Balance bike reviews

Balance bike reviews

Buying a balance bike is an important decision and a milestone in your child’s development, so it is important to read some balance bike reviews before you purchase your bike. Balance bikes are clean, lightweight and help your child learn to ride and balance before they progress to larger and heavier pedal bikes.

Stompee Balance Bike
Balance bike

Here at bestbalancebike.co.uk, we have created the ultimate balance bike guide which will provide you with an at a glance guide to the best balance bikes on the market. The guide includes information relating to the brand, the model, the suitable age range, the saddle height of the bike, the composition of the frame and the total weight – which are all important factors when you are choosing the best balance bike. Price is also an important consideration as well!

We have also provided information on all of the bikes from many of the leading brands in the balance bike market, featuring many of the most popular brands including Puky, Strider, Early Rider, Stompee and many more.

However, balance bike reviews include much more detail than simply information on each brand and model. Every bike comes equipped with a range of features, from basics such as frame composition (wooden or metal), the type of tyre and height of the saddle – to additional extras such as brakes, turning limiters and footrests. A general rule of thumb is that the more expensive the bike, the more features it will have.

You also need to consider how old your child is and which size bike will suit them. The core balance bike market is for children aged from 2 to 4 years, and although most children will have moved on from balance bikes by the time they are 6 – there are some models that cater for children as old as 10 or 12. There are also some bikes for very young children from 18 months!

Balance bikes come in all sorts of colours and designs. Wooden balance bikes are great for the environment and are traditional in design, or you might prefer a sportier metal bike. There are also scooters and trikes available!

We hope that the balance bike reviews we have provided prove useful for choosing the best balance bike. Your child will benefit greatly from learning to ride on a balance bike and they will have hours, months and years of fun!

Go Glider Balance Bike

Go Glider Balance Bike

Go Glider Balance BikeBalance bikes are not just for younger children, and we have already examined the best balance bikes for 6 year olds in a previous post. Although most children of this age are ready for a pedal bike, some children like to continue with balance bikes while others are later learners.

One of the best balance bikes for older children is the Go Glider balance bike, which is suitable for children from 5 to 10 years old and is available for £129.  The bike is manufactured by the Glide Bike Company, and is equipped with 16 inch wheels, which makes it a comfortable ride for older children.

The Go Glider Balance bike looks great and closely resembles a quality pedal bike, and the low centre of gravity on the bike means that children should soon be able to take their feet off the floor to begin ‘gliding’.

The Go Glider Balance bike does require some assembling, although this should not take more than about 30 minutes before  you are ready for a ride. Features include a kickstand, a rear drum brake and a footrest – which can be great for the rider to stand on and perform tricks. The tyres are maintenance free EVA foam tyres.

This bike is available in several colours including blue, red, pink, green and orange.Although  this bike is generally more expensive than most balance bikes designed for younger children, riders of the Go Glider Balance Bike should not outgrow their bike as quickly, especially with the adjustable handlebars and padded seat.

Many children like to continue riding balance bikes well beyond when they can ride a pedal bike – just because balance bikes are so much fun and easy to handle! The Go Glider Balance bike definitely fits into this category, and riders should be able to build up plenty of speed and a great repertoire of tricks once they have mastered the initial skills of balancing and steering.

Balance bike brakes

Brake or no brake? That is often one of the questions when you are trying to decide upon  the best balance bike for you and your child!

The purpose of balance bikes is to help children learn to ride, balance and steer before they graduate to larger, heavier pedal bikes. Balance bikes are lightweight, easy to transport and maintain so they are the perfect introduction to cycling.

The natural way for children to stop themselves on a balance bike is to put their feet on the floor, and this will also happen if they find they are losing their balance to stop them from falling.

This means that there often is not the need for a brake on balance bikes, especially bikes for younger children aged from 18 months – 3 years. Children of this age also lack the ability and don’t have big enough hands to use a brake, so many of the smaller models will come without one as it is not necessary.

As your child becomes a more confident rider, then it is worth considering buying a balance bike with a brake or fitting a brake to their existing bike. A confident rider can gain a decent amount of speed, especially if they are going downhill so it would be useful to have a brake in these situations where it is not practical to use their feet to stop.

Another argument for buying a balance bike with a brake is that this will help children with the transition from a balance bike to a normal pedal bike, that will be fitted with a brake. It can be difficult for children to change their habits if they are used to stopping themselves with their feet, and it can be dangerous to be dragging your feet along when riding a pedal bike.

Puky Balance Bike LRM
Puky Balance Bike LRM (no brake)

A good example of brakes on balance bikes is to look at the Puky range of bikes. Puky offer several models of balance bikes in their range, and the smallest two models are the Puky LRM Learner bike and the LR1L Learner bike. The Puky LRM model is aimed at the youngest children aged 2 and upwards, and does not come with any sort of brake as it would not be used.

The LR1L bike has the option of a rear drum brake, and the largest model in their range is the Puky LR XL Learner bike, aimed at older children and comes equipped with a rear V-brake.

Deciding on a balance bike with or without a brake is another factor when you are looking for your preferred balance bike – however it is probably far more important to find a bike that is the right size, style and colour for your child and most importantly helps them to get on their bike!

Stompee Balance Bike

Stompee Balance Bike

Stompee Balance Bike
Stompee Balance Bike

CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

For alternatives of this style and price range please read our reviews on the below bikes:

Bike Star Balance Bike – £49.99

Strider Classic Balance bike – £66

Chillafish BMX’ie Balance bike – £60

Boppi metal Balance bike – £28.99

 

You can also read our guides to best balance bikes for 2 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds or the best budget balance bikes.

Here is the Stompee Balance bike review for when it is back in stock!

  • Excellent price
  • Cool mountain bike appearance
  • Pneumatic tyres
  • Steel frame
  • Min seat height 35cm

The Stompee Balance bike is a great choice if your child is a budding mountain biker, produced by Stomp who are a leading pit bike manufacturer.

The Stompee Balance Bike is very popular as it has the appearance of a genuine mini mountain bike, helped by the chunky pneumatic tyres and quality build. The pneumatic tyres help to provide a comfortable ride, and kids will love the style of this bike as Stomp specialise in cool off road motorbikes.

Other features of the Stompee Balance Bike include a steel tube frame, alloy rims and a large padded seat that is adjustable from 35cm – 45cm. The light weight frame means that the Stompee weighs in a 4.2kg, and the padded seat is really comfy! It is available in several colours including black, bright blue, bright red and hot pink.

This is the only balance bike in the Stomp range, and is suitable for children from 2 years through to 5 or 6, by which time they will more than likely  have outgrown their Stompee and be ready to move on to a larger pedal bike.  You might find that the bike is slightly too big and heavy for a 2 year old of average height, as some other balance bikes such as a Puky balance bike have a saddle height starting at 29cm, so these may be more suitable for younger children. We have a full guide to the best balance bikes for 2 years olds here.

The Stompee Balance bike comes with plenty of features for a mid range priced bike, and these include a high performance V-brake. This is applied to the left handlebar and is attached to the rear wheel so this will help your child get used to the principle of braking as they learn to steer and balance. It will also help to save on their shoes if they learn to use it properly! Check out our guide to balance bike brakes here!

Overall, this is a great all round balance bike that looks cool and provides fantastic value at just £34 – although if you like this style of bike but can stretch your budget further then you could also consider the Specialised Hotwalk Balance bike which is priced at around £110 and offers specific models and designs for boys and girls.

Happy cycling and don’t forget your balance bike accessories such as the essential helmets and kids bike gloves.

Balance bike tyres

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.