Schwinn 12″ Balance Bike (Original)
With air tires and a larger frame, the Skip 4 is our favorite Schwinn balance bike.
SEAT HEIGHT: 14.5" - 17"
WEIGHT: 10.5 lb.
|Child's Pants Size||
2T, 3T, 4T
14" – 16.5"
Pros & Cons
- Cushioning air tires
- Durable build
- Footrest is too wide, toddlers often hit their legs on it during their stride
Looking for a balance bike under $100? Be sure to check out our Best Balance Bikes Under $100 comparison article.
Schwinn’s balance bike is a solid bike that won’t break the bank. While it’s certainly not perfect, with air tires and a strong build, the Schwinn is our new favorite budget balance bike for three to four-year-olds. With a weight of 10.5 lbs. and a seat height ranging from 14″ to 16.5,” the Schwinn is too big toddlers but is a good fit for preschoolers. Similar in size to the Stampede Bikes Charger 12″ (TykesBykes) and the Radio Flyer, the Schwinn has its pro and cons. While the TykesBykes costs more, it does come with a brake and a seat that adjusts up to 18″. Compared to the Radio Flyer, the Schwinn is more expensive, but comes with air tires.
When tested out with similarly priced balance bikes, the air tires of the Schwinn were a hit as compared to the foam tires on the Vilano and Trikee Bikke. In addition to the tires, the overall solid feel of the bike was appreciated as the Schwinn was reported to feel like a “big boy bike.” Our toddler testers had a different experience. While one two-year-old in 3T clothes fit fine on the bike, another in 24-month clothing was too short to sit on the seat set to its lowest position.
In addition, the footrest was problematic for the younger kids. Protruding far out from the sides of the seat, both toddlers had problems with their calves hitting the footrests as they walked or ran on the bike. For older preschoolers, the footrest didn’t appear to be an issue, but to be safe, we wouldn’t recommend the Schwinn for small-framed kids.
Like all lower-end, steel-framed bikes, the Schwinn has the potential to rust. While our bike was labeled as “new” online, the bike arrived with the rusted out seat post and seat post clamp. Due to the retailer’s error and not Schwinn’s, the rust is a good reminder to refrain from keeping all steel bikes exposed to water for extended periods of time.
In addition to the rust, there were many other components of the bike that were problematic. While only decorative (no padding), the handlebar cover arrived cracked and is very thin and flimsy. In addition to obstructing the stride of younger kids, the rear portion of the frame presented several problems. While the wide tubing does prevent legs from being scratched on the bolts, the long flat part of the frame seemed to do more harm than good. Whether they were setting down the bike or as a result of a fall, the long tube often hit or fell upon on the feet or ankles of the bike’s rider. While none of our testers were hurt, it was certainly an inconvenience. Finally, the rear tubing was also easily scratched as it was the first thing to hit the found whenever a ride was completed. Within a short period of time, several scratches, which exposed the metal frame of the bike, were found.
While not perfect, for the price, the Schwinn is a great budget-bike for preschoolers with an inseam over 14″. Due to its heavy weight and poorly designed footrest, the Schwinn is not recommended for any child under the age of three.