Where do toddlers get all of their energy? That’s a question we as parents often find hard to answer. What we can do is help them use that energy in fun and active ways — and what’s better than riding a bike?
Learning to ride a bike offers a great opportunity for youngsters to have a blast while building up their muscles and developing their sense of balance. In this Best Toddler Bikes of 2020 Guide and Teaching Tips, I’ll help you find the right bike for your tot.
The best toddler bikes of 2020 include:
- Schwinn Roadster Classic Tricycle — Best Overall
- RoyalBaby Freestyle Kid’s Bike — Best Runner Up
- allobebe Baby Balance Bike — Best for Youngest Toddlers
- Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll N’ Trike — Best Multi-Use Toddler Bike
- Schwinn Skip Toddler Balance Bike — Most Lightweight
Read on to learn more…
How to Pick the Best Bike for Your Toddler
When buying a bike for a toddler, it’s important to ensure it fits well. Buying a bike that’s too big with the intentions of your toddler growing into it isn’t a good idea since it can make it difficult to learn.
We’ve put together a quick guide to help you find the best toddler bike for your child:
Bike sizes differ from adult versus children’s bikes — adult bikes are sized by the height of the seat. However, toddler bikes are sized by the diameter of the wheels that ranges between 12 and 24 inches, though most toddler bikes are no bigger than 14 inches.
To figure out the proper size for your youngsters, measure their inseam and height. Many bike manufacturers will also offer age guidelines that can help you get a quick idea of which bike suits your tot.
When trying a new bike, your toddler should be able to sit on the seat with flat feet on the ground. If the height is slightly off, adjust the seat, if possible, to suit your little one.
A balance bike for toddlers is usually around 12 inches. Bikes for 4 and 5 year olds should be larger to suit their height, ideally 14 to 16 inches.
Getting the handlebar height right is important to help your toddler control and maneuver the bike properly. It shouldn’t be too low or too high, as this could interfere with steering. Furthermore, handlebars that are too low could cause pain in the neck or back of your little one.
A mid-rise handlebar is an excellent choice for toddlers as these are usually just the right size.
Lightweight children’s bikes are the way to go with toddlers. A bike that’s too heavy for your tot could cause severe injury if it were to fall on them.
Moreover, it can be challenging for a young toddler to push or ride a heavy bike, which can take a toll on their confidence.
Bikes that are made of aluminum or a magnesium alloy metal are generally lightweight yet sturdy and durable.
There are many types of bikes for toddlers — including the classic tricycle, pedal bike with training wheels, and balance bikes. Balance bikes for toddlers are an excellent choice since they help your child develop coordination, strength, agility, and motor skills.
Furthermore, balance bikes are ideal for toddlers aged 2 to 3 years old who are eager to ride a bike without training wheels. Whereas, the best first bike for a younger toddler is a tricycle since these are more stable and will give your tot more confidence.
The Importance of Proper Safety
One of the main injuries suffered when biking is head injury. For toddlers, falling over is likely to happen as they learn how to balance properly.
It’s crucial to keep your child safe while learning to ride a bike. Additionally, it’s good to create a healthy habit of wearing a helmet whenever your child is playing with their bike.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right helmet for your little one:
- A bright-colored helmet will help others on the road to spot your child.
- A well-ventilated helmet will keep your little one’s head cool and reduce sweating.
- The helmet has to be CPSC approved or have a Snell sticker on the inside.
- Replace the helmet after a crash.
Whether your toddler is riding a pedal or balance bike, it’s important to teach them proper road safety. Teach them to stick to cycling lanes where possible, and dress them in brightly colored clothes when they’re on the road.
A Family Affair: Benefits of Biking Together
Exercising together as a family is a great way to strengthen your bond. Furthermore, it will help your child to develop social and emotional management skills.
With little ones, it’s also important to be a role model and practice what you preach. Therefore, instead of telling them how healthy and fun biking is, why not show them?
If you’re feeling eager to get your toddler on a bike, here are a few helpful learning tips that make the process easier:
- Introduce the bike: You don’t have to name it — simply give a quick explanation of where your tot will be sitting and how to hold the handlebars.
- Pedaling: If your toddler has a pedal bike, demonstrate how the wheel moves as you move the pedal. Allow your child to hand push the pedal to get a feel for it — do this while the wheels are off the ground.
- Soft landing: Find an open area, ideally with grass on either side of the pavement. This provides your child with the smoothness of the pavement but with the option of landing softly on the grass.
- Help your child: Avoid holding onto the handlebar or seat as your tot begins to ride. Instead try to stay behind the bike with your hands on your child’s sides. This way, you can quickly grab your child mid-wobble and help your tot regain balance.
Can a 2 Year Old Learn to Ride a Bike?
Yes! Children as young as 2 years old can definitely learn to ride a bike — it’s actually a good age to start training as it will help your little one to transition to a bigger bike later on.
Toddler balance bikes are excellent choices for 2 year olds as your child can develop a good sense of how the bike functions. Later on, all they have to learn is pedaling.
What Factors Drove Our Ratings?
Here are the factors that we value the most in toddler bikes:
- Adjustability: Being able to adjust the height of the seat is important to ensure the bike suits your little one.
- Weight: Bicycles for kids shouldn’t be too heavy to ensure your child won’t be injured if they were to fall.
- Sturdiness: A sturdy bike frame made of steel or aluminum will provide your toddler with security as they learn to ride.
Reviews of the Best Toddler Bikes of 2020
Toddlers have an abundance of energy, so it’s essential to allow them to use it in a healthy way — and what’s better than biking? The right bike can be a confidence booster, whereas the wrong bike might even frighten your tot.
Without further ado, here are the best toddler bikes of 2020:
Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Bikes — Overall
The Schwinn Roadster Classic Tricycle is an excellent choice for toddlers between the ages of 2 and 4. It’s designed with a steel trike frame that has a low center of gravity — this will help your little one to balance and make the ride easier.
The sculpted seat can be adjusted by moving it forward or backward to suit the height of your child as your child grows. I’m in love with the retro details this tricycle includes, such as the tassels hanging from the handles and the genuine wood deck.
Despite the steel frame, this tricycle is lightweight, weighing only 2.2 pounds — making it ideal as a beginner bike for youngsters.
Ben, in August 2019, said: “We bought this tricycle for our 2.5 year old little girl. The tricycle is very sturdy with a wide base and hasn’t even come close to tipping over while our little girl has been using it. Another plus is the adjustable seat. This feature all but guarantees that it will be quite some time before our little one outgrows this tricycle.”
Negatives? Some parents found the stickers to be poorly applied.
Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Bikes — Runner Up
Bigger toddlers who are closing in on preschool age need a slightly more grown-up bike. The RoyalBaby Freestyle Kid’s Bike is a 16-inch bike with training wheels and 2.4-inch wide tires that enhance steadiness and durability — making it the ideal bike for a 4 year old.
This freestyle bike also comes in a 12-inch and 14-inch version with training wheels for smaller toddlers.
The thickened steel frame is durable and can withstand years of use. The comfortable seat is equipped with a handlebar and you can adjust the seat height to suit your child.
It includes two training wheels made of reinforced steel that ensure they won’t bend with use. Your child will also enjoy a few other handy extras such as a water bottle and a bell.
Ashlie M. Newberry, in December 2017 said: “This bike has been a great first bike for my 4 year old. We’ve had it for over a year and he still enjoys it — the seat is easily adjustable. My only complaint is that it is a HEAVY bike. I liked that it came with a water bottle and holder.”
Negatives? Some parents commented that the bike was too heavy for a toddler.
Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Bikes — The Youngest Toddlers
The allobebe Baby Balance Bike is ideal for youngsters aged 12 to 36 months with its three sturdy wheels and light-weight frame. You can easily adjust the seat height between 10.2 and 11 inches to suit your growing toddler.
It’s fitted with 50-degree steering protection that keeps your toddler from turning too hard, which could cause a crash. The wheels are soft and provide a smooth ride for young riders to enjoy.
Parents appreciate how easy this balance bike is to assemble. However, it isn’t suited for riding on wet or slippery surfaces, and it shouldn’t be used on slopes.
Andrea, in July 2019 said: “My 1 year old can navigate this bike fairly well. She’s slightly smaller than average, so she is still on tiptoes, but it doesn’t stop her from scooting around quickly. The handlebar doesn’t allow for too sharp of turns (thank goodness for those of us whose toddlers have no fear). Incredibly simple to assemble.”
Negatives? Some parents said the bike was too tall for their toddlers.
Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Bikes — Multi-Use Toddler Bike
The Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll N’ Trike is an ideal choice for young toddlers who have yet to master their balance and biking skills. It offers four different ways to ride it; you can use it as a trike with a handle for mommy or daddy to hold — remove the handle once your tot feels more confident.
If it’s been a long day in the park, buckle your little one up and take control of the bike. Your handle becomes the main controller, and your child can simply enjoy the ride.
The adjustable canopy provides protection from the sun, and the removable footrests allow your toddler to rest their tiny feet
Jenna, in November 2014 said: “Love this tricycle. We even take it places like a stroller because our 15 month old really likes to “drive” it around. We receive lots of compliments and questions about where we got it when we are out and about. It’s nice because the adult handles override the child steering.”
Negatives? Some parents commented that the 16-pound weight places it on the heavier side.
Our Top-Rated Best Toddler Bikes — Most Lightweight
The Schwinn Skip Toddler Balance Bike is constructed with a durable steel frame and features a BMX look. It has a low center of gravity that helps your child find their sense of balance — the ideal balance bike for 2 year olds.
The seat height is fully adjustable to suit your toddler as they grow. It further features two 12-inch spoked mag wheels that are fitted with tires.
To make steering easier, the bike features a ball-bearing headset and for looks, check out the chrome-finished handlebars.
John J Cattolico, in February 2019 said: “Gave this to my grandson as a Christmas gift and what a great purchase this was, he is only two and this really helped him keep and maintain his balance. This is a good bike to help train kids to be ready for a bigger bike.”
Some parents found it challenging to assemble.
Other Tools to Help Your Toddler
- Helmet: Teaching your toddler to always wear a helmet — such as this one — is important to instill a healthy habit from the beginning.
- Knee and elbow pads: A set like this one can help keep your little one safe if they were to take a tumble.
Keeping the Balance
Toddlers have an abundance of energy, so it’s essential for us to find good activities for them to do. Biking is an excellent way for your tot to have some fun while developing their motor skills and sense of balance.
Our overall winner is the Schwinn Roadster Classic Tricycle — it has a low center of gravity that helps your little one to remain stable. It’s fully adjustable and provides an easy way for your toddler to learn how to pedal.