The Best Balance Bike for Your Dollar

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.

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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.

Balance Bike Comparisons and Ranking by Child’s Inseam

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.
EXCEPTIONALgoldHighlyRecommendSilver

  • Best “Pre” Bike for Toddlers 12-18 Months (inseam 11″ or less, 18 mo clothes)
  • Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers 18 Months and Up (inseam at least 12.5″, 24mo/2T)
  • Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers 2.5 and Up (inseam at least 15″, 3T)
  • Best Balance Bike for Preschoolers 3.5 and Up (inseam at least 16″, 4T)
  • Best Balance Bikes for Preschoolers/Grade Schoolers Ages 4 and Up (inseam 17″ and up, 5T)

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
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
Early Rider Spherevelo $108 7.6″ 4.4 lb. Plastic 2 1 Year Two large sphere wheels, for kids as young as 8 months
Chillafish by Bunzi $69 8.6″,9.8″ 4 lb. Plastic 2 or 3 1 Year Converts from tricycle to balance bike
yBike $89 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

 

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″ $189 11.5″-18″ Hand No Yes 7.7lb. Air Sealed R 5 Year
FirstBIKE $165 12″-18″ Option No Yes 8.4lb. Air Sealed R Lifetime
Highly Recommended
Strider ST-4 (Sport) $109 11”-16” Option Yes No 6.4lb. Foam Sealed E 2 Years
KinderBike Mini Laufrad $119 11”-16.5” Hand No No 8.5lb. Air Regular E Lifetime
Early Rider Lite 12 $159 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
KinderBike E Series $109 11”-15.5” Hand No No 7.1lb. Foam Regular E Lifetime
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: Mini and Ezee Glider’s footrests are removable.
Some Ezee Glider models come with foam.  Early Rider’s limiter is removable. Performance warranty is 100% satisfaction.
FirstBIKE has an optional lowering kit for seat lowering it to 12” for $15 and offer 4 different tire options.

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”, 3T)
Brand/Model MSRP Seat Height Brake Footrest Limiter Total Weight Tires Bearings Bolts Warranty
Exceptional
Islabike Rothan 12″ $189 11.5″-18″ Hand No Yes 7.7lb. Air Sealed R 5 Year
FirstBIKE $165 12″-18″ Option No Yes 8.4lb. Air Sealed R Lifetime
LIKEaBIKE Jumper $299 13.4”-18.5” No No Yes* 7.5lb. Air Regular E 2 Years
Highly Recommended
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
Yedoo TooToo $129 13.8”-18.1” Hand No Yes 8.4 lb. Air Regular E 2 Years
GT Mach One $109 15″-18″ No Yes No 11 lb. Air Regular E 5 Years
Burley MyKick $129 12.5-16″ No No No 11.3lb. Rubber* Regular E 3 Years
Early Rider Classic $189 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
TykesBykes 12″ $109 13”-18” Hand No Yes 10lb. Air Regular E 2 Year
KinderBike Laufrad $119 13”-18.5” Hand No No 8.5lb. Air Regular E Lifetime
Verde Scout $129 14″-16.5″ No No No 9.35lb. Air Regular E 2 Year
Bixbi Bikes $225 13.8″-17.8″ No No No 7.4lb. Air Semi-Sealed R Lifetime
Recommended
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
Yedoo Fifty $119 13.8”-17.8” No No No 8.4 lb. Air Regular E 2 Years
Joovy BicycooGT $150 14-15.25” Hand No No 8.75lb. Air Regular C 1 Year
Strider ST-4 (Sport) $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
Chillafish Jack & Josie $89 14″-18″ No Yes No 10.8 lb. Air Regular R
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 $99 14”-17.5” No Yes No 11.2lb. Air Regular C 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
TootScoot $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: Mini and Ezee Glider’s footrests are removable. Some Ezee Glider come with foam tires.
Early Rider’s & LIKEaBIKE’s limiters are removable. REI’s warranty is 100% satisfaction.
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 has an optional lowering kit for seat lowering it to 12” for $15 and offer 4 different tire options.
Burley MyKick has long lasting, flat-proof, air-filed rubber tires.

 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
Ridgeback Scoot $175 14″-20″ Hand No No 11.2 lb. 12″ 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 $129 13.8”-18.1” Hand No Yes 8.4 lb. Air Regular E 2 Years
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
TykesBykes 12″ $109 13”-18” Hand No Yes 10lb. Air Regular E 2 Year
TykesBykes 16″ $119 16”-22” Hand No Yes 10lb. Air Regular E 2 Year
Bixbi Bikes $225 13.8″-17.8″” No No No 7.4lb. Air Semi-Sealed R Lifetime
KinderBike Laufrad $119 13”-18” Hand No No 8.9lb. Air Regular E Lifetime
Recommended
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
Yedoo Fifty $119 13.8”-17.8” No No No 8.4 lb. Air Regular E 2 Years
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
Kazam $99 14”-17.5” No Yes No 11.2lb. Air Regular C 2 years
Recommended with Reservations
Chillafish Jack & Josie $89 14″-18″ No Yes No 10.8 lb. Air Regular R
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
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.  Both the Super Strider and the Go Glider (with air tires versus foam model) have 16″ wheels and are ideal for older kids who have yet to master a pedal bike or early BMX riders who want to perform tricks without the hindrance of pedals.

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 Scoot XL $199 16″-22″ Hand No No 12.5 lb. 14″ Air Sealed E Lifetime
TykesBykes 16″ $119 16”-22” Hand No Yes 10lb. 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
Super Strider $159 17.5″-25″ Hand Yes No 15 lb. 16″ Air Regular E 1 Year
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
Schwinn Kwickster 2-in-1 $130 17”-19.5” No Yes Yes 16.93 lb. 12″ Air 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.

To view balance bike comparisons in sortable chart click here: Master Sortable and Searchable Balance Bike Comparison Chart.

Best in Class Balance Bikes

Best in Class awards are not dependent on age groups and are awarded based on specific desirable features.
BestInClassBlue

  • Best Safety Features
  • Best Bang for Your Buck
  • Best Under $100
  • Best All-Around
  • Best All-Terrain
  • Best for Siblings of Different Ages (Sharing)
  • Best Pre-BMX
  • Best Wood
  • Best Puncture-Proof Tires
  • Best Budget

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 2013TykesBykes 12″ and 16″: If you are looking for a bike shop quality on a big-box store budget, look no further than TykesBykes.  Built and designed by a bike enthusiast dad, TykesBykes are quite simply the best bang-for-your-buck in the balance bike world.  With sales prices often less than $95, air tires, a hand brake, top-notch customer service and two sizes to ensure a proper fit (smallest minimum inseam on 12″ model is 13″), you can’t go wrong with a TykesBykes.


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 (ST-4): For parents looking for one bike for two kids to share, the Strider Sport (Strider newest release which is essentially the same as the ST-4, but comes with the extended seat post), 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 ST-4 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.  If price isn’t an issue, starting at $250, LikeaBike, one of the original balance bikes companies out of Europe, offer several wood models that all receive rave reviews.


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
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 ST-4 $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 ST-3 $69 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 $55 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.

    • Natalie

      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.

        • Natalie

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

  • 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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

          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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

    • Natalie

      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? :)

    • Natalie

      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 !

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

  • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

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

  • Natalie

    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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

  • Amelia

    Any idea when the tykebykes (both sizes) will be going on sale again?!?!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com Natalie

      Sorry, I don’t! Last year that had several sales before the holiday season, so I am expecting at least one sale in the next two months, but have no idea when.

      • Elizabeth

        i like the balsnce bike from Raleigh, but I was wondering about a few things. Where does the Raleigh Lil’ Push rate within the bunch of bikes for 2.5 year olds and up? It has a lowest seat height of 13.3. I only see it listed with the bikes for 3.5 year old and up. What makes it “recommended” vs, “highly recommended” or “top pick” in that bunch? What is the maximum sear height? Thanks!

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com Natalie

          The Raleigh would certainly be a great choice as it is built by a bike company with a solid frame and air tires. I was unable to determine the maximum seat height as well, so your best bet would be to contact a dealer directly. Knowing it has a minimum seat height of 13.3, you are right in that it should be listed in 2.5 year group. Although I have not tested the bike, I would most likely list it as Highly Recommended, as it is well built, has a good design, air tires and is reasonably priced. I would not list it as a Top Pick as it still has exposed bolts, is heavy and it does not offer a brake. “Recommended” bikes are missing more features than “Highly Recommended” and so forth. I do not have an exact system that I follow to determine a bike’s ranking, but generally the Top Pick has the most desirable features, the Highly Recommended have a few less and so forth down the line.

  • Jason

    Natalie, this site is a great resource! Our son just turned 4 and does very well on his LikeaBike Jumper, but he seems to be too tall for it. He is 45″ tall with a 17″ inseam. Would you recommend ordering the longer seat post from LikeaBike or move up to something like the TykesBykes 16″? I would think that the longer post would make him lean over too far?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com Natalie

      To get the best ride the seat should be lower than the handlebars. Based on this picture of a Jumper with an extended seat post, it looks like it raises it to the level of the seat post, which is not idea, but that that bad. If your son loves his Jumper, I would probably go with the extended seat post as without the suspension of the Jumper, he might be disappointed with the TykesBykes 16″. If you think that he would be open to riding a bigger bike without the added cushion of the suspension and Big Apple tires, then I would go with the TykesBykes as it is going to provide a better fit for him overall. Hope that helps!

    • Mike

      I have a 2.5 yo with an 15-16″ inseam. We are wanting to get her a balance bike for Christmas but not sure which one to get. I was originally leaning towards the FirstBike, but saw that it may not be best for older/taller toddlers. So I am now considering the Ridgeback Scoot. We also have a newborn that we would like to use the bike in the future.

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com Natalie

        At 2.5, I think the FirstBIKE would still be a great choice. Even with a 16″ inseam, if he rides is regularly over the next year, he will most likely be able to transition to a pedal bike at 3.5. I’ve also found that kids who start on the FirstBIKE when they are young tend to not notice any flexing on the bike as they get older and doesn’t appear to be a major issue. Kids who start on the FirstBIKE at an older age, usually around 3.5, notice the flexing from the beginning and are much more comfortable on a metal bike. If you are still concerned about the flexing, I would actually recommend the Islabike Rothan over the Ridgeback simply because the Scoot will be too heavy and too tall for your newborn to ride at a young age.

        • Mike

          Thanks for the help. Shortly after posting, I began researching the Islabike Rothan. Obviously more expensive, but which would you recommend between the Rothan and FirstBike?

          • http://www.twowheelingtots.com Natalie

            They are both great bikes, but for your case, if the Rothan is in your budget, I would go with it as you don’t have to worry about the bike flexing with your older daughter as she ages, yet it will be small and light enough for your newborn when he/she gets older. The Rothan is smaller than the FirstBIKE however, as it’s minimum seat height is 11″, while the FirstBIKE is 14″ without a lowering kit, 12″ with. Even so, our 3 yo tester loves the Rothan and has no problems fitting on the bike. If you are shopping for Christmas however, you might want to check the lead time on the Rothan as I know they thoroughly inspect every bike before they ship it out. If time is not a concern, is the Rothan worth the additional money? I personally think so, but considering how great the FirstBIKE is, I don’t believe the Rothan is worth blowing your budget over either.

  • Susannah

    I would really like to have info about which models can be converted to pedals when the child is ready. I would like my son to get confident on a balance bike, and then have the pedals added to it, so that the transition is easy as the bike is already familiar. Also so that I don’t have to buy another new bike.

  • mav

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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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

  • 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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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

  • 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

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

        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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

  • Mav

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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

  • 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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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/

  • 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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

  • 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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

        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.
      On a final note I am torn between a balance bike and Schwinn Roadstar Tricyle. I should be grateful for any thoughts you may have in this regards.

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

        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.

  • 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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

          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/

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

          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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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).

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

          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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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?

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

          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″.

  • 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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

  • Ohad Platzmann

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

    Thank you!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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 ??

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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
    ?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      I like the design of the Kettler a little better, but if you look at this video of the Kettler on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voOxSgyDFnM, you can see the child is still pretty up right. That being said, by the end of the video he is able to happily cruise around so if it’s your only option, I would go for it.

  • 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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

        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.

          • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

            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!

              • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

                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…

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

        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.

          • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

            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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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 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. Are there any I missed? Do you have any suggestions? Do you think the sealed bearings make a big difference in terms of speed?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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 ;)

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

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

  • 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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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?

  • 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!

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

        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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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. ??

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

        Glad to be of help. My son is also 2.5 yo and is wearing mostly 24 months clothes, so I completely understand where you are coming from. Considering you will want to pass down the bike to your next son, having a low seat heigh is important. Considering most younger siblings start riding bike sooner than their older siblings, it is best to get a bike he won’t have to wait to grow into. The Strider is a great bike for that reason and although there is the potential for the exposed bolts to scratch your sons legs, I do believe the lightweight and low seat height of the Strider are worth the risk of scratched legs. My son does great on the Strider and haven’t had an issues with his legs hitting the back bolts, however, seeing as the bike is still less than a year old and he is not yet running on the bike, he is not yet in a position to get scratched. With our original Strider we got several years ago, the bolts did wear away, and then 3yo son, who was very active on his bike, did get his legs scratched on the bolts once or twice when he was attempting to do tricks. If you prefer to not worry about the exposed bolts, the FirstBIKE Basic with a lowering kit, would be a good option if it is in your budget, if not, then I would go with the Strider.

        Hope that helps and sorry for my delay in getting back to you as I was traveling over the weekend.

  • 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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

  • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

    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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

          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.

  • 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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

        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?

          • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

            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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

          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 :)

            • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

              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!!!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

  • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

    I haven’t seen it in person, but the overall geometry of the bike seems off. The seat is really high up on the frame, which raises the center of gravity of the rider and can negatively affect the steering of the bike. Plus, it looks like a really tall bike and will most likely not fit your 2.5 yo. If you are looking for a small, low-budget pink balance bike, I would go with this Strider: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/strider-classic-no-pedal-balance-bike-for-kids~p~7308j/?filterString=s~strider%2F&colorFamily=04

  • 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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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’

        • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

          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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

          • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

            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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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?

      • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

        I couldn’t agree with your reasoning more. Considering your daughters hesitation, her size and your younger brother, I would recommend the Scoot over the TykesBykes 12″ or 16″. I believe the 16″ will simply be too big for her and the 12″ might be too small for her within a year, while the Scoot will provide her with 2″ inches of growth. The wheelbase and handlebars of the Scoot are also much larger than the TykesBykes. If the Scoot is not in your budget, then I think she would be just fine on the 12″, but I would really make an effort for her to ride in on a regular basis (a couple times a week) so as to ensure she will be ready to transition to a pedal bike before she outgrows the bike.

  • 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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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, they 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! Secondly, the generally have a much higher minimum seat height, which makes the bikes 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 the you put on the pedals, they 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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!!!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      The JD Bug bikes are branded as Joovy here in the US (my review here: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/joovybicycoogt/). They are great bike, but offer very little room for growth in their seat post, which is why they are not highly recommended.

  • 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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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. Thoughts?

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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!

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

  • Minda

    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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

    • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

      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.

  • 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?

  • Natalie

    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!

  • Natalie

    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!

  • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

    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? :)

  • http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ Natalie

    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 !

  • Natalie

    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!

  • 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!