Steel balance bikes

Although there are some excellent wooden balance bikes available from manufacturers such as Kiddimoto, Boppi and Prince Lionheart – the majority of balance bikes on the market today are made from metal, and a large number of those are made from lightweight steel.

Advantages of Steel Balance Bikes

The technology used to create balance bikes is very advanced, so this means that steel balance bikes can be tough, lightweight and can take most of the knocks that a 2, 3 or 4 year old can throw at them!

Steel balance bikes are welded together to form the main frame of the bike, and this is then enhanced with extra features with saddles, handlebars and the various types of tyres that are available.

Steel balance bikes are much closer in appearance to a real bike than wooden balance bikes, and they can also be painted in many different colours, so there is a huge range available from bright pink to oasis blue and stylish red or green.

Another benefit of steel balance bikes is that they are usually more adjustable than wooden balance bikes. This means that a good steel balance bike should be able to last your child from learning to ride until when they are ready to graduate to a pedal bike.

Steel balance bikes are also usually able to accommodate heavier riders than aluminium bikes, so once again if you choose a bike with a large range of saddle heights it should take them from learning to ride at 2 or 3 through to a much larger bike.

Disadvantages of Steel Balance Bikes

Steel balance bikes do have some disadvantages. They are not as environmentally friendly as wooden balance bikes which are usually made from materials such as recycled birch plywood.

Additionally, if you get a chip in your bike it could turn to rust over time. However, they should not rust over the course of their lifetime, unless they are left out in the rain – which we would not recommend!

Finally, although steel balance bikes closely resemble ‘real bikes’ in appearance, they cannot be painted in quite such a large range of funky patterns and styles like the Kiddimoto range of bikes. This is not really a disadvantage, just one of the differences between the types of bikes.

Product reviews

There is a huge range of steel balance bikes available so it is impossible to review them all here. However, we have selected 3 bikes at different budgets to give you an idea of the range of bikes available.

Boppi Metal Balance Bike

Metal Boppi balance bike

The Boppi metal balance bike offers great value, and it includes a strong and light tubular frame with an adjustable padded seat and padded handlebars.

The frame weighs just 3kg, so this is an ideal bike for 2 or 3 year olds and the saddle height starts at 30cm. It can be extended up to 40cm so this means the bike should have a good lifespan.

This bike features all of the advantages of a steel balance bike and will be more than enough to teach your child the basics of balance and steering

Strider Classic Balance Bike

Strider 12 Classic Balance Bike

The Strider Classic balance bike is one of our very favourite balance bikes and an excellent choice for most age groups.

It has a huge range of features with an adjustable saddle from just 29cm and a lightweight metal frame which also weighs 3kg.

This bike also includes a frame integrated footrest, so this provides the child with a place to rest their feet when gliding or even performing tricks. EVA foam tyres are also included.

The Strider Classic balance bike is an excellent choice for a steel balance bike, and Strider also provide a Sport model which is slightly more expensive but includes extra features.

Weeride Deluxe Balance Bike

Weeride Deluxe Balance Bike

This high quality balance bike is suitable for older children that are not yet ready to ride a pedal bike, as it has a 14 inch frame and a much higher saddle height starting at 45cm.

It has a beautiful Weeride paint finish, a stylish two-tone seat and proper air tyres which provide more ‘give’ and therefore a more comfortable ride.

The bike also features a hand brake, which is a useful accessory for older children as well as non-slip hand grips.

These are just a selection of the many steel balance bikes available, with other excellent options also available from Puky, Bike Star and Specialized to name just a few.

You should also make sure that your bike has the correct fit for your child, and don’t forget about other essential accessories such as selection a balance bike helmet.

Best balance bike for 6 year olds

If your child has been using balance bikes since they were 2 or 3, then by the time they approach the age of 6 they should have well and truly mastered the arts of balance and steering and be ready to move on to larger bikes.

However, some children do not discover balance bikes or take to cycling until an older age . This could be due to lack of space if you live in a big city, a preference for other activities or that you just don't have enough time to learn to ride with a busy schedule.

Other children love balance bikes so much that they want to continue to become expert riders. Balance bikes are much lighter than normal pedal bikes which have a heavy chain and pedals, so they allow children to perform some tricks and stunts that just aren’t possible on normal bikes!

The range of bikes in this category is much smaller than the number of bikes that are available for children aged 18 month – 5 years.

But although there is much less choice, there are still some quality options when looking for the best balance bike for 6 year olds, and although older children may not take to riding quite as easily as younger children they still have the choice of several very good models.

Ridgeback Scoot XL Balance Bike 14"

  • Lightweight alloy frame
  • Saddle Height 40cm - 54cm
  • High quality spec

Although the other bikes we have recommended for 6 year olds have 16 inch wheels, we have included the Ridgeback Scoot XL in our selection as it would fit well with some 6 year olds and it is a high quality bike.

It has a long wheelbase for stability, as well as wide handlebars and air tyres for a comfortable ride. Ridgeback are well known for the quality of their bikes so you know you will be getting a very good bike here.

The bike also includes a very comfortable leather saddle as well as a hand brake.

LLF 16" Balance Bike

  • Suitbable for children 80cm - 120cm
  • Non slip handle and soft seat
  • Polymer tyres so no stopping for flats
  • Sturdy enough for children up to 30kg

This carbon steel balance bike is suitable for children between 80cm and 120cm, so it should cater for most 5 and 6 year olds that are just learning to ride a bike.

It is designed without any sharp points, with a non-slip handle and a soft seat to absorb all bumps in the road.

It also features polymer tyres, so there will be no problem with flats. It also has a really cool and stylish design so it is perfect for the playground or the park.

This bike is sturdy enough for children up to 30kg, so it is ideal for slightly older children looking to get on with riding a bike.

YUMEIGE 16" Balance Bike

  • Strong, high-carbon steel frame
  • Wide Dayan handlebars
  • Ergonomically designed seat cushion
  • Seat height 59cm - 76cm

This bike makes an excellent alternative to the Strider Youth bike, and is ideal for older children learning to ride.

It has a strong, high-carbon steel frame and wide Dayan handlebars which increase stability and make the bike easier to ride. The bike also features super wide anti-wear tyres, which have excellent elasticity and give a smoother ride.

Another feature of this bike is the ergonomically designed seat cushion, which is soft-filled, hollow and breathable for comfort. The saddle height on this bike is from 59cm – 76cm so it is also great for children in the 6 – 12 age group.

The market for balance bikes for older children is growing, so there are sure to be some more models available for this age group soon. We will keep you updated as soon as they become available!

Bike Star Balance Bike

Bike Star is a specialist German child bike's company that produces a wide range of children’s vehicles including scooters and skateboards. Bike Star balance bikes are suitable for children from as young as 18 months all the way through to 5 year olds.


Bike Star are well known for ergonomically friendly bikes for young children as well as sporty styles for those that are accomplished riders.

This guide will review the Bike Star range in some detail, so to get started on this leading brand we have produced this easy to use table which show each model, the suitable age, the size of the bike and distinguishing features.



Saddle Height


Classic 10 inch

30cm plus

Step through frame

10 inch tyres

Air tyres

Includes hand brake

Classic 12 inch

30cm plus

Step through frame

12 inch tyres

AIr tyres

Includes hand brake

Sport 10 inch

30cm plus

Sporty design

Recommended 2 - 5 yr

Metal frame

Air Tyres

10 inch tyres

Sport 12 inch

30cm plus

Sporty design

Recommended 3 - 5yr

Metal frame

Air tyres

12 inch tyres

Wooden 12 inch

37cm - 43cm

Beech Wooden frame

Recommended 3 - 5 yr


12 inch air filled tyres

Convertible Mini Bike and Tricycle

26cm - 28cm

Unique 2 in 1 design

Recommended 18 month - 3 years

Wooden frame

One of the smallest balance bikes available

Bike Star Balance Bike Reviews

Bike Star Classic Balance Bike

  • Saddle height from 30cm
  • Step through frame
  • Air tyres
  • Includes hand brake and ergonomic saddle

The signature model of the Bike Star range is the Bike Star Classic Balance bike. This is a high quality metal balance bike, and of the key features is the low platform or footboard which makes it ideal for balance bike beginners.

The footboard allows the child to rest their feet as they scoot along, so they easily put their feet on the floor as they ride until they learn how to balance. This is very similar feature to the PUKY LRM Learner bike.

This bike scores well on appearance, with a high quality metallic paint finish and it is available in either Blue, Green, Heartbeat Red or Pink and White. It is well made with strong welds so will be able to withstand being ridden, manhandled and dumped on the floor by a small child.

One of the most important aspects of choosing the best balance bike for your child is the saddle height, and the saddle on this bike starts at just 30cm which makes it ideal for children aged 2 or above.

This height compares well with other recommended balance bikes for 2 year olds, and it can easily be adjusted as your child grows so this should see them all the way through to a pedal bike!

The Bike Star Classic Balance Bike also comes equipped with a child friendly handbrake and a stand, extra features which really add value to the bike.

This bike is available with either 10 inch or 12 inch tyres, and speaking of the tyres these are pneumatic air tyres which provide a smooth ride on all surfaces.

The 12 inch model is larger and slightly heavier so this would be a better choice for an older child of 3 or above.

The Bike Star Classic Balance Bike is a great, mid-range balance bike.

Bike Star Sport Balance Bike

  • Sporty design
  • 10 or 12 inch tyres
  • Saddle height from 30cm

The Bike Star Sport Balance Bike offers something completely different to the Classic bike, with a sporty style and exciting designs on the frame and wheel forks.

The low footboard has also been removed, giving the child more room to move their legs during the ride and giving the bike a sportier appearance.

Features include air tyres, alloy wheels, an adjustable handlebar and an adjustable saddle height that starts at just 30cm and can be raised as your child grows.

The Bike Star Sport Balance bike is available in several striking designs including Brilliant Green, Flamingo Pink and Berry & Turquoise.

Similarly to the Classic model, the Sport is available with either 10 inch or 12 inch tyres, with the larger bike being more suitable for children aged 3 or above.

This is another great option for a high quality, mid-range balance bike.

Bike Star Wooden Balance Bike

  • Beech wooden frame
  • Lightweight
  • Fun design
  • Saddle height 37cm - 43cm

Bike Star now also offer a wooden balance bike as part of their range, so if you prefer the benefits of a wooden bike this may be the bike for you.

The frame is made from environmentally friendly beech wood, which makes it much lighter than the metal Classic and Sport models and therefore easier for a young child to handle.

The bike has designed with a great eye for detail, and is available in a number of different painted colours and designs that will appeal to young children.

Features include an extra-large handle which makes the bike easy to transport, as well as rubber handlebar grips for protection from falls.

As with most other wooden balance bikes, the saddle is not as adjustable as on the wooden bikes with a limited number of settings. We would recommend the 10 inch version of this bike for 2 year olds and the 12 inch version for 3 years and above.

The final feature of the Bike Star Wooden Balance Bike is the air filled tyres, which provide a comfortable ride and good suspension. 

This bike is a great choice if you prefer a wooden balance bike.

Bike Star Convertible Mini 2 in 1 Bike and Tricycle

  • Suitable from 18 months plus
  • Convers from a trike to a bike as they get older
  • Lightweight and quality wooden frame
  • Saddle height from 26cm

The final balance bike in the Bike Star range is the extremely clever convertible mini 2 in 1 Bike and Tricycle.

This bike is suitable for children as young as 18 months, as they can start off riding the tricycle with 3 wheels which can then convert to a small balance bike as they gain more confidence!

It is made from a lightweight and high quality wooden frame, painted in bright colours which will appeal to very young children.

This really is one of the smallest balance bikes available, with a seat height starting at just 26cm (there is another option of 28cm). If your child is already 2 or about to turn 2 then we would recommend the 10 inch Bike Star Classic or Sport or one of our other recommended balance bikes for 2 year olds.

This bike is available as a ‘Little Sheriff’ or ‘Little Princess’ and is one of the best balance bike models available for 18 month olds. 

John Crane Balance Bike

John Crane Tidlo First Balance Bike

Currently Unavailable

The John Crane Tidlo Balance Bike is currently unavailable. 

Check out these reviews of alternative balance bikes and relevant age groups for our recommendations.

Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike 

Boppi Wooden Balance Bike 

Best Balance Bike for 2 year old guide

Best Balance Bike for 3 year old guide

Here is our review of the John Crane Tidlo Balance Bike for when it is available again:

John Crane is a British company that specialises in wooden toys of all shapes and sizes. They offer a small range of quality balance bikes through their own label brand, Tidlo, and all bikes are suitable for children of 3 years and above.

All John Crane balance bikes are made from replenishable rubberwood, so they are environmentally friendly as the trees have reached the end of their natural life.

Their signature bike is the Tidlo First Balance Bike, and this makes an ideal first balance bike with a study wooden structure which will help the child to get to grips with the concept of balance and steering

Tidlo bikes are brightly painted in red, pink or blue and features include a padded seat, easy grip handlebars, pneumatic tyres and a bell so that they can let you know they are coming!

As with most wooden balance bikes, there is not a huge range of seat positions available but the seat height of the Tidlo First Wooden Balance bike can be adjusted to 3 different heights from the lowest height of 34cm up to 38cm. This would probably make the bike slightly too big for an average 2 year old, so we would recommend this bike to children aged 3 and above.

The Tidlo First Balance Bike weighs in at 4.7kg and is an excellent choice if you are looking for a great value balance bike and you would prefer a wooden bike. Other wooden balance bikes worth considering in this price range would be the Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike, the Boppi Wooden Balance bike or the Prince Lionheart Balance Bike which is usually slightly more expensive.

Also available from John Crane is the ‘Branching Out First Bike’, which is also made from environmentally friendly wood and has many of the same features as the Tidlo bike

Tidlo Scooter Balance bike

An alternative to the traditional balance bike is the funky Tidlo Scooter Balance Bike, that is available in bright red or lemon colours.

Shaped in the style of a retro Italian scooter, this bike is suitable for children aged 3 years and above with the regular features of an adjustable seat, pneumatic tyres and easy grip handlebar.

The scooter is a stylish way to scoot around the playground or local park.

John Crane balance bikes are definitely worth considering when you are looking for the best balance bike. The paintwork may chip off as the bikes can take a bit of a battering from smaller children, but these are quality bikes with an excellent range of features and a funky design.