Balance bike handlebars

The handlebars are another important feature of every balance bike, and as well as the usual functions of grip and steering, the handlebars will usually be able to be adjusted to various heights and will also be one of the main safety functions on the bike.

We have already discovered how important it is to make sure that you buy a bike with the correct seat height in our Balance Bike Saddle Height Guide. It is equally important to consider the height of the handlebars so that the rider can sit comfortably and is not reaching too high or stooping too low over the front of the bike.

We have found that metal balance bikes are more likely to have adjustable handlebars than wooden balance bikes, and the range will usually be a few centimetres so that the bike can grow with your child.

The Puky LR1 Learner bike has a seat that can be adjusted from 29cm – 40cm, so this is one of our recommended balance bikes for 2 year old as it is an ideal first balance bike. The bike is also designed so that the handlebars can also be adjusted when you are ready to move the saddle up – so the rider maintains the same comfortable position.

The handlebars on wooden balance bikes tend to be less adjustable, although the handlebars on the top of the range Early Rider wooden bikes are manufactured from a very luxurious foam and are easy grip for the rider. The handlebars may be fixed on less expensive wooden balance bikes.

The safety aspect of balance bike handlebars is provided by the knobby rubber ends that are usually found on most bikes. These will stop a wayward child scraping their hands against hedges, trees and walls – and they should also provide some protection in the event of a fall.

So, although you may not think about handlebars too much when you are looking for the best balance bike, they are an important part of the bike and play a major factor in providing a comfortable ride.

Oowee Pink Balance Bike

Oowee Pink Balance Bike

Oowee Pink Balance Bike
Oowee Pink Balance Bike

The Oowee Pink Balance bike is another funky and fun bike from Kidzmotion, who also manufacture the Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike, which we featured recently on this website.

The Oowee Pink Balance bike is available for just £34,99, and it is definitely one for the girls in the family, with the wheels and saddle a striking pink, which complements the flower petal design on the frame. This is one of our favourite pink balance bikes!

Manufactured from birch plywood, the wooden frame is environmentally friendly and the bike is easy to manoeuvre which is one of the main advantages of wooden balance bikes.

Other features include safety handlebars which have a soft grip on either end, a soft padded seat and a saddle height which can be adjusted between three heights of 38cm, 40cm and 42cm. This means that the bike will probably be too big if you are looking for a bike for a 2 year old, as these bikes will start with saddle heights starting at 29cm. Check out our guide to balance bike saddle heights and our recommendations for the best balance bike for 2 year olds.

This is a fun bike that your kids are sure to love, and the Oowee Pink Balance bike also features a carry handle and air tyres. This gives the advantage of a more comfortable ride with plenty of ‘give’ as the rider goes over bumps and up and down kerbs. Read our guide to balance bike tyres.

The bike does require some assembly this is really straightforward so your child should soon be off and on their bike. Although it does not boast some of the features of the more expensive bikes available – the Oowee Pink Balance bike is a great way to learn to ride and is ideal for outings to the park this spring and summer!

Best Balance Bike for 2 year old

Early Rider Lite

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.

Comparison Table

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!

Picture

Bike

Saddle Height

Weight

Frame

Price

Puky LRM Balance Bike 2018

Puky LRM Learner Bike 2018

29cm - 40cm

3.54

Steel

Strider 12 Classic Balance Bike

Strider Classic

28cm - 41cm

3kg

Steel

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

33cm - 38cm

2.7kg

Steel

Metal Boppi balance bike

Boppi Balance bike

35cm - 39cm

3kg

Steel

Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike

Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike

34cm - 38cm

4kg

Wood

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

Seat Height

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 and the Strider 12 Classic Balance bike for 2 year olds. These bikes both have adjustable saddles with seat heights starting at just 28cm or 29cm, 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 Weeride First Balance Bike (pictured).

This has a higher saddle height than the Puky LRM Learner bike, but it offers a stylish metal frame and a range of colours and it also offers the step through frame.


Frame Composition

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 at around £40, and a 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.

Tyres

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 which we have featured in the table above – 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 olds 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.

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.

Balance bike Turning Limiters

Balance bike turning limiters are another factor to consider when you are looking for the best balance bike, so are they really necessary?

The main function of a turning limiter is to restrict the angle that the front wheel and handlebars can turn and prevent them from performing a full revolution.

If a turning limiter is fitted to your bike, then the child will probably not be able to turn much beyond 30 degrees in each direction. This provides a safety aspect to the bike, as it prevents the handlebars being turned fully to the right or left by an inexperienced rider, which would probably result in the rider taking a tumble over the handlebars.

Turning limiters are supposed to minimise injuries if a fall does occur and they prevent the brake cables becoming twisted (if your balance bike has brakes – don’t miss our guide to balance bike brakes).

However, the main purpose of your child learning to ride on a balance bike is to get them ready for a proper pedal bike once they have mastered steering and balance. If the bike is fitted with a turning limiter, then they are not going to be used to the full steering range when they grow out of their balance bike.

Some balance bike experts have also claimed that the presence of a turning limiter will prevent the handlebars from lying flat to the ground in the event of a fall – which could make injuries more likely.

So although some bikes do come equipped with a turning limiter, this can restrict the child’s ability to steer and there are probably more important factors to consider when you are deciding upon the best balance bike. These include the frame component (wooden or metal), tyres, colour and of course the price. Good luck in choosing the best balance bike, and make sure that you consult our Ultimate Balance Bike Comparison Chart.

Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike

Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike

 

Jiggy Wooden Balance BikeJiggy Wooden Balance BikeJiggy Wooden Balance Bike

Buy now   £35

 

  • Stylish retro design
  • Wooden frame
  • Great value

 

 

There are several manufacturers that produce quality wooden balance bikes, and another option is the Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike. The bike is manufactured by Kidzmotion, who are a small and family run business that offer a range of balance bikes and other products. This is also the sister bike to the Oowee Pink Balance Bike.

As you can see from the image, the Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike scores well on appearance, with a retro style that offers a red, white and blue design than runs throughout the bike including the frame, the tyres and the handlebars.

The frame is made from birch plywood, so this means that it is lightweight at 4kg and good for the environment. The soft padded seat provides a comfortable ride and can be adjusted to three heights from 34cm, 36cm and 38cm. This means that the Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike would suit children from 2 years old and upwards – but make sure you read our balance bike seat guide and measure the child’s inseam first!

Other features include soft plastic handlebars with safety ends, and a carry handle so the bike is easy to transport when the rider has had enough and just wants to walk. We also think the wheels look great with a blue circular infill and inflatable tyres – just like a proper bike. Check out the other sorts of tyres that are used on balance bikes in our balance bike tyres guide.

This is a stylish and sleek wooden balance bike that will look great in the playground, on the street or at the local park. It also provides fantastic value as it is available for just £34.99. The design means that it will suit both boys and girls – so it is ideal if you have younger brothers and sisters waiting in line that the bike can be passed on to.

The Jiggy Wooden Balance bike’s nearest competitor is the wooden Boppi balance bike. This is a similar price at around £30 and is available in several different and fun designs.

Good luck in searching for the best balance bike!