The market has hundreds of balance bikes for toddler and identifying the right one for your child can be quite challenging. There are various sizes of balance bikes and you need to choose the most appropriate one for your kid. You also need to look at other features such as brakes, turning limiters, weight, and tire type when choosing the best balance bike.
How To Choose the Best Balance Bike for Toddler
In this article, we will discuss some of the things you need to look at when choosing a balance bike.
The next section will outline the best balance bikes for toddler that you can find in the market. The most important thing is to make an informed decision when choosing a balance bike for your kids.
As a rational consumer, what you should be looking for is the best value for your money. You need a bike that will help your kid learn how to ride within the shortest time possible. Here is a general criteria that will help you choose the best balance bike for the young ones.
The best balance bikes should be constructor anatomically right for kids. An excellent balance bike has to place the kid in an upright to a position of slightly leaning forward. Therefore, the fixed elements of the best balance bikes are the mini-me versions of adult bikes with the right angles for things such as the distance between the seat post and handle bars, seat tubes, steer tubes, and the distance between the rear wheel and lowered seat.
A balance bike should always have a fairly long wheel base because it will make it inherently stable. In case the distance between the seat and handle bars are too tight, the kid will end up being uncomfortably upright or even scrunched up or leaning slightly up.
The knees of the kid will also hit the handle bar as they continue growing. If there is a very big distance between the seat to bar, it will hunch over the kid and put a lot of weight on the handle bars. Therefore, you need to be careful with the element of geometry as you choose the best balance bike for your kids.
Low Step-in Height
This is also referred to as the stand-over height. It is a function of geometry that represents the height of the main tube of the bike (top tube). Practically, it is approximately 7 to 10 inches on 12 inch balance bikes and this is low enough to allow the two-year-old kids to stand over with a lot of comfort. The low step-in height will reduce the center of gravity for the bike and assist the kid to raise the balance bike up for rising. This will also assist the jumpy youngsters to balance the bikes and bail out with a lot of ease.
Frame Material and Weight
Most balance bike retailers will tell you that a good one should not have a weight that is over 30 percent the weight of you kid. The weight will determine how easy the bike will be for your child to haul around, swing around using the handle bars to get into the right position, heft into the upright position, and can stop with the aid of the feed and not the hand brakes.
Aluminum forms one of the lightest bikes in the market even though they are more costly. The most common material for balance bikes is steel.
The best balance bike for toddler should have the ability to grow with your kid. Once your child begins to rid on the balance bike, you may find that he is only 30 inches long. However, the kid may be able to use this bike till he is 45 inches. Remember this is an increase of approximately 50 percent. The best balance bike should have an adjustable seat and most of them can grow up to nine inches.
The bike should also have handle bars that will accommodate this kind of growth. Therefore, the best balance bike should be ride-able for several years.
Maintenance and Assembly
After unboxing, your kid should be able to rid the balance bike in utmost 30 minutes time. Any average parent should be able to assemble this gadget without seeking for professional assistance.
The instructions should be easy to follow and clear and all the necessary tools have to be included. The product should also come with a highly informative and well thought out step by step guide on how to assemble the product.
Most of the bikes will come perfectly adjusted to get ride right from the box. In fact, some of them will not require you to do any adjustment.
The most important thing is to get value for your money as you buy the balance bike. Most of them range from $100 to $150. The best practice is to look for a perfect blend between performance and quality as you buy the balance bike for your kid.
The bike should also be lightweight but should not compromise the quality and build of the components. Also try and see whether you can find a linear pull hand break that is easy to press. You need a balance bike that has the best qualities but comes at the most affordable price.
You need to get a balance bike that is broadly available. This means that you can easily get the spare parts just in case something goes wrong. Ask yourself whether you can also access resources such as returning a faulty product, contacting customer service, and insurance online.
Brakes are among the most important component on any automotive because they can save the life of a rider and other road users. Most kids can stop the balance bike with their feet but brakes are desirable safety features that you cannot overlook.
A rear hand style featuring linear pull brakes is the safest and most effective for your balance bike. It is not wise to go for those common and inexpensive ban styled rear hand breaks such as those that are found in some cheap bikes in the market. It is very hard to engage some of them and they may not be strong enough. The advantage of a front linear-pull brake is that you can disengage or loosen it until your kid is ready for it.
The Overall Construction
The fitting and finishing of various components such as headsets, and bearings bolts should be dimensional tailored to tykes. It is better to go for seat covers that are bonded and not stapled and also urine proof. Fixed elements like the welds that join the headset tube to the frame should be of high quality and smooth, make sure that the bolts and nuts are exposed and rounded off so that they don’t bruise your kid upon a fall or hang up on the pant leg over a long stride.
The Size of the Wheel
Beginners whose age ranges from two to six years can go for a wheel diameter of 12 inches. However, you can move to 14 inches if your kid is over four years so that he or she can grow with the bike. Just make sure that your kid will be comfortable with the wheel size that you buy.
Wheels and Tires
The best tires for the balance bike are air-filled ones because they have a better grip on smooth surfaces and dampen bumps. This means that your kid can rid them comfortably on wood and concrete surfaces even though they tend to be more susceptible to flats. Foam tires come next in the list as they have an excellent traction outdoors and don’t need pumping.
Make sure that you are going for the best tires and wheels as they tend to enhance the element of safety for the youngsters during riding.
Next, let us review some of the best balance bikes for kids that you can find in the market.