No doubt, a balance bike (also called a no pedal bikes, pedal-less bike or training bikes) is the best choice for a toddler or a pre-schooler. If you are currently considering a bike with training wheels, then forget about it. The balance bikes shown below are much better for your kid.
There are hundreds of different balance bikes for toddlers on the market, and you might think that all of them will fit your child. Actually, they won’t. Choosing the right balance bike for a toddler (or a pre-schooler or even a schooler?) is quite a tough choice. The choice is made harder by all of the features you should consider. Some (but not all) are size, wheelbase, brakes, tire type, saddle height, weight, and more.
What bugs us in the cycling industry is the fact that there is a lack of information on most bikes. This is mostly true for kids’ bikes, and balance bikes of course, where there are basically no technical specs shown. We did our part of the job and contacted the providers for additional information.
We know that you’re in a hurry, so let’s cut straight to the chase.
Here they are — the best balance bikes on the market!
The Best 12 Balance Bikes of 2020
Best Balance Bike For A Toddler
FITS: 1.5 – 3.5-year-olds (31″ – 40″)
SPECS: 12″ air tires, rear brakes, weighs 6.61 lbs
Woom 1 is the definition of a well-designed toddler balance bike. It has a quality aluminum frame which weighs little and provides an upright geometry. The weight of the bike is centrally distributed, which will make it much easier for your kid to develop a sense of balance.
To improve the safety features, this Woom 1 kids balance bike has a reliable hand brake that slows down the rear wheel. It’s much safer than a front brake, which can sometimes be the cause of a fall.
The Woom 1 is suitable for even the shortest kids because of a very low standover height. Therefore, children as short as 31″ can easily get on and off and start preparing for the pedal-turning skills.
Finally, this pedal-less bike has a steer limiter which will prevent the front wheel from oversteering. It’s a safety feature that you can easily engage or disengage.
- Reliable rear brakes
- Central balance position
- Quality 12" air tires
- 5 colors available
- Expensive than others
Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
Best American Balance Bicycle
FITS: 1.5 – 5-year-olds
Strider Sport is considered to be the best balance bike for a toddler by many experts and parents. Its best selling point is the quality build, which means that you can pass this bike from one generation to another. It’s designed to take all the abuse that toddlers put their bikes through.
If your kid is ready to start exploring their surroundings on two wheels (yes, without training wheels!), they can do it with the Strider 12 Sport model at just 18 months old. This toddler bike without pedals has mini grips, so even if your little one has tiny hands, they can still steer the bike confidently.
One thing that this model is unique for is the built-in footrests. Even though this is a pedal-less bike, your kid can still get a similar experience to riding a real bicycle and prepare for the real deal later on.
Best of all, toddlers can zoom around on this great balance bicycle all day long thanks to the ergonomic seat, which will make the ride comfortable.
- Suitable for different ages and heights
- Durable steel frame
- No-tool assembly
- Comes in 7 colors
- Puncture-free foam tires
- No brakes
- Foam tires offer a poorer traction
Co-Op Cycles REV 12
Personalized Sticker Pack
FITS: 13.75″+ standover height
SPECS: 12″, 9 lbs, air tires, two colors
Co-op Cycles makes great bikes for parents but does not let toddlers down either. Their Rev 12 model is a great example of that, as it has everything that the best balance bike needs to have. It’s built with kids in mind, aiming to help them learning how to balance a bike quickly and transition to a real bike smoothly.
This Co-op balance model is suitable both for girls and for boys since it is available in two colors: Pink and Green. It’s slightly heavier than some other choices here, but it’s still light enough to be a great girls’ balance bike.
All of the bolts on Rev 12 are secured with plastic safety caps, so there is no chance that your toddler will scrape their legs if they fall. However, the air tires on this balance bicycle offer plenty of grip, so there’s little chance of any major falls.
- Light aluminum frame
- Low standover height
- Riser bar for confident riding
- Comes with a fun sticker pack
- No hand brakes
Coolest Design & Air Tires
FITS: 22 months – 5 years old (12/14″ – 17.5″)
SPECS: 12″, 8.6 lbs, knobby air tires
The Firstbike Cross can be best defined as a motorbike balance bike. It resembles a motorbike thanks to the unique frame and the knobby tires, but it still works as a great toddler push bike.
The first thing that will catch your eyes is the weatherproof composite frame. It not only looks good, but it is durable and practical as well. It keeps the weight down, and it’s quite flexible. This is great for lighter kids, but it might bend too much under heavier riders.
When it comes to safety features, the Firstbike Cross has a turning limiter, knobby tires, and a rear hand brake that’s easy for toddlers to press.
If your kid is adventurous and loves riding on gravel and bumpy terrain, this motorbike balance bike can definitely keep up with them.
- Flexible material that absorbs shock
- Rear rim brake
- 2" lower adjustable seat available for $15
- Unique design
- U-shaped saddle not great for smaller riders
Great Value For Money
FITS: 1.5 – 4-year-olds
SPECS: 12″, low price, four colors, air tires…
This Banana Bike GT is a great budget kids bike without pedals for parents who do not want to break the bank. For just $88, you’ll get a dependable two-wheeler that will be both fun and useful for your child.
Regardless of the low price, it’s a great so-called without pedals bike for toddlers.
This Banana model has a light frame shaped like a banana, which is the best shape for a balance bicycle. It ensures a very low standover height and keeps the rider in an upright position.
Other reasons why this model would be a good purchase are the 12″ air tires. They are much more comfortable compared to foam tires. They are also very hard to puncture, as kids don’t weight that much.
We also like the selection of colors, as you can surprise your toddler with a Blue, Candy Yellow, Red, or a Yellow frame.
- Great value for money
- Air tires
- Very low minimum saddle height
- Great for girls and boys
- No hand brakes
Woom 1 Plus
Suitable For Taller Riders
FITS: 3 – 4.5-year-olds. Suitable height: 37″ to 43″
SPECS: 14″ tires, Five colors, rear and front brakes, footrest
If your kid is already past the tiny toddler phase, then the Woom 1 Plus is the best choice for them. It is the best balance bike for a 3-year-old due to its height and the advanced features. This is a 14-inch balance bike, so your preschooler will not feel cramped on it.
When they get a hang on balancing, they can use a comfy wooden footrest to glide for longer. It will also help them understand how it feels to ride with pedals. However, this surfboard is removable, so if a smaller toddler rides it, you can quickly take it off.
This is a balance bike with brakes, both front and rear. Older kids are usually more confident and like going faster, so there’ll be no issues with stopping. After they’re done with the Woom 1 Plus, your preschooler will be riding a pedal bike in a matter of minutes.
- Rear and front brakes
- Comfortable surfboard footrest
- Steering limiter safety feature
- Knobby Kenda tires
- Great for taller riders
- The footrest gets in the way of small toddlers
Lightweight And Fun Design
FITS: 2-4 y/o, Saddle height 12″ – 18″
SPECS: 12″, 8.2 lbs, rear brake, Tektro brakes, Kenda air tires, 15 fun designs
A lot of toddlers are fascinated by the sight and the sound of ambulance lights and want to become doctors when they grow up. You can now make their dream a reality at as early as two years of age. But, there are also police, firetruck, sailor, and many other interesting designs. In total, you can choose from 15 unique paint jobs!
Apart from the looks, Yedoo TooToo has quality Kenda tires and reliable Tektro brakes. They will certainly take a lot of abuse, and you can pass the bike on in your family from one toddler to another.
The geometry is well centered so that the balance point will be exactly on your little boy’s or girl’s hips. Since many different designs are available, Yedoo is the perfect girls’ balance bike as well.
- 15 fun designs to choose from
- Tektro rear brake
- Comfy air tires
- Upright riding position
- Ergonomic kids saddle
- Steering limiter cannot be disabled
Yuba Flip Flop
Interesting Two-Sided Concept
FITS: 15 months to 6 years. Standover height 11″ – 20″ (Rider height of 30″ to 45″)
SPECS: 12″, Reversible frame, wheelbase of 23″, foam rubber tires…
If you want your toddler or your preschooler to have the most eye-catching balance bicycle on the block, you can’t make a better choice than the Yuba Flip Flop. This is a good bike for a 1-year-old and much older kids thanks to its reversible design.
This smart solution lets you switch the position of the seat and the saddle, which makes the bike much longer and taller. You can complete this whole process in a matter of minutes. We promise it’s not rocket science.
In terms of likeability, this is one of the best balance bikes for toddlers. Which kid will not immediately fall in love with its giraffe paint job?
We also like the rear rack, because your child can bring their favorite toy along. It increases the weight by a little, but it’s not a deal-breaker in any way.
- A likable giraffe design
- The reversible frame makes it fit short and tall kids
- Very low standover height
- Includes a rear rack
- Rear rack increases the weight
Best From Recycled Materials
FITS: 2 – 4-year-olds (Standover height 12″ to 15.6″)
SPECS: 12″ air tires, 12.13 pounds, recycled materials…
Do you want to teach your toddle both how to balance a bicycle and how to be more environmentally conscious? This Wishbone Cruise model lets you do both. This toddler push bike is made from recycled materials, by a New Zealand designer. Even though it’s made of wood, it is still very sturdy and very dependable. From the point of design, it might be the best-looking bike without pedals for toddlers on this list.
Wishbone Cruise has air tires instead of foam tires, which is a much better choice if you ask me. It has no hand brakes, but your toddler can easily slow down with their legs. The standover height is quite low, so this model is more suitable for shorter toddlers. Taller ones might find the seat range a bit problematic.
All in all, this is the most classy toddler bike with no pedals that you can surprise your kid with.
- Made from recycled materials
- Ideal for very short toddlers
- Award-winning New Zealand design
- Comfortable air tires
- Small seat height adjustment range
FITS: For 16 – 23″ inseam (3 – 7 years)
SPECS: 14″ tires, 12 pounds, modifiable into a pedal bike…
Strider is one of the best manufacturers out there when it comes to making well-designed toddler bikes. This toddler balance bike can be easily transformed into a pedal bike with several simple tools and additions.
The Strider 14X model grows along with your child. If you have a wunderkind who easily learns new skills, this is a good solution to make a purchase last longer. The footrests can be switched for pedals in several minutes, and there is also a chain guard to prevent any oil smears.
This is a 14-inch balance bike, so it’s more suitable for preschoolers than for toddlers. The saddle height has a wide range, so your kid can have fun on this kids balance bike until they are seven years old.
- Great concept of adding pedals
- Large seat height range
- Riser bars
- Quick release saddle clamp
- Chain guard included
- No hand brakes
Prevelo Alpha Zero
Relaxed Geometry And Modern Colors
FITS: Standover height of 11.5″ – 14.6″
SPECS: 12″, 8.5 lbs, wheelbase of 22.9″, three colors
Prevelo Alpha Zero is one of the best-rated models in balance bike reviews online. It has a great ergonomic design which makes it a very comfortable balance bike for a toddler. It comes with 12″ air tires with a good tread, so it will offer lots of grip if your kid turns the bars quickly.
What we also like and your child will as well, is the paint job. There are three modern colors that you can choose from: Silver, blue, and purple. So, this is both a girls’ toddler bike and a boys’ one. The brake cable on it is routed internally, which increases the safety and makes it more durable.
If you want to invest a little bit more and make this a unique bike for a two-year-old, you can add custom color grips and a fun bicycle bell.
You can also write the name of your kid on the frame for an additional $20.
- Attractive metallic colors
- Low weight
- Rear hand brake
- Internal cable routing
- Upright riding position
- Very limited seat height range
The Croco Balance Bike
Suitable For Kids With Lowered Ability As Well
FITS: 1.5 – 5-year-olds (seat height 11 – 17″)
SPECS: 12″, quick-release clamps, handlebar height 20 – 24.5″, Weigh 4.5 lbs
The Croco Balance Bike is an affordable choice that offers a lot of bang for the buck. First of all, it can work both as a baby balance bike for very young toddlers and as a bike for 5-year-old kids. The blue, green, pink, and orange colors are adored by both girls and boys.
You can adjust both the saddle and the handlebar height so that you can maintain the upright riding position at all ages. Most importantly, parents can assemble this bike in minutes thanks to the quick release clamps that this toddler push bike comes with.
We also love the padded saddle, and other balance bike reviews praise it as well. Overall, the Croco Balance Bike is quite long (33.5 in), which means it is more stable on uneven terrain. All of this makes it the best balance bike for toddlers according to many.
- Very lightweight
- Cute and colorful designs
- Handy footrests
- Balance bike for YEAR old toddlers
- Quick-release saddle and handlebar adjustment
- No hand brakes
And Now, The Basics...
Tire Sizes & Weight
When buying a balance bike for a toddler, the tire sizes and weight are the most important aspects to consider.
Balance bikes are usually available with 12″ tires. Sometimes, they also come with 14″ or 16″ tires. The 12″ wheels are most popular and are generally seen on baby balance bikes, which are suitable for up to 3 – 4-year-old kids.
Bigger wheels are better suited for preschoolers, who are up to 7 years old, as it’s never too late to use a balance bike.
Weight is also very important. Most toddler bikes without pedals weigh less than 10 lbs. The less the better because it will be easier for your kid to control the bike. In any case, if they fall, even 10 lbs is not enough to cause an injury.
A good rule of thumb is that the balance bike doesn’t weigh more than 25 – 30% of the kid’s weight.
What's The Right Balance Bike Age?
If your toddler can walk, they can ride a balance bike as well.
Some kids get on a pedal less bike when they are one year old, others when they are 7. If a balance bike is too big for your child, you can also consider a pre-balance bike which is going to be good practice for learning to ride.
If your toddler can walk, they can ride a balance bike as well.
The only limitation to using a push bike is the inseam length and not age. So, if your kid has long enough legs to sit on the saddle and touch the ground comfortably, they can start exploring the world on two wheels without training wheels.
Any of these three materials have both advantages and disadvantages. Aluminum is slightly heavier, but it is the most durable. Wood and plastic might last a bit shorter and be more difficult to repair, but they are quite lightweight.
But, all of these materials can be used to make a great balance bike for a toddler. For example, Chillafish balance bikes are made from plastic, and they are quite popular. Also, Wishbone Cruise is made from recycled wood, but it looks and performs excellently. It’s hard to make a mistake whichever material you choose, but aluminum is the best one.
Air Or Foam Tires?
Forget the training wheels!
What matters, is Air and Foam.
Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. There is no right answer regarding which one to choose.
Foam tires are intended for kids who are just starting out with balance bikes. Foam tires weigh less and can’t get a flat. On the other hand, there is very little cushioning and traction.
Air tires are mainly for those who are already confident in their training bikes. Such tires allow setting different air pressures for various terrains. The cushioning and grip are better, but parents must check the tire pressure regularly.
Many balance bikes don’t have brakes. If your kid is learning to ride, it is crucial to teach this part as well!
You can find brakes on more expensive balance bikes. Kids can use their feet to slow down a balance bike if they need to.
Brakes, however, can prepare a child to ride a pedal bike which already has brakes. Not to mention the fact that you can save your kids’ footwear and prevent injuries.
There are very few manufacturers who offer front brakes. Make sure to first teach your kid how to use these.
Our tip: If your kids have younger siblings, consider buying a balance bike with brakes for the older one. That way, you can get a bike for the younger one and train your older one to use brakes.
And now, let your kids enjoy 🙂