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Home > Learn > How To Buy a Balance Bike

How to Buy a Balance Bike

Are you not sure how to choose the proper balance bike for your child, grandchild or special friend? Well, we will make it easy for you and describe what we feel are the most decisions that should be made when buying a balance bike.

The absolute most important part of choosing the correct balance bike for your child is SIZE. No child has ever benefited from a bike that was either too big or too small. With balance bikes there is no such idea that a child will grow into the bike.

First things first; measure your child's inseam. Make sure they are wearing their shoes to get the most accurate reading. Then you want to measure from floor to crotch area.

Once the inseam has been measured, subtract 1" to that measurement; that is the seat height we recommend. So, if your child's inseam is measured at 14", you subtract 1" and look for balance bikes in the sizing chart that have a low seat setting of at least 13". Proceed to Bike Sizing chart.

Now that you have narrowed down the selection of bikes based upon size, you can start to look at colors, bikes with brakes and either a wood or metal balance bike.

Brakes are a very interesting topic in the balance bike community. Personally, I like the idea of having hand brakes on a balance bike. At first children will use their feet to stop because that is their natural instinct and it works well. Children at the early stages of using a balance bike won't typically use the brake even if it has one equipped. Once these children get comfortable with using a balance bike and are gliding down hills at a faster speed, it is nice to have brakes to decrease the stopping distance.

Wood or Metal Balance Bikes each have their own sets of pros and cons. Composite bikes like the FirstBike are in a class of their own and are in my opinion lead the pack with the best material for a kids bike you can buy. For more information on bike frame material, check out this article.

Air (pneumatic) or Air Less (EVA Foam) Tires.

EVA Foam (airless) are a no- maintenance tire. They are a resilient tire and should not be confused with the hard plastic tires found on some tricycles.

Pneumatic (air filled) are the most comfortable ride and the tires often have a better tread design. They are required to be filled with a regular pump and but will hold the air for extended periods of time.

In my opinion, air-filled tires are the best. You get a high quality and rugged tire that can be filled to the level of air that gives you the ride you want. Always make sure you are within the manufacturers suggested range for air pressure but most ranges allow for a firm or soft ride.