The Best Off-Road Balance Bikes
If you want a balance bike that is good for riding off-road on rough surfaces such as grass, gravel or dirt tracks then there are a couple of options available.
FirstBike Cross with Brake
FirstBike are a well known and very popular brand. This balance bike is designed for children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. It has a strong frame designed to absorb shock and to protect the childs spine while riding it. This is particularly important for children who are riding off road on bumpy ground. The frame is also very light (the bike weighs 3.9kg) so it is easy for young children to handle.
An useful feature is that this bike comes fitted with a rear drum brake operated from the handle bar. There is also a steering limiter which is important to prevent young children from jack knifing the bike. Overall it makes for a smoother ride with less possibility of the child falling off. Another feature that helps keep children in their seat is the ‘horse saddle’ shaped seat. This is designed to stop children from sliding forwards or backwards off the seat while they are riding the bike.
The wheels are air filled and make for a smooth ride on rougher, bumpier surfaces such as grass, loose dirt and gravel.
All in all this is not a cheap bike (current price) but its quality, design and safety features make it well worth considering if you want a bike with air filled tyres which can handle rougher surfaces.
Strider 12 Pro Balance Bike
The Strider 12 Pro has an aluminium frame and is incredibly light (2.2kg). It has been designed with the aim of giving young children a balance bike that can be ridden on the pavement but also in skate parks and on dirt tracks along side BMX bikes. This bike is suitable for children from the age of 18 months all the way up to 5 years. This age range is achieved by having both a height adjustable seat as well as height adjustable handle bars. The height of the seat can be adjusted between 27 and 48cm.
The wheels on this balance bike are not actually filled with air but are solid and made from an EVA polymer mix which are very light and act a bit like rubber. The advantage to this type of wheel is that they are maintenance free and you will never get a puncture. The downside is that the ride is slightly harder than air filled tyres although the difference is not that big.
Price wise this balance bike is not cheap at around £110 (current price). However for that price you get probably the lightest balance bike available at the moment. It is superbly made and will last until your child progresses to a bike with pedals around the age of 5.
Chicco Cross Runner Balance Bike
If you are looking for a cheaper off-road balance bike then you might like to consider the Chicco Cross Runner Balance bike. This retails at around £40 so is less than half the price of our other choices (current price). This balance bike is fun and looks good. It has an adjustable seat but unlike the Strider bike the handle bars are a fixed height.
The frame is made of metal and the tyres are made from a solid EVA material. This bike is a lot heavier at 4.4kg and is only recommended for children aged between the ages of 3 and 5 years old.
If your child is around 3 years old and you want a bright cheerful balance bike then this is well worth considering.