Schwinn Balance Bike Review
Schwinn balance bikes are offered in three unique models with different price points and different features. Read the review below to understand the differences between the Schwinn Skip 2, Skip 3, and Skip 4.
SEAT HEIGHT: 15" - 17" (Skip 2, 3), 14.5" - 17" (Skip 4)
WEIGHT: 7.2 lb. (Skip 2), 9.8 lb. (Skip 3), 10.5 lb. (Skip 4)
Air (Skip 3, 4), Foam (Skip 2)
|Child's Pants Size||
Pros & Cons
- Large, cushioning air tires
- Larger frame provides room for growth
- Heavy for petite kids
- High step-through height makes it harder to get on and off
Schwinn Balance Bike Review – Results of our Test Rides
Schwinn’s newest line of balance bikes – the Skip 2, Skip 3 and Skip 4 – offer different features and price points to meet the needs of different families. The three models are built for the same size child, but with slight differences between the three, which is the best for your child?
While in theory, the Skip 2 and Skip 3 are pretty decent budget balance bikes, at this point in time, we cannot recommend the Skip 2 or Skip 3. Because the quick release seat post clamp doesn’t hold the seat post in place, after you set the height, it will sink back down to the lowest point once a child’s sits on it. This essentially makes the Skip 2 and 3 a one-height balance bike, with no way to adjust for, or grow with your child.
The Skip 4 does have a quick release that works just fine, and for this and a few other reasons, we do recommend it as a good little budget balance bike.
All three models are available for under $100 and are available mainly on Amazon. The seat height and weights of the bikes listed below are based on our own measurements as they are not listed on Amazon or available via Schwinn. Old stock of Schwinn’s older model balance bike, called simply the “Schwinn balance bike”, is still available online, so we included it as a comparison. You can read our complete review of this older version here.
Schwinn Balance Bikes Compared
|Features||Skip 2||Skip 3||Skip 4||Schwinn Balance Bike Models Comparison|
|Seat Height||15" - 17"||15" - 17"||14.5" - 17"||14" - 16.5"|
|Weight||7.2 lb.||9.8 lb.||10.5 lb.||10.5 lb.|
|Frame||Same as Skip 3||Same as Skip 2||Longer than Skip 2 and 3|
|Tire Type||Foam||Air||Air (wide)||Air|
|Footrest||No||No||No||Yes, but problematic|
|Quick Release Seat Post||Yes, but poor quality||Yes, but poor quality||Yes, works great||Yes, works great|
Frame Size and Wheels
The first major difference between the three bikes is their frames. The Skip 2 and 3 have exactly the same frame (just painted differently) while the Skip 4 has a slightly larger frame with a longer wheelbase (distance between the wheels). Although different in size, all three bikes are sized to fit kids in 3T to 4T clothes. The longer wheelbase of the Skip 4, however, makes the bike easier to balance and provides more room between the seat and the handlebars for taller riders.
The second major difference is the tire type. The Skip 2 has foam tires while the 3 and 4 have air tires. The air tires on the Skip 4 are also wider than those on the Skip 3. Air tires provide more traction and cushioning than foam tires, but they also increase the weight of the bike and can go flat. Based on our experience, unless the possibility of a flat tire is a really big deal to you, the added weight of air tires is worth the additional traction and comfort they provide.
Schwinn Skip Balance Bike Line Differences
The Skip 4 has a seat height range of 14.5″ to 17″, while the Skip 2 and Skip 3 have a range of 15″ to 17″. Although it has a larger frame, the Skip 4’s saddle is shorter allowing it to have a lower minimum seat height of 14.5″. All three bikes, however, have a very limited range of seat heights and provide little room for growth.
Our 2.5-year-old tester in 3T clothes fit great on all three bikes, but still in the walking stage of learning to ride, the slightly lower seat height of the Skip 4 made it more comfortable for him to maneuver around.
The Skip 4 has 1.5″ of adjustable handlebar height, which you can set high or low depending on if your rider wants a more beginning, upright stance, or wants to lean in for more adventurous, aggressive riding. For our beginner tester, we raised the Skip 4’s handlebars by 1.5″, which allowed him to maintain an upright position even with the longer wheelbase of the bike placing the handlebars slightly farther out from the seat. The handlebars on the Skip 2 and 3 are not adjustable.
2-year-old on Schwinn Skip Balance Bikes
The older Schwinn model has the lowest minimum and maximum seat height of the four, but its large footrest interferes with a child’s stride (a toddler’s legs hit the footrest while walking the bike), making it less ideal for average to petite framed toddlers.
There is no footrest on the Skip 2, Skip 3, or Skip 4. We usually prefer balance bikes without footrests because most kids don’t need them and many footrests are poorly designed.
Footrest on Original Schwinn Balance Bike is Problematic
Seat Post Clamps and Bolts
The seat post clamp is different on the Skip 2 and Skip 3 versus the Skip 4. The clamp included on the Skip 2 and 3 is very poor quality and we could not get it to tighten down enough to keep the seat from sliding down when in use, making the bikes unusable for taller kids, and unable to grow with your child. The Skip 4’s seat post clamp was not an issue and firmly held the seat post in place.
Like most bikes under $100, all of the Schwinn models have exposed bolts, which have the potential to scratch a child’s leg while riding.
Of the four Schwinn Balance bikes, the Skip 4 is our hands-down favorite. From the longer frame to the adjustable handlebars and wider tires, it offers a pretty decent and budget-friendly ride for kids aged 2 to 4. For really timid riders, the lightweight Skip 2 or the slightly heavier Skip 3 would work well around the neighborhood, but the problematic seat post clamp is still a heavy concern. As for the old Schwinn balance bike, we believe you’re better off buying one of the new Skip versions which don’t include a footrest.