There are several factors you should think of before choosing the best balance bike for 4 years old. Those factors influence whether the bike would bring more good than harm to your child, and they are really important to note, so do not overlook them since your kid’s safety is on your hands! Now, let’s check out what those are before you go to the nearest bike store and make a purchase!
- Overall size
When choosing the most suitable balance bike, you will need to pay attention to its size since it is the most determining safety factor. Never believe to the widespread marketing propaganda that says that a balance bike is designed to fit every kid universally, or “one-size-fits-all”, there is absolutely no way that there is a balance bike that could fit for both a kid aged 18 months and a kid aged 5 years old. You should consider the size of the tires and the height of the seat. You should consider its tires’ size because most of the balance bikes (and most of any kind of bicycles) on the market are classified based on its tires’ size, choose a bike with 14 inches of tire size because it is the best for you and your kid’s growth would not outgrow it too quickly; the best balance bike for 4 years old seat height indicates how your child would fit the bike, your child should have a clearance of at least 1 to 1.5 inches of his/her inseam when he/she is standing on the balance bike without wearing shoes, also your kids should be able to touch the ground with their full foot so they can start and stop with ease.
- Weight of the bike
When choosing the best balance bike for 4 years old, it is a basic norm that you should never choose a bike with a weight exceeds more than thirty percent of your child’s. The lighter your bike weighs, the more easily your child maneuvers on it. Unfortunately, the features embedded to the bike are always contributing to the bike’s overall weight. For balance bike manufacturers, it is impossible to create a bike that is rich of features embedded on it while keeping its weight as light as it could be. However, there are some light bikes with rich features, but they usually cost significantly higher due to their use of light parts with high quality (cheaper parts are either more fragile but lighter or more durable but heavier). Choose wisely whether to sacrifice features or weight while also considering your child’s safety and your budget!
- Types of tires used
The type of the tires is the determining factor of the cushioning level (riding smoothness) of the bike and how good a grip of the tires to the road (traction) would be, and the types of them are hard plastic, EVA foam, rubber, pneumatic air, and big apple tires. Hard plastic tires are the cheapest and the lightest type of tires available on the market, they are only best to be used on indoors because they have neither a cushioning nor a traction level, always put this type of tire at the bottom of your list. EVA foam tires are the next cheapest materials, they are popular because they are resistant to puncture but their usage life is considerably shorter than the other types except the hard plastic, and their tread is somewhat minimal and degrades in a relatively short amount of time. Rubber tires are slightly better than the previous materials mentioned because they provide a great level of traction but possesses almost non-existent cushioning; they are better than foam but clearly inferior to air tires. Pneumatic air tires are the highest quality of all-around tires and suitable for multiple forms of terrain depending on the treads available. Big apple tires on the other hand, are usually considered as higher-quality pneumatic tires, they have a wider shape that accommodates better cushioning and traction, perfect for your child if he/she is an active one, but be prepared to spend more cash to buy them!
- Bike geometry
Another factor to consider before you buy the best balance bike for 4 years old is whether it is balanced enough or otherwise. An excellent bike should have a generous amount of space between its handlebars and seat in order to give your kid an abundant space to move your legs and arms so that he/she can run with comfort and move naturally. Also, a good balance bike manufacturer should design its product’s seat to have a small gap between it and the rear wheel in order to create a low gravity center, making it easy to balance and control for your dear child. Sadly, most manufacturers choose not to show the measurements of their products, so a direct observation is absolutely necessary to find a balance bike with the best geometry!
- Materials of the frame
Metal bikes are either steel or aluminum alloy and the choice of their compositions decide their weight and durability, with bikes composed of aluminum alloy are lighter and free from rust while offering equal strength to steel, but they always cost considerably higher than their steel-composed counterparts. Meanwhile, steel bikes always have a robust build but they weigh much more than aluminum while also have a shorter age due to rust; however, the redeeming factor of steel bikes that makes them the most produced balance bikes is that they cost cheaper than the aluminum bikes.
Wood is recently popular as a material for balance bikes thanks to the rise of environmental movement worldwide. Unfortunately, they are less adjustable and are always significantly less durable than metal bikes since they are made of a degradable material, which is wood, although higher-cost wooden bikes might last longer than expected. Their durability also depends on how they are maintained, though! Better teach your child how to take care of your bike properly. Well, those are everything you should know if you want the best balance bike for 4 years old!