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Kids are very fond of bikes. In fact, finding the best toddler bike is more of a ritual that every parent has to go through. Because it’s probably not a matter of if, but when your child will begin asking for one.
At a Glance: The Best Toddler Bikes to Buy
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product.
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In my case, my son started asking for a bike almost as soon as he could talk. Back then, I did not know how to choose the best bike for him, so all I did was just pick a bike that I thought was a good size for his age.
After a few months, he had outgrown the bike. I bought another bike for him. A few months down the line, he had outgrown that bike.
By the time he was four years old, I had bought four different bikes for him. Not to mention that two of the bikes had broken and were nothing more than pieces of scrap metal.
When my second child was born, I decided to do a bit of research to find a toddlers bike that would withstand the test of time.
During my research, I discovered that there was a variety of bikes that ranged from those with training wheels, to the tricycles, to a pedal bike. And I can confidently say that if you make the wrong choice of a bike, you’ll have to keep buying a new one every few months.
Some models are flimsily made and will break down after a few weeks of use. But to help you make the right choice, I have created this toddler bike review.
My Top Choice Of The Best Toddler Bike
After a lot of research, I settled for the Strider – 12 Sport Balance Bike. I bought it for my second born when she was 18 months old. Within a few hours of use, she was able to master balance. And within a few days, she was already using the pedals.
From my experience using the bike, I would this say this was a wise buying decision. I loved the fact that it was lightweight—even my toddler could carry it around. She was also able to use it for close to three years, as it had an XL seat that allowed taller kids to ride.
This is definitely the best bicycle for toddlers and is worth buying!
Top 5 Best Toddler Bike
Here are my top five choices of the top toddler bikes.
1. Strider – 12 Sport Balance Bike – Best Overall
- Made of lightweight aluminum
- Adjustable seat and handlebars
- Padded seat
- Rear wheel handbrake
- Foam tires
- Built-in footrest
If it’s time for your kid to transition from a tricycle to a pedal bike, the Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike is an option worth considering. It has been made to meet the needs of kids aged between 18 months and five years.
The goal of the bike is to help your kid learn how to ride a bike and improve balance. It has a sturdy but lightweight aluminum frame that weighs a mere 5.3 lbs. It comes with two wheels that are meant to suit the needs of children as young as 18 months old.
Customers of the bike say the Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike should be every kid’s first bike. They add that it is well made with a sturdy frame and grips that are just right for their kids. They also point to the fact that it is super easy to assemble the bike.
- Lightweight for your kid to carry around
- Sturdy construction
- Enables kids to ride and stride
- Mini grips enable young ones to control the bike
- Foam tires will never go flat
- Price is on the higher side
- Doesn’t come with a manual
The Strider - 12 Sport Balance Bike is a well-made bike that has revolutionized the way kids learn how to ride bikes. The handlebars adjust to suit the different ages of your kid. It is definitely my pick for the best toddler bike in the market.
2. Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike - Runner Up
- Air-free tires
- No pedals
- Made of steel
- Adjustable seat and handles
- Low tube for easy mount
If you would like your kid to learn using one of the best bikes for toddlers, the Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike is just the right option for you. One of the features that sets the bike apart is the fact that it has no pedals.
The distance between the feet of your child and the ground is minimal, and this helps your kid to learn without the risk of nasty falls. It also becomes possible for them to control their speed in a better way to minimize their risk of getting hurt.
Customers of the Retrospec Cub Kids Balance Bike say it is the best option for training new cyclists between 20 months and five years old. Because of the low tube, they say it is easy for their young one to get on and off the bike. The bike is also a good option for growing with their young ones.
- Adjustable seat and handles make it the right choice for different age groups
- Made of high-tensile steel which makes it sturdy but lightweight
- Air-free tires ensure there are no punctures
- Push bike to help your kid learn balance
- Minimal assembly required
- The wheels do not look strong
The Retrospec Cub Kids Balance bike is Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) compliant which ensures the safety of your child. It is suitable for children between 20 months and five years old and has been designed to grow with your child.
3. Joystar Kids Bike - Best For Budget
- Foot brake
- Made of premium steel
- Quick-release seat
- Chain guard
Before your child can upgrade to the sophisticated toys like a kids dirt bike, he or she will need to learn how to ride a bike using the best toddler bike with training wheels. One of the options that can help them to do that is Joystar kids bike.
This bike has been designed to help early riders learn how to balance themselves, and it comes with stable training wheels. It also has a quick-release seat that makes it easy to adjust the height.
Customers of the bike say it is the right choice for helping kids improve their balance. They add that they like the sturdy steel frame that makes it durable.
- Easy to assemble, comes with pre-assembled parts
- Sturdy premium steel frame helps to overcome the bumps of learning
- The chain guard protects the chain
- Stickers to customize the bike
- Cases of handlebars being made upside down have been reported
The only tool you will need to assemble this bike is a pump. Not only does it have a great feel but the components are also well made. It is, without a doubt, one of the best first bikes for toddlers.
4. COEWSKE Kid's Bike - Best Toddler Bike With Training Wheels
- Front and rear hand brakes
- Designed with a wider footrest
- Training wheels
- Adjustable handlebar and saddle (seat) height
- Front basket
- Helmet included
Children are attracted to things that are fun and vibrant. The COEWSKE Kid's Bike is a great example, as it has been designed in a unique way to provide kids with a smooth ride. It comes in beautiful colors that offer kids a great visual experience.
It comes with an ergonomically designed seat that is filled with spongy material. The padded seat can go a long way in reducing the discomfort that can be caused by bumps on the road. The bike also has a woven basket that your kid can use to keep his or her belongings or toys.
Customers of one of the best bicycles for toddlers say they find the design to be really cute. They say their kids love the basket and doll carrier at the front. They also add that they find the bicycle and its tires excellent.
- Front and rear hand brakes offer stopping power and are intuitive to use
- A footrest design
- Chainguard keep your kid’s fingers and feet safe
- Tires made of durable rubber with extra thickness
- Included helmet ensures your kid is safely protected
- The bell is flimsily made
The training wheels keep the bicycle in a triangle structure ensuring that the ride is stable with no risk of rolling over.
5. Chicco 1716000070 Red Bullet Balance Training Bike - Best Balance Bike For Toddlers
- Adjustable seat
- Puncture-resistant tires
- Padded seat
The Chicco 1716000070 Red Bullet Balance Training Bike is a good option for helping children to quickly learn the balance they need using a two-wheeled bike. It comes with a seat that has the ability to adjust from 13 inches to 15 inches. The handlebars are also adjustable to suit the changing height of your kid.
The bike comes with a light, adjustable, and ergonomic metal frame that can withstand a weight of up to 55 lbs. This is the best bike for toddlers aged between three and five years old.
Customers who have bought the bike say it is sturdy and holds up very well. They also point to the fact that it is easy to assemble.
- Seat can be adjusted to suit your kid’s height
- Puncture-resistant tires ensure a smooth ride
- Rubber handlebar grip provides extra comfort
- Made with a lightweight but sturdy frame
- Not easy to adjust the seat
The Chicco 1716000070 Red Bullet Balance Training Bike is the perfect choice for children aged above the age of three. It is definitely a great value for your money.
Tricycles Vs Balance Bikes For Kids
Which is better between a tricycle and a balance bike? In a nutshell, balance bikes are more practical and safer than tricycles and training wheels. This is because the three wheels tricycles are usually slow and difficult to maneuver on angled or uneven surfaces.
This is unlike the balanced bikes where your child focuses on balancing instead of pedaling. This makes them better prepared for that unexpected loss of balance, and they are much less likely to fall.
The skills learnt from a balance bike can help toddlers as young as two years old transition to regular kids bikes without having to use training wheels. Just like regular bikes, balance bikes do not get stuck on rough surfaces and can easily glide over curbs, dirt, and rocks.
Some of the benefits of balance bikes include:
- No need for training wheels. Cyclists who graduate from a balance bike are able to learn pedal bikes in five to ten minutes without any drama.
- Can provide many years of fun. Kids can independently ride the balance bike before transitioning to pedal bikes.
- Are lightweight. With the balance bikes, kids are able to ride more easily and faster.
Before your child mounts the bike for the first time, it would be a good idea for them to gain experience on a scooter.. This way it will be possible for you to instill a sense of balance (a key feature of cycling) in your child before turning them loose on a bike.
This also raises the issue of training wheels and whether they should be used. While they offer some level of safety due to the enhanced stability, the support wheels can delay formation of dynamic equilibrium.
However, if your kid is finding it quite difficult to practice or s/he even develops a cycling fear, it is advisable to pick an option with training wheels.
Pushing/Pulling Your Child
Many parents are worried that their children will crash during their first attempt to ride a bike. This causes them to hold the seat of the bike. At other times, they pull the bicycle.
However, if you would like to provide your child with that true sense of cycling, you should motivate them to ride the bicycle by themselves from an early age. In case you still fear a crash may happen, you can always stay close at hand to intervene.
Ensure that your kid is sitting in an upright position and that they are enjoying cycling. Avoid following them, though; if you run after the bike, your kid is likely to look at you, causing them to crash.
Instead, you should accompany them from the side, as this can help the child to concentrate on what is in front of them. You can learn how to teach your kid how to ride a bike in this Youtube video.
How To Choose The Best Toddler Bike
There are a few considerations you should make when choosing the best toddler bike. These include:
Some kids are taller than others. If you would like your child to enjoy maximum comfort and stability on their new bike, ensure that their inseam is at least as long as the lowest height of the seat.
The best bikes for toddlers are available in a wide range of sizes such as 12”, 14”, 16”, 20”, and 24”. The bigger your child, the bigger the wheels should be.
The most suitable bikes for a two- to three-year-old is 12” to 14”, while a four-year-old kid will require a 16”. This will provide them with room for growth.
The weight of a bike will impact your child’s enjoyment of the ride. If the bike is too heavy, it will affect your child’s ability to balance and maneuver. A good bike for kids should not weigh more than 40% of your child’s body weight. If you buy a heavy bike, it becomes even more challenging to learn to ride.
The lightest kids bikes are usually made with aluminum or titanium frames. However, steel can also be a good choice.
In the best toddler bike, the chain wheel is usually covered with a guard that is impossible to remove without the necessary tools. Choose a bike that has the chain covered, as this will enhance the safety of your kid.
The level of gearing will depend on the experience of your child cyclist and where s/he is riding. If your kid is a beginner cyclist, it is a good idea to choose a bike without gears. If your child has more experience, he or she will find the gear useful, especially when cycling uphill.
The key thing should be to listen to your child. Avoid giving them a very complicated bike.
Bicycle accidents are common in the United States. This is why you should ensure that your kids bike has the required safety gear. This may include:
- A horn or bell to help your kid alert other cyclists and pedestrians
Make sure your kid doesn’t ride at night unless in a controlled area such as a well-lit backyard.
The right choice of a best toddler bike will affect how long the toy will be in use. If you would like your kid to have unlimited fun for a number of years, you need to get him or her the best toddler’s bike that is adjustable. The good news is that I have made it easier for you to make the right choice.
With one of the above choices, you can be assured of a toddler’s bike that meet your needs and is suited for the age of your child. I would recommend that you choose the Strider - 12 Sport Balance.
This is a bike that has made a name for itself due to the quality workmanship. No matter the amount of bumps, drops, and scrapes that your child with take it through, it will remain as solid as ever.
And with the adjustable seat and handlebars, it will be possible for your child to use it for many years and even hand it down to younger siblings. Happy buying!