So you want a good-quality balance bike that isn’t going to break the bank? That’s actually a pretty hard bill to fit as most “budget” balance bikes are poorly designed and break easily.
Fortunately, the GOMO balance bike manages to be both affordable and well-designed. It doesn’t have the same features as high-end balance bikes (like pneumatic air tires and a hand brake), but it does offer simplicity and functionality at a price that won’t cause your kids to eat Ramen for the next month.
In this review, we’ll share what we love about the GOMO, what we don’t, and how it stacks up against the competition.
Review in a Nutshell
- Excellent construction for a budget bike
- Quick-release seatpost and handlebar post collars
- Upright geometry
- Unobtrusive foot rest
- Attractive paintjob and design
- Lacks pneumatic (air) tires
- Plastic parts may be prone to break
- Steering limiter isn’t removable
- Weight: 8.5 lbs
- Seatpost Height: 12″ – 17″
- Wheel size: 12″
- Tires: EVA foam
- Frame Material: Steel
Price: Price not available (Last updated: 2020-08-12 at 12:56 – More Info)
GOMO Balance Bike Detailed Review
Sized For Older Toddlers and Preschoolers
The GOMO balance bike is sized best for older toddlers and preschoolers, especially those between 2.5 and 4 years old.
While the minimum seatpost height is only 11″, the handlebars are high enough, that we’d recommend waiting until your child is closer to a 13″ inseam, or at least 2.5 years old.
From there, there is plenty of room to grow with the bike. The seatpost raises all the way to 17″ and the handlebars have 3″ of adjustment. This means that most kids will fit very comfortably on the bike up until 4 years old, and some may even be able to stretch it past that.
While he is technically too big for the bike, even my 6-year-old had a lot of fun trying out this bike and doing “tricks.” This is also a testament to the bike as fun bike for more aggressive and athletic kids.
Our 4 year old tester (left) is perfectly sized for the bike. Even our 6 year old tester (right), while technically too big for the bike, was still able to enjoy the GOMO.
12″ Wheels Roll Over Obstacles
Another reason the GOMO works well for preschoolers are the 12″ wheels. While 12″ wheels are pretty standard for balance bikes, many budget balance bikes come with 10″ wheels.
10″ wheels are great for very young toddlers (between 18 months and 2 years), but by the time kids are 2.5 or 3 years old, 12″ wheels are far superior. They can go faster, and are able to roll more easily over obstacles (like a crack in the sidewalk for instance).
Upright Geometry and Long Wheelbase Creates Stability and Confidence
The GOMO balance bike is uniquely well-designed for a budget balance bike. The child’s positioning on the bike is upright which helps with confidence.
Additionally, the wheelbase (the length from the far ends of both wheels) is quite long compared to most budget bikes. This helps create stability and also provides plenty of maneuverability for kids who are athletic and want to do “tricks” or otherwise goof around on the bike.
Lightweight Build Makes Learning to Ride Easy
Heavy balance bikes can cause kids to wear out quickly and to get frustrated. If your child is too small and the bike is too heavy, it can even be dangerous!
While it’s not THE lightest balance bike (the Woom 1 for instance only weighs 6.6 lbs), the GOMO tips the scales at a perfectly respectable 8.5 lbs. This means that even petite children will be able to confidently handle the bike.
Unobtrusive Footrest Provides Extra Fun
The footrest on the GOMO provides an extra element of fun for kids who have mastered gliding. These older toddlers and preschoolers love to tuck their feet on the footrest while cruising, and even using it to aid in tricks.
The footrest on the GOMO balance bike is unobtrusive and out of the way of a child’s feet. In comparison, some balance bikes have footrests that obstruct a child’s natural stride or create a lack of clearance between the ground and the pegs.
Tool-Free Seatpost and Handlebar Adjustments Make Life Easy
We love that both the seat height and handlebar height can be adjusted easily, and without tools, thanks to the quick release levers. This is super helpful since kids grow seemingly overnight. It also allows the bike to be swapped easily between siblings or kids of different sizes.
That said, we did find it difficult to get the handlebar collar tightened enough to keep the handlebars from rotating. Make sure when you initially assemble the bike, you get this really snug to prevent accidents.
Excellent Construction and Value for a Balance Bike Under $100
We often have trouble recommending a balance bike under $100. They tend to be cheaply made, fall apart or break easily and can be downright dangerous.
That’s why we were so excited by the GOMO–at last a budget balance bike we can recommend without reservations!
I gave the bike to my too-big 6-year-old to use and abuse. This included him riding off the curb, jumping cracks in the sidewalk, and throwing it on the neighbors driveway. After a month of testing, the worst damage were some scrapes to the paint.
But We Do Worry About the Durability of Plastic Parts
All that said, we do worry somewhat about the long-term durability of the bike’s plastic parts; specifically, the quick-release seatpost collar, handlebar clamp, footrest, and wheels.
While we haven’t had any issues with those parts while testing the bike, I would think twice if you plan to store like bike outdoors in hot or cold conditions, as those can cause plastic to crack.
Steering Limiter Adds an Extra Element of Safety for Toddlers, But May Be Restrictive for Preschoolers
The bike has a steering limiter that helps keep kids from over-rotating the handlebars and crashing. This is super useful for kids who are just learning to ride a balance bike.
Unfortunately, the steering limiter isn’t removable. This limits older, more agerssive kids from having a full range of motion, and ultimately learning to keep their handlebars steady (a skill kids need before moving to a pedal bike).
Still, this is a pretty knit-picky complaint and I wouldn’t let it stop you from buying the bike.
Foam Tires Won’t Go Flat
Do you hate dealing with flat tires? If so, you’ll love that the GOMO has EVA foam tires that will never go flat. (These are the same kind of tires that you’ll find on the ever popular Strider Classic balance bike).
Compared to many balance bikes with foam or plastic tires, these tires do a pretty decent job of providing traction. If your kids stick to riding on the sidewalk or driveway, these tires should be fine.
On the other hand, if you have a particularly adventurous kiddo that likes riding on dirt, gravel, grass, etc. they will be better off with a balance bike that has pneumatic (air) tires. Air tires provide better traction when riding on uneven or loose surfaces.
Here’s a comparison of pneumatic (air) tires (left) with a foam tire (right). Notice how much more substantial the air tire is.
Slip-Proof Grips with Bar Ends Keeps Small Hands From Sliding of the Bars
We really dig the grips on the GOMO. For one, they look cool. But more importantly, they are functional and help keeps kids safe.
The grips are super, well, “grippy” providing plenty of traction to help keep sweaty little hands from slipping off. Additionally, there are nice large bumpers at the ends of the grips to keep small fingers planted firmly on the bars.
The GOMO balance bike manages to look like a more expensive bike than it is. This is thanks largely to the bright color schemes. The pink and teal bike, in particular, gained a lot of attention from passerby.
The decals are stick-on (as are all decals in this price range), but managed to look nice and didn’t scratch off even when my crazy kiddo managed to scratch the paint.
But What is “GOMO”?
Finally, we’d be remiss not to mention that GOMO stands for “Get Out More Often.” Since that’s basically our life purpose here at Rascal Rides–getting more kids and families outdoors on bikes–we love the name and love the message behind the brand.
Comparison Chart: GOMO vs Other Budget Balance Bikes
Here’s how the GOMO stacks up against some of our other favorite sub-$100 balance bikes.
|Balance Bike||Wheel Size||Minimum Seat Height||Maximum Seat Height||Weight||Frame Material||Pneumatic (air) tires?||Quick release seatpost?||Adjustable handelbars?|
|Banana Bike GT||12"||13.5"||18"||10.3 lb||Aluminum||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Strider Classic||12"||11"||16"||6.4 lbs||Steel||No||Yes||Yes|
|Burley MyKick||12"||12.5"||16"||11 lbs||Steel||No||Yes||Yes|
|Vitus Nippy||12"||15"||17.5"||4.1 lbs||Aluminum||No||No||Yes|
|Schwinn Koen / Elm||12"||14.5"||16.75"||8.5 lbs||Steel||No||Yes||No|
|Yvolution Y Velo Jr||10"||11"||14.7"||8.4 lbs||Aluminum||No||Yes||Yes|
Bottom-Line: Fun and Quality on a Budget
For under $100, you probably won’t find a better balance bike. The GOMO makes a fun and practical bike to learn on for kids in the 2.5 to 4 year old age range. It has confidence-inspiring geometry, a low overall weight, and impressive construction for the price.
If you want the BEST balance bike for your child and you are willing to pay for it, we’d still recommend a bike like the Woom 1 with its dual handbrakes, sealed bearings, pneumatic air tires, and alloy wheels.
That said, if you’re more interested in the balance bike that gives you the “best bang for your buck”, the GOMO balance bike is a top choice.