Welcome to NoPedalsNeeded, a website dedicated to helping you find the best balance bikes readily available for Summer 2016. This newer phenomenon has captured keen interest from parents and children from around the world. After all – it’s a bike with no pedals, no chains, and no brakes. So why would someone want one? Although we explain some of the benefits a little lower on this page, some of the main advantages are to improve a child’s core strength, help make them feel more confident, and to provide better safety.

best balance bikes

The main goal of this page is to introduce to you what we believe are the best choices available. We have updated our rankings for 2016 with all of the newest and/or updated models. We try to update this table as much as possible, and also provide brief reviews of each product based on the features available. Because the “best” may mean something different to each child, we have provided our Top-5 choices along with the main feature differences so you can choose what is important to you. Here are some of the more important links:


So which models are the best balance bikes?

To be honest…this isn’t going to sound like the best answer, but it could be many bikes. We have found that what works for one child doesn’t normally work for the next (sometimes in the same family). In the sections that follow, we have provided what we believe are the Top-5 choices right now. The latest version of our comparison chart should provide you with more specifics depending on the factors you are looking for.

There are several things one should consider when purchasing this product including:

  • Size of the child – Most balance bikes you’ll find are for the 2 to 5 year old age group. However there are some that can be used for kids as young as 18 months to as much as 6 years old. Although age can be quite subjective (i.e. there are 18 month olds that are bigger than 2 year olds) it is best to look at how much weight it can handle along with the lowest height the seat can be.
  • Material – The bikes you’ll see on this and other websites are either made from metal or from wood. Metal constructed ones are typically more durable but end up costing a little more. Wooden ones on the other hand as you can imagine are limited in durability as they are more susceptible to weather like rain, snow, etc. Although I would argue that wooden bikes “look” better and are slightly less expensive, if you want something that’ll last longer you may want to look into metal based models.
  • Function – A parent should probably consider what goal they have for their children. For instance, the Strider 12 is one of the most advanced models around and is even used in competitions and for tricks. However, most parents would probably be happy enough with the $50 model that teaches their kids balance while having fun. You don’t always need all the bells & whistles.

Quick reviews

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.

Strider 12

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 2016 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.

Kazam

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

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.

Prince Lionheart

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.

Early Rider

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.


What is a balance bike?

So what are these bikes all about anyways? This is a great question!

In its simplest form it eliminates the need of using pedals, and a chain. Instead the child uses their legs to stabilize themselves and get to where they need to go. Since there are no pedals, their legs are able to move without obstruction. As time goes on, after numerous hours of practice, the child gets better and better and eventually she will feel more confident at her ability to balance without his or her feet touching the ground. They are mainly targeted for children as young as 18 months to as old as 6 years old. However as age can be quite subjective it is best to take a look at the height and weight restrictions to see if your child can make the fit. Some are more advanced than others as well and geared more towards children who have mastered their balancing skills.

Main Features

The following list represents the common features you’ll discover when trying to make a decision.

Frames

The frames can be made from wood or metal frames. While birch wood is the common material used for wooden bikes, steel-framed models incorporate technology to design durable and light weight steel, or aluminum frames. Steel or metal frames are seen in most models, however there are a select few that incorporate a full wooden construction.

No Pedals

The main emphasis is on stabilization, so training wheels and pedals have no purpose whatsoever. Training wheels create a false sense of stability for the rider and although the use of training wheels does not hinder the child’s ability to learn, they are much better at instilling confidence. The omission of pedals helps the rider focus more on using his or her legs to balance first. This teaches the child to rely on their legs for mobility along with stopping and catching themselves on falls. Conventional models tend to do the opposite – learn to pedal first, then balance later.

Tires

Most models come standard with either foam tires (ideal of paved surfaces, but not for off-road adventures), or pneumatic tires (ideal for off road adventures and better at absorbing shock). These are the same tire types used on most conventional pedaled bikes. Therefore, it is up to the rider to determine his or her preference.

The video below is a great start for teaching people how to use one of these bikes:


Benefits of Balance Bikes

Why should you purchase a one of these instead of a standard trike or training wheels? How will this benefit my child? These are some of the questions parents ask. Although they are relatively new in North America, and they are not cheap (although there are less expensive options available); therefore, it’s fair for parents to feel skeptical over this new product.

There are several reasons why parents should consider a one as the option for training their child how to bike.

Coordination Skills

One of the key elements for success on a pedaled version is balance, the next being coordination. Balance is the first obstacle a child encounters when learning to ride a bike. However, when on a pedaled bike, the focus gets distracted by the need to pedal. So, she concentrates on pedaling when she should balancing. The bike encourages them to rely on her balancing and coordination skills. Without pedals in the way, they will use her legs at first to keep a steady mobility. In time, the new rider will figure out how to just push off with her legs and glide the bike down the street. Introducing these bikes can enhance a child’s motor skills.

Safer

The trouble with trike’s, or bikes with training wheels are the pedals, the crank sets and the chains. These are obstructions to a child learning to ride resulting in slight injuries. In the beginning, they will be unfamiliar with pedals so will not use them. Trouble is, when not in use, they still rotate within the vicinity of their legs. Often the unused pedals end up scratching their legs or slamming against their shins.

Versatility

When it comes to hills or unpaved surfaces, the balance bike allows the rider to use her legs to overcome these obstacles. Arguably, a bike with training wheels, or a trike, offers the same option. However, they are lighter and easily handled by a young child. There are also no pedal obstructions to bother, or hurt while climbing up the hill.

One might argue that they are easy to outgrow. This is not quite true as many companies who sell them offer many different accessories to accommodate the growing physical and technical needs of the child. These bikes are targeted for children as young as 18 months and as old as 6 years old.


Best Balance bikes for three year olds

best balance bike for 3 year oldsThis article is centered around parents who are looking to buy balance bikes for their child who is around 3 years old. Children at this age are a bit unique as they can range considerably in both height and weight. At that age they tend to also develop a little more independence so they may not always want you around to help them.

Kids in this age group find it easy and convenient to learn on these bikes. This article will hopefully guide you to the best choices to choose for your 3-year old. There is no such thing as ‘best’ and it depends on the abilities and physical features of your child that is going to dictate your decision for the right model. You have got to see features of different types and should then make your decision.

Choice #1 – Strider 12

The seat and handlebars of the Strider Classic are highly adjustable, so it can grow with your toddler as they learn to ride. Footrests are integrated into the frame near the rear wheels, so your toddler can kick his or her legs back and hold them up while gliding. But the best feature of the Strider Classic isn’t the bells and whistles, it’s the simplicity of the design.

The creator of Strider bikes watched his own young son struggle to learn how to ride a bike, and he was both frustrated and heartbroken, feelings that parents of three-year-olds everywhere can understand and relate to. He wanted to make him a better rider, one that he could learn to move easily and without fear.

He stripped it down to its essentials but still thought it was too heavy for his toddler to ride easily, trying to stabilize himself on a bike that weighed almost as much as he did. Training wheels have been proven to make it more difficult to transition to a two-wheeled, so he didn’t want that.

After much debating about what constitutes riding a bike, he decided to take the pedals off making it lighter and easier to handle for a three year old. His son could use his legs and feet as a means of propulsion, with the safety of being able put them down and stop if he needed to. Without having to learn a new means of propulsion, he could focus on balancing and leaning into turns: the core skills of riding.

Strider is now one of the most well-known and highly rated producers the world over. The Classic is their entry-level model, based on the model the creator made for his son, and it is specifically designed for younger users, between 18 months and 5 years. The only catch for parents of three year olds is that you need to buy the additional seat and seat post for any child 36 months and older.


Choice #2 – Radio Flyer

The Radio Flyer Glide & Go brings the trusted Radio Flyer brand into the balance bike revolution. Chances are, you or someone you knew had a Radio Flyer as a child, and you know how sturdy and classically stylish they are, and now you can share that trusted safety with your three-year-old as they learn to ride in style, without having to worry about pedaling.

The balance bike craze is specifically targeted at toddlers, because three-years-old is the ideal time to learn to ride a bike. For years, toddlers have struggled to learn with bulky models and training wheels, both of which slow down the learning process and make a transition to a two-wheeled bike more difficult. Now Radio Flyer, a long-trusted name in the world of bicycles, is getting their foot in the door by making the Glide & Go. Its sturdy steel frame looks just like a Radio Flyer bicycle, but without the pedals. It features an adjustable seat, ideal for three-year-olds, who outgrow height-related toys quickly.

The Radio Flyer Glide & Go has maintenance-free traction tread tires that hug the road for a superior grip, which means superior safety. The stylish nostalgic design also facilitates all the advantages of the approach to teaching your toddler to ride. They will be able to focus solely on learning to balance and lean into turns without worrying about pedaling, and they will be able to make a transition to a two wheeled versions much easier than they would from a tricycle or training wheels, which ignore balance as a main component for biking. It also helps three-year-olds overcome the fear of falling, which can keep them from learning the skills they need to ride. It even has a real, ringing bell that will satisfy your toddler’s need to make noise.


Final Choice – Kazam v2e

KaZAM’s Classic was named Best in Category by Stephanie Oppenhiem in 2010, but why is it a good choice specifically for those around 3? The first feature that sets the KaZAM Classic apart is the patented frame design. The KaZAM Classic looks like a hybrid between a two-wheeled bike and a push-powered scooter. This makes it much easier for little legs, like those of toddlers, to mount the bike. They don’t have to swing their leg over the seat and cross bar, which could make them lose their balance. They can just step over the footrest and sit on the seat. At twelve inches, the frame is the perfect size for a three-year-old, and, of course, the seat and handlebars are adjustable, so they can grow with your child.

Which brings us to the footrest. Most models have footrests placed near the rear tires, meaning that kids have to lean forward and kick their feet back to rest them while they glide. This can make it more difficult to stop, as a toddler’s feet are his or her brakes on a balance bike. With the low and centered footrest on the KaZAM Classic, your child’s feet will be placed similarly to the pedal assembly of a regular bike. This has three main benefits for toddlers: They will be able to stop more quickly, and it will reassure them and build their confidence; it puts their legs in a more natural sitting position, making it more comfortable for them to ride; and it will help them develop a muscle memory consistent with riding a regular version by letting them walk and return their feet to the central position, mimicking the pedaling motion of a two-wheeled system.

The Classic is the entry-level model for KaZAM, and is perfect for three-year-olds who want to learn to ride a regular model, as well as for parents who want their toddler to be safe, comfortable, and get the most from their learning experience.


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.