot, but sounds like she may not be ready for that size. Looking to build her confidence and balance mostly on paved surfaces or very packed trails. Thanks in advance for any guidance!

    • Yeah, glad you found me! I agree with the Yedoo Too Too as with a 11.5″ inseam, she is going to be too small for the Scoot. With a tall torso, I would also consider the TykesBykes Scamper, but the minimum seat height would still be too tall for her.

      • Kelly

        Perfect. I actually think she’s poised for the next growth spurt soon, so we may go with the Scamper and have it here for the birthday after all. Really appreciate the help! I know she is going to be thrilled 🙂

  • Rachel Orke

    Hello and thank you sooo much! My lil boo is 23 monthes and very athletic. He has a 12 in inseam and is 33.5 in tall but he is very skinny. I really want to get him going on a bike. I am drawn to the Islabike. It is almost August and I’m wondering if I get the islabike will he just grow out of it by next year? How long do these last? Also what os the best terrain to begin? We love hiking and have access to both city and woods. Any other recommendations for a tall skinny 2? Thank you!!! Also what is a good helmet?

    • The Islabikes is a great bike that would last him until he is ready to transition to 4T clothes. My 3.5yo is also on the skinny side (but not tall) and still loves riding his Rothan. He is currently in 3T clothes and has been riding it since he was just starting out in 24 mo. clothes. He also rides the bike everywhere from a skate park to single track trails, so it is good just about anywhere.

  • Kristin

    Hi Natalie,
    What an incredible amount of information, thank you! Question for you, I have a daughter who will be five in a few weeks. She’s probably around 41 pounds and around 41/42 inches tall. Do you think she’s too old for a balance bike? I have a hand-me-down from my sister and she’s never really taken to it. We tried it out last week a bit in the park and she was actually coasting a very little bit, I was pleasantly surprised. Her birthday is coming up and I want to get her a bike but the question is, is she too big for a balance bike? I’ve heard people buying two wheelers and then taking the pedals off. What do you suggest for us. She does have a 2 1/2 year old sister who would inherit this bike as well if that helps 🙂 Thank you so much for your time!!

    • Nope, she certainly isn’t too old for a balance bike. I have watched many grade schoolers learn to ride, tear-free, with a balance bike. You can read about some success stories in this review: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/tykesbykes/. For kids who are more adventurous, eager to learn, taller or have some experience, removing the pedals on a bike is a good option as well. The downfalls of this method is that the minimum seat heights on pedal bikes are generally much higher than pedal bikes, plus, pedal bikes are a lot heavier than balance bikes. Eager kids don’t tend to have an issue with the weight, but for more timid kids, it can be a problem.

      On another note, any balance bike that fits her will be too big for your 2.5 year old (who is old enough to start riding), so I wouldn’t plan on getting a balance bike for your older daughter and plan on passing it down to your 2.5 year old.

      • Kristin

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, I truly appreciate it!

  • Cindy

    Hi Natalie,

    Thank you for such an informative website. Can I ask you for advice on the balance bike most suitable for my 2.5 yr old son in my budget ($100-$160)? He is 37 in. tall, with inseam 13.5 in, cautious and a little bit on the clumsy side, but like to ride on his baby trike while we push him around our home on paved paths and roads. He will be very happy if he can have the freedom to bike on his own. I think his balance and coordination may improve by riding a balance bike. We hope to get him a bike that can last him at least for 2 summers, until he can graduate to a pedal bike. Which balance bike would you recommend? Thanks in advance! –Cindy

    • Cindy

      I forgot to mentions my son is 33 lb. and wearing 3T clothes.

      • Glad to help. I would look at the KinderBike Laufrad as it is big enough for him, without being too heavy, and is still in your price range. The Yedoo Too Too would also be one to consider, but it is currently on backorder.

        • Cindy

          Thanks Natalie. Our KinderBike Laufrad arrive today and it looks great. Do you have any tips/advice to teach toddler how to ride a balance bike, and then a pedal bike?

          • Yeah! The first step to getting them to ride a balance bike is to simply walk the bike. Walk around the tree, walk around the cone, walk, walk, walk. After a couple tries, call it “riding” instead of walking. Over time, they eventually learn to sit and walk and then site and run. Some kids pick it up in days, while other months (I have had experiences with both with my kids), so just be patience and don’t force them. With all kids, it is always best to get them around other kids riding bikes as much as possible, as that usually helps to give them the vision. In the end, you really don’t have to teach them how the ride, but rather encourage. When it comes to pedal bikes, once they have mastered a balance bike, all you have to do is provide them with a pedal bike that fits them and they will hop on and ride off when they are ready. No need to teach them :). Like balance bikes, however, some kids want to move to pedal bikes as soon as possible, while others love their balance bikes and are content to stick with them, so it’s best just to wait until they decide they are ready.

  • Amoreena Fidani

    This is a fantastic website. We are a little late to the balance bike scene as my son is almost 4. I’m hoping to find a bike that can quickly be passed down to my younger son (18 months). My almost 4-year old is on the taller side and wears 3T/4T depending on the brand. He is 41.5 inches tall. I’m interested in the FirstBike as I can get the lowering kit and pass the bike down to my younger son. I just want to make sure that the FirstBike will be big enough for my almost four-year old. When my hubby took him to the bike store last week, a 16 incher seemed to suit him well, but I just don’t know how long he’ll be using it, and I’d rather invest in something that my little one can soon use as well. Please advise.

    • Thanks, glad to help! If he is in 3T pants, the FirstBIKE will fit him just fine. Once he is ready to transition out of 4T, the bike is going to be too small for him. So if you think he will be able to master the bike within a year or so, then the FirstBIKE will be a great choice for him as it is will also fit his younger brother. If you think that he will need more time, then I would go with either the TykesBykes Scamper or the KinderBike Laufrad as he will be able to fit them for a longer period of time. Once he masters balancing, then you would move him up to a 16″ pedal bike as a 12″ would be too small for him.

    • Wow, this comment just showed up and it says that it is 7 months old! Sorry, I’m not sure what happened there. I assume you already figured out what you needed, but if you need any additional help, please reach out again and I would be glad to help.

    • Wow, this message just showed up and it is apparently 7 months old! Sorry, I have NO idea what happened. I assume you already figured out what you needed, but if you need any more help, please feel free to reach out again (and I will hopefully get the message this time!).

  • Danika Taylor

    Such a great website with so much info, I just wish we had more of the better performing balance bikes here in Australia! Im hoping you might be able to help me to decide which balance bike to buy for my daughter who will be turning 3 in a few months. She is quite tall for her age, inseam of 17″. Our local bike shop sells the Giant, Focus and Scott bikes but they are all so small. The ones I’ve found which are available here and I’m considering are: Likeabike jumper ($320), byK e250L ($210), First bike ($160-$220 but I’m worried about flex issue with her being quite tall), Strider (think this would be too small and not keen on EVA tires) or Cruzee with upgrade to air tires ($150 + $100 tire upgrade once you include postage). Any advice on which would be best? Would the Likeabike jumper be suitable and is it worth the extra cost? I’m prepared to pay more if it means we get one that’s a better size.

  • Amelia

    Hello! What a helpful post! I am hoping you might have some advice: My son is 5 and has zero clue how to pedal anything. We got him a decent tricycle when he was about 2, and he’s never been able to use it even remotely correctly. He had a seated scooter thing where you wiggle the handlebars to move it, and never moved an inch on his own. Love the little guy, but he is the definition of uncoordinated and it takes him much longer than his peers (like years) to figure out how to make his body do things that come naturally to our other child. Balance, hand-eye coordination, getting one part of his body to do one thing while another part does something else – it’s all hard for him.

    SO … we probably should have gotten him a balance bike earlier, but $ and a desire to not push him into things that are above his abilities held us back. Now that he has a younger sibling showing interest in some of these things I think he’ll have more fun trying, but don’t know where to start him so he doesn’t get frustrated. He’s tall and thin so his legs have far outgrown his tricycle, but he’s definitely not ready for pedals. Do you have any recommendations for something where he would not be very frustrated learning (he’s also a pretty cautious kid, so that’s a factor too), but would help transition him to a ‘normal’ kid bike a bit quicker than a 2 year old starting out with the same skill set as him?

    • A balance bike will certainly be easier for him with time as it doesn’t have pedals and it will allow him to learn at his own pace. Some kids pick up on how to run on the bikes within days, while others take months. With some encouragement and time, he can master a balance bike, but with kids like him, it often takes time. My youngest son, for example, took six months to learn how to fun, but now he is cruising every where, so don’t give up! Which bike is best for him really depends on his inseam as well as your budget. One of my favorite bikes for his age is the TykesBykes Charger 16″ balance bike. Kids from 4 to 11 all love riding it, even those who are proficient at pedals.

  • Alison

    Thank you so much for putting all of this together! I have a son who will be 2 in two weeks. 13″ inseam and 32 lbs. I am going back and forth between the FirstBike Cross, and the Yeedoo too too. We live in central OH-he may be able to get in some riding done this winter? Any suggestions? Thanks so much!!

    • Alison

      I forgot to mention he is in 2T, heading into 3T clothing. Thanks!!

      • Both are great bikes, but the FirstBIKE will allow him to use it throughout the winter with their ski on hills or even on snow-covered sideways. With a 13″ inseam, he will need the lowering kit though. For just strictly riding, the Yedoo is going to be easier for him to get on and off by himself, but the knobby tires on the FirstBIKE will provide more traction on non-paved areas. Hope that helps!

  • eeka

    Thanks so much for making this great site. Do you know what bike would be best for a preschooler who wears 12-18m clothing? Which of the tiny bikes is the most sturdy and rugged for outdoor use?

    • Of the tiny bikes, sadly, not many of them will work very well on non-paved surfaces. If their inseam is around 11″, then I would go with the Strider or the Islabikes Rothan, but that would put them at the very tail end of 18 month clothes. If it is under 11″, then I would look at the Chillafish Bunzi or the yBike.

      • eeka

        Thank you!

  • Mandy

    Such a great resource. Thank you! My daughter is a tall five year old and mostly wearing size six clothes. She has very little experience with bikes and struggles a bit with coordination. Would you recommend the Ridgeback Scoot XL or the TykeByke 16 inch? We live in San Diego, so weather is not an issue. Thanks again!

    • Mandy

      Also I have a not quite three and half year old that is in between 3t and 4t. Do you think she could handle the ridgeback scoot as her first balance bike?

      • Glad to help! For the 3.5yo, the Scoot would be perfect as it will fit her perfectly now and will provide plenty of room for growth. For your older daughter, both are great bikes, but I would go with the TykesBykes 16″ as it is closer in size to the pedal bike that she will transition into once she masters balancing. For her, she probably won’t like the bike the first time, so expect a learning curve, but with time, she will get it!

        • Mandy Callister

          Hi. Thanks for you input! I have seen a lot of tutorials on converting regular bikes to balance bikes. Is that a good option for my five year old? Or do you think it is better to go with the balance bikes listed above?

  • Jon

    Love the website. Found myself looking at it constantly trying to decide on the best bike. My 2.5 year old son in 3T and 37 inches tall, inseam is 14 inches with a total waist height of 18.5. He has Never been on a bike before but wants one badly. He is very accident prone so looking for the safest. We also have a 9 month old girl and would like her to be able to use it when he is done. Whenever that may be. We live in Arizona so we have the great opportunity for year around fun. What bike do you recommend?

    • Thanks, glad to help! I would probably go with the FirstBIKE with a lowering fit for your son. The U-shaped seat makes hesitant kids feel more secure on the bike, plus it doesn’t have any exposed bolts to cause any potential injuries. The downside to the FirstBIKE is that the frame makes it harder to get on and off the bike, which may make him more hesitant at first. The lowering kit will help ease the transition by lowering the seat, but it will still be a challenge. Another option would be the Yedoo Too Too. It is lightweight as well, but has a lower top tube which makes it easier to get on and off.

  • Lizzie Stewart

    This is an amazing website!! Thank you so much for doing all this research. I’m looking to get my daughter a balance bike for Christmas. She’s not quite 3.5 and is 37″ tall with a 15″ inseam and in 4T clothes. I was looking at either the Scoot, Too Too, or Bixbi? Which one would you recommend? I love the Scoot but I’m not sure if it will be too tall for her and if the weight will be a problem. What would you recommend?

    • Lizzie Stewart

      oh and she’s 32.5 pounds. ; )

      • Thanks 🙂 Glad to help! If you daughter is already in 4T clothes, I would go for the Scoot or the Too Too. The Bixbi won’t offer her as much room to grow and doesn’t have a hand brake. Since she is over 30 lb., she should be fine on the Scoot. It is bigger than the Too Too, but for most kids, the wider handlebars make it more comfortable and more stable. Another benefit of the Scoot is that it will provide more time for her to grow into the bike as compared to the Too Too.

  • Rebecca

    Thank you so much for the fantastic website and reviews! We’re looking for balance bikes for our twin boys who will be 2 in January. Based on your reviews and my other research I really wanted to buy the boys the KinderBike Mini for Christmas…however they appear to be sold out across Canada. I feel like I’m going crazy trying to research my options and I’m wondering what you’d recommend. So far I can find:
    1. KinderBike E-Series ($75) with EVA tires which I’d upgrade to air tires – just waiting to hear back from the bike shop that this is possible. Unfortunately there’s no brake.
    2. Strider Sport – $140. Again, no air tires or brakes although can be purchased later
    3. Ezee Mini Glider $120 – Mostly worried about the bike’s weight and again I’d need to upgrade to air tires
    4. Woom1 – Most expensive option ($199US, plus another $100 in duty).
    5. Adam’s Runner (from a local bike shop) $100ish – no brake, EVA tires – could buy this first to see if they even like biking and then upgrade to Laufrad or something once they’re a little taller.

    Our guys are pretty small (still in 18 month pants), but are bike obsessed and already pretty athletic and crazy. We live a block away from a pump track and they’ll likely be riding on dirt trails nearly as frequently as city sidewalks. Hence my desire for pneumatic tires.

    Any thoughts on our options? Am I missing something?

    Thanks!!

    • Awesome! I love little ones who are eager to ride. Still being in 18-month pants, your options are pretty limited, but you’ve done a great job at narrowing down your options. After searching online, you’re right in that a lot bikes are already sold out. So between those options, the WOOM would be my top pick, but it’s pretty pricey, so considering you have to buy two, I would go with the Strider as they are really great little bikes for kids, plus, it gives you the option to upgrade to air tires later. Actually, if you plan on upgrading later, I would probably consider getting the Strider Classic now (which is fine for kids still in diaper and learning to ride) and then upgrade to a larger balance bike with air tires later. If they ride regularly, the Strider is eventually going to get too small or need new tires (which are $50 a pair for air), so putting that money towards a larger balance bike with a hand brake and air tires would probably be a better investment.

  • Karen

    Hello- what a useful site. I didn’t realize there was so much to choosing a balance bike. I need some help choosing a bike for my 3.5 yr old, she’s about 38″ and her inseam is around 15″ if I measured right. She rides a scooter great, doesn’t do well on friend’s balance bike. Wants to stand, haha. I also have a 17month old that will want to try and ride it, she’s almost 30″ and her inseam is less than 10″. What would you recommend. Is there one that would work for both girls? Thanks so much.

    • Glad to help! When kids first start to ride balance bikes, they stand and walk so your daughter is doing it right for now. I took my youngest months to actually sit and ride, on the other hand, it took my second only a week or so, so every child is different. Do you happen to know what balance bike your friend has? While you daughter is going to be very hesitant on a balance bike at first, some bikes are easier to ride than others. Plus, scooter are actually easier to balance than a balance bike as kids are already know how to balance while standing up and moving, but have to learn how to balance while sitting and moving,

      With a 10″ inseam, your 17 month old is a little too short for a “real” balance bike, so there really isn’t one they can share. You could start her off on a pre-balance bike (listed here: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/the-best-balance-bike-for-your-dollar-2/), or just wait until she is tall enough to ride her sister’s. For your 3.5 year-old, there are plenty of options out there, but I would stick to a smaller one if you want your youngest to ride it sooner rather than later. The Kinderbike Mini and the Glide Bikes Ezee Glider are two small bikes I would recommend. If you prefer to get your youngest a pre-balance bike now and not share a bike with her older sister, then I would look into the Yedoo Too Too and the TykesBykes Scamper for her.

  • Katrina

    Thanks so much for all the reviews. I didn’t realize there were so many options and has left me feeling a little overwhelmed. I’m looking to get a balance bike for Christmas/my little girl’s 3rd birthday. She’s about 37-38″ and 30lbs and in 3T pants. Budget is less than $100 (though might be able to go a little higher) and she apparently “needs” a blue bike. I want something that will last a couple years. I’m leaning towards the Kazam. Is that my best option or is there something else I should be considering? We’ll mostly be on sidewalks and a gravel path occasionally. Thanks for your help!

    • No worries, I totally know the feeling of having too many choices! Considering you daughter age, height and weight and your budget, I would also consider the TykesBykes Scamper (http://amzn.to/1PON2kn – might be cheaper directly through TykesBykes) and the Kinderbike Laufrad (http://amzn.to/1POMU4z). I have reviewed both on my site, but added the Amazon links so you can see their current prices. I prefer both of these bikes over the Kazam because they have a hand brake, which isn’t necessary, but it very useful when it comes time to transition to a pedal bike (which hopefully has a hand brake). It is better for kids to learn on a smaller bike when it is easy, than on a larger bike when it can be more difficult. Both of these bikes are also lighter than the Kazam.

      • Katrina

        So after a ton of back and forth, we decided on the TykesBykes and it’s definitely love. I was hoping I could get some info about making sure it’s adjusted correctly for her though. When she’s on level ground or a slight downhill, she’s sitting down and half balancing but when she’s going slightly uphill, she’s walking and pushing the bike between her legs and not sitting on the seat at all. (Hope that makes sense) I wasn’t sure if this was normal or if the seat needed to be a little taller. When she’s standing up, she’s about 1-2 inches above the seat. The other odd thing she does is when she’s turning around she kinda lifts up the bike to turn it. Is that normal while they’re trying to figure out how to turn? Thanks.

        • Yeah, glad you both like the bike! Everything you described is totally normal and all part of the learning process. For the seat height, it is best if the seat is about an 1 to 1.5 inches below the crotch of their pants. That will allow for easier on and offs and won’t be too low when she decides to sit.

  • ee

    Hi there! Do you have any experience with the KiddieMoto Kruz bikes? I’m looking for a balance bike for my 2.5 YO and I keep coming back to that mostly for style reasons. Thank you!

    • I have not seen the KiddieMoto bikes in person, but they sure are cute! Looking at their bikes, however, they are certainly designed more like a toy, with looks more important than function, so they certainly wouldn’t be my first choice. The seats on their bikes offer very little adjustability and can be a challenge to adjust. Plus, their steering limiters can be problematic no some designs. In the end, however, any balance bike is better than no balance bike!

  • Melanie Berkett

    Hi Natalie, I was wandering if you could help me chooose a balance bike for my tall 19 month old son for Xmas. It will be used for off roading as well as pavement. Here in New Zealand we have a good amount of choice. But not really in the top end bikes you mention like Scoot and islabike, I started off looking at the wishbone for the 3 wheel reason but then read your review on it not being recommended for older children then went to the first bike I like the fact it has colours and brakes but you mentioned it flexed with older/taller children I was also looking at bybke200 but am concerned he would grow out of that quickly and the 250 isn’t readily Available here, and I can get the jumper but is it overkill? also what are You’re thoughts on the Cruzee two? I love the look and the colours it just doesn’t have air tires or a brake how important are those things?. Arrg my head is spinning I would like to get one that will last him until pedals stage and budget isn’t really an issue.Thanks in advance.
    Melanie

    • You’ve certainly done your research! I didn’t know the ByK 250 balance bike wasn’t available, so thanks for mentioning that. With your choices, I think the Cruzee would be a good options, but I would also consider the Torpedo 7 bike, http://www.torpedo7.co.nz/products/T7K0BN501/title/torpedo7-boy-s-striders-12–balance-bike, which has air tires, but it not hand brake. It is also going to be heavier than the Cruzee, but assuming your son is on the heavier side as well, it will probably be fine. The Jumper is a great bike, but unless you plan on spending most of your time at the skate park, I wouldn’t recommend it. Another option is the BladeRunna, http://www.strongsports.com.au/bladerunna-balance-bikes/all-products. It is lighter than the Torpedo7, but also pricier and still no brake. In the end, if you plan on riding on mainly paved surfaces, I would get the Cruzee, if he is lighter weight, than the BladeRunna, is he is on the heavier side, than the Torpedo7.

  • justinpye

    Hi, I love the site and the massive amount of information and advice. Could you offer me some advice? I/my parents are looking to get my 23 month old son a balance bike for Christmas and I can’t decide (was going to just get a Strider before coming here and finding so many great bikes). He is currently ~34” tall with a ~12” inseam (hard to measure on an active boy) and weighs 30-31 pounds. He was very big growing (90%) but is trending a bit towards the average now (75-50%), growth spurts notwithstanding.

    I am having trouble deciding what to get him/tell my parents to get him. Something smaller will fit him great from the get-go (live in Atlanta, so winter biking isn’t out of the question) like the Rothan, WOOM1, Yedoo, or Laufrad but might run out of room earlier. Is that a concern with something like the WOOM1 that only goes to 15.7”? I mountain bike and there are some short dirt trails in the neighborhood so I think I should get air tires. He is pretty nuts running around and loves pushing things around the house (fast) but I don’t yet know how he will be on a bike as the ride-ons we have are too awkward for him to go fast. I am also not sure about hand brakes as he is pretty young, though most of the good ones come with them anyways (though the nice looking, maybe too big Burly MyKick doesn’t have them). I unfortunately don’t know the budget my parents are aiming for, but I could give them options.

    Thank you so much and sorry for the long post. I can provide any more information that might lead to a better choice if needed.

    • Glad to help. All the bikes you suggested are great choice and hopefully I can help you narrow those down. First off, I agree that if you plan on riding dirt, you should stick to air tires, so the Burley would be out. As for the hand brake, you are right in that toddlers don’t know how to use a handbrake and won’t learn for a while. The main benefit of a hand brake is that is better prepares them for transitioning to a pedal bike. Kids who graduated from balance bikes generally do much better on bikes with a freewheel, versus a coaster brake, and as a result, it is a huge benefit them if they know how to master a hand brake by the time they get on their first pedal bike. Generally, kids don’t master a hand brake before they are three, but they also don’t move up to a pedal bike until they are 3 or 4, so there are several months on their balance bikes when they will use the hand brake.

      As to what bike to is best for your son, considering him and yourself are both eager to ride, I don’t think you will have a problem with outgrowing a balance bike before he is ready to transition. Especially considering he can ride year round. The WOOM does have a minimum seat height, my son, who just moved into 4T clothes can still ride it just fine. It certainly won’t last him until next year, but he is ready to transition to a pedal bike (well, physically ready, but he shows no interest yet), so the size of the bike doesn’t concern me. His favorite bike is actually the Rothan, which does allow for more room for growth than the WOOM, but to be fair, he has had the Rothan for 2 years and the WOOM for about 6 months.

      So what to get? If he is going to eventually ride single track, I would go with the Rothan first, WOOM second, then the Yedoo and finally the Laufrad. The Rothan has a slightly more aggressive positioning than the WOOM, which will be beneficial when navigating trails.

  • Kimberly McManus

    Hi, I was wondering if you had any recommendations for a Pre-K classroom. The kids range in age from 3 (when they enter) to 5 (when they leave). Any balance bikes that you find especially durable and adjustable?
    Kim

    • With schools, you are really going to want to get a bike as maintenance free as possible. So a bike with foam tires and no hand brake is probably best. Hand brakes are great, but in a school setting, they generally won’t get enough speed to require them, plus they can easily get out of adjustment with constantly being taken in and out of storage. Considering their sizes, I would probably go with the Strider Sport. The handlebars and seats on the Strider are very easy to adjust, which is a must. Plus, the Sport model comes with the larger seat, which you will need. The mini-saddle which comes with the bike, is too small for Pre-K kids, you will want to swap them all out. If you have some really tall kids, I would also consider getting their extended handlebar for one or two bikes.

  • P Tan

    Hi, I am hoping for recommendations (like many other parents leading up to Christmas!) I’ve got an almost 2-year old son, a bit short, he has been walking/running for a year now and is very active! I’m trying to decide between the recycled wishbone 3-in-one (AUD$269), the recycled wishbone 2-in-1 (AUD$229), and the cruzee (at AUD$149). I’d like a bike that is easily adjustable (so that his older sister can have a spin too), can be left outdoors occasionally (hence no wooden models) and is portable. The wishbone models are significantly more expensive but I like the 3-wheel trike option – at what age do you think the trike becomes redundant? One drawback I can see of the wishbone is that it seems very long/big (however I can’t seem to find length measurements online)? We have a small backyard and I’d like to be able to throw the bike into the back of the car easily to take it places. The cruzee seems a bit more compact in comparison. Also, do you think the comfort of inflatable tyres on the wishbone would make it significantly more comfortable than the cruzee? it will probably most likely be used on pavement but possibly on grassy hills.Thanks!

    • Between the Wishbone and the Cruzee, I would certainly go with the Cruzee. The Wishbone is very long as we pointed out in our review here, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/wishbone-re-3-in-1/. Plus, kids don’t tend to use to trike version for very long as their feet start hitting the back axel. If you plan on moving it around, the Cruzee will be much easier, plus the foam tires stand out better to the elements than air tires. Although air tires do provide more cushioning than foam tires for kids who ride mainly on pavement, they don’t seem to notice the difference, but on dirt and/or jumps or curbs, the difference is significant.

      • P Tan

        Thank you Natalie – great advice.

  • I glad you found us and hopefully I can help! To begin with, sealed bearings simply mean that the are sealed off from from dirt and gravel. Over time, unsealed bearing can get dirty, cause them to be much less efficient.

    For your son, any of those bikes will be a huge improvement to the yBike, although it certainly sounds like the yBike worked great for him up until now. Between the bikes you mentioned, the additional cost of the Yedoo it essentially reflected in its quality. It is lighter and has some improvements over the others. With only a 13″ inseam, you son still will probably be ready for a pedal bike at a young age, and with limited options in small pedal bikes, a bike that will fit him is going to be pricey, so it might be smart to save some money for his next bike, especially since he already knows how to balance. Between those listed in the $110 price range, I would go with the Tykesbykes Charger, the Kinderbike and then the Muna.

  • lauren

    What do you think about the radio flyer with air tires? Does that make it an even better budget choice?
    My 2yo is big, about 38″ and 35lbs and in 4T clothes, but his coordination doesn’t match up quite yet. We’re hoping a balance bike will give him a chance to work on that. He rode the foam tire radio flyer at a friend’s house and has been asking for a bike ever since.
    We’d like something that will be good indoors this winter in our condo and then transition to the bike path or yard in the spring.
    Since he’s been in the 85-90th percentile, I’d like to get something that will last a bit, but I also need to keep in mind that something easy to ride will be best for him to start with. I’m also ok with trading “up” in a year or so and handing this bike down to a friend if it is the best choice.

    • I have yet to see the Radio Flyer with Air tires, but it I assume it a good bike for the price. For $89, the TykesBykes is going to me MUCH better quality and will last a lot longer. With his size, he will probably do better on the TykesBykes as it has a wider handlebar than the Radio Flyer and should allow him to be more stable. The TykesBykes 12″ wheels are also slightly wider than the Radio Flyer.

      • lauren

        Thanks so much, this is what I was hoping! The TykesBykes 12″ came in today, I cannot wait to see my son’s face when he opens it. The price was really good on Amazon too!

        • Awesome! Best present ever:)

  • Siobhan Buckley

    Hi there,

    I am looking at either purchasing a cruzee balance bike or a Trek Kickster for my 3 year old girl. This will be her first bike. I notice the main differences are size of footrests and wheel types, ie Cruzee is EVA foam and Kickster is molded plastic. Also I think there is no steering delimiter on Cruzee.

    Would you have a recommended between these two options or perhaps suggest something else altogether!

    Thanks,

    Siobhan

    • If the Cruzee is an option, then I am assuming you live outside of the US (it’s not available here, but I have seen one), so I’m not sure what your other options would be. Between the Kickster and the Cruzee I would go with the Kickster simply because it has air tires, which provide more traction and cushioning than foam. If your daughter is really light weight though, I would go with the Cruzee and it is lighter than the Kickster.

  • SD

    Hi Natalie – Thank you for the informative insight into a quite confusing marketplace and for helping so many navigate unfamiliar territory. So here is my scenario: my daughter is turning three in January, she is 38″ tall, and this is her first bike but has ridden others – with so many options, do we go with a balance or pedal bike? Budget is not an issue, and I thought I liked the FirstBike until I read the reviews on the Ridgeback…then I saw that kids should be on a pedal bike by 3.5-4 years old, is that correct? One last thing – MUST BE PINK! 🙂 Thank you for your assistance, SD

    • Actually, it sounds like the FirstBIKE would be a great choice for her. Kids who start on balance bike around the age of 18mo to 2 years can move up to a pedal bike at 3.5, but kids move up whenever they are ready, whether it be age 3 or 7, so no rush. Having a well designed bike does allow kids to transition to pedal bike sooner and easier, which is why there are a lot more kids moving up to pedal bikes younger than ever before. For your daughter, I would recommend the FirstBIKE or the Yedoo Too Too. The Too Too will provide her more time to grow at it is slightly larger, so that would be my first pick, followed by the FirstBIKE.

      • SD

        Thank you, Natalie!

  • Kelly Acree

    Great site with excellent research and recommendations – thanks!! My question: I have 8yo boy that simply hasn’t been interested in learning to ride a bike. So I’d like to start him with a balance bike. I’m struggling between TykesByke Charger and Strider 16. I don’t want him to outgrow the Charger too fast, but it is $100 less than the Strider 16. Do you think there is a big enough difference in seat height/size to warrant paying up to get more longevity?

    • Glad to help! We have two charger 16″ in our fleet that all of our testers love, from ages 8 to 10. So as long as he is not really tall for his age, I would go with the Charger, especially since he will probably transition to a pedal bike within a year. It if helps, my 8yo is in size 10 pants and fits just fine on the bike.

      • Kelly Acree

        EXACTLY what I needed to know! Thank you!

  • Suz

    This site is an amazing resource! Thanks so much for doing the hard work of gathering all the information and assembling it into such a well-organized guide! So happy to have stumbled across it.

    Here’s my question: My daughter will be turning 4 in April, and we’d like to get her her first balance bike. I also have a 16-month-old son (average height and weight for his age) who is just starting to get the hang of his new Chillafish Bunzi bike inside the house. I’m wondering whether it makes sense to buy a relatively smaller bike for my daughter to use this coming spring/summer/fall with the intention of passing it down to her brother next year (top picks are TykesByke 12″ or Wedoo Too Too) and just let her brother stick with his Bunzi toy bike for the interim? Or do we need to suck it up and get them each their own bikes? I mean, is the Bunzi even the sort of thing he can use outside come spring and summer? Or does he need more of a “real” balance bike, like a Strider, already?

    My daughter is average height, a little on the skinny side at about 32 lbs, and is somewhat but not overwhelmingly timid. She has been riding a low-to-the-ground tricycle very well for the past two summers, and (although it is much too small for her) has been zooming around the house nonstop on her brother’s Bunzi recently. Is it even reasonable to think she could progress from a balance bike this spring/summer/fall to a pedal bike by next summer? If so, I think the TykesByke Charger 12″ or the Wedoo Too Too would be good options. They should be big enough for her still right? (I also considered the Ridgeback Scoot but am concerned it would be too big for my son to handle next year still, and it doesn’t seem to be available now anyhow.) If not, perhaps it would be better to hold out for the Scoot or something similar that she might be able to grow into I would think.

    • Glad to help. The Bunzi is a great little starter for your son, son I would definitely stick with it. It can easily be taken outside, so no worries there. For your daughter, I agree with your train of thought. If she is already cruising around on the Bunzi, she will probably pick up on a balance bike relatively quickly. Sounds like she would be a great fit on either the TykesBykes or the Too Too. If you son is on the lighter side as well, I would probably go for the Too Too as it sounds like he could move up quickly (and may need a lighter bike), but if he is average weight then he will do fine on the TykesBykes as well. As for the Scoot, if we were just concerned with your daughter, I would go for it (or the Saracen which is similar and currently in stock), but considering you son will move up within a year or so, I think the Scoot would be too big for him. Hope that helps!

      • Suz

        Very helpful! Thank you. Too Too or TykesBykes it is!

      • Suz

        Actually, for purely aesthetic reasons, I have even considered the Burley MyKick. (I like the simpler style of the TooToos and the MyKicks better than the Charger, but my daughter’s fav color is red which isn’t an option on the TooToo.) I know it’d be better with a brake, but would it be a good choice otherwise? Would my daughter outgrow it too quickly?

        • Being 4, I think she will probably grow out of the MyKick too soon and the extra 1.5″ of seat post on the TykesBykes will be needed.

  • JLLM

    What a wonderful site! I just discovered it! I am thinking about getting a balance bike for my daughter. She is just about 21 months and is wearing about a 2T in pants – some she needs a 3T – and she is about 32 lbs. she would be riding mostly on sidewalks…maybe in the grass a bit. Any suggestions on which bike and size? Since she is only 21 months, I know she still has a bit more growing to go… Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    • Sure, I’d love to help. There are a lot of options out there, so I would start by first measuring your daughters inseam to ensure you are getting the right size bike for her. If she in between a 2T and 3T, my guess is that she is around 14″, but it’s always best to measure. Next I would check out our balance bike filter page here, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/balance-bike-guide/, which will help you narrow down your choices. When selecting a bike, you will want to look for a bike that is under 10lb. is she is under 30 lb. If she is over 30lb. she shouldn’t have an issue with the weight. You will also want a bike with a minimum seat height at least one inch less than her inseam. For tires, I always prefer air, but foam tires will be fine if she is mostly on pavement. Once you have a couple you are deciding upon, let me know and I can better help you from there.

  • Tim

    Hi Natalie, what an awesome website! I am researching balance bikes as a 3rd birthday present for both my 35 month old twin boys. Whilst they were gifted Eurotrike TCV Balance Bikes for their 2nd birthday I consider this present as their first “balance bike” given how wide the TCV’s wheels are. I have taken some measurements converted to Imperial: Twin A has a weight of 30lbs, and very adventurous, an inseam of 12.5″ and a height of 35.8″. Twin B has a weight of 28.3lbs, an inseam of 13.5″ and a height of 36.2″, and adventurous also but only after seeing how Twin A faired. We expect that we will need to buy them both the same bike in the same colour to avoid any fights as we are sure that if we have two different bikes and/or two different colours one will be crowned the best and the other abandoned. They would likely start on paved surfaces and then once confident we would make use of the many trails through the Parks and State Forest nearby. What would you recommend? Thanks in advance, I look forward to your response!

    • Glad to help and thanks for converting those numbers for me :). Considering their size and weight and being in Europe, I would check out the Yedoo Too Too. It it lightweight (for Twin B who will probably appreciate that), has a hand brake, air tires and provides plenty of room to grow. You can check out our review here: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/yedoo-too-too/. Take a look and then let me know what you think. If for some reason you don’t like the Too Too, let me know and I’ll try again!

      • Tim

        Thanks Natalie. Not feeling confident that I had accurately measured their inseams yesterday, I tried again this morning, and both now have an inseam of 14.3″ (365mm). Sorry, this may or may not alter your recommendation. I haven’t mentioned before but I am in Australia. The sourcing of some of the bikes reviewed on your website may be a little hard to find or expensive to ship here but not impossible. My only reservation on my boys’ behalf is that their preferred red isn’t an option. Using the inseams measurements in my original post I found myself was leaning towards the Frog Tadpole. I note that they also offer a Tadpole Plus (4.18kg / 9.2lbs as listed on their website).

        • Humm, if you are in Australia, I would actually recommend looking at the ByK line of bikes. They are similar to the Frog line (which will be hard to come by in Australia – I think anyway), plus were developed in Australia, so they are easy to come by. They also are available in both a 12″ and a 14″ wheel and are available in many local bike shops there. I do not have their balance bike listed here as only their pedal bikes are available in the US. I would take a look at their bikes on their website as well as try to check them out in person so you can see if their 12″ or their 14″ would work better for them. http://www.bykbikes.com/australian-byk-kids-bike-stockists.html

  • Julie

    Hi – this is a wonderful site! Thank you so much for all this information. I was wondering which bike you’d recommend for my daughter. She’s just turning 2. She’s tall for 2 — 35 1/2 inches with an inseam of (I think) 12.5. She weighs 27 pounds… I was looking at the Burley because I like the look of it, as well as the price, and I want something she can have for a few years… I’m concerned the weight of the Burley will be a problem, though. Do you think a tall 2 year old could handle it? I am hoping to find something she can get started on right away… Thank you for any guidance.

    • My general rule for weight is that bikes over 10lb. are best for kids over 30lb. Age and “athleticism” is also a factor as younger or more hesitant kids are better off on lighter bikes. At 11 lb. your daughter could be fine on the Burley, but it is on the heavier side for her. If she is eager to ride and reasonably athletic, I think she will be fine on it, if you expect her to be more hesitant on it, then I may look into something lighter.

      • Julie

        Thanks so much, Natalie. I am considering lighter options and looking at the Too Too. Do you think this is good option for her? I notice you recommend it for 18 mo. – 3 yrs, but the seat goes to 18 inches, which seems pretty high… Is there a reason the age cutoff is not older than 3? (She’s 2 now, and I’d ideally like to get more than a year out of whatever bike we end up with.) please let me know if you think the Too Too is a good option, or if there might be another you’d suggest. Thank you again for your help.

        • The Too Too would be a great choice. My son who is barely in 4T clothes, can still fit on it (with little room left), so it will provide plenty of room for her. I don’t recommend it for the older category simply because they will outgrow it too quickly, not because it won’t fit them from the get go.

  • Richard

    Hello Natalie, I am hoping to buy my son a balance bike for his second birthday. He is currently 21.5 months, measures 33″ tall with an 11″ inseam (with cloth diaper). Before measuring his inseam I had leaned toward the Islabike Rothan, but with such a small inseam it looks like he will not fit. He could gain maybe 1/2″ inseam when he comes out of cloth diapers (I could put him in disposables for riding if need be), and he may have another growth spurt by his second birthday. Do you think the Islabike could work, or is the Woom1 a better idea, or is there another bike you would recommend. Riding will be mainly on concrete paths. I will by a second balance bike if he outgrows the first. Thank you and also thank you for the site it really is invaluable.

    • Glad to help! Between the WOOM1 and the Rothan (which are both awesome bikes!), the deciding factor would probably be how fast you expect him to pick up balancing. Most 1yo’s tend to walk the bike for a couple months before they actually sit on the bike, so technically the doesn’t need to fit over the seat from the get-go. If you expect him to pick it up quickly (which some kids do), then I would go with the WOOM1 to make sure he is ready to go if he is ready to roll.

      • Richard

        Thank you Natalie. While I don’t think he will scoot the bike for a while, I think he may try to sit on it to “get the feel of it” so I best go with the Woom. Thank you for your help!

  • Sara

    Hi Natalie, we are looking to get a balance bike for our 16 month old (he’ll use it in a few months once spring arrives). He rode a Strider bike really well in the store, but after reading about the bearings and the wheels, we are leaning more towards a FirstBike. His inseem is around 11 inches- he’s 32 inches tall and 25 pounds. Do you think he’ll fit on it with the lowering kit?

    • With an 11″ inseam, it is going to be slightly too big for him. Our son was finally able to comfortably stand over it with the lowering kit on when he was in 24 months pants, so if he fits in them, I think you are good to go. In case you missed it, here is the picture from the review that shows him on the bike at different ages.

      • Sara

        Hi Natalie,
        Thank you for your help! Bike riding is a big part of our lives and our little one wants to join in- your photos and data are very helpful!
        Thanks,
        Sara

        • Glad to be of help! I know the feeling:) I love being a bike family!

  • jparticini

    Hey Natalie! Getting two balance bikes for my 22 month old boy/girl twins both 33 in. tall, 27 lbs with a 11 3/4 in inseam (barefoot). We’ll be getting them for their 2nd birthdays. Both have been riding their scuttle bugs around the house like maniacs. My son is super adventurous while my little girl is more cautious and just started walking due to some health issues (which we’ve figured out thankfully)! My oldest has a 16″ CNOC Islabike which is an amazing quality. I’d like to get them whatever bikes will be the easiest for them to learn on and will transition them into pedal bikes down the road. I’ve been contemplating the Rothan and Woom1 so far. I’m leaning towards the Woom since you said that your kids consistently choose that one over all of their other options. However, you say the FirstBike is the best all around. Which one would you steer us to?

    • Wild Rumpus

      Hi, I would recommend the Early Rider bikes- we got ours for our daughter at 2 and it’s perfect. She is 3 now and it still fits and will for a good 6 months or longer.

  • Jessica Tucci

    Hi Natalie. This is a great site. I’m interested in getting a bike for my daughter for her 3rd birthday. She is 30 lbs and 37″ tall with a 15 inch inseam. Right now she’s in 2T and 3T pants, depending on the brand. It seems that she carries her height in her legs. I’m overwhelmed by the options for her and I want to make sure we get the right bike and one that will last and will be able to be used by little brother when she’s done with it. Thanks!

  • Peter

    Do you recommend a particular set of pads/gloves/helmet?

  • Megan McGrew Beal

    I was wondering if you no longer recommend the kinderbike laufraud or why it is no longer on here? I was looking to purchase it off of amazon now that my child has out grown his kinderfeets bike.

    • I have no problems with Kinderbike’s bikes, but due to some complaints from Kinderbike themselves, I felt is was best to minimize my interactions with them, so I pulled their bikes from the site. I have no issues with their bikes as they are still great bikes, but don’t want much to do with their company anymore.

      • Megan McGrew Beal

        Eek okay thanks!

  • Saara

    I have a ridgback mini balance bike from my older son but it seems to be to much for my 23 lb 3yo. Would it be a good idea to try something else for him or do you think a really active three yo should be able to handle it eventually?

    • As a general rule, kids under 30 lbs. are best on bikes under 10 lbs., which the mini is not. Being only 23 lb. the Mini is probably a lot for him to handle. Eventually he will be able to handle it, but is really depends on how fast he grows. If possible, I would consider getting a lightweight bike for him to use while he learns. Perhaps a used Strider on Craigslist? No need to worry about a brake or air tires, as by the time he has master the lighter bike, he will likely be ready to move up to the Mini.

  • Sarah Friedberg

    Question! I have a 37.5 inch tall son turning 3 in a month and I want to buy him a balance bike. He is a bit behind in gross motor skills due to a birth injury and tends to have confidence issues. I am torn between the bikes for 2.5 year olds and 3.5 year olds. The Woom1 looks amazing, as does the Ridgeback Scoot. I don’t want a bike that is too big for him to comfortably use, or one that he will outgrow immediately. Any thoughts?

    • The WOOM1 is a great bike, but considering he may take some time to learn to ride, he is likely to outgrow the bike too soon. My son is in 4T clothes and barely fits on the WOOM1. I would probably go for a lighter weight bike that will last him longer. The Yedoo Too Too would be a good choice, but considering his height, the Ridgeback Dimensions (not listed on the site yet, http://weebikeshop.com/store/balance-bikes/brands/dimension/ridgeback-dimension12.html) would be perfect, BUT it is pricey at $289! If the Dimensions isn’t in your budget I would go with the Too Too.

  • Adrienne G

    Hi and thank you for the all of the great information on this site. I’m having trouble deciding which balance bike to purchase for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. She is 24 lb and 34 inches tall (12-inch inseam), so on the lighter side for her age. Though, she has always been way ahead in both fine and gross motor skills. The Strider seems like it would be great because it is lightweight and she can grow with it, but I’m not thrilled about the foam tires. Most of her riding will probably be on sidewalks, alongside her mom running, but we will definitely do some off-roading as well. The Yedoo Too Too looks like a great alternative, but a big ‘must’ is that the bike is green… her favorite color. Their green looks more like a yellow, at least from where I sit. Do you have any recommendations based on this information? Is the hand brake good to have or is that something she won’t need until she is older and maybe already moved onto a pedal bike?

    • For most kids, foam tires are fine, but not great. They don’t offer as much traction as foam and more importantly, they offer no cushioning. Kids on balance bikes often ride over curbs, jumps and rocks, and with no cushioning from the air tires, the child feels every bump. Some saddles are padded, which helps, but the Strider’s min-saddle (the standard one that comes on the bike) has no padding. For kids just riding on pavement, the Strider is a great, but if it is in your budget, I would look for a bike with air tires and a handbrake, especially if you are hitting the trails at all. If the WOOM and Islabikes are out of your price range, then I would go for the Too Too, which you could get for around $150 with one of the coupon codes on my Too Too review page.

  • Erin Munroe Madden

    Hi!
    I’m looking to purchase a balance bike for my son that just turned 4 yrs old. He is on the bigger side. 42in tall, 17in inseam and 48 lbs. 5T pants are alittle short on him. I’m intested in the 16′ charger based on reviews and price, I was just curious if you thought this bike would be too big or too much for him?

    • It really depends on his “athletic ability” and his eagerness to learn. It will certainly fit him fine, but if he really hesitant, it might be better to go with a smaller 14″ balance bike or a large 12″. The 14″ Ridgeback Scoot XL is a great bike, but it does retail for $199. REI does have a large 12″ Zipper, which can often be found on sale. The 12″ Ridgeback Scoot and Saracen are also larger 12″ bikes that would fit him now, but he is likely to outgrow him within a year.

  • Jessica Erin Tullar

    Hi there! I’m looking to purchase a balance bike for my daughter that will be turning 2 at the end of April. She is 26 lbs, and 34 1/2 inches tall. She wears 18 month-24 month clothing. I thought after reading all the reviews, I could decide. But now I’m torn!. Any suggestions?

    • Glad to help. The Rothan and WOOM1 are both amazing bikes that would be great for her at this age. If you expect her to grow tall or if you live in an area where she won’t be able to ride for several months of the year, then I would probably go for the Yedoo Too Too over the others as it provides more room for growth.

    • Wild Rumpus

      Hi, I didn’t know if you had chosen a bike yet but my daughter was quite small and we went with an early rider bike- it was perfect since it had a steering wheel lock and super light.

  • Dana K

    This is such a great comparison chart, thank you! I was just wondering if you have any thoughts on the Spawn Tengu? I live in Canada and would can’t get the Islabike Rothan here, but the Tengu seems quite similar.

    • I have only heard amazing things about Spawn bikes and the Tengu does look similar to the Rothan. Not knowing the weight or the seat heights of the Tengu, it’s hard to give you a comparison, but I’m sure they could give you those specs if you were to call them up.

      • Dana K

        Thanks for your quick response! I actually had already emailed them to ask the weight, it’s 9 lbs, so heavier than most of the balance bikes in your chart. How big a difference do you think that makes? The other big difference is the seat, the Rothan has a seat that they say has been optimised for feet on the ground, instead of being a normal bike seat.

        I found a comparison chart somewhere that listed the seat height as 11.5 to 16.5 inches, Spawn’s website lists the same minimum inseam and height as the Rothan.

        If the extra 1.3 lbs makes a big difference, I’ll try to get the Islabike, otherwise I think we’ll be very happy with the Spawn balance bike 🙂

        • The difference in weight depends on the weight of your child as well as their athletic ability. Generally, you don’t have a bike to weight more than 30% of their body weight, so if your child is in the mid or low 20’s in weight, then the lighter bike will make a difference. If they are in the upper 20’s or if they are athletic and eager, then they should do fine on the Tengu. As for the seat, the Rothan’s is awesome and very comfortable for new riders, but I wouldn’t buy the bike just for the seat.

  • samsella

    Thank you so much for this brilliant site! I used it 2 years ago to buy my daughters first balance bike and then again for her first bike (We went with Specialized as we are in Australia). She is now 4 and zooming around on her 16 inch. I have a question about my soon to turn 1 yr old. He is a big boy – probably the size of an 18 month old now and is walking. We have kept our daughter’s Specialised Hotwalk for him for his first balance bike. When can we start him on that and what would be the best “pre bike” to use before that? I have looked at the list and a bit overwhelmed! At playgroup he is trying to climb on the tricycles and gets upset if I take him off so I’m keen to get him started earlier as my daughter was never enthusiastic like this and really had to be encouraged. Obviously we don’t need something that can “transform” as we have the Hotwalk ready. Thanks so much!

    • Glad to help and thanks for coming back :). Kids are generally start as soon as they are interested. Some kids as young as 18 months are able to ride a balance bikes, while others take some more time. If he is interested, I would certainly get started with him. I would, however, try to get a pre-bike as close to a balance bike as possible. Tricycles are fine in and of themselves, but they teach kids to pedal, which sitting back (versus learning forward on a balance bike) so they are not great “pre” bikes. The toys that allow them to sit and scoot with their legs below them are best. My kids all started with this one, http://amzn.to/200kl5T at 12 months, but we later found the Scuttle Bug, which I like a lot better (and adde to the list above), http://amzn.to/200kExQ. Seeing as you are in Australia, I’m not sure what you have available, so I would simply look for something similar to those. Hope that helps!

  • Cecilia Miller

    Hi! I’m new to the balance bike world. I’ve never heard of them till now, my much older children did training wheels which was a nightmare to get rid of to the point the were 6-8 yrs old before they had enough confidence to go the 2 wheel route. My daughter will be 3 on 9/11 this year. Her inseam appears to be about 14.5 inches & she wears 2t or some 3t clothes. She has never tried a bike really but I believe she will catch on quickly as it kills her to watch her 2 sisters zoom around her on 2 wheels. We live in the country so lots of grass & gravel roads plus we go camping frequently. Any guidance/recommendations for me??

    • Glad you found us! Considering her age and height, I would go with the Saracen or Ridgeback Scoot. The both have a longer wheelbase and wider handlebars to allow for greater stability for riding on non-paved surfaces. Both bikes cost $179. If they are out of your budget, then I would look at the Stampede Charger 12. For any bike, I would be sure to get some tire sealant for the tires to prevent flats, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/how-to-apply-tire-sealant-to-bike-tires/.

  • Anca

    Reading about “any balance bike is better than no balance bike at all” got me feeling so guilty as my daughter is almost two and I didn’t get her a pre bike when she was 1, I always thaught it would be too early 🙂
    I live in eastern Europe and the too 3 picks are not available here (not even on uk amazon) and here everybody is so hyped with wishbone 3 in 1 and I was amazed it wasn’t one of the top picks

    Thank you for yout blog, I will keep reading because there is still so much i do not understand: like how to set the cirrect seat height?

    All the best wishes♡

    • Glad you found the site :). The Wishbone 3-in-1 is certainly a well made bike, but it’s design isn’t my favorite as we had some issues with it. The correct seat height on a balance bike is about 2.5cm to 4cm less than your daughters inseam is she is learning and about 1.5cm once she has learned to ride. Hope that helps!

      • Wild Rumpus

        Hi, just wanted to say that I used your website to pick a bike for my daughter who was 20 months at the time. I ended up purchasing an Early Rider bc it had the steering wheel lock. This made a huge difference in her ability to learn how to ride and built her confidence. Within a month she no longer needed the lock. I would recommend this bike to anyone with a kid around 2. She is 3 now and the bike still fits since I could raise the seat. I don’t think she’ll need another one until Christmas.

        • The removable steering limiter on the Early Rider’s are amazing! I agree that limiters can be a huge help for kids as they are learning, but are “limiting” for kids as they get older, which is why Early Rider’s design is so great! Glad to hear she is loving it :).

  • Bart

    Is the trek kisckster small for a big 3 year old?

    • No, I don’t believe so, but it could be close. If you can’t try the bike out in person, your best bet it to call you local bike shop and ask them the minimum and maximum seat height on the bike (I don’t have them, sorry). You are going to want the maximum seat height to be at least 2 inches higher than your child’s inseam to ensure room for growth. If you live in a cold climate where much riding won’t happen during the winter, then I would suggest at least 3″ difference.

  • Dava Kaitala

    Hi! I love this site, but I’m completely overwhelmed by all the options! I’m looking for balance bikes for two kids. I have a 3.5 year old girl who has about a 15 inch inseam and weighs 36 lbs. She is very timid and not super-well-coordinated. I also have an almost 2 year old son who is 28 lbs. He is not the least bit timid and is quite athletic.

    I’m leaning toward getting a Strider for my son and a MyKick or Scoot for my daughter. Any thoughts?

    • Glad to help, there are certainly a lot of options out there! For your daughter, the Scoot would be great. Being timid, she will really appreciate and benefit from the wider handlebars and wheelbase of the Scoot. For your son, if he is adventurous, I believe he would benefit from a bike with air tires, such as the Yedoo Too Too or the Charger 12″.

  • Dieguito

    Hi.. do you know about those 2 in 1 balance bike as Henshin Bike or Rennrad 2 in 1 Learning Bike? My son in almost 3 and he mastered a wood balance bike but I don´t know if he is ready for a bike with pedals so I think that this 2 in 1 are a best option to avoid buy a bike that frustrate him? What do you think? What´s the best option based on your background?

    • I would try him on a pedal bike first, especially if he is eager to ride one. My main issue with convertible bikes is that they are generally really small and kids outgrow them too quickly. In most cases, kids who are ready to move up from a 12″ balance bike and ready for a 14″ pedal bike versus a 12″ bike. The only convertible bike that I would recommend would be the LittleBig, https://www.littlebigbikes.com/. I have yet to see it in person, but have heard great things about it.

  • Erin

    I’m curious what you’d recommend for a small 18mo? She’s 31″ and 18.5#. Since her older brother has learned to ride she’s very interested in riding 🙂 We have a balance bike she can use when she’s bigger but she’s a good 5″ away from that I think. Thanks!

    • My favorite bike for really small ones are the WOOM1 and the Islabikes Rothan. If she is in 18-months clothes, she should be able to stand over the seat. Those two bikes are amazing, but are on the pricier side. If you are looking for something more affordable, I would look at the Cruzee or the Strider.

      • Erin

        Thanks! Do you have a recommendation for one of the pre-balance bikes? We have a balance bike already (that she will need to grow into) so I’d rather get something she’ll be able to use right away. I was looking through the list of the pre balance bikes but couldn’t tell if there were any that are more or less recommended?

        • Erin

          Forgot to add she’s just barely starting to fit into 18month clothes 🙂

          • Sure! For the price, I really like the Scuttle Bug. It teaches the to sit and scoot, without having to worry about balancing, so they are a great pre-bike for kids (http://amzn.to/26bTPLb). The Early Rider Spherevelo is also awesome, but is a lot more expensive.

  • Anca

    Natalie, thank you for being so awesome, for this site and for answering parents. You are simply great, I hope you know how much your advice means for worried parents trying to do best for their children.

    I have a 23 months old daughter, I found that I can order online in my area the Woom1 or the Firstbike. In the 18m+ category you state that your favorite top pick is Firstbike, but Woom1 is on the Exceptional list while Firstbike is not. Hm, what to get, what to get? Just follow the inseame measurement right?

    Wish you all the best!

    • Thanks and your welcome! Wow, you’re right, I need to fix the listings. The FirstBIKE has been around a lot longer than the WOOM, so it shows up on a lot more lists. Between the two, I would go with the WOOM1. It’s an amazing bikes that you really can’t go wrong with.

      • Anca

        We ordered the Woom1 for my daughter, thank you.
        You changed our whole bike experience. I would of baught the wishbone 3 in 1 if I hadn’t found your page, because it looks cool and I love the wood look.
        The hardest part was that when I ordered I asked her what colour does she want (they had red and blue available only) and she said blue 🙂
        I loved the red one and hated the blue one (not because of girl boy stereotypes but the red looks cooler) and I asked her ten times the colour option and she still saud blue. So I baight the blue one, realizing its for her not me doooh :))

        • Yeah, I’m glad you found us. She would have done fine on the Wishbone, but I believe she will do much better on the WOOM. Plus, ha, you gotta love how determined kids are about certain things, such as color. I haven’t seen the blue one in person, but I’m sure it will be great 🙂

  • Dean

    I see that the several WOOM bikes always rank in your “Exceptional” and “Highly Recommended” categories. I assume then you would recommend the WOOM upcycle program? Have you enrolled in it yourself, and if yes, any thoughts? Thanks, and thank you more for all the incredible information and detail on this site!

    • I can’t say enough great things about WOOM bikes. Their bikes are amazing as it their customer service, so I would absolutely recommend their UpCycle program, especially if you are buying a smaller bike, as you will be able to get several more bikes on the deal. I have not enrolled in the program, but I would it I didn’t get bikes for my kids to test out on a regular basis. The WOOM’s we all test, get sent back to them when we are done, but if we had some around, I know my kids who be riding them :).

  • Sara Jamieson

    Hi I have a 3 year old who is small at 35″ who struggles to ride any bike or tricycle because she can’t reach the pedals. I was wondering if you have any opinion on the Bikestar 10 inch (25.4cm) Kids Balance Bike / Kids Running Bike that is sold on Amazon in the States for $69.99. I feel at 12″ would be to tall for her. I believe this is a German made bike under a different name. Thanks you.

    • I have only heard great things about the Bikestar and should really should review one of their bikes. The only *complaint* I have heard from readers is that they are heavy for their size. If your daughter is lightweight, I would look for a lighter bike, if not, then Bikestar is certainly going to be a great bike for $70!

  • Melissa Brinkman

    Hi! I’m looking for a bike for my 4 y/o. She’s 41″ with a 16″ inseam, and weighs 34 lbs. I think hand brakes would be preferable, but am not sure how important it is. I was looking at the Charger (Tykebyke?) 16″ and the Ridgeback Scoot or Scoot XL, and am not sure which way to go. Can you offer an opinion, or steer me towards anything that sounds like a match that I’ve overlooked? Thanks for the help!

    • Glad to help. I would highly recommend getting a balance bike with a hand brake for a 4yo as she is old enough to have the hand/eye coordination to use them. Plus, being confident on a hand brake will better prepare her for transitioning to a pedal bike. Considering her size, the Scoot XL may be slightly too big, so I would remeasure he inseam. If she is at least 16.5″, then it will fit as she will need some room for knee bend as she stands over the bike. Since she is just getting started, the 14″ tire on the Scoot XL is going to be easier for her to manage than the 16″ on the Charger. The only other bike I would consider would be the Scoot or the Saracen, but only if you expect her to pick up balancing quickly, as they don’t provide as much room for growth. Considering her age though, with continued use, she is likely to transition to pedal bike by next year, if not sooner.

      • Melissa Brinkman

        Have you reviewed the kinder bikes? The laufrad model seems like a light weight, inexpensive option, but I wonder if you’ve heard any complaints or drawbacks on them ?

  • Sam

    Thanks for this great resource. I’m debating what to buy my daughter, who is about to turn 1. She’s quite tall (~31″) and is extremely active (has been walking for about a month now). Her inseam is just shy of 11″ but I’m hoping she’ll be able to enjoy a balance bike in the coming months. I’m hoping this will be the only balance bike we buy her (hoping she’ll be ready for a pedal bike by the time she outgrows the balance bike) and I’m debating between the Cruzee and Woom bikes. The lighter weight of the Cruzee makes me think she’ll be able to be on it sooner than the Woom, and she’ll probably be mostly on the sidewalks around our home, but we do have some nice mulch-covered dirt trails she might enjoy, so I wonder if the Woom may be a better bet even if she has to wait a little longer to handle the added weight? I’m sure I’m overthinking this purchase (and probably getting it earlier than needed but dang it I’m excited to see her on a bike!), but any thoughts or suggestions you have based on your experience with these models would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • I love how excited you are to get her on a bike :). Both Cruzee and WOOM are great bike, but there are a lot of differences between them. If you plan on having her ride just around your neighborhood, then she should do fine on the Cruzee. It is very lightweight and the bolts on it are completely flat, which will prevent scratches. The WOOM however, is built much more like a true bike with air tires, a hand brake and metal, versus plastic components. If you expect her to do more adventurous riding as she get older, i.e. dirt trails, up and down jumps and curves, then I would certainly go with the WOOM. The elastic steering limiter on the WOOM is also a huge bonus for kids as they are learning to ride. If you expect her to stick to basic riding on mainly pavement, then you should be fine with the Cruzee.

  • Tara

    HI! Thanks for all the great information. We have a Strider bike we got for my oldest when she was 2.5. She’s now 4 and becoming much more confident on the bike. I don’t see the Woom2 on any of your reviews as a good pedal bike to start after a balance bike. Have you reviewed that one at all? Or should we get a balance bike with hand brakes first? We’re going to pass the strider to our 22 month old. 😊 Thank you!

    • Glad to help! I have tested out the WOOM2 and it is an amazing bike. You can see it listed here along with many other starter balance bikes, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/pedal-bikes-comparison-charts/. On that page, be sure to click on the WOOM2 to read our review, as well as on the CNOC 14 and the Byk 250. Those are my top three picks for started pedal bikes for younger kids. As for a hand brake, at this stage I wouldn’t purchase another balance bike with a hand brake, but would be sure to take plenty of time on the pedal bike to make they know how to use the brake. The best way to do this is to have them walk besides the bike and practice pulling the brake lever, while walking, so they can feel how quick the bike stops.

  • Tara

    I forgot to ask what you would recommend as a first pedal bike after balance bike. She’s pretty petite so I’m thinking the lighter the better and if woom2 would be on the list. Thanks again!

  • Diana Turetsky

    Which would you recommend between the Zoomer boot scoot vs. Kazam v2e for a 3yo toddler (if they’re priced the same). My daughter has never had a balance bike before so she probably will not be too familiar with it and probably not too adventurous. She’s average height. Aside from the footrest, which is better if they were priced the same?

    • In our experience, the Kazam is better quality, but it too wide for kids with petite frames. The Radio Flyer is my favorite of the three, but is taller. Considering you daughter is three, I would go with the Radio Flyer as long as her inseam is at least 15″.

  • Elaine

    This site is amazing! Thank you for all the info. I was at REI yesterday and the novara zipper 2016 seems to have been redesigned for a smaller child. Is that right? My almost 2year old with an 11″ inseam (barefoot crotch with diaper to floor) could touch on tip toes. There’s no way it had a 17″ minimum inseam! Of course she wants it now, but I had been planning on getting one made for a younger child (woom1 most likely). Thoughts?

    • You’re right, I just looked it up. Yeah! I’ll that updated when I get a chance. Without seeing it in person, the overall design of the bike looks good, but there are bikes in that price range that come with a hand brake. Plus, it also really depends on how much it weighs, which they don’t list online :(.

  • Erin

    Thanks for all your great information and research! So glad a comparison like this exists to help with all the choices out there. What do you think of the new ‘Critical Cycles Cub’ balance bike for an active 2.5 year old boy who will mainly be riding it around the neighborhood on sidewalks?

    • I have not seen it in person, but from what I can tell online, it is a good bike for $60. The price is reflective of the quality as it has small foam tires and a less than ideal frame geometry. If you have more in your budget, I would look for another bike, but if not, then I would go for the Cub.

  • Umbreen

    I will have to measure the inseam, but we have a $30 Step 2 motorcycle that my toddler loves scooting around on. Would this qualify as a pre balance bike?

    • Yes! I should include that on the list. Anything that requires kids to sit and push with their feet counts 🙂

  • Carrie

    I have 2 1/2 yr old twins (a boy and a girl). I am looking for balance bikes for them that won’t break the bank since I need 2 and the bikes won’t be passed down to anyone. Safety is my main concern. My son is 36″ tall, 31 lbs, and 12 1/2″ inseam. My daughter is 35″ tall, 26 lbs, and 12″ inseam. (Inseam measured as best I could with them in bare feet) In the summer, half our time is at our house with flat, paved roads and bike paths. The other time is at a beach house located on a hilly, gravel road. We have a big, sandy beach and big sand dunes. In the winter we get lots of snow. I like the ski option, but haven’t seen any reviews about how much kids really use/enjoy that option so I don’t know if I should value it. Also, I like the break option, but again, don’t know if it’s a “must have”. Lastly, while I think the knobby tires would be best, my kids still get excited about color (pink and blue/green) and it seemed some bikes (at least the Firstbike) had limited colors with knobby tires. My son is quite rambunctious, my daughter a bit more cautious, but both are overall adventurous and would live outdoors if I would let them. Sorry for so much information, but I wanted to paint a complete picture. Based on the above, any recommendation you can offer is much appreciated! Thx!

    • Glad to help. The ski option is a lot of fun, but unless you go sledding a lot already, I wouldn’t consider it a priority. My son loved sledding on this balance bike this past year (just past his 4th birthday), but in previous years he was uncomfortable doing so. As for the best bike for your kids, the Stampede Bikes Charger 12 would be a good fit as it is rugged enough for the outdoors and comes in several colors. The tires are not knobby, but they will certainly provide enough traction for most gravel roads. Honestly, if the road had deep gravel on it, any balance bike won’t perform very well on it. The minimum seat height on the Charger 12 is 12.5″, so it is cutting it close, but considering you measured them without shoes, I think they should be good. The blue and orange are currently on sale for $99 directly through Stampede Bikes, https://stampedebikes.com/product/12-scamper-balance-bike-green/, and the coupon code “twowheeltots” will get you another 15% off. For that price, there really isn’t another balance bike with air tires and a hand brake in that price range.

  • Lee

    My wife and I are looking to purchase a balance bike for our daughter who is about to turn two. We have another little one due in October. I am struggling with whether we should buy a bike geared towards smaller riders (Cruzee, Strider) for our daughter to use for the next year or two and the next kiddo to use in the future or should we plan to buy each of child a bike they can use from early on until they graduate to a pedal bike (Yedoo Too Too). What do you suggest? Thanks.

    • If you kids are on lower percentiles for height, then I would go for the Cruzee or Strider, but if they are average or in the higher percentiles, I would go for the Yedoo as long as your daughter currently has at least a 11.5″ inseam. Being two years apart, there is the chance that they might be riding balance bikes at the same time, but your daughter could transition to a pedal bike as early as 3. Most kids who transition that early are either really athletic, have parents who ride, or only have a balance bike, versus a scooter, tricycle, etc. Since the Yedoo has air tires and a hand brake, I prefer it over the others, but only if it fits :).

  • Belle Blue

    Hello, I’m looking into balance bikes for my 21 mo old son. He is a little over 35″ tall with a long torso and short legs and weighs about 32.5 lbs. He has an 11″ inseam in bare feet. I’d like to get him a balance bike that fits him now and that has air tires and handbrakes and that would be appropriate for slightly uneven pavement and light gravel. From my research it looks like the WOOM1 is a good option, but would the fact that it is so upright be a problem considering he has such a long torso? Any other recommendations? Thank you, I appreciate your expertise!

    • Great point, if he has a long torso, the WOOM1 will fit him great now, but may not by next year. With an 11″ inseam however, there really aren’t too many balance bike options. While not a high in quality as the WOOM, the Glide Bikes Ezee Glider may be the best fit for him as it has a minimum seat height of 11″ and it also has a height adjustable handlebar. With air tires and a hand great, it is a great bike for under $100, http://amzn.to/29i9e4X.

  • Jan

    Love all the information! I’m looking for budget bikes for a 5 year old. She has only done a tricycle before so we’d love to do a balance bike. She has a 16″ inseam crotch to ankle. I don’t want to spend over $100 because chances are she’ll be ready for a pedal bike next summer. Any suggestions?

    • Humm, larger balance bikes under $100 are really hard to come by, especially considering her inseam. I would first look for a TykesBykes 16″ balance bike used. With luck you will find one locally. If not, then you can get a new one directly through stampede bikes, https://stampedebikes.com/product-category/balance-bike/, for $139 and the coupon code “twowheeltots” will get you 15% off, which should help bring the cost down. If you expect her to pick up on balancing quickly, then another option would to have her use a pedal bike as a balance bike by removing the pedals. This method does work, but there are some downsides. Pedal bikes are heavier and can be harder to learn to balance on, plus if she takes a while to learn how to balance, she could outgrow the pedal bike before she actually uses it as a pedal bike.

  • Mel D

    Hi Natalie. Thank you for being such a great resource! Like so many others, I’m a first time shopper. My son will be 2 at the end of the month. He’s always been tall and thin (90s% for height and 40s% for weight) Right now he’s about 36 inches but still less than 30lbs, probably around 26lbs. He’s in 18-24mo or 2T clothes depending on brand (mainly because they usually hang loose/low at the waist). I’m looking at the TooToo, Frog, and Woom1 (because of the great reviews and I feel personality wise he’ll be a bit timid to begin with). I’m also waiting for your Dimension 12 review (will that be coming soon?) Which would you recommend? Also, we’re in Chicago, so I’m hoping he’ll still get some use out of it next summer. Of course, he has a younger sister who just turned 6 months, so she may inherit it. But she’s a bit more solidly built than him so we may end up getting her her own when the time comes.

    • Mel D

      Just measured his inseam. He’s about 13-14″

      • We haven’t received the Dimensions 12″ yet for a review, but I can say that the 14″ is amazing! If it is in your budget I would recommend it without any hesitations. It is top notch from top to bottom. Actually, the minimum seat height is 14″, so it will probably be too big for him. You need at least a 0.5″ clearance beneath the seat to allow for easy on and off, especially with pants that hang low :). The WOOM1 is an amazing bike, but considering he is in the 90% he is likely to outgrow the bike too soon. The Too Too and the Frog would both be great choices. The Too Too offers more room for growth as it has a higher seat post, but the Frog has wider handlebars that helps some kids feel more stable on the bike. Between the two, if you feel weight will be a bigger issue for him, I would go with the Too Too, if you think he can handle a slightly heavier bike that he may feel more stable on, I would go with the Frog.

        • Mel D

          Thanks Natalie! Can I pick your brain about the Saracen? Do you think it will be too big for him being less than 30lbs? I’d like for him to be able to use it next summer as well. Ideally, until he can transition to a regular bike.

          • Mel D

            Also, why is the Frog rated exceptional for up to 3.5yrs but the Too Too only 3yrs when the Too Too has a higher seat limit?

          • Good eye:). The handlebars on the Too To are pretty narrow, so it can lead to twitchy steering for taller kids. The Frog does have a shorter maximum seat post height, but it also has wider handlebars that make riding more stable and comfortable for taller kids.

          • He was fully in 2T and a larger framed kid, the Saracen would work, but would likely be a little too big for him to start off on. Plus, they are currently out of stock for a couple months.

  • Lacey Maguire

    Hi, I have been reading your website with great interest. We are looking for my son’s first balance bike however it seems most of the recommended bikes for Preschoolers 3.5yrs wearing 4T clothing are not available in Australia. He will be 3.5yrs in September, is about 105cm and weighs about 15.5kgs.
    What brands/models would you recommend that are available in Australia?
    I would like one with air tyres.
    Cheers, Lacey

    • I would check out ByK’s line of balance bikes. They come in two sizes and were originally designed in Australia 🙂 https://www.bykbikes.com/byk-learner-balance-bikes.html

      • Lacey Maguire

        Thank you very much Natalie – I have checked out their website and they look great. Better still there is a stockist listed close by.
        Your website is such an awesome reference for parents! Cheers, Lacey

  • Amy Latzke

    Wow, what a great resource of information! I normally try to come up with my own decision when researching, but on this, I’m still stumped and would appreciate your perspective. I have a 5 year old (41″ tall), a 3 year old (small for her age at 35″), and a 9 month old, so I’m looking to get a bike that my 5-year old can use as a trainer to move ‘quickly’ to a pedal bike and then pass on to the 3 year old (then again, pass onto the baby, once he’s ready). That being said, I don’t think I’ll need to adjust the bike all the time/often, as I don’t expect the 3 year old to ride it (or at least, not ride it often), until the 5-year old has finished with it. So…the Strider, as you reviewed, looks great for sharing across multiple sizes and ages, but I’m concerned with the foam tires. Would you recommend getting the Strider Sport + air tires, the FirstBIKE, or do you have an alternative recommendation in the same general price range (WOOM?)? Many thanks in advance for your input!