So you’re a new parent and you’re thinking about getting a tricycle for your toddler. And why wouldn’t you? Bicycle mechanic and expert Sheldon Brown points out that tricycles are the best toy for children who are just learning to ride. They develop skills such as balance, coordination, independence, and initiative. 2 is the ideal age for a toddler to start riding a bicycle. This is the prime age when toddlers are most eager to do things on their own. It’s a crucial stage of development. So it’s best to get a tricycle for your toddler when they’re at or approaching the age of 2. As they get older, you can upgrade to bigger bicycles with training wheels.
If you want to get the best trike for your 2 or 3 year old (or older), then consult this guide. Read our reviews of the best tricycles below.
For a quick look, here is our comparison table for the best toddler tricycles:
radio flyer 4-in-1
includes canopy hood
age range: 0.7 - 5
smooth drifting wheels
age range: 5+
Age range: 2 - 5
lightweight & simple
Age range: 1 - 5
#1 Choice – Radio Flyer 811X 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike
User Rating: (4.4/5)
- Can be used as a 4-in-1: an infant strike, a steering trike, a learn-to-ride trike, and a classic trike
- Secure and safe
- Includes a canopy for UV protection
- Very affordable
The coolest feature of this trike is that it can be easily converted into four different versions, depending on the toddler’s age and need. Here are the four modifications:
- Infant trike: This one is recommended for children between 9 months and 18 months. It’s a very simple and easy trike, and is basically a stroller. It has a safety guard around the child, along with a canopy or hood. There are also pedals, but it’s not necessary to use them, and at that age the toddler might not even be able to reach them. The main movement is done by a push handle. The difference between this trike and a stroller is that with the trike, your toddler gets the feel of bicycling and is better prepared for riding it as they get older.
- Steering trike: This version of the trike is recommended for children between 18 months and 2 years old. As the name suggests, your child can steer the trike here. It’s very similar to the infant trike, but with a minor difference: there is no safety guard, so your child has more mobility (there is still the safety harness). They will also have longer legs at this age, so they’ll be able to use the pedals.
- Learn-to-ride trike: This version of the tripe has the canopy hood removed, so it’s more of a “normal” trike than a stroller. But it still has a push handle, so you as a parent can still push the tricycle along to guide the rider. This is recommended for toddlers between 2 and 3 years old. At this stage, your toddler will begin to get the hang of riding a trike. He or she will start learning pedaling on their own, so it’s important that you let them learn, while guiding them when necessary.
- Classic trike: The classic trike is the final version and is for kids between 3 and 5 years old. The major change here is that the push bar is off. This is when your kid will steel and pedal the bike by himself/herself, and it’s the final stage of learning to ride the trike. It builds confidence and coordination, and prepares a child for learning to ride bikes. And it’s also just fun and relaxing playtime.
The reason we love this trike is that it’s so easy to convert between the 4 versions, you just have to attach or detach a few parts. And because it’s so versatile, that means it can be used for years. Your toddler can progress through the years using this same trike, which makes it a worthwhile spend.
Safety and Security
This tricycle uses a 3-point harness, which is a secure seat belt. The seat itself has a high back, to provide support for the rider. The seat it also adjustable, which important because it needs to change as your toddler grows.
As you’ll notice in the infant trike, there are removable wrap-around safety bars. These ensure maximum security for the infant “riding” the trike. The wheels, foot rest, and push bar handle are designed to be comfortable and reduce friction.
Affordability and Simplicity
Probably the big reason why this trike is so popular and best-selling is that it has high quality features for a very low price. Currently, the price is just around $75. That’s really cheap for a 4-in-1 tricycle that lasts you for a few years, and is the only trike your toddler needs.
Another appeal is the simplicity and easiness to use. It can be converted easily, and the design is very simple and pragmatic. Overall, this is our choice of the best trike to get for your toddler.
This trike has a maximum weight capacity of 49 pounds, and an age range of 9 months and 5 years. You can also get this in the Ultimate version.
#2 – Razor Rip-Rider 360 Drifting Trike
User Rating: (4.7/5)
- Smooth drifting and spinning action
- Durable steel frame
- Secure handlebars with rubber grip
- Recommended for kids aged 5 and up
This one is a little different from the previous trike. While it can be used by toddlers who are 5 years old, it’s also suited for kids who are above that age. The maximum weight limit is 152 pounds. We wanted to include this trike to add more diversity to this guide. And this perfectly follows the 4-in-1 Radio Flyer trike. After you’ve used that one till your toddler turns 5, then you can turn to this one. It has more action, which you’ll see below.
Spinning and Drifting Motion
The characteristic feature of this trike is the drifting mechanism it uses. The big front wheel, compared with the slick rear wheels, allow the tricycle to “drift” as it’s being pedaled. This is a free-style style of riding that’s different from the typical toddler tricycle. So it’s typically not recommended for children that are too young, for safety purposes. However, kids above a certain age should definitely try out this tricycle, and it is pretty safe, which we will discuss below.
Safety and Security
While safety can be a concern for children riding drifting tricycles, the Rip-Rider 360 makes sure that it’s safety features are on point. It has dual-inclined rear caster wheels that ensure there is minimum resistance while riding. This prevents any sudden bumps or turns that can cause an injury. The trike is made of a steel frame that’s strong and won’t break down after continuous use. It also uses a double crown fork. The handlebars have a good grip, and they won’t slip while the rider is drifting along.
If you have a toddler and are concerned about whether this trike is safe, I wouldn’t recommend this trike. There are other toddler trikes on this list that are safer and don’t drift.
#3 – Schwinn Roadster 12-inch Trike
User Rating: (4.4/5)
- Chrome handlebars with long tassels and bell
- Full steel and heavy-duty construction
- Adjustable seat
- Comes in different colors and versions, including red, blue, light blue, and pink
This is another top-rated trike, and one of the best trikes for toddlers aged 2 and 3 years old. The official age range is between 2 and 5. One of our favorite things about this trike is the catchy and shiny design; the blue version especially looks stunning. It has large wheels with chrome handlebars, and a curved frame. All of this gives it a unique look. Let’s dive into the coolest features of this trike.
All-in-One: Resourceful, High-Quality, and Safe
This trike, as mentioned above, has great quality of the materials it’s made from. The shiny blue finish with the chrome handlebars give it a great look. There are even steel guards on top of the wheels. The black seat adds a good color combination to it. As you can see on the picture on the left, at the back of the trike there’s a wood deck with the Schwinn logo engraved into it. The tassels that hang down from the handlebar also make it look unique. The bell is useful too. All in all, this trike has a classy and high quality design. You wouldn’t guess, from looking at it, that it’s so affordable for any parent.
As the inclusion of the bell suggests, the design is not just good aesthetically, but it’s pragmatic too. The trike is designed to have a low center of gravity, relative to the ground. This means that it’s much less likely to tip over. This is important because toddlers who are starting out may not have good control over the trike. It’s important that the trike is stable and doesn’t fall over easily.
This trike is also very durable, as it’s made from steel. It’s been sculpted for optimal comfort and support. Overall, this is a beautiful retro bike with all the features you’d need in your kid’s trike.
#4 – Fisher-Price Grow-With-Me Trike
User Rating: (4.2/5)
- Colorful and lightweight trike with a simple design
- Adjustable and comfortable features
- Grow-with-me features
Lightweight and Perfect Cheap Trike For Infants & Toddlers
This trike’s weight is just a mere 1.1 pounds. Yes – you heard that right! It weighs practically a pound. But that doesn’t mean that it’s made from cheap materials. In fact, it’s a very sturdy and strong trike. It’s made from durable material and can withstand a lot of use, even outdoors. It will last up to a year of continuous use, and even more depending on how much it was used.
This trike is ideal for parents who are looking for a cheap trike for their young toddler. At just around $40, this is a super cheap three-wheeler and any parent can afford it. What impresses us most is not that it has a low cost, but that it manages to retain the good quality that a more expensive bike would have. It’s a limited in its scope, but it is a simple vehicle.
Easy To Use
This trike has adjustable seat and pedals, so it can fit any infant and toddler. Assembling it and putting it together is easy too. When you first get the trike, you’ll have to attach all the necessary parts, such as the handlebar, seat, steering ring, frame, fork, pedal blocks, etc. There’s a clear instruction manual that comes with the package.
The wheels are strong and give a smooth ride without much traction. The steering is responsive, which is a good feature for a small children’s trike. Overall, it’s a very affordable and fun tricycle for little kids.
What Are The Best Toddler Tricycle Brands?
The best brands add value and trust to a product. If you see a brand that you recognize and know for its quality, that boosts your confidence in their product. That’s why when you’re looking to buy a product like a tricycle, it might help your decision-making to look at what the best brands are. If anything, these will narrow down your choices. So on this list, we’ll present the top 5 brands that consistently make high-quality tricycles for kids. These are the names that came up most frequently in our search:
1. Radio Flyer
The name that comes up most frequently when you search for the best tyke trikes is Radio Flyer. Interestingly, the company is best know for their red toy wagon, which is similar to a little tricycle. Their products are consistently highly-rated, and it’s a brand that has built enormous trust in their children’s toy products.
Fisher-Price is another recognizable company, and a mammoth-sized one that makes educational and fun toys for children and infants. While their scope is much bigger than just tricycles, they’ve still managed to retail an array of excellent children’s tricycles that are known for their low price and good quality. Pretty impressive for a company that doesn’t really even focus on trikes. If you’re wanna check out more Fisher-Price products, then check out Power Wheels.
In any discussion about kids’ ride-on toys, you can’t leave out Razor. It consistently makes popular children’s vehicles, such as scooters, hoverboards, quads, dune buggies, and of course trikes. Razor products are known for their clean and polished look, and for being battery-powered. They also well known for their drifting ride-on toys, like the tricycle drifter or the Razor crazy cart.
4. Little Tikes
Little Tikes is another good and trusted brand that makes cute toys for infants and tikes (it’s in the name). Like most of their products, the tricycles by Little Tikes are minimal in design, and have a plastic frame. They make very simple and affordable plastic toys. The trikes made by them are similar to the Grow-With-Me trike by Fisher-Price.
Joovy is a manufacturer of baby products. They specialize in strollers, bottles, toys, educational accessories, and developmental accessories. So it’s no surprise that they make tricycles too. While they’re not as good or prolific as the other brands on this list, we included them because they have made some good trikes. They have an expertise in products for toddlers.
Bonus – What Are Some Common Questions And Concerns?
As a parent, you probably have some questions about getting a tricycle for your toddler. Here, we will best try to answer the common questions that parents have, and give some tips.
Should You Use A Push Bar?
While push bars are very helpful, some parents have pointed out that using a push bar on a trike is unnatural and difficult. It can get their toddler’s feet caught up in the pedals, and it’s just hard to steer it in a straight direction. A children’s tricycle is meant to not necessarily travel in a straight line. And the whole point is that the toddler learns to pedal and ride the bike. If you’re pushing them along, it might not let them develop the necessarily skill to learn to ride it on their own.
But if your infant is 1 year old or even, chances are they’re not gonna be able to pedal own their own, and they’ll need help. So, the best thing to do is to use a push bar to help push your infant along. But don’t do all the work for them; let them pedal when they can, and be there just as a support. When they get old enough to ride, you can ditch the push bar. Some toddlers will need the push bar, others won’t. That’s why I recommend the 4-in-1 trike, as it comes with a push bar that can be easily attached and detached.
Isn’t a Drifting Trike Unsafe For Toddlers?
Yes, if you have a toddler under the age of 5, you should probably not get a drifting trike. These bikes have a much wider range of motion, and it includes spinning and drifting. This poses a safety risk for young toddlers. Also, there are no brakes on this trike, so you have to manually slow it down using your feet.
Older children, however, can handle a drifting trike, and they’re a lot of fun. It’s a good idea to wear a light helmet when starting out.
How Did We Choose The Best Toddler Tricycles?
We chose the best tricycles in this article based on a few simple factors. These are: quality, affordability, and user experience. We also wanted to diversify to choices a bit, so we included different kinds of trikes.
This guide is catered towards toddlers that are 1-3 years old, since those are the prime ages for starting out with a trike.