6 Best Tricycles for Toddlers

Best Tricycles

September 27, 2019

Best Tricycles

Best Tricycles

Toddlers never stop moving. And soon enough, they’re ready for their own set of wheels. That’s when a tricycle comes in handy; it’s a fun way to teach them the rules of the road (er, sidewalk), and they can build key coordination skills at the same time.

What’s the Difference Between a Tricycle and Balance Bike?

A balance bike is a small two-wheeler without pedals. It teaches little ones how to balance, scoot, ride and coast all on their own. Once these skills are mastered, a child can move right to a regular bike and skip the training wheel phase. Balance bikes ride smoother and faster, while tricycles tend to be a little clunkier and slower. (Check out our balance bike guide for more info.)

Toddlers may love balance bikes, but there’s something about the pedaling and stability of trikes that kids love, too, and they can’t wait to hop on. It’s a childhood staple. Our favorite tricycles grow with your child, often starting out as a “push bike”—with a handlebar that grown-ups use to steer—before a toddler transitions to pedaling. Many parents like assisting in the ride until their little ones are ready to zip off on their own. Sure, they can be kind of like a glorified stroller, but they get parents from point A to point B with a happy kiddo (a win-win).

Tricycle Dos and Don’ts:

  • Don’t: Skip the helmet. Toddlers aren’t exactly the most balanced people, so strap on a helmet (every.single.time.) that meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.
  • Do: Buy a trike that is sturdy and low to the ground. It’s less likely to tip over.
  • Do: Make sure your child’s feet reach the pedals. Look for a tricycle that can be adjusted for the right fit.
  • Do: Start with a parent push handle. It can be helpful to steer as your tot learns how to pedal.

The Classic Ride

The Schwinn Roadster Tricycle is a retro-style trike for toddlers who are ready to pedal. Its larger-than-average wheels make for a super smooth ride, and the low center of gravity prevents tipping while making it easy for kiddos to climb on and off. Complete with classic touches like tassels, mustache-style handlebars and a bell, your tot will definitely get noticed in the neighborhood.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 18 months–5 years; up to 55 lbs
Product Weight 21 lbs

Transitioning Trike

We’re big fans of versatile products that grow with your child, can be used for years, and stay in good shape for baby #2 (and beyond). From push to pedal, the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike fits the bill. The first stage starts out similar to a stroller: you’ll use the adjustable push handle to steer your infant around while they’re strapped into the 3-point harness. Once they get bigger and can reach the pedals, you can remove the footrests and help maneuver until it’s time to remove the push handle for solo rides. There are tons of great features including an adjustable seat, stroller-style sun canopy, “trunk” for storage, bell and a removable snack/drink tray.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 9 months–5 years; up to 49 lbs
Product Weight 15.23 lbs

Trike + Stroller in One!

While the first stage of the Radio Flyer is only similar to a stroller, the first stage of the smarTrike is a stroller. This impressive eight-in-one trike allows your baby to use it from an earlier age (as young as six months), and it transitions every six months or so to a new stage—from rear- or forward-facing stroller to parent-guided tricycle to toddler-controlled tricycle, with options for recline, sun shade, footrests and storage. And on top of all those awesome features, it folds! While some parents say the folding can take some getting used to (you’re folding up a tricycle, after all), getting the hang of it will be well worth all the space you’ll save while traveling with it, whether it’s in the trunk on the way to the park or gate-checked at the airport (it’s slightly too big to be considered a carry-on).

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 6 months–3 years
Product Weight 17 lbs

Lightweight & Durable

While a lot of tricycles can be on the heavier side, trikes made of plastic tend to be much lighter—and still durable. With several different pop-culture paint schemes to choose from, your little one can roll with their favorite characters like Thomas the Train, Barbie and the pups from PAW Patrol. The wide, treaded tires make it easier to navigate through rugged off-road terrain, and the seat lifts up to reveal a hidden storage compartment, so kiddo can take their favorite (small) toys with them wherever they ride.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 2–5 years
Product Weight 8.16 lbs

For the Wooden Toy Enthusiasts

This bike isn’t just adorable; it’s designed to grow with your little one too! It transitions through three different riding stages, and the pedal-less design means your toddler can get the best of both worlds: a trike to start out, and a two-wheeled balance bike once they get the hang of having a set of wheels. Made from birch and eucalyptus wood (with smooth-riding pneumatic rubber tires), this ride is a lightweight luxury that definitely has heirloom potential.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months–5 years
Product Weight 12 lbs

Ultra Vintage

Baby’s first hot rod! If you want to go vintage for your kiddo’s trike, look no further than this classic ’30s style. Made entirely of steel, this tricycle is as sturdy as they come, and the solid rubber tires and padded leatherette saddle seat provide a comfortable, smooth ride. There are lots of fun colors to choose from (even flames!), and with this sleek design, your toddler will be the envy of every classic car enthusiast—young and old—in the neighborhood.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 2–4 years
Product Weight 26 lbs
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