Best Balance Bikes For 5, 6, And 7 Year Olds – Four Models For Bigger Kids

Learning to ride a bike is one of lifes great pleasures, but for some children with special needs or balancing difficulties, it may not be possible or easy to deal with a regular bike. The extra weight, complications with gears and the need to pedal to avoid catching ankles on pedals are all things that make it challenging.

This is where a bigger sized balance bike comes in handy, keeping things simple and safe, it’s easy to touch the ground and coast along, fewer parts means less weight and better stability.  Check out our four models below, each with various attributes such as an optional pedal kit, footrests, and low step frames.

 

 

Wheel Size

Balance Bikes in this age group range from 14″ through to 20″, the KaZAM Swoop is the only 20″ bike is best suited for kids aged 7 – 8 upwards while the smaller 14″ and 16″ wheels sizes work best for 3 – 5-year-old kids and up, depending on their inseam measurement (the distance between the ground and their crotch area) Check the seat height column in the comparison table for the exact measurements of each bike.

 

Foot-Rests and 2 – In – 1 Balance Bikes

It’s common for the bike to come with an integrated footrest of some type or an area on the frame which kids can rest on since their legs are bigger and holding them up for extended periods of time can be uncomfortable. The Go Glider has an adjustable height foot-rest that can be removed if needed, while the Strider has two plates covering the optional pedal box mounting system.

The included conversion kit with the Strider 14x is good for taking the next step towards a full-size bike, being able to quickly attach a pedal and chain to the bike can help kids who have just about mastered the bike, start learning to pedal while remaining totally familiar with what they have been riding.

 

 

Inspire Them

A two-year study conducted by the University of Michigan found that down syndrome and special needs kid who learned to ride showed a reduction in their sedentary behavior by 75 minutes a day, this gives them more exercise by riding, but also because they have learned how to balance and can enjoy the it, they will be more likely to try other things and be more involved with physical activities.

 


 WeightFrame MaterialWheelsSeat HeightBrakesAge RangePrice
Glide Bikes Go Glider10 PoundsAlloy16", Plastic Spoked, Air Filled Tires17 - 25"Rear5 - 10 Years$$$
KaZAM Swoop 20"Steel20", Spoked, Air Filled Tires35 - 37"Rear8+ Years$$
Strider Youth 1617.7 PoundsSteel16", Spoked, Air Filled Tires19.5 - 25.5"Front And Rear6+ Years$$$
Strider 14x12.5 PoundsSteel14", Spoked, Air Filled Tires15- - 22"Rear Coaster3 - 7 Years$$$$

 


Glide Bikes Go Glider – Best For An Easy To Ride Bike With A Footrest

Frame Material: Aluminum

Wheels: 16″/Plastic Spoke/Air Filled Tires

Where To Buy: Amazon.com

The Go Glider keeps things simple with a lightweight aluminum frame with a handy built-in footrest strong enough for kids to stand up on while coasting along, a fully enclosed rear drum brake is tucked inside the frame out of the way and the air filled tires give a smooth ride over multiple surfaces for predictable handling.

  • Light-Weight – The Go Glider is comparable to smaller balance bikes in weight, at 10 pounds it easier for kids still struggling with their balance to manage. The aluminum frame combined with the plastic, spoked wheels is where the weight is kept to a minimum, the wheels use bearings inside the hubs to extended longevity, although, watch the tire pressure, too much and it will stress the rims (15 – 20psi at the most)
  • Adjustable Front End – The Go Glider uses a proper bicycle headset found on bigger bikes for durability, also the bars adjust in height to fine-tune the fit, the riding position and posture is very good also since the bars are high in relation to the saddle, this keep’s the child weight centered over the saddle area preventing topples and unsteadiness.
  • Bright Color – The Glider is available in orange only, it might not be every child’s taste, but it’s likely they will be using it in a built-up area with cars and pedestrians, so any extra visibility is great for safety.

The Glider is perfect for kids who enjoy accompanying their parents on a walk, or just want to explore more and are having difficulty with the complexity of pedal bikes. The footrest will come in handy for longer rides, while the tires will give extra comfort on footpaths and bumps.

 


Kazam Swoop 20" Balance Bike

 

KaZAM Swoop 20″ Balance Bike – Best For Older Kids Learning To Ride

Frame Material: Steel

Wheels: Spoked/ Air Filled Tires

Where To Buy: Amazon.com

The Swoop from KaAZAM uses a super low-step frame making it easier for kids to get on and off. The Swoop will work well for kids with disabilities or difficulty with balance looking to get and be more independent while also being more mobile. Being able to touch the ground and coast without having to worry about the distraction of pedals and gears makes for a more enjoyable experience keeping their mind on learning the balance and behavior of the bike.

  • Colors – Color is important, especially if it’s going to become a kids pride and joy. The Swoop comes in a black and neon yellow, a silver and blue and a white and pink version to appeal to girls and boys. Also, the white-wall tires give a retro look and are different from the usual all-black tires on most bikes.
  • Comfy Saddle With Optional Backrest – The Swoops seat is super wide and even has springs on the underside. As kids who ride this bike will be older, a padded seat is better for them since all their weight will be carried by it when coasting along, having springs takes the edge of vibration and potholes etc. Also, there is an optional backrest available at checkout safeguard any mishaps from letting go of the bars or losing balance, also the whole saddle assembly is fully adjustable from saddle height to angle.
  • Proper Bike Parts – The Swoop uses proper bearings inside the wheels, air-filled tires for the best grip and comfort and proper bearing in the headset. This means the bike will last and not give hassle when something does wear out since everything is standard.

With a high front end, the Swoop is stable and easy to handle, easy to get on and off and even great for an older person who maybe can’t manage a bike but still wants to be mobile, the low step is really helpful if your joints aren’t as flexible as they used to be. The Swoops a multi-purpose bike for people looking for a simple way to enjoy more mobility.

 


Strider Youth 16" sport Balance Bike

Strider Youth 16 Sport – Best For Performance Biking

Frame Material: Steel

Wheels: 16″/Spoked Rim/Air Filled Tires

Where To Buy: Amazon.com

The Youth 16 is Strider’s mid-sized balance bikes with all the bells and whistles helping older kids, no matter their abilities to get out and ride a bike. It has everything you’d expect on a full-size bike but no pedals or complicated gears. It makes a great stepping stone towards a full sized bike for kids with disabilities or as a practical way to get around and have more enjoyment being active.

  • Stopping Power – The Strider uses Linear pull brakes commonly found on mountain and commuter bikes, these give excellent power for their low-weight while up on the bar the levers are all aluminum which makes them stiffer so they don’t flex under braking and resist breaking or snapping off if the bike accidentally falls over.
  • Quality Headset And Bars – Turning duties are handled by the threadless headset, this is a light-weight and long-lasting system found on better quality bikes which need minimal maintenance. Also, the bars are reach adjustable (backward and forwards) with the BMX-style setup, also they are high in relation to the saddle for good posture and overall control.
  • Extra Features – You can add a footrest if needed by screwing in a set of pedals, these screw into the welded-on sleeves and are entirely optional. The seat padding is generous while the alloy seat post is light and tilt adjustable and height adjustable via the quick release lever. Flanged grips are fitted to keep hand put while the end caps are solid plastic, expandable plug to keep the grip ends from wearing away exposing the inner handlebar tube.

Strider has been making balance bikes for a long time, constantly refining their designs and features, so when you buy one you know they are a well-sorted design that will stand up to many years of use. Available in purple, blue and red finishes there’s something for the boys and girls as well.

 


Strider 14x Balance Bike

Strider 14x 2-in-1 Balance To Pedal Bike – Best For Multi-Purpose Riding

Frame Material: Steel

Wheels: 14″/Spoked/Air Filled Tires

Where To Buy: Amazon.com

The Strider 14x is more than just a balance bike, it comes with a kit to convert it over to a regular pedal-power bike, removing the need to buy an extra ride for your child. Aimed at kids anywhere from 3 to 7 years of age, it’s perfect for children who haven’t mastered their balancing skills but are close to transferring over to a regular bike. The bike is shipped with the pedal kit unattached, and footrests take the place of the pedals when kiddies need to rest their legs while coasting.

  • Simple To Setup And Convert – Fitting the pedal unit and chain isn’t a daunting task, you screw on the complete pedal assembly from underneath the frame, wrap the chain around and add the pedals. The instructions included with the Strider are clear and straightforward so you don’t get stuck. Pedals are fitted separately so just check the instructions and make sure the left and right pedals are clearly identified.
  • Bigger, But Still Lightweight – The 14″ wheels, combined with the higher frame and longer wheelbase makes the 14x a big jump up from the 12″ sport and classic models. The handlebars are height adjustable while the seat post is long enough to give excellent range for growing kids (inseam measurement of 16 – 23″) The 12.5 pound weight is still very light for a bigger bike, this is with the pedal attachment removed, even with the assembly fitted, the added weight is low so the bike remains steady, and not top-heavy.
  • Enclosed Moving Parts – Kids are curious, that why they’re a handy chainguard which comes with the pedal attachment. The sprockets are hidden behind the plastic guard to protect loose clothing from running through the chain and sprockets, while also keeping the oil and grease away from your kids.

The Strider 14x is a well thought out little bike, although the entry price is higher, the reality is, it’s 2 bikes in 1 and can be ideal for bridging the gap between the early sized bikes and the next step up to a 20″.

Keep in mind, the pedal assembly is quite close to the ground, so Strider has specced short crankarms, these do limit the torque children can put through the drivetrain so the bike will be better suited for flat ground and less aggressive riding situations.

 

bixe 16" white balance bike

Bixe 16″ Balance Bike – Best For Street Use And Paved Surfaces

Frame Material: Steel

Wheels: 14: Plastic Spoke/Air Filled Tire

Where To Buy: Amazon.com

Bixe have a couple of Balance Bikes in their range, the 12″ Extreme Light (See The 2 Year Old Balance Bike List) and this 16″ version. Weighing in at only 11 pounds, it’s not a lot more than some 12″ balance bikes so the handling and feel of the bike will be confidence inspiring for children needing a lighter machine to help them feel more comfortable.

  • Simple Big Bike – There are no brakes on the 16″ Bixe, this keeps it simple, but also means it’s best suited for low-speed, enclosed space riding where stopping quickly is not required. Great for the backyard, playground or schoolyard. The larger 16″ wheels roll along well since they tire tread’s smooth and the plastic spoked wheels are very light compared to an aluminum rim wheel.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee – Bixe stand behind their product, and even state they will buy the bike back from you, more like a money back guarantee, can’t fault that.
  • Tamper Proof Parts – The Bixe’s adjustments are not quick release, this means you need a spanner to adjust seat and handlebar heights, but minimizes the risk of kids tampering with the mechanisms.

The Bixe is well suited for kids 5 through till 9 years of age, for kids with disabilities or mobility challenges, it’s the next best thing to a scooter, having a seat and being able to touch the ground while learning balancing and coasting keeps the process simple and not too daunting.

 

Conclusion

For some kids, riding a bike can be extremely challenging, trying to pedal, often with the seat higher than comfortable to clear the pedals and doing many things at once can quickly take the fun out of it.

Having a larger Balance Bikes gives kids a way of enjoying themselves with extra mobility and exercise, also with the convertible bikes like the Strider 14x, there the pedal option to try out once their skills grow.

Get in touch below and share your thoughts or questions.

 

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