We have already seen from all of the models that we have reviewed on this website that there is a huge range of balance bikes that vary in style, tyre size, frame structure and many other variables.
However, probably the most important factor to consider when you are choosing the best balance bike is the saddle height.
If you get this wrong, then your child is going to have problems getting on and off their bike and won’t be comfortable during their ride. This might mean they become reluctant to use the bike and they miss out on the freedom and excitement that a balance bike can bring!
How to choose the correct saddle height
The first thing you will need to do is to accurately obtain the inside leg measurement of the child for whom you are buying the bike. You can do this by standing the child with their feet flat on the floor (with no shoes). Then place an object (such as a book or magazine) between their legs as high as comfortable, and when they step away measure how high this is from the ground.
You will then need to compare this measurement with the minimum saddle height of the balance bikes that you are looking at.
The critical thing to consider is that when you are comparing the inside leg measurement of your child with the balance bike, make sure that the minimum saddle height is around 2.5cm – 3cm less than their inside leg.
This sentence is in bold because it is probably the most important thing we have written this entire website!
If you get this measurement correct, the child will be able to get on to the bike easily and they should be able to get their feet flat on the floor. This will allow them to propel the bike along and use their feet to stop when necessary.
Saddle Height Guide
We have prepared this useful guide below to provide a starting point to finding the bike with the best saddle height for your child.
Average inside leg
Minimum Saddle Height
31cm - 35cm
35cm - 40cm
40cm - 50cm
43cm - 50cm
48cm - 55cm
The table also provides links to our full guides for choosing balance bikes for each age group. Although the saddle height is crucially important, there are plenty of other factors to consider!
It is also worth noting that every child is different, so different bikes will suit different children. However, the relationship between the inside leg measurement and the minimum saddle height should never change!
Almost all balance bikes come with an adjustable seat, and they will advertise the range of heights available.
We have made an effort to highlight the saddle height ranges on our reviews of each model, and the lowest saddle height provides a good indication of the most suitable age range for the bike.
This means that a good quality bike with a large range of heights can grow with your child, and once they have mastered the concept of balance and steering it should see them all the way through to a ‘proper’ pedal bike. The Strider Classic also offers adjustable handlebars and an extendable seat post.
We hope you found this guide to balance bike saddle heights useful and good luck in choosing the best balance bike for your child!