Bikes

Best Balance Bikes for 4 Year Old : Toddler Bikes Reviewed

I didn’t think about getting my eldest son a balance bike until he was 4 and began crazy about bike riding just like his friends. I had no idea about these bikes back then and so I started looking for the best balance bike for a 4 year old. Finally, I got one that grew with him and I later passed on to my second child.

Since then, I know how important it is for your toddler to have a balance bike in order to learn balance and get ready for riding a pedal-bike. But finding the right fit and weight that will help your little one to be comfortable and stride effortlessly is extremely important.

The bike industry is flooded with options at various price ranges that may make you confused about how to find the best fit for your kid. To ease your searching process, here we have come up with the 10 best and safest options that your toddlers will definitely love!

Top Balance Bike for 4 Year Old: Comparison Chart

Pick Name Thumbnail Product Name Price
Editor’s Choice Strider – 12 Sport Balance Bike Strider – 12 Sport Balance Bike Check Price
Best Value for Money Banana LT Balance Bike Banana LT Balance Bike Check Price
For the Tall 4 Year-Kid Bixe 16 Inch Pro Balance Bike Bixe 16 Inch Pro Balance Bike Check Price
Top 2-in-1 Choice Strider – 14x Sport Balance Bike Strider – 14x Sport Balance Bike Check Price
Premium Choice Ridgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12″ Balance Bike Ridgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12″ Balance Bike Check Price
6th Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike Check Price
7th Strider – 12 Classic Balance Bike Strider – 12 Classic Balance Bike Check Price
8th Schwinn Skip Toddler Balance Bike Schwinn Skip Toddler Balance Bike Check Price
9th TheCroco Lightweight Balance Bike TheCroco Lightweight Balance Bike Check Price
10th GOMO Toddler Training Balance Bike GOMO Toddler Training Balance Bike Check Price

Our Best Balance Bike For 4 Year Old – Detailed Reviews

1 Strider – 12 Sport Balance Bike (Editor’s Choice)

Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike

The Strider 12 Sport is the most popular model from Strider. It’s also the most frequently reviewed balance bike on Amazon till date. Satisfied parents also gave it high ratings. This bike is suitable for any kid between 18 months to 5 years of age.

It’s the only steel bike on our list that weighs as light as 6.7 pounds. Your child can effortlessly maneuver the bike and learn the art of balance in a shorter period of time.

This model comes with foam tires. We love these tires because they never go flat. They also have 10 support struts each wheel, so it’s unlikely they will break. Besides, these tires require minimum maintenance.

This bike comes with one regular and one extra-large seatpost. You don’t need to bother about getting a bigger bike with the growth of your little one since the seat can be max 19” long from the ground. The no-tool quick-release feature makes seat adjustment easy.

Moreover, the handlebars are soft and comfortable. You can adjust them too. The non-slip built-in footrests are positioned below the seatpost for natural balance.

One of the unique features of the 12 Sport is that it’s upgradable. You won’t find this feature in most other balance bikes in this price range. You can upgrade the wheels to pneumatic wheels, get XL handlebar, footbrake, snow skis, and even colored grips.

We hardly found any negatives about this awesome balance bike. However, we think it could include a handbrake for better control. Nevertheless, handbrakes are not a huge issue for balance bikes.

Specifications

  • Ages: 18 months – 5 years
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 6.7 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 12-inch
  • Tires Type: Foam tires
  • Handlebar Height: 18-22 in.
  • Seat Height: 11-19 in.
  • Inseam: 12-20 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: 60 pounds
  • Footrests: Built-in

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Puncture-proof foam tires
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Adjustable seat
  • Padded handlebar
  • Seven color options
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No handbrake

Final Verdict

You can’t beat the golden price and performance ratio of the Strider 12 Sport. The lightweight of this makes it pretty manageable for any toddler. Since it’s upgradable, you can add pneumatic tires to use it on any terrain.

All in all, the 12 Sport is a bike that is worth your investment. You can even pass this bike down to your next child and thus, it can serve you for many years.

2 Banana LT Balance Bike (Best Value for Money)

Banana LT Balance Bike

The Banana LT is an excellent budget balance bike. It is one of the most popular bikes in Banana brand’s product line. It doesn’t only come with a stylish design, but also offers lightweight and sturdy construction which supersedes our expectation for this price point.

Your best reason for choosing this bike, apart from the price, should be its lightweight. It comes with a sturdy aluminum frame that makes its weight only 6.39 pounds. Moreover, it offers you three eye-catching candy-color options.

The Banana LT also features EVA foam tires like our previous model. So, you don’t need to inflate the tires before every use, and they  will never go flat. What’s more, these tires are effective at absorbing shocks and offer your child a smooth ride even on a rough surface.

This model is amazingly comfortable for your little one. The saddle is padded and adjustable. However, the adjustment is limited to 12.2-15.7 inches only. We would suggest that you use this bike for kids aged between 2 to 4 years.

Additionally, a full-metal headset is included with this bike to ensure the stability of the handlebars. This is a unique safety feature hardly found in balance bikes of the same category. Besides, the geometry of this bike makes enough space between the seatpost and handlebars.

We found the assembly of this bike as simple as a piece of cake. You only require the hex key and spanner to assemble it. Adjusting the seat is also easy, thanks to the quick-release feature.

Specifications

  • Ages: 2 – 5 years
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 6.39 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 11-inch
  • Wheelbase: 22-inch
  • Tires Type: Foam tires
  • Handlebar: Adjustable
  • Seat Height: 12.2-15.7 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: 55 pounds
  • Footrests: No

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to balance
  • Solid construction
  • All-terrain wheels
  • Adjustable features
  • Easy to assemble
  • Full warranty

Cons

  • Limited seat height

Final Verdict

Overall, the Banana LT is an excellent choice for your toddler that you can get without breaking the bank. The manufacturers have successfully kept the cost affordable while keeping the quality high. The lightweight design of this bike makes it pretty easy for your child to handle. If you’re searching the most affordable options, we’ll highly recommend this one.

3 Bixe 16 Inch Pro Balance Bike (For the Tall 4 Year-Kid)

Bixe 16 Inch Pro Balance Bike

The Bixe 16″ Pro is one of the best-sellers on Amazon. This balance bike is the largest in size and suitable for taller kids aged between 4 to 9 years.

Safety is the topmost priority for Bixe. This model is safe for the little hands. All the clamps are tamper-proof, meaning the less chance of the fingers getting stuck. Besides, the wheels have safety washers that effectively prevent injuries.

Moreover, based on your child’s height and comfort, you can adjust the seat as well as the handlebars.

This bike is a bit heavier with 11 pounds. Given the solid steel frame and larger wheels, the weight is fine. Since it’s designed for taller kids, this weight will be manageable for them. In fact, our 5 year old kid was handling it effortlessly when we were testing the performance of this bike.

Additionally, the frame is sturdy enough to support any rider weighing max 150 pounds. It’s also backed by a 100% buyback guarantee along with a fix or replacement guarantee for defective parts.

This model comes with rubber wheels while most other models at this price range feature plastic wheels. We especially liked these rubber wheels more.

Furthermore, the pneumatic tires provide great traction on all surfaces. We would always recommend pneumatic tires over foam tires if your kid is going to ride on unpaved surfaces too.

This bike is partially assembled. You just need to adjust the handlebars and seat for ensuring max comfort for your kid and inflate the air tires. It’s as simple as it sounds!

Specifications

  • Ages: 4 – 9 years
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 16-inch
  • Tires Type: Pneumatic tires
  • Handlebar: Adjustable
  • Seat Height: 18.25-22.4 in.
  • Inseam: 19-23 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: 150 pounds
  • Footrests: Built-in

Pros

  • Easy to maneuver
  • Tamper-proof clamps
  • Sturdy frame
  • Wheels with safety washers
  • Good traction with pneumatic tires
  • Easy to assemble
  • Affordable

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • No handbrake

Final Verdict

If your child’s age is over 4 years and hasn’t started riding a bike yet, the Bixe 16″ Pro is the best you can get at this price point. From look to performance, it’s an awesome balance bike for your mini-me.

Moreover, it has so many safety features to make your child’s adventurous ride fun, safe and secured. This model can also be a great choice for kids with challenges and special needs.

4 Strider – 14x Sport Balance Bike (Top 2-in-1 Choice)

Strider - 14x Sport Balance Bike

The Strider 14x Sport is the larger and upgraded version of the Strider 12 Sport. It’s a 2-in-1 convertible bike that is suitable for a kid aged between 3 to 7 years, with an inseam of 16 to 23 inches.

This model also comes with a durable steel frame like the Strider 12 Sport, but weighs heavier since the size of this bike is bigger. It weighs around 12.5 pounds before adding the pedals and 15 pounds after adding them. Your child can control this bike easily and confidently.

We just love the comfort this bike offers. You can adjust both the seat and handlebars. With a seat adjustment between 15 to 22 inches from the ground, you can ensure a comfortable riding position for your little one. Besides, they can rest their legs on the built-in footrests whenever they feel tired.

The other feature that was able to impress us was the pneumatic tires. As we mentioned in the previous review, pneumatic tires offer best traction on all surfaces. This feature comes even more handy when your kid starts riding this bike with pedals at a high speed.

This convertible bike comes with a pedal kit that you can install anytime you feel the need for your child to start riding a pedal bike. There is a clear instruction manual to make this installation easy. Assembling other parts is also pretty easy. If you find it difficult, we suggest you watch the assembling videos on YouTube.

Specifications

  • Ages: 3 – 7 years
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 12.5 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 14-inch
  • Tires Type: Pneumatic tires
  • Handlebar: Adjustable
  • Seat Height: 15-22 in.
  • Inseam: 16-23 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: 80 pounds
  • Footrests: Built-in

Pros

  • Convertible to pedal bike
  • Lightweight
  • Large frame size
  • Adjustable seat & handlebars
  • Great safety features
  • Comfortable cushioned seat
  • Comes 85% assembled

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • No handbrake

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a balance bike to teach your children balance as well as pedaling, the Strider 14x Sport is an ideal option for you. It costs a bit more, but it also offers a lot more. You get two functionalities from one bike-that essentially saves your money. Your child can use this same bike as their first pedal bike once they learn how to balance. This offer is too good to pass by.

5 Ridgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12″ Balance Bike (Premium Choice)

Ridgeback UK 2018 US Edition Scoot 12" Balance Bike

The Ridgeback Scoot 12″ is a high-end balance bike. Though the price is on the higher side, the exceptional features it offers make it worth the cost.

This model gives the impression like an actual bike, unlike most other models that look like a toy. It features a durable 6061 aluminum frame like the Banana LT. This material makes this bike durable enough to last for several years that your kid can pass it for their younger siblings to use.

The rear V-brake is another unique feature of this balance bike that makes it feel like a real bike. It allows your little ones to learn and practice to stop. We think it’s the best feature of this bike since this skill is the most crucial for your child when making a transition to a pedal bike. Another excellent feature is the handbrake, which you can find only with expensive models like this one.

The wheels are also standard 12 inch in size. This size makes it easier for toddlers to balance the bike. Besides, the pneumatic tires hold a good grip with the ground.

Like all our models on this list, this premium bike also offers seat and handlebars adjustability to customize the position according to your child’s preference. The seat adjustment ranges from 14 to 20 inches, while the handlebars can be adjusted from 21 to 23 inches.

We loved the design of the handlebar that made steering effortless for our little testers. The cushioned saddle and overall geometry was comfortable enough for them to make us satisfied with this feature-rich model. However, the uncovered bolts made us concerned. The manufacturer should have covered them for additional safety.

Specifications

  • Ages: 3 – 6 years
  • Frame Material: 6061 Aluminum
  • Weight: 10.5 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 12-inch
  • Tires Type: Pneumatic tires
  • Handlebar Height: 21-23 in.
  • Seat Height: 14-20 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: N/A
  • Footrests: Yes
  • Brake: Rear V-brake

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to assemble
  • High-quality tires
  • Features handbrake
  • Wide handlebars
  • Adjustable seat

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Uncovered bolts

Final Verdict

From the frame to all little components, the Ridgeback Scoot 12″ is built to last. It’s a great option for preschoolers. The abundance of features makes this bike exceptional in a lot of ways. The rear V-brake is a show-stopper!

If price is not that much of a concern for you, give this bike a try. We’re sure you won’t regret it and your little one will enjoy every ride with this fun bike.

6 Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike

Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike

This is another budget balance bike that is popular among parents and has got great ratings on Amazon. It’s suitable for kids aging 20 months to 5 years.

The best thing about the Retrospec Cub bike is that it comes with 17 color combinations. You won’t find so many color options with balance bikes in the same category. Your fun-loving little boy or girl will definitely be in love at first sight with this stylish bike with vibrant colors.

The frame comes with high-tensile steel, ensuring outstanding durability. Getting on and off the bike is easy and quick for your little one because of its low-profile.

The most important feature that we love and we’re sure that all parents will love, is the maintenance-free design. The sturdy steel frame can withstand tumbles. Besides, the 12-inch foam tires are puncture-proof. Your little one can ride on various terrains with this awesome bike.

Like most of the other models, this bike also offers adjustment of the seat and handlebars, providing enough comfort for toddlers. Since the weight of this model is on the heavier side, we’ll suggest you choose this bike for kids weighing over 30 pounds-not less than that.

The Cub comes with a large footrest, which can be an issue for some little riders. Our preschooler tester was sometimes feeling uncomfortable to stride as the footrest hit his legs. But at the same time, it offered enough room for him to rest his feet.

Specifications

  • Ages: 20 months – 5 years
  • Frame Material: High-tensile steel
  • Weight: 9.2 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 12-inch
  • Tires Type: Foam tires
  • Handlebar: Adjustable
  • Seat Height: 12.5-16 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: 50 pounds
  • Footrests: Yes

Pros

  • Great safety features
  • Adjustable seat and handlebars
  • No maintenance required
  • Step-through frame
  • Puncture-proof tires
  • Seventeen color choices
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Child’s stride can interfere with the large footrest
  • Comparatively heavy

Final Verdict

The Retrospec Cub features an attractive design with eye-catching colors and air-free tires to minimize injuries. With the banana shaped design, your child can learn balance easily and quickly. You get all such amazing features just under $70! So, if you’re on a budget, try out this versatile option. You’re sure to get a good bang for your dollar.

7 Strider – 12 Classic Balance Bike

Strider - 12 Classic Balance Bike

The next one that earns a spot on our list is the Strider 12 Classic. This Strider model comes with features similar to the 12 Sport. In fact, the latter is an upgraded version of the former. It’s also highly rated and one of the top-selling balance bikes on Amazon.

The lightweight of this bike makes it the perfect choice for a toddler. They can push it with an ease and maneuver it comfortably. The steel frame also makes it long-lasting.

This bike offers you the lowest saddle height, making it perfect for a kid as young as only 18 months. Moreover, you can adjust the seat and handlebars to accommodate children of different heights. As your child grows, just keep adjusting the position of the seat and handlebars.

The 12-inch solid foam tires of this bike are capable of handling both the flats and roughs. Most importantly, they will never go flat or damaged, and you don’t have to worry about maintenance.

The 12 Classic is built maintaining some strict safety standards. We actually loved that our preschooler tester was pretty comfortable all the way when riding on a rough surface. The solid tires, saddle, and padded handlebar were the main reasons he was having a fun riding experience.

However, we found the assembly of this bike a bit difficult compared to other models. It may take some extra time to understand the instruction manual and put it all together.

Specifications

  • Ages: 18 months – 3 years
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 6.7 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 12-inch
  • Tires Type: Foam tires
  • Handlebar Height: 18-22 in.
  • Seat Height: 11-16 in.
  • Inseam: 12-17 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: 60 pounds
  • Footrests: Built-in

Pros

  • Easy to maneuver
  • Lightweight
  • Easy maintenance
  • Adjustable handlebars and seat
  • Solid no-flat tires
  • Robust and sleek design

Cons

  • Difficult assembly

Final Verdict

The Strider 12 Classic is the ultimate trainer for your child to learn how to balance a bike. It’s extremely popular among parents because of its durability, lightweight, and affordable price. Are you confused on a buying decision between the 12 Classic and our top choice 12 Sport? They are pretty much similar in features but the former is a bit cheaper in price. Hence, we recommend you the Classic only if you’re too tight on a budget to choose the Sport.

8 Schwinn Skip Toddler Balance Bike

Schwinn Skip Toddler Balance Bike

The Schwinn Skip 4 is a great choice for a 4-year old to boost his confidence in riding a bike. It comes at a pretty reasonable price without compromising with the quality.

This bike is ergonomically designed to provide optimum comfort for your little one. It has a distinctive feet to ground design. What’s more, it comes with a properly designed footrest that doesn’t interfere with your child’s stride.

The frame is made of steel that makes the bike a bit heavier than most other balance bikes in this category. But it also makes it sturdy to withstand the test of time. The manufacturer recommends it for kids aged between 2 to 4, but we would recommend it for 3 and 4-year old kids only since it can be a bit difficult for a 2 year old to handle this weight.

The distance between the seat and handlebar provide ample space for your kid to move the legs. The seat adjustment is also fair enough, ranging from 14 to 16.5 inches, to accommodate a 3 or 4-year old. You also don’t require any tool to adjust the seat height.

We were most impressed with the 12-inch pneumatic tires of the Skip 4. It performed excellent on unsmooth and rough surfaces. These tires, in fact, provided better traction and grip than the Retrospec Cub.

However, the assembly of this model may take more time than usual, as it was in our case. It took around 30 minutes for us. But on the positive side, it comes with all the necessary tools required to assemble it.

Specifications

  • Ages: 2 – 4 years
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 12-inch
  • Tires Type: Pneumatic tires
  • Handlebar: Adjustable
  • Seat Height: 14-16.5 in.
  • Inseam: 12-16 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: N/A
  • Footrests: Built-in

Pros

  • Durable
  • Tool-free adjustable seat
  • Step-through frame
  • Plastic covers for bolts
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Multiple color options

Cons

  • Relatively heavy
  • Difficult assembly

Final Verdict

If you’re on a budget but want a balance bike that will bring a smile on your 4-year old kid’s face, the Schwinn Skip can be an excellent choice for you. It is worth your every dollar. From the top-notch tires to the durable steel frame- it’s a great deal for the price. Also, the stylish design with vibrant colors makes it an attractive bike for the little ones.

9 TheCroco Lightweight Balance Bike

TheCroco Lightweight Balance Bike

TheCroco is one of the lightest balance bikes that you can find in the market. This one can be a great gift for your child aged between 18 months to 5 years. It’s also highly rated by parents on Amazon.

Only 4.3 pounds weight makes it pretty easy for your toddler to maneuver this bike. Another great point about this bike is that its frame is made of durable aluminum material. What’s more, the frame is rust-resistant and easy to maintain.

Another exceptional quality of this balance bike is its EVA-polymer foam tires. We love that it’s flat-free and there is no need to worry about puncture. Nevertheless, we suggest you don’t let your kid use it outdoors. It’s better to use such bikes only on smooth surfaces.

Another thing that we like about this bike is that its bearings come sealed. Therefore, it gets protection from dusts and dirt, and prevents the possibility of getting scratches on the legs from the bearings.

One great feature of this model that provides great bang for your buck is its adjustability. As your child grows, you can also adjust the seat height and the handlebars. You can adjust the seat between 11.5 to 18.5 inches high. Additionally, the handlebars provide super soft grips and the seats are padded to make your child more comfortable.

Moreover, assembling this balance requires less time and effort. You don’t even need any tool. You get all the necessary components and a comprehensive instruction manual from the manufacturers to complete this task smoothly.

Specifications

  • Ages: 18 months – 5 years
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 12-inch
  • Tires Type: Foam tires
  • Handlebar Height: 20-24.5 in.
  • Seat Height: 11.5-18.5 in.
  • Inseam: 11-17 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: 50 pounds
  • Footrests: Yes

Pros

  • Ultra lightweight
  • Soft hand grips
  • Comfortable seat
  • No-slip footrests
  • Easy to assemble
  • Adjustable seat and handlebars
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Not suitable for outdoor surfaces

Final Verdict

If weight is your biggest concern, don’t look any further than TheCroco balance bike. You can’t find such an ultra-lightweight as well as durable balance bike. Your child can effortlessly control this bike, which will boost their riding confidence.

It’s a bike that your little boy or girl will love and adapt to easily. Not to forget, it’s also a super pocket-friendly choice!

10 GOMO Toddler Training Balance Bike

GOMO Toddler Training Balance Bike

GOMO, which is the short form of “Get Out More Often”, is an excellent balance bike for your child. It’s built to last long and enjoyable to ride.

We are most impressed with the sturdiness of this bike. It comes with a steel frame. It weighs only 8.5 pounds, yet amazingly durable. What’s more, you get this awesome bike in 4 fun colors that any toddler will love.

The GOMO is suitable for all terrains. The sturdiness enables it to go off-roads. The wheels don’t dislodge, thanks to the through-wheel axles.

It features a turn-limiter that ensures your little stuntman’s safety. He can easily learn to balance since the turn-limiter allows him to have a good control. It also helps reduce bumps.

Moreover, the seat is cushioned with extra padding. So, your little one doesn’t experience a jar even when he hits any bump on the road. Besides, the handlebars are also super comfortable for the little hands.

In addition, with the adjustability feature, your growing child can get enough room and flexibility. You can adjust the seat from a minimum 12” to max 17.5”. The handlebar can also be measured up to 14.6”.

Furthermore, it comes with EVA foam tires that won’t go flat. The hard plastic rims are durable. This bike also includes a built-in footrest that your child can use during tricks.

We noted that the wheels were a bit slippery on smooth surfaces. It’s actually not a big issue for a balance bike, but you should be careful.

Specifications

  • Ages: 18 months – 5 years
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds
  • Wheel Size: 12-inch
  • Tires Type: Foam tires
  • Handlebar Height: 14.6 in.
  • Seat Height: 12-17.5 in.
  • Inseam: 13-19 in.
  • Max Rider Weight: 60 pounds
  • Footrests: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable handlebars
  • Sturdy construction
  • Upright geometry
  • Tool-free seat adjustment
  • Four different color options
  • Good warranty period

Cons

  • Slippery wheels

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a quality no pedal bike just under $70, the GOMO is worth checking out. It’s more than a budget balance bike. Apart from the quality components, the paint and smooth finish of this bike gives an impression of a high-end model. With the ergonomic design and features, the GOMO is definitely a great value for money.

Why Balance Bikes for Your Kids

A balance bike is small and easy to use. There are no cranks or pedals. Your child can walk and run with it while seated. They can easily learn to ‘balance’ the bike, which is the main point of riding a bicycle.

On the other hand, training wheels are not that easy to maneuver for a child since they hold the bike vertically all the time. Using a balance bike will gradually build up confidence in your child to balance a real bike.

Tricycles and training wheels don’t teach a kid to balance a bike. If your kid starts with these bikes, transitioning to a pedal bike will be challenging for them in terms of ‘balance’. Moreover, training wheels mostly lean over at one side. So, your child’s riding position will need to be corrected when they will ride a real bike.

A balance bike is quieter, safer, and sleeker. It’s also a more economical option than a training wheel or tricycle. Hence, it’s always a wise decision to opt for a balance bike to prepare your kid to ride a real bike.

Best Balance Bike For 4 Year Old: Buying Guide

1. Frame Material

  • Kids wooden balance bike

Traditional balance bikes come with a wooden frame. It has a distinct charm but it’s heavier than aluminum and steel frames. Wooden bikes also easily get wear and tear when exposed to heat and rain.

  • Aluminum balance bike

Aluminum balance bike is the safest choice for kids due to its lightweight. It’s also durable.

  • Steel/chromyl balance bike

Steel frames are the most durable options. However, they are often more costly. They are also heavier compared to aluminum bikes.

2. Size

Most common balance bikes come with 12″ wheels. For kids aged between 4 to 6, you’ll get a 14″ option too. There are some 16″ and 20″ wheel options available for taller and older kids. You should also measure the inseam which should be of the same length of the minimum seat-height.

3. Weight

A balance bike should weigh less than 30% of the kid’s weight. For a kid under 4, you should choose a bike that weighs under 10 pounds. The lighter the bike, the easier it is to maneuver for your child.

4. Age of your kid

Give or take, your child can use a balance bike at the age of approximately 2. They may start simply by walking around with it and gradually learn to sit on and run it.

5. Geometry

Geometry of the bike directly influences its performance, safety, and comfort. With better geometry, the kid will be able to balance and use the bike easily. You should choose a bike with a long wheelbase. There should be a good distance between the handlebars and seat.

6. Tires

  • Foam tires

Foam tires reduce the weight of a balance bike. Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about flats or punctures with these tires. However, a balance bike with foam tires is not suitable for heavy use.

  • Pneumatic tires

It’s recommended to get a run bike with pneumatic tires for 4 year old kids since they are faster than toddlers. Pneumatic tires offer superior traction and are safer to ride on grass and gravel.

7. Brakes

In most of the cases, kids stop a balance bike with their feet. But you should get a bike that features hand brakes. It will prepare your kid for riding a pedal bike and also prevent injury. The hand brakes should be easy to reach and squeeze for the little hands.

8. Handlebar

The right size and design of handlebar is extremely important. The diameter of the handlebar should be in accordance with the size of your child’s hand so that he can easily maneuver the bike. It’ll also be more comfortable for the child if the grip has a bumper.

9. Fit

The standover height should be low so that you child can touch the ground with their whole feet while seated.

10. Cockpit

Cockpit is the distance between the seat and the handlebar. Choose one with an upright position and ample space, so that the kid can easily lean forward. When the cockpit is too short, the user will find it difficult to maneuver.

11. Turning Limiters

It’s a safety feature. A turning limiter blocks the front wheel and handlebar from making a full-revolution. This way sharp turns are prevented.

12. Footrests

Most balance bikes don’t feature footrests. A poorly designed footrest can interfere when a child strides. However, properly designed footrests are good to have.

13. Standover Height

The lower the frame’s top tube, the better. With such standover height, it becomes easier for the kid to get on or off the bike.

14. Seat Height

Seat height is a major consideration before purchasing a balance bike. It’s better to get a bike that has an adjustable seat. The right height is when your child’s feet can touch the ground comfortably.

15. Budget

You can get a balance bike for your 4 year old child within a price range between $60 – $350.

Care & Maintenance Tips

Balance bikes require regular maintenance just like the adult trikes. Here are some tips for you to keep your child’s balance bike clean and tip-top:

  • Use any silicone based lubricant to lubricate the bike’s moving parts.
  • Check for worn parts or loose screws every often. Repair or replace any part if necessary.
  • Make sure all parts are dust-free and clean.
  • Ensure that your balance bike is not exposed to direct sunlight for a long time. Store the bike in a cool and dry place.
  • Always check if the tire pressure is firm enough. Inflate the tires fully using any regular bike pump.
  • Never use direct water for cleaning a balance bike. Use a clean damp cloth and let the bike dry quickly.
  • If your child’s balance bike has a quick release mechanism, make sure they are tightly secured.

Balance Bike Riding & Safety Tips for Kids

  • Select a safe area where your child will learn to ride a bike. Make sure they are playing nearby. If they are riding outside, choose a surface that is covered with grass.
  • Make sure the size of the bike is appropriate for your child’s height and weight, in order to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Get your child a good quality helmet to ensure his safety. A helmet will protect your child from head injury in case he falls down.
  • Teach your kid to sit in the most comfortable position. Make sure the handlebars are set in a proper position within a comfortable reach of your child’s hand.
  • Don’t let your child wear sandals or open-toe shoes while riding a balance bike. It’s better if they wear sports shoes.
  • When your child is just beginning to ride, don’t hold the bike. Rather hold onto the back of your child’s shirt/jacket.

It’s Time to Wrap Up

What better way to prepare your little kids to learn a real bike than introducing them to a dandy horse! We hope that this review guide was useful for you to find the best balance bike for a 4 year old among our top 10 choices.

If you couldn’t make up your mind yet, you can always trust our Editor’s Choice! It was the most popular choice amongst all our preschooler testers and their parents. In fact, all the balance bikes on our list have made their way here because of their quality, durability, adjustability, and performance.

We also hope you got to know everything you needed to buy the best balance bike for your toddler while keeping your budget in mind. Happy riding to the little ones!

FAQ

1. What ages are balance bikes for?

Ans: Most balance bikes are roughly designed for 18 month to 4 year old kids. There are some kids who are reluctant to let go of their balance bikes and start with a pedal bike. So the market is also launching moderately bigger models for 5 year olds nowadays. You’ll also find some balance bike models that are aimed at children with disabilities.

2. How do balance bikes work?

Ans: The young rider simply moves the bike forward by pushing the ground off with their feet, while seated on the saddle. They gradually learn to glide and balance. As balance bikes don’t have pedals, they use their feet to stop the bike. Some bikes also include handbrakes for easier gliding.

3. How high should the seat be?

Ans: The child should feel comfortable when seated with their feet touching the ground and the knees slightly bent. However, it depends on the riding type. For long rides, the seat should be a bit high. For tricks, you need the saddle in a lower position for comfortable bend of the knee.

4. What is the average age for a child to ride a bike unassisted?

Ans: A child typically learns to ride a bike between 3-8 year of age. The average is- 5. With the increasing popularity of balance bikes, this is becoming even earlier.

5. Can you get a 3 wheel balance bike?

Ans: 3 wheel balance bikes are called tricycles. You can get them readily available both in stores and online.

6. Can you easily get a convertible balance bike?

Ans: Yes. The very popular and reliable brand ‘Strider’ offers a 2-in-1 convertible model. What it means is that you can transform the balance bike into a pedal-bike once the child learns to ride. It’s suitable for kids aged 3-7. It saves your space, time, and money.

About the author

James Jordan

As a kid I inherited the love for mountain bikes from my father who used to ride for weeks through the Colorado trail in the city of Denver. He had his gang, and I followed pretty much the same track.

Later on, my interest in biking grew more after joining the Enduro race back in 2013. My buddies and I also participated in the Downhill racing for the third consecutive year, and it’s been an amazing experience.

Leave a Comment

Gear Bikes Review