The best balance bike: Woom balance bike voted best balance bike 2019

The best balance bike: Woom balance bike voted best balance bike 2019

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What’s the best bike for a toddler?

A balance bike is hands down the best first bike for a toddler or pre-schooler. But with hundreds of balance bikes on the market, finding the perfect bike for your toddler, (or pre-schooler or even grade schooler!) can be a challenge.  Not only are balance bikes not one-size-fits-all, there are many different features on balance bikes to consider – things like tire type, weight, size, and brakes.  To make it super easy for you, we’ve outlined our top 10 balance bikes, why we love them, and why you will too!

Why trust us?  We’ve tested over 30 balance bikes over the last 9 years and have personally met and consulted with the owners of many top balance bike brands including WOOMStriderKazamand GlideBikes.  In fact, we know our stuff so well that Wirecutter, A New-York Times Company, “spent a few hours with the copious research” on our site to create their own top 10 list!

If your child is at least 4-years-old or very tall, check out our list of larger balance bikes – Best Balance Bikes for 4 to 6-Year-Olds.

10 Best Balance Bikes: 2019

Best Balance Bike Why We Love It MSRP
WOOM 1 Best Overall $199
Strider Sport Best Universal Fit $110
Muna 12″ Best Bang for Your Buck $120
Banana Bike GT Best Budget Bike $70
Yedoo Too Too Best for Lightweights $160
Ridgeback Scoot XL Best for Adventurous Older/Taller Kids $210
WOOM 1 PLUS Best for Timid Older/Taller Kids $269
Prevelo Alpha Zero Best for Adventurous Younger Kids $199
Cruzee Best for the Smallest Riders $159
Strider 14x Convertible Balance/Pedal Bike $190
GOMO Honorable Mention: Best New Budget Bike $60

    • WOOM 1

      Best Overall

      WOOM1 balance bike in green

      MSRP: $199

      FITS KIDS: In clothes sized 18-months to transitioning to 3T, weighing at least 26 lbs. For a larger option, check out the WOOM 1 Plus.

      FEATURES: Air tires, hand brake and turning limiter

      Perfection from top to bottom, WOOM 1 creates a smooth, easy ride for young toddlers with a winning combination of a lightweight, extremely low step-through frame, a low minimum seat height, extra-cushioned air tires, and an easy-to-use handbrake. Its taller handlebars place riders in a natural, upright position with their weight centered over their hips, helping kids feel less hesitant about balancing.  As an added bonus, the WOOM1 is available in 5 colors!

      • Natural upright body position and easy to balance
      • Wider 12″ air tires provide better cushioning than traditional 12″ air tires
      • Low step through makes it easy to get on and off
      • One of the lightest balance bikes with air tires and a hand brake on the market (just 7.9 lbs!)
      • High end components
      • Compared to other brands, doesn’t offer a great range of seat heights

    • Strider Sport

      Best Universal Fit

      Strider Sport balance bike in blue

      MSRP: $110

      FITS KIDS: 18 months to 4-years-old, weighing at least 21 lbs. (Strider Classic only recommended until 3-years-old due to shorter seat post.)

      FEATURES: Foam tires, optional foot brake

      FULL REVIEW: Strider Sport

      Built on a well-designed frame, the Strider is easily adaptable to fit a wide range of age groups. With an optional extended seat post and optional extra-long handlebars, we’ve had the best luck with Strider at accommodating kids of various sizes. For a decent price point, the Strider is a quality bike that fits light kids, heavy kids, tall kids, short kids – you generally can’t go wrong with a Strider.

      • Adjustable to to fit ages 18 months to 4 years old!
      • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
      • Foam tires never go flat and are maintenance free
      • Foam tires provide minimal traction and no cushioning – not ideal for non-paved surfaces
      • Exposed bolts can potentially scratch legs

    • Muna 12″

      Best Bang for Your Buck

      Muna balance bike in red, blue, and green

      MSRP: $120

      FITS KIDS: In 2T – 4T pants

      FEATURES: Air tires, hand brake

      FULL REVIEW: Muna 12″

      The best bang-for-your-buck, the Muna 12″ is a rugged and nimble, go-anywhere balance bike that packs a lot of punch into its small price tag. For a surprisingly low price, you get a durable frame, air tires, a hand brake, and super cute designs to choose from. In addition to everyday neighborhood rides, the Muna’s wider tires and handlebars make it suitable for basic trail riding.

      • Wider 12″ tires provide better cushioning and are great for packed dirt trails
      • Wide handlebars provide more control for steering
      • Height adjustable and tiltable handlebars
      • Three colorful, fun design options
      • Taller minimum height of handlebars and heavier weight not ideal for petite riders

    • Banana Bike GT

      Best Budget Bike

      Banana Bike GT balance bike in blue

      MSRP: $70

      FITS KIDS: In 3T to size 5 pants

      FEATURES: Air tires

      A well-designed frame for the price, the Banana Bike GT has a longer wheelbase, making it more stable than other budget balance bikes. While the Banana is a deal for budget-minded families, just keep in mind that while we think the design is great, this isn’t a bike that’s going to last you for generations.

      For more budget balance bike options, check out our 10 Best Balance Bikes Under $100 list.

      • Surprisingly good design for the price
      • Quick release seat post clamp
      • Air tires at a great price!
      • As with all budget bikes, it’s not as durable as the other bikes we recommend
      • Handle on back of seat prevents tire from rolling when lowered all the way down

    • Yedoo Too Too

      Best for Lightweights

      Yedoo TooToo balance bike in orange

      MSRP: $160

      FITS KIDS: Younger or lighter-weight toddlers in clothes sized 24T to small 4T, weighing at least 27 lbs.

      FEATURES: Air tires, hand brake and turning limiter

      FULL REVIEW: Yedoo Too Too

      Quick, nimble, and lightweight even with air tires, the Yedoo Too Too is an exceptional buy for younger or lighter-weight toddlers who don’t want to sacrifice the performance of air tires for lighter weight foam tires. With 6″ of adjustable seat height, this is a great bike for lightweight kids to grow with. Once your child needs the seat height set to 17″ or 18″, most other balance bikes will be much heavier. And at $160, it’s a more affordable buy for many parents.

      • A lightweight balance bike with air tires and a hand brake (just 8.2 lbs!)
      • 12″ to 18″ seat height range allows plenty of room for growth
      • Padded saddle
      • Exposed bolts can potentially scratch legs

    • Ridgeback Scoot XL

      Best for Adventurous Older/Taller Kids

      MSRP: $210

      FITS KIDS: Older kids in size 4T – 7 clothes

      FEATURES: Air tires, hand brake

      FULL REVIEW: Ridgeback Scoot XL

      Hailing from the UK,  the Ridgeback Scoot is the perfect sized bike for older preschoolers or young grade schoolers who have yet to learn how to ride a pedal bike.  The Scoot is geared towards kids aged 4 to 8 who have no biking experience at all, who have only used training wheels (and can’t get rid of them), or who have outgrown their small balance bike but don’t yet have the desire to move up to a pedal bike. Its slightly leaned forward body position is a great fit for confident or adventurous kids who are likely to ride more aggressively one they master the bike.

      • Wide, stable handlebars
      • Long wheelbase for stability and room for growth
      • 6″ of seat height adjustability
      • Quality, durable build
      • Heavy for lighter-weight kids
      • Exposed bolts can potentially scratch legs

    • WOOM 1 Plus

      Best for Timid Older/Taller Kids

      WOOM 1 Plus balance bike in red

      MSRP: $269

      FITS KIDS: Fits kids in 3T to 5 pants

      FEATURES: Air tires, dual handbrakes, turning limiter


      One of the best balance bikes made bigger, the WOOM 1 Plus has all the benefits of the popular WOOM1, but for kids ages 3 to 5 – it’s the perfect bike for timid kids starting off their balance bike journey as preschoolers versus toddlers.  With comfortable, upright body positioning, large 14″ air tires, a removable “surfboard” footrest and turning limiter, DUAL hand brakes (a rare find in balance bikes), and a maximum seat height over 3″ above the WOOM1, the WOOM1 Plus is the ultimate confidence-building, large balance bike.

      • Larger frame and 14″ tires provide plenty of room for growth
      • Lightweight and nimble
      • Removable turning limiter
      • Removable footrest
      • Dual hand brakes for optimal stopping power
      • Footrest too large for small toddlers, but is removeable

    • Prevelo Alpha Zero

      Best for Adventurous Younger Kids

      Prevelo Alpha Zero balance bike in silver

      MSRP: $199

      FITS KIDS: 24 months old to transitioning to 3T clothes

      FEATURES: Air tires, hand brake

      FULL REVIEW: Prevelo Alpha Zero

      The Alpha Zero is what every young grom’s (and let’s be honest, their parents’ as well) dreams are made of.  No bright and busy graphics or literal bells and whistles, just a perfectly proportioned and precision-built balance bike.  From its high-end components, to a long wheelbase for added stability on jumps, hills, or trail riding, the Alpha Zero provides a smooth and effortless ride that is sure to instill a love of biking in your child at a young age.

      • Low minimum seat height and low step-through ideal for young riders
      • High-end components, including threadless headset, Kenda tires, and Tektro brakes
      • Long wheelbase for added stability on jumps, hills, or trail riding
      • Cushioning air tires
      • Rounded bolts to prevent potential scratches
      • Only available in two colors

    • Cruzee

      Best for the Smallest Riders

      Cruzee balance bike in red

      MSRP: $160

      FITS KIDS: In clothes sized 18-months to 4T, weighing at least 15 lbs.

      FEATURES: Foam tires

      FULL REVIEW: Cruzee

      Ridiculously light and beautifully crafted, the Cruzee balance bike truly stands out from the crowd. With its sparkling anodized aluminum frame (rust-proof!), multiple safety features, and ultra-lightweight frame, the Cruzee is an excellent starter bike for the youngest and lightest riders. Heavier kids may enjoy riding a more substantial frame. Available in 9 different colors!

      • The lightest weight balance bike on the market! Less than 5 lbs.
      • Foam tires will never go flat and are maintenance free
      • Narrower handlebars make it great for younger or petite riders
      • Rounded edges to protect hands, arms and legs from injury
      • Anodized aluminum scratches easily
      • Foam tires don’t provide the cushioning and traction of air tires

  • Strider 14x

    Best Balance Bike/Pedal Bike in One

    Strider 14x convertible balance bike in yellow



    FITS KIDS: While the manufacturer recommends from ages 3 to 7, based on our testing, we recommend only from ages 3 to 5, or with inseams ranging from 15″ to 20″ in balance bike mode and 14″ to 20″ in pedal bike mode.

    WEIGHT: 12.5 lb.

    TIRE SIZE: 14″

    FULL REVIEW: Strider 14x Convertible Balance Bike

    After years of research, the Strider 14x was born. A great option for preschoolers who have yet to master a balance bike, the Strider 14x is a balance bike that converts to a pedal bike.   No need for training wheels, once a child has learned to balance while in balance bike mode, simply put on the pedals and within a couple of minutes they’ll be pedaling away, no help needed! Once your child outgrows the pedal bike mode, they will be ready for a 16″ bike.

    Due to taller handlebars, the Strider is best for taller 3-year-olds and up.  The longer reach between the seat and the handlebars is a bit too much for toddlers, who are much better off on the standard Strider 12″ Sport.  Based on our experience, the Strider is ideal for kids in size 5 clothes or less.

    • Starts as a balance bike and easily converts to a pedal bike
    • Larger frame and tire size fit kids from ages 3 to 5
    • Comfortable, upright body positioning promotes confidence for beginners
    • Cushioned, ergonomic seat
    • No hand brake, coaster brake in pedal mode
    • Very short crank arms in pedal mode – difficult for kids over age 5 to ride

Best Balance Bikes

Bike MSRP Weight Min Seat Height Max Seat Height Tires Hand Brake Frame Material
woom 1 $199 6.6 lb. 10.04″ 14.37″ Air Yes Aluminum
Strider Sport $110 6.7 lb. 11″ 19″ Foam No Steel
Muna 12″ $120 11 lb. 13″ 18″ Air Yes Steel
Banana Bike GT $70 10.3 lb. 13.5″ 18″ Air No Steel
Yeedoo Too Too $160 8.2 lb. 12″ 18″ Air Yes Steel
Ridgeback Scoot XL $210 11.6 lb. 16″ 22″ Air Yes Aluminum
woom 1 Plus $269 9.5 lb. 14.8″ 18.7″ Air Yes Aluminum
Prevelo Alpha Zero $199 8.5 lb. 11.4″ 14.6″ Air Yes Aluminum
Strider 14x $190 12.5 lb. 15″ 22″ Air No Steel
Cruzee $160 4.4 lb. 11″ 19″ Foam No Aluminum
GOMO $60 8.5 lb. 12″ 17″ Foam No Steel

How to Choose the Best Balance Bike

While we have a much more detailed discussion about this in our article Balance Bikes: How to Choose, here’s a quick summary of the most important things to look for to find the perfect balance bike for your toddler, preschooler, or grade schooler.


12″ wheels are the most common tire size for balance bikes, but 14″ tires are available for older or taller preschoolers (or kids ages 4 to 6). There are a few 16″ and 20″ balance bikes on the market for even older kids.

The bike’s seat height should be set 1″ to 1.5″ less than the child’s inseam. To allow room for growth, you should purchase a bike with a minimum seat height that closely matches your child’s inseam.

diagram of proper seat height for a balance bike. Proper seat height is based on a slight knee bend.


A bike shouldn’t weigh more than 30% of your child’s weight.  More athletic kids are generally less bothered by weight than timid riders, but as a general rule, try to stick to a bike under 10 lbs. for kids under 4.

The weight of a bike can also be a good indication of the overall quality of a bike.  Constructing a high-quality lightweight bike is not cheap, but piecing together a low-quality lightweight bike is!  A $200 balance bike that weighs 6 lbs. is going to be much better quality and include many more features (such as air tires and a handbrake), than a $80 bike that weighs 6 lbs.


The geometry of a balance bike makes a huge difference in how the bike performs.  A bike with good geometry will work with the child to help them learn to balance and maneuver, while a bike with poor geometry will work against them. 

While determining whether a bike has good or poor geometry is somewhat subjective, selecting a bike that has a longer wheelbase (distance between the two wheels) and a good amount of space between the seat and the handlebars should result in a bike that works with your child instead of against them.

A child on a Strider balance bike with good geometry. Same child on a Chicco Red Bullet balance bike with poor geometry.

The 3-year-old above is riding a Strider with good geometry on the left and a Chicco Red Bullet with poor geometry on the right.  The Strider gives the rider more room on the bike and he feels and looks less squished.

On the Red Bullet, notice how much closer his body is to the handlebars.  The Red Bullet’s wheelbase is much shorter and the handlebars are swooped back, leaving him little room to move around. This makes the bike less stable, harder to balance, and more difficult to maneuver.


There are two common types of balance bike tires: foam and air. Foam tires will never go flat, but have no cushioning and little traction. Air tires are more expensive and a little heavier, but provide great cushioning and traction for a more comfortable ride for adventurous kids.

Side by side comparison of tires on balance bikes: foam, air knobby, and air street.


When riding a balance bike, the main source of stopping will always be the rider’s feet, but hand brakes can help to prevent injury, save kids’ shoes, and better prepare a child to ride a pedal bike. They’re especially beneficial for older riders who ride faster.

Many balance bikes don’t have hand brakes, but they’re usually found on higher-end balance bikes. If you find a hand brake on a bike under $100, it is likely to be difficult to use.
Toddler using his feet to stop a balance bike, and toddler engaging a handbrake on a balance bike.

Turning Limiters

Turning limiters block the handlebar and front wheel from completing a full revolution. This prevents sharp turns that can cause falls. Not a necessity, but many parents love them.

Elastic, Removable Limiter on the WOOM 1Removable turning limiter on woom 1 balance bike


The majority of balance bikes don’t have footrests because they’re not needed. A properly designed footrest usually doesn’t hurt to have around, but poorly designed footrests are bulky and interfere with a child’s stride.

Balance bike footrests design. Poor foot rests are directly under the seat, while good foot rests are tucked behind the seat.


Frame Materials

Most balance bikes are either steel or aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight, strong, rust-proof, and is used in higher-end bikes. Steel frames are common on less expensive models, but create a heavier bike and are prone to rust.


Related Articles

10 Best Balance Bikes Under $100: On a budget? Our short list of budget-friendly balance bike options.

5 Best Ride-On Toys: Is your child still too young for a balance bike? Try out these ride-on toys instead!

Balance Bikes: How to Choose: Everything you need to know to choose the perfect bike for your child

Balance Bikes: Comparison Charts: To view, sort, and read reviews on over 50 balance bikes

How to Teach a Child to Ride a Balance Bike: For help teaching your child to ride their new balance bike

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