The 10 Best Tricycles

Updated March 17, 2018 by Sam Kraft

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We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If your toddler is just about ready for a little vehicular independence, consider one of these tricycles. A far cry from the trikes of your youth, these three-wheeled bikes come in some awesome designs with innovative features, and can help your child develop balance, stamina, muscle strength and motor functions. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tricycle on Amazon.

10. Little Tikes Perfect Fit

The Little Tikes Perfect Fit is an adequate option that will grow with your child from stroller to tricycle. The adjustable design is perfect for on-the-go travel, and this model features a full shade canopy to offer sun protection from all angles.
  • high-backed seat for safety
  • seat adjusts with flip of a switch
  • assembly can be frustrating
Brand Little Tikes
Model 639654C
Weight 22.9 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Joovy Tricycoo

As a youngster’s first tricycle, the Joovy Tricycoo is a nice way to introduce your child to balance and coordination. While the frame is constructed with steel to support children who weigh up to 44 pounds, the plastic tires aren't very durable.
  • adjustable parent handle
  • convenient pedal lock
  • poor turning radius
Brand Joovy
Model 00172
Weight 18.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Fisher-Price Rock

For kids up to five years old, the Fisher-Price Rock offers three fun ways to ride. The youngest begin with a stationary rocker, the intermediate-level riders are pushed by their parents with a long handle, and the big kids can take off pedaling on their own.
  • colors do not fade in the sun
  • seat is wide and spacious
  • plastic wheels can slip on concrete
Brand Fisher-Price
Model CJF13
Weight 15.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. HFT All-Terrain

When you think of a tricycle, off-roading probably doesn’t come to mind. The HFT All-Terrain is looking to change that, with an adjustable frame to accommodate children from ages five to seven and pneumatic tires for navigating bumpy trails.
  • tow hitch to pull wagons
  • 13-inch front tire
  • handlebars often need tightening
Brand HFT
Model 69694
Weight 28 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Fisher-Price Barbie Lights

Barbie fans rejoice. With the Fisher-Price Barbie Lights, your daughter will become the envy of her neighborhood friends. When role-play is activated, this trike plays music and makes phone and horn sounds related to the popular child’s doll.
  • promotes imaginative play
  • slip-resistant pedals
  • kids love the graphics and colors
Brand Fisher-Price
Model X6020
Weight 10.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Schwinn Roadster

Just like its full-sized cousins, the Schwinn Roadster is a popular choice thanks to its attention to detail. It offers a burned-in logo on the wooden deck, chrome handlebars with long tassels, and an adjustable seat for optimal support.
  • includes an attached bell
  • assembly is quick and easy
  • kids outgrow it quickly
Brand Schwinn
Model S6728
Weight 21.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Radio Flyer Stroll ‘N Trike

The Radio Flyer Stroll ‘N Trike is a versatile option that you can use for years down the road. It quickly converts into one of four designs: infant trike, steering trike, learn-to-ride trike and classic trike. The pedals are used as footrests in the early stages.
  • comfy headrest provides neck support
  • 3-point harness keeps infants safe
  • removable tray with cupholder
Brand Radio Flyer
Model 811X
Weight 16.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Radio Flyer Fold

Ideal for the family that likes to stay active and on the go, the Radio Flyer Fold is built for toddlers and collapses easily to store or take traveling. It arrives fully assembled and ready to ride, with a low center of gravity that provides great stability.
  • safety latch for security
  • covered storage bin
  • easy-to-hold handle grip
Brand Radio Flyer
Model 97168
Weight 9.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Vilano 3-in-1

The Vilano 3-in-1 offers comfort and safety as your child progresses through the stages of learning how to ride a tricycle. It features a wraparound padded arm bar for security and a rear cargo basket for storing snacks and toys.
  • 3 colors to choose from
  • adjustable footrest
  • canopy for uv protection
Brand Vilano
Model 575-3IN1-TRIKE-BLU
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Radio Flyer Classic

A timeless option that inspires nostalgia in many parents, the Radio Flyer Classic takes you back to the days when you could send your kids out to play without a worry. Its traditional spoked wheels and solid rubber tires provide durability and style.
  • attractive chrome fender
  • does not easily tip over
  • dependable smooth ride
Brand Radio Flyer
Model pending
Weight 16 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

What Separates a Good Tricycle From a Great One?

At a glance, most tricycles appear to be created alike, but this can be deceiving in terms of versatility, safety, ride-ability, and more. If you're purchasing a tricycle, it pays to do your homework. And a tricycle's frame may be the best place to start.

Steel is the industry standard when it comes to tricycle frames. Metal frames are fine, and plastic frames, a little less so. But a steel frame remains durable, and largely resistant to weathering, which is important if you plan on passing a tricycle down from one child to another.

By and large, you'll want a tricycle to feature bright, perhaps even reflective, colors. Bright colors allow a tricycle to stand out, which has immeasurable value when and if you take your child out for a bike ride at night.

Certain tricycles feature rubber wheels, which are preferable to the less-traditional plastic. Rubber wheels have built-in shock absorption, which makes for a smoother ride when kids are pedaling over cracks in a sidewalk. The same can be said for any tricycle with a cushioned seat, in that the cushion is not only comfortable, but it's also much more prone to keep a child from sliding off.

Tricycles are built low to the ground to accommodate small children while also preventing the risk of certain accidents (see below). The only area where this could be a concern is if the tricycle's rear bar - or platform - tends to scrape along the pavement. You can sidestep this by confirming that any tricycle you're interested in features a rear bar that rests at least a few inches off the ground.

How To Keep Your Child Safe On a Tricycle

Tricycles, by their three-wheeled nature, have been designed to help children avoid falling. With that said, we all know that youngsters are capable of doing things that might be unwarranted. The good news is that you can minimize your child's risk of injury by teaching him or her some very simple rules. Let's take a look at where some of the most common tricycle hazards are hiding.

Consider a tricycle front wheel, for example. A lot of tricycles have been built with a metal guard around the top of that wheel. Said guard, while effective at deflecting dirt and gravel, could also cause an injury if your child's foot or hand gets caught in the well. Same thing goes for any tricycle's spokes. If a tricycle is in motion, jamming a limb into either of those areas could result in a serious laceration, or worse.

Be mindful that young children are prone to mimicking older brothers and sisters, who they might see popping wheelies in the street. While the majority of tricycles are mechanically incapable of popping wheelies, it doesn't hurt to teach your child to wear a helmet from an early age. You can't predict when an unavoidable accident might occur, and a helmet can protect your child from any minor head injuries (to say the least).

Beyond taking these precautions, it's important to supervise your child at all times when he or she is riding a tricycle. Make it point to keep your child away from any intersections or high-traffic areas. Sidewalks are the golden rule. Public parks and secluded areas are even better.

A Brief History of The Tricycle (AKA 'The Trike')

The first tricycle was invented toward the end of the 18th Century as an extension of a three-wheeled wheelchair that had been designed almost a hundred years before. This hybrid tricycle, which was engineered by a pair of Frenchmen, remained little more than a curiosity until 1818, at which point a British coachmaker named Denis Johnson began to manufacture tricycles, which he referred to as pedestrian curricles, based on a newly-patented approach.

Over the ensuing 60 years, inventors across Europe fiddled with various conceptions for a tricycle. One version of the "trike" was built with all three wheels running parallel, while another was powered by hand levers. All of this trial and error eventually resulted in the first-ever front-steering tricycle, which was introduced by the Leicester Safety Tricycle Company in 1881.

Tricycles became a major trend throughout England toward the end of the 1800s. Ironically, these British trikes were being built for adults. British women preferred a tricycle because it sat lower, which was beneficial when riding in a dress. British men preferred a tricycle because it was considered a symbol of sophistication, much like a modern-day BMW might be considered a symbol of success.

The introduction of the automobile caused the adult trike's popularity to wane during the early 1900s. Consequently, tricycles were largely reimagined for a prepubescent audience. This idea of a children's tricycle took off throughout America where it has remained a constant ever since. Today, almost every family with small children owns a tricycle or a big wheel, or some other three-wheeled contraption featuring two pedals and a seat.

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Last updated on March 17, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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