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Balance Bike vs Training Wheels

Are balance bikes a new concept? How old do you have to be to ride a balance bike? Let’s dive in and take a deeper look!

It’s a matchup for the ages.

In this corner we have the seasoned veteran – training wheels. They’ve been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Those who have used them most likely have some brutal memories and possibly even a scar or two.

In the other corner we have the young upstart – a balance bike! Balance bikes are taking the learn-to-ride process to a whole new level and are setting kids up for immediate success.

Now, let’s take a deeper look at their side-by-side stats.

Balance Bike

Training Wheels

Starting Age

Start at a Younger Age – Whoever said babies can’t ride bikes has clearly never heard of the Strider 2-in-1 Rocking Bike. As soon as your baby begins crawling, they’re ready to rock! The Rocking Bike is designed for ages 6 -18 months. Once they’re proficient at rocking, the balance bike detaches from the base, and they can start striding. Children as young as 1.5 years old are riding a bike!

Typically, kids who learn to ride a bike with training wheels begin the process at around 4 years old

Bike Weight

Depending on the model, 12” Strider Balance Bikes weigh between 5 – 6.7 lbs. They’re the ideal size and fit for a child’s small frame. This is also the weight of most kids’ toys.

The average weight of a bike with training wheels is around 20 lbs. Most toddlers have a hard time operating bikes this heavy, as they can often times weigh as much as them, making it difficult and intimidating!


Toddlers can ride on a variety of terrain. There isn’t anywhere they can’t go on a balance bike. These little bikes can handle all types of uneven surfaces from gravel and trails to skateparks and pump tracks!

Training wheels are designed to be used on flat, smooth surfaces, so children had better become comfortable riding up and down the street a hundred times.


Balance Bikes create independence and give kids the confidence to try new things! One day they’re walking with their bike, figuring out how to move with it, and the next day they’re sailing down a hill gung-ho with their feet up. It’s a beautiful sight.

Training wheels limit what kids can do and hold them back. Once it’s time to take the training wheels off, they must go back to square one and learn the fundamental skill of balance. Being held back = the opposite of confidence.

Skills Learned

Steering, turning, and balancing are all skills needed to master riding a bicycle. Balance Bikes are designed to help kids accomplish ALL these things.

Training wheels are designed to be uneven and completely off balance, which makes for a wobbly, uncomfortable ride! Leaning into turns is basically impossible. Steering is also difficult as the bike is designed to move forward…and only forward. 

Obviously, the balance bike clearly wins this match. It can take your kiddo much further as it is lightweight and easy to ride! Your little shredder will develop balance, stability, and independence all while growing in confidence! Plus, when your child is itching to ride with the ‘big kids’, it’ll be a cakewalk transitioning to a pedal bike.

Better luck next time, training wheels!

Let’s Get Started.

Ready to roll? Shop the full lineup of Strider Balance Bikes.