We all know that tricycles help with gross motor skills and outdoor play, but did you know that they can actually give your toddler pre-reading skills? Your child learns left from right, and the consequences of turning the bike in each direction. This directional adeptness will help them read correctly later on.
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.
|The Top 5 Best Tricycles for Toddlers||Why It's Best||Mom Rating|
|Schwinn Roadster Tricycle||Low center of gravity works well for smaller kids.||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike||A sturdy choice that makes a good tricycle for any child.||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle||Classic Radio Flyer design with a ringing bell and red and white streamers.||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike||Durable tires and fun Harley-Davidson design and artwork||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Joovy Tricycoo Tricycle||Perfect for a first tricycle!||♥♥♥♥♥|
Best Tricycles for Toddlers
Schwinn Roadster Tricycle
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 forwards and backwards to adjust for growing legs. Your future roadster will roll quickly and smoothly through the neighborhood on this fantastic tricycle
Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike
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.
Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle
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 fender. 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.
Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike
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, 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 the seat lifts up for a little toy storage. Let your child feel like they are cruising the streets on real bike with this adorable trike.
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 to more of a traditional tricycle that the child can operate fully on their own.
Minnie Mouse Fly Wheel Junior Tricycle
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 smooth 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.
Costzon 4-in-1 Kids Steer Tricycle
Depending on the age of your toddler, having a bike where you can give them a little extra help might be a really good thing! The Costzon 4-in-1 Tricycle can work as an infant tricycle, a steering tricycle, a learn-to-ride trike, and a classic toddler trike. That means that either you or your child can be in control of the bike. Just adjust according to their skill level and go!
This trike has some really fun extras, like a canopy with a peek-a-boo window for sun protection and a pull-behind cargo basket. You also get a high seat back, foldable pedals for the smaller kiddos, and a cute little bell that’s sure to delight your child and annoy the heck out of you. Oh, and there are wrap-around safety bars to keep your child in the seat until they are trustworthy at staying on during a ride.
Not all toddlers will be ready and willing to ride their own trike. I love how this doubles as both a bike they can use later and a stroller that can be used now until they are able to ride on their own. For us, this was a great choice because my 2 year old had a bike of their own that made them feel just as cool as their 6 year old sibling, but without the added hassle.
One warning here: this bike is SO HARD to put together. The instructions are awful if you get any at all, and a lot of things that should have been done at the factory level weren’t. So just brace yourself for that. But once it’s together, it’s sturdy, safe, and fun.
Morgan Cycle Lavender Retro Trike
How adorable is the Morgan Cycle Lavender Retro Trike? This is easily the prettiest trike on our list and even dad might appreciate the curvy lines that make it look like a classic automobile. The design was inspired by the 1934 Van Doren. It is a timeless treasure featuring durable steel spokes, solid rubber wheels, a leather saddle seat, a working headlight, and adjustable handlebars.
This tricycle for toddlers is incredibly durable and loved by adults and children, alike. However, this trike will cost you 2-3 times as much as the other tricycles featured in this article.
Radio Flyer Deluxe Big Flyer
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 safe 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.
The Original Big Wheel Trike
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.
Costzon Kids Tricycle
The Costzon Kids Tricycle works for smaller kids with the seat in the low position. A 45-degree steering limitation helps prevent toddlers from turning too far and toppling over.
A fun “BB” sound is heard when a child sits on the seat, making riding fun and increasing imaginative play. You can either purchase a bright primary-colored tricycle or a pink-purple tricycle.
Because this toddler trike has a lower profile and is made of plastic, it is the perfect trike for indoor use. Keep in mind the steering radius is small, so your child may have trouble going around lots of furniture inside.
As a mom, I love multi-purpose toys that can help little ones burn off extra energy when the weather isn’t suitable for outdoor play. This trike definitely makes the grade for convenience!
Guide to Selecting a Tricycle for Your Toddler
When children grow to toddlerhood a tricycle and later bicycle become natural toy choices because they allow for some independence and develop 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.
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 are especially helpful if your child is small for his 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.
Trikes that are lower to the ground and have larger wheels are safer. The child has a shorter distance to fall and big tires reduce tip-overs.
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.
As I mentioned above, 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 on driveways.
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.
FAQ’s about Best 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!
Would you get a 2-year-old toddler 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 know if the helmet fits 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.
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!