What is the Best Balance Bike? Woom 2 Bicycle Review

If you’re reading this and over the age of 40 (like me), you probably learned to ride a bike with training wheels. I still remember my dad taking me to the local fire station for that first non-training-wheel lesson.

So what’s wrong with training wheels? Quality time with dad & the fire station?

Nothing wrong with that.

But IMHO a balance bike sky rockets the learning experience. Your kid will learn to ride much faster, and that quality time you missed can be spent at the ice cream parlor instead. See where I’m going with this?

The Balance Bike Difference

To ride a bike, your kid has to learn to balance at some point. Am I right? Training wheels don’t teach this, they simply deliver a false sense of control. All they really do is delay the entire learning experience.

A balance bike has NO training wheels and NO pedals. Your child sits on the seat and runs with their feet. Balance bikes gradually introduce the concept of balance while you’re kiddo is having fun. It all happens naturally! No screams of terror, tears or pressure to make the switch.

Training wheels simply deliver a false sense of control, and delay the entire learning experience.

Our daughter is four years old. After probably less than five combined hours on her new balance bike, she was already saying things like, “Daddy look!” as she lifted both feet in the air. And once they start doing that, you simply move them to a bike with pedals. BOOM!

You’re probably like, “I clicked on your blog post to read about the best balance bike, not get lectured on the benefits.”

As the manager of the Cardinals said to Jerry Maguire: “I know, I know.”

Let’s get reviewing…

My daughter on her WOOM 2 bicycle.

WOOM Bicycle Review

When our daughter hit the age of four, I went on the hunt for the best balance bike. Began reading reviews and eventually took the plunge with WOOM.

A good decision. Woom is definitely the best balance bike IMHO.

Check this out: You’ll notice in the image above that my daughter’s WOOM 2 bike has no pedals, but it has the crank for them. Although it’s not called a balance bike, WOOM designed it to be either.

BOOYAH! Now I’m saving time and money — More ice cream!

After my daughter learns on her balance bike, I raise the seat a touch and screw on the pedals. It just doesn’t get easier.

Company Information

Christian Bezdeka and Marcus Ihlenfeld (out of Europe) started WOOM while Mathias Ihlenfeld (Marcus’ brother) runs the USA branch in Austin, TX. According to WOOM, it all started with a search for perfection. They wanted to know exactly what it took to build the ultimate children’s bike.

WOOM bikes are made overseas, but not in China, which made me happy. Their US branch inspects everything for quality control — Another cool detail.

The WOOM bikes are designed to be easily maintained.

Attention to Detail

Not only do WOOM balance bikes look beautiful, you get cool features typically only found in adult bikes. Quality seats with quick release. A smooth stem with no exposed screws. Pedals that screw on and off. Aluminum frames that make the bikes LIGHT (This makes for easy carrying when your kiddo’s ambition outdoes their stamina).

A very cool chain guard adds to the look and keeps the grease at bay.

Chain Guard

The chain guard is completely enclosed! Say goodbye to grease and grime, along with dirt and rust filled chains. This also keeps young fingers out of areas that might bring some tears. With this design (on the smaller bikes) there is a small amount of associated noise. I don’t mind it, as it’s minimal.

The steering limiter is a thoughtful addition that helps those new on wheels!

Steering Limiter

Things like the steering limiter just make sense on a balance bike. It’s designed to stabilize steering and prevent overturning and falls. You’ll see it in the image above, attached to the fork and the frame. Brilliant!

Smart hand brake system.

Smart Brake Design

Remember how cool it was to get handbrakes as a kid? I remember manually adding them to my pedal-braking dirt bike. They come standard on WOOM. Not only are they designed to fit very small hands, but WOOM colors the right one green to encourage safe braking vs your child launching themselves into cyber space. Bravo!

WOOM wheels just can’t be beat.

Super Cool Wheels

WOOM bikes have pro wheels in mini-size! They’re made with ultra light aluminum rims, aluminum hubs with sealed bearings and 16 stainless spokes. The WOOM 2 bike is required to ship with a pedal (coaster) brake setup – It’s federal law. But you can order their freewheel kit for only $19. They send you and ENTIRE new wheel that can be installed by any bike shop. This gives your kiddo the freedom to pedal backwards as they cruise!

The kickstand is an add-on item. Highly recommended!

Optional Kickstand

I can’t imagine not having the kickstand. Super easy to add to the bike. It’s made of lightweight aluminum and designed to be kid-friendly (spring loaded) and there’s no sharp edges.

Journey sporting her WOOM 2

Final Summary

For all of the features you get with WOOM, you also get a price tag. But here’s the thing: How long the bike lasts (and how it helps your kid) is where the value lies.

My parents didn’t have much money, but somehow they managed to buy me a little bike that was well built when I was young. Guess what? Not only did my brother and sister use that same bike after me, my sister’s kid has even used it! It’s still going strong. So when you do that kind of math, that was a very inexpensive bike.

Sure, you can go to Target and buy a $99 made-in-China bike that will rust next week, or you can eat out a little less and invest in something your kid and other kids will really, really love.

I hope this review proves helpful. You can read more about WOOM on their website: https://us.woombikes.com. As always, that’s not an affiliate link. I write about what I love.

Enjoy your next bike purchase!

Fun Fact: Our 4-year old daughter snapped the photo of me at the top. Not bad!

The Best Organic Mattress

Our home currently has four organic latex mattresses. But before I tell you anything about an organic mattress, let me tell you why we had to get one: It was all due to a scare with our top dollar memory foam mattress.

Memory Foam: Good or Bad?

It was around 2010. My wife’s back was the collateral damage of a worn out mattress. We decided to go memory foam, and purchased the most recognized brand on the market. Due to what I’m about to tell you, I’ll not say their name here.

What Are They Made Of?

After sleeping on the memory foam mattress for three years, I discovered scary reports about the materials used to make them.

My wife was also experiencing odd issues that we’d spoken to her doctor about. The doctor had her switch to all cotton clothing. We made other changes. The only common denominator was our memory foam mattress as we’d even moved to California during the process.

So I called the company. What happened next was quite surprising.

The Company Rep Didn’t Know

The memory foam representative answered and I asked her what the mattresses were made of. She couldn’t tell me, as she wasn’t even allowed to know. But “All of her grandkids sleep on them and they’re safe.”

So you don’t know what’s in them, but they’re good for your grandkids?

Yeah okay, whatever floats your boat lady.

I then proceeded to tell her we’d been to our doctor about my wife’s situation, and the only thing we hadn’t changed was the mattress. When I said that, she sent me a form to sign that basically said, “You promise not to sue us for any health issues and we’ll come get your mattress and issue a full refund.”

When I said that, she sent me a form to sign that basically said, “You promise not to sue us for any health issues and we’ll come get your mattress and issue a full refund.”

So wait… They had that legal form on file?

I ran it by an attorney who was also very surprised. The attorney asked if my wife had cancer or anything major. I said no. He then said there wasn’t anything really to do. So we signed the paperwork. A few days later the company picked up the king sized mattress and gave us a full refund! We’d been sleeping on it for 3 years.

Time For A Change

After his we were going organic for our bedding material. We decided to try organic latex, and we’ve been sleeping well for several years now. When some people hear “latex” they might think they’re allergic. Don’t worry. Organic latex is not the chemically laden stuff you’re used to seeing in disposable gloves.

The Benefits of True Organic Latex

Natural rubber latex is 30% better at relieving pressure points than memory foam. It’s bed bug resistant, mold resistant, it’s quiet and has zero chemicals hitting your body. That is if you’re using a company who uses true organic materials. The company we chose builds your mattress to order. They don’t want mattresses sitting stored anywhere that would taint the materials.

Chemical Off-Gassing: You might be thinking that memory foam and the like are okay after off-gassing has completed. I used to think this way too. But as foam deteriorates with use, more chemicals are released as the chemicals are permeated throughout the foam. Some toxic flame retardant chemicals take 7 tears to exit your body.

The Company of Choice

Our first organic latex mattress was an OrganicPedic® from OMI. Super comfortable. We took it from California to Kauai and back again. If there’s any place something can mold, it’s on the north shore of Kauai. Our OrganicPedic did just fine.

Eventually we purchased a home with a couple guest rooms. I decided to try the sister company of OMI called Lifekind®. What’s the difference? OMI has retail stores while Lifekind is sold only online. They have different models, but are made in the same facility. Like OMI, a Lifekind mattress is built once ordered.

The Lifekind® Trio

The Trio is one of the finest latex mattresses you’ll encounter. It’s comprised of three layers of various firmness. This not only allows for you to customize the comfort of your mattress (they let you pick the firmness for each layer), but makes moving it way easier than a latex mattress made of a single layer — Trust me on that!

Putting It Together

The mattress will show up in 3 boxes. Three layers of organic rubber latex and a thick, organic wool casing (wool is naturally flame retardant).

When you unbox each layer you’ll notice holes which allow the mattress to breath.

Fun Tip: Bend over and take a deep whiff — Wow! Zero chemical smell. Organic rubber latex smells so freaking good. Kind of like cookie dough or something. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s now one of my favorite scents.

Handling Tip: Take care in handling the layers. The thin casing is not made to support the weight of the layer. Use open hands to lift and move — Don’t grab and pull. Make sense? Once you stack the mattress layers into the mattress case you simply zip it up, and you’re ready to go!

Layer Exchange

LifeKind allows for a free layer exchange after you try it out. Well, at least they offered this when we purchased the Trio in 2018. We ordered the default configuration of firm, medium and soft. This creates a mattress that is mildly firm and mildly soft. If we had it to do again, I’d probably swap the bottom firm for a medium and see if that made it slightly softer without going too soft. Don’t get me wrong, the default Trio is not too firm, but our OMI mattress is ever so slightly softer, and that’s what we were used to.

OMI or LifeKind?

Overall, we’ve loved both the LifeKind and OMI mattresses. In fact, we ordered two more LifeKind mattresses for our daughter’s toddler and full beds. The companies offer different models, so it’s not an exact label change. If you can go to an OMI show room, that’s obviously the best route to take. However, the LifeKind phone reps are very knowledgeable.

Buying Tip: We tried the Euro at medium firm and it’s just too firm for some guests. We fixed with a latex topper that is soft, but if we had that to redo, we’d have just ordered the Trio again for the full bed in the guest room. It’s worth the extra dinero.

Learn From Our Mistake

If you’re looking at a new bed, don’t go with something made from chemicals — It just isn’t worth it. I hope you give OMI or LifeKind a try. As always on my site, none of the links on this page are affiliate links. I get nothing from recommending these brands except sending you on your way to a better night’s sleep!

Sweet dreams…