You can buy balance bikes for children from any age from 18 months all the way through to the age of 10 or 12, so when you are looking for the best balance bike there is a huge range of models, sizes, colours and designs to choose from.
However, the most popular age for children to start riding balance bikes is between the ages of 2 and 3, so we thought it would be useful to provide a guide to the best balance bike for 2 year olds.
The table below outlines some of the most popular balance bikes for 2 year olds, and we have highlighted the model, the weight, the frame composition and of course – the price!
Banana Balance Bike
31cm - 40cm
Puky LRM Learner Bike
29cm - 40cm
Ridestar Balance Bike
32cm - 40cm
Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike
33cm - 38cm
Boppi Balance bike
35cm - 39cm
Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike
34cm - 38cm
If your child is between the age of 2 and 3 then this is the perfect time to start learning to ride with a balance bike. A normal pedal bike will be too heavy and cumbersome to use at this age – and balance bikes are a lot more fun than traditional tricycles or bikes with stabilisers.
One of the main advantages of balance bikes is that they are very light, which makes them easy to manoeuvre for younger children. This also makes them very safe, and easy to clean and transport.
If your child is just about to turn 2, then a balance bike is the perfect present for their 2nd birthday! A child that gets to grips with balance and steering between the ages of 2 and 3 is likely to be able to progress to a normal pedal bike by the age of 4.
As this is such a great age for learning to ride using a balance bike, then there is a huge choice of bikes available for this age range. We have highlighted some of the most popular in the table above, but some of the main features to look out for are:
Features of Balance Bikes for 2 year olds
All balance bikes will come with an adjustable seat so that they can grow with your child. However, it is important to make sure that you measure the inside leg of your child and buy a bike that has the correct seat height for them. We have some more details in our Balance Bike Seat Guide.
If you are buying a bike for a 2 year old, then you are going to want to purchase a bike with one of the lower saddles, and seat heights tend to start at around 29cm. You need to make sure that the lowest seat height is around 2.5 -3cm lower than the inside leg so that the child can get on and off the bike comfortably.
This is why we recommend the Puky LRM Learner Bike, the Banana balance bike and the Ridestar balance bike for 2 year olds. These bikes all have adjustable saddles with seat heights starting at just 29cm or 32cm, so these are perfect for this age group.
In general, we find that metal balance bikes have more adjustable saddles than wooden balance bikes, so although wooden balance bikes can be painted in lots of fun and exciting colours a metal bike might fit your child better.
Some of the balance bikes for younger children also have a special learner bike saddle.
Step through frames
Some of the most popular balance bikes for 2 year olds have a step through frame with a low platform. This allows the child to build their confidence by resting their feet on the platform as they scoot along.
It also makes it easier for them to get on and off the bike, and an excellent example of this is the Puky LRM Learner Bike.
Another great option is the Banana Bike range, as the signature curved frame on these bikes allow easy access.
As already mentioned, the majority of the best balance bikes for 2 year olds are made from metal. However, if you would prefer a wooden balance bike there are some great choices such as the Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike.
This has a great retro design and is very reasonably priced, and another great alternative is a Tidlo Balance bike which is manufactured by John Crane. These lovely balance bikes are painted in some beautiful colours and wooden balance bikes also have the advantage of being great for the environment.
Check out our Balance Bike Tyres Guide for more details on balance bike tyres, but you will find that the choice comes down to traditional pneumatic (air) tyres or EVA foam tyres. Pneumatic tyres have the advantage of providing more ‘give’ so a more comfortable ride, but foam tyres have the benefit of being puncture proof and they are also perfect for younger children learning to ride on smooth surfaces.
Strider offer foam tyres on the Strider 12 Classic – although they do offer the option of air tyres on some of their models. The Strider 12 classic also has the advantage of weighing just 3kg which means it is probably the lightest bike on the market!
Balance bikes for 2 year old's should also have safety handlebars grips, which are rubber grips with a knobby end to protect little hands and fingers if they run into something – they will also come into play in the event of a fall.
Some balance bikes are equipped with brakes, but we really don't feel this is an important feature for 2 year olds. They have enough to concentrate on with balance and steering, and will be able to slow down and stop with their feet. You might have to be prepared to get through a bit of extra shoe leather while they are learning to ride! Brakes can be useful on balance bikes for older age groups, but this is not nearly as important as choosing a lightweight bike with the correct saddle height.
Best Balance Bike for 2 year olds - Reviews
Banana Balance Bike - LT model
The Banana balance bike LT model is one of our very favourite balance bikes for 2 year olds, and for several reasons.
The first, and most important reason is that the saddle is fully adjustable between 31cm and 40cm. There are no tools required, so it is a simple 2 minute job to raise the saddle when your 2 year old goes on a growth spurt.
This bike is also lightweight and easy to handle, with the signature curved banana frame providing great looks and easy access.
It should also be easy for your child to pick up steering, as the wide handlebars have been designed for riders using a bike for the first time. The handlebars also have the essential rubber grips for protection during a fall.
An excellent balance bike for 2 year olds and great value as well!
Ridestar Balance Bike
The Ridestar balance bike is another great choice for 2 year olds, offering a classic BMX design and all the essential features required to learn to ride.
The saddle height starts at 32cm, so this is ever so slightly higher than the Banana balance bike. However, this bike should still be a good fit for most children of this age.
The lightweight frame should be easy to handle, and the EVA foam tyres remove any worries about punctures.
Another great value bike for 2 year olds.
Puky LRM Balance Bike
The Puky LRM balance bike is more expensive than most of the other bikes in our selection. However, we have included it as part of our recommendations as it offers a very low saddle height of just 29cm and a step through frame.
These features make the bike ideal for 2 year olds, and the low platform will allow the children to rest their feet as they scoot along. This is very handy when they get up speed having got used to the bike!
Puky is a brand that produces high quality bikes, so this really is a great choice for a starter bike for young children.
Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike
Another popular balance bike for 2 year olds is the Chicco Red Bullet balance bike.
This is smaller than some of the other bikes we have featured, which makes it very lightweight and the frame weighs just 2.7kg.
Although this is great for young children, some riders have found that the shorter wheel base on this bike can make it a little bit more difficult to handle.
The saddle height is from 33cm, so although this is slightly higher than our other recommendations, it should still be a good fit for most children this age.
A great option and one of the least expensive balance bikes available for 2 year olds as it is generally available for under £30.
Boppi BMX Balance Bike
The Boppi BMX metal balance bike is another great option for 2 year olds.
The saddle height starts at just 30cm, so this makes the bike ideal for this age group and it can easily be adjusted as your child grows.
This bike also offers a lightweight frame, puncture proof tyres and safety handlebars.
Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike
The Jiggy Wooden balance bike is the only bike on our list with a wooden frame.
This is not because we dislike wooden balance bikes, we think that they are great fun with brightly coloured frames.
However, most wooden balance bikes don’t have the same seat height range as metal bikes, and the Jiggy Wooden balance bike offers three choices between 34cm and 38cm.
This means it should be suitable for some 2 year olds, but do make sure you measure your child’s inseam before purchasing the bike. Check out our balance bike saddle height guide for full details.
This bike has a retro style with a fantastic design, and is our recommended option if you would prefer a wooden balance bike for your child.
There is so much choice for children age between 2 and 3 that there are plenty of excellent bikes even if they are not mentioned in the table above.
Your child is likely to be extremely excited at the prospect of riding a ‘real’ bike, and their first balance bike is likely to provide hours of fun and set them well on the way to riding a proper pedal bike.