Welcome to NoPedalsNeeded, a website dedicated to helping you find the best balance bikes readily available for Summer 2018. We also wanted to take this a step further and break down our top choices by age groups primarily around 2, 3, 4, and 5 year olds.
The main goal of this page is to introduce to you what we believe are your optimal choices for each age. After all I know my 2 and 4 year olds have different needs and I assume your children would too!
What's Included on this Page
- 1 Comparing the best balance bikes for different age groups
- 2 How to find the right balance bike for 2,3, 4, and 5 year olds
- 3 Strider 12
- 4 Chicco Red Bullet – for 2-year olds
- 5 Cruzee Balance Bike – Great for 3-year olds
- 6 Radio Flyer – Perfect for 4-year olds
- 7 Critical Cycles Cub – Ideal choice for 5 year olds
- 8 Kazam Balance Bike
- 9 Schwinn Balance Bike
- 10 Prince Lionheart
- 11 Diggin Active Skuut
- 12 Early Rider
Comparing the best balance bikes for different age groups
I’m a strong believer in nice, easy to read tables of data and am hopeful the following comparison table will help you as well. I’ve tried to choose top level balance bikes for each age. So whether you child is two, three, four, or five, any of the bikes below should work for them!
|Balance Bike||Review /5||Price||Weight (lbs)||Best Age (opinion)|
Chicco Red Bullet
Critical Cycles Cub
How to find the right balance bike for 2,3, 4, and 5 year olds
As mentioned earlier, balance bikes are little bikes that do not have any pedals. This allows the young rider to learn to balance without adding the complex skill of pedaling at the same time. These little bikes come in a variety of sizes for kids ranging in age from 2 to 5. Usually around the time they reach kindergarten, kids are ready to balance and pedal at the same time. Below we outline several tips when choosing to purchase on of these for your son or daughter.
The range of Balance Bike Tire Sizes
Balance bikes are fun for kids, especially if they fit. Even if a balance bike is advertised as a “one-size-fits-all” bike, it isn’t. These little bikes vary in size just like toddlers are different in size from young elementary-aged kids. When you choose a balance bike, you should consider the size of the tire and the height of the seat. Balance bikes can have tires that measure between 10 inches and 16 inches. The 10-inch bikes are only recommended for very young toddlers, but if you do buy one, don’t spend much because kids outgrow them very quickly.
A 12-inch bike is ideal for kids who are just starting out with balance bikes. The 14-inch and 16-inch tires are better for taller preschoolers and kids who are just entering elementary school.
Pick a Balance Bike with the Appropriate Weight
Along with height, weight is another good measurement tool to use when choosing a balance bike for your child. If a bike is too heavy, then your child will not be able to use it. The general rule is to choose a bike that is less than 30% of your child’s weight. For example, a bike that weighs 10 pounds is accessible for a child who weighs 35 pounds. But, a 25-pound child might have difficulty moving the bike with control.
When you are choosing a bike, remember that adding feature adds weight. So, choosing if you are looking for a balance bike for a young rider, you might want to forgo features to reach a weight that your child can manage. However, if you have a child who is strong or athletic, you might be able to get away with a slightly heavier bike. A five year old will do better with a heavier bike than a two year old will. Consider the age and ability of the child as you consider the weight of the bike.
Seat Height Consideration for different ages
Seat height is the other consideration when sizing a balance bike. The size of the seat is the best way to determine if the bike will fit. Since balance bikes do not have pedals, the child will need to be able to touch the ground while sitting on the bike. This is why the seat height is so important. One of the easiest ways to determine the best seat height is to measure your child’s inseam and subtract about an inch from it. The inseam is the measurement from the crotch to the floor without shoes.
Low Center of Gravity is Ideal
The shape of the bike is also important. Balance bikes are ridden differently than pedal bikes, because kids use their feet to run on the bike. So, the bike needs to have room for kids to extend their legs and lean forward. A good balance bike also has very little space between the seat and the back tire; this creates a lower center of gravity making it easier to balance.
With the right height, weight, and geometry, a balance bike can be fun for kids of all ages to use. Even though children grow out of balance bikes quickly, it is still best to choose one that fits rather than one to grow into.
At NoPedalsNeeded.com, we have provided reviews that describe and break down all of the major features belonging to more than 10 different models that can be purchased. The following section however looks at some quick overviews that contain the main benefits you can expect out of ones we have identified in our comparison chart.
One of the more popular gifts that parents are looking for this year are these types of bikes. It is a great gift for teaching children bicycle riding skills and with so many great new models to choose from it can be hard to find the one that will work best with your child. One model that can be considered as one of the top balance bikes in 2017 is the Strider 12. One of the hardest things to do when you are learning how to ride a bike is to learn the proper technique for balancing. That is where this one comes in handy.
If you are new to this new phenomenon, you may have never heard of the Strider brand. Many consider Strider to be at the forefront to this evolving trend as they constantly produce better and better models each year. From the ST-3, to the ST-4 and now the Strider 12, you can rest assured you are receiving a fantastic product. Who knows? You could even enter your children into one of their many competitions (like the World Championships) if they are up for it! The Strider 12 is one that actually does not use any pedals at all. The idea behind this concept is to have the child learn the proper way to sit, steer, and use their legs to move them along. By not throwing in the nuisance of coordination with using the actual pedals, they are able to properly learn the basics of riding before actually having pedals. When they are ready for a regular bicycle they can completely bypass the use of training wheels as the bike taught them the proper way to stabilize themselves on their own.
The Strider 12 should be a great choice for young children from 18 months to around 5 years old. They can learn at an early age and then as they age, they are able to move up to bigger regular bikes. This model features an extremely lightweight design which helps steer it easily. The handlebars and seat are completely adjustable allowing for children to use it for many years.
Chicco Red Bullet – for 2-year olds
Chicco is known for making high quality toys and gear for children and their families. Their Red Bullet Balance bike lives up to their reputation for quality merchandise. The little balance bike is designed to help children learn how to balance on a bike without needing to worry about pedaling. It is one of the least expensive options on the market, and with its quality design and adjustability, it is a good option for anyone looking for a balance bike for a preschool-age child.
One of the Few with 10-inch Tires
The first that you notice about the Chicco Red Bullet is that it is very small. In fact, it is one of the smallest available, so it is not necessarily the best option for a child who is entering elementary school. It is one of the few bikes that comes with 10-inch tires, so it is better suited for children who are 18-months old or small preschoolers. Despite its small size, Chicco does recommend that the bike be used by children who are three years old or older, but be sure they are petite. The little bike weighs six pounds, making it manageable for a child who weighs over 18 pounds and up to 55 pounds.
Adjustable Seat and Handlebars
The bike has an adjustable seat with padding and the handlebars are adjustable, too. The handlebars have rubber grips and the tires are made of puncture-resistant foam. The tires are not inflatable, so they can be ridden on any type of terrain both inside and outside. The seat can adjust from 13-inches to 15-inches.
Designed for Very Small Riders
One of the issues with the Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike is the size and geometry of the frame. Because it is so small, some children have difficulty moving it. There is not much room for children to lean forward as they push with their feet. The handlebars are centered right over the front tire rather than angled behind it. A bike with angled handlebars is easier for children to move – especially as they grow and get stronger.
Durable and Attractive
The Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike is a durable little ride that comes with a comfortable padded seat. Because it is so small, children will not be able to get much use out of it, so it can easily be passed onto the next child in the family. The paint is bright red making it an attractive bike for kids to ride around the yard or in the house.
Easy to Assemble
This bike is easy to assemble. It comes in three pieces and can be assembled with the wrench that comes in the box. The handlebars and seat have clips that allow for adjustability, but they do require the use of the included wrench to make changes.
For the price, this is a good little bike. But, if you buy this one, you might have to buy a bigger one when your preschooler outgrows it.
Cruzee Balance Bike – Great for 3-year olds
When you are shopping for a balance bike, the Cruzee Balance Bike should be on your list. This is one of the lightest bikes on the market – weighing in a only 4.4 pounds. The come in amazing colors and kids absolutely love them. While they aren’t the least expensive balance bikes on the market, they are designed well so they are durable and easy to maneuver.
Easy to Assemble
The little bikes come in a box where they are broken down into four pieces. These pieces include the frame with attached rear tire, front tire, handlebars, and seat. Along with the four pieces, two clips and instructions. The clips are the key to the balance bike’s greatness. As your child grows, all you have to do is loosen the clips so extend the height of the seat and the handlebars. This bike truly grows with the child. And, as an added benefit, no tools are required to put the bike together.
Lightweight Aluminum Body
Many moms choose balance bikes that are made of wood, but this makes them heavy, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. The Cruzee is made of anodised aluminum, which is why it is so light. An added benefit is that aluminum does not rust. So, if the bike is left out in the rain, it will still look fantastic.
Another benefit of the Cruzee is the way the tires are manufactured. These little tires will not pop because they are made of EVA foam rubber tires. The bikes have comfortable seats and soft grips. Because the designers were thinking about the way young kids ride these bikes, the axle bolts are “low profile” so they will not scratch their legs while moving the pedal-free bike. They also come in beautiful colors that Cruzee coats in a sapphire finish for a remarkable shine and sparkle.
Many families are able to get about three years out of the Cruzee because of its quality construction and adjustability. With its lifetime warranty, it can last through several children. And because the tires are made of foam rubber that will not pop, children can ride them on grass, cement, and several other types of terrain. They can even be ridden indoors without damaging carpet, tile, or wood floors.
Room for Growth
The Cruzee is designed for children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years of age. The seat height is 11.5 inches at its smallest and there are 8 inches of adjustability on it. The handlebars can be adjusted by up to five inches. With this bike, kids learn to balance without worrying about pedaling. Along with balancing a bike, they learn to steer. By riding a balance bike first, children incrementally learn bike-riding skills so they are not overwhelmed when they ride their first pedal bike. Moving from a balance bike to a pedal bike becomes a smooth progression, rather than a scary event.
Despite the price that is higher than many other makes and models, the Cruzee Balance Bike is sure hit with toddlers, preschoolers, and young elementary-age children. Their families love them, too.
Radio Flyer – Perfect for 4-year olds
Radio Flyer might be the brand that you think of when you are shopping for little red wagons, but the iconic toy brand also makes balance bikes. The little red bikes have that same classic look that made Radio Flyer a household name, with aerodynamic styling and bright child-friendly colors. And, like the wagon, this is a bike is also built to last.
Affordable and Easy to Assemble
The Radio Flyer Balance bike is priced affordably and it is easy to assemble. This model is known as the Glide & Go, because of the ease that children have learning to balance and getting around on this bike. Like other balance bikes, it does not have any pedals and it has a seat that can be raised and lowered to fit children between the ages of two and five. The big weighs 6.6 pounds when assembled, so it is easy for kids to maneuver.
Durable Tires and Real Ringing Bell
The bicycle comes with foam tires with a sturdy tread and a black bike saddle. The best part of all is that it comes with a real bike bell, so your child can announce her presence as she rides around the neighborhood or in the house. Some of the Radio Flyer Balance Bikes come with air-filled tires, which can pop – so be sure that you purchase the foam tires that never deflate.
When assembled, the handlebars are about 15.5 inches off of the ground and the seat can go as high as 13 inches off of the ground. Radio Flyer recommends this bike for children who are at least 30 months old, but a younger two-year-old with some height should be able to ride the bike comfortably. Larger five-year-olds might find this bike to be too small. The lightweight size of the bike does make it manageable even for smaller preschoolers. It is a great little bike because of its size, weight, and durability.
Different Tire Options
There is one small problem that some parents have had with the bike. Some have reported that the front handlebars do occasionally move and require retightening. This can become frustrating for young children trying to maneuver the bike, but it is a quick fix. The Radio Flyer with the air-filled tires does not have thie problem. The bike with the air tires also weighs a bit less than the model with the foam tires. So, you do gain a few bonuses with the air-filled tires, but you also run the risk of having the tires deflate.
Where to Ride the Radio Flyer
The Radio Flyer Balance Bike tires do have a tread on them. So, the bike can be ridden on a variety of terrain. They will work on carpet and solid-surface floors. They are also great bikes for the sidewalk or for a grassy yard. The tires are 12” in diameter, which is substantial enough for older preschoolers and young elementary-aged children. Overall, it is a high quality bike for a low price.
Critical Cycles Cub – Ideal choice for 5 year olds
When your child is ready to start riding a pedal-free bike, the Critical Cycles Cub Balance Bike is a great choice. This little bike features a step-through frame, a choice of fun colors, and air-free tires for serious fun. This is an affordable bike that is perfect for children between 20 months and 5 years of age.
Low Center of Gravity
The Cub Balance Bike is designed with youngsters in mind. Since this bike does not have pedals, children only need to worry about balancing, so they are less likely to fall and get injured. Because the bike is set low to the floor, children have an easy time getting their feet down when they start to feel wobbly. But, the adjustable seat and handlebars makes it a bike that will grow with each child.
Added Footrest for Advanced Riders
The Cub Balance Bike comes with air-free tires that will never pop or deflate. The bike requires minimal assembly that most parents find easy to assemble. The bike even has a little foot rest that was specifically designed for children to use when they get more confidence with their balancing skills. The foot rest makes the bike look a bit like a scooter. Since the bike does not have pedals or training wheels, it becomes quite easy for children to transition to pedal bikes because of the time they spent balancing on the Cub.
Plenty of Safety Features
This little bike has the stamp of approval from the CPSC as it is compliant with child safety standards. The air-free tires and the indestructible frame are part of the safety features built into the bike. It is designed for children as young as 18 months of age as it is an intuitive product for older toddlers and preschoolers to use. The wide tires and low center of gravity make it difficult to tip over, especially when a child is riding it. Because of the tires and their tread, the bike can be ridden inside the house or outside, too.
A Little Heavy, but the Design Makes Up for the Weight
The biggest flaw with the bike is its weight. A nine pounds, it is one of the heavier options and it can be overwhelming for the smallest users. But, those nine pounds are smartly incorporated into the structure of the push bike. The bike has a powder-coated steel frame, so it is truly durable and is designed to be passed through several children. It could even be saved as a family heirloom. As children grow, the seat can be raised up and the handlebars can be set to match. The 12-inch tires that are air-free also add to the weight of the bicycle. The footrests also add to the weight of the bike, but they also make the ride more comfortable as kids have somewhere to put their feet when their balance improves.
Overall, the Critical Cycles Cub Balance Bike is one the best options for children who are in preschool or early elementary. Parents appreciate the quality design and safety standards of this bike and kids just think it is one cool ride.
Kazam Balance Bike
Balance bikes are becoming a more and more popular alternative to training wheels and tricycles when it comes to teaching toddlers and children to ride a bicylce. What really sets KaZAM’s Classic model apart from the herd is its patented frame design. Unlike the competition, which have frames very similar to regular two-wheeled bicylces, the KaZAM resembles a scooter a little bit.
Toddlers and small children are still able to adjust the height of the saddle and handle bars to suit their individual needs. But with the patented frame design of the KaZAM, the uncomfortable and straining leg positioning that accompanies gliding, namely lifting and holding the legs straight in front or bending the knees and holding the feet off the ground, is resolved with the ability to rest one or both feet on the center of the frame beneath and in front of the seat. This provides a much more comfortable and natural position for the legs, and greater enjoyment for kids as they don’t have to worry about holding their legs in position and can focus on learning how to ride properly.
The KaZAM also features air-inflated tires, which mimic the bumps and shock absorption of regular bicycle tires. Some other brands give their models gimmicky, impractical tires or wheels made of hard rubber. Neither of these options is true to the sensation of riding a two-wheeled bicycle, and children will have to adjust to the change of sensation when transitioning to a pedal version. With the air-inflated tires of the KaZAM no adjustment is necessary. This great choice is available in six eye-catching colors and is suitable for children up to 75lbs.
Schwinn Balance Bike
Getting your first bike is a big deal when you are a child. As a parent, you want to make sure that you find the best one out there in terms of both fun and safety. There are many different choices on the market for children these days, but you have to comb through many different features to find the best one. If you are looking for a model that is easy to ride, safe to use, and sturdy then the Schwinn makes an excellent balance bike choice.
The Schwinn is a unique new choice in the market that has a different design. It is essentially a foot to floor design that provides the stabilization that a new rider needs to properly learn how to ride. It is a great way to teach the young rider the basics of riding, while giving them the confidence that they may lack. It comes with an adjustable seat and handle bars so it can grow while the child grows, as well as air tires that can be easily filled.
With so many other children’s bikes on the market today, why is Schwinn’s version much better than the others? For starters, it comes from a trusted brand in bikes. Schwinn has been around for a long time and they know just what to do to make one easy to ride, as well as making it durable. They use all the best materials to make sure that what you buy for your child lasts for years to come. With real rubber tires, there is less wear and tear and better traction on the ground.
The fact that this type requires no training wheels is a huge positive over many others in the market. No longer will your child have to learn how to ride a bike with clunky training wheels on the sides. It has all the perfect combination needed to ensure that your child has fun while learning how to ride their new toy. It is easy to assemble, so parents will not need to spend days getting to put it together for their child to use, and it is long lasting and very durable. With a great selection of colors, children of all ages and genders will have a great time learning how to ride their very first bike. Our full review will provide even more details if this one interests you.
If you want a bike that will last and last, then this is certainly the one for you. A lot of people don’t understand the benefits of choosing a wooden over a metal one, but the truth is that there are plenty of benefits available and it always helps to understand them before you make your final decision. Take the wooden frame of the Prince Lionheart for example, it is made entirely out of wood and rubber and this means that you don’t need to worry about it rusting and you don’t need to worry about the paint flaking off either. The natural appearance doesn’t just make it unique, because it also makes it last longer and it gives it a smoother look as well when compared. Of course, with this model, the frame is made entirely out of birch and it comes with all the benefits of a standard bicycle, including an adjustable seat and rubber tires.
So what other features does it have to offer? It comes complete with solid rubber hand grips and this gives your child the ultimate level of control when compared to others. The rubber grips offer the ultimate level of stability and it also ensures that your child can stay safe even when out in the rain. With normal ones, the rubber handles have a relatively low level of grip and they are made out of plastic as opposed to rubber. With the Prince Lionheart however, you don’t need to worry about any of this and there really are plenty of benefits available. Lastly, it has 12″ rubber tires and it weighs 10 lbs in total, so it has never been easier to take this out with you when you’re on the go and out for a family trip! You can see our full review from here.
Diggin Active Skuut
The Diggin Active Skuut is the first bike where we will provide a quick overview. It is a model that is environmentally friendly in terms of design and structure. Birch wood is used to make the frame and fork and it is finished with a lacquer veneer. The glue and paint products applied are non-toxic making it environmentally friendly. Other features include the pneumatic pressurized 12-inch rubber tires, wheels without spokes and a steering limiter. The seat is adjustable from 13 to 17 inches and can carry a maximum weight of 72 lbs. The Skuut is ideal for kids from 2 years old up to 5 years old. This prize-winning bicycle was among the first launched in the US and has become a favorite for many.
While the Diggin Active Skuut’s environmentally friendly design make it attractive to parents who are environmentally concerned, it is average when compared to similar models on the market. The downsides of the Diggin Active Skuut are, strangely enough, the very same things that help make it a great bicycle. The eco-friendly birch wood certainly isn’t marine grade therefore it isn’t weather proof or waterproof, which makes the wood vulnerable to bending and decay. The rider also is not provided with much flexibility in terms of custom adjustments and versatility. The cost of the Skuut ranges from $70 to $100.
Next on our list of balance bike reviews is the Early Rider Lite which is one of the higher priced wooden bikes on the market as they range in price from $145 to $160. Although is features a lightweight frame (total weight of 7 lbs), it can still withstand and carry children weights upto 125 lbs. This makes the Early Rider Lite a perfect balance bike choice for kids from 20 months up to 5 years old.
It is made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified birch wood and consumers have the assurance that the wood is extracted in an eco-friendly way. In addition, unlike the majority of their competitors, the Early Rider Lite wood is water and weather proof. It’s additional features include: 2 inch laminate riser on an adjustable handlebar, a seat that is adjustable between 11.6 and 15 inches, a removable steering limiter, non-toxic materials, pneumatic rubber tires (12 inch diameter) as well as recessed bolts.
The shortcomings of the Early Rider Lite are the high price around $160 at the upper end. The customer also does not have the option of adding brakes or footrests like in other models. That being said, it is a quality choice and great in terms of being environment friendly.
Learning to ride a bike is a milestone in every child’s life but is often a frightening experience for some children. Somehow, they are able to overcome it and soon enough, they are riding happily around the neighborhood, showing off their biking skills.
Society has learned to accept this process when it comes to riding, but that concept has changed a bit. New evolution in the biking industry, as a result of some innovative thinkers, have led to the redesign of the training bike.
The new training bike omits those unstable training; wheels; removes the safety hazards of cranksets and chains; more importantly, helps the toddler understand and champion their coordination skills.
We hope that you have enjoyed your stay on our website. Finding the right balance bike for your child isn’t the easiest choice to make and we hope that we have shown you some of the more relevant things to look out for. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.