Riding a tricycle is a childhood rite of passage. The perfect first pedal-powered vehicle for kids, a tricycle is a great way to get exercise and develop strength as well as gross motor skills. Even more importantly, they are also lots of fun to ride. By riding their favorite trike, your child will feel more independent and develop their sense of adventure. To help you quickly find a trike your little one will love, we’ve compiled a list of the best tricycles to buy in 2020.
- What Kind Of Tricycle Should You Buy?
- Choosing The Right Trike For Your Child
- Top 10 Best Tricycles 2020
- 1. Best Overall Tricycle Schwinn Roadster Kids Tricycle
- 2. Best Budget Tricycle Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike
- 3. Best Premium Tricycle Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike
- 4. Best 3-in-1 Tricycle XJD 3-in-1 Tricycle
- 5. Best Push Trike for Long Walks Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 Tricycle
- 6. Best Foldable Tricycle Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller
- 7. Best Value Push Trike smarTrike Breeze Toddler Tricycle
- 8. Best Ultra-Compact Tricycle Avenor 2-in-1 Tricycle
- 9. Best Travel Tricycle Baby Joy 4-in-1 Kids Tricycle Folding Baby Tricycle
- 10. Best Tricycle for Big Kids Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle
- Tricycle Buyers Guide
What Kind Of Tricycle Should You Buy?
Many parents are surprised to learn how many different kinds of tricycles there are to choose from. While traditional tricycles are not for children under two years old, many of the trikes on our list have features or modes that allow for use by children as young as 9 or 10 months old. Many of the tricycles on our list can be reconfigured in multiple ways to serve multiple purposes. Here are some common types you will encounter when shopping for a tricycle.
- Traditional Tricycle: Most of us remember one of these from our own childhoods. These kinds of tricycles are usually made using a metal frame and a bicycle seat. Our top overall pick, the Schwinn Roadster Kids Tricycle is an example of a traditional tricycle.
- Balance Bike: Balance bikes can have either 2 or 3 wheels and are propelled by the rider’s feet on the floor instead of pedals. This is the easiest type of tricycle for really little kids to ride by themselves.
- Push Trike: Before kids are ready to pedal on their own, allowing them to ride while being pushed and steered by an adult helps them to feel comfortable while on their trike. It also helps them begin developing balance.
- Steering Trike: A steering trike is one of the last steps before your child will be able to ride their trike all by themselves. Operation is similar to a push trike except that the rider controls where the trike goes.
- Folding Tricycle: Some tricycles fold up for easy transport. A folding push trike with room for storage makes a great alternative to a travel stroller.
Choosing The Right Trike For Your Child
Now that you have an idea of which types of tricycles are available, you can start looking at your options. By comparing the individual benefits and features of a few different trikes that fit your needs, you can find the right fit for your family. Before deciding to include a tricycle on our list, we evaluated it based on the following criteria.
- Features: Some tricycles have several different modes. Some include extras like cupholders and padded seats. Looking at the extras included in each different tricycle is a great way to help you make your decision.
- Style: Tricycles are cute and look great in pictures. We will let you know what color options you have when buying each one on our list.
- Safety: Because they sit low to the ground and are very difficult to tip over, a tricycle is one of the safest ride-on toys around. However, there is still some risk of injury. We’ll let you know what safety features are included in each tricycle listed.
- Fun Factor: A tricycle that sits unused in a garage is a waste of money. A fun tricycle encourages kids to ride more often. This results in a greater benefit to their balance, motor skills, and muscle development.
- Durability: Especially when it comes to products for toddlers, we appreciate a well-made product that is built to last. A good tricycle should be able to take a beating.
- Price: Depending on the features and options you want in your child’s tricycle, you may want to spend a few extra dollars to make sure you get everything you want. We’ll let you know if we think each trike on our list is good value.
Top 10 Best Tricycles 2020
1. Best Overall Tricycle Schwinn Roadster Kids Tricycle
Recommended Age: 2 – 4 years
Weight Limit: 100 lbs
Assembly Required? No
With shiny chrome detailing and a vintage look, the Schwinn Roadster is a retro-styled tricycle with a comfortable seat and a low center of gravity. Schwinn began making bicycles in 1895, and the brand has become an American icon by building some of the most popular bicycles in history. Parents who owned a Schwinn bike when growing up will be happy to learn that the Roadster Tricycle lives up to the reputation.
The wheels on this tricycle are high-quality and provide for a smooth ride. The seat is wide enough for kids as old as 4 years and has five adjustable positions for growing legs. The wide range of adjustable seat positions also makes this a good option for families with multiple little ones. The handlebars are easy to grip and a classic bike bell is included.
The first thing we noticed about the style of the bike is the shiny paint job and how great the reflective chrome looks. There are eight different colors to choose from. The mustache-style handlebars sit high on the frame and encourage good posture while riding. There are lots of fun style touches in this tricycle too, like the handlebar tassels, a bell, and a wooden deck with the Schwinn logo debossed in it.
Because the seat is wide and sits near to the ground, the Schwinn Roadster Tricycle is very safe for riders. There are also no moving parts that cause a risk of pinched fingers. There is also an included visibility flag to make riders easier to see.
The smooth and fast ride of Schwinn bikes and trikes have entertained generations of kids. Your toddler will love riding this trike for years to come.
Not only will the adjustable seat make sure it will last your toddler for years to come, but the solid steel frame also makes the Schwinn Roadster Tricycle a great hand-me-down.
The Schwinn Roadster Tricycle is more expensive than most alternatives we looked at, but we still think it’s a good value because of the quality construction, classic styling, and excellent performance.
- Classic Schwinn Styling
- Adjustable seat grows with your child
- Smooth and fast ride
- More expensive than other tricycles we reviewed
2. Best Budget Tricycle Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike
Recommended Age: 2 ½ – 5 years
Weight Limit: 49 lbs.
Assembly Required? Yes, easy assembly
As the name would suggest, the frame of Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike is covered in shiny red paint. This affordable but high-quality toddler tricycle looks great and is meant to be ridden outdoors. The sturdy frame holds plenty of weight and the adjustable seat allows for riders as old as five. Adults will appreciate the easy-to-carry adult handgrip located on the back of the seat.
Even though the Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike is one of the least expensive tricycles we reviewed, we were impressed by everything included. This tricycle features comfortable handlebars, quiet ride wheels, and a large storage container for toys and other goodies located behind the seat.
The signature cherry-red paint job on the Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike looks great and will keep this tricycle looking bright and shiny for years to come. There are two color options for the seat and the other plastic components.
Because there is no padding or harnesses, children younger than 30 months old should not ride the Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike, Children of any age who are riding this tricycle should wear a helmet at all times.
We think the Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike is one of the most fun budget-friendly tricycles you can buy. The simple and sturdy design and comfortable seat will keep your little one zooming around for hours on end.
Despite the low price, the Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike is one of the most durable tricycles we reviewed. The steel frame and sturdy wheels can handle your child’s fastest peddling for years to come.
At under $50, the Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike is a great value option for parents looking for a simple and dependable outdoor tricycle for their child.
- Affordable price point
- Covered bin for toy storage
- Sturdy construction, built to last
- No safety harnesses
- Limited padding
Type: Push, Steer and Traditional
Recommended Age: 9 months – 5 years
Weight Limit: 49 lbs.
Assembly Required? Yes
Best known for their iconic little red wagon, Radio Flyer has been making quality toys for children to ride since 1917. The 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike features the same shiny red paint job and allows your little one to gradually transition from being pushed by you to peddling their trike all by themselves. Starting as an infant trike suitable for babies as young as 9 months, the Stroll ‘N Trike transitions into a steering trike and learn-to-ride trike before becoming a traditional trike that can be used as kids as old as 5.
The impressive array of features and functions gives the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike one of the longest lifespans of any toddler tricycle we reviewed. Most children will be able to ride this trike for at least 4 years. That’s impressive considering how rapidly children develop during the first several years of their life.
Just like the famous wagon, the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike only comes in one color, red. Thankfully, we think the color is perfect.
One of the reasons that the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike is so safe for little riders is how many safety features are included. There is a removable footrest for riders who are unable to reach the pedals as well as optional add-ons such as a canopy with UV protection and additional seat padding.
It’s hard to imagine a more fun looking tricycle than the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike. With its candy red paint job and comfortable seat, your child will love riding this trike for as long as they still fit on it.
Radio Flyer has created durable children’s products for over 100 years and thankfully the Stroll ‘N Trike is no exception. The dependable steel frame is sturdy and the adjustable seat is built to last. If properly maintained, we could see this trike being handed down through a few generations.
While the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike is one of our favorite tricycles available, there’s no denying it’s also one of the most expensive. There are also add-ons available like a protective canopy and extra storage space.
- Iconic candy-red Radio Flyer paint job
- One of the most durable tricycles we reviewed
- Sturdy steel construction
- Four riding modes that help your child transition from being pushed to peddling
- Most expensive tricycle we reviewed
4. Best 3-in-1 Tricycle XJD 3-in-1 Tricycle
Type: Balance, Traditional
Recommended Age: 1 – 3 years
Weight Limit: 110 lbs.
Assembly Required? Yes, easy assembly of handlebars and seat
Suitable for kids as young as 10 months old, the XJD 3-in-1 Tricycle offers three different ways to ride as your child grows and learns new skills. For the youngest riders, sliding mode lets kids who are still developing balance ride without the risk of falling. Once their balance improves, they can begin using tricycle mode and begin learning to pedal. Finally, older toddlers will graduate to balance bike mode, which uses only two wheels and helps your child develop the skills needed to ride a bicycle.
In addition to the three main modes offered by this bike, the XJD 3-in-1 Tricycle has a lot of features that help your child ride comfortably. Both the handlebar and seat height can be adjusted with the press of a button, allowing this trike to be easily configured for kids of every size and ability level. The soft handle grips help riders hold on tight. This 3-in-1 trike is also very easy to assemble.
The XJD 3-in-1 Tricycle has a simple style, but it comes in four fun colors.
The XJD 3-in-1 Tricycle features a fully enclosed wheel that prevents pinching or clamping injuries to a baby’s foot. Switching modes and adjusting the seat and handlebar should be done by adults only as there is a risk of little fingers getting pinched.
With three different modes that help your toddler develop balance and learn new skills as they grow, this is one toy that you will notice your kids coming back to again and again.
The XJD 3-in-1 Tricycle is made using a carbon steel frame for safety. This means it is sturdy enough to be safe even when your child is playing rough. The soft, durable wheels are suitable for use both indoors and out.
The XJD 3-in-1 Tricycle is a moderately priced option that offers a lot of value. Unfortunately, the smaller size means that your kid may outgrow this trike earlier than other options.
- Can be used in three different modes
- Seat and handlebar adjusts easily
- Easy to assemble
- Smaller than other tricycles we reviewed
5. Best Push Trike for Long Walks Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 Tricycle
Type: Push, Steer, Traditional
Recommended Age: 10 months – 3 years
Weight Limit: 44 lbs.
Assembly Required? Yes
Much more interactive than a standard stroller, the Tricycoo 4.1 features four stages that grow with your little one and help them develop balance and coordination as early as 10 months old. We were impressed by how well this trike transitions to accommodate your baby and toddler as they get bigger. At stage 1, the pedals are locked and the tricycle has a removable canopy to protect from harmful UV rays. At stage 4, Tricycoo 4.1 is a full-sized tricycle suitable for kids three years of age and older.
Not only does the Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 transform to accommodate your child as they get older, but there are also lots of great features for them to use at every step along the way. The extra-large canopy offers 50 SPF protection and the seat is padded and comfortable. There is even a cup holder and a rear storage basket.
Available in pink or blue, the Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 is adorable at every stage. We would have preferred to see some more creative color options.
Babies as young at 10 months old can safely ride the Tricycoo 4.1 thanks to the padded seat with surround arms and a 5-point harness. When configured for the early stages, the pedals lock and the footrest folds down to allow your baby to hold themselves securely in the seat. Children should wear a helmet while riding this trike.
Thanks to the parent push handle, the Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 is a fun alternative to a stroller that will encourage your little one to start learning balance and coordination. Over time, your baby will learn to pedal and steer the trike. The padded seat and quick-release rear wheels make peddling this trike fun and easy.
With a 44-pound weight limit and made from high-quality materials, the Joovy Tricycoo is rugged enough for any adventures. It does not take long for the wheels to show visible signs of wear and tear from outdoor use.
Normally priced slightly over $100, we think the Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 is a good value because it provides several years of use as your baby grows.
- Four modes ranging from push trike to standalone tricycle
- 5-point safety harness keeps riders securely in place
- Good value
- Only available in pink or blue
6. Best Foldable Tricycle Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller
Type: Push, Steer, Foldable, Traditional
Recommended Age: 1- 5 years
Weight Limit: 55 lbs.
Assembly Required? Yes
With six different configurations to match your child’s size and ability level, the Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller can be used by kids between 1 and 5 years of age and keeps younger kids securely in place with a 3-point safety harness. We were impressed by how compactly this push trike folds when not in use, making it a great choice for parents who like to travel. By including a removable bar that parents can use to push this trike like a stroller, this tricycle has lots of features that help your child gradually learn to balance and pedal. It’s similar to the Radio Flyer 4-in-1, but offers even more functionality at a higher price.
Suitable for all stages of a toddler’s development, the Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller has incremental features designed to complement their newfound skills as they grow. This trike includes a detachable guardrail, three-point safety harness, folding pedals, bike bell, and a storage bag that sits behind the rider’s seat.
Available in three different colors, the Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller looks like a normal stroller at first glance, especially when using the push-bar.
The Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller is one of the sturdiest tricycle options we reviewed. Because it also doubles as a stroller, there is an included 3-point safety harness to keep riders under two years of age securely in place. Children of any age should wear a helmet while riding this trike.
The large tires on the Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller make it easy to push or pedal across any surface. It’s even fun to bring it to the beach! This is a great option for kids who resist riding in a traditional stroller.
Made from lightweight steel and durable plastic, the Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller is built to last and will easily hold up for the 4+ years that your child will spend riding it.
More expensive than most other tricycles we reviewed, the Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller is a premium tricycle option. Even at the higher price point, we have no problem recommending this tricycle thanks to the wide range of features and excellent portability.
- Six functions let this tricycle adjust to your growing toddler
- Includes safety harness and storage basket
- Wheels work on lots of different surfaces, even sand
- Folds for easy storage and transport
- More expensive than other tricycles we looked at
7. Best Value Push Trike smarTrike Breeze Toddler Tricycle
Type: Push, Steer
Recommended Age: 15 months – 3 years
Weight Limit: 50 lbs
Assembly Required? Yes
Featuring bright colors, the smarTrike Breeze three-function toddler tricycle is an affordable option for parents looking for a push trike that can transition into a pedal-powered tricycle when your child is ready. Even though the push handle is smaller than other trikes we looked at, the patented “Touch Steering” technology makes this tricycle easy to push and steer, even with only one hand. This trike also features spring-powered shocks on the front wheel for a smooth ride.
Unlike other tricycles with locking pedals, the smarTrike Breeze Toddler Tricycle allows your little one to use the pedals even when configured for pushing. That’s why this trike is one of our favorites for teaching toddlers to pedal. We liked the toy storage basket with lid behind the seat. That said, this trike does lack some of the convenience features found in more expensive push trikes.
With six different fun color options, the smarTrike Breeze is a fun looking trike that your toddler is sure to love. Our favorite is the yellow and orange multicolor style.
When configured for children under 2 years old, the smarTrike Breeze has a plastic guide rail that surrounds your child as well as a three-point safety harness. The 2-stage training pedals allow your toddler to safely remain in place while they learn how to pedal.
While the age range for this trike is not as wide as some other options, the smarTrike Breeze is one of the most fun tricycles we reviewed for toddlers just learning to pedal under their own power. The trike control button allows parents to easily switch control of the trike between parent and child.
The smarTrike Breeze is made mostly of lightweight plastic. This tricycle will last for years if maintained properly, but regular use will cause wear and tear over time. There is a 2-year warranty program and customer care included with your purchase.
The smarTrike Breeze is one of the most affordable multi-stage tricycles we reviewed. Unfortunately, the smaller size means that your kids will outgrow this trike faster than some of the alternatives we looked at.
- Affordable push trike that transitions into a pedal trike
- Touch steering allows parents to easily push and steer with only one hand
- Trike control button lets parents quickly switch control between parent and child
- Due to the small seat, kids outgrow this trike faster than other options
8. Best Ultra-Compact Tricycle Avenor 2-in-1 Tricycle
Type: Balance, Traditional, Foldable
Recommended Age: 2 – 4 years
Weight Limit: 55 lbs.
Assembly Required? Yes
The Avenor 2-in-1 Tricycle features a lightweight frame and can be used as a three-wheel balance bike when the pedals are removed. Weighing less than 10 pounds, the trike also folds up to become incredibly compact for storage or to take along with you. This is the only trike that we reviewed that is small enough to fit in a backpack or duffle bag. Despite the lightweight frame, the maximum load capacity of the Avenor 2-in-1 trike is 55 pounds, making it sturdier than many other tricycles we reviewed. It is also one of the most affordable toddler trikes we looked at.
Our favorite feature of the Avenor 2-in-1 Tricycle is that the pedals that are able to be easily removed and stored conveniently on the front of the trike. The handlebar is designed to limit the turning radius in order to prevent accidents. We were also impressed with how quiet this trike is when being used indoors, gliding over all kinds of household surfaces easily thanks to the anti-vibration wheels.
The Avenor 2-in-1 Tricycle comes in three different colors and features simple and colorful designs.
Because of the low center of gravity and sturdy frame, this tricycle is safe for use by toddlers who are at least two years old. Because of a risk of pinched fingers, folding and unfolding this trike should be done only by adults. In order to protect their developing skulls, children should wear a helmet at all times while riding this trike.
Because the Avenor 2-in-1 Tricycle is so easy to take anywhere with you, it can be a lifesaver for parents looking to entertain their toddlers when away from home. It’s particularly fun and helpful while at the shopping mall. Because this trike is smaller than most alternatives, your child will most likely grow too big to ride this comfortably before they exceed the 55-pound weight limit.
With a sturdy frame and very few moving parts, the Avenor 2-in-1 tricycle is certainly built to last. Avenor has a reputation for excellent customer service and provides a 2-year warranty with your purchase. This trike should be kept in a cool and dry place when not in use to maximize its lifespan.
At under $60, the Avenor 2-in-1 Tricycle is one of the most affordable toddler-friendly tricycles we reviewed.
- Weighs under 10 pounds and folds when not in use
- Sturdy frame
- Can be used as a tricycle or a three-wheeled balance bike
- Smaller than most other tricycles we reviewed
9. Best Travel Tricycle Baby Joy 4-in-1 Kids Tricycle Folding Baby Tricycle
Type: Push, Steer, Foldable, Traditional
Recommended Age: 1 – 5 years
Weight Limit: 55.5 lbs.
Assembly Required? Yes, no tools required for assembly
Combining some of the best features of a tricycle and a premium travel stroller, the Baby Joy 4-in-1 Folding Tricycle is a great idea for parents who love to travel. Thanks to the safety belt and padded guide rail, babies as young as 12 months can ride while being pushed. The tricycle transforms to grow with your toddler as they get bigger and develop more skills.
The first two things we noticed about the Baby Joy 4-in-1 Folding Tricycle are how easily it folds and how light it is to carry. This makes it perfect for trips to the mall or running other errands. In addition, this trike comes equipped with a comfortable seat, soft guide rail, and a direction-controlling system that makes it easy for parents to steer the trike.
We really like the unique and modern design of this transforming tricycle. Unfortunately, the color options are unimaginative. The Baby Joy 4-in-1 Folding Tricycle only comes in blue and pink.
When using the Baby Joy 4-in-1 Folding Tricycle as a stroller or push trike, your baby will be kept securely in the seat thanks to the lap belt and padded guard rail. Once they progress to the more independent modes, they can continue to use the lap belt by itself.
There are not many toys that a 5-year-old child will like to ride on just as much as a 12-month old, but the Baby Joy 4-in-1 Folding Tricycle is a rare exception. Because the trike works so well in all four of its modes, you can expect to see a big smile on your child’s face whenever they are riding on it.
With a frame made from lightweight steel, components made from PVC, and oxford fabric seats, the Baby Joy 4-in-1 Folding Tricycle should last you for years if properly maintained. The sturdy wheels are tough enough for regular use.
With its moderate price-tag, the Baby Joy 4-in-1 Folding Tricycle is a great value for parents looking for both a tricycle and a new travel stroller.
- Easily converts between four different modes to grow with your child
- Folds up for easy transport
- Made from high-quality materials and built to last
- Only comes in blue or pink
10. Best Tricycle for Big Kids Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle
Type: Electric, Traditional
Recommended Age: 8 years+
Weight Limit: 120 lbs.
Assembly Required? Yes, mostly assembled
When we set out to review the best tricycles of 2020, we had no idea we would find an electric-powered tricycle for big kids, but we are glad we did! With a hefty weight limit of 120 pounds, kids ages 8 and up can spin, slide, and even drift while on the Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle. Simply pushing the throttle button lets the rider reach speeds of up to 9 mph. There are also hand-operated brakes that help riders keep control. This electric three-wheeler can last for up to 40 minutes of continuous use on a single charge.
Unlike any other trike we reviewed, the Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle is loaded with features that make it fun and exciting to ride. The motor is chain-driven and the tricycle is propelled by the hi-impact pneumatic front wheel. The seat is comfortable and reclines for stability while riding.
The styling on the Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle reminds us of classic motocross styling. There is only one choice of color and graphic style.
Because it sits so low to the ground, the Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle is a great chance for your child to have fun and perform spins and stunts with very little risk of injury. Helmets should be worn while riding on this powered trike. Younger children should not be left alone to ride on this toy in areas with traffic nearby.
Thanks to the innovative razor scooter-inspired design, this innovative trike for older kids effortlessly performs tricks like 360-spins and drifting. The 9mph speed limit is the perfect speed to make riding the Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle fun for older kids without risking injury. Unfortunately, the battery only lasts between 30-40 minutes, so the fun is not very long-lasting, especially with more than one kid taking a turn.
Like the popular Razor Scooters, the Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle is built with a steel frame to last. Over time, the battery included with this trike will lose its ability to hold a full charge. Thankfully, new replacement batteries can be purchased for under $20.
Because there are no other tricycles quite like the Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle, it’s hard to compare the price to any alternatives. Still, at under $200, this tricycle is a good choice for parents looking for an impressive Christmas gift or unique outdoor activity for their kids.
- Self-propelled tricycle for older kids
- Includes 12v rechargeable battery
- Allows 360-degree spins, drifting, and sliding
- Only up to 40 minutes of use with each charge
Tricycle Buyers Guide
Even though they look simple, a tricycle can be a surprisingly complicated machine. This why a good, durable trike is often passed down through several generations. Keep reading for tips and advice on assembly, repair, maintenance, teaching your child to ride their new tricycle, and information about the positive effects that riding a tricycle can have on your child’s development.
Developmental benefits from tricycle riding
Riding a tricycle isn’t just fun, it’s also a great way to help your child develop strength and crucial skills that will help them through all stages of their life. Shortly after they master riding their trike, they inevitably start setting their sights on the larger and faster two-wheeled bikes they see other children riding. Studies have even shown that children who learn to ride a two-wheeled bike earlier in their lives tend to perform better in school and have higher self-esteem.
Because riding on the tricycle gets much easier as children develop the ability to pedal, they receive immediate positive feedback when progress is made. It creates a positive feedback loop where the rider is encouraged to keep improving because they keep seeing the benefit of improvement over time. This results in a feeling of accomplishment and a growing sense of confidence in their physical abilities.
Teaching your child to ride their new trike
Almost as monumental as seeing their first steps, watching your child pedal a tricycle for the first time is sure to be a parenting memory you will cherish forever. That being said, teaching them to ride the darn thing might not be quite as magical. Thankfully, teaching your child to ride their first trike is not as difficult as teaching them to do other things like use the potty.
Depending on what type of tricycle you buy, the best age to start teaching your toddler how to ride it can vary. Some trikes have seats and restraints that allow babies as young as 10 months to sit safely on the tricycle and be pushed. This allows them to get used to the feeling of keeping their body balanced while on the seat. Some of these models, like the smarTrike Breeze, even allow kids to practice pedaling while in push mode.
Once your child turns two, they should be about ready to start pedaling the tricycle on their own, though it may still take some more time to develop the coordination in order to be able to steer while pedaling. Once they are physically ready to begin pedaling, there are a few different ways you can help them get the hang of the concept. We recommend a mix of all three methods to help teach them.
Before your toddler sits on their new trike, take a moment to explain a few different parts. You don’t need to use too much detail, but make sure they understand the seat, handlebars, and pedals. You should make sure to demonstrate how the pedals make the wheel spin while they are watching closely.
Have your toddler sit on the trike and have them place their feet on the pedals. At this point, begin moving the pedals with your hands and make sure their feet stay on the pedals as they rotate. This will allow them to feel the sensation of pedaling and begin developing muscle memory.
Have your child sit in a seat that is around the same height as their tricycle seat. Place your hands where the pedals should be and have them put their feet on your palms. You can then begin moving their feet up and down in the proper motion. After a minute of moving your hands, stop, then ask your child to keep making the same motion and see how they do.
Most children take to peddling their tricycle quickly, but some need a little more time to get the hang of it. There are also lots of online videos available to parents who need help. Here are a few final tips for parents helping their little one start riding.
- The earlier the better! Lots of time riding a tricycle is the best way to prepare your little one for a big kid bike when they are ready.
- Make sure to choose a tricycle that is the right size for your child and make sure it is properly adjusted for their size and length of their legs. Riding a trike that is too big or small can be frustrating and present a safety hazard.
While a tricycle is not nearly as daunting as vehicles your child will ask to ride later in life, there are a few safety risks. More importantly, when they begin riding their tricycle is a perfect time to help them develop good safety habits for when they start riding bigger and more dangerous vehicles.
Of course, the most important thing to do is make sure your child always remembers to wear a helmet before they begin riding their tricycle. Even though they are not traveling at high speeds, your child’s skull is still developing and it can use all the protection it can get in the event they lose their balance and fall on their head. It’s important that any helmet you buy conforms to the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Here are some other tips to keep your child as safe as possible while riding on their tricycle.
- Be careful with where you allow your child to ride their tricycle. Do not allow your child to ride unsupervised in areas near cars or hazards such as swimming pools.
- The closer to the ground that your child’s tricycle sits, the safer it will be for them in the event they lose their balance.
- Do not allow your child to ride a tricycle they are not physically ready for. If you are looking for a trike that can be used even by very young babies, we suggest the Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller, which can be safely ridden by babies as young as 9 months old.
Maintaining Your Child’s Tricycle
Just like with a bicycle, taking a few minutes every once in a while to make sure your child’s tricycle stays in good condition is sure to save you money and frustration later on. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure you protect your investment.
Keep adjusting the seat height
When your child is riding their tricycle, you want to be sure that they are able to pedal with only a slight bend in their knees. The wrong seat height can be frustrating for a rider and cause unnecessary wear and tear.
Keep the trike clean
Because any mud or dirt left on your child’s trike has the potential to cause corrosion if left unchecked, you’ll want to make sure to quickly wipe it down after use, especially if ridden outdoors. A soft, damp cloth should do the trick.
When not in use, make sure your child’s tricycle is kept in a cool and dry area and safe from the elements. Repeated exposure to sunlight can cause colors to fade and plastic components to become brittle.
Check the brakes
Some tricycles come equipped with the same kind of hand-activated brakes often seen on bicycles. You may want to consult an online tutorial before performing brake maintenance.
Every Kid Deserves a Trike
There is a reason that tricycles are such a beloved part of childhood. For most of us, riding a tricycle was our first experience riding a vehicle that was powered by more than just feet on the ground. Learning to pedal makes moving easier and more exciting. Zooming around on a fun tricycle gives kids a sense of adventure and helps build self-confidence. We hope you’ve found our rundown of the best tricycles of 2020 helpful.
Q: Should my child wear a helmet when riding their tricycle?
A: Yes! Even though your child is low to the ground when riding a tricycle, sudden changes in the balance still offer lots of opportunities for them to hurt themselves in a fall. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that almost 10,000 children go to the ER for tricycle-related injuries every year. Many of these cases could be prevented simply by wearing a helmet.
Q: What is the best push tricycle?
A: Thanks to its great performance and impressive array of features, the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike is our favorite tricycle with a push bar that allows parents to push their kids until they are ready to pedal themselves.
Q: How early can my child start riding tricycles?
A: Most children will be about two years old before they are developed enough to begin riding a tricycle on their own. Some models like the Costzon 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller have seats that allow infants as young as 9-10 months old to ride and be pushed.