Trike and Balancing Kid Bike Reviews
There’s something special about the time in life when a child gets to ride their first set of wheels. I remember my first plastic Big Wheel many years ago and my excitement as I planted myself in the seat for the first time – I couldn’t wait to start pedaling! I never got out of my parents driveway that first time on the Big Wheel, but that didn’t matter at all because I had my own wheels and a sense of freedom.
That was a special time in my life, but nowhere near as special as watching my own children pedaling down the driveway for the first time. I’ve enjoyed looking at the different adult bikes out there and the great options available for both myself and my wife, but I don’t think this site would be complete without looking at all of the great riding options for our children.
My Top 10 Picks
It doesn’t matter whether you’re 5 or 45 – riding a bike is just as big a thrill at any age. Surprisingly, there is almost as much variety in the toddler trike and bike category as there is in any adult bike category. I must admit, I actually had more fun looking at the bikes and trikes for toddlers than I did looking at adult bikes – there are just so many fun options available in this category. Here’s a look at my top 10 picks for children five and under.
Best 3-Staged Trike
Fisher-Price Rock, Roll ‘n Ride Trike
The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Roll Ride Trike is a really cool little vehicle for kids. It’s actually fully-convertible for the different stages of your toddler’s life from two years old to five. In the first stage the trike can be set up as a fun rocker toy that simply rocks back and forth without going anywhere in particular. The kids will have a lot of fun on this, without the parents having to worry about them wandering off. Best of all it’s easy to set up and it’s suitable for both boys and girls.
The Next Stage
When you’re ready to remove the rocker component and let your kids have the opportunity to move around a little bit, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to let go of the reins altogether. The rocker can actually be converted into a nice long push handle so that the parents can start to push the child around and take them for a nice outing while they ride. It’s the perfect transition for the three-year-old that’s ready to push their limits a little more. They’ll be ecstatic with the greater freedom they now have to move around, and parents will be happy that they still have control with the handy push handle.
The Final Stage
As much as parents never want to admit it, there comes a time when it’s right to let the child start pedaling themselves. This Fisher-Price trike is perfect for that phase in your child’s life as well. The push handle can be removed altogether and your child can be left to begin pedaling on their own power. Any time a child begins to establish their independence for the first time it’s bound to be difficult on a parent, but it’s an important part of their healthy growth and development.
Best for Superheroes
Fisher-Price DC Super Friends Batman
No site about toddler trikes would be complete without some sort of superhero-themed model on the list. I’ve always had a soft spot for the whole superhero thing and I’ll freely admit I was a little excited when I came across the Fisher-Price DC Super Friends Batman Lights and Sounds Trike. This little trike comes fully-equipped with all the lights and sounds that any aspiring little superhero might be looking for, and of course it’s got the familiar black and blue Batman colors.
Front Wheel Power
The Batmobile and all its different incarnations is a central theme in all the Batman movies and this trike lets your child have his own little Batmobile on three wheels. What’s great about this little trike is that it has a nice, oversized front wheel that not only looks cool but helps them go a little bit quicker. There’s nothing like a big front wheel on a trike for helping a child to pedal faster and perform some slick maneuvers. Your child will be the envy of his friends, riding around the neighborhood on this trike.
It Grows with Them
If there’s one thing you can be sure about when it comes to children it’s that they will keep on growing and they will grow like weeds. Buying any kind of product that a child can outgrow can be an expensive proposition, but this particular trike by Fisher-Price is well-positioned to grow with your child. It comes with a three-position adjustable seat that can be moved back as they grow. Eventually they will outgrow this trike, but you can easily get three or four years of use out of it.
Best Big-Wheeled Trike
The Original 16″ Red Racer
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the most exciting times in my life was the first time I got to pedal my very own Big Wheel; it turns out the Big Wheel is nowadays just as popular as ever. When I found the Original Big Wheel 16” Red Racer there was no doubt that it had to make this list – this is the classic plastic machine of so many childhood memories. This trike’s called the Big Wheel for a reason, and that 16” big wheel on the front of this trike still makes kids smile every day.
Every parent is looking for a trike that can give a child years of use – a big challenge in our throwaway society. Fortunately, this Big Wheel is designed for children that are growing fast. It not only has a three-position adjustable seat, but it’s designed to handle children weighing up to 70 pounds. That means that this little trike will still be going strong when your child is well into their fifth year. You’ll be able to watch your child have fun on their Big Wheel for years, just like you did as a child.
Children aren’t generally worried about the practical nature of their pedal-powered vehicles – they’re more concerned about whether they’re having fun and if it looks cool. This little Big Wheel trike definitely has the cool factor going on with its great color scheme. It features splashes of red, yellow, and blue that make it stand out in any driveway. Parents will also be happy to know that it has an adjustable seat, but the kids will be much happier when they see the flashy colors on this tricycle. That’s what I call a “win-win” for both parent and child.
Best Upright Trike
Fisher Price Grow With Me
Little girls and boys have different tastes in all kinds of things and their tricycles are no different. The Fisher-Price Grow with Me Trike comes in three or four different color schemes that make it appealing for both boys and girls. That isn’t to say you can’t choose whatever color scheme your child prefers even if it isn’t the traditional colors you’d expect – that choice is entirely yours and your child’s. This is also a trike with nice, thick handlebars and pedals for a more comfortable ride.
Making the Right Adjustments
There are a lot of different trikes on the market for the little ones, and all manufacturers of these little vehicles claim to have some way of adjusting their particular model. In the case of this one by Fisher-Price, it actually comes with some extra options. Not only can you adjust the seat, but you can also adjust the pedals on this tricycle; this should mean a lot more comfortable ride for your child. It’s just another thing that Fisher-Price does better than most other manufacturers when it comes to children’s toys.
The Big Wheels and other low riding tricycles are certainly a lot of fun, but if you’re concerned about your child’s posture you may want to give the Grow with Me Trike serious consideration as it promotes good posture. When your child sits on this tricycle they’ll always be in an upright position with their back nice and straight. Children are certainly more malleable than adults, but it doesn’t hurt to start encouraging good posture at a young age.
Most Innovative Tricycle
Schwinn Easy Steer Tricycle
When it comes to bicycles Schwinn is one of the most enduring names around, and they aren’t without an entry in the children’s tricycle category either. The Schwinn Easy Steer Tricycle is one of the most innovative tricycles available on the market today. This tricycle features a strong, steel construction that’s built to last; if you have more than one child with a bit of an age gap in between them there’s a good chance you’ll get several years of use out of this tricycle for both children. It really is a beautiful tricycle with some nice features you won’t find on other models.
The Steering Makes It Fun for Children and Adults
This tricycle comes equipped with Schwinn’s Easy Steer handle that makes it great for a nice walk with your child. You can let them pedal by themselves for a while, but when they inevitably get tired you can simply snap on the Easy Steer handle and push them along so that you don’t have to cut your walk short. It allows you to take over the steering as well so that your child isn’t working against you by trying to steer at the same time.
Take Their Toys for a Ride
While our children love to ride their tricycles, they do have short attention spans and it’s always a good idea to bring some other things along to keep them happy and interested. This Schwinn tricycle has a nice large plastic dump bin at the back of the tricycle to make it easy for your child to bring some extra toys along for the ride. It’s also a great place for mom and dad to store a couple of things as well, so it’s a win-win for everybody. This will come in handy on the longer rides to the park or store.
Best Classic Trike
Radio Flyer Red Classic
We all love to sit back and enjoy the nostalgia of our youth, and anytime we have an opportunity to share our love of great things with our children we tend to jump on it. The Radio Flyer Classic Red Tricycle is as close to a classic look as a tricycle will ever come – in fact this tricycle looks like a throwback to the 1950s and a much simpler time. It’s even got a bell! That may not be too common on tricycles and bicycles today, but a few decades ago it was a standard item on any tricycle.
Chrome and Steel
What really gives this tricycle its classic look is its abundant use of chrome and steel. The entire frame, and even the wheel wells, are made of a strong steel material which is highly uncommon on products today. I remember one of my earliest bikes – I loved the chrome look it had, which made my bicycle really stand out and gave it a look that made most of my friends jealous. This tricycle brings back the classic chrome look as well, with chrome handlebars and chrome fenders. Your toddlers may not be quite as concerned with what the other kids are thinking about their tricycle, but I’ve no doubt they’ll still enjoy the chrome style of this one.
Easy on an Easy off
Another great feature of this classic looking Radio Flyer is the nice rear deck that makes it easy for your child to climb aboard, or just as easily jump off the trike. In my day a lot of kids loved using their tricycles as a sort of scooter by standing upright on that rear deck and holding on to the handlebars. It’s just one more item that gives this tricycle a classic look and will have every parent reliving a nostalgic journey down memory lane as they watch their kids ride down the driveway on one of these.
Most Comfortable Trike
Schwinn Roadster 12-Inch
I was surprised to find that the Schwinn name is so prominent in the tricycle market as well as the bicycle market. The Schwinn Roadster is another classic-looking tricycle from Schwinn that most kids will absolutely love. This tricycle is built with a low center of gravity in order to minimize the chance of your child falling off of it and injuring themselves. It’s got a classic blue look which suggests strength and durability as well.
This is a tricycle with some pretty cool details that make it stand out and more than likely put a smile on your child’s face. It has chrome handlebars with an interesting design that will turn some heads among your child’s toddler friends – it’s quite simply a good-looking little machine. They’ve also topped off the look with some long tassels that the kids will find quite cool, and a classic-looking bell. If that’s not quite enough to entice you, it also has a cool wooden rear deck which adds just a touch of class to this little machine.
A Comfortable Ride
This tricycle isn’t all about the look, though – it’s also quite a comfortable little machine for your toddler. It has a fully-adjustable seat so that you can make it comfortable no matter what the child’s height or size. The seat is also nicely sculptured for a comfortable and well-supported ride. Your child’s comfort should never be something that takes a backseat, and that’s not an issue with this ride at all.
Best Stability Based Tricycle
The Joovy Tricycoo Tricycle is probably one of the most interesting-looking tricycles you’re ever likely to come across – this is truly a different-looking machine. That doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent choice for any toddler, though, as it actually comes equipped with some cool features that make it quite safe for your child. It has a fold-down foot rest for the toddler that’s not quite ready to start pedaling on their own yet, and for the young toddler it comes with baby surround arms, which can be removed when they’re ready for a little more freedom.
As a parent of a small toddler that’s not ready to go on their own yet, you still want to be able to take your child for a ride. This Joovy tricycle is designed to help your child through the different stages of their development. It comes equipped with a parental push handle which can be adjusted as the child grows and eventually removed altogether when the child is ready to start pedaling on their own. It’s nice to have these types of options; that’s why this tricycle definitely deserves to be on this list.
This tricycle may be one of the funniest looking little machines on this list, but it’s also one of the safest and one of my personal favorites. As well as the safety features we’ve already mentioned, it also has a pedal lock system; this allows you to lock the pedals for small toddlers that aren’t ready to pedal by themselves so that they can’t injure themselves while you’re pushing them. It allows you to unlock the pedals when the child is ready to start pedaling by themselves. Safety really is a big consideration for this manufacturer and it’s a welcome feature for any concerned parent.
Best Classic Tricycle for Girls
Radio Flyer Dual Deck Pink
We’ve already looked at a classic Radio Flyer tricycle for boys, and this company also has a beautiful-looking little tricycle for girls as well. It sports a hot pink paint job and pink tassels that many little girls will just love. Perhaps more important, though, is the fact that it has an innovative dual deck design that makes it easy to climb on and off this tricycle no matter your child’s height. I was impressed with the boy’s model tricycle by Radio Flyer and I’m just as impressed with the young girl’s model.
When we looked at the little boys’ Radio Flyer tricycle we noted that the liberal use of chrome on that cute little trike made it stand out in a crowd; the little girls’ Radio Flyer tricycle also sports a lot of chrome. It has chrome handlebars, chrome fenders, and a chrome bell to top things off nicely. It’s a sharp-looking little tricycle and will no doubt make any little girl happy as they ride around the block.
Key Safety Features
As a parent you want your child to have fun with their new toy no matter what it is, but you always have their safety in the back of your mind. If you do decide to go with the Radio Flyer tricycle for your little girl, you won’t have to worry about their safety too much as this tricycle is designed with their safety clearly in mind. It has an adjustable seat so that you can make sure it’s set up for them properly to help to avoid injury. The trike actually has a controlled steering radius to prevent them from over-steering and tipping over.
Best Toddler Bicycle
Thomas The Train 8514-96TJ Boys Bike
Almost all little boys love Thomas the Tank Engine and probably a good proportion of little girls as well; that’s why I thought it would be a great idea to save this ride for last. If your child’s moving towards the end of their toddler stage it may be time to look at buying them their first bike – Thomas The Train 8514-96TJ Boys Bike may be the perfect choice if you have a little boy. As the name suggests, this bicycle has a Thomas the Tank Engine theme which is bound to put a smile on your little boy’s face.
The Training Wheels Are Ready to Come Off
This is definitely a bicycle, not a tricycle, and is perfect when you’re trying to transition your child into that next phase of their development. It comes equipped with training wheels which can be easily removed when your child’s ready to ride on two wheels for the first time. It also has a nice, thick pair of wheels with great tread depth for gripping the road once you do finally remove those training wheels.
Time for Fun
If there’s anything that can take your child’s mind off the big step they’re about to take when they remove their training wheels, it’s got to be the presence of one of their favorite characters. This little bike is framed with a Thomas the Tank Engine handlebar shield as well as a cool Thomas the Tank Engine mounted head underneath the handlebars. They’ll be having so much fun riding with one of their favorite characters they’ll forget all about the fact that they’re about to set off on two wheels.
An Important Step
This has to have been one of the most fun articles I’ve ever had the opportunity of working on. As I looked over these different tricycles and bicycles they put a smile on my face every time. There’s a four-year-old and a six-year-old in our home; some of these little vehicles would definitely put a smile on their faces. There’s a lot of great choices here, and trying to decide on the right one is a fun and challenging experience that might also bring back a lot of great memories from your own childhood.