The Best Tricycles for Toddlers

Best Tricycles

February 11, 2019

Best Tricycles

 From the retro Schwinn Roadster to the Radio Flyer 4-in-1, these trikes will keep your little one pedaling all summer long.Best Tricycles

Toddlers want to be on the move, all the time. When they’re ready for their own set of wheels, a tricycle is a fun way to teach them the rules of the road (er, driveway).

While many biking industry experts say a balance bike is the best introduction to riding—even as young as 18 months—a trike fosters independence, coordination, and gross motor skills.

Tricycle or 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 love balance bikes, but they also can’t wait to hop on a classic trike. 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 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 Dont’s:

  • 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.

Transitioning Trike

Why We Love It

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 phase starts out similar to a stroller. You’ll use the adjustable handlebar to steer your infant around the ‘hood, while they’re strapped into the 3-point harness. Once they get bigger and can reach the pedals, you can help maneuver until it’s time to remove the handlebar 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.

Keep in Mind

Some toddlers would rather be pushed instead of pedal, which can be hard work for parents (especially on hilly streets). The pedals don’t have brakes, so tots will need to learn to use their feet to come to a stop. And there are no foot rests, leaving the littlest riders’ feet dangling when you’re strolling.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It lasted through my first child and now my second child loves it! We’ve been using it for over four years and it still works perfectly.” -Crystal

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 9 months-5 years
Weight 15.23 lbs.
Weight capacity 49 lbs.
Harness 3-point

A Sweet Ride

Why We Love It

The Joovy Tricycoo is another popular four-stage trike that gets tots used to riding, one step at a time (as early as ten months!). It’s a bit pricier than the Radio Flyer, with more perks like a washable padded seat and arm rests, 5-point harness, flip-down footrests, an even larger sunshade, adjustable seat and removable/adjustable parent handle that overrides the steering wheel. There are several fun color options too!

Keep in Mind

When you’re using it as a push trike for babies, the pedals can be set to “freewheel,” which prevents them from hitting little legs.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I enjoy how easy the Joovy is to use. I’m able to maneuver my son easily with the handle, especially around corners. My son is so calm during our rides and loves looking around feeling as though he’s the one driving. Also, did I mention I take him along in the Joovy when I walk our 3 dogs?! That’s how easy/helpful it’s been!” -Jasmin

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 10 months-3 years
Weight 14 lbs.
Weight capacity 44 lbs.
Harness 5-point

The Classic

Why We Love It

The Schwinn 12-in. Roadster Tricycle is a retro-style trike for toddlers who are ready to pedal. It has larger wheels than most tricycles for a super smooth ride. 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.

Keep in Mind

This isn’t meant for infants, but thanks to the adjustable seat and higher weight capacity (55 lbs.) it’ll last throughout the toddler years.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Multiple seat positions. It looks really cool.”

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 2-5 years
Weight 21 lbs.
Weight capacity 55 lbs.
Harness None
This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content.