Steel balance bikes

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

What are the benefits of a steel balance bike?

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 tyre that are available.

Steel bikes 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.

Many of the leading manufacturers produce excellent steel balance bikes. There are a large number of models on the market, and excellent models for younger riders are the Bike Star Classic or the Puky LRM Learner bike.

Bike Star Learner Balance Bike Classic
Bike Star Learner Balance Bike Classic

These models both have a low footboard or platform which allows the rider to rest their feet as they scoot along, so they can easily reach the floor if they feel they are going to be overbalancing.

The Bike Star Classic Balance Bike is available for around £54.99

The Weeride First Balance bike is also an excellent steel balance bike for younger children, with a step through frame and a range of features including an adjustable saddle and a carry handle.

 

 

 

There are also some very good steel balance bikes available for slightly older children, including the ST4 Strider balance bike which is suitable for riders from age 18 months to 5 years.

ST4 Strider Balance Bike
ST4 Strider Balance Bike

The ST4 is a quality balance bike with a range of superb features and is available from £77

Strider are also one of the market leaders for balance bikes for children aged 6 years and above, with the superb Super Strider 16” balance bike which allows expert riders to show off their array of stunts.

 

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. They do have some disadvantages – they are not as environmentally friendly as wooden bikes, and a chip in your bike could turn to rust. However, they should not rust over the course of their lifetime, unless they are left out in the rain – which we would not recommend!

 

How to ride a balance bike

Many children now learn to ride on a balance bike, which teaches them the principles of balance and steering before they graduate to a pedal bike. There are a huge number of bikes of many different styles, models and colours that are designed for children as young as 18 months – but how do you actually get your child going on their balance bike?

You may well have spent hours researching the best balance bike, decided on a wooden, steel or aluminium bike and then selected your favourite model and colour. But what do you do if your child takes little or no interest in actually learning to use the bike?

This can be quite a common problem as many bikes are designed for very young children – and as any parent will testify it can be more than difficult getting children of 2 or 3 years of age to go along with your wishes!

How to ride a balance bike

Learning to ride a balance bike is a gradual process, much like learning to ride a proper bike. Some children will take to it straight away, and will be enjoying their new found freedom within an hour or so of mounting the saddle for the first time. Others may be a bit more reluctant to join the world of two wheels, so you may need to employ some gentle encouragement and use some of the tips below to get them going.

The saddle needs to be a comfortable fit for the child, with their feet flat on the floor so that they can sit in comfort with their knees slightly bent. Use a flat area for their first attempt – the local park or playground is perfect – but make sure they have some protection for arms, knees and heads in case they take a tumble!

Once they are comfortable  on the bike, they just need to start moving the bike along with their feet while staying in the saddle. Make sure they get plenty of practise and they will soon gain in confidence enough to lift their feet.

The magical moment of balancing comes when the child lifts their feet off the floor. They don’t need to concentrate on pedalling or braking, and although they are bound to be shaky at first they can easily put their feet on the ground so the risk of falling off is much lower than a normal pedal bike.

If your child is quite reluctant to use their bike, then a good idea is to go for walks with them and to take the balance bike with you, with the child riding or just pushing the bike. You may have to carry the bike along with you, but if you persevere and offer encouragement, then hopefully they will soon realise that they can ride the bike and scoot along as fast (or faster!) than you can walk.

Try to make the walk part of your daily routine – take the bike to the shops or to the park with you (as long as it is safe of course), and maybe go to an area where you have seen other children riding balance bikes (or normal bikes!)

Let your child take their time, make sure they have all ofthe right equipment (helmets etc), have plenty of patience and your child will soon be whizzing off into the distance!

Best balance bike for 6 year olds

If your child has been using balance bikes since 18 months or 2 years, 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 age 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 old, 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.

Strider Youth 16 Sport Balance bike

Strider Youth balance bike

Strider lead the way in balance bikes for older children, and the Strider Cup is a specialist event for expert balance bike riders where children can show off their tricks and stunts.

 

The Strider Youth 16” Sport balance bike is their signature larger model, with a stylish design and sporty features such as a low 3 degree sweep handlebar.

This bike also features a removable launch pad footrest that allows the rider to tuck their feet in as they coast or perform tricks.

This is an excellent choice for an older child learning to ride for the first time, or for those dealing with special needs.

It is safety tested for riders all the way up to 85kg, and the seat height ranges from 49.5cm through to 64.8cm. This means it is perfect for children in the 6-12 age group for either advanced riding or for those who are not yet ready for a pedal bike for whatever reason. It is available in several colours including purple, green, blue or red.

The Strider Youth 16” Sport balance bike is generally available for £165.

 

Go Glider 16″Balance bike

Go Glider 16 inch balance bike
Go Glider 16 inch balance bike

The Go Glider 16″Balance bike is ideal for older children learning to ride, as it has a stylish and sporty design with a metal frame and some excellent features.

The bike is equipped with footpegs where children can rest their feet while they are ‘gliding’, and it also offers a hand brake and a kickstand. The bike has maintenance free EVA tyres, as well as an ajustable saddle.

This bike is available in red, blue or pink from around £129.

 

Kiddimoto Kurve Middi Balance Bikes

Kiddimoto Kurve Middi Pastel Dotty
Kiddimoto Kurve Middi Pastel Dotty

If you would prefer a wooden balance bike then take a look at the Kiddimoto Kurve range of bikes. Kiddimoto offer stylish and uniquely designed balance bikes, with designs ranging from Police and Fire to the Italian Job.

They offer two of their most popular designs in the Kiddimoto Kurve Middi range which are the Union Jack and Pastel Dotty, and these bikes are also suitable for 6-11 year old children with an adjustable saddle height starting at 50cm.

Kiddimoto Balance Bikes are manufactured from recyclable birch plywood and are recognised as one of the leading brands in helping to develop learning.

 

Their bikes are suitable for use by children who have problems with balance or co-ordination as well as by children who may have disabilities that affect their ability to ride a bike.

You probably won’t do as many tricks on a Union Jack or Pastel Dotty Kiddimoto Kurve, but they are a great way to learn and are available from £100 – £135.

We hope you find this short guide useful when you are looking for the best balance bike for 6 year old, and if you go ahead and purchase any of these bikes then your children will have fun on their balance bikes for years to come!

Bike Star Balance Bike

Bike Star is a specialist German child’s bike company that produces a quality range of balance bikes made from tough and lightweight steel.

Bike Star Learner Balance Bike – Classic

 

Bike Star Learner Balance Bike Classic
Bike Star Learner Balance Bike Classic

Buy now  £55

 

The first style in the Bike Star Balance Bike range is the Classic, which has a low platform or footboard so it is ideal for balance bike beginners. The footboard allows the child to rest their feet as they scoot along, so they can 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.

The Classic is available in 2 different sizes, with the smallest model equipped with 10 inch wheels and is suitable for children with a height from 88cm and aged 2 and above.

Bike Star balance bike seat height

The ergonomically designed saddle is height adjustable on both models, ranging from 30cm – 37cm on the 10 inch and then rising to 35cm – 42cm on the 12 inch model , which is recommended for children over 93cm. This model is slightly heavier at 5kg, against 4.8kg for the 10 inch.

Both models share many of the same features that you would expect on a premium balance bike with a height adjustable handlebar equipped with child friendly brake handgrips.

Bike Star Balance Bikes also look great with high quality, lightweight alloy rims, a kick stand and a range of colours in a metallic paint finish.

Prices on the Bike Star Learner Balance Bike Classic start from £54.99

Bike Star Learner Balance Bike – Sport

 

Bike Star Learner Balance Bike Sport
Bike Star Learner Balance Bike Sport

 

Buy now  £49.99

 

This model has many of the same features as the Bike Star Classic, but with the main difference being that the steel framework has a sportier design without the low footboard, giving the child more room to move their legs during their ride.

 

This may make this bike more suitable for slightly older children that have more confidence with their balance, although the 10 inch model is still designed for younger children from 2 years onwards.

Prices on the sport model are slightly cheaper than the classic model and begin at £49.99

With quality bikes at reasonable prices, Bike Star is a great option when you are looking for the best balance bike.

John Crane Balance Bike

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.

Tidlo First Balance Bike

John Crane Tidlo First Balance Bike
John Crane Tidlo First Balance Bike

Buy now £35 – £45

 

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 (which may appeal to boys), 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 available for around £40, so this makes the bike 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  priced at £35, the Boppi Wooden Balance bike from £32 or the Prince Lionheart Balance Bike which is slightly more expensive at around £50.

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

Tidlo Scooter Balance 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, and available from £45 – £65.

 

 

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.