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12 Best Balance Bikes for 3-Year-Olds

Updated 6 July 2022

James is a father of two young boys, which is helping him to relive his childhood and play with his old toys as well as lots of awesome new toys. His boys help him review toys so he always makes sure to ask for their opinion before he sits down to write.

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Being 3 years old means seeing your older siblings and kids from your neighborhood doing all kinds of exciting things that you’re not quite old enough to do yet. That’s the magic of balance bikes, they give kids at that age a toy that lets them explore and have adventures without having to conquer pedals.

Having had nothing in-between a trike and a bike when I was 3, all I can do is look with envy at these amazing choices modern-day kids have, and we’ve picked out 12 of the best balance bikes for 3-year-olds here. They come in all kinds of colors and styles, some with brakes, some with baskets and they’re all really cool.

Of course, safety is key with balance bikes, so you need to have confidence that they will be reliable, and therefore we’ve based our recommendations on only the authentic reviews available out there, filtering out the fake ones so that you can rest assured these bikes have been recommended by real parents.

1Goplus 12" Balance Bike (Best Budget Option)

This super lightweight balance bike weighs in at just 8 pounds, making it easy to handle for young children. Equipped with an adjustable seat and handlebars, the Goplus Balance Bike will adapt to your young cyclists’ size as they grow up. This bike is primarily designed for children ages 3 to 6. It is loaded with safety features, including non-slip handlebars, a well-designed non-slip seat, a bell, and hand brakes. Best of all, both front and back wheels are outfitted with a fender to help your little one avoid muddy messes. The boost of confidence your child will experience when riding this balance bike will make them enjoy learning how to ride.

What we love

  • The bell is adorable, not too loud, but loud enough
  • A foldable, portable bike stand is included

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The seat and handlebars require tools to adjust
Goplus 12

2Kinderfeets TinyTot 2-in-1 Wooden Balance Bike and Tricycle (Best Quality Option)

The Kinderfeets Tiny Tot is unique in that it converts from a tricycle to a balance bike. As such, this is a great model for toddlers to grow with, accompanying them till they are much older. Equipped with an adjustable cushioned seat for comfort, your baby will delight in learning to ride a bike. The bike’s extra-wide, 7-inch tires are easy to maneuver and a welcome bonus safety feature. Moreover, the bike’s low step-through frame gives your child the feeling of being closer to the ground, thereby boosting confidence. Notably, the non-toxic materials the bike is manufactured with gives parents additional peace of mind.

What we love

  • The airless tires require little to no maintenance
  • The foam grips are really comfortable to hold

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Replacement parts are not easy to come by
Kinderfeets TinyTot 2-in-1 Wooden Balance Bike and Tricycle (Best Quality Option)

3HAPTOO Balance Bike (Best Eco-Friendly Option)

This balance bike will have your toddler riding a bicycle sans training wheels in no time. It’s equipped with an adjustable seat and handles, catering for children up to 4 years old or under 110 pounds. Additionally, the balance bike is outfitted with safety features like rear fenders, a large footrest, and a breathable seat. For added safety and upkeep, the bike’s wheels are made from sturdy, puncture-proof rubber tires. Furthermore, the 360° rotating handlebars add a fun element and make the bike easier to maneuver. The bike is also made with scratch-proof round nuts for your child’s protection. It truly is an excellent starter bike to teach children essential balance and coordination skills.

What we love

  • Assembly is quick and easy
  • The sturdy frame and wheels make it nearly indestructible...nearly

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The seat can sometimes slip down after extended use, but is easily adjusted back
HAPTOO Balance Bike (Best Eco-Friendly Option)

4FirstBIKE Limited Edition Balance Bike

A winner of multiple industry awards, this balance bike is equipped with a multitude of superior safety features. Furnished with a rear drum brake, a saddle seat to prevent slipping, and a sturdy yet flexible frame, your little ones will find their balance quickly on this uber-safe beginner bike. The frame’s composite construction is shock-absorbing which protects your little one’s developing bones. Other important safety features include no exposed screws, reflectors, top-quality tires for shock absorption, and a horse saddle seat. Produced by an avid German cyclist, this balance bike is suitable for children as young as 22 months and as old as 5.

What we love

  • Skis can be swapped in for wheels in the winter
  • There’s a lifetime warranty on the frame and five years on other parts

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The seat is a little firm
FirstBIKE Limited Edition Balance Bike

5Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike

The sleek, retro design of this balance bike is both beautiful and functional. This pedal-free bike will help your child skip training wheels altogether. However, most significantly, this adorable beginner bike is loaded with laudable safety features. Among those features are a low-to-the-ground frame, a lightweight construction, easy-grip handles, and an easy step-through frame. Furthermore, the adjustable seat and handlebar leave your pint-sized cyclist plenty of room to grow in, being adaptable for children from 20 months to 5 years of age. You will also definitely appreciate the bike’s easy assembly and little to no maintenance requirements.

What we love

  • Available in 21 colors and themes
  • Equipped with easily maintained, airless tires

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The footrests are a bit on the clunky side
Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike

6Burley MyKick, Balance Bike

This durable, high-quality, yet no-frills balance bike comes assembled right out of the box. The simple design of the Burley MyKick is quite appealing. It is equipped with rubber, no-slip handlebars, durable, flat-free tires, and wheel hubs designed to further protect the tires. The easily adjustable handlebars and seat are perfect to accompany children on their rides as they grow up. The sturdy steel frame and aluminum rims allow it to support a total weight capacity of 50 pounds, and is another excellent choice for helping your little one establish a well-balanced core. Initially, they will scoot slowly until they progress to balanced, foot raises, and finally, to riding a bike without training wheels.

What we love

  • The low frame is easy for kids to mount/dismount
  • The cushioned seat is rather comfortable

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The tires are kind of hard
Burley MyKick, Balance Bike

7Radio Flyer Glide & Go Balance Bike

This balance bike, like the others, is a pedal-free bike that allows riders to focus on balance instead of steering. As such, your little ones will skip the training wheels once they get the hang of this balance bike. Furthermore, they will innately develop important coordination skills too. One of this bike’s best features is the easy-release, adjustable seat. Not only will it grow with your child but adjusting the seat is simple and tool-free as well. The bike is suitable for 2.5 to 5-year-olds, with a maximum weight capacity of 50 pounds. A notable feature are the traction tread, flat-free tires which hug the road as your little one rides, limiting falls and injury.

What we love

  • Remember your little red wagon? This gives us those nostalgic feelings
  • A ringing bell adds a touch of fun

What We Don't Like That Much

  • It is only available in one color
Radio Flyer Glide & Go Balance Bike

8Chillafish Bmxie² Lightweight Balance Bike

Designed in a sleek blue frame, this supercool balance bike is both good-looking and functional. Weighing just over 5 pounds, the bike is one of the lightest models on the market. An easy, tool-free seat adjustment makes it an ideal companion to your child for years to come. The frame’s oversized tubing reinforces the plastic outer shell, making riding very easy. The integrated footrest gives your child’s feet a comfortable place to rest once they’ve gotten the hang of balancing. Additionally, the airless rubber tires are safe and low maintenance. The Chillalfish is a great beginner balance bike that will help your child acquire balancing, coordination, and riding skills.

What we love

  • Unlike many of the other models, it has a foot brake
  • The monster on the front will make kids feel like they have a riding companion

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The handlebars are not adjustable
Chillafish Bmxie² Lightweight Balance Bike

9ACEGER Balance Bike with Basket

Perfect for children aged 2 to 5, this balance bike is adorable and well-built. Fraught with impressive features like traditional air-filled tires for optimal comfort, soft handlebar grips, and safety reflectors, parents will surely feel safe in handing this bike over to their children. An adorable bell is also mounted to the handlebars as both a safety feature and a fun add-on. Of note, the bike comes with a simple instruction manual and all the necessary tools for quick and effortless assembly. The seat is readily adjusted with a quick-release mechanism, without the need for tools. Both high-fashion and high-quality, this balance bike is a well-rounded option.

What we love

  • Perfect for the chic rider
  • The bike comes with a cute wicker handlebar basket

What We Don't Like That Much

  • It’s not outfitted with a kickstand
ACEGER Balance Bike with Basket

10smarTrike Balance Bike

The unique design of this bike gives it an intergalactic look. Teaching your little one to balance on two wheels from as young as 2 years old, the smarTrike is built for the job. It will help your child develop the gross motor skills and confidence to ride a two-wheeler without the need for training wheels. The adjustable handlebars and seat allow this bike to grow with children, as it is suitable for ages 1 to 5. In addition, the ergonomic handlebars also allow your child to get a comfortable grip in several different positions. Moreover, this bike is collapsible and easily stored under a stroller when your little one gets tired.

What we love

  • Top-quality knee and elbow pads are included
  • The bike weighs under 7 pounds

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We wish a matching helmet was included with the safety gear
smarTrike Balance Bike

11Chillafish Charlie Lightweight Toddler Balance Bike

This lightweight balance bike is perfect for toddlers to practice on and master riding bicycles. Suitable for children 18 months to 4 years old, the bike features an easily maneuverable steel frame that promotes development of gross motor and balancing skills. Moreover, this bike has 10-inch solid, airless tires that never go flat. The non-slip grip handlebars provide comfort and security for your child. The bike includes adorable stickers so your little one can customize it as desired. Covered by a two-year warranty, you’ll never worry about this bike’s durability. Ergonomically designed, it is an excellent bike that will help your child hone gross motor skills, as well as riding, balancing, and coordination.

What we love

  • We love the koala decal
  • The frame’s integrated carry handle is great

What We Don't Like That Much

  • It doesn’t have footrests
Chillafish Charlie Lightweight Toddler Balance Bike

12YBIKE Evolve Ride-On Balance Bike

This unique three-in-one balance bike will help your child transition smoothly to a pedal bike when ready. The bike can function as a tricycle with pedals and then simply transform to a balanced bicycle without pedals. When converted to the bicycle, the rear wheel is double-wide ensuring optimal stability. Recommended for children aged 2 to 5, the YBIKE is loaded with safety features. Of note, it has easy-grip handlebars, quick release pedal locks, and a sturdy aluminum frame. In addition, the YBIKE has an adjustable saddle and handlebars so your child can keep riding it for a good number of years.

What we love

  • Perfect for larger 3-year-olds
  • The composite wheels never go flat

What We Don't Like That Much

  • In tricycle mode, the pedals are a bit out of reach for smaller children
YBIKE Evolve Ride-On Balance Bike

In Conclusion

From wooden bikes to those that look almost like BMXs, balance bikes come in all shapes and sizes and any self-respecting 3-year-old will feel like a legend cruising around the neighborhood on one of these. Wouldn’t you have done it at their age?

If you still want to capture that feeling because you’re not really into pedaling either, why not check out this Current Coasters Foldable Kickbike Scooter? All of the fun of balance bikes, but also a great way to keep up with those cruising legends!

If you’re buying for a 3-year-old who maybe isn’t in need of a balance bike right now, have a look at our 15 Best Educational Toys for 3-Year-Olds for some more inspiration.