Best Balance Bikes for Older Kids

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Balance Bikes For Older Kids

Balance bikes are no longer meant for toddlers alone! We now have balance bikes for older kids. In this post, we’ve reviewed the top balance bikes for older kids so you can make an informed decision for your rider.

Teaching your child to ride a bike is full of proud moments! But there are also tumbles along that wobbly journey, for witch you’ll need to be prepared for with a protective kids bike helmet. To help your child learn, there are different types of bike setups that teach different skills, but the most popular methods are balance bikes, and training wheels. 

While many people often think of balance bikes for toddlers, they are also a ton of fun for older kids and are great for teaching reluctant or struggling riders how to ride a bike. Older kids absolutely LOVE taking balance bikes in bike skill parks and pump tracks, so they’re great for kids of all ages and abilities.

a 5year old boy wearing a yellow helmet riding his balance bike through a field

You can help your child develop the skills, strength and balance to ride a bike all on their own with a balance bike for older kids.

Balance bikes will help your child move independently on a bicycle. Kids will practice keeping balance on the forward motions of a bike, while staying in control of their speed and direction. These skills will build the strength and confidence they need to ride a real bicycle! 

Here is everything you need to know about balance bikes for older kids:

What is a balance bike?

A balance bike is a training tool that looks just like a regular bicycle — but without pedals! Instead of using gears to pedal the bike forward, kids push the bike using their feet on the ground to walk and glide into motion. This may seem like a small adjustment, but it makes a big difference.

A large balance bike will teach kids how to properly balance before they start pedalling. For kids, knowing how to balance on a two-wheel bike is the hardest part, so it’s an important first skill to develop. When you use a balance bike for older kids, their motor skills develop and their confidence grows. Once your child is used to balancing on a two-wheeler, adding the pedalling part is easy.

Why should older kids use a balance bike?

If you’ve ever seen a balance bike, it was probably a small version designed for little kids. But these common balance bikes, meant for kids 2-4 years old, are too small for bigger kids. To help older kids, there are now larger versions of balance bikes. These big kid balance bikes are perfect for children who are a bit older and are still learning how to ride a bike. They’re also simply a good balance bike for tall kids!

balance bike too small

Most kids have a hard time learning how to ride a bike. It’s not easy! There are lots of skills they need to practice and develop. Even if kids were practicing with training wheels, moving to a proper bicycle is a big leap. You can use balance bikes for older kids to bridge that gap.

Kids get to feel the sensation of balancing on a two-wheeler, without needing to worry about pedaling. This helps to break the skills down, step by step. A recipe for success!

And even if an older child hasn’t used training wheels, they can still use a balance bike to transition from a tricycle to a bicycle. Just because training wheels worked in the past, doesn’t mean your kids have to be stuck using old methods. Balance bikes are a great new way to help kids learn how to ride a bike faster and more confidently, no matter their age or level of biking. 

Beyond learning how to ride a bike — balance bikes are just fun! Many older kids enjoy playing on their balance bikes. Kids can start on BMX pump tracks, which are looped tracks that have small rolling mounds of dirt. To get momentum around the track, kids move their body up and down (pumping) to propel the bike forward without pedalling. This is a great way to get active and have fun using a balance bike for older kids. 

How long should kids use a balance bike?

There is no right or wrong time to stop using a balance bike. Many kids will progress from a large balance bike to a pedalling bicycle at around 5 or 6 years old. Some kids simply enjoy their balance bike for big kids and may ride it for a few years longer. Kids may also require a bit of time to transition from the balance bike to a pedalling bike. Kids will have the coordination to balance on a bicycle, so it’s only a matter of combining that skill with pedalling. With a little practice, they will make the transition!

guardian bikes balance bike for kids review

What are the top balance bikes for big kids?

If you’re looking for a large balance bike for older kids, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find the top balance bikes for older kids from ages 4-9.

Bixe 16″ Balance Bike For Older Kids

16” Tires
For Ages 5-9

MSRP: $125.99

This 16” balance bike is designed for your child to grow with and learn from for several years. It’s a lightweight design and comes in several fun color choices. The bike seat is easily adjustable, turning into a big kid balance bike that fits your child as they grow taller. Your kids can zoom across any surface using the solid traction tires. A great choice that can replace the need for a training wheel bike. 

Strider 14x Sport Balance Bike With Optional Pedals

14” Tires
For Ages 3-7

MSRP: $169.99

This bike will start off as a balance bike, with the option of adding pedals once your kids are ready for the next step. It won’t take long for them to starting pedaling. This bike is designed to help your kids master their biking skills instantly. They will be rolling with confidence on this older kid balance bike! Plus the construction is a highly durable, yet lightweight steel frame. So, by adjusting the seat height, your kids will enjoy this bike for years to come. This will be the only bike your kids will need from the learning phase as a little one straight into pedal biking as a big kid! Once your child is ready to pedal their balance bike, grab this kit to add pedals to their bike.

Ridgeback Scoot

12” Tires
For Ages 3-5

MSRP: $215

A perfect balance bike for tall kids! This bike will fit taller, or older children with ease and comfort. The entire bike design is longer, with a wider base and more height adjustments for the seat. This makes the bike more sturdy and easier to ride, especially for longer legs. And if your child isn’t quite tall enough for the bike just yet, you can add the special seat adjuster to lower it even further. This bike is worth the investment. From your child’s first bike ride to cruising with confidence, the Ridgeback Scoot will be the perfect balance bike. 

Strider 16 Sport 

16” Tires
For Ages 6-10 

MSRP: $199.99

Specially designed balance bike for tall kids, or simply older kids. This 16” balance bike has large tires that are easier on tough terrain. There is also a wide range of seat height adjustments, so even a 10 year old can conformably ride. No tools are needed to change the seat, which makes this so easy even your kids can do it. The entire frame is a lightweight, yet strong steel. This is a bike your kids will learn from and enjoy for many years. 

Woom 1 Plus 14″ Balance Bike For Big Kids

14” Tires
For Ages 3-4.5

MSRP: $269.00

This is one of the lightest kids balance bikes on the market, a characteristic that Woom is well known for in all their bikes for kids. It’s made with aluminum, so it will be extra lightweight for young kids or children who might not be quite as strong for a steel bike. The braking system is thoughtful designed to help kids learn which break engages the front or back tires. The break levers are also adjustable, so kids can apply them with ease. Kids will also be able to turn safely and with confidence due to the turning limiter, which prevents accidental overturning. And saving the best for last: possibly the best feature of all is the “surfboard” footrest. Kids can push and glide easily by resting their feet on the grippy board. This will really get them practicing their balancing skills!

Once they are ready for a bigger bike. Check out our review of the Woom Off Air here.

Little Big Balance Bike 

14” Tires
For Ages 2-7
MSRP: $256.00

This is a one-of-a-kind balance bike! This convertible balance bike for kids can take your 2 year old from the balance bike stage all the way to a real pedal bike at 7 years old. The bike has a convertible frame that can be flipped over to either add or remove extra height in the seat. This will also create more space between the seat and handle bars, which will help kids with longer arm reach ride. When they’re ready, easily attach the pedals for their very own big kid bike!

Early Rider SE Trail Runner XC 

14” Tires
For Ages 2-6

MSRP: $249.00

If trail biking is something your family enjoys, then this balance bike is for you! This bike was built with difficult terrain in mind. The tires are semi-fat and made with an enhanced grip for traction over wet, gravel or rocky paths. Even though it’s designed for the trails, it is still super lightweight at only 9 lbs. There is an adjustable seat to transform into an older kid balance bike for years of trail biking adventures. So your kids can learn how to keep balance, even on challenging trails. A great bike for kids interested in outdoor action and fun!

Go Glider 16″ Large Balance Bike

16” Tires
For Ages 5-10

MSRP: $129.99

Both the handlebars and seat will adjust for your child’s height. A perfect fit that will last for years. This bike will be a fantastic balance booster! There are optional footrests that encourage kids to push and glide for longer. More gliding means more balancing. More balancing means better practice. Your kids will be ready for the pedal bike in no time! And when kids are ready for pedaling, you can easily attach them to the bike that they’re already using. A seamless learning experience on this 16” balance bike!

FAQs We Commonly Get:

What age is appropriate for balance bikes?

Balance bikes are no longer meant for toddlers alone! We now have balance bikes for older kids. A balance bike is a great way to teach your kids who are 4 to 10 years old to learn to ride a bike. As balance bikes don’t have pedals, cranks, etc. they are much lower to the ground and are much lighter than traditional kids bikes

Can you really get balance bikes for older kids?

The majority of balance bikes come with 12″ wheels and are suitable for children about 3 – 4 years in age. However, some larger balance bikes are now available which are designed for older and taller children.

smiling kid with a backpack trail riding with a balance bike

Are They Worth it?

After all’s been said and done; only you can decide whether your kid needs a balance bike or not.

However, it’s safe to bear in mind that biking is a healthy activity and it’s much better than screens and gadgets.

The best balance bike for older kids helps beginner riders learn in a fun and safe way. It allows your kids to gain confidence, build leg muscles, and learn the needed art of balancing in the safest way.

So, which one will you be getting for your kid? Let us know in the comments below.

close up of kid riding a bicycle with a text that reads:should older kids use balance bikes
top 7 balance bikes for older kids

Should older kids ride or learn on a balance bike? What balance bike brand is your fav? Share your thoughts with us in the comment below!

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About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.