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Two children ride and stride on Strider 12" Sport balance bikes

What is a Balance Bike?

Are balance bikes a new concept? How old do you have to be to ride a balance bike? Let’s dive in and take a deeper look!

A lot goes into riding a bike for the first time. It’s a skill that requires coordination, balance, steering, braking, and confidence! Attempting to master all those things at once can be tough (we know, we’ve been there) which is why many parents these days are turning to balance bikes! Balance bikes turn the learn-to-ride process into a much easier and enjoyable experience.

But what exactly is a balance bike? Are balance bikes a new concept? How old do you have to be to ride a balance bike? Let’s dive in and take a deeper look!

Simply put, a balance bike is a bike with no pedals. Kids will straddle the seat and to move forward, they’ll propel themselves by scootching along with their feet. Although this may seem like a Flintstones-type method, a balance bike teaches kids just that – balance. A “coordination bike?” A “confidence bike?” An “independence bike?” Although balance bikes help children develop all these things, it just doesn’t sound right, and “Balance Bike” has a nice ring to it.

Simply put, a balance bike
is a bike with no pedals.

Now that we know what a Balance Bike is, let’s travel back in time to when balance bikes were first being used. Although many people think that Balance Bikes are a new phenomenon, they’ve surprisingly been around since the early 1800’s. The modern bicycle didn’t yet exist, and adults needed a way to get around. The original balance bike was pioneered in 1817 by German Karl Drais, who attached two wheels to a wooden frame. This way of transportation was fast, efficient, and didn’t require any pedaling.

Fast forward to 2007, Ryan McFarland took a note from history and the first Strider Bike was born when his 2-year-old son Bode was struggling to ride on traditional learn-to-ride machines. All the contraptions Bode was attempting to operate were too large, too heavy, and too complicated! Ryan went on to weld, chop, and sand Bode’s little 12” bike in his garage until he came up with what would become the very first Strider Balance Bike! It was lightweight and perfectly sized. In no time at all, Bode was whipping through the neighborhood with ease. When other people began to take notice of his new creation, Ryan realized other kids from around the world could experience the same success, adventure, and freedom.

Boy does a wheelie on the first blue Strider Yamaha Balance Bike
Child glides on Strider Balance Bike on a bridge

One thing that makes Strider Bikes so unique is that they make learning to steer on two wheels smooth and easy. By focusing on balance first, Striders allow riders to learn how to lean through turns, physical skills that can’t be accomplished on training wheels. It’s important that kids learn balance first and once they are proficient, adding pedals is the next step. The act of physically learning how to pedal only takes a short amount of time but learning to balance on two wheels is the part that takes practice.

It’s now 2022, and after selling over 3 million bikes, the Strider Bike has been crafted to perfection. With low stand-over height and a lightweight frame, it’s the top-selling toddler bike on the market. The best part is that there are balance bikes for babies who are 6 months old all the way up to 7-year-old kids. There’s something for everyone!

At this point, you may be wondering “Well since there are so many bikes, which one would be best for MY child?” Great question! By measuring your little rippers inseam, you’ll be able to find that perfect bike match! Not sure what an inseam is or how to measure it? Check out the Size and Fit Guide here.

Boy plays on a green 12 Sport 2-in-1 Rocking Bike in a living room
Girl strides and smiles on an orange Strider 12" Sport balance bike
A girl rides a Tangerine Strider 14x Sport

As your kiddo begins their striding journey, Strider has a step-by-step “Learn-to-Stride Guide” to help them (and you) through the process!

It won’t take long for your child to get the hang of riding a Strider Bike, and once they do, your only job is to sit back, relax, and watch as they develop the confidence to explore the awesome world around them.

Let’s Get Started.

Ready to roll? Shop the full lineup of Strider Balance Bikes.