What Are The Best Balance Bikes for 2 Year Olds
My son had a balance bike for his second birthday and he used it for the next 2 years nearly every day. The most important consideration when buying a balance bikes is that the seat is low enough so that the child can rest their feet on the floor. Obviously the child will need to use their feet to push along on the floor so this is very important. Find below advice on buying a balance bike, wooden balance bikes, the best budget bike, our top choice and lots more.
Top Balance Bike - Strider Bike
The Strider classic balance bike is for kids age 18 months old so it should be perfect for most 2 year olds.It’s lowest seat height is 11 inches (approx 28cm) but the seat and handlebars are fully adjustable up to 16.5 inches (approx 42cm). So your child should last with this bike up to 3 years.You can also buy an additional seat post so your child can use it up to 5 years old. Or consider the Strider sport featured below which comes with the seat post included.
✔️ Top Tip - the seat height on a balance bike should measure at least 1 inch (about 2.5cm) less than a child's inseam so they can put their feet flat on the floor to push the bike along. This is most important factor when buying a balance bike. If they seat is too high, the child will not be able to put push the bike along with their feet. The seat height should allow for a slight bend in the knee to make it comfortable to ride. Check how to measure a child's inseam here
The Strider sport is almost the same as the classic but it also comes with an extension seat post and extra padded seat for the bike. This will extend the seat height up to 19 inches (48cm) so your child can use it for even longer (up to 5 years) meaning it's the only balance bike most kids will ever need. This is also a great option for taller kids as well.The Strider is more expensive but with the fully adjustable handlebars and seat it could last your child for years so is well worth the investment.The Strider has the lowest seat heigh setting of any of the bikes featured on this page so is a good option for the smallest of children.
It also features EVA foam tyres which are puncture proof, it's super lightweight at just 2.9kg which means it's easy for 2 year olds to control and for their parents to pick up and carry when they've had enough.
Not sure whether to go for the Strider classic or the Strider sport. Check out a comparison of the classic vs sport to help you decide.
✔️ Weight of Bike - Small children do better with lighter bikes as they are easier for them to control and manoeuvre. They need to be able to hold the weight of the bike so they can get on and off it easily. Ideally a balance bike should weigh less than 1/3 of a child's weight.
Puky LRM Learner Bike
The Puky bike is perfect for 2 year old (recommended for kids sized from 85cm) and it comes highly recommend it. It features a low step through and platform so great for little legs getting on and off.
The seat height ranges from 29cm to 40cm. Remember to get a child's inseam measurement (inside leg) to make sure that the seat can be set at the right height for your child.
It has foam tyres so you don’t have to worry about punctures and they give a smooth ride across pavements and paths.
It features a special learner bike saddle and safety handlebar grips. There are also footrests where little ones can rest their legs while they're gliding.
If you're looking for a cheaper balance bike, another good option is the tiny bike.
✔️ Tyres - many balance bikes for very young children will have EVA Foam tyres. They are lighter than airfilled tyres so don't add to the weight of the bike. They are also puncture proof and don't need to be checked. Air filled tyres can be seen on some balance bikes especially those for older children as they offer more traction and cushioning.
Puky Balance Bike LR 1L for Kids 90cm Tall (Around 2 1/2 Years Old)
For taller children or for children aged 2 1/2 years it may be worth considering the Puky LR 1L bike.
It's designed for kids from 90cm tall. The lowest saddle height is 34 to 45cm. The height adjustable handlebars range from 49cm - 57cm.
The bike is much heavier than the LRM Puky bike featured above and the Strider models weighing in at 5kg. Lighter bikes are easier for young children to manage.
It has pneumatic (air filled tyres). There are pros and cons of air filled tyres. They offer more traction on uneven surfaces and different terrain. They also offer more cushioning which can be helpful when going up and down kerbs. However, they do add weight to the bike so this bike will be better for a heavier, stronger child.
✔️ Brakes - most first balance bikes don't have brakes. Why? Very young children instinctively use their feet to stop like they do to move and don't have the co-ordination for a hand brake. So won't use a brake even if it is fitted.
Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike Set
The Chicco bullet balance bike is one of the bestselling balance bikes on amazon. It's aimed at kids aged 2 to 5 years. However, it's not going to be suitable for the smallest of 2 year olds as it's lowest seat height is quite high in comparison to others. This is why it's always best to buy balance bikes on recommendation of size rather than age.
Having said this if your 2 year old is the right size, it could be a really good buy as it's very reasonably priced.
Seat Height - the lowest seat height is 33cm. Therefore, kids really should have an inseam of around 36cm to be able to use this balance bike properly. They will need to be able to put their feet flat on the floor so they can mount and dismount independently as well as propel themselves along with their feet. The height seat height is 38cm, which is not particularly high compared to other models. There is growing room on this bike, but not a huge amount compared to some other models such as the Strider. Taller kids will probably be best going for a bike with a seat which is adjustable up to a higher height. They may outgrow it quite quickly.
Lightweight - it's light for a balance bike at 2.7kg, so this is good because it's easy to carry and easier for little ones to move and control the bike. This is a bike that is easy to master.
Maximum weight - the max weight on the chicco is 25kg.
✔️ Footrests - footrests aren't necessarily needed on a balance bike as kids instinctively lift their feet up when cruising. However, having footrests doesn't hurt as long as they are positioned as to not get in the way of the rider. The positioning of the footrests is something to take note of. Ideally a good place for the footrests is tucked underneath the seat.
The Cruzee really is a gem and you'd struggle to find a better balance bike for toddlers for many reasons. Here they are:
Lightweight - this Cruzee is amazingly light. At just 1.9kg it makes it super easy for the youngest and smallest of 2 year olds to control and manage it. At such a low weight, it's a breeze to carry when needed whether that be when walking up a hill or slope or lifting into the the house or car.
Super low seat - the seat can be adjusted as low as 28cm. Cruzee recommend this bike to kids as young as 18months as the seat goes low enough to accommodate very small toddlers. The seat is also very comfortable to ride on.
Lots of growing room - at the other end of the scale, the seat can adjust to be 48cm so there is tons of growing room for kids. No tools are required to adjust the seat, so brothers and sisters can have a quick go too.
Wheels - the wheels are made of foam so no worries about getting a flat or having to maintain the tyres. They offer a smooth ride over the pavement.
Handlerbars - in comparison to other balance bikes, the handlebars are narrow which gives added control to younger, smaller toddler riders.
Frame - the frame is constructed of rust free anodized aluminium so it will last for the years your child requires. There are soft grips on the handlebars for added comfort.
The seat and handlebars do adjust. The seat adjusts from 30-37 cm and the handlebar height from approx. 43-49 cm.
Therefore it won't last as long as the strider but this is reflected in a much lower price point.
It weighs approximately 4.4 kg
This bike has pneumatic tyres which always give a smoother ride.
Like the other bikes featured, the seat and handlebars are adjustable. The reviews for this bike are excellent and there are reviews of kids as young as 18 months being able to use it.
✔️ Handlebar grips - you will notice most handlebars have protective bumpers on the end. These are really important as they can protect your child's hands against bumps and scraps. It will protect a child's hands if they fall to the floor too. Other bikes advertise handlebar grips which are designed for tiny hands to give them more control over the bike (Strider is one of these).
The Banana bike has been on the scene for a few years and offers some excellent features at a reasonable price point.
It's lowest seat height is 31cm so ideally an inside leg measurement of at least 33.5 or 34cm will make this bike the right choice. The seat extends all the way up to 40cm so it has considerable growing room. Check out more info on the banana bike sizing guide.
The EVA tyres will offer a smooth, comfortable ride over pavements and are puncture proof.
The bike is lightweight at just 2.9kg but is also super strong.
A top budget balance bike choice.
✔️ Frame material - balance bike frames can be made out of a variety of materials. Metal bikes are often made out of aluminium alloys or steel. Aluminium alloy 6061 is a good material as it's lightweight but strong. Steel frames are also strong but tend to be heavier and are more prone to rust. Wooden frames are generally the most environmentally friendly but they are less adjustable than metal frames. The amount you spend on a wooden frame can often predict it's durability with cheaper frames not lasting as long.
Wooden Balance Bike-- Early Rider Lite 12"
They tend to have a retro feel about them and look cool. Read more about the differences between wooden and metal balance bikes.
The Early Rider is designed for kids aged 1.5 to 3 years. The lowest seat height is 29.5cm so a child will need an inside leg measurement of about 33cm to ride on the lowest height setting.
The bike is made of marine birch ply which is FSC certified. So the wood comes from a sustainable source and is weatherproof.
The 12 inch pneumatic tyres will ensure a smooth ride and are much better over grass and more uneven terrain the EVA foam tyres. So riders aren't just restricted to the pavement.
The bike is very lightweight at just 3.25kg.
For slightly taller kids, another great wooden bike to check out is the early rider classic below. Also consider more options of wooden balance bikes.
✔️ Seats - for comfort some balance bikes offer padded seats which are obviously nicer to ride. Some bikes such as the Strider have designed their seats sized perfectly for little riders hips.
Early Rider Classic
The Early Rider Classic is very similar early rider lite but it is bigger and has more growing room for kids.
The age recommendation is 2 to 5 years. The lowest seat height is 31.5cm and is recommended for kids with an inside leg measurement of 35cm.
It boasts a long wheelbase and a low centre of gravity. Bikes with longer wheel bases tend to be more stable and easier for little kids to ride.
The pneumatic tyres allow kids to cycle on more rugged terrain and are better over grass than EVA foam tyres. They will also offer a more comfortable ride. The wheels are 14 inch at the front and 12 inch at the bike.
Like the early ride lite, the classic is made of marine grade, FSC certified birch for a more eco friendly option.
It's a little bit heavier than the lite at 4.25kg.
Boppi No Pedal Bike - Good Budget Option
The Boppi No Pedal bike is the lowest price option featured on this page. It's aimed at kids from age 2 to 5 years old with a seat height range from 30cm to 40cm and a handlebar range from 52 to 62cm.
The seat is padded for a bit of extra comfort.
It has puncture proof EVA foam tyres so you don’t have to worry about maintenance and the bike gives a smooth ride across pavements and paths.
It is very lightweight at 3.2kg.
The tiny bike could be used indoors or outdoors.
It comes and lots of different colours and is excellent value too.
If you're looking for a wooden balance bike, the Kinderfeets classic has it all. It's an award winning, environmentally friendly and has a seat height adjustment range that will last a long time. It is a good option for kids from around 2.5 years, although some younger 2 year olds may be fine on it. Here is a quick round up on it's important features:
The seat has height adjustments in between 33cm to 41cm. Measure your child's inside leg measurement to insure it's 2.5cm less than the lowest seat height. Kinderfeet recommend the bike for kids from 85cm tall.
The bike is made from wood, which is a more environmentally friendly option as it won't be hanging around in landfill for years after it's use. Kinderfeet promises to plant a tree for every bike bought and the wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
The bike weighs 4.3kg so it isn't the lightest of bikes. Ideally you want a bike to be no more than 33% of a child's body weight.
Young kids can enjoy chalking on the frame of this bike.
|Bike||Tyres||Handlebar Height||Seat Height||Brake||Weight||Age Range|
|Strider Classic||EVA||46-56cm||28-40cm||None||2.9kg||18 months to 3 years|
|Strider Sport||EVA||46-56cm||28-48cm||None||2.9KG||18 months to 5 years|
|Puky LRM||EVA||41-50cm||29-40cm||None||3.5kg||2 plus|
|Puky LR1L||Air/Pneumatic||49-57cm||34-45cm||None||5kg||3 plus|
|Bikestar||Air/Pnematic||46-56cm||30-37cm||Yes||4.4kg||2 years plus|
|Banana Bike||EVA||50-53cm||31-40cm||None||2.9kg||2 to 5 years|
|Early Rider lite||Air/Pneumatic||29.5- 38cm||None||3.25kg||18 months to 3.5 years|
|Early Ride Classic||Air/Pneumatic||31.5-39cm||None||4.95kg||2 to 5 years|
|Boppi||EVA||50-60cm||30-40cm||None||3.2kg||2 to 5 years|
|Cruzee||EVA||28-48cm||None||1.9kg||18 months to 5 years|
What to look for when buying a balance bike for a 2 Year Old?
Lots of people buy balance bikes for their 2 year old but say they couldn’t use it because they were too young. However, quite often the reason they aren’t able to use the balance bike is because the balance bike is too big for them.
The child’s feet need to be able to be flat on the ground when they are sitting on the seat of the balance bike. This is because they need to push their feet along the ground so they can scoot along.
Lots of balance bike are designed for children aged 3 plus and these types of bikes are normally too big for most 2 year olds. So the first thing to make sure of is the balance bike is the right size for your child.
How to make sure the balance bike is the right size?
To make sure the balance bike is the right size for your child, you will need to measure their inseam. This is the length of their leg from the top of the crotch to the floor. The balance bike you will need should ideally measure about 1 inch less than their inseam so they can get on and off the bike easily as well as push it along. The smallest balance bikes for young children are around 11 inches (approx 28cm) from the ground to the saddle height. These are the best sized bikes you need to look at when you are buying for a 2 year old (unless your 2 year old is tall or heading towards 3).
A lightweight balance bike
Another thing to consider when buying a balance bike for a 2 year old is the weight of the balance bike. A lighter balance bike will be easier for them to manoeuvre and control. It will also be easier for parents and carers to pick up and carry if they have enough of riding on their balance bike.
If you have a balance bike which is heavy they will find it much more different to ride.
What About a Brake?
Young children under 3 years of age don't use a brake when riding a balance bike. They will control a bike with their feet. They make it go with their feet and stop with their feet, so balance bikes for 2 year old children generally don't have a brake at all.
How To Teach a 2 Year Old To Ride A Balance Bike
When he first got the bike we let him use it inside the house. The first thing he did was to have it in between his legs. He would just stand there with the bike. Then eventually he would just walk around with the bike in between his legs in the house. Eventually after a couple of weeks he used it outside. He still walked with it in between his legs but after a while he started lifting up his feet. Then he would pick up some speed and lift up his feet to glide. Before we knew it he was whizzing along. He used his bike everywhere, on the school run with his big brother, at the park, outside the house and going to and from the local shop. People everywhere would stop and comment about how good he was on this bike. He was so little yet here he was whizzing around everywhere.