Advertisement
Shopping

Best Toddler Bikes for Every Type of Little Rider 2024

Zoom, zoom! Toddlers will have loads of fun on these little bikes made just for them.

By Elizabeth Kadar
Best Toddler Bikes for Every Type of Little Rider 2024

Getty

Think your little one is finally ready for their own set of wheels—you know, other than that classic wagon stroller you’ve been cruising them around the block in? Learning to ride a bike is an important milestone for toddlers and basically a childhood rite of passage that parents get super excited about as well.

The physical, social and developmental benefits are immense, plus it’s just a great way for the whole family to get active together. To set your little one up for riding success, it’s important to choose the best toddler bike for your child’s age and size.

From tricycles and balance bikes for the littlest ones to top-rated pedal bikes for older kids, we’ve rounded up the best toddler bikes to get them going. And make sure you pick up one of the best toddler bike helmets while you're at it.

Advertisement

What to look for in the best toddler bike

If you’ve ever tried to ride a bike that was too bulky, tall, heavy or small for you, you know how uncomfortable and awkward it can be. Same goes for toddlers, who have a whole lot less patience and will simply throw in the towel (or throw a next-level tantrum) if their first riding experience is full of frustration. This is why selecting the right size kids' bike is SO important.

“The wheels and seat height should be appropriate for your child’s height in order to have a safe, comfortable ride,” says Hopebridge occupational therapist clinical specialist, Pamela Skinner. “This includes balance bikes, which come in various tire sizes for children of different heights and ages.”

For most toddlers (ages two to four), a wheel size of 12 to 14 inches is the sweet spot, but to find the perfect fit for your kid it’s a good idea to measure their height and inseam. Then take a peek at various bike size charts (most brands will have these available on their website) to help you choose the right model for a smooth ride.

Another feature to look for is an adjustable seat. Check out the minimum and maximum seat height to make sure your little one’s feet can reach the ground. A super lightweight bike also makes maneuvering easier for toddlers.

Advertisement

To build those balance skills, many experts recommend starting your toddler off with a balance bike to make the transition to pedals (when they’re ready) easy-peasy.

The best toddler bikes 2024

Best overall

Cleary Gecko 12" Alloy Lightweight Kids Bike

gecko 12" one speed bike, best toddler bike Merchant

The Cleary Gecko gets rave reviews from parents and cycling experts alike, who love it for its super lightweight design (it only weighs 12 pounds!) and the fact that its small frame and low minimum seatpost height fit even the tiniest toddlers. This high-quality, single-speed bike is not only gorgeous, but it's specifically designed for kiddos ages two to 3.5. That makes it the ideal first pedal bike for little riders.

There's even a handle built into the bottom of the saddle so you can help your little one find his or her balance as they learn to ride. Experts also note how easy the brake levers are to pull, which is super important when it comes to safety and quick stops.

Advertisement

Once kiddos have conquered the pavement, they'll find taking the Gecko off the road and onto dirt paths and grass a breeze. Bonus: unlike many brands, you can purchase this bike with a freewheel kit (already installed) at no extra charge.

Pros

  • The lightest weight toddler bike on the market at only 12 pounds
  • Easy maneuvering
  • Hand brakes are incredibly easy for little hands to operate
  • Has a built-in handle for parents to help little ones learn to balance
  • Fat tires for better traction
  • Available to purchase with a freewheel kit installed at no extra charge
  • Comes in a few different fun colors

Cons

  • Pricy, but worth it for the quality and ease of use


Best budget

JoyStar Kids' Bike

joystar kids bike with training wheels, best toddler bike Merchant

The JoyStar Kids' Bike gets the parent seal of approval, with thousands of positive reviews and an impressive 4.6-average star rating. It comes with training wheels for timid toddlers and kiddos who just aren't quite ready developmentally to graduate to two wheels.

The quick-release seat is super easy to adjust, ensuring you get the perfect height, and the saddle has a holder to help you teach your toddler to learn when those training wheels finally do come off. There's also an adjustable handlebar and foot brake for young ones who aren't coordinated enough to safely operate hand brakes yet.

Advertisement

The JoyStar is not only nice to look at, but it's super sturdy and designed with a durable steel frame, as well as a chain guard to protect your little one's feet or pants from getting trapped as they ride. It comes 85% preassembled so you don't have to sweat putting it together, which is a huge relief. Little ones will love the included bike bell to (constantly) ring too.

Pros

  • Highly rated by tons of parents
  • Comes with removable training wheels to teach your child to ride at various stages
  • A quick-release seat that's easy to adjust
  • Adjustable handlebars make it one of our top picks
  • Saddle holder to help teach your toddler to ride on two wheels
  • Includes a bike bell little ones love
  • Chain guard for added safety

Cons

  • No option for hand brakes, which can frustrate some kids as they learn to ride and naturally pedal backwards, braking the bike


Best quality

Woom 2

woom 2 bike for little kids, best toddler bike Merchant

We have the Woom 2 at our house, and it's honestly the dream bike for little ones. It's geometrically designed for kiddos age three and up and is super lightweight. The aluminum frame weighs only 12.3 pounds, making it so easy for my mini balance bike pros to manage (and master) the transition to pedals.

Experts love how the Woom keeps toddlers in a comfortable, upright and more natural riding position. Basically, every part of this bike was meticulously made with little bodies and their anatomy in mind, from the saddle to the grips and slip-resistant pedals.

Advertisement

Other features that make this bike extra special are the easy-to-find, color-coordinated hand brakes and adjustable brake lever—so you can get the perfect fit for your toddler's hands—as well as the steering limiter, which prevents your mini from overturning and falling off.

You can purchase a Woom upCYCLING membership for $59 to get 40% off a bigger bike when your toddler is ready to size up—good for your wallet and the planet. This makes choosing a bike so much easier and makes bike riding an absolute blast at every stage.

Pros

  • Incredibly lightweight at only 12.3 pounds
  • Adjustable brake lever to perfectly fit your toddler's hands
  • Steering limiter to keep them going straight
  • Keeps kids in a natural, upright riding position
  • High-quality components designed specifically for little one's comfort
  • Available in a rainbow of colors

Cons

  • Price, but quality and design components are next level
  • Freewheel kit not included

Best balance bike

Strider 12" Sport Kids Balance Bike

strider 12 inch balance bike for toddlers, best toddler bike Merchant

The consensus from more than 10,000 Amazon reviewers? This balance bike is wheely good (4.8 stars good!) and is the perfect size and weight (only 6.7 pounds!) for toddlers as young as 18 months, who are obsessed with riding BTW. With an 11" starting seat height, even the tiniest tots can hit the road running.

The seat and handlebars are super easy to adjust and the foam tires will never go flat. As a parent who is constantly pumping up tires, I greatly appreciate this feature. The bike also fits a large range of inseam lengths (from 12-2o"), and the seat raises as high as 19" so your toddler won't grow out of it until closer to the age of five.

Advertisement

Mini rubber grips, a safety pad, padded seat and a performance footrest make for a super comfy riding experience for even the pickiest kids. They'll have a hard time choosing between this and even the best trampoline for kids.

Pros

  • Highly rated by 10k+ parents and their toddlers
  • Designed for toddlers as young as 18 months up to five years
  • Easy-to-adjust seat and handlebars
  • Foam tires that will never go flat
  • Loads of comfort features built-in
  • Super fast and easy assembly
  • Plenty of colors to choose from
  • Only weighs 6.7 pounds

Cons

  • No hand brakes


Best tricycle

Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer & Stroll Ride-On Trike

Radio Flyer push trike, best toddler bike Merchant

According to Skinner, starting with a tricycle that is lower to the ground can aid children in learning the concept of pedaling before moving onto a bicycle. The Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer & Stroll is a top-rated option with two modes for maximum versatility.

Toddlers can ride it like a regular trike, or when they're all tired out and want a caregiver to carry them home, parents can pop on the push handle and turn it into a stroller (AKA a lifesaver). The seat has three different adjustable settings to grow with your little one, and there's even a covered storage bin in the back to take toys with them or collect rocks and random sticks.

Advertisement

It's recommended for little ones from two to five years old and can hold toddlers as heavy as 49 pounds.

Pros

  • Two-in-one design allows toddlers to pedal or parents to push it like a stroller
  • Adjustable seat with three different height settings
  • Covered storage bin to take all the things
  • Handles up to 49 pounds

Cons

  • Some reviewers found it difficult to assemble
  • Smaller toddlers may have a tough time reaching the pedals at first

Best for young toddlers

Hape Scoot Around Ride On Wood Bike

hape wooden scoot around wood bike, best toddler bike Merchant

The award-winning Hape Ride On Wood Bike makes the perfect first birthday gift for the newly, on-the-move toddler in your life. It has rubberized wheels to protect your floors as little ones scoot around and is designed to help kiddos improve mobility, balance and strengthen those tiny muscles.

Parents will appreciate that it's super durable and made with water-based paint and non-toxic finishes so teething toddlers can safely take a "taste", as they do. This simple, early rider design helps teach your child to find their center of gravity and then zoom right along.

Pros

  • Award-winning design for younger toddlers
  • Rubberized wheels make it great for indoors
  • Made with water-based paint and non-toxic finishes
  • Sleek, modern design allows them to put their feet flat on the ground

Cons

  • Some reviewers report their little ones' feet hit the back wheels when first riding, though kiddos figure it out quickly

Best for taller toddlers

RoyalBaby Freestyle Kids Bike

royalbaby bike with training wheels, best toddler bike Merchant

Advertisement

The best toddler bike for the sporty, tall toddler who is ready to put the pedal to the metal. The RoyalBaby has a minimum seat height of 19 inches, which is perfect for older ones or if you just have a taller-than-average toddler and are looking for a great first pedal bike that can go the distance.

Some safety features to love are the short travel distance grips to help brake more efficiently and the extra-wide tires and pedals to make balancing and getting the hang of riding solo that much easier. Toddlers will enjoy taking their water bottles along for the ride with the included holder.

Parents love that this toddler and kids' bike comes 95% preassembled because, as we all know, putting these things together is the worst. The RoyalBaby is also one of the best bikes with training wheels that can be removed when they're ready.

Pros

  • High minimum and maximum seat height for taller toddlers that need a 14" bike
  • Short travel distance grips for better braking
  • Extra-wide pedals and tires for better balance
  • Comes 95% preassembled
  • Includes a water bottle holder and removable training wheels
  • Teaches braking skills

Cons

  • Weighs 22 pounds so may be slightly harder to handle than the lightweight options on our list

What's the best age to teach your toddler to ride a bike?

According to Skinner, children as young as 24 months can try a smaller balance bike as a starting point. “Once they master that, toddlers as young as 2.5 or 3 can move onto a regular bike without training wheels, though it’s not the standard,” she says.

“Many typically developing children have the appropriate core and leg strength and gross motor skills necessary to balance and ride a bike without training wheels by five years old, however the actual age they learn to ride will be dependent on the individual child’s growth and skillset.”

How we chose the best toddler bike options

Advertisement

In addition to doing tons of research and reading up on what brands of bikes are highly recommended by cycling experts, we spoke with an occupational therapist who regularly uses toddler bikes in her practice. She is a pro on safety and development features to look for.

We also used our own experience as parents who have taught several toddlers how to ride. We also combed through real parent reviews to see which models moms and dads love most for their little ones and why.

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

This article was originally published on Jun 08, 2023

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners

I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Advertisement
Advertisement