C’mon and move yo’ body! Balance Bikes are the boot scooting best way to get your toddler up and moving — practicing balance, developing coordination, achieving motor skill mastery.
It’s a double or triple digit investment that’s sooo worth it — if and only if you buy at the right age, stage, and all that jazz.
Today we’re talking about wooden balance bikes. Let’s ride.
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Why wood? You might ask…
Wooden balance bikes have that eco-friendly look eco-conscious parents love — those beautiful wood grains are proof it won’t end up in a landfill.
Wooden riding technology has advanced leaps and bounds since you and I were kids.
Performance wise, they’re on-par with balance bikes made from metal and synthetics.
If price is your pain point, I assure you there’s a wooden toddler bike for every budget — affordable to premium.
Savvy Shopper’s Checklist
I’m sure you come with preference today. Let me facilitate for you.
Take 5 seconds to consider this balance bike word cloud.
You’ll remind yourself what’s important to you.
That pretty much covers it.
Best Wooden Balance Bikes
- (01) Leg&Go 3-in-1 Adjustable Balance Bike for 1-5 Years
- (02) Kinderfeets Wooden Balance Bike for 2-6 Years
- (03) Wishbone Original 2-in-1 Toddler Balance Bike
- (04) Curioo “”Draw On Me”” Chalkboard Balance Bike
- (05) Janod Vespa-Style Wooden Balance Scooter
- (06) Hape “Scoot Around” Ride On Wood Bike for Babies
- (07) Montessori House Bed Natural Colors Mini Balance Bike
- (08) Kiddimoto Designer Pattern Kids Wooden No-Pedal Bike
(01) Leg&Go 3-in-1 Adjustable Balance Bike for 1-5 Years
Wooden toy technology is not just a buzzword — meet Leg&Go’s on-the-go innovation.
In the imaginary Oddblocks Toy Awards that lives in my head, Leg&Go brand offers the #1 best wooden balance bike for toddlers in 2022.
Its 100% unique “double hemi” frame design utilized the engineering principles of evenly distributed friction to maximize both stability and adjustability — two things that are usually at odds.
Instead of “raising the seat” — instead of “flipping the frame” — Leg&Go’s should-be-patented adjustable frame mechanism lets you “adjust the overall shape of the frame”. It adjusts from 9″ to 19″ inches — best-in-class adjustment range!
1-5 years is the broadest age window of any bike on this list. The adjustability allows for it.
It teaches little kids how to develop a good overall motor skills (push, glide, stop) and real-time spacial awareness (watch out for that tree) — it’s called a balance bike after all!
Inactive toddlers build muscle strength. Slouchy toddlers practice straight posture.
Fostering independence is another important hidden benefit. With easy adjustability, and fewer places to pinch fingers — your little mis(s)ter fix-it can even learn to adjust the bike all by themselves.
(02) Kinderfeets Wooden Balance Bike for 2-6 Years
Kinderfeets customers enjoy solid design, high value, and exciting bike accessories.
Kinderfeets is 2022’s most popular wooden balance bike — and for good reason.
Simple, smooth-riding design with a full four-year window for your 2 to 6 year old to get zooming. (Albeit 2 to 4 years is your golden window.)
See those tiny little foot nubs? They’re like bike pegs, except won’t get in the way — no snagged pants, no bumping into shins!
Kinderfeets bikes sell fast, and they introduce slightly update models once or twice per year. As a shopper, that means you’ve got to pay extra attention when you add to cart.
Make sure you don’t get 3 wheels when you only want 2. Some models have just 2 wheels, so it’s a bike, and that’s it. Some are convertible from 2 wheel bike to 3 wheel trike.
Make sure you get wheel material you intend — metal spokes or solid wood? And wheel-and-tire two-tone color combo — black, white, or natural wood.
I’ll let you in on my guilty little secret. Kinderfeets offers a special-made wooden bike stand sold separately to park your Kinderfeets bike perfectly standing up.
Or those Kinderfeets brand wooden and wicker balance bike baskets — I know I shouldn’t.
Kinderfeets does product marketing best — that’s when your product line serves a certain market segment best. Pretty in pink? Three-wheeled adventure? Check out the official Kinderfeets Amazon Store for more.
Marketing isn’t evil when it really does help your customers reach the best conclusion.
(03) Wishbone Original 2-in-1 Toddler Balance Bike
Its nifty “flip frame” and “dual-fork handlebars” make it a frontrunner for innovative design.
My first impression — love those white tires, and black wheels. Such contrast against the natural wood hue. Aesthetics get a plus one!
Extra-sturdy dual-fork handlebars — check!
It’s made from sustainable materials — but that doesn’t mean it’s not performant when your kid gets scooting. The front fork includes and organic safety mechanism — where the turn radius is “slightly limited” to eliminate risk of a full-stop T-Bone between wheel and frame.
The padded seat is adjustable — by flipping the frame from “Low Rider” to “High Rider”. (Look at the arch in the frame body.)
How genius is that?
It’s well-designed with standard best practice — no frills or gimmicks.
In this price range, I’d choose the Kinderfeets over the Early Rider any day of the week.
Wishbone brand also offers premium balance bike options for an extra-special holiday gift (after you win the lottery) — with forward-thinking push and balance bikes galore. Trikes too — Wishbone knows wooden toddler trikes.
Check out the complete selection on the Wishbone Design Studio Store on Amazon.
(04) Curioo “Draw On Me” Chalkboard Balance Bike
It’s not just a balance bike — colorful and creative chalk adds individual style and self-expression.
Looking for that Kinderfeets Wooden Chalkboard Finish Bike that seems to have disappeared in the U.S. market? Here’s your nifty Etsy alternative.
Curioo is serious about toddler creativity. With all the standard fixings of a quality wooden balance bicycle in place — it added a big splash of color and customization with its two-sided chalkboard body.
Like seriously — instead of that old Diggin Active Skuut — get this one.
Missing chalk? A set of kids chalk to get you started comes included with purchase.
Need more? We talk all about toddler chalk here at Oddblocks.
(05) Janod Vespa-Style Wooden Balance Scooter
Vespa riders have more fun. In adorable pink or refreshing mint — time for a sunny afternoon in the city!
Vespa scooters are made for fun, lighthearted city dwellers — who spend Saturday afternoons meeting friends for brunch in old town.
People love to ride them — like the Mini Cooper of two-wheeled vehicles — with timeless 1950s euro-vintage appeal with modern amenities built-in. Comfort is king when you’re cruising the cobblestone alleys scouting out that used bookstore your esoteric friend recommended.
With rubber handles, inflated tires, and an adjustable ergonomic seat — Janod’s imaginative wooden remake is a high price tag — but that’s the cost of riding in style.
(06) Hape “Scoot Around” Ride On Wood Bike for Babies
Arrest me! It’s not technically a two-wheeler balance bike — but for wobbly babies it’s the ideal option.
Four wheels makes eco-popular Hape brand’s wooden ride on push toy “not technically a balance bike”. (Standard models have two wheels inline.)
Recommended for 12+ month babies — four wheels makes this is the perfect toy for babies starting to learn how to walk and get boot scoot themselves around the big exciting world.
Scooting around with the added stability — from the four-wheeler design — is something to put cautious parents minds at ease.
Primarily intended for indoor use on hard floors and short-pile carpet (not fluffy) — don’t expect a good ride on sidewalk or driveway.
Do expect delightful rubberized wooden wheels that grip like magic and don’t leave scrubby marks on your surfaces.
Can’t wait until the recommended minimum 2 years old (or close to it) for a two-wheeler? This four-wheeler gets an early start at minimum 1 year old (or close to it).
With a bold new look in 2022 — if lime green isn’t your color. Now try ocean blue.
People have differences, people have preferences — and that’s what makes the world tutti frutti exciting!
If you don’t like Hape brand’s green or blue look — Top Bright brand’s hotrod style wooden balance four-wheeler might rev up your excitement engine.
(07) Montessori House Bed Natural Colors Mini Balance Bike
Fanciful nature-inspired colors and prints (and not much else) — except a free bike stand.
With 12″ inch wheels and a seat adjustable from 13″ to 17″ inches hight — it’s a slightly on the small side.
Made of quality birch plywood — available in 7 nature-inspired colors and prints — the reason you’d choose Montessori House Bed’s comes down to colors.
I suppose the free wooden balance bike stand is another perk.
Ride-wise, it’s nothing special when compared to leaders like Leg&Go, Kinderfeets, and Wishbone. Price-wise, is the same story.
(08) Kiddimoto Designer Pattern Kids Wooden No-Pedal Bike
Realistic wooden balance bikes recreated for your toddler’s special interests.
For a rebellious look that stings oh so punk rock. Kidmoto’s black skull and crossbones pattern (or British Flag pattern) is the best first balance bike for a toddler whose on track for a dark motorcycle speedster when they reach legal age.
Price wise — I’ll say it’s a little high — I recommend the tried-and-tested ride quality of Kinderfeets over Kiddimoto. Still — only Kiddimoto offers these particular funky special designs.
Let’s daydream — and look beyond the best-sellers something that gives you goosebumps.
Colorful fesign patterns like — Ladybug polka dots balance bug? Lucky lady stars and cherry?
Realistic motorcycle balance bike frames like — Superbike moto balance racer? Motocross balance jumper? Euro citybike café balance scooter?
You gotta check out the Kiddimoto Amazon Store.
Weight, Wheels, Seat, and Handlebars: What’s the best setup?
Balance bicycles come in many shapes and sizes — heights and weights — and exactly how these things line up matters big time.
For overall balance, ride-ability, and a good fit.
When you’re measuring your toddler before your buy — here’s the best bike size advice I can give. The balance bike you buy should be a size where your toddler can…
The average toddler wooden balance bike weight is 3-4 pounds (about 1.5 kg). Solid wood is most durable but heavier and expensive. Plywood is less durable but lighter and most cost-effective.
The best wheel size depends on your child’s size — about 8-10″ inch wheels are best for young toddlers (2-3 years), and about 10-14″ inch wheels once they reach preschool age (3-5 years).
It’s common to have different sized front and rear wheels — front usually larger than the rear to handle bumpy terrain. Look for cartridge bearings or ball bearings (for wheels and handlebars) — the industry standard bike bearing for smooth riding and steering — like a mountain bike.
The standard seat height should be around 12-18″ inch, and the handlebars height should be about 42″ inches.
Many models come fully equipped with an adjustable seat — and some even boast adjustable handlebars. Measure your child’s inseam, and subtract a half inch — that’s your ideal seat height. Too much adjusting, too many loose parts — is not always a good thing. A part going loose while riding — is never good.
Introduce your child’s first balance bike at 2 years or the months leading up to it. More accurately — buy a wooden balance bike with a frame that’s “a little too big” for your toddler now — with room to grow for 1-2 years.
Balance Bike Buyer’s Bloopers: What to avoid.
If you buy a cruddy balance bike, you’re gonna regret it.
Balance bikes can be dangerous for toddlers. If they fall off, they could get hurt.
Buying a rickety cheap balance bike makes accidents all the more likely.
When you find yourself in one of these scenerios — “Run, Forest, Run”:
- Don’t buy your 4 year old a balance bike built for a 2 year old. Balance bikes are designed for toddlers who have just learned how to walk — not kids who can already run and jump and ride big kid bikes with pedals and all.
- Don’t forget to wear a helmet. These things don’t have breaks. There’s no way to stop your child from falling off at one point or another. If you’re not comfortable with inevitable toddler crashes, a balance bike is not for you. Get a helmet.
- Don’t pay less than $50 for a balance bike. You’ll grimace when you open the box on day one. That said — you don’t have to spend too much either. Once you’re looking at the $200-$300 range — I admit it’s a little excessive. Baby, you’ve got wiggle room!
Outdoor vs. Indoor: No problems here!
For rugged outdoor riding, choose a balance bike with proven reviews of excellent durability, and pneumatic tires (air tires) at least 10″ in diameter.
For controlled indoor riding, choose a balance bike with with streak-free rubber tires to protect all types floor surfaces (hardwood, carpet, rugs).
Foam tires don’t work well outside, but work just fine indoors.
Lucky for you — most wooden balance bikes work great both outside and inside. Just wipe down the tires before you bring it inside — so you don’t track in dirt, mud, or worse from outside.
(Safety Warning – No matter which bike you pick — watch out for risks of falling down stairs, or rolling from the driveway into the street. Especially for early riders, parental involvement is even more critical.)