Balance bikes can be a great way to help teach your young child steering and balance on a bike to help prepare them for a bigger pedal bike when they are older.
Balance bikes or pre-bikes have gotten quite popular in the past few years and a lot of parents are choosing these types of bikes for their toddler’s first bike. But, what age are balance bikes really best for?
Balance Bikes Are Geared Towards Children Ages 2-5 Years Old
A balance bike has no pedals or bike chains and instead is usually just a simple bike frame with a seat. A child uses their feet to make the bike glide and eventually learns how to balance and steer the bike while doing so.
This means that your child will actually learn how to balance on a bike before they even learn how to pedal. This is the advantage of having a balance bike as it’s harder to learn how to balance on the two wheels of a bike rather than learn how to pedal.
The balance bike helps prepare your child for a regular bike that doesn’t have training wheels. Most parents find that when they buy their kid a balance bike they have no need for training wheels on a pedal bike when after the child masters the balance bike.
Most balance bikes are made for children ages 2-5 years old although you can find some bikes that will go up to 6 or 7 years old as well. There are even some bikes that are suitable for 18 months and up.
Check out my recommendation for the best balance bikes for 3 and 4 year olds.
At What Age Should a Child Stop Using a Balance Bike?
Most children are able to ride or walk on their balance bike the first few times they use the bike. Of course you should make sure the bike is the appropriate height so that they can have the most success with the bike.
Some kids may also be able to glide or coast with their feet up after only a few tries as well although some kids may take longer. You may notice that after a few months your kid is lifting their feet and balancing and steering with no problem.
You can have your child use the balance bike until they have mastered it and you feel they are ready for a pedal bike or you can simply let them enjoy using the balance bike for a while instead of going straight to another bike.
Depending on your child and how young they are when you buy them the balance bike, most children will master the balance bike between the ages of 4-6 years old and then be able to go straight to a regular pedal bike without training wheels.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want a child using a balance bike that they are too small for. The size of the bike as well as how well they do on the balance bike are better indications of when your child should stop using the balance bike than what their actual age is.