BMX Balance Bikes

A BMX balance bike makes a great choice when learning to ride, as it will allow you to get off road (or off-pavement) and experience all of the fun of a BMX while riding in the park!

A good BMX style balance bike will resemble the real thing, with a sporty design and a lightweight frame that is easy to handle and manoeuvre. As with all balance bikes, a good quality bike will have an adjustable saddle, a comfortable seat and handlebars offering plenty of grip.

Several different manufacturers offer balance bikes in a BMX styles, and we have highlighted some of our preferred models below:

Chillafish BMXie Balance Bike

Chillafish BMXie balance bike
  • Cool design with vibrant colours
  • The look and feel of a real BMX
  • High quality features and fun extras
  • Saddle height 32cm - 39cm

£64.99

Our favourite BMX style balance bike is the Chillafish BMXie bike.

This bike has a cool and stylish design that is just like a real BMX, as well as a fibre glass-reinforced frame and Airless RubberSkin tyres.

The saddle height can be adjusted from 32cm – 39cm, so this makes it an ideal bike for 3-4 year olds or those approaching their third birthday. The seat is easy to adjust with a simple twist and lock system.

Budding BMX riders will love this bike which is available in a range of vibrant colours, and also includes fun extra features such as a detachable front number plate and detachable footrest for gliding.

The Chillafish BMXie Balance bike is available from £64.95.

Boppi BMX Balance Bike

Boppi BMX balance bike
  • Great value BMX balance bike
  • Saddle height from 30cm so great for 2 years plus
  • Lightweight and easy to handle

£35

The Boppi BMX balance bike is an excellent alternative which is slightly cheaper, and makes a great choice for 2-3 year olds with a lightweight frame in combination with an adjustable padded seat and cushion pad handlebars.

The bike weighs just 3kg, so this should be comfortable for a small child to handle and it is also extremely well balanced.

The saddle height starts at just 30cm and can be adjusted up to 40cm, so this places the bike firmly in the ideal size for 2-3 year olds.

This bike features EVA foam tyres, so this means they are puncture proof and easy to maintain. One point to note is that the ride is generally smoother on air tyres than foam tyres.

It is available in several different colours, and this is a great value BMX balance bike that is available for around £35.

Scooch BMX Balance Bike

Scooch BMX Balance Bike
  • Clean and stylish BMX design
  • Good range of basic features
  • Excellent value
  • Higher minimum saddle height from 35cm
  • Best for age 3 and upwards

£29.99

Our final choice is the Scooch BMX balance bike.

This bike has a clean and simple BMX design, with a steel fork and frame and spoked tyres which enhance the appearance of the bike.

This bike has a slightly higher minimum saddle height than our other recommended bikes, starting at 35cm and going up to 43cm. This means it would be suitable for children aged 3 – 5 years.

The comfortable grip handlebars make for an easy ride, and it is available in 3 different colours including blue, pink and red.

The Scooch BMX balance bike is on​​​​e of the best value bikes on the market, with prices starting at just £29.99 so this is an ideal bike for those on a budget.

Whichever bike you choose, don’t forget you will need accessories such as a good quality helmet and perhaps some gloves for extra grip.

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.

Younger children don't need brakes

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.

They can help with the transition to a pedal bike

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.

Balance bikes with and without brakes

Puky LRM Balance Bike 2018

Puky LRM Balance Bike

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 (pictured)  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.

Although the presence of a brake on your balance bike is another factor to consider when choosing the right bike for your child, there are more important aspects to think about including the style, colour and most importantly the right size.

It is vital that you choose a bike that is the correct size for your child or they will be very reluctant to use it. This is the single most important factor to think about when looking through the balance bikes available and we have reviewed this point in detail in our balance bike saddle height guide.

We also have guides to the best balance bikes for 2 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds and older children aged 6 or above.

Whichever bike you choose for your child, make sure they have fun and get on their bike!


Balance bike seats

Not only do balance bikes come in all shapes, colours, materials and sizes – so do the seats on the bikes so we thought it would be useful to prepare some information on balance bike seats to help you in your search for the best balance bike.

Most balance bikes will have a triangular shaped seat, and the material of the seat and the amount of padding provided will often depend on the cost and overall quality of the bike.

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

Many bikes towards the lower end of the price range will have a hard plastic seat, so although these types of seats are very durable they don’t provide much comfort for the rider.

A good example of this is the Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike, which is one of the best value balance bikes available at around £30.

Although it does not have a huge range of features, it is great for younger children just learning to ride and it is one of the smaller balance bikes available.

Some of the more expensive bikes towards the higher end of the market will offer various layers of foam padding, which does make the ride more comfortable although will usually increase the cost of the bike.

The Specialized Hotwalk Balance bike includes a padded seat, and although it is much more expensive at around £130 it has a high specification and a great range of features.

We must not forget wooden balance bikes, which will usually come with a wooden seat! One of the main disadvantages of wooden balance bikes is that the seat does not usually have as large a range of heights as metal bikes, although they are more environmentally friendly and look great as well. You can read our full guide to the best wooden balance bikes elsewhere on this website.

Some balance bikes now also offer U-shaped seats, which will help the rider to stay on the bike - especially if they are freewheeling downhill when they might be likely to slide off a plastic seat.

The material and shape of the seat is just one aspect to consider when you are buying a balance bike, and perhaps a more important factor is the actual height of the seat and the range of heights available. Check out our Balance Bike Seat Height Guide here!

Balance bike handlebars

The handlebars are another important feature of every balance bike, as they provide one of the child’s contact points with the bike.

This means the handlebars should be correctly aligned with the rest of the bike to provide a comfortable ride and improve the experience of learning to balance for the child.

The relationship between the saddle height and the handlebars on a balance bike is closely linked, and the saddle can be adjusted on most good quality balance bikes. We have looked at the importance of buying a bike with the correct saddle 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.

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!

Learning 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.

One of the most important aspects when choosing a balance bike is the saddle height. The child needs to be able to sit on the bike with the saddle at it's lowest height with their feet flat on the floor, so they can sit in comfort with their knees slightly bent.

Read our balance bike saddle height guide for details on how to measure your child correctly.

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.

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!

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 of the right equipment (helmets etc), have plenty of patience and your child will soon be whizzing off into the distance!

Best Cheap Balance Bikes

Balance bikes are an essential part of childhood, as not only do they help children learn the principles of riding a bike they also look great in the playground, at the park and zooming around the streets.

Balance bikes are available at a wide range of budgets, and the good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good quality bike.

The cheaper bikes may not have all of the bells, whistles and luxury features of more expensive models - but you can still get hold of some good looking and functional bikes for prices ranging from £25 - £30 and upwards.

We love a comparison table on this website, so we have provided the table below to highlight five of the best cheap balance bikes available on the market today.

Model

Frame type

Price

Nicko Unicorn Balance Bike

Nicko Unicorn Balance Bike

Wood

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

Metal

Ridestar Balance Bike

Ridestar Balance Bike

Metal

Boppi Wooden Balance bike

Boppi Balance Bike

Wooden

Banana Balance Bike

Banana Balance Bike

Metal

Cheap Balance Bike Reviews

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

Our first recommendation is the Chicco Red Bullet Balance bike, which is incredible value as the bike is generally available for around £30.

This is a great option starter bike for children aged between 2 and 3, as the lightweight nature of the bike (weighing just 2.7kg) and the low saddle height means that it is easy to handle for smaller children.

The Chicco Red Bullet Balance bike is equipped with a metal frame and features an adjustable seat and handlebars.

Nicko Unicorn Balance Bike

Nicko Unicorn Balance Bike

If you would prefer a wooden balance bike in this price range, then look no further than the Nicko Unicorn Rainbow Bike.

This bike is made from birch plywood, so it is great for the environment and also looks great with pretty painted unicorns!

The saddle height on this bike can be adjusted at either 35cm or 38cm, so it is ideal for 3 year olds just learning to ride.

Boppi Wooden Balance Bike

Boppi Wooden Balance bike

If your child wants an alternative to unicorns, then another great wooden balance bike in this price range is the Boppi Wooden Balance bike.

This bike has a choice of several exciting designs, and it weighs just 2.5kg so this is one of the very lightest balance bikes on the market.

Features include EVA foam tyres, a detachable bell and a saddle which can be adjusted between 35cm and 39cm (similar to the Nicko Unicorn bike)

Ridestar Balance Bike

Ridestar Balance Bike

Another great option in the £30 price bracket is the Ridestar balance bike.

This bike has quite a basic appearance, but it has a BMX style and is available in a choice of 4 classic colours.

Features include a lightweight tubular steel frame, puncture proof tyres and a padded seat which can be adjusted from 32cm – 40cm.

Banana Balance Bike

Banana Balance Bike

Our final choice is the Banana Balance Bike.

This is slightly more expensive at around £37.99, but this is one of our new favourite balance bikes with a banana shaped frame which helps young children to get on the bike and also looks cool!

The 2019 model is new and improved with a twin bearing headset for smooth steering and and improved tread pattern for better grip on the tyres.

This is a great value bike that is amazing value!

These models show that you can find a great quality balance bike on a limited budget, although if you can stretch your budget to £50 and above then you open up the choices to a greater range of bikes including Bike Star, Kiddimoto, Puky and even a Strider.

Don’t forget you will also need to invest in a kids safety helmet as well if your child is going to be out on the pavement or cycling on tarmac.

We hope this helps you choose the best budget balance bike, and if you are shopping by age group then check out our recommendations for the best balance bikes for 2 year olds, 3 year olds or 4 year olds.

Wooden Balance Bike

Balance bikes have a huge range of features, and one of the decisions to be made when choosing the best balance bike is the type of frame component.

Introduction

Your main choice will be to choose between a wooden frame and a metal frame, which will comprise of steel or aluminium. This guide is going to look into wooden balance bikes in some detail, the features and advantages of wooden balance bikes as well as some recommended models.

Advantages of Wooden Balance Bikes

​The first advantage of wooden balance bikes is that they look great and kids love them. Wooden balance bikes can be painted in all colours and in funky, stylish and fun designs. 

Wooden balance bikes are also environmentally friendly with most bikes made from birch plywood. This material is favoured as the birch is very light but also very strong and durable, so this is essential for bikes that might see some heavy use over a couple of years.

A third advantage of wooden balance bikes is that many of them have spoke less wheels so there is less chance of little fingers and toes getting trapped. They are also easy to manoeuvre and great fun!

Disadvantages of Wooden Balance Bikes

Although wooden balance bikes look great, they are not as close in appearance to a real bike. If your child would prefer a sleeker and sportier model then you may want to look for a steel or aluminium bike instead.

Wooden balance bikes will also generally have a much smaller range of heights on the saddle so they are not as adjustable as metal balance bikes. This means that they may not last as long as your child may outgrow the bike if they have a growth spurt. Wooden balance bikes will also generally have a higher starting height for the saddle, so if you are looking for a balance bike for a 2 year old you might be better looking at our recommended models for this age group.

Some might be concerned about a wooden balance bike warping, but this should not be a problem as long as you don't leave the bike out in the rain!

Product reviews

Kiddimoto Wooden Balance bikes

One of the leading manufacturers of wooden balance bikes are Kiddimoto, who offer a range of balance bikes for children from 2 to 6 years.

Kiddimoto Kurve

Their bikes are made of natural birch plywood and are sourced from managed forests so you will be doing your bit for the environment if you choose one of their bikes.

The most well known model from Kiddimoto is probably their Kiddimoto Kurve bike (pictured). This is available in a whole range of fun designs, including Pastel Dotty, Union Jack and Skullz. 

The Kiddimoto Kurve is recommended for children aged between 3 and 5 and is priced at around £75.

Prince Lionheart Wooden Balance Bike

Prince Lionheart is another brand of wooden balance bikes, and they are also made from birch plywood so they are light and strong.

Prince Lionheart balance bike

Prince Lionheart balance bike

The Prince Lionheart balance bike has a stylish and sporty appearance, with comfortable rubber grip handlebars, the makers name across the side and the racing number 73 on the front of the bike.

The bike is less expensive than the Kiddimoto Kurve and is generally available for between £50 and £60.

Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike

If your budget for a wooden balance bike is less than £50, then a great option is the Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike.

Jiggy Wooden Balance Bike

This bike has a great retro style, with a red, blue and white design running throughout including the handlebars.

The birch plywood frame is lightweight, and the padded seat can be adjusted between 34cm and 38cm height.

The soft plastic handlebars feature safety ends, and the wheels have inflatable tyres with a blue infill.

This is a really popular bike that is available for just over £40, with an optional stand available for just £5 extra for easy storage.

Boppi Wooden Balance Bike

An alternative wooden balance bike costing less than £50 is the Boppi Wooden Balance Bike.

Boppi Wooden Balance Bike

Boppi Wooden Balance Bike

This brightly coloured bike is really lightweight and will really stand out in the playground!

It has EVA foam tyres so they can't be punctured, and saddle height starting at 35cm. This means it might be a little too big for 2 year olds, but perfect for children learning to ride between 3 and 5

The Boppi Wooden balance bike is the best value of all of the bikes we have mentioned here, and is available for around £30.

The most important factor to consider when you are choosing the best balance bike is the fit for your child, but there are definitely pros and cons to buying a wooden balance bike.

At the end of the day, it will come down to personal preference, the style and design as well as the frame. There is a great choice of bikes out there to suit everybody!

Maintaining your balance bike

Balance bikes can be a considerable investment, with a good quality bike like a Strider Sport or an Adventure Zooom bike costing close to £100.

This means that it is recommended to look after your child’s balance bike, so even if they want to throw the bike in the shed and collapse on the sofa after use you really should give the bike a good clean, especially if you have been out in the mud!

Cleaning your Balance Bike

If your child owns a metal balance bike, then you can remove the worst of the dirt with a bucket of soapy water and a dishcloth. This will help to prevent salt corrosion and extend the life of the bike.

Strider 12 Sport balance bike

To keep the bike in top condition, you might want to consider using one of the excellent bike specific cleaners which are now available. If you are a keen cyclist yourself, then you may have some bike cleaning solution which you use on your own bike.

These solutions are biodegrable and easy to use, as they are easily applied by spray and removed with some fresh water.

Many of the most popular balance bikes have wooden frames, such as the range of Kiddimoto balance bikes and the excellent models from Early Rider including the Early Rider Lite.

Some parents express concern that wooden balance bikes will warp, but this won’t be case as long as you don’t leave them out in the rain.

You should also keep wooden balance bikes nice and clean, and this can also be achieved with some soapy water and a household detergent. It is best not to soak the frame too much in the water, simply to remove the excess dirt as much as you can.

Look after the tyres

It is well worth looking after all aspects of your balance bike, including the tyres, brakes, handlebars and all of the nuts and bolts. Make sure that you keep the tyres inflated, as this can help the child balance as harder tyres help you ride faster with less effort.

Although your child’s bike will probably take a bit of a battering through plenty of use, a clean balance bike in good condition will be easier to ride and last for longer.

Balance bikes also have a good resale value, so if you have invested in a good quality bike and looked after it properly then you should find it is in good condition to pass on to another owner.

Balance bikes are great fun, and they are even better when they are clean and in good condition. Hopefully these tips will help you to enjoy your bikes even more!

Balance bike bolts

Balance bikes are equipped with a huge range of features these days, and the most important factors in your decision on buying the best balance bike will be determined by the type of frame you prefer, which sort of tyres and many other factors including the age of the child, style of bike and if the bike has a brake (or not).

One of the features often overlooked is the bolts that hold the bike together, and if they are exposed, recessed or covered.

Exposed bolts are common on many metal balance bikes, and although this means that the bolts are easy enough to access and adjust if required they can prove a slight concern. This is because exposed metal bolts can get scratched over time, and if they are very prominent this means that they can scratch the inside of the child’s leg while riding.

Prince Lionheart balance bike

This problem is avoided with recessed bolts, which are often found on wooden balance bikes such as the Prince Lionheart Balance bike (pictured)

The bolts on this style of bike are hidden away within the wooden frame of the bike so they are out of sight and don’t cause any hindrance to the rider.

Another advantage of balance bikes with recessed bolts is that they are out of the way if the child has a fall. Small children will sometimes fall directly on top of the bike during a fall, so exposed bolts can cause an injury so this is not a problem with bikes with recessed bolts. This also applies to balance bikes with covered bolts.

Bolts are an essential feature of balance bikes as they hold the entire bike together. Although recessed and covered bolts do help to prevent injury in the event of a fall, there are many excellent metal balance bikes with exposed bolts that don’t hinder the performance of the bike.

How long should a balance bike last

It is well know that balance bikes help young children to learn the essentials of balance and steering before they graduate to pedal bikes, but how long should your balance bike last for?

Most children love their balance bikes, but as they are usually in the hands of youngsters between the ages of 2 and 5 then they can expect to experience plenty of wear and tear, being thrown to the ground and ridden into obstacles along the way!

The rate of progress will vary from child to child, but if they get their first bike between the ages of 2 and 3, then a good quality model should last them for up to 2 years to the point where they are confident on the bike and ready to progress to a larger model.

We have already looked at the differences between wooden and metal balance bikes on this site, as wooden balance bikes do have a reputation for warping or losing shape – especially if they are left out in the rain. However, as long as you take good care of the bike and store it indoors or in a safe place such as a garage or a shed then there is no reason why a wooden balance bike shouldn’t last as long as a metal balance bike.

As with anything in life, you tend to get what you pay for so if you decide to buy one of the cheaper balance bikes at the lower end of the market then it is likely that the bike will have reached the end of it’s life by the time your child has finished with it. If this is the case, then please make sure that you dispose of the balance bike in an environmentally friendly way!

More expensive and better quality balance bikes should stand the test of time, so there is a good chance you will be able to hand the bike down to younger brothers, sisters or cousins. The better bikes may even retain some value for resale.

As long as you make sure that you choose the best size bike and a style that you child enjoys – then almost every balance bike will get your child confident on two wheels and they will have great fun at the same time!