Learning to ride a bike is a big deal in your child’s life. In addition to simply learning how to ride a bike, the process teaches them patience, diligence, and that hard work (and getting up even after they fall down a few times) pays off. To make the process as enjoyable and rewarding as possible for them, it’s important to introduce your child to bike riding as soon as possible. That’s where toddler bikes come in.
Either outfitted with training wheels or built as a tricycle, toddler bikes introduce your child to the basics of bike riding without challenging them beyond their means. But there are a lot of toddler bikes to choose from. How do you pick the right one?
We’ve put together some of the best toddler bikes available to help you choose.
Made for kids ages 1 to 3, the Chillafish Quadie is a good introduction to riding a bike, without any of the danger or the challenges of balancing on something with two wheels. Made with four wheels (hence the name), the Quadie features an adjustable seat that can be moved as your child grows. They can learn to steer, push themselves using their feet, and stay upright on the seat.
The Quadie is a good pick if you really don’t think your child can handle a two-wheeler (or you’re just not ready to see them on a two-wheeler). Additionally, it’s pretty budget-friendly compared to the other options on our list.
Why we like it:
- Has four wheels
- Features an adjustable seat
When shopping for a toddler bike, one of your other options is a balance bike, like this one from Woom. A balance bike is ideal for toddlers 18 months and up who’ve had absolutely no experience with cycling.
Balance bikes teach your child, well, how to balance on a bike, essentially, but it differs from a regular bike in one key way — it doesn’t have any pedals. Instead, your child sits on the bike and learns to push themselves with their feet.
This particular balance bike is about as high-quality as it gets. It looks and feels like a traditional bicycle, not necessarily a toddler’s toy. It also features hand brakes, so your child learns how to use hand brakes first, rather than the pedal breaks many child bikes use. It only weighs around 6 pounds, too, so it’s easy for most kids to use, and it’s suitable for toddlers up to 4 years of age.
Why we like it:
- Looks and feels like a traditional bike despite being a balance bike
- Has hand brakes
Some parents prefer to teach their children how to ride a bike the old-fashioned way — sooner rather than later. If you don’t like the idea of a balance bike and want to go straight for a traditional bike, try this option from Cleary that’s built with toddlers in mind. It doesn’t come with training wheels attached like most toddler bikes you’ll get at the big-box stores, but it’s small enough and light enough that your average toddler will find it easy to maneuver.
Twelve inches tall and suitable for children 2 and 3 years old, the Cleary Gecko bike is one of the most lightweight you can find. However, even if your child doesn’t take to cycling immediately, the bike is still made in such a way that it can be used as a balance bike until they feel more comfortable; all parents need to do is remove the pedals. That’s precisely why we’ve ranked this versatile bike as our best pick.
Why we like it:
- Easy for kids to maneuver
- Enables toddlers to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels
- Can also function as a balance bike
While teaching your child to ride a bike can be scarier for you than it is for them, there’s no need to avoid the process for longer than you should. Riding a bike is a crucial life skill. And, as mentioned above, it’s one that teaches your child so much more than just simple bike riding — and while it might seem crazy to some, children as young as two can learn to ride a bike with ease. Find a bike that fits your child’s needs, height, age, and skill level, and they’ll be zooming around the driveway and down the sidewalk before you know it.
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