Balance Bikes For 1 Year Olds

This article answers all the questions you may have about getting a 1 year old a balance bike. So if you’re considering getting a balance bike for  a young child read on.

Are 1 Year Olds Too Young For a Balance Bike?

There is not a straight yes or no answer to this question. Firstly, during the year of 1 to 2 there is so much physical development that a 12 month old is very different to a 23 month old. If you’re looking to buy a balance bike for a 1st birthday than yes, it may be too young, although there are still options available like the Chillafish Bunzi bike below.

Chillafish Bunzi Bike

This bike has a very clever design. It starts off as a three wheel bike so the smallest children can use it as a ride on toy.

As they get more confident it is really easily changed to a two wheel balance bike so they can start working on their balance and riding the bike.

The best thing about it is, it’s so easy to change between a 2 or 3 wheel bike. If the child tries out 2 wheels and isn’t confident enough to continue, it is super easy to change back to 3 wheels.

The seat is also really easily height adjustable and there is seat storage. It comes in different colours too.

To ride most balance bikes a 1 year old baby will need to be a confident walker.

18 months is probably the youngest age for a proper balance bike. The smallest balance bike on the market for kids is the Strider which is marketed for little ones from aged 18 months. Having said this, not every 18 month old will be able to ride a balance bike. Probably most will not, but there are many 18 month olds that do ride balance bikes. Check out youtube to see very young children riding on balance bikes.

Strider Balance Bike

The Strider balance bike is suitable for children from age 18 months old. It has a adjustable seat and the lowest position is just 11 inches from the floor.

The classic strider bike has an adjustable seat height which will suit toddlers up to 3 years of age. There is another alternative which is the Strider sport which has an extra long seat post to suit kids up to 5 years of age.

The classic strider also has a mini seat which is perfect for toddlers learning to ride.

It’s a super lightweight bike at just 3kg so little children will find it easier to control and learn to ride.

​There is a process to learning to ride a balance bikes and some  18 month olds will begin this process. It firstly invovles just standing with a balance bike in between their legs. Then they will progress to walking around with the balance bike, very slowly at first. Gradually they will increase the pace with which they move with the balance bike until eventually they take their feet off the floor and begin to glide. Then they start whizzing along.

Some 18 month plus year olds may begin this process. So even if they are just standing with a balance bike this is the start and you can get a headstart on learning to ride a balance bike.

The other thing that will effect whether a very young child will be able to ride a balance bike is their physical ability. Some 18 month year olds are still very wobbly on their feet and it will is a difficult ask to get them to ride and control a balance bike. They will need to be a confident walker first.

Strider Rocking Base

So you’re not sure whether you one year old is quite ready for a strider. Why not get them a rocking base so they can use it right away.

The rocking base works with a 12 inch Strider which you will need to purchase separately.

It’s recommended for kids aged 6 months to 2 years and it has a weight limit of 24kg.

Wooden 2 in 1 Balance Bike / Trike

This is another 2 in 1 balance bike which converts from a trike to a bike. It’s features include:

  • Two seat height adjustments (23cm and 27cm from the ground). This may seem small but it’s important that a 1 year olds feet can go flat on the ground so they can push along.
  • The wooden design is more environmentally friendly than plastic options such as the chillafish bunzi bike featued above.
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Which Balance Bike Should I Get For a 1 Year Old?

So, if you’ve decided you will try a balance bike for your young child, then it’s very important  to get the right one.

The most important thing to consider is the saddle height. The saddle height should be low enough so that your child’s feet can go flat on the ground when they are sitting on the seat. If they can’t go flat on the ground they will be unable to push along with their feet and ride the

To find out what size the saddle height should be on your balance bike you will need to measure your child’s inseam. This is the measurement from the floor to the top of their crotch. The saddle height on the bike should be about 1 inch less than your child’s inseam so they can get on and off the bike easily as well as ride it.

The other thing to consider when buying a balance bike for a very young child is how much the bike weighs. A heavier balance bike will be difficult for young children to control. Look for a lightweight balance bike.

Other Options Instead of Balance Bikes

If you think your 1 year old is too young for a balance bike, there are lots of ride on toys that encourage young toddlers to push along with their feet. This is a good skill to have when they are ready to move onto a balance bike so it may be worth investing in a ride on toy which will give them lots of fun until they are ready to graduate onto about bigger bike.