The 9 Best Big Wheels

Updated December 27, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

9 Best Big Wheels
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. We've rolled out the best big wheels on the market today based on their price, safety, and style. These retro tricycles, originally introduced in the 1970s, continue to be a fun and safe alternative to standard trikes but are no longer geared only towards boys. Most of them have adjustable seats, too, so you can get a lot of mileage out of them for years to come. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best big wheel on Amazon.

9. The Original Frozen Racer

The Original Frozen Racer is a must-have for your princess-obsessed little girl. She'll love the adorable decals inspired from the popular movie, but if your child is under 36 inches tall, she may have trouble reaching the pedals.
  • smooth on grass and concrete
  • simple to learn to ride
  • white tires get dirty easily
Brand The Original Big Wheel
Model 84861
Weight 10.3 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Fisher-Price Lights and Sounds

The Fisher-Price Lights and Sounds features colorful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle graphics that your kid will delight over as they ride around the neighborhood. It also has a hidden storage compartment in the handlebar to take along a snack.
  • plays music from the show
  • low backrest offers good support
  • talking walkie talkie
Brand Fisher-Price
Model DRH68
Weight 10.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

7. Disney Cars 16-Inch

Your child will feel like he's driving Lightning McQueen with the Disney Cars 16-Inch. It's not only super cool looking, with the beloved character's iconic colors, but is a cinch to get on and off thanks to its low profile design, even for shorter kids.
  • simple to wipe clean
  • pedals rotate smoothly
  • assembly is a little frustrating
Brand Cars
Model 41878
Weight 10.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Fisher-Price Barbie

Your little girl will get a kick out of the adorable Fisher-Price Barbie. It boasts an attractive pink and purple color combination and Barbie decals, plus the interactive buttons play engaging phrases and sounds that make for even more fun.
  • anti-slip pedals
  • seat adjusts to three positions
  • sounds can be turned off
Brand Fisher-Price
Model X6020
Weight 10.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

5. Radio Flyer Deluxe

The Radio Flyer Deluxe sports an award-winning design with real chrome handlebars and realistic gauges. It is ideal for both boys and girls who have outgrown small trikes and want a bigger kid riding experience before moving up to a two-wheel bike.
  • sturdy high-quality plastic
  • soft handles are comfy to hold
  • wide base prevents tipping over
Brand Radio Flyer
Model 474
Weight 15.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Fisher-Price DC Super Friends

If your tot likes to pretend he's Batman, the Fisher-Price DC Super Friends is the ride he's been waiting for. It's extremely kid-friendly with a slew of features like working signal lights, music, and recognizable phrases from his favorite superhero.
  • can peddle forwards and backwards
  • stickers are easy to apply
  • small storage space behind the seat
Brand Fisher-Price
Model W9981
Weight 10.4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Razor RipRider 360

The Razor RipRider 360 is a classic design reinvented for the modern age. It's engineered with a free wheel system that allows for incredible coasting speeds, and an MX-style handlebar that offers a comfortable grip. Note that this one is best for slightly older kids.
  • great for drifting and spinning
  • heavy-duty steel frame
  • never-go-flat tires
Brand Razor
Model 20036542-Parent
Weight 13.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. The Big Wheel 16-Inch

The Big Wheel 16-Inch has a vintage look that will make you want to be a kid again. It features an adjustable seat that grows with your child and the wide rear wheels provide the perfect balance when he or she takes sharp turns.
  • comes with assembly tools
  • gender neutral colors
  • front tire has good grip
Brand The Original Big Wheel
Model 48727
Weight 10.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Razor FlashRider 360

The Razor FlashRider 360 offers a super cool ride like no other. It features an awesome spark bar with replaceable cartridges that creates a thrilling trail of sparks to ignite your child's sense of speed without any sacrifice to safety.
  • very comfortable seat
  • accommodates riders up to 160 lbs
  • tires can be replaced when needed
Brand Razor
Model 20036560
Weight 22.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

A Rolling Rite Of Passage

Just a couple of decades ago, it seemed like there was an endless supply of iconic toys for children, games and devices that had been passed down through the generations. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Lite Bright, Speak & Spell, and their ilk crossed all boundaries of social status and intelligence to bring kids together under uniform banners of fun. Now, they all just play on their phones.

There is one item, however, that cannot be replaced by fancy screens or battery operated flashing noisemakers, and that's the big wheel.

Iconic doesn't even begin to describe the classic, timeless appeal of speed and adventure that the big wheel offers children. It's a toy that knows no gender, that heaps hours of joy on top of one another, and that can help keep our kids fit at a time when childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions.

It's a simple enough device, as well. Modeled after the low-rider bicycles and ape-hanger motorcycles of the 60s, the big wheel boasts an enlarged front tire and a relaxed leaned-back sitting position. The seat itself universally has a back support to it, and the riding position actually encourages good posture.

That larger tire up front gives kids a great deal of control over the direction of the big wheel, and the two wheels in the back provide great balance to the tricycle. It takes a lot of mismanagement to topple on of these on its side.

Most big wheels are made from tough ABS plastic, but a few incorporate lighter-weight metals that you see on fancier BMX bikes. These tend to be pricier than their plastic cousins, but they ought to last a lot longer, as well.

Riding In Style

My first big wheel wasn't a particularly high-quality model. It was made of extremely cheap plastic (this was the 1980s, after all) and the spokes that held the seat-back in place quickly snapped. It was also a hand-me-down from my older sister, and very clearly meant for girls, as it was branded after the popular Cabbage Patch dolls, with a white body, purple hardware and a big, light green front wheel.

Needless to say, I was pretty embarrassed to ride that thing around the neighborhood, and by the time I was a little older and the male penchant for destruction made its way into my bones, I regularly and intentionally crashed her big wheel into a large wall of loose bricks until the front wheel chassis cracked. My big wheel days, from that moment on, were over.

The lesson here, in addition to a warning against ramming cheap plastic into brick walls, is that, ideally, a kid's big wheel should be his or her own.

You can spend all the time you want evaluating the safety of these toys. Some of them are clearly built to last longer than others, and a couple even come with more advanced braking systems than the classic skid (or my personal favorite: the jump-off-the-moving-bike method). Ultimately, though, it's your kid's eyes that will make or break this purchase.

More likely than not, this is going to be a present. At the very least, it's going to be a surprise, and you know that look in his or her eyes when the surprise you've planned fails miserably. There isn't much you can do to recover from that first moment of the reveal.

Luckily, if you've been paying even a little bit of attention, you know a thing or two about your tot, and that ought to be enough for you to narrow down our list to a few styles he or she will love. From there, you can dissect features and build quality for the perfect choice.

Back When Kids Could Be Cool

Few things scream cool among young kids like a good big wheel. Even today, as kids become more and more isolated in their digital worlds, there's an irresistible pull toward adventure among the youngest humans.

In 1969, back when the cool kids were the ones who were the most adventurous (and not the ones who had the latest iPhone), Louis Marx of Louis Marx and Company introduced the first Big Wheel to that market. It was a trademark name, but it didn't take long for imitations to crop up and use the term big wheel as a category for their own brands.

Popularity of the toys soared through the 70s and 80s, as parents viewed them as ways not only to save money compared to a traditional bicycle or tricycle, but also as a way to keep kids safer than the bigger bikes they might have otherwise wanted.

The 1990s saw a significant dip in big wheel sales, as the majority of manufacturers either stopped or slowed their production, or they filed for bankruptcy.

By 2003, however, some forward (and backward) thinking business people saw an opportunity in the fact that most of the kids who owned big wheels in the 70s and 80s were having kids of their own. It was a fresh, nostalgic demographic, and the renaissance of the big wheel continues today.



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Last updated on December 27, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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