Why do parents love Puky Balance Bikes?

Recently I was writing an article about the best balance bikes, and asked a group of cycling parents for their recommendations.  I have to confess I was surprised by the number of people who recommended the Puky Balance Bikes. I had so many comments I couldn't fit them into the original article!

As I started looking at the different models of the Puky Balance Bikes I started to get a bit confused, as they all have similar names. To help clarify what's available, here's my summary of the different Puky balance bikes, together with the reasons that parents have given me for loving them.

Why do parents love Puky Balance Bikes?

"We love our Puky. Currently on our second daughter, hoping to transition straight to pedals without stabilisers as we did with our eldest. A solid little bike that hasn't let us down!" - Emma

At the end of the post you'll find a comparison table, which I hope you find useful.

Who are Puky and why do parents love their balance bikes?

Puky are a German company that have been manufacturing kids bikes and scooters since 1949. They launched their first balance bike in 2003, and over the past 13 years the Puky Balance Bike has become a firm favourite both in Germany and here in the UK.  Recently, I asked a group of parents which balance bike they used. The Puky came out as the most popular, with every comment incredibly positive to reflect the quality of German design and manufacture.

"Some things I like about the Puky:
The footrest - it looks much more comfortable for children than holding legs in the air, everything is rounded (unlike some scooters where they can bash your shins painfully when you carry them);
the tyres / wheels seem very easy to balance on;
and the price  - sufficiently cheap to be within many people's budget and could be a real bargain 2nd hand. Also light and durable and can go really fast.

You see them in lots of toy shops in Germany which is great and probably is one reason why so many German families use them. Also seen children use them on a pump track in Germany. In its standard red trim, it is also a really nice looking bike, would do both boys and girls and won't date." - Catherine

Different models of the Puky Balance Bike

Since 2003, the Puky balance bike have evolved into a range aimed at different ages and sizes of children. There are currently 6 different models, with differences including size, wheels, colour choice, tyres and braking.  All Puky balance bikes (except the LR Ride) come with the following features, so I won't list these out for each model:

  • a low step through frame and platform
  • learner bike saddles which are ergonomically shaped to support the child's walking movements
  • carry handle on saddle for when your child gets fed up with riding
  • height adjustable handlebar and saddle, allowing 7cm of growth from the smallest recommended height
  • handlebar grips
  • sealed precision ball bearings used on steering and wheel hubs
  • tough scratch resistant powder coating which makes the steel Puky balance bike frame robust in all conditions

The six different models are listed below, together with some of the comments I received from parents whose children have used Puky balance bikes.

Puky LR M Balance Bike (RRP £59.95)

The LR M is Puky's smallest balance bike and is suitable for toddlers with a height of 85cm (inside leg from 30cm), which is about the age of 2 years.  At only 3.5 kg the Puky LRM is an incredibly light balance bike. The Puky LR M comes with soft foam tyres that are lightweight and flexible, and won't suffer from punctures.

Puky LRM learner balance bike is the smallest of all the Puky Balance Bikes

"For my youngest we bought the 18 months plus size Puky when she was 2 and a bit and just left it on the floor to see what she would do with it. She picked it up, pushed it to the pavement and got on it as if she had been riding a bike her whole life and gently sat-walked down the street! She rode that bike till she was 4 1/2 as Puky bikes seem to have much larger than average seat adjustment (seems to apply to their bigger bikes too) and mean Mummy and Daddy weren't going to buy yet another small bike when her big sister had one to pass down! The lack of pedals wasn't an obstacle for either speed or distance as she could manage a trip into town at age 3 and the Puky was small enough to bungee onto my bike when she got tired and put her in the child seat. She's 9 now and still remembers that bike and points them out when she spots one "that's My bike"!" - Mair

The Puky LR M balance bike is available in five colour choices - Red, Yellow, Pink, Ocean Blue or Green - and has an RRP of £59.95

Puky LR 1 balance Bike (RRP £84.99)

The Puky LR1 is larger than the LRM, being aimed at ages 3 years and over. The minimum height for the LR1 is 90cm, with an inside leg of 35cm.  It comes with the same soft foam tyres as the LR M, but also has a kickstand. The larger frame and kickstand bring this bike in at 5.2kg.

The LR1 Puky balance bike

The Puky LR 1 is available in two colour choices, Red and Green.  However, there are very few of these bikes available in the UK. Most of the bikes sold are the LR M and the LR 1L (coming next), although some are incorrectly listed as being the LR 1. Check the tyres and the kickstand to check you're getting the model you want!

"Puky all the way! My little girl was riding an Islabike pedal bike by the time she was just 3 years old thanks to the 2 Puky balance bikes we had bought her. My son likewise." - Louise

Puky LR 1L  balance bike (RRP £74.49)

The main difference between the LR 1 and the LR 1L is that the latter comes with pneumatic tyres. All sizings and weights on the Puky LR 1L are the same as the LR 1.  The pneumatic tyres (on all the relevant Puky Balance Bikes) come without hub cabs to meet safety regulations about small detachable parts that could pose a choking hazard.

Puky LR 1L balance bike

"Both my children had Puky balance bikes (a very hard wearing German make). My eldest rode to kindergarten and back on pavements and unmade tracks every day, rode round forest tracks whilst walking the dog etc, from the age of 3 and quickly progressed to a pedal bike (no stabilizers) at 3.5yrs. My youngest child had less exposure to balance biking as we had moved to an area that was not as cycle friendly, but he was still pedalling before his 4th birthday. Puky can be expensive but really well made and robust enough for some off roading" - Helen

The Puky LR 1L is available in four colour choices - Red, Pink, Blue or Green and has  an RRP of £74.49

Puky LR 1L BR balance bike (RRP £84.49)

If you're beginning to understand the Puky naming conventions, then you can work out that the LR 1L BR is essentially the LR 1L with the addition of a child specific rear brake.

The Puky LR1  BR is the same frame size as the LR1, but comes equipped with a rear brake. This balance bike is Puky's best selling model. 

Some parents like the addition of brakes, others feel their youngster is too young to use them properly and stick with the LR 1L.

Puky Balance Bikes - the Puky LR 1L BR is their best selling model

"My son had a Puky which had a brake which got him started riding. He's now 14, so this was a long time ago. We then had several other Puky's as they are very good." - Adam

The Puky LR1 BR comes in a wide range of single colours -   yellow, red, blue and green - with an RRP of £84.49. 

The LR1 BR also comes in a pink Princess Lilli Fee and a Blue Capt'n Sharky design (RRP £94.49)

Puky LR XL balance bike (RRP £109.49)

Now, if I was in charge of the Puky naming conventions, I would have called this the Puky LR 1XL BR, as it's larger than the LR 1L and comes with pneumatic tyres and rear V brake.  I guess this is a little too much to remember, so the Puky LR XL it is (and why I'm not in charge of the Puky naming conventions!)

Puky LR Xl Balance Bike

The LR XL differs from the other bikes in that it has spoked pneumatic wheels, which  make it look more like a "proper" bike.  The larger frame size is designed for kids with a height of 95cm and inside leg 42cm.  Weight-wise it's slightly heavier than the previous models at 5.5kg.

The Puky LR XL retails at an RRP of £109.49 and comes in two colour choices - green and black.  

Puky LR Ride balance bike (RRP £157)

Puky's top of the range model is the LR Ride.  Aluminium frame, forks, hubs and rims together with rear suspension and brake and a weight of just 4.2 kg indicate that Puky may be having to compete with a new generation of lightweight balance bikes from other manufacturers.

Puky Balance Bikes - the LR Ride is their top of the range model

You'll notice that the distinctive Puky footrest is missing on this - the design is more aligned to the balance bikes other top end manufacturers now make.   Pricewise it's competing with the likes of the Islabikes Rothan and the top end Early Riders.

None of the parents who contacted me had this bike - it's new and will therefore be appealing to anyone looking for something a bit different in the playground. The price means it's unlikely to usurp the other models any time soon.

The Puky LR Ride comes in two colour schemes - Orange with blue detailing, and Black with red detailing. It retails at £157 upwards, depending on availability.

A summary of Puky Balance Bikes

The Puky balance bikes are well loved by so many parents, and looking at the history of the brand and the detailing on the bikes, I can see why. Puky have a range of bikes at various price points, which should appeal to the vast majority of parents.  The comments I kindly received from members of the Family Cycling UK and Preowned Frog Bikes For Sale  Facebook Groups were all incredibly enthusiastic - it seems Puky balance bikes are as popular with the parents as the kids!

An 'at a glance' summary of the Puky Balance Bikes

Puky Balance Bike ModelRRPFrom AgeChild Height (Min)Inside leg (Min)Colours availableTyresWeightKick standRear BrakePlatform
LR M£59.95 2+85 cm30 cmRed, Yellow, Pink, Blue, GreenFoam3.5kgNoNoYes
LR 1£84.99 3+90cm35 cmRed, GreenFoam5.2kgYesNoYes
LR 1L£74.95 3+90 cm35 cmRed, Pink, Blue or GreenPneumatic5.2kgYesNoYes
LR 1L BR£84.49 3+ 90 cm35 cmYellow, Red, Blue, Green, Pink (Princess Lillifee) Blue (Capt'n Sharky)Pneumatic5.2 kgYesYesYes
LR XL£109.49 3+95 cm42 cmGreen, BlackPneumatic (wheels have spokes)5.5 kgYesYesYes
LR Ride from £157 3+90 cm39 cmOrange/blue and Black/RedPneumatic (wheels have aluminium rims)4.2 kgNoYesNo

Puky Balance Bikes available on Amazon:

You may find these other articles useful:

Affiliate disclosure:  If you buy your Puky Balance Bike by clicking on one of the links in this post Cycle Sprog will get a small commission which helps us to fund the ongoing hosting and maintainence of the website. Thanks for supporting us in that way.

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  1. Peter says:

    Thanks for this detailed overview. Here in Germany Puky is indeed common and easily available new and used. After these 15 years the bikes seem slightly old fashioned. Recently released additional color options may change that. Still, the LR ride shows that Puky feels some pressure to innovate and not only rely on past reputation.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Peter, I agree - they do look quite old fashioned compared to all the new models available now. It would be good to see them updating their styling (and keeping the quality the same). Karen

  2. anabela says:

    Hi, just found this article: great to understand all the differences 🙂 we have the lrm and love it: our kid will be turning 3 but she's not very tall so this one she's using since she was 26th months. I just wanted to add that puky kind of grows with the child's height because one can adjust the handles and seat should the child grow (we did this so it's really quite a happy and good investment our puky. we stick to the small model also so our child really masters stopping the bike with no breaks and be aware of her balance while doing it. BR

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