The Muna Pro Mini Balance Bike is a high-quality balance bike for the 3-year-old crowd. Too big for the youngest riders, but perfectly designed for aggressive preschoolers, the Muna makes the perfect gift for kiddos who are likely to put the bike to the test. We let our testers ride off curbs, attack the pump track, and play around in mud. At the end of the day, the Muna balance bike was still standing.
Review in a Nutshell
- Knobby, pneumatic (air) tires
- Rear handbrake
- Durable frame and components
- Heavy compared to other 12″ balance bikes
- Exposed bolts (plastic covers are easily damaged/lost)
Price & Where to Buy: $150 at JumpStartBikes.com
Muna Pro Mini Balance Bike Detailed Review
Knobby Air Tires Can Take on Any Terrain
Unlike younger toddlers, preschoolers like to GO places on their balance bike. Sticking to the driveway isn’t sufficicent–they’ll head straight for the grass, for gravel, and off of curbs. Which is fine on the Muna balance bike, thanks to it’s pneumatic (air) tires. Unlike the popular toy-like Strider balance bike, which has foam/plastic tires and doesn’t do well off-pavement, the Muna maintains excellent traction in all conditions.
The tires on the Muna Pro Mini also have plenty of tread–knobs that help shed mud and grip dirt. This makes the bike a good choice for off-road riding and time at the pump track.
Knobby air tires on the Muna provide superior traction
Rear Handbrake Provides Good Practice for Preschoolers
Another differentiation between the Muna Pro Mini balance bike and cheaper balance bikes, like the Strider, is the inclusion of a handbrake. Around 2.5 years old, most kiddos have the necessary eye-hand coordination and hand strength to begin to operate a hand brake. This helps save the soles of shoes, provides parents peace of mind on fast downhills, and lets preschoolers begin practicing braking skills. In our experience, little ones that learn to use a handbrake on a balance bike have a much easier time transitioning to a pedal bike. They only have to learn how to pedal instead of having to learn to pedal and brake at the same time.
We found that the rear brake on the Muna provides plenty of braking power, and we like that the cable is internally routed to help keep things clean and tidy. That said we do prefer the rear v-brake on higher-end balance bikes, like the Saracen Freewheel or the Woom 1 Plus, to the drum brake on the Muna. The brake lever was also a little harder to pull than those on higher-end bikes. Our 4-year-old tester had no problem operating the lever, but our almost 3-year-old tester wasn’t quite able to pull it.
Muna handbrake lever operates a rear drum brake
Durable Frame and Components Make For a Good Hand-Me-Down
If you’re tempted to buy a cheaper, sub-$100 balance bike, think again. By spending a bit more, you are getting a balance bike with a durable aluminum frame and components that are built to last. Both the headset and the hubs on the wheels have ball bearings, which means that the bike will continue rolling smoothly for a long time. And when it does need to be serviced, it’s doable.
We’ve seen too many cheap balance bikes that are fun for about a month, and then break down. Don’t buy a bike that will end up in a landfill. The Muna Pro Mini will last through multiple children or fetch a decent price when you choose to sell it.
Sized For 2 to 4-Year-Olds
The Muna Pro Mini, despite having “mini” in the name is a larger-sized 12″ balance bike and is best suited for kids in the 2.5 to 4-year-old range. The minimum seatpost height is 13″ which means that your little one needs a minimum inseam length of AT LEAST 13″ as well.
Thanks to the adjustable seatpost and stem, both the saddle and handlebars can grow with your child. We appreciate the fact that the bike comes with a quick-release seat collar so you don’t need any tools to lower or raise the seat. The handlebar easily adjusts with an Allen wrench (included).
The bike is a bit on the heavy side for a 12″ balance bike. At 10.5 pounds, it is comparable to the Saracen Freewheel but is significantly heavier than a bike like the Yedoo Too Too. Whether or not this will be an issue is largely dependent on the child riding the bike. More muscular, athletic kids are likely to do great on the bike, while smaller, petite children will be better off with a lighter balance bike.
Our smallest tester the day before his 3rd birthday.
Other Things Worth Mentioning
- The bike has some exposed bolts on the front and rear axles, which aren’t our favorite. It does come with some plastic covers, but in our experience, these fall off quickly and are easily damaged in crashes and when preschoolers throw their bike to the ground. While we much prefer bikes with recessed or rounded axle bolts, we wouldn’t consider this a deal breaker.
- The grips are textured and have reasonably-sized ends so that little hands won’t slip off the handlebars.
- Unlike many balance bikes, the Muna Pro Mini does NOT have a steering limiter. While this is nice for older, more athletic kids who want a full range of motion, it can make learning to ride more challenging.
- In addition to the charcoal color scheme shown here, the bike also comes in a pink “GLO” version. There is also a slightly cheaper, slightly heavier steel version of the bike. You can read more about the full range here.
Comparison Chart: Muna Pro Mini vs Other Balance Bikes
Here’s how the Muna Pro Mini stacks up against some of it’s closest competitors.
|Bike||Wheel Size||MSRP||Seat Height||Suggested Age||Frame Material||Tire Type||Bike weight||Brake?||Multiple colors|
|Muna Pro Mini||12″|
|13″ – 18.5″||2.5-4 years||Aluminum||Air||10.5 lbs||Yes||Yes|
|Kiddimoto Super Junior Max||12″||$110||13.4” – 17.7”||2.5-4 years||Aluminum||Air||9 lbs||Yes||Yes|
|Saracen Freewheel||12″||$199||13″-19″||2-4 years||Aluminum||Air||10.5 lbs||Yes||Yes|
Bottom-Line: A Durable Balance Bike that Can Withstand Abuse
Rather than trying to save money on a cheaper balance bike, do yourself a favor and spend a little more on a durable, safe bike like the Muna Pro Mini. It may cost a bit more than the Enkeeo or Strider, but the Muna is guaranteed to roll smoothly for a long time and to last thru multiple children. Because it is a larger 12″ balance bike, we recommend this bike for athletic kids in the 2.5 to 4-year-old age range.
Price & Where to Buy:
- $150 at JumpStartBikes.com
Learn More About Balance Bikes So You Can Make an Informed Purchase
Need more information before you buy? Here are a couple articles that will help you out.