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10 Best Balance Bikes for 1-Year-Olds

Updated 6 July 2022

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Author avatar Teddy Booth

Teddy is our primary content producer here at TheToyZone. He is a big kid at heart and a self-confessed geek. His mission is to find toys that kids will treasure.

Learning to ride a bike is a crucial part of anyone’s childhood and while I don’t remember much about being a 1-year-old, I’m quite sure my parents didn’t throw me on a BMX and send me hurtling off down the road. That’s where balance bikes come in, a really useful toy for helping very young kids get used to bikes before adding pedals into the mix.

Balance bikes are a much safer way for kids at this age to have all the fun of cycling on their own terms and there are so many awesome-looking options out there, so they can look as cool as they want even if they’re still a few years away from doing wheelies (at least on purpose).

Safety and reliability are essential with balance bikes for 1-year-olds so we’ve picked out the 10 best here, based only on genuine reviews from real parents online, meaning you can trust these bikes to be great fun and safe too.

1Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike (Best Budget Option)

This balance bike for toddlers aged 12-24 months is a sturdy, well put together toy designed to teach your kids skills such as balance and other motor skills. With a low-to-the-ground design that makes sure that your kids can touch the ground at all times, the bike is constructed with non-slip wheels that won’t scratch floors and can be used inside and outside. Allow your kids to learn to ride as safely as possible with the Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike.

What we love

  • Comes in many different colors to match your child’s style
  • Comes mostly assembled and includes instructions for the finishing touches

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Has a foam handlebar that can rip
Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike (Best Budget Option)

2Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike (Best Quality Option)

Best for kids 18 months up to 5 years old, the Strider 12 Sport Balance bike is a bike that serves as a very efficient way to teach your kids how to ride a bike independently. Not only does this bike come in different color options for kids to choose their favorite, but it comes equipped with safety features such as mini grips and durable materials to put your mind at ease. With an adjustable seat and handlebar, this bike will be a staple in your child’s life for years to come.

What we love

  • Lightweight, which is easy for children to handle
  • Requires no tools to assemble

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The wheels are plastic, which means they could lose their form, but they still ride smoothly
Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike (Best Quality Option)

3Kinderfeets TinyTot 2-in-1 Wooden Balance Bike and Tricycle (Best Eco-Friendly Option)

Made from environmentally friendly, heavy-duty birch wood, the Kinderfeets TinyTot Wooden Bike is a convertible tricycle and balance bike combo that can be used to practice balancing and motor skills in two different ways. With an adjustable seat and convertible functionality, this bike will be perfect for growing with your child and their riding interests. Made for children that are 12-24 months old, it will be a great addition to your children learning the basics of riding early on.

What we love

  • Very easy to assemble out of the box
  • Handlebars are made from comfortable materials, good for little hands

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The wheels are very smooth with no traction, which makes them worse for outside but great indoors
Kinderfeets TinyTot 2-in-1 Wooden Balance Bike and Tricycle (Best Eco-Friendly Option)

4Chillafish Charlie Lightweight Toddler Balance Bike

In either black or pink, this balance bike is a great option for children 18-48 months old. With a very lightweight frame, weighing in at 5.5 pounds, and an adjustable seat and handlebar, the bike is great for kids of any size and strength. There is a carrying handle built-in too, allowing for easy travel, and riding anywhere! Not only that, but the puncture-proof tires are fit for adventures outdoors, great for kids to explore and ride anywhere and everywhere. The Chillafish Charlie Lightweight Toddler Balance Bike is an amazing addition to your child’s awesome summer.

What we love

  • A great size for their very first bike
  • The seat included is covered is comfort foam

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The attached seat is pretty small overall
Chillafish Charlie Lightweight Toddler Balance Bike

5JOYSTAR 10"/12" Kids Balance Bike

The JOYSTAR Kids Balance Bike is a fantastic, compact bike that will allow small kids, from 12 to 18 months to older kids, up to five years, to improve their motor skills, balance, and build independence riding their very own bike. This model has great EVA polymer foam tires, preventing any punctures and making for a smooth ride. With a kickstand and adjustable seat and handlebar, this bike is suitable for many adventures through many years of growth. With just a 15-minute installation out of the box, your kids will be riding around in no time.

What we love

  • The tires are not too hard and not too soft, making them good for indoors and outdoors
  • Comes with all the tools needs for the minimal assembly needed

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Easily scratchable, but nothing that will damage the bike

6XJD 3 in 1 Baby Balance Bike

This balance bike is equipped with a great 3 in 1 design, allowing your children to use it as a tricycle, a balance bike with two wheels, as well as install pedals to begin their journey toward a bigger two-wheel bike. Because it is so versatile, it’s perfect for kids from 18 months to 4 years old, as they grow and become more experienced with riding. The style of this bike is also very unique, as it is a sturdy U-shape, paired with EVA foam wheels to absorb shock and make it easier to ride.

What we love

  • Can be used as an indoor toy walker in order to teach children motor skills
  • Shock absorption will keep your kids safe and secure on uneven surfaces

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Steering is limited to avoid falling, but it can be hard for kids to get used to
XJD 3 in 1 Baby Balance Bike

7XJD Baby Balance Bikes

A reliable first bike to teach your kids how to ride independently, the XJD Baby Balance Bike is great for kids from 10-36 months old. Featuring fantastic attention to safety, this bike is made of sturdy materials, including a high-density alloy carbon steel frame, non-slip handlebars, and a soft yet supportive seat. The bike is designed for maximum comfort while also protecting your child. The wheels attached not only function well, but they also ride smooth and silently, which is great for indoor practice. This balance bike is well-constructed with the safety of your growing child in mind.

What we love

  • The smooth wheels are not only silent, but they won’t damage your floors!
  • The handlebars and seat are adjustable to allow for growth

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The handlebars are installed a little on the low side, but the adjustments can help
XJD Baby Balance Bikes

8beiens Upgraded Large Baby Balance Bikes

Featuring a brand-new carbon steel frame design, new high seats for growing children, and the same tried and true model functioning, the beiens Upgraded Large Baby Balance Bike is a trusted model for any kids learning to ride and balance. The balance bike is great for learning to walk, as it gets your children’s legs moving and allows them to rest on an ergonomically designed soft seat for comfort. With anti-slip, soft handlebars, a widened seat, and EVA foam tires that are functional indoors and out, the beiens Upgraded Large Baby Balance Bike is a great addition to your child’s first years.

What we love

  • It only takes two steps to assemble, no tools needed
  • Wheels are fully enclosed, reducing feet clamping

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Very lightweight design, which could lead to stabilization issues
beiens Upgraded Large Baby Balance Bikes

9LBLA Baby Balance Bike

The LBLA Baby Balance Bike is a fun way for kids to learn to balance and walk, inside and outside. With durable, wide wheels that are soft enough to ride on indoor floors and sturdy enough for outside adventures, the bike is full of opportunities for learning in different conditions. Improve your child’s muscle development, coordination, and bone development for benefits later on in life. The bike features soft handle grips and a comfortable seat, so it is also possible to work on confidence, balance, and steering as well.

What we love

  • Only the front wheels and handlebar needs to be installed
  • Comes in red and blue to appeal to any child

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Everything is welded into place, so adjustments can’t really be made
LBLA Baby Balance Bike

10Chillafish Bunzi FAD 2-in-1 Toddler Balance Bike and Tricycle

This 2-in-1 Chillafish Bunzi FAD Toddler Balance Bike and Tricycle is a great bike to slowly work your child’s way up to an experienced bike rider! By just lifting the seat, you can transform the bike from a two-wheeler into a tricycle, allowing your kids to choose their level of advancement and work their way up to balancing on a two-wheeler. With anti-skid and anti-mark TPE rubber tires, the bike is fit for indoor and outdoor riding. With a handgrip built into the back of the bike seat, you can carry this bike around with you on any trip.

What we love

  • Inside the seat, there is a hidden storage area for snacks
  • Comes in cool designs such as camo and “giraffiti”

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Doesn’t ride very well on carpet, but won’t ruin other floorings
Chillafish Bunzi FAD 2-in-1 Toddler Balance Bike and Tricycle

In Conclusion

A child’s first balance bike might just be the most important bicycle that they ever owned. It’s the one that sets them on their way to confidently taking those first pedals forwards in a few year’s time.

Keeping up with them tearing down the street is a feat in itself. We’ve found the best way to chase them is with this awesome adult scooter. You’ll be able to keep the pace and look stylish as you do. Exceptional parenting achieved!

These balance bikes are opening up a world of exploration and adventure for 1-year-olds with options to suit every child. If you’re looking for even more choices for them, why not check out our 10 Best Ride-On Toys for 1-Year-Olds, which offers trikes, motorbikes, planes, and even giraffes…