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.
5 Best Wooden Balance Bikes
|Bike||What We Love||Price|
|1||Early Rider Classic||14″ / 12″ Wheel Combo||$149|
|2||Kinderfeets Classic||Chalkboard paint||$99.00 *|
|3||Kiddimoto Kurve||Cute prints||*|
|4||Wishbone 3-in-1||Trike to balance bike||$279.99 *|
Early Rider Classic
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.
The Kinderfeets Classic is like two gifts in one. Not only is it a balance bike, it is a chalkboard too! The bike comes in both a plain wood version as well as a version thats 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.
Price: $99.00 (Last updated: 2023-05-22 at 01:09 – More Info)
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.
Price: (Last updated: – More Info)
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.
Price: $279.99 (Last updated: 2023-06-02 at 14:04 – More Info)
Diggin Active Skuut
For the price, the Skuut offers a great little package. It is lightweight, has pneumatic (air) tires, and comes with a 1-year warranty.
The Skuut brand was recently bought out by Diggin Active. It’s no longer clear to us if they offer the new company has retained the same impressive environmental policies as the brand used to.
Price: (Last updated: – More Info)
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||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|
|Kinderfeets Classic||12″||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″||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.
Sizing: Seat Height And Wheel Size
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.
Wheel size is also a good indicator for how well a balance bike will fit your child. The bigger the wheels, the bigger the bike!
Most balance bikes has 12 inch wheels, but you’ll also see some with 10 inch wheels as well as 14 inch wheels. The younger your child, the smaller the wheels you’ll want.
For more information on sizing, check out our guide to kids bike sizes.
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.
How To Make A Wooden Balance Bike
If you are handy, you could also consider making a wooden balance bike. The key is to use good quality wood like marine birch, and to buy smooth rolling wheels.
We recommend looking for balance bike wheels that are made of metal (not plastic) and that include pneumatic (air) tires rather than foams ones.
For a tutorial, check out this wooden DIY balance bike.
For more information on choosing a balance bike, check out these articles:
4 thoughts on “5 Best Wooden Balance Bikes For Your Child & How To Choose!”
I’d just chime in to say that the slightly smaller/lighter version of the Early Rider, the Lite 12 is totally rad. It is one wooden bike that can definitely handle some shredding. Our daughter’s buddy didn’t learn to balance her skuut until she got to use our early rider for an afternoon–don’t know exactly what it is, maybe the sealed bearings–but it was much easier to get started on. If you need proof that kids can shred on a wooden bike:: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDOX9FF_ONQ&t=9s The only thing really amiss in this article is that you didn’t mention LikeABike. the literal original balance bike out of Germany. Though everyone now knows them for the Jumper, they make amazing wooden bikes. Occasionally they’ll pop up on Craigslist for a reasonable price and really old their own.
Hi Kels, Thanks so much for the feedback! I’ve actually never had a chance to see / test a wooden LikeABike. Based on the quality of the Jumper, I’m sure they are amazing though. With these types of posts, I always go back and update over time — add runners-up, etc, so I appreciate the input. I’ll try to get my hands on one to check it out. As for the Lite 12, it is a nice bike – I agree. Maybe I’ll add it as a mention in the section on the Classic.
I bought the wooden Wishbone 3 in 1 for my kid when he turned 1. He was able to really ride the trike starting at 18 months and loved it. When he turned 3, I converted it to the 2 wheel balance bike. He hated it and refused to ride it at all. 6 months later after trying to coax him onto using the balance bike, I gave up and converted it back to trike, which he continues to love. He rides for miles on it and has even take the trike to a kid day at our local pump track for BMX bikes. We were also gifted a Scuut balance bike, and he is similarly disinterested in that. He loves how fast he can go on the Wishbone trike, but has shown interest in pedal bikes because he sees other kids riding them. So far I’ve told him that he has to ride a 2 wheel balance bike before I will get him a pedal bike, which has not resulted in any interest in the 2 wheel balance bike. He is now 3 years 9 months, 40″ tall with 17″ inseam. Should I get him a pedal bike? Continue to insist that he ride a 2 wheel balance bike first?
Get him a pedal bike and remove the pedals to use it like a balance bike at first. Don’t force the issue (it’s important that he think of bikes being fun), but continue to offer it. Eventually, he’ll want to make the switch…..