Sep 11, 2023

17 balance bikes and tricycles that are perfect for kids on the go

17 balance bikes and tricycles that are perfect for kids on the go

by: Jordan C Woika, BestReviews Staff

Posted: Apr 12, 2023 / 10:02 AM CDT

Updated: Apr 12, 2023 / 10:02 AM CDT

Teaching your child how to ride a bike is a rite of passage for both of you. There are many ways to teach your child and many devices you can use. Among the most common ways to teach are using a balance bike or a tricycle.

Balance bikes have no pedals and instead rely on your child's foot power. Tricycles have two wheels in the rear and one in front with the three wheels giving them their name. Both devices have their pros and cons and teach different skills.

In this article: Schwinn Balance Bike, Radio Flyer Tricycle and Joovy Tricycle.

Balance bikes, as the name suggests, focus on teaching your child balance. Once they push off from the ground and get some speed going, they naturally develop the balance they need to stay upright without worrying about pedaling. And if they struggle with balance, they can easily and immediately drop their feet to stabilize themselves. Balance bikes also are also light due to the lack of training wheels or pedals, so they’re easier to maneuver.

The major downside to balance bikes is that your children grow accustomed to being able to drop their feet to the ground instantly, something much trickier with pedals in the way. There's also no chance for them to practice the motion of pedaling. Once they graduate to a standard bike, it can take some trial and error to get the hang of pedaling and how pedaling affects balance.

Tricycles focus on your child's leg strength. They’re the most stable teaching tool too, so there's little risk of falling. This can often mean your child has more fun right from the start since they can just pedal away and steer.

However, tricycles don't give your child the opportunity to hone their balance. Once they start using a real bike, they can find themselves tipping over easily, which can lead to frustration and kill their desire to learn. They also don't get the chance to practice takeoffs and safe stopping, which are two of the hardest skills to master.

Basic balance bikes typically cost around $50. Better bikes can cost up to $100, while the best usually top out at around $150. Basic and better tricycles also tend to cost up to $50 and $100 respectively. However, tricycles can hit higher highs of around $200.

Banana Bike Balance Bike

This bike has an adjustable seat and adjustable handlebars, so kids of ages 2 to 5 can enjoy it. It comes in blue, green and pink.

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Chillafish Balance Bike

This bike fits kids ages 1.5 to 4 and weighing up to 55 pounds. It comes in three colors with standard wheels and three colors with light-up wheels.

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KaZam Balance Bike

This bike is for older kids, fitting those aged 3 to 5. The center has a comfortable footrest and the handlebars are cushioned. It comes in three colors and a Peppa Pig-themed design.

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Radio Flyer Balance Bike

This bike has a little bell on it. This is not only fun for your child to ring, but it also teaches multitasking skills by asking them to ring it while running and riding.

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Retrospec Balance Bike

This bike has little footpads underneath the seat extending from the rear wheel. Those with longer legs may struggle to use them comfortably, though. It comes in seven colors.

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Schwinn Balance Bike

Schwinn is a famed brand, and the quality of the wheels, seat and handlebars don't leave you asking yourself why. It comes in four colors.

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Strider Balance Bike

It has an adjustable seat and handlebars, plus has no-flat tires that you don't need to pump up. It comes in four colors including pink and blue.

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Yvolution Balance Bike

The rear wheel of this bike starts out doubled to give your child an easier time balancing. Once they get the hang of it, one wheel comes off to challenge them further.

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Ancaixin Tricycle

This tricycle has a cute duck on the handlebars and comes in pink and yellow. There's a little trough in the back so your child can haul some toys or bring back something cool they found.

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Besrey Tricycle

This is a five-in-one device: a tricycle with and without pedals, a baby walker with and without pedals and a balance bike. It comes in seven colors.

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Fly Wheels Minnie Mouse Tricycle

This has a cute Disney-inspired design with both Minnie and Daisy Duck. It has a 10-inch front wheel that fits children 33 to 35 inches tall. A push button plays sounds.

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Gomo Tricycle

This tricycle comes with a handle on the back you can use to push young children while they practice pedaling. It comes in light green and light blue.

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Huffy Tricycle

This "Frozen"-inspired tricycle has a rear trough and a front basket with a lid, which is perfect for kids who want to keep a bunch of toys nearby. There's also a balance-bike version.

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Joovy Tricycle

This tricycle is designed to start with children as young as 10 months old and grow with them. It accomplishes this by taking pieces off at a time and slowly giving your child more control.

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Radio Flyer Tricycle

Radio Flyer has been a much-beloved brand for decades, and this tricycle lives up to that reputation. It comes with a handle so you can push younger kids along.

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Xpiy Tricycle

This tricycle can fold down small for easier storage. You can also fold its rear wheel to the center and remove its pedals to change it into a balance bike.

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Xiapia Tricycle

This tricycle has an adjustable seat so kids of many ages and heights can enjoy it without feeling cramped or struggling to reach the pedals. It comes in five colors.

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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