Last Updated: Sep 9, 2020 @ 1:29 pm.

We tested 11 different balance bikes with babies between 10 months and 18 months to find the Best Baby Balance Bike. Judged on safety, quality and durability, we also looked at the fun factor—which ones did our testers love to ride?

So, what's the difference between a balance bike for babies (1 year olds) and older toddlers? Balance bikes are pedal-free bikes that teach kids how to balance on two wheels. Baby balance bikes have an extra set of wheels to provide more stability for the youngest riders.

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Best Baby Balance Bike

Quick and easy assembly
We loved the cushioned seat, light weight and no-tools assembly of this bike! Foam wheels mean no flat tires and 6 colors to choose from. But can't change the seat height.
$58.96

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Best Baby Balance Bike: Ancaixin Baby Balance Bike

Let’s talk safety before we discuss the best baby balance bikes. Make sure you follow the age and weight guidelines for balance bikes—some of these picks are recommended for use as young as 10 months, others are 12 months.

Also remember that although balance bike makers say these bikes can be used indoors or outside, we would recommend only outdoor use. Why? When used indoors, a baby on a balance bike can easily run into objects that might tumble over on them. This is why we don’t recommend baby walkers: too many injuries. Any device with wheels must be carefully supervised by an adult at all times—and outside, there is less of a chance of that kind of accident.

After testing several baby balance bikes, we ended up crowning Ancaixin’s baby balance bike as the best of the best. With use from 10 to 24 months and a 50 lb. capacity, this bike had the right combination of fun (cushioned seat) and ease of use (quick assembly). Here’s more:

What We Liked

• No tools assembly that just took a few minutes.

• Lightweight. The foam wheels were durable—closer together in back and wider in front for stability.

• Affordable. Even at this price, the seat was nicely padded, which is missing from other bikes we tested.

• Can personalize with decals.

What Needs Work

• Can’t change the seat height. You can’t adjust the seat for a growing child, so that will limit the time this will be used.

• Doesn’t teach much balance. But that’s true for most baby balance bikes—they aren’t so much teaching balance as they are showing kids how to get used to pushing with their feet and using a handlebar to steer.

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Best Budget-Friendly Baby Balance Bike

Super cute and fun
Affordable and oh-so-cute balance bike is ready for Instagram. Testers loved the face and eyes that move with the handlebars. But requires a bit more assembly.
$48.99

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Best Budget-Friendly Baby Balance Bike: YGJT Baby Balance Bike

This choice struck the right balance between cute (both the bee theme and the Dalmatian version) and affordability. Plus it was fun! Our testers just loved this one.

What We Liked

Affordable. With some balance bikes topping three figures, it is nice that this one is much more reasonable.

• Cute theme. Yes, the eyes move with the handlebar and even blink. Instagram ready!

• Anti-skid EVA foam wheels.  

What Needs Work

• Seat isn’t adjustable. It won’t grow with your child,

• Balance can be tricky. Like all balance bikes, this one requires close parental supervision—kids can tumble over the handlebars if they lean forward too much. That can be tricky for first-time biker users to learn.

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Best Baby to Toddler Balance Bike

Teaches more balance than others
Pricey, but we loved the extended use: a rocker for babies, balance bike for toddlers. Excellent name brand, light weight. Tester verdict: lots of fun!
$57.99

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Best Baby to Toddler Balance Bike: allobebe Baby Balance Bike

Balance bikes for babies are cute, but if the seat doesn’t adjust, they won’t grow with your child—and hence a baby will quickly outgrow it. This choice allows longer use thanks to its adjustability. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Six bright colors. Our testers thought these bikes were fun to ride and parents loved how cute they looked in pics.

• Adjustable seat. 

• Limited turning radius = more safety, as kids can’t turn the bike too tightly, causing a potential spill.

• Easy assembly. 

What Needs Work

• Seat could use more padding.

• Single rear wheel teaches more balance . . . but the trade-off is that kids can more easily fall over. Carefully watch your little one when she first tries out this bike!

• Not for use on streets or in wet conditions. Sidewalk use is fine, but the wheels probably won’t last long on asphalt or other street surfaces. Because this bike requires more balance with the single rear wheel, don’t use it on surfaces that are wet or muddy.

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Best Baby Balance Bike Splurge

Extended use: baby, toddler, kids to age 5
Pricey, but we loved the extended use: a rocker for babies, balance bike for toddlers. Excellent name brand, light weight. Tester verdict: lots of fun!

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Best Baby Balance Bike Splurge: Strider 2-in-1 Rocking Bike

Baby balance bikes are fun, but let’s be honest—they are only designed for limited use. If you prefer something that will grow with your child, the Strider 2-in-1 Rocking bike provides fun for babies, toddlers and then kiddos up to age 5.

How? It starts as a rocker with a stationary balance bike. Then the bike removes for kids who are ready to try out the balance bike. Finally, this choice has an adjustable seat to grow with your kid. Here’s more about this choice:

What We Liked

• Quality brand name. Strider is probably the best known (and beloved) brand in the balance bike market. And there’s a reason for that: their bikes are very good quality. The bike we tested was well built.

• Teaches more balance. Most baby balance bikes don’t offer much in the way of learning balance. This choice prepares babies and toddlers for future balance use!

• Extended use. While most baby balance makers say their bikes can be used up to age 3, the reality is much shorter—maybe a year at best. This choice actually grows with your kid.

• Lightweight frame. 

What’s Needs Work

• Pricey. This choice is probably best as a gift—hint, hint, grandparents!

• Foam wheels probably should be swapped out for rubber versions for older kids. Foam is fine to start, but rubber wheels (an accessory) are better for longer term use—and that is an extra purchase!

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing baby gear, including balance bikes, since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward safety, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews.

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