There are lots of reasons to buy a wooden balance bike—they are eco-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and lots of fun. Of all the balance bikes I’ve helped folks buy, these are also the most commonly given gift-item.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of wooden balance bikes on the market that are of sub-par quality and will quickly fall apart. If you are shopping for a wooden balance bike, and want something that will last for years and be well-loved, then choose from one of these top picks.
The 5 Best Wooden Balance Bikes
Early Rider Classic Balance Bike
The Early Rider classic is just that—a classic. Carved from quality marine birch, this wooden balance bike is both beautiful and environmentally-friendly. Flames on the side will make even the littlest riders feel cool!
The unique design uses a 14” front wheel and extra-fat tires to provide cushion and traction on even the roughest terrain. With high-quality parts and a phenomenal 125 pound weight limit, this bike is sure to last for years. The Early Rider Classic easily takes my top spot for wooden balance bikes.
Kinderfeets Classic Balance Bike
The Kinderfeets Classic is like two gifts in one. Not only is it a balance bike, it is a chalkboard too! The bike comes painted in a variety of colorful chalkboard paints that kiddos can draw on.
You can also feel good about your purchase knowing that for every tree that is harvested to make a Kinderfeets bike, another tree is planted in its place.
Kiddimoto Kurve Wooden Balance Bike
Kiddimoto always hits the target when it comes to cuteness. Their wooden balance bikes come in a variety of fun paint schemes; there are even helmets to match. In addition to looking cute, they also offer good performance. I like their beefy pneumatic (air) tires that provide excellent traction on grass, dirt, and gravel.
The Wishbone 3-in-1 offers the best bang for your buck. It converts from a trike to a small balance bike to a big balance bike, allowing it to grow with your child from ages 1 to 5. The Wishbone is made of preservative-free birch and eucalyptus, organic cotton, and wheels that are 60% recycled plastic.
Skuut Wooden Balance Bike
For the price, the Skuut offers a great little package. It is lightweight, has pneumatic (air) tires, and comes with a 1-year warranty. Like the other bikes on this list, the Skuut is eco-friendly – the company has partnered with Trees for the Future to replace the trees they harvest.
Price and Where to Buy:
- $120, find a retailer at Skuut.com
Wooden Balance Bike Comparison Chart
Not sure which of these bikes is best for your child? Use the comparison chart below to help you choose. You can also, read on for additional tips to help you make the best choice.
|Bike||Wheel Size||Price (MSRP)||Suggested Age||Seat Height||Frame Material||Tire Type||Bike weight||Brake?||Multiple colors|
|Early Rider Classic||12″/14″|| |
|2 – 5 years||12.5″ – 16″||Wood||Air||10 lbs||No||No|
|2 – 5 years||13″-16″||Wood||Air||8 lbs||No||Yes|
|Wishbone 3-in-1 Original||12″|
|12 months – 6 years||9″-20″||Wood||Air||12 lbs||No||Yes|
|Kiddimoto Wooden||12″||3- 5 years||14.5″ – 15.5″||Wood||Air||10 lbs||No||Yes|
|Skuut||12″||$120||2 – 5 years||13.5″-16.5″||Wood||Air||10 lbs||No||No|
What to Look For When Shopping for a Wooden Balance Bike
Depending on the age and size of your child, you may want to carefully consider the weight of the bike you are choosing. The more a bike weighs, the more difficult it is going to be for your child to maneuver. Generally speaking, less weight is best.
Balance bikes come with either pneumatic (air) tires or solid plastic/foam tires. I always recommend that parents choose a bike with air tires. Even though they come with the added inconvenience of occasionally going flat, they provide superior traction when compared to solid tires. All of the bikes I’ve provided in this list have air tires.
Before buying a balance bike, make sure to measure your child’s inseam. The minimum seat height of the bike you are choosing should be AT LEAST as short as their inseam. Pay attention to the maximum seat height as well—the larger it is, the more use your child will end up getting from the bike before they outgrow it.
When NOT to Buy a Wooden Balance Bike
Are there any reasons not to buy a wooden balance bike? Yes. If you are looking for a balance bike that is going to be ridden aggressively – at the BMX track, pump track, or singletrack, then your child will be better off with a steel or aluminum frame. That said, for the majority of young riders, a wooden balance bike will work perfectly for riding on the sidewalk or in the driveway.
For more information on choosing a balance bike, check out these articles:
- The Ultimate Guide to Balance Bikes
- The Best Balance Bikes for Toddlers
- The Best Balance Bikes for Pre-Schoolers