Receiving a tricycle can and should be a pivotal moment in any child’s life. As kids, we all remember receiving something that made us feel invincible and free. That’s what tricycles offer toddlers! They offer freedom and the chance to be kind of like their parents who get to drive and/or ride various machines all of the time. Tricycles- or trikes- are a great way to allow your child to safely play without having to worry about them falling as they would almost surely do on a bike at such a young age!
Top Tricycle for Toddlers Comparison Chart
Trikes are also great for allowing your child to have his or her personality show on the trike! Today, we are going to help you in your search by presenting you with this buying guide to break down the ins and outs of trikes. We will then look at some of the highest rated trikes currently available on the market, and we’ll give you the pros and cons of them to help you better decide!
Children’s Tricycles Buying Guide
Why a Tricycle?
As stated before, trikes are much more safe for children. Now, you never want to leave a toddler or young child unattended while they are playing, but you can trust them much easier when they have a trike underneath them than you could with them having control of a bike! You don’t have to worry near as much about them falling off or hurting themselves, but you do need to make sure to take it seriously and supervise them. Trikes are also a great way for your child to get exercise, and they can also start socializing with other kids this way as well.
Trikes really are a rite of passage, as we’ve seen it put on some places. A child, in today’s society, is brought home in a car. From there, they may be given a four-wheeler that looks a lot like a car itself. Then they graduate to a trike. From the trike, they go to the bike, and then they transition slowly toward driving a car themselves and then repeating the process with their children. This is something that really isn’t much of an option anymore!
There are tons of different reasons that you should purchase a trike for your child, but these are some of the main ones.
Various Factors to Consider
There are more than two or three things to consider when you are deciding what you want to buy your child. Here is where we will look at those factors to help you determine what you’re going to need.
This is something that a lot of people will simply overlook, but it’s very easy to spend a lot of money on any type of item if you aren’t willing to set aside a specific amount of money to begin with. It’s important to pick a budget early on, and then stick to it if you want to have a successful shopping experience.
trikes are all about safety. That’s the whole point of it. If you didn’t care about their safety, you’d just give them a bike or hand them the keys to your car. Thankfully, no one (hopefully) is doing the latter. But you need to also keep in mind that there are things you need to do to supplement your child’s safety. A helmet is absolutely necessary. Knee and elbow pads are also to be considered, but they are not required. It really depends on what your child is like. There are also other things like flags and the such, but they are much smaller concerns than a good helmet!
Size and Height
this is something that should never be overlooked, but it so often is. People will either buy too small or too large simply because it looks cool or for some other ridiculous reason. This is so dangerous to your child that it negates the purpose of buying a trike altogether. Remember that it is always much better to base purchases off of the weight of your child rather than their age. Age can be very deceiving. There are some kids that grow like trees at a young age. Some are very tiny. Those kids could be in the same class, but they can be six inches or more apart. It’s important to note this instead of just age. Remember, it’s about the child being able to reach the pedals easily and comfortably. Reaching or stretching can cause your daughter or son to fall and get injured.
some trikes require a lot of assembly, some do not. Typically, those found in stores are going to be easier to deal with as they are much more likely to have already been assembled for you. You just need a truck or something to load it into. If you’re going the online route, which is not bad necessarily, you simply will not get this luxury. So, you have to do your research and take into account how much assembly its going to take to complete the job.
Don’t Buy Too Large or Use Extensions
this is so dangerous to your child’s safety. A lot of people do this in order to allow them to not have to buy another trike in the future. If money is that much of a concern, then you can probably find something used or you just need to cut your budget. It’s not worth making your child strain to reach the pedals. One trip to the Emergency Room or after hours clinic is going to swallow up all of the money that you “saved” by skimping out on safety.
Height from the Ground
Find something low to the ground- the lower to the ground, the better off you all will be. This means a much smaller fall if they are to lose their balance on it. Some trikes literally sit off the ground by mere inches, so those are also available. This just gives you a little bit less to worry about, so it’d be wise to look into this for those at a very young age! It’s also very easy for toddlers to get on and off of this way, instead of you having to hoist them on to the trike!
Push Bars for Young Children
A push bar- This one is huge and will go unnoticed by many until the first time they’re child begs them to push them over and over again. Avoid that by finding a trike that has a removable push bar. You can put it on or take it off with ease, but you’ll always have it there in case you find them only wanting to be pushed one day! It’ll definitely help you get less tired as you won’t have to search for a strange place to push from on the trike itself.
The accessories that you find on the trike can go just as far with your child as the trike itself. Any number of things, including the color can wow your child and really make them stand out. A few of the things that you can add to the trike and/or look for in a trike are bells, horns, a basket, designs of characters that they love and adore, and flags/pompoms/other decorative items. Any number of these things can make or break your purchase, so you might want to look into them!
If you’re looking for something that will hold up a little better and last a little longer visually, it’s best to go with metal. Metal is going to last much longer and will not scratch near as badly as other types of framing would. However, you have to aware that they can and will rust if left to rot out in the elements. It can sometimes only take a matter of weeks or months to ruin the best frame and/or paint job. Harder plastic, not the cheap kind, can also do a very good job at protecting the paint job and/or frame of the trike.
Seating: Things to Look For
Depending on what you’re looking for, you may want to consider the different types of seats that are available to you. There are all kinds of seats that can be found for both bikes and trikes nowadays. Gone are the days where you just had the flat bicycle seat that everyone knows (and either loves, or hates vehemently). Now, there are some with back rests, some are much wider, some are even longer, and some are even removable and/or adjustable for various uses.
Also, remember that the lower the seat the better oftentimes it is for you. If a seat is lower to the ground, it’s going to be much harder to flip over the trike. If the seat is low enough to the ground, it literally cannot and will not flip over because of simple physics. So, you might want to look for that when buying a trike for your child.
Wheels And Tires
Before we get to the top 10, we need to discuss wheels and tires. This is something that some people will likely gloss over, but it should definitely not be overlooked. It’d be very easy to go into the store and be overwhelmed for choice and forget to look at the wheels only to be disappointed later on. Avoid this by taking a look at the wheels. Make sure that they do, in fact, have treads. This can be vital for the use or your child! Remember, without any tread, you are going to have a loss of traction. Without that traction, your child is much more likely to find himself or herself in the ditch or in the road, or wherever they were riding at. You can also look to see how deep, if there are treads, that the treads are. The deeper the treads go, the more grip and the better they will be. This will take a lot of the guesswork out of it for you.
Best Tricycles for Toddlers Reviews
This one also comes in a “Barbie tough” look among others, so you can still get this for a girl or a boy that wants something a little different. It’s a very affordable option, and it just looks plain cool! Any kid would want one, and they just look so fun and classic. They have big treaded wheels on them and its mainly comprised of plastic. It even has a storage area under the seat that will allow the child to carry some small stuff with them. It sits fairly low to the ground and should be fairly safe.
- Very good price
- Nice designs
- Big wheels with treads
- Takes some assembly
- Pedals can cause a little bit of foot slippage
On the higher side of the price spectrum for toddler trikes comes this versatile tool from Radio Flyer. This trike is basically a trike and stroller all in one. You can push your child while he or she pedals, or you can do both at the same time, and you can do it very comfortably as well. There are actually three different classes that vary in price slightly- “base,” “sport,” and “ultimate.” As the child progresses, you can take some parts of it to allow them to progress further and further until they are ready for a bike or a larger trike one day!
- Great versatility
- Can last you quite a while
- Classic Radio Flyer red look
- A little costly to some
- Designed for smaller sized children
I remember having a Radio Flyer cart when I was little. This looks just like the classic cart with its color and even its design to a certain extent. It won the Parents Choice Classic trike award, and it comes in at a moderate price point. It has a bell and tassels, just like you would have seen back in the older days of bikes and trikes. The back deck can and will help people push the child if and when they require that to be done.
- Decent price
- Classic red look
- Bells and tassels reminiscent of days gone by
- Not for kids in the 90 percentile in size
- Difficult to assemble
want a Radio Flyer because its classic Americana but need something for a young girl? This is the perfect answer as it still is the classic look, but it comes in nicely designed pink! The seat grows with your child so you can push it back as she grows over time. The wheels are very sturdy and have treading on them, they are fairly quiet in comparison to many out there, and the handle on the back of the seat is easy to handle for pushing, although it’s not designed primarily for pushing. It’s also a moderately priced item like #3.
- The adjustable seat is great
- Great pink look
- Wheels are very sturdy
- Not the greatest for pushing ever
- Has a higher center of gravity than some
this Schwinn comes in at #5 with a heavy-duty and sturdy option but on the high-end as far as price. It comes in four different colors, and it’s got a heavy-duty frame. This is certainly a premium level option for you to look at. The tires are made of EVA, so it’s more like natural rubber, and there is a handle in the back for you to use to push your child much more easily than many trikes allow you. It also has a bucket up front and storage in the back!
- Handle in the back makes pushing very easy
- Lots of room for storage
- Great tires
- Big price
- Makes a little bit of an annoying noise
This is an interesting design from Medog that allows you to easily store the trike whenever you want to, and it’s at a low price. The other huge kicker is that no assembly is required whatsoever, so even novices would enjoy ‘putting this one together!’ It comes in two different colors and isn’t really much to look at because it is quite small. The wheels are very small, so that should be kept in mind.
- Good price
- No assembly needed
- Can be folded and stored easily
- There are no bells or whistles at all
- Tires are very tiny
This is Little Tikes’ counterpart to the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 that we saw earlier. It also comes in at a similar price, but it has three different colors to choose from for it. It allows the parent to push the child as a stroller, to push them off as they learn how to trike, and then to completely let them go one day. It also has a little bit of storage in the back as well as having storage for mom and dad’s things.
- Good storage availability
- Can be the only trike/stroller you ever buy
- Three different classy looks
- A little pricey
- Is going to take some work to assemble
Another low price option from Fisher-Price is its Grow with Me. It has quite a low center of gravity to help protect from falls or spills and it also has adjustable pedals and seat for your child as they grow over time. They have blocks that you can put on or remove from the pedals at any time to help your child as well. The tires don’t have quite as much tread as some, so be aware of that.
- Good price
- Lower center of gravity
- Adjustable seat and pedals
- Not the greatest tires/wheels
- Hard for smaller riders to reach pedals
Here is a trike that is all about the looks and sounds. It’s classic “Barbie” styling will attract little girls who love the Barbie brand and look. It features large foot pedals for a sure grip and as far as small, plastic trikes go, this one has decent rugged tires and a wide, stable wheel base. It gives you a secret storage compartment under the seat and it can hold riders up to 55 lbs. It weighs almost 8 lbs so it’s fairly durable and it’s designed mostly for little girls aged 2-5 years.
- Play like a princess
- Wheels are better
- Nearly 7,000 ratings on Amazon giving it a 4.5 out of 5.0 rating which is VERY good!
- There are a number of complaints from parents saying that their child is unable to reach the pedals
for once, Radio Flyer decided to go outside of the box (way outside of it) with this foldable trike. As such, it’s a little more expensive than usual, but it allows you to easily fold it and store. It’s got a great design, still though, despite the other foldable option not being very appealing to the eye at all. Has a great seat with a bunch of back protection. The wheels leave a little to be desired, but it’s otherwise a good trike.
- Easily stored
- Great design
- Very good seat
- The wheels are a little underwhelming
- A little pricier because of the folding feature
Conclusion & Recommendations
Buying a trike can be a difficult decision- if you let it become one. By zeroing in what you are looking for, the price you are willing to pay, and what features you want to have, you can make things so much easier on you. Selecting a trike isn’t all that difficult, but it can be time-consuming. It’s heavily recommended that you make sure to go try some out. It’s vital that you not only look at the recommended sizes and ages. Instead, you need to also make sure that your child fits reasonably on to the trike at all times. Without this, no amount of cool looks or money saved will matter.