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Best Tricycles for Toddlers 2021


As a mom of two and a former foster parent, my family has owned numerous trikes and bikes. After much research combined with my personal experiences, I have created a list of the best tricycles for toddlers to try this year.

Best for 1-Year-Olds:

Best for 2-Year-Olds:

Best for 3-Year-Olds:

Best for 4-Year-Olds:



Best Tricycles for 1-Year-Olds

Little Tikes Go and Grow 

Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil' Rollin' Giraffe - Amazon Exclusive
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The Little Tikes Go and Grow is great for children who are 12 months to 3 years of age. A large back wheel helps keep your toddler stable so there’s less of a chance of them toppling over. High handlebars make getting a good grip easy and help your toddler sit with good posture.

Bright colors and a friendly-looking giraffe make this toddler tricycle attractive and exciting to ride. As your child grows, you can adjust the seat. As a fun addition, this trike comes with giraffe spot decals that you and your little one may have fun sticking onto the giraffe.

Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 Kid’s Tricycle

The Joovy Tricyoo 4.1 Kid’s Tricycle is an option for younger kids and may work for 18-month-olds, depending on their development.  The plastic loop around the seating area confines the child to prevent them from falling out.  Additionally, rubber footpegs give them a resting place for their feet as they are learning to make the pedals go the right way.

There is also a handle on the back that helps parents do a little pushing and encouraging, without having to bend way over as is necessary on most toddler tricycles. These features give tots a secure position to learn to balance and they can develop coordination without the apprehension of a potential fall. 

The Tricycoo is unique as it can be used as a stroller. When you are pushing the parent handle, the steering wheel is in your control. The idea is that the toddler can get used to riding around in this trike and then start working on pedaling and steering gradually as they are interested and capable. 

On the parent end of things, the handle adjusts to 4 different positions and can also be removed entirely. When the time is right the footrest and the protective plastic circle can be removed as well. These removals transform the Tricycoo into more of a traditional tricycle that the child can operate fully on their own. 

Little Tikes Perfect Fit 4-in-1 Trike

Little Tikes Perfect Fit 4-in-1 Trike Teal
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The Little Tikes Perfect Fit 4-in-1 Trike is a super handy and practical tricycle for your child from age 9 months up to 4 years. Four stages allow your child to transition to the next step as they grow, allowing you to get years of use out of this toddler tricycle. The four stages and descriptions are below:

Stage 1 (9+ months). In this stage, children can sit back and relax while you push them as if using a stroller. Footrests keep your child’s feet away from the pedals. The parent handlebar console includes places for a phone, snacks, and a drink.

Stage 2 (18+ months). In this stage, footrests are removed and your toddler can focus on learning how to pedal. There is no use of the wheel yet.

Stage 3 (24+ months). In this stage, the waist bar is removed and your toddler can now start steering.

Stage 4 (30+ months). Finally, the trike becomes a full tricycle, allowing your child to pedal and steer on their own without you pushing them.

Best Tricycles for 2-Year-Olds

Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike

Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike, outdoor toddler tricycle, ages 2 ½ -5 (Amazon Exclusive)
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The Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike is fun, comfortable and convenient! This trike is well built, made of steel, and should last through many kids. It has smooth, easy turning wheels to make it simple to ride. No obnoxious squeaking here!  The adjustable seat ensures your child will enjoy the trike for many years to come. Plus, it features a fun, covered storage bin, so your little one can bring their favorite treasures along for every ride. This is a great first tricycle for toddlers.

This classic, top-rated tricycle has been the #1 choice of parents for generations. For me, there is so much nostalgia in this one toy. My grandparents had this toddler tricycle for their grandkids and great-grandkids. Their Red Rider has been ridden by many children, through the house, through the yard down to Paw’s garden, and everywhere in between. It has hauled stuffed animals, sippy cups, and half-eaten graham crackers. While my Paw is no longer with us, and the kids are all much older now, this trike still sits in the corner, unscathed, as a reminder of the sweet memories of yesterday.

XJD 3 in 1 Kids Tricycle

XJD 3 in 1 Kids Tricycles for 10 Month to 3 Years Old Kids Trike Toddler Bike Boys Girls Trikes for Toddler Tricycles Baby Bike Infant Trike with Adjustable Seat Height and Removable Pedal (White,1)
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The XJD 3 in 1 Kids Tricycle allows your child to transition to 3 different modes of riding as they grow. First, they can ride in “three-wheel sliding mode” where they simply sit on the tricycle and scoot themselves around with their feet. This is recommended for children ages 12-24 months. Second, they can ride in “pedal tricycle mode” where they can learn to pedal and steer. Finally, the third mode, “two-wheel balance bike mode” is for toddlers ages 2-3 years old. In this mode, children can learn to balance on two wheels before transitioning to a bicycle.

Other features include an adjustable handlebar, adjustable seat, non-slip foam wheels, and a 60-degree steering limit to prevent your toddler from turning too much and toppling over.

Schwinn Roadster Tricycle

Schwinn Roadster Kids Tricycle, Classic Tricycle, Red
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Speaking of not tipping over, this Schwinn Roadster Tricycle has a low-to-the-ground seat for extra stability. The low seat makes for easier pushing on the pedals to generate power on hills and through the grass (although that’s not recommended!) 

The design, from the metal fenders to the mustache handlebars, is a bit nostalgic for parents and grandparents. This vintage trike features a real wood deck and a molded seat that moves forward and backward to adjust for growing legs. Your future roadster will roll quickly and smoothly through the neighborhood on this fantastic tricycle.

Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike

Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike [Amazon Exclusive] , Black
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The Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike makes our list of top toddler tricycles because of its Harley design little kids will dig. It comes in black, gray, and orange colors with fire detail little boys will love. 

Moreover, the toy is rugged with durable tires, a stable wheelbase, and easy-to-grip handlebars. It’s designed for kids ages 2-5 years old and works for one rider at a time. 

The best feature is that the seat lifts up for a little toy storage. Let your child feel like they are cruising the streets on a real bike with this adorable trike.

Best Tricycles for 3-Year-Olds

Fisher-Price Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Trike

Fisher-Price Nickelodeon PAW Patrol Lights & Sounds Trike Multi Color, 1 - 6 years
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If your toddler is a big Paw Patrol fan, they’re going to love the Fisher-Price Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Trike. Unlike many tricycles, this toddler’s trike features lights and sounds! A handheld “walkie-talkie” lets your child really use their imagination and be a part of the Paw Patrol gang. The classic “big-wheel” type design lets your child ride fast with minimal chances of flipping.

As your child grows and their legs get longer, you can adjust the seat position for a more comfortable fit. The manufacturer’s recommended age for this tricycle is between 24 months and 6 years! That’s a heck of a lot of time that your child can ride and enjoy this trike. 

Minnie Mouse Fly Wheel Junior Tricycle

Minnie 15
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For the Minnie Mouse lover in your family, we recommend the adorable Minnie Mouse Fly Wheel Junior Tricycle. Like the classic Big Wheel design, this tricycle features a large 15″ front wheel and two wide-set back tires. Sitting low to the ground, your child is able to drive smoothly and fast with less risk of toppling over.

This hot pink tricycle includes a fun Minnie Mouse design on the front wheel and a pink polka-dot bow on the handlebars (after you apply the stickers). In addition to these designs, the front wheel features LED lights that light up as your child drives around. The seat can be adjusted into three different positions for the best fit. Parents say this tricycle is a great pick for ages 3 and up, but assembly can be daunting. 

Radio Flyer Deluxe Big Flyer

Radio Flyer Deluxe Big Flyer, Outdoor Toy for Kids Ages 3-7
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Radio Flyer does it again with the Radio Flyer Deluxe Big Flyer, a mix between the classic Radio Flyer tricycle and a classic Big Wheel. Featuring a large 16″ front tire and two small but wide back tires, kids can ride fast and safely since they are seated low to the ground.

The seat adjusts to move closer to the handlebars or farther away as your child gets taller. Designed for ages 3-7 and up to 65 pounds, your little one will have fun with the Big Flyer for years. Most parents love the Big Flyer and its ergonomic shape, but some warn that once the big wheel tread comes off after lots of use, you’re done for and the tricycle won’t ride the same. Another thing to note is the price; for a mostly plastic tricycle, the price is a little high.

Best Tricycles for 4-Year-Olds

Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle

Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle
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The Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle is the classic version that you’ve known for years! It is also made of steel but instead of plastic wheels has traditional spokes and bike-like tires which are solid rubber.

The handlebars won’t turn completely to one side or the other so that the wheel won’t turn sideways and cause a tip over.  This bright red tricycle for toddlers is classically styled and includes chrome handlebars and fenders. The adjustable seat grows with your child. Your child will also love the streamers and ringing bell. The double-deck rear step makes climbing on and off easy.

I love the retro design and durability of this Radio Flyer tricycle. This undisputed classic is a perfect choice for any toddler’s first trike. Radio Flyer even has a classic model with a push handle for parents who’d like to easily guide their toddler on the trike without bending down.

Hurtle 3-Wheeled Scooter for Kids

Hurtle HURFS42P ScootKid Mini Kids Toy Scooter
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For your older toddler, consider the Hurtle 3-Wheeled Scooter for Kids that combines a tricycle and a scooter all-in-one. You still get the three-wheel stability of a traditional tricycle whether your child rides it as a trike or a scooter. Handlebars adjust as your child grows too.

To ride as a trike, simply pull down the seat and your toddler is ready to go! To add to the fun, the scooter wheels have LED lights and they flash rainbow lights as your toddler scoots around. The deck is extra-wide too, giving your child a lot of space to stand which also helps with balance.

The Original Big Wheel Trike

The Original Big Wheel 16 Inch Tricycle - Big Wheel for Kids 3-8 Boys Girls Outdoor Kids Toys Drift Trike with Spin Out Hand Brake - Rally Racer
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The Original Big Wheel Trike is a classic tricycle that you may have rode on as a kid yourself. It’s a simple 3-wheel tricycle and tons of fun.

Sitting low to the ground, the thick tread Big Wheel’s 16″ front wheel and back 4″ wide wheels let your child zoom and turn with precision and speed. There’s the option to turn on a “clicking” sound, making a ride on this tricycle even more fun and imaginative.

As your child grows, the seat can be adjusted to fit them well. It is suited for ages 3-8 years and up to 70 pounds. A sticker sheet is even included with this Big Wheel trike.

Parents love that this toddler tricycle is made in the USA and is the classic tricycle they’ve always known and enjoyed. The downside is the price; it’s a bit pricy for a simple plastic tricycle but the nostalgia alone makes this trike worth the purchase.

Tricycle Comparison

The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.


Guide to Selecting a Tricycle for Your Toddler

When children grow to toddlerhood, a tricycle (and later bicycle) becomes a natural toy choice because it allows for some independence and develops crucial physical skills.  Unfortunately, that independence exposes them to some safety hazards that can only be prevented by monitoring and controlling their play environment.

Keeping kids out of the traffic and away from cars backing out of driveways is job number one. But there are a few other guidelines that are useful to know in the process of selecting a tricycle for your toddler. Healthychildren.org, powered by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), provides us with helpful suggestions and things to consider in regards to purchasing and using a tricycle.

Ability

There is no need to push for a child to ride a tricycle until they are ready. The grow-with-me style of toddler tricycles is especially helpful if your child is small for their age, or is behind in physical development. Once your child is ready for it, you can also try a balance bike to help aid their sense of balance.

If you’re not sure whether you should get a balance bike or a traditional bike with training wheels, check out our article here.

Size

Young toddlers who are just starting to ride may feel more comfortable in a trike that sits lower to the ground and is designed for their size. Older toddlers can take on larger tricycles, like the tricycle/scooter combo or a classic Big Wheel.

Helmet

It is a pain, but getting your child used to wearing a snug helmet on a bike is a habit that will serve them well throughout life. Check out the best infant and toddler helmets.

Safety

Trikes that are lower to the ground and have larger wheels are safer to ride. The child has a shorter distance to fall and big tires reduce tip-overs. The best preventive measure you can take for safety is to restrict riding to areas where there are no cars. Children should be actively monitored near pools, streets, and driveways.

Durability

Tricycles made with a steel frame and rubber wheels tend to last longer than plastic ones. However, many parents find that the plastic ones work better indoors. Choose the best option for your family’s lifestyle.

FAQs – Tricycle for Toddlers

Are tricycles for toddlers safe?

Some say that tricycles shouldn’t be introduced to toddlers until they are at least 3 years of age due to the risk of them falling or their feet getting caught up in the pedals. Whether the toddler is three or younger, there are a few things you can do to help prevent injuries:

  • Tricycle type: Not all tricycles are made the same. Look for a sturdy tricycle that will reduce the chances of it toppling over.
  • Seat options: Some tricycles have sidebars to prevent toddlers from sliding or falling off the seat when riding.
  • Pedals or no pedals: Tricycles with removable pedals (or no pedals) can be a safe starter tricycle for toddlers because they can learn the basics without having to figure out how to use quick-spinning pedals.
  • Helmets: A good-fitting helmet helps make any ride safer!

Can a 2-year-old toddler use a tricycle?

A 2-year-old can certainly learn how to pedal a tricycle if the tricycle fits them well and precautions are taken. The best tricycles for 2-year-olds maybe transition tricycles such as the Joovy Tricycoo which allows little ones to become familiar with pedaling and holding handlebars without the risk of falling off the seat. Certainly starting a child off early on a tricycle should help them learn how to ride a regular bike as they get older. Don’t forget a helmet!

Does my toddler need a helmet to ride a tricycle?

YES. Remember: It is important to wear a helmet on every ride. Brain injuries are preventable in the majority of cases with a helmet. There is increasing evidence that concussive injuries can have long-term impacts.

How do I fit a helmet properly?

When checking your toddler’s helmet for safety, remember the 4 S’s:

  • Size: Make sure the helmet covers the upper part of the forehead and sits level on the head.
  • Strap: Make sure the strap is adjustable and has a quick-release buckle.
  • Sticker: A helmet must be approved. Look for the correct stickers verifying safety.
  • Straight: A helmet must be on your toddler’s head in a straight position and not tilted.

Final Word

All of the tricycles featured in this article are wonderful choices for little children. When in doubt, I always choose the Radio Flyer brand of toys. Their beauty, simplicity, and standards of safety encourage adventure, discovery, and capture the wonders of youth.

Remember, time flies. Enjoy the ride!

Sources

  1. Ready for a Tricycle?, www.healthychildren.org
  2. How To Get Your Child To Wear a Bicycle Helmet, www.healthychildren.org
  3. Bicycle Safety for Toddlers, www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca

Brittany Spalding

Brittany Spalding is a wife, homeschool mom, writer, editor, and food allergy awareness advocate. She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, restoring antique furniture, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and fishing on the beautiful Kentucky Lake.



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