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Best Tricycles

Updated July 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 97 Models Considered
  • 13 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 145 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best tricycles

    Last Updated July 2018

    A tricycle, or "trike," is the very first independent mode of transportation for most children. If you remember your first trike with a warm nostalgic glow, then it follows that you'll want to buy the perfect tricycle for your child to help create the same kind of fond memories.

    But now comes the hard part – how do you pick the best tricycle from the hundreds available? If you need a helping hand, BestReviews is the place for you. It is our mission to aid you in finding the right products to fit your needs.

    Read our shopping guide below to learn more about tricycles. When you're ready to buy, check out our top five choices in the product matrix above.

    A tricycle can teach your child how to pedal and steer on a stable vehicle before moving on to a bicycle.

    Why choose a tricycle?

    Tricycles have lots of qualities that make them a better choice than a bicycle (with or without training wheels) for your child.

    • Stability

    With three large wheels and a wide wheelbase, tricycles are extremely stable and unlikely to tip over.

    • Practice

    Trikes give children a chance to cycle before they're ready for a two-wheeler.

    • Cost

    Many tricycles are relatively inexpensive, so it doesn't matter if your child grows out of his in a year or two.

    • Safety

    You can find tricycles with high-back seats, harnesses, and other features that make them safe and suitable for very young riders.

    Quality and comfort

    With its relaxed lowrider style and handlebar tassels, this classic tricycle has a vintage feel to it. And, more importantly, its high-back seat is comfortable and secure for young riders. The quality metal frame is so durable that this trike can easily be passed down to younger siblings.

    Types of tricycles

    Although you can find a handful of tricycles made for adults, this guide is focused on tricycles for children. Here are some of the main varieties of tricycles.

    Push tricycles

    Push tricycles have three wheels like regular trikes but no pedals. Instead, the rider sits on the seat with her feet on the ground and pushes the tricycle along with her feet. These trikes are suitable for toddlers who aren't yet ready for pedaling.

    Big wheels

    Big wheels are retro-style tricycles with a large front wheel and a reclined seat. Not only do these trikes look cool but they also tend to be stable. The high-back seat provides extra support that's particularly useful for younger riders.

    Convertible tricycles

    Often referred to as three-in-one or four-in-one tricycles, these models start out with a full harness, disengaged pedals and steering, and a handle for an adult to push. Your child sits on the trike, but she doesn't control it. Later on, you can choose to engage the steering, engage the pedals, remove the handle, and remove the harness at various stages to suit your child's development and ability. Eventually, it converts into a standard trike.

    Upright tricycles

    Upright tricycles are very similar to standard bicycles but with three wheels instead of two. They don't usually have high-back seats, so they don’t offer as much support for toddlers and younger children, but these are great for children who are almost ready for a two-wheeler bike but still need that extra bit of stability.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    You can find foldable tricycles that pack down for easy storage or transportation. A handy feature for parents.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Tricycles with air-filled rubber tires give a smoother ride over bumps than those with solid rubber or plastic tires.

    Tricycle features to consider

    Size

    One of the most important factors to consider is the size of the tricycle. If your child can't reach the pedals and handlebars, then it's not much good. A trike’s suitable height range or age group is usually indicated for each model. If not, you'll need to compare the tricycle’s dimensions to your child's height and inseam. Children generally feel more confident riding a trike when they can touch the ground with their feet when seated.

    Adjustability

    Some tricycles allow you to raise or lower the seat and move the handlebars. If you choose a tricycle with some adjustability, it can grow with your child, meaning you won't have to replace it in six months when your little one has a growth spurt. Ideally, you should choose a trike that's the correct size for your child on its lowest settings. That way, there's more room for your kid to grow into it.

    Most children's tricycles do not have a chain – the pedals drive the front wheel directly. That means the trikes don't have brakes, so your little one will need to exercise caution when stopping.

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    Material

    Tricycle frames are either metal (usually aluminum) or plastic.

    • Metal frames are more durable and long lasting, plus they feel more like standard bicycle frames, which makes it easier for children to transition to a two-wheeled bike.

    • Plastic frames are lightweight and extremely inexpensive, so they're good for trikes designed for toddlers. Plastic trikes aren't necessarily meant to be used for more than a year or so.

    Safety features

    Of course, your child's safety is one of your primary concerns. You'll find some tricycles that have adopted a range of safety features to keep kids safe from harm. Common safety features include the following:

    • Harness (particularly on convertible tricycles).

    • Anti-tip steering (keeps steering column from being rotated more than 9°).

    • Wider wheelbase (less likely to tip over).

    Tricycle prices

    You can find tricycles to suit every budget, and you don't have to spend as much as you might think. Expect to pay between $30 and $200 for a tricycle.

    • Inexpensive: Basic plastic trikes cost around $30 to $50.

    • Mid-range: Metal tricycles tend to cost $50 to $100.

    • Expensive: Convertible tricycles tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum – usually between $100 and $200 – but one will last a long time before your child outgrows it.

    Grows with your child

    This four-in-one tricycle starts out as a glorified stroller with the pedals and steering disengaged and an adult pushing it. You can transform it gradually as your child grows, so that it eventually becomes a regular trike that your little one can pedal and steer independently.

    Tips

    • Choose a color or theme your child likes. You might not care much about what color your kid’s trike is or whether it features jungle animals or cartoon princesses, but your little one probably will.

    • Make sure the tricycle you choose is age appropriate. It shouldn't be too big or too small for your child, nor should your kid exceed the maximum weight limit.

    • Buy a bicycle helmet. Although your child is less likely to fall off a tricycle than a bicycle, it's still possible. Plus, it's a legal requirement in some states that children wear a helmet when cycling.

    • Consult your child. Assuming your child is old enough and you're not buying the tricycle as a surprise, one surefire way of finding a trike your little one will love is by letting him choose from a selection of suitable options.

    • Think about how long your child will use her trike. There's no point spending a lot of money on a tricycle if you're buying for a toddler who will grow quickly and soon need a larger model or for an older preschooler who's almost ready for a bicycle.
    Some tricycles include a basket or bucket for carrying items. Don't underestimate how entertaining this can be for a toddler!

    FAQ

    Q. Are tricycles suitable for a certain age group?

    A. Some tricycles – such as push models – are suitable for children basically as soon as they can walk. And you can push your baby along in a convertible trike before she's even mobile. However, other tricycles shouldn't be ridden until your child is old enough to safely pedal and steer, usually around age two to three. Although there's no upper age limit for tricycles (and you can even buy adult trikes), you'll find most children want to progress to a two-wheeler by the time they reach school age.

    Q. Are tricycles safe for young children?

    A. Thanks to their three wheels, tricycles are very stable and therefore a safe choice for young children. That said, your child shouldn't be riding on the sidewalk or anywhere close to traffic until he has steering and braking 100% under control and can be trusted to stop at intersections.

    Q. Are there any useful accessories for tricycles?

    A. Other than bicycle helmets, as mentioned above, there aren't really any essential accessories for tricycles. That said, if your child will be riding her trike after dark, she should have some lights and reflective strips for visibility. You can find lots of (not essential) accessories that kids might enjoy, such as baskets, flags for the back of the trike, and tassels for the handlebars.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor