There has never been more choice and quality in kids’ balance bike. On the upside, this will give parents greater choice in decisions that best fits their needs. On the downside, people – especially inexperienced parents – can be confused in choosing the best balance bike and overwhelmed by too much information. With so many options though, how do you decide what features are needed? Which balance bike’s material is better? What are the benefits of the balance bike you intend to buy?…
If you so clearly know that a good balance bike can be a new gateway into loving to ride, if you have decided to buy a balance bike for your little ones but don’t know where to start or how to make sure it is a best deal, this post is for you! Read on to find out what to consider before buying one.
Table of Contents
1. AGE OF YOUR CHILD
The sooner you teach, the faster your toddlers will master the balance bike. If they are capable of walking steadily on their own, then you should give them a try. Most 2 and a half year-olds are ready for a 12″ balance bike. Don’t make decision too late as children starting to ride balance bikes from the age of 4 will take longer to learn and tend to have a problem with keeping their balance. Determining the age of the rider first can help you narrow down your search and get closer to finding the best balance bike.
2. SIZE OF THE BALANCE BIKE
Don’t buy a balance bike for the future, buy it for the now! Never fault on buying a bike for your kids that is the right size. Toddlers will simply never ride it unless it fits them. Moreover, the better it fits, the safer it will be. From my own experience, a small balance bike gives my baby girl confidence and encourages her to hop on without fear.
You know you have found the best balance bike when you see your child:
* Sit on the saddle and place his feet directly onto the surface of the ground, not just the toes and the knees should be slightly bent
* Can get on and off the bike with ease.
* Reach the handlebars comfortably
If your little one is 3, most 12″ balance bikes will fit well. If he or she is about 2 and under as well as over 4 years old, you should measure carefully to make sure the bike is not too big to impair their ability.
3. BIKE WEIGHT
This is not a big deal if your child is an experienced rider, but with most toddlers and preschoolers, the weight of the bike can affect them seriously. Buying a lighter balance bike which weigh no more than 30% of your child’s weight is a wise choice to help toddler can pick it up, put it down easily as well as balance.
4. FRAME MATERIAL: WOOD OR METAL?
The material used in the frame impacts the weight of the balance bike so it’s important to delibrate about which frame material you should choose: Wood or Metal?
Wood is a reusable resource and wooden balance bikes are considered the more eco-friendly option compared to metal models. Mostly made from Baltic – birch – plywood, wooden balance bikes are tend to be light, strong and durable though you still have to keep them out of the rain as they are likely to warp and rot. Another disadvantage is that those bikes cannot grow with toddlers as they possess smaller sized seat modification abilities. However, many parents don’t care much about this. They love the retro look of wooden models and don’t mind paying more for balance bikes made out of marine grade wood (the same type of wood that boats are made of). This type of wood prevents the bike from being damage by water or rain so no more worries if it gets left outdoors too much.
Durable is the main reason for parents to choose metal frame balance bikes. Metal bikes tend to have a seat with a larger range on the adjustment range which are ideal if you want to share the bike between siblings or want the bike to last a long time. Made of either steel or aluminium, metal balance bicycles in many cases are a lot more steady and sturdy compared to wood made types. Furthermore, their lightweight frames means that they can be easily controlled, maneuvered and carried around by younger toddlers.
In general, there is no exact answer to which is the better balance bike because each model has its own advantages. It depends on what fits your child and if he or she would love to ride on.
5. TIRES OF BALANCE BIKES
Balance bike tires can be Fat Boy, EVA Foam, Hard Plastic, Solid Rubber, Rubber Honeycomb and Standard Air (Pneumatic). 6 types each have their advantages as well as disadvantages. I think it is useful to prepare a balance bike tires guide when you are confused about which one to buy.
You might be interested in bikes with the Air (Pneumatic) tires if want a smoother rider and desire more traction on the ride. This type is the best when riding the bike outdoors, on a bumpy surface. Fat Boy tires hold more air than regular tires, enhancing the comfort of the ride while providing all of the traction benefits of the air tires. An EVA foam tire bike – the lightest – might be your best fit if your kid will be riding on primarily a smooth paved road outside as this tire will not respond well to a variety of surfaces.These tires are preferred by manufacturers such as Strider because of their main advantage: there is no risk of punctures. Another type of tires is solid rubber tire that is cheap and never go flat. It is very similar to the air tire but without the cushion the air provides. Honeycomb rubber tires (only on Burley MyKick balance bikes) combine the best of both air and foam tires as they provide traction and cushion (not as much as air tires) without flats. Lastly, found on very small bikes is Hard plastic tires which provide no traction or cushioning. Since they are only really useful for indoor bikes and toys, it is my least favorite among balance bikes’ tires.
With this photo below, I hope that you will choose the best balance bike’s tire suit for your children:
6. EASY REACH AND ADJUSTABLE
As a mom, I think adjustable seat and handlebar make the bike is better investment because this will allow the bike to grow with your child, ensuring they can continue to ride the balance bike for a long time.
People don’t always think about how the handlebar affects their choices, but it actually can play into a good decision especially if your child is young, or a taller than average toddler. On the wooden balance bikes, the seat and handlebar are fixed so think thoroughly if you plan to buy one. On the contrary, most metal balance bikes with this feature are largely the same as standard pedal bikes, where the seat can be adjusted anywhere between range of heights.
To me, brakes on balance bikes are not essential for toddlers below three as they often do not have sufficient hand strength or size to use them. However, this is a nice feature for older riders as they can develop that skill before transferring to a pedal bike (preventing children from putting their feet down). The decision-making on having brakes on balance bike should be based on your child’s age.
As a customer, we have the right to ask the manufacturer to deal with any issues happen to the balance bike according to their terms and conditions.Warranty is definitely an important factor to be considered when you want to buy the best balance bike. A real deal bike usually has warranty which lasts at least a couple of years. Please remember that once you have a good warranty, you have peace in your mind.
Last but not least, price is a vital factor to purchase a balance bike. Get clear on your budget and find a bike that fits all your needs within your budget. Avoid spending far more for a bike that you do not really need, and do not ever think you will have to settle just because of the cost. Maybe you would not be able to find the best balance bike for your target price, but if you shop around, you can find plenty of balance bikes in every price range that come the closest and are still within your budget..
10. 5 BEST BALANCE BIKE ON THE MARKET
Hopefully these steps will help you figure out the best balance bike for your child and find selecting to be simpler and more pleasant process. Getting clear on what you want, what your little ones will want and how they will feel when hopping on the first bike, do not forget to get clear on your budget to make sure to end up with the balance bike that is just right for your child!.