Watching your child grow is an incredible experience, and once they start walking, it seems as though they’ll never slow down.
So it seems only natural to get them started with wheels, and what better way than a tricycle?
But most of us have never bought a trike, or it probably isn’t a habit, anyway, so how can you know which is the best trike for your child?
On this page, I’ll walk you through the best trikes on the market, carefully selected for safety, durability, ease of use, and comfort.
On This Page
Value for Money Trikes
Radio Flyer Classic
Nothing is more iconic than the Radio Flyer Classic trike, and there’s more than one reason why it’s sold consistently since being introduced in 1999.
It has three features that help it stand out; construction, adjustability, and sheer beauty.
The Classic is built entirely from steel, which is not just a rarity these days, but means that it can last for decades. The steel frame provides safe, comfortable rides for your kid. It also features genuine rubber tires for a smooth, easy experience and an adjustable seat to keep up with your child as they grow.
Lastly, the Radio Flyer Classic features the aesthetics which have made the company famous for over 100 years, with bright red paint, white detailing, and tasseled handlebars that toddlers love.
Joovy Tricycoo 4.1
Family business Joovy runs on a two-pronged ethos; helping young kids find their confidence on tricycles and making a product that lasts instead of breaking or collecting dust.
The Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 works in 4 stages to help your child grow in confidence and ability, with removable components and options to help them adjust to pedaling under their own power.
It features a parents’ push handle, removable UVF 50 sunshade, flip-down footrest, and optional pedals for when they’re ready to start taking control for themselves. This trike requires assembly, but it comes with clear, easy-to-read instructions and Joovy has an extensive support system on their website for any questions.
Trikes for 1 Year Olds
SmarTrike describes the Breeze as a 3 in 1 tricycle, meaning that it can be adapted into different configurations for your child as they grow.
First, it comes with sturdy bars to help your kid stay in the seat, which can then be removed to convert it into an assisted toddlers’ trike, and finally, the rear steering rod can be removed to make it into a fully independent tricycle.
The steering system helps push the trike easily in any direction with the slightest pressure, and a switch on the front wheel lets you decide whether parent or child gets control. It also comes with a seatbelt, rear bucket, an all-metal frame.
Little Tikes Ride On
Founded in 1926, Little Tikes has become a familiar brand for millions through decades of quality toys.
The Little Tikes 4-in-1 Ride-On is a great combination of fun and safety.
It features an adjustable seat with an optional safety bar, a 5-point seatbelt, and a protective canopy to keep the sun away. It also has a footrest for your child and a tray for carrying food and drink.
As your child grows, the seat can be adjusted and the parents’ pushing handle can be removed to adapt to their growing independence.
Trikes for 2 Year Olds
Schwinn Easy Steer
Schwinn is a household name in bicycles, so it’s hardly surprising that they’ve been able to create a terrific tricycle.
The Schwinn Easy Steer is available in red, blue, white, and pink.
The standout feature is the internal steering system, from which it gets its name. This makes it easier for the rider to operate it comfortably while they’re still building up their motor skills. It also includes a rear-mounted steering rod to allow you to take control to help them out, or if they’re getting a little too adventurous!
The Schwinn Easy Steer also features a 3-point seat belt to help bolster your confidence in their safety and a handy rear dump bin for carrying toys or supplies.
Angeles MyRider Midi Trike
This tricycle offers something that a lot of others don’t – ground clearance. While a low center of gravity can improve stability, they don’t account for kids who need a bit more room to reach the ground.
The Midi Trike has a high profile to allow for comfortable leg-stretching.
The welded steel frame has no protruding parts to make rides safer and the yellow-and-black color scheme and simple design are cool to look at while stylishly classy.
It’s powder-coated to prevent rust and scratches, with self-lubricating nylon bearings, tough rubber handgrips, and rubber-tired spokeless wheels. It comes fully assembled and backed by a 5-year warranty.
Fisher Price Harley Davidson
Fisher-Price has been a household name for generations, and their tricycle featuring Harley Davidson styling offers everything you could want.
With a wide wheelbase, easy-grip handlebars, and large pedals, this is a good, reliable trike from a well-known and loved company. It also features a hidden storage compartment under the seat.
This tricycle will have to be assembled, but this can be done in under 30 minutes, offering your kids hours of fun indoors and out. Due to the size, it’s better for kids around 2 years old, and the classic Harley decor will make it a hit with your kids.
Trikes for 3 to 4 Year Olds
Taking a cue from Radio Flyer, the Schwinn Roadster comes with a retro steel frame with a low center of gravity, combining an easy ride with classic style.
The seat is adjustable forwards and backward to comfortably accommodate growing legs and the high-quality rubber tires provide excellent grip on paved surfaces. It’s even got a genuine wood platform on the rear.
The steel frame makes for a stable, comfortable ride that can’t be easily matched by plastic competitors and the weight gives it great balance. It comes assembled and ready to ride, and it even has snazzy tassels to complete the classic look.
Radio Flyer Deluxe Big Flyer
Radio Flyer’s big-wheel chopper-style trike is easily one of the coolest out there, with a 16″ front wheel and low center of gravity to provide a stable, safe ride that can also be used to gain short bursts of speed.
This is a larger tricycle, so it’s recommended that it be used by kids aged 3 to 7.
The Deluxe Big Flyer also comes with adjustable seats for growing bodies, grippy treads for traction, and chrome handlebars. Radio Flyer manages to translate their classic styling to this plastic trike just as well as they do with their traditional steel offerings.
Toddler's Trike Buyer's Guide
When you’re looking to buy a tricycle for your child, all of the recommendations above are excellent options.
But it’s always good to make informed decisions, so here are a few of the things you should look out for when you’re trike-shopping.
Here are 4 things to know before buying trikes.
1. Types of Trikes
Push trikes have become an increasingly common sight in recent years.
Parents love them because they allow them to make sure their child is comfortable and safe, while the kids enjoy them because they let them get used to the feel of being in the saddle.
The push handle you’ll see on most models such as Little Tikes and Smartrike Breeze are usually removable, so your kid can gradually start to get used to the feeling of riding on their own while you can hang onto your peace of mind.
Big Wheel Trike
Recalling early penny-farthing bicycles, big wheel trikes were originally a trademark of 20th-century toy giant Louis Marx and Company.
From early on, though, it came to be a generic name for any trike with a large (usually about 16”) front wheel with sturdy, broad rear wheels and low ground clearance.
2. Fit and Sizing
Any new trike you get for your child will only be as good as the fit, and since they’re growing every day, it’s helpful that most manufacturers take this into account and make their products adjustable.
Generally speaking, there are several distinct sizes or size ranges to fit kids of different heights and ages, so be sure to measure your child’s height before you settle on a purchase.
You don’t want to end up with a trike whose pedals they can’t reach, or for which their legs are too long.
It’s especially handy to have your child test it out first, if possible, but whatever you do, make sure their hands can reach the handlebars, their feet can reach the pedals, and that they’re neither cramped in the seat nor dwarfed by the frame.
With a good fit and some options for adjustment, you can keep your toddler riding comfortably and with tons of fun for at least a couple of years.
3. Quality Materials
Just as you wouldn’t buy yourself a plastic bicycle, it can be a good idea to consider metal frames over plastic ones for your kid’s trike.
Plastic, while less expensive and easier to maintain, has a bad tendency to break under pressure and wear (which just about any two-year-old can provide in buckets) or to warp and crack in sunlight and exposure.
While they’re an attractive choice for indoor riding, your child is going to want to ride outdoors, as well, and that’s where steel and aluminum come in.
Metal frames, while generally more expensive and a little more demanding when it comes to maintenance, are guaranteed to last for years.
No toddler is tough enough to undo a welded frame, and the greater weight of a metal frame, even an aluminum one, will provide the steady, reassuring weight they need to stay upright, grounded, and zooming along safely.
You can also pass the trike down to younger siblings or friends’ children since they won’t need replacing nearly as often as plastic models.
4. Safety Features
A lot of tricycle makers are taking careful steps to make safety a feature, so luckily, they’re not hard to find.
These include safety bars, well-cushioned seats, sunshades, seatbelts, and wide wheelbases, which provide greater traction and stability and help reduce the likelihood of the trike tipping over with your child aboard.
One of the few features trikes usually don’t share with bicycles is brakes.
Tricycles are almost always directly pedaled to the front wheel and braking is usually achieved either by backpedaling or with friction to the ground.
Since these are your child’s two main options for slowing and stopping, they’ll need the benefit of either a low center of gravity for stability or that wider wheelbase for a steady grip.