8 Frequently Asked Questions About Balance Bikes

Our Blog: Word on the Sidewalk

8 Frequently Asked Questions About Balance Bikes

January 31, 2020
posted by Chelsea Lavin


So far, we have explored the ins and outs of balance bikes on our blog – the benefits, how they compare to tricycles, and how each age rides them. We wanted to summarize what we’ve found and answer some common questions you may have about balance bikes so you can be prepared to choose one that’s right for your child!


1. What is a balance bike?

A balance bike contains the basic frame of a pedal bike – two wheels, a seat, and handlebars. The pedal-free design allows little ones to focus on momentum and balance to propel them forward as opposed to pedaling.


2. What are the benefits of a balance bike?

Balance bikes teach the concepts of balance and steering before adding pedaling. They have been popular in Europe for years, whereas traditional bikes with training wheels have been more adopted in the US. When the training wheels are not adjusted properly, they contact the ground along with the front & rear tires of the bike; this does not provide as much of an opportunity to learn true balancing skills. Balance bikes also help to build confidence, develop gross motor skills and coordination, and provide fun exercise for kids.


3. How long will it take for my child to learn to ride a balance bike?

The time it takes depends largely on your individual child’s needs. Depending on their developmental stage, your child could master the balance bike pretty quickly or take a few seasons to learn all of the ways to ride it.


4. What is the best age for a balance bike?

We recommend our balance bikes for ages 2½ - 5. At first, little ones tend to walk and scoot along with the bike before learning to run, kick, balance, and glide as they grow. For more on this question, check out this blog post all about ages & stages of balance bike riding.


5. Should my child use a tricycle or a balance bike?

Our answer is both! Each method of riding isolates important skills that your child will use throughout their bike riding journey. Read our blog post on balance bikes vs. tricycles for more information on this question.


6. When should my child transition out of a balance bike into a pedal bike?

This all depends on when your little one feels ready. Once your child is comfortable balancing and steering with confidence and has mastered the skill of pedaling with their tricycle, they are ready for a pedal bike!


7. Can I add pedals to a balance bike? Can I convert a balance bike into a pedal bike?

No, Radio Flyer balance bikes do not have a chain drive or pedals.


8. How do you stop on a balance bike?

When riding a balance bike, the child uses their feet to stop. When your little one is walking or running with the bike, they can simply stop their momentum by putting both feet on the ground.


We hope this helps answer some of your initial questions on balance bikes. Head on over to our selection of balance bikes to get your little one riding today!