The Benefits & Drawbacks of Balance Bikes with Footrest

The Benefits & Drawbacks of Balance Bikes with Footrest

As a parent, I've always wanted to give my kids the best tools to learn and grow. When it came time to choose a balance bike, I found myself overwhelmed with options. One feature that stood out to me was the footrest. But what exactly is a balance bike with a footrest, and why should parents consider it? Here’s my journey to discovering the benefits, pros, and cons of this unique feature.

What is a Balance Bike with a Footrest?

A balance bike, in general, is a pedal-less bike that helps children learn to balance on two wheels. It’s a fantastic tool for teaching kids the fundamentals of cycling without the need for training wheels. A balance bike with a footrest, however, takes this concept a step further. The footrest is typically a small platform located midway along the bike frame, giving children a place to rest their feet once they gain enough momentum to coast.

balance bike footrest

Two most popular brands in Australia of balance bike with footrest 

1. Qplay Trainer Blance bike ( 10inch Wheel) -  $119

2. Strider 12 Sport - Balance Bike (12 inch Wheel) - $318 

Benefits of a Balance Bike with a Footrest

I quickly realized the benefits of having a footrest on my child’s balance bike. Here are a few that stood out to me:

  1. Enhanced Comfort: As my child grew more confident, having a place to rest their feet made longer rides much more comfortable.
  2. Better Balance: With their feet off the ground, my child learned to balance more effectively, mimicking the experience of riding a pedal bike.
  3. Improved Posture: The footrest encouraged my child to sit upright, promoting better posture and control over the bike.
  4. Smooth Transition to Pedal Bikes: Using a footrest helped my child get used to the sensation of having their feet up, making the transition to a pedal bike smoother and more intuitive.balance bike footrest

When Do Kids Need a Footrest on Their Balance Bike?

I found that the right time to introduce a footrest depends on my child’s comfort and skill level. Generally, if your child is confidently gliding and balancing on their balance bike, they’re likely ready for a footrest. I noticed that my child naturally lifted their feet off the ground when they felt secure, which was a good indicator that they were ready for the next step.balance bike footrest

Pros and Cons of Balance Bikes with Footrests

Every parent weighs the pros and cons before making a decision, and here’s what I found:


  • Comfort: As mentioned, the footrest provides a comfortable place for little feet, especially on longer rides.
  • Balance Training: It enhances the child’s ability to balance without the distraction of pedaling.
  • Posture Improvement: Encourages better riding posture.


  • Learning Curve: Initially, my child had to adjust to using the footrest, which took a bit of practice.
  • Cost: Bikes with footrests can be slightly more expensive, though I found the investment worthwhile for the added benefits.
  • Weight: Some models might be heavier due to the additional feature, which can be a consideration for very young or small children.

How to Choose the Right Balance Bike with a Footrest

When I was choosing a balance bike with a footrest, I kept a few key factors in mind:

  • Size and Fit: Ensuring the bike was the right size for my child’s height and age was crucial.
  • Weight: I looked for a lightweight model that my child could easily maneuver.
  • Quality and Durability: I wanted a sturdy bike that would last through all the bumps and falls of learning.
  • Adjustability: A bike with adjustable seat and handlebars meant it could grow with my child.

Safety Tips for Using a Balance Bike with a Footrest

Safety is always my top priority. Here are a few tips I followed to keep my child safe:

  • Helmet and Protective Gear: Always wearing a helmet and appropriate safety gear.Pink Kids Helmet
  • Supervision: Keeping a close watch during rides, especially in the beginning.
  • Safe Riding Areas: Choosing safe, open spaces for riding, away from traffic and obstacles.
  • Regular Maintenance: Checking the bike regularly for any loose parts or wear and tear.

Using the Footrest: A Fun Scenario

One sunny afternoon, my child and I decided to visit our local park, which has a smooth, paved path perfect for biking. As my child started riding, they quickly gained speed and lifted their feet onto the footrest. The joy and confidence on their face were priceless as they glided effortlessly down the path. With their feet resting comfortably, they were able to focus on steering and balancing, making the ride smoother and more enjoyable. Seeing them navigate turns and small slopes with ease confirmed that the footrest was more than just an added feature—it was a game-changer.balance bike footrest

FAQs About Balance Bikes with Footrests

1. Do all balance bikes come with footrests? No, not all balance bikes have footrests. They are a feature found on certain models.

2. Is a footrest necessary for learning balance? While not necessary, a footrest can enhance the learning experience by providing comfort and aiding balance.

3. At what age should a child start using a balance bike with a footrest? This depends on the child’s skill level, but generally, once they are confident in balancing and gliding.balance bike footrest

Choosing a balance bike with a footrest was a great decision for my child. It not only made riding more enjoyable but also helped in their overall development and transition to a pedal bike. If you’re considering one, I hope my experience helps you make an informed decision for your little rider.

Written by Gary as @ 16/06/2024