7 Best balance bikes of 2020 (Latest Children’s balance bikes)

Make your fresh air outside count with a fantastic wooden balance bike for your little one, which will have them zooming about in no time at all. Wooden gliders or balance bikes are a fantastic toy that benefits your pre-school child in so many ways and will provide hours upon hours of good old-fashioned entertainment. We have hit the market on your behalf and lined up the best of them. Read on for the 7 best balance bikes on the market.

What is a balance bike?

Balance bikes are a variation on a regular bicycle that is growing in popularity among families worldwide. Its USP is that it has no pedals – yes that’s right – no pedals! It is simply propelled by your little one moving the bike along with their feet. By removing pedals, gears, and brakes, all children need to think about is keeping their balance. This turns out to be an excellent way of building the core strengths – balance and coordination – needed to take to a pedal bike with success when the time comes. No brakes?! Surprisingly, gliders are great for teaching children to stop themselves confidently. They simply need to stand still.

Key benefits of a wooden balance bike every parent needs to know

  • Give your child an all-over workout. Balance bikes are great for building core strength and getting their little legs moving. As your child simply has fun on the bike, they will build cardiovascular fitness too.
  • Balance bikes are just the right size for young children. Once little ones can walk, they want to do everything, so finding a bike of the right size can be a challenge. A simple glider is easy to set up and size for your child. All the bikes we share here should be ideal for a child between 1 and 5 years.
  • The perfect transition to pedals. Balance bikes offer great control for young riders and by mastering the movement of the bike by simply walking your child has all the principles of cycling down pat before you upgrade to the real thing.
wooden balance bike

Top picks for the Best Balance Bikes

7. Prince Lionheart Balance Bike

Available on Amazon ↗️

Your key balance bike specs

  • Age suitability: 2 – 5 years
  • Max weight of the rider: 65 pounds
  • Material: 100% birchwood
  • Number of wheels: 2
  • Wheel size: 12-inch
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Assembly: self-assembly

Parents who have a little lad who likes to explore will be delighted with this hard-wearing birchwood balance bike, which is full of traditional detailing. You’ll get this bike flat-packed with easy-to-follow instructions for assembly.

This two-wheeled design has rubber, air-filled wheels, and a comfortable padded seat that will be excellent for outdoor use and it is lightweight enough for you to tote home when your little one gets tired.

We think this balance bike is a good buy because with an age range of up to 5 years and 65-pound weight limit, you should enjoy years of good use. Two wheels are perfect for helping your young adventurer master the balance and coordination skills needed for cycling by walking and gliding on this balance bike as well as building confidence while steering with its rubberized grip handlebars.

✅ What we liked

  • A decent age range and weight limit make this bike excellent value as it will be loved and used over many years and you don’t need to size up.
  • Lionheart makes replacement of damaged parts no-fuss and easy, by shipping any parts that do wear out or break on the bike. Zero-costs on shipping is a nice touch.
  • Your braver children who love speed will be able to pick up some momentum on this bike!
  • The air-filled tires add suspension and make this bike more hard-wearing. The wheels are also solidly attached.

❌ What could be better

  • The rubber handlebars have fallen off in some cases, but Lionheart has been quick to replace them.
  • The padding on the seat could always be deeper.

Read more customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


6. Hape Scoot Push Balance Bike

Latest Price on Amazon ↗️

Your key balance bike specs

  • Age suitability: 12 months – 3 years
  • Max weight of the rider: 110 pounds
  • Material: plywood and solid wood construction
  • Number of wheels: 4
  • Wheel size: 12-inch
  • Weight: 5.59 pounds
  • Assembly: self-assembly

Hape has made a name for itself as producers of excellent quality wooden playthings for the early years and this 4 wheeled wooden bike is a smart choice for cruising around the home or on the grass outside. With an age limit of 3 years, you are likely to find yourself needing to upgrade sooner or later, but this product does a great job of helping your girl or boy master their motor skills and spatial awareness.

The rubberized wheels are probably not rugged enough for asphalt but will be great in the home or garden environments. As always, Hape has taken the time to ensure that the materials, paint, and finishes are non-toxic.

✅ What we liked

  • 4-wheeled design is ideal for babies and toddlers who are mastering their feet and feel ready for the ‘big-time’ of riding a scooter.
  • The product is level and well balanced.
  • Rubberized wheels are long-lasting and protect your floor.
  • This company has taken care to ensure everything is non-toxic so you can buy with confidence.

❌ What could be better

  • Some parents report that as little ones ride, the feet can become caught up with the wide wheelbase of the back pair of wheels so supervision is essential especially with under twos.

Read more customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


5. Nicko Purple Star Bike

Latest Price on Amazon ↗️

Your key balance bike specs

  • Age suitability: 2 – 5 years
  • Max weight of the rider: 66 pounds
  • Material: birch plywood
  • Number of wheels: 2
  • Wheel size: 12-inch
  • Weight: 5.32 pounds
  • Assembly: self-assembly

Your little girl will have a great time racing around on this smart balance bike with cute design and paintwork. Good quality birch plywood is perfect for a robust wooden bike that will last many years or even become a hand me down. Balance bikes are one of the best ways of getting your child ready to ride and can even help them bypass stabilizers so the more your little rider gets out and about on this, the better.

A wide age and weight limit mean you will get a lot of use out of this bike, which also comes in other colors for boys and girls. As your child grows simply adjust the seat height with Allen-key. The high-density foam tires are 12 inches in diameter and provide puncture resistant play.

✅ What we liked

  • Parents and children rave about the incredibly cute purple star design!
  • Quick and easy Allen key assembly means your child can use the bike quickly.
  • Puncture-resistant wheels are perfect for outdoor use

❌ What could be better

  • As with some of these balance bikes, it is unclear if it is possible to obtain replacement parts if needed.

Read customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


4. Top Bright Ride On Scooter

Latest price on Amazon ↗️

Your key balance bike specs

  • Age suitability: 12 – 18 months
  • Max weight of the rider: 42 pounds
  • Material: solid wood
  • Number of wheels: 4 wheels
  • Wheel size: 12-inch
  • Weight: 5.72 pounds
  • Assembly: self-assembly

Top Bright are the creators of an impressive range of wooden and early years toys that are ideal for building key developmental skills. It’s no surprise that their venture into the balance bike marketplace ticks all the boxes for a great value and hard-wearing bike that children will feel confident giving a go.

If you are a parent with siblings of varying ages you will know what it’s like when the toddler wants to have a go at big brother or sister’s bike, but with this smart 4-wheeler with flaming, motorbike style paintwork, they will feel like the big kid on the block. This balance bike is very well proportioned with great finishing on all parts and although it has 4 wheels it feels like a three-wheeler.

Care has been put into the molding and finishing of all parts so that they are easy on little hands and the rubber wheels are hard-wearing and won’t leave streaks on your floor. The easy to assemble and non-toxic solid and plastic components make this a great family purchase.

✅ What we liked

  • Big kid design and detailing is great for a feisty one year old who thinks they know it all!
  • Wheels are chunky, stable, and without squeaks.
  • The steering on the front
  • This is a great choice if you have a pre-walker who you want to get moving. The motorcycle style is probably the motivational boost they need.

❌ What could be better

  • Some parents who have purchased this bike have commented that their child has found the front wheels too close together.
  • Being suitable only up to age three will mean you may have to buy a larger balance bike before they are able to cycle.

Read customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


3. Zum Wooden Bike

Latest Prices On Amazon ↗️

Your key balance bike specs

  • Age suitability: 3 – 6 years
  • Max weight of the rider: 50 pounds
  • Material: sustainable wood
  • Number of wheels: 2 wheels
  • Wheel size: 12-inch
  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Assembly: self-assembly

Zum‘s take on the wooden balance bike, has a great glider style wooden frame made from strong wood from sustainable Forest Stewardship Council sources.  It has a simple streamlined design that is robust enough for vigorous play but lightweight enough to haul home when your child tires.

Chunky handles and rubber wheels are great for younger users who are still gaining their balance or are transitioning from a tricycle or scooter. Considered features like an adjustable seat and lightweight frame grows with your child, to eke out a few more years of use before hitting the age limit.

✅ What we liked

  • An adjustable frame and seating mean that older children can use this balance bike.
  • Parents found the bike easy to assemble.

❌ What could be better

  • Some purchasers have reported that the parts wear out quickly.

Read customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


2. Janod Balance Bike

Latest Prices On Amazon ↗️

Your key balance bike specs

  • Age suitability: 3 – 5 years
  • Max weight of the rider: 66 pounds
  • Material: sustainable wood
  • Number of wheels: 2 wheels
  • Wheel size: 12-inch
  • Weight:  8.9 pounds
  • Assembly: self-assembly

This is a beautiful vintage Italian scooter-style balance bike which is reminiscent of the 1950s film Roman Holiday. Rather than racing across Italian Piazzas, your little one will delight in zooming across your local park on this regal mint green edition from Janod.

French wooden toy manufacturer Janod is one of the world-leading toymakers and has an illustrious history, spanning decades, of creating fine toys that have been the preserve of European royalty and loved by children all over the world.

This vintage style bike does not scrimp on the features needed for it to benefit and strengthen your child’s balance and movement. Adjustable seating can be raised to take this scooter to a size that will suit a 4-5-year-old. The rubberized handles are Vespa-like but chunky enough for little hands to master and the rubber wheels are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Fine craftsmanship is the hallmark of this fine quality scooter and the details like the chunky wooden ‘light’ on the front and embossed logo really stand out on this characterful piece. The balance bike scooter is built to European and US safety standards. This is definitely a top pick for grandparents who may have been on the back of a Lambretta in their heyday and ‘get’ this cool design.

✅ What we liked

  • This classic scooter design has a timeless quality, detailing, and finish.
  • Rubber tires are large enough to provide good stability for younger riders.
  • Tires are inflatable so you can top them up with a pump if needed.

❌ What could be better

  • Durable wood seating is great, but a little padding would be the singular improvement on this near-perfect design!
  • This one is a keeper, so parents want to be able to easily replace parts.

Read customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


1. Wave wooden Scooter

Latest Price On Amazon ↗️

Your key balance bike specs

  • Age suitability: 18 months  – 3 years
  • Max weight of the rider: 66 pounds
  • Material: 100% bentwood
  • Number of wheels: 3 wheels
  • Weight:  5 pounds
  • Assembly: pre-assembled

If you are a fan of minimalist Scandi-style, the Wave will be the balance bike for you. This ingenious and somewhat unusual design is fabricated from a single piece of bentwood shaped to form a ride-on structure, complete with castor wheels to zoom about the home. Everything in this design is simple and toddlers can slip on and off easily. The three castor wheels are protected so fingers and toes don’t get trapped. It is ready to go out of the box which also helps if you have a young child who is raring to go.

✅ What we liked

  • This is a very simple and stable design
  • Children with physical disabilities may find this easy to wriggle onto and off.
  • No assembly needed is always a big plus.
  • Solid durable wood used for this design.

❌ What could be better

  • Wheels get worn on outdoor use.
  • Wheels may also get stuck on the carpet.
  • The absence of handlebars makes balancing harder.

Read customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


Frequently asked questions

Q. Can a child younger than 2 really ride these bikes?

A. Parents of young toddlers who are walking should definitely consider a balance bike. They are in many ways better than trikes as they offer a low center of gravity and seat height and will encourage the use of all the muscles for balance to progress to their first bike.

Q. Balance bike Vs training wheels. Which is better?

A. Stabilizers are a key help for children who use a regular cycle, but in some ways, they slow down the process by which a child learns to balance for themselves. Training wheels can create a dependence that will need to be overcome when the bike is used without them for the first time. A child that masters a balance bike bypasses these issues as they have been balancing for themselves.

Q. Is wood better than metal for balance bikes?

A. Wood is often sought after for young children because it is lighter and easier to move and handle for both children and parents. The wooden bikes we feature here have robust non-toxic fabrication and are well painted or sealed so there is no risk of rust.

Q. My child is just having too much fun and does not want to transition to a big kid’s bike. What can I do?

A. This is more common than you think, as once mastered children can really pick up speed and handle uneven terrain on these bikes. You may want to consider a balance bike system that can transition to being used with pedals when that time comes.

Rounding up.

Balance bikes are an ideal toy for little ones who will ‘tire’ themselves out on this beautiful wooden glider. In a year where keeping active and getting fresh air has never been more important, these 7 balance bikes make a great option for getting active with your child.

Enjoy your balance bike travels!

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