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Home > Learn > Metal or Wood Balance Bikes

Which one is better; a metal balance bike or a wooden one?

It's okay to be confused and not know which one to buy. You come across a small child on a balance bike when you go to a park. The same evening, you want to do a thorough research on balance bikes through Google and you come up with an exhaustive amount of information on balance bikes and you are in a fix again and do not know the best choice in the category, a metal one or a wooden one.

It helps to know something about balance bikes and how their frames differ.

Wood Balance Bikes
In this category, the majority of them are made from Baltic birch plywood consisting of many layers of wood that are glued together. This system works out better than using a single, big piece of wood that can crack and warp in due course. Being light, tough, long-lasting and renewable, birch is preferred over other species of wood. Smart Gear bikes, Wishbone Designs Bike, ZUM balance bike and Kinderfeets balance bikes are popular wood balance bikes weighing 9-12 lbs. Most people wrongly conclude that wood balance bikes are prone to warping. Though they should not be allowed to drench in rain for long, the Baltic birch plywood – with it's 10-12 layers glued together – with appropriate sealer protection, can easily tolerate certain levels of moisture or wetness.

Metal Balance Bikes
Aluminum or lightweight steel form the principal material from which metal balance bikes are made. The frames of the bikes are created with the help of aluminum or tube steel by welding. The welds will stand testimony to the quality of the make. Both kinds of frames normally come in equal weights based on the gauge of the metal used. Kinderbike Laufrad with aluminum frame weighs roughly 8.1 lbs and Strider bikes with thin-wall steel model that weighs around 7 lbs. All other metal balance bikes in this category are anywhere from 8 to 12 lbs. Do remember not to leave them in rain for long hours as they can corrode and not perform well. The seat posts and handle bars attachment in metal balance bikes resemble those in a standard bike.

Plastic Balance Bikes and Composite Bikes
These are injection-molded bikes and are made from plastic resins or in a few cases, mesh material for more toughness. It would be wrong to equate these with injection-molded plastic playthings having different composition and do not exhibit similar toughness or longevity as a composite bike. Chances of rusting, warping or cracking are ruled out here and owing to their components, composite bikes are slightly lighter than metal balance bikes or wood balance bikes.

FirstBike is the most popular injection-molded composite balance bike available in America.

Final Thought
We strongly believe that the information provided here about each class of bike will help you make the right decision in buying the right kind of balance bike for your toddler before graduating to a pedal bike in a smooth manner. Make sure your child is able to sit comfortably when you decide on a balance bike for your little one. After your child is seated, make sure the seat outline exceeds the kids crotch area by 1 inch or slightly more.

Lastly, do not forget to consider your child's color choice and mainly the size of the bike while buying a balance bike for the little one. A particular pattern or make may be your first choice, however, if your child is not comfortable sitting on it, all your efforts might prove futile, at least for the time being. Hence, a good fit is more important than a brand or a design. - See more at: