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 at just £35, 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 priced at £66, and if you like Strider bikes you could also consider the Strider Sport for £88.


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.

The Weeride Deluxe balance bike is available for around £100.

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.

Strider Youth 16 Sport Balance Bike

Strider Youth balance bike


  • Leading bike manufacturer for older children
  • Wide handlebars for easy control.
  • Removable footrest for coasting (and tricks!)

£165

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 a low 3 degree sweep handlebar. This is an important feature as it makes the bike more stable and easier to control.

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 either blue or red for around £165.


Go Glider 16" Balance Bike

Go Glider 16 inch balance bike


  • Great alternative to Strider Youth bike
  • Includes footpeg for 'gliding'
  • Hand brake and kickstand included.

£219

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 adjustable saddle.

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.

Introduction

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.

Image

Model

Saddle Height

Features

Price

Classic 10 inch

30cm plus

Low footboard


Recommended 2 - 5yr


Air Tyres


Metal frame


10 inch tyres

Classic 12 inch

30cm plus

Low footboard


Recommended 3 - 5 yr


Air Tyres


Metal frame


12 inch tyres

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 10 inch

29cm - 36cm 

Wooden frame


Recommended 2 - 5 yr


Lightweight


EVA foam tyres


10 inch tyres

Wooden 12 inch

37cm - 43cm

Wooden frame


Recommended 3 - 5 yr


Lightweight


EVA foam tyres


12 inch 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

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 and is available for between £70 and £75.


Bike Star Sport Balance Bike

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.

Priced at between £65 - £70, this is another great option for a high quality, mid-range balance bike.


Bike Star Wooden Balance Bike

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 EVA foam tyres, which are easy to maintain and puncture proof.

This bike is available from £45, depending on the size of bike that you purchase and is a great choice if you prefer a wooden balance bike.


Bike Star Convertible Mini 2 in 1 Bike and Tricycle

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. It is priced at around £55.

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 - £47.99

Boppi Wooden Balance Bike - £35

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 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 £47, 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

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.