Balance Bikes

When our kids were age 6, 4, 3 and 1, we bought a balance bike, as none of our children could yet ride a bicycle without training wheels, and I was curious as to whether balance bikes would be as good at training children to ride a bicycle as I had heard.

Within 1 week, Ben and Charlotte were riding around on their big bicycles with no training wheels *very* confidently, and 4 weeks later, Jacob (who was 3 at the time) was riding around on a big bicycle with no training wheels!!! It was soooo amazing and we cannot speak highly enough of balance bikes.

Now all 3 "big" kids go for proper fast rides on their bicycles with Michael, and Oliver (who is now 2) rides along on the balance bike, so it will have taught 4 children to ride in a very short time!

They are sooo good! It is the way children in Europe have been learning to ride bicycles for decades, and it is a much more natural progression to a bicycle than using training wheels.

Our kids could all ride a tricycle first, so they were already very good at pedalling... they just learnt how to balance by using the balance bike, and then jumped on a bicycle with no training wheels and rode off!! It was really that easy, and very little parental involvement was necessary (i.e. no running along behind a bicycle holding the seat).

Our mouths dropped open when our 3yo got up on his big brothers 20" bicycle and just rode off!!

This is the one that we got:

JD Bug

but there is more choice here (and they are starting to show up in bicycles shops which is great):


Let me know if you have had any experience with one of these (or even if you haven't heard of them before!)


  1. I have never heard of blanace bikes but wish I had. It took my daughter until she was 10 to be able to ride a bike independently and this would have saved a lot of frustration and tears. As always, your posts are always so well researched!

  2. As someone who always thought they were silly and overpriced (I only saw the Tike one) I must say I am sold! I will be getting one for the boys :)

    First link doesn't work either hun :)

  3. Hm, I'm torn. Emma didn't learn to ride without training wheels until she was nearly 5, but when she decided she wanted to, she learned in a day with very little parental assistance (and on our brick driveway!)
    So I think for her it would have been a waste of money as she was happy with her training wheels until then anyway. But since each child is different ... (Alastair will be 3 in March and refuses to even pedal his trike, he just scoots along on it.)

  4. I wish I'd heard of these sooner too - my boys have given up on bikes and ride scooters instead. I still think it would be good to get them riding bikes - much more versatile than scooters really.
    thanks for the lovely comment for Julian - he's pretty pleased to get so much positive attention.

  5. We use these, but then I am European. LOL! They are great! And no, not all kids need them to learn to ride a bike, but in my opinion they are wonderful!!

  6. When I lived in Germany all the kids used these, but I haven't seen them in the U.S. I think they're great!

  7. Never heard of these bikes but they sound great! Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your nice comment. I am so glad that you have been to visit!

  8. What a fantastic idea! So logical. Thanks for posting this. I think Santa may be delivering one this year!

  9. wow...what a great idea! I have not heard of a balance bike before but my boys are STILL struggling to ride a bike (they are 8 and 5)...I NEED one of these! I am too worn out to run along side all the time! heehee!

  10. They are brilliant. I had read about how good they are but was put off by the price until coming across the jdbug trainer bikes. Got one for our three year old, then soon had to get another for our 2 year old, who was also balancing feet up within hours of hopping on.
    They are good for learning to ride a pedal bike, but even better just for themselves. Our kids can ride a pedal bike but still prefer the trainer bikes, they are so much lighter and just as fast as a pedal bike the same size. The kids go everywhere on them, they not only can keep up with adults on foot, but enjoy going great distances under their own power. When they do get tired out the bikes are light enough to carry. They will go over all surfaces, grass, bush even quite deep sand. Have a search on youtube you'll find quite a few examples of kids enjoying them. I can't recommend them enough.

  11. Hi Ruth. We have a First Bike ( Eddy which he'll probably get at Christmas as he's still a bit short for it - you can get lowering kits for them we just haven't gotten around to putting it on yet! Stu sells them in our bike shop and we're starting to see them around other places too.

  12. Our younger son was really keen on his brothers trainer bike from less than 2 years old. When he was too small to get on he would walk beside it pushing. As soon as he was big enough to sit astride on tip toes with thick soles we couldn't get him off it, so bought him his own.

  13. Found a great review blog on the different models out there.

    Was accurate regarding the model I bought and I wish I had read it before I bought mine.

  14. Seemed like a strange review to me. Why does he rank the BMW and Porsche so high despite the list of things wrong with them? The rant about handlebar clamps is a bit weird too, the wedge type clamps haven't been used on decent bikes in about 20 years, the good ones all use the type he doesn't like.

    He also has a bizarre distrust of random nuts and bolts unless they are part of a quick release.

    He got the handlebar materials back to front too. Aluminium is stiffer than steel for a bar of the same strength.

    I agree the kinderbike sounds good though.

  15. We are thinking of getting a balance bike for our son, who will be two in October. Thanks for the info.

    Found you on Google.



Hi! Thanks for leaving me a comment... I love to hear from people :-)
Ruth xx