As your little one is growing, you must ensure they develop the right essential abilities such as their motor skills, cognition, and spatial awareness. Balance bikes allow you to cultivate these skills. The best toddler balance bikes train your child on bike riding whilst maintaining their safety.
Unlike, bikes with pedals, balance bikes maintain stability and poise during the riding process to ensure your child is safe at all times. These bikes are also significantly lighter than other bike types; meaning that they are easier for a toddler to control and handle.
So if you are looking for a way to develop your child’s essential skills whilst ensuring they are still having fun, you should definitely invest in a balance bike. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best balance bikes in 2020 so you don’t have to look any further.
How To Choose A Balance Bike – Buying Guide
Child’s Age And Weight
When you are choosing the best toddler balance bikes, you should consider the recommended age and weight. Most balance bikes outline their recommended weight capacity and age on their features. This allows you to anticipate whether or not the bike is the right fit for your child.
The age and weight capacity offer enough information because in general, the height gap for children in these groups is not too wide. You can also refer to the seat and handlebar heights to find out whether or not the bike is the right fit for your child.
You can even determine the bike’s fit by looking at the standover height. To confirm whether or not the bike will fit your child, measure the length from their waist to the feet, and compare it to the bike’s standover height.
The best toddler balance bikes also offer a wide recommended age band. An ideal example is the Strider Balance Bike as it designed for kids aged 18 months to 5 years old. Plus, its wider seat and handlebar height adjustability means that it can accommodate more kids of different heights.
The frame design on your kid’s balance bike should be one that makes riding and handling comfortable. Look for features such as foot to ground frame, low standover or step through frame design to ensure mounting, dismounting and overall riding are easier. These frame designs also give the bike a low center of gravity which enhances balance and stability.
Balance bikes are also built with two main frame materials i.e. aluminum and steel. Because of the lightweight nature of aluminum, aluminum frames tend to be lighter. This also makes aluminum balance bikes a lot easier to handle.
Typically, an aluminum balance bike weighs anywhere between 4 and 6 lbs. Steel frames on the other end are strong and heavier. Although the steel slightly adds weight to the bike, it is durable and less expensive compared to aluminum.
Yet, you may also find balanced bikes made from carbon fiber or wood frames. Carbon fiber balance bikes are also extremely durable and lightweight. However, you should prepare to spend more on these types of bikes. Wooden balance bikes are less common. Compared to bikes made from other materials, wooden balance bikes are less adjusted and tend to be less durable.
The majority of balance bikes are fitted with airless tires. Balance bike tires are normally made from EVA or rubber. Plus, they are not filled with air which makes them puncture-proof. This means that your child can ride on any terrain without risking damage or accidents. In addition to enhancing the riding experience, airless tires also mean that the maintenance costs are eliminated.
Some balance bikes however are fitted with air filed tires just like regular adult bikes such as mountain bikes. Air filled tires make the ride smooth and add traction. Yet, because of their design, they tend to add more weight to the bike.
Not all balance bikes are built with brakes however, many do have them. Brakes help to enhance safety during riding. The majority of balance bikes with brakes feature coaster style brakes. Brakes also work as great simulators for a bike with wheels as they help your kid familiarize themselves with the anatomy of a bike with pedals.
As hand brakes accustom your child to bikes with pedals, they also help to foster more development such as hand-eye coordination. However, you must remember that your child will be using the bike, so the brakes have to be easy to operate. To ensure the brakes will be easy for your child to pull; try operating them with your pinky.
If your favorite balance bike doesn’t have breaks, then you can look for other safety options such as a steering limiter on the wheels. Safety steering limiters help to prevent oversteering. On a more natural perspective, because of the bike’s design, your child can also stop it by simply putting their feet on the ground.
Because you can’t find a balance bike with pedals, footrests come in handy for balance bikes during the riding process. As the bike glides down, your child can put their feet on the footrests to enjoy the ride. However, the comfort they offer is not always ideal, especially if the footrests are not positioned right.
You want the footrests to be positioned directly under the bike seat. Having the footrests at the front of the seat instead can interfere with your child’s scooting.
The best toddler balance bike should also be safe. Balance bikes are constructed with many different safety features. Some of the key features include secured clamps on all parts such as wheels, seats, and handlebars to prevent wobbling or snapping. Opting for bikes with airless tires provides more stability and balanced riding. The bike’s low center of gravity also helps to provide more balance and stability.
Q: What Age Is Best For Balance Bike?
The best age to start riding a balance bike is around 18 to 24 months. Your child can enjoy riding on a balance bike between the age of 18 months to 5 years old. However, most kids at the age of 3 to 4 normally transition to a full bike with pedals.
Q: Are Balance Bikes Worth It?
Yes, balance bikes are worth it because they come with a purpose. These bikes not only cultivate riding confidence but also serve as a great way to have fun and foster independence for your child. Balance bikes are a great alternative as your child grows to the right height so they can comfortably fit onto a bike with pedals. Plus, they are much lighter than bikes with pedals.
Q: Is 3 Too Old For A Balance Bike?
No, 3 year olds are not too old for balanced bikes. Balance bikes are designed to be ridden by kids aged 18 months to 5 years old. However, many children but not all outgrow their balance bikes at around 3 to 4 years old and transition on to a bike with pedals.
Q: Do Balance Bikes Really Work?
Yes, balance bikes do work. The best thing about balance bikes is that they can train your child to have more confidence and balance during riding without worrying about their safety. Because of their designs, they are easier to learn to ride on and allow more control.
Q: Are Training Bikes Better Than Balance Wheels?
Due to their design, balance wheels are better than training bikes for toddlers. Balance bikes don't have pedals, gears, or chains; this means they are significantly lighter than training wheels. This makes them easier to handle and learn on. Your kid can also ride longer because they will not get tired easily.
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In addition to equipping your kid with bike riding skills, balance bikes are also cost-cutting. The balance bike reviews prove that they are also a great tool for fostering independence and improving gross and fine motor skills. Investing in the best balance bikes also improves your kid’s cognitive abilities and spatial awareness. So let your kid have fun whilst also developing essential skills by investing in one of the 10 best balance bikes listed above.
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