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9 Best Budget Balance Bikes (Under $100)

The vast majority of budget kids’ bikes aren’t actually designed for kids.  Instead, the manufacturer simply walks through a warehouse full of parts and picks pieces together to build a bike.  After a quick paint job and some decals, a brand new bike is born, without ever testing it out on a child!  As a result, most inexpensive bikes are poorly designed and can be difficult for kids to ride.

Our Recommended Budget Balance Bikes at Work

Toddlers riding balance bikes - Schwinn Skip 4, Strider Classic, Toot Scoot

Fortunately, there are a few budget bikes that, while they don’t compete with the higher-end bikes, do a great job for under $100. We tested out all of the bikes below and while they’re not the best of the best, they get the job done.  Their seats aren’t as cushioned, their bearings don’t roll as smoothly, and they don’t have the durability to last for generations, but they’re a great buy for those on a tighter budget.

9 Best Budget Balance Bikes Under $100

Balance Bike

Tires

MSRP

Swagtron K3

Air$59

GOMO

Foam$65

Banana Bike GT

Air$69

Radio Flyer Glide and Go

Air$69

Bixe

Foam$69

RoyalBaby Pony

Air$75

TootScoot

Rubber$75

Strider Classic

Foam$89

Vitus Smoothy

Air$99

Swagtron K3

$59


2 year old gliding on Swagtron K3 balance bike at skatepark

 

MSRP: $59

FEATURES: Very lightweight, aluminum frame, air tires, low-roll-resistance wheels, soft hand grips (these are insane features at this price!!)

BEST FITS: Kids in 2T months to 4T pants.

KEY CONCERN:  Limited seat height range (3″), no quick-release seat post (tools required)

COLORS AVAILABLE: Blue, pink

FULL REVIEW: Swagtron K3


GOMO

$69


boy riding a green and black gomo balance bike

MSRP: $69

FEATURES: Extended wheelbase for more room to ride, upright and natural body position for the rider,  adjustable-height handlebars, well-designed footrest, cool design and colors, incredible quality for the price.

BEST FITS: Kids in 2T to 4T pants with 13″ to 19″ inseam

KEY CONCERN: None. This is a fantastic budget bike!

COLORS AVAILABLE: Black/green, red/yellow, blue/yellow, hot pink

FULL REVIEW: GOMO


Banana Bike GT

$69


2 year old riding Banana Bike GT balance bike on playground

MSRP: $69

FEATURES: Long wheelbase, taller handlebars and long seat post great for taller riders, true headset, adjustable-height handlebars, quick release seat post, air tires for under $70!

BEST FITS: Kids in 3T to size 5 pants.

KEY CONCERN:  Heavier than the lighter-weight Banana LT with foam tires

COLORS AVAILABLE: Blue, red, yellow

FULL REVIEW: Banana Bike GT/LT


Bixe

$69


Bixe 12 Gliding

MSRP: $69

FEATURES: Super lightweight frame (just 4.4 lbs!), brightly colored rims

BEST FITS: Kids in 18 months to size 3T pants.

KEY CONCERN: Grips are hard, seat and handlebars require tools for adjusting

COLORS AVAILABLE: Pink, green, purple, blue

FULL REVIEW: Bixe 12 & 16


Radio Flyer Glide & Go

$69


young girl riding a radio flyer balance bike

MSRP: $69

FEATURES: Comes with a bell, quick- release seat post, a lightweight frame, and air tires.

BEST FITS: Kids in 3T to size 5 pants.

KEY CONCERN: Seat has very little padding, cheap headset.

COLORS AVAILABLE: Red, pink

FULL REVIEW: Radio Flyer


TootScoot

$75


Toddler riding Toot Scoot balance bike in red

MSRP: $75

FEATURES: Small frame is ideal for young toddlers. Wide tires help the youngest of riders learn to balance quickly, while still allowing them to cruise when they get older. Helps timid kids transition to a real balance bike. Adjustable-height handlebars.

BEST FITS: Kids in 18-months to 2T pants.

KEY CONCERN: Minimal room for growth.  Kids will likely outgrow the bike close to their 3rd birthday.

COLORS AVAILABLE: Red, blue, pink

FULL REVIEW: Toot Scoot


Strider Classic

$89


toddler riding a green Strider balance bike

MSRP: $89

FEATURES: Lightweight build (the lightest bike on our list). Low center-of-gravity geometry for increased stability. High-quality quick release on seat and handlebars make the Strider the easiest bike on this list to adjust. When extended seat post is purchased, the bike is easily adjustable to fit two siblings of different heights. Foam tires.

BEST FITS: Kids in 18-months to size 3T pants (up to size 5 with extended seat post).

KEY CONCERN: Non-padded seat, must buy extended seat post to raise the seat over 16″.

COLORS AVAILABLE: Green, red, blue, pink

FULL REVIEW: Strider Classic


RoyalBaby Pony

$75


3 year old riding RoyalBaby Pony balance bike - running to gain speed

MSRP: $75

FEATURES: Air tires, cushioned saddle with balance bike carrying strap in a compartment underneath, quick-release seat post for easy height adjustments, sprint pad, true headset, low step-through frame

BEST FITS: Kids in 24-months to transitioning to 3T pants.

KEY CONCERN: Heavy for petite riders.

COLORS AVAILABLE: Black, blue, pink

FULL REVIEW: RoyalBaby Pony


Vitus Smoothy

$99


Toddler riding Vitus Smoothy balance bike over parking curb

MSRP: $99

FEATURES: Lightweight magnesium frame, air tires, true headset, integrated carrying handle, wide handlebars for a more stable base, great quality for the price

BEST FITS: Average to aggressive riders in 2T – 4T pants

KEY CONCERN: No handbrake

COLORS AVAILABLE: Blue, mint, red, silver, white, yellow

FULL REVIEW: Vitus Smoothy Review

NOT RECOMMENDED

In addition to the bikes recommended above, we also tested out several other popular budget balance bikes, such as the Chicco Red Bullet and the Critical Cycles Cub.  Both of these bikes have amazing reviews on Amazon, but based on our tests, we do not recommend them.  While they are well-priced and many Amazon reviewers have had positive experiences with them, we found major flaws in their designs and believe the bikes listed above offer a superior balance bike experience for a similar price.


Chicco Red Bullet – $49


The Chicco Red Bullet’s main flaw is its extremely short wheelbase.  With the two wheels of the bike very close together, the child’s center-of-balance is higher than on other bikes, which makes the bike more difficult to balance.  The short bike also prevents kids from leaning into the bike when running, which can hinder their natural stride.


Critical Cycles Cub – $59


The footrest on the Critical Cycles Cub is its downfall.  The footrest sticks out too far past the seat and caused our youngest testers to hit the back of their legs on the footrest while walking the bike.  Considering footrests are entirely optional (most kids don’t use them and rarely ask for them when a bike doesn’t have one), there’s no need to risk ruining a child’s balance bike experience with a unnecessary and burdensome footrest.

Critical Cub Action

Comparison Chart: Budget Balance Bikes

Balance Bike

Tires

Seat Height

Weight

Quick Release Seat Post

Adjustable Handlebars

MSRP

Swagtron K3

Air12.25" - 15.25"6.5 lb.$59

GOMO

Foam12" - 17"8.5 lb.XX$65

Banana Bike GT

Knobby Air12.5" - 17"8.1 lb.X$69 

Banana Bike LT

Foam12" - 16.5"7.3 lb.XX$59

Radio Flyer Glide & Go

Street Air14.2" - 18.5"8.4 lb.XX$69

Bixe

Foam11.5 - 15.5"4.4 lb.X$69
Schwinn Balance BikeFoam14.25" - 16.75"8.5 lb.X$69

RoyalBaby Pony

Street Air12" - 15.5"9.2 lb.X$75

TootScoot

Solid Rubber11" - 14"7 lb.X$75
Prince Lionheart Wooden Balance Bike Rubber14.8" - 17"9.9 lb.$79

Strider Classic

Foam11" - 16"6.4 lb.X$89

Chillafish BMXie

Airless Rubberskin12.25" - 15.25"8.5 lb.X$69
Vitus SmoothyAir12.75" - 17.5"7 lb.X$99

Related Articles

5 Reasons Why Balance Bikes are Better than Training Wheels or Tricycles

How to Teach a Child to Ride a Balance Bike

12 Cool Accessories to Make a Balance Bike More Fun!


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