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7 Best Budget Balance Bikes Under $110

Author: Kristen Bonkoski


For all the moms and dads out there who recognize the benefits of a balance bike, but don’t want to spend a fortune, we’ve compiled a list of the best budget balance bikes under $110.

Our top pick is the GOMO balance bike. It offers a ton of bang for your buck including features we don’t typically see on balance bikes at this price point, including quick releases on both the seat post and handlebars for quick, tool-free size adjustments.

We have personally tested and reviewed all of the balance bikes on this list as well as many more. If your budget is a little higher, you may also want to review our guides to the best balance bikes for toddlers, balance bikes for slightly older kids, and wooden balance bikes.

4 year old on the gomo

Best “Budget” Balance Bikes

1GOMO$49.99 *
2 Banana Bike GT Price not available *
3 Strider Classic $115.99 *
4 Yvolution Y Velo Jr $64.99 *
5 Retrospec CubPrice not available *
6Schwinn Koen / Elm$99.99

*Amazon prices last updated at 2023-03-08 at 02:41 – More info


gomo balance bike in action

Price: $49.99 (Last updated: 2024-05-16 at 07:08 – More Info)

✔️ Quick-release seat post and handlebar post collars❌ Lacks pneumatic (air) tires
✔️ Upright geometry ❌ Plastic parts may be prone to break
✔️ Unobtrusive footrest ❌ Steering limiter isn’t removable
✔️ Attractive paint job and design

The GOMO (short for “Get Out More Often”) is one of our favorite budget balance bikes thanks to its confidence-inspiring geometry, easy size adjustments, and unobtrusive foot rest. We also love the attractive paint job and bright color schemes.

The only downsides to this bike are that the wheels are foam rather than air, and many of the parts are plastic rather than aluminum or steel.

Fits: 2.5 to 4 years old

Read Review: GOMO Balance Bike

Banana Bike

banana bike gt in use

Price: Price not available (Last updated: 2024-05-16 at 07:08 – More Info)

✔️ Quick release seatpost collar ❌ No steering limiter
✔️ Low standover height
✔️ Threadless headset

The Banana Bike looks and feels like a more expensive bike than it is. The bike has a quick-release seatpost that allows for easy size adjustments, and a low step-over height so young kids can easily maneuver the bike.

The only bummer is the lack of a steering limiter which can lead to kids who are just learning to ride to over-rotate the handlebars.

Fits: 2 to 4 years old

Read Review: Banana Bike Balance Bike

Strider Classic

strider bike gloves

Price: $115.99 (Last updated: 2024-05-31 at 17:08 – More Info)

✔️ A Strider gains you entry to the “Strider club”❌ Lacks pneumatic (air) tires
✔️ Accessories and upgrade kits allow for a wide range of customization
✔️ Easy to find used and to sell

The Strider Classic is the popular company’s most affordable and most simple balance bike. But fear not: it can be endlessly customized and upgraded as you see fit.

It will also get you in the Strider “club” and all the fun that entails–Strider races, photo contests, and more.

As for as performance goes, the Strider lacks the bells and whistles of many other bikes–it has foam tires rather than air tires, for example–but sometimes simplicity is best. Thanks to the brand name, the bike is also easy to sell when you’re done with it, or to pick up used in the first place.

Fits: 18 months to 3 years old

Read Review: Strider Classic Balance Bike

Yvolution Y Velo Jr


Price: $64.99 (Last updated: 2024-05-16 at 07:08 – More Info)

✔️ Unique double rear wheel design is ideal for young toddlers ❌ Tires aren’t ideal for outdoor riding
✔️ Rubber wheels don’t mark up indoor floors ❌ Better as a “toy” than as a “bike”
✔️ Easily adjustable handlebar and seatpost
✔️ Recessed bolts and smooth surfaces mean there’s nothing to get injured on

The Yvolution Y Velo Junior is the ideal balance bike for very young riders (starting around 18 months old). Thanks to the unique double rear wheel, it provides additional stability and helps kids learn to ride with confidence. Once they’ve mastered the double wheel, you can remove it to have a traditional single rear wheel.

It is lightweight, and thanks to the low standover height and smaller wheels, it fits tiny toddlers perfectly.

We wouldn’t recommend this bike for older toddlers or preschoolers who will be better off with a more aggressive-minded bike, but it’s one of our faves for younger riders.

Fits: 18 months to 3 years old

Read Review: Yvolution Y Velo Junior Balance Bike

Retrospec Cub

toddler on the retrospec balance bike

Price: Price not available (Last updated: 2024-05-13 at 13:07 – More Info)

✔️ Quick-release seatpost & handlebars❌ Lacks pneumatic (air) tires
✔️ Lots of fun colors, good aesthetic ❌ Heavy
✔️ Tough, rigid steel frame
✔️ Low standover height

The Retrospec Cub is a great option for parents who just want their child to try a balance bike without having to make a big investment. It’s easy to get on and off thanks to the sloped top tube, and easier to maneuver for kids who’ve shown frustration on other bikes.

We also really appreciate the quick release collars on both the seat post and handlebars. This means you can quickly and easily make height adjustments without needing any tools.

Often times with budget balance bikes, we’ve found that they aren’t that durable. That’s not the case with Retrospec Cub. The frame is tough and rigid, and has held up well with lots of abuse–except for some scratches to the paint.

Fits: 2 to 3 years old

Read Our Review: Retrospec Cub

Schwinn Koen / Elm

schwinn koen balance bike sizing

Price: $99.99 (Last updated: 2024-05-31 at 07:07 – More Info)

✔️ Quick-release seatpost collar❌ Lacks air tires
✔️ Handle on saddle ❌ Quill-style headset tends to rattle loose
✔️ Steering limiter ❌ Limited seatpost adjustability

The Schwinn Koen and Schwinn Elm balance bikes are durable, lightweight, and fun to ride. The two bikes are the exact same, just with different color schemes.

My way too big 7 year old has put this bike through the ringer and it has held up admirably well. A true test of its durability.

We like that it has a quick-release seatpost collar for quick and easy seat height adjustments. The seat also has a handle which works well for teaching toddlers to ride, as well as for carrying and hanging storage. The only bummer is that the seatpost only has 2.5 inches of adjustability so it won’t grow with your child as long as other balance bikes.

Fits: 2.5 to 4 years old

Read Our Review: Schwinn Koen / Elm

Comparison Chart: Balance Bikes Under $110

Balance BikeWheel SizeMinimum Seat HeightMaximum Seat HeightWeightFrame MaterialPneumatic (air) tires?Quick release seatpost?Adjustable handelbars?
GOMO12"12"17.5"6.4 lbsSteelNoYesYes
Banana Bike GT12"13.5"18"10.3 lbAluminumYesYesYes
Strider Classic12"11"16"6.4 lbsSteelNoYesYes
Retrospec Cub12"12"16.5"9.2 lbsSteelNoYesYes
Vitus Nippy12"15"17.5"4.1 lbsAluminumNoNoYes
Schwinn Koen / Elm12"14.5"16.75"8.5 lbsSteelNoYesNo
Yvolution Y Velo Jr 10"11"14.7"8.4 lbsAluminumNoYesYes

What to Look For In a Budget Balance Bike

While you can’t expect to find higher-end features, such as hand brakes or pneumatic air tires, in a cheaper balance bike, there are still a few things you should look for.

Minimum (and Maximum) Seatpost Height

To know whether or not a balance bike is a good fit for your child, you need to measure their inseam. Your child’s inseam should be AT LEAST as long as the minimum seatpost height of the bike you are considering. This will allow your child to put their feet flat on the ground and balance.

3 year old on q play balance bike

On the flip side, you may also want to consider the maximum seatpost height. The higher the seatpost can be raised, the longer the bike will grow with your child.

Quick-Release Seatpost Collar

As I just mentioned, as your child grows, you’ll want to raise their seat. And as a parent of a young child, I’m sure you can imagine, just how often that will happen. Toddlers and preschoolers seem to grow daily!

banana balance bike quick release seatpost collar
The quick-relase seatpost collar allows seat height adjustments to be made without any tools

That’s why we always like to look for a balance bike with a quick-release seatpost collar. This allows you to adjust the seatpost height quickly and without any tools.

While this is nice to have for all parents, if you have multiple little ones that are going to be sharing the bike, it becomes a must have! You want to be able to quickly raise or lower the seat for the child who wants to ride next.


The smaller and younger your child is, the more important weight becomes. While weight shouldn’t be your only consideration (cheap plastic is often much lighter than durable steel, for example), it is definitely a critical factor.

A lighter bike is far more enjoyable for young kids just learning to ride. If a bike is too heavy, they will get frustrated and give up easily. It can also make riding more dangerous, as heavy bikes lead to tip-overs and difficulty handling and maneuvering the bike.

Wheel Size

You might notice that the balance bikes on this list include bikes that have both 10″ and 12″ wheels. So which is better?

It depends. In general, 12″ wheels are superior. They are larger which means they can roll faster and make it up and over obstacles more easily.

balance bike wheels

That said, we often prefer 10″ wheels for very small riders, especially those between 18 and 24 months old.

When to Spend More To Get a Better Bike

While a “budget” balance bike might work just fine for the majority of families out there, in many cases I’d still recommend you spend more money to get a top-shelf balance bike.

If your family does a lot of biking, if you have a particularly athletic child, or if you plan on using the bike off-road, definitely spring for a more expensive bike. Higher end balance bikes have pnemautic (air) tires rather than foam or plastic tires, metal wheels rather than plastic, and will often have a handbrake as well.

pneumatic air tires vs EVA foam tires
The tire on the left is made of EVA while the tire on the right is a traditional pneumatic (air) tire. There’s a reason adult bikes come with air tires–they work better!

A bike like the Woom 1 will roll faster, be more enjoyable, and provide added traction, stability, and braking power; i.e. it’s safer to ride in real-world conditions.

woom 1 sizing

If you’re looking for a toy, pick a bike off this list; if you’re looking for a real bicycle, expect to spend more.

Additionally, if you have several children (or you plan on having more kids), suck it up and spend more to get a nicer bike. The higher-end bikes are durable and will last through multiple kids. Brand name bikes, like Woom and Prevelo, also have a robust used market so you can always sell them for a good price later on as well.

Learn More About Balance Bikes

About Us

The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.

Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.

If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!

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