Balance Bike Tyre Guide
Another important feature to consider when you are looking for the best balance bike is the type of tyre that you would prefer. There are several types of tyres available on balance bikes, so we thought it would be useful to prepare a the ultimate balance bike tyres guide!
Pneumatic (Air) Balance Bike Tyres
The most popular type of tyre is the standard air, or pneumatic tyre, which is used by several of the leading balance bike manufacturers such as Puky. The main advantage of the pneumatic tyres is that the flexing of the tyre generally provides more traction, cushioning and a much more comfortable ride, just as it does on bikes for older children or adults.
The pneumatic tyres also make balance bikes appear more like standard bikes, and they come with a number of different tread patterns. They will also last longer than plastic or foam tyres.
There are a few ‘cons’ or disadvantages to pneumatic or air tyres, and the main con is that they can be prone to flat tyres, just like standard bikes. You can reduce the risk of this by adding some tyre sealant, but it can be a hassle if your child runs over a sharp object and you need to organise a replacement tube.
Pneumatic tyres can also make balance bikes heavier than those with foam or plastic tyres, so balance bikes with pneumatic tyres are generally recommended for children aged 3 or older . You may want to start off with a smaller bike with foam tyres and progress to air tyres.
EVA Foam Balance Bike Tyres
Another popular balance bike tyre type is EVA Foam tyres, where the inside of the tyre is filled with a hard, rubber foam. These tyres are preferred by manufacturers such as Strider, who use foam tyres as standard on most of their bikes. EVA foam tyres are lighter than pneumatic tyres, and the main advantage is that the solid foam means there is no risk of punctures and the tyres maintain their shape.
In contrast to the pneumatic tyres, the EVA Foam tyres do not provide much ‘give’ and flexibility, so this can result in a bumpier ride and the rider has to absorb much more of the impact when riding on bumpy surfaces or going up and down kerbs etc.
EVA Foam tyres are perfect for younger children learning to ride on smooth, paved surfaces and they also require less maintenance. Simply wipe the mud and grass off the tyre and you are ready to go. Strider offer EVA Foam tyres as standard on their bikes, but they do offer an air tyre as an optional extra on some models.
‘Fat Boy’ Balance bike tyres.
Fat Boy’ tyres are preferred by some manufacturers such as Early Rider, who feature them on several of their models. These tyres are larger than the standard pneumatic air tyres, and as the name suggests are fatter and wider.
The larger tyre means the extra air provides more flexibility and cushioning, enhancing the comfort of the ride while providing all of the traction benefits of the pneumatic tyres. These tyres are generally found on more expensive and top end models.
These are the main types of balance bike tyres on the market used by most of the bikes that we have featured on this website. A few manufacturers have started to use rubber honeycomb tyres, which combine the best of both air and foam tyres as they provide the comfort and flexibility of air tyres but are puncture proof. These tyres may become more common in the future. Hard plastic tyres are also sometimes used, but these are only really useful for indoor bikes and toys.
We hope you found our Ultimate Guide to Balance Bike Tyres useful, and good luck in finding the best balance bike for your child.