Reviews

The Best Toddler Bikes (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

These are the best toddler bikes, made for first-time riders up to three-years-old.

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

The Drive on YouTube The Drive on Facebook The Drive on Instagram

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON March 28, 2021

Learning how to ride a bicycle is a big step in a child's life — and when it’s time for your kid to master the skill, you want him or her to learn on a bike that’s perfect for first-time riders. However, some kids are ready to start learning earlier than others. If you have a toddler who wants to try riding a bicycle, a basic beginner’s bike might not be the right fit. You need a toddler bike instead.

 

Made just for the size and motor skill level of one to three-year-olds, these petite bikes make it easy and fun for little ones to get a grasp on the basics. Available in different sizes and styles and custom fit for various experience levels, toddler bikes provide plenty of options. Check out our list of the best toddler bikes, all of which little bike riders and their parents will love.

Best Overall
RoyalBaby Kids Freestyle Bicycle
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

A well-built toddler-sized version of a grown-up bicycle that’s safe and extra stable.

Pros
Pros
  • Wider tires for extra stability
  • Includes training wheels
  • Reinforced frame is extra durable
Cons
Cons
  • May be a bit heavy for smaller toddlers
Best Overall
RoyalBaby Kids Freestyle Bicycle
Best Value
Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

A lightweight, small starter bike just for very young toddlers - with an affordable price.

Pros
Pros
  • Ideal for 12 to 24 months
  • Sturdy and stable
  • Great for learning balance
Cons
Cons
  • Doesn’t include pedals
  • May be too easy for older toddlers
Best Value
Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike
Honorable Mention
Joystar Vintage Kids Bike
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

A classically designed toddler cruiser made with high-quality parts and cool style.

Pros
Pros
  • Made with premium steel
  • Durable enough for first-time learners
  • Looks and feels like an adult’s bike
Cons
Cons
  • Somewhat difficult to assemble
Honorable Mention
Joystar Vintage Kids Bike
Toddler Boy With A Toddler Bike
Amazon

Why Trust Us


Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Benefits of Toddler Bikes

  • Easy to balance. Toddler bikes — particularly toddler balance bicycles — are far easier to balance than your average kid’s bike. They’re specifically designed to help younger, smaller riders master the basics of balancing, which means they make it easier for toddlers to put their feet down and control their stability. Many toddler bikes are also built for increased stability.
  • Builds strength and coordination. Toddlers are still honing their motor skills and coordination. Learning how to ride a toddler bicycle lets them strengthen their muscles (particularly those used for balancing) while mastering the coordination of steering while moving their legs. Over time, this improves coordination, muscle strength, and agility.
  • Increased safety. Bikes for toddlers are safer for little ones to learn on. They’re built with increased stability and extra features like training wheels. Some are even lower to the ground to reduce the potential dangers of falls. Many toddler bikes are also made to meet safety standards and certifications — just double-check to make sure a bike is certified safe accordingly.
  • Helps kids transition to larger bikes. By starting with a toddler bike, your child will grasp the basics of riding a bike on a smaller, more stable bicycle. As they grow, this will make the transition to larger bicycles easier. It can also help kids feel more confident as they upgrade to a “real” full-size bike.

Types of Toddler Bikes

Toddler Balance Bikes

Toddler balance bikes are a style of kids’ bicycles that are simplified and easy to ride. Designed to teach little ones how to balance and steer, balance bikes are designed for toddlers as young as 18 months old. They don’t have pedals; they simply have handlebars, two wheels, and a frame that keeps riders very low to the ground. Balance bikes help toddlers learn how to propel themselves forward, brake with their feet, and shift their weight so they stay upright. These “first step” bicycles help toddlers build confidence and skills quickly. 

Pedal Bikes

Pedal bikes are essentially “real” bicycles — they feature the same frame style, wheels, and pedals as full-size kids or adult bikes. But pedal bikes are built for toddlers’ weight, size, and capabilities to help them make a smooth transition from beginner to novice. They teach kids how to balance a bike, how to pedal and increase their speed, and how to maneuver with the handlebars. Suitable for kids as young as two and a half years old, pedal bikes can be ridden with or without training wheels for extra stability. 

Top Brands

Schwinn

Schwinn has been one of the biggest names in bicycles since the company was founded in 1898. With a storied legacy of creating quality bikes, you can find a wealth of different bikes made just for toddlers, including options like the Schwinn Grit and Petunia Steerable Kids Bike. Backed by trustworthy quality, these toddler bikes will perform.

Yvolution

Yvolution is a California-based brand that’s all about building fun, safe kids’ products. From scooters to bikes, Yvolution designs options that are perfectly sized for the smallest, youngest riders. The brand particularly specializes in toddler balance bikes like the Yvolution Y Velo Flippa 4-in-1 Toddler Trike to Balance Bike and the Yvolution Y Velo Junior Balance Bike.

Toddler Bikes Pricing

  • Under $50: For under $50, you can find a wealth of different toddler balance bikes. These pedal-free bikes are a great, affordable first choice.
  • $50 to $100: In this middle price range, you can find both balance bikes and pedal bikes made just for toddlers. Pedal bikes tend to fall at the more expensive end.
  • $100 to $150: High-quality toddler bikes with all the bells, whistles, and design features of full-size bicycles fall in this price range. You’ll also find more premium options for older toddlers.

Key Features

Low Frame

A low frame is particularly helpful for first-time bike riders. The lower toddlers sit to the ground, the lower their center of gravity will be. That helps toddlers achieve balance and stability more easily, meaning they’ll have an easier time riding and strengthening their skills. Balance bikes are typically very low to the ground, offering the best stability and centering.

Wider Wheels

Wider, thicker wheels offer toddler-aged bike riders more stability. As these young riders get their footing and learn how to balance properly, wider wheels will offer the right amount of assistance. A few extra inches of width can make it easier for toddlers to stay in control, especially while they’re still figuring out how to balance while maneuvering. 

No Pedals

While pedals can be a good option for older toddlers with a little more experience — or with bikes that have training wheels — it’s better for little ones to first learn how to ride without pedals. Being able to “pedal” or propel themselves with just their feet helps toddlers master balance, making the transition to a larger bike with pedals much easier. 

Other Considerations

  • Don’t Worry About Wheel Diameter. While you’d normally want to consider the diameter of a bike’s wheels when picking one out, this important detail isn’t important at all for toddlers. Because toddlers are just learning how to move on a bike, most toddler bicycles are designed differently — eliminating the need to find the right wheel size. Look instead at the age range to determine which bikes are best for your toddler.
  • Training Wheels Aren’t a Necessity. If your toddler is starting with a balance bike, they likely won’t need training wheels when they make the transition to a larger, more traditional bike. If you’re unsure whether training wheels are what your toddler needs, you can always choose a bike with removable training wheels just in case. 
  • More Stability is Always a Good Idea. When it comes to the most important detail to consider in choosing a toddler bike, think stability above all else. Mastering balance is the biggest challenge for first-time riders, and it can be especially difficult at such a young age. Always think about how stable a toddler’s bike will be when you’re considering and comparing different options.

Best Toddler Bikes Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
RoyalBaby Kids Freestyle Bicycle

If your toddler is ready to ride, you should consider the RoyalBaby Kids Freestyle Bicycle. This bike is our top overall pick because of its excellent quality in construction, materials, and more. Designed for older toddlers — three years old and up — this kids’ bicycle is a smaller version of an adult’s bike. Available in 12, 14, and 16-inch sizes with removable training wheels, little ones can ride their very first “real” bike with a bit of extra stability and safety. The toddler’s bicycle features safe handgrips and an easy-to-use rear coaster brake, plus a hand brake kids can use as they become more advanced. A sturdy steel frame can survive falls and bumps. The wheels on this bicycle are wider, measuring 2.4 inches wide for extra stability. Little kids will have no problem mastering their balance with this quality choice.

Best Value
Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike

Introducing little ones to bike riding as early as possible can pay off when they’re older, and the Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike is a fantastic choice. With an affordable, budget-friendly price, you can invest in a balance bike that’ll offer you and your toddler excellent value. Designed for toddlers between 12 and 24 months old, kids can learn the basic motor skills they’ll need to master a bicycle. With a low-slung design, this balance bike sits close to the ground and keeps riders’ feet touching the ground — and there are no pedals. They’ll have easy control over speed, stopping, and forward movement. Built with non-slip, no-scratch wheels, toddlers can practice on this bike indoors or outdoors. It also meets or exceeds all CPSC, CPSIA, and CFR safety standards. Once toddlers master this balance bike, they’ll be ready for anything.

Premium Pick
Joystar Vintage Kids Bike

The Joystar Vintage Kids Bike is a top-tier toddler bike that’s built with durability and kids’ comfort in mind. It looks good too — this sleek and stylish bike looks just like a retro beach cruiser, with a basket and curved frame that kids of any age will love. Designed for riders between two and seven years old, this classic bicycle features a sturdy steel frame that can handle all the impacts and bumps involved in learning how to ride. It’s even backed by a limited lifetime warranty, just in case. The bike is available in 12, 14, and 16-inch wheel options and includes training wheels so toddlers can learn while staying stable. An easy-to-learn coaster brake keeps kids in control, while the shock-proof cushioned seat enhances comfort. Although this bike is a more expensive investment, it’s one that can last toddlers throughout many rides.

Most Versatile
Xjd 3-in-1 Kids Tricycle

The Xjd 3-in-1 Kids Tricycle is technically a tricycle, not a bicycle. Yet this tricycle is more than just a three-wheeled mode of transportation. This bike converts, offering three different ways for toddlers to ride. Your little one can either ride it as a three-wheel tricycle with pedals, a balance tricycle without pedals, or a two-wheel balance bike with no pedals. That convertible nature offers you incredible versatility. Kids from 12 to 24 months can use one mode, while 2 to 3-year-olds can opt for a more advanced mode. Built to be extra stable and sturdy to support first-time bike riders, this toddler bike can adapt to their needs. The seat and handlebars both adjust in height and angle, helping kids find the perfect way to ride. With regular use, the various riding modes can teach toddlers coordination, balance, and steering easily.

Honorable Mention
Xiapia Toddler Balance Bike

A balance bike is a great first step towards mastering a “real” bike, and the Xiapia Toddler Balance Bike is a solid option. This toddler balance bicycle is designed for little riders to use to learn how to balance and achieve stability. A perfect fit for kids ages 10 to 36 months, this bicycle will teach your toddler how to get moving with their feet, mastering balance while sitting along the way. It’ll build coordination and confidence, along with some bike riding muscles. It’s also quite safe to learn on. The balance bike meets ASTM, CPSC, CE, and EN safety standards. Extra safety features, like a 135-degree steering limit and fully enclosed wheels, help limit falls and keep kids well-protected while they learn. This toddler bike is also comfortable for little riders with perks like an ergonomic and padded seat and wheel and handlebars made out of EVA foam material.

Honorable Mention
Allobebe Baby Balance Bike

The Allobebe Baby Balance Bike will take the task of learning how to ride a bike from hard to easy. With no pedals, just wheels and handlebars, this balance bicycle can help little ones master the basics of riding without extra equipment getting in the way. Toddlers between the ages of 12 months to 3 years old can get a ton of practice on this simplified bicycle. It weighs just 3.85 pounds and includes an adjustable seat to suit toddlers’ changing heights. Riders can test their mobility, learn how to maneuver, and develop balance along with coordination on this easy-to-master bike. It’s perfectly suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and it’s designed with safety in mind. It passes ASTM and CPSIA standards and includes extra safety features, like steering limited to 50 degrees and a low-sitting shape, to help toddlers learn with few falls.

Honorable Mention
Schwinn Grit and Petunia Steerable Kids Bike

Need a bike that’ll grow along with your toddler’s skill level? The Schwinn Grit and Petunia Steerable Kids Bike is an excellent choice. This bicycle is designed for beginners, and it offers two ways to ride. Kids can be pushed along with the parent push handle, allowing the adult to steer the bike. Or, the handle can be removed so toddlers can freely ride independently. Featuring 12-inch wheels plus removable training wheels — and the parent push handle — this toddler bicycle allows little riders to learn the basics and get support and stability. When they’re ready to take the next step, you can easily adjust and adapt by removing the handle and training wheels. The quick-release seat post and adjustable alloy saddle also adjust as your child grows for extra versatility. Whether your child needs more support or less support, it’s easy to meet their needs with this Schwinn.

Honorable Mention
Yvolution Y Velo Junior Balance Bike

The Yvolution Y Velo Junior Balance Bike is great for very young toddlers who are ready to dive right into riding a bike. This balance bicycle offers a stable learning platform — plus extra wheels — so toddlers as young as 18 months old can start practicing their balance and their coordination. Constructed with dual rear wheels, the extra width underneath riders offers increased stability. A lightweight yet sturdy aluminum frame offers support while a set of puncture-proof wheels with rubber exteriors increase riders’ grip on surfaces indoors and outdoors. This balance bike for toddlers does feature higher ground clearance, which makes for a more realistic experience. This bicycle also grows with toddlers. When they’re ready, the bike can “evolve” and be adjusted so they can keep riding until they reach 4 years old or 45 pounds.

Honorable Mention
Yvolution Y Velo Flippa 4-in-1 Toddler Trike to Balance Bike

The Yvolution Y Velo Flippa 4-in-1 Toddler Trike to Balance Bike is a wonderful convertible option. It doesn’t just convert from training wheels to a traditional bike — no training wheels are necessary with this toddler bicycle. It offers four different riding methods, giving parents and kids plenty of options depending on comfort and skill level. Designed for ages 2 to 5 years old, kids can ride as a push tricycle with a steering handle, a basic tricycle, a push bicycle with a steering handle, or a balance bike. With the press of a button, parents can easily convert the bike and flip the wheels to change things up. The pedals are removable, giving you further customization, and the seat and handlebars both adjust to grow as your toddler grows. It’s a fantastic product for little ones who may need a bit more support as they learn.

Honorable Mention
Peradix Adjustable Baby Balance Bike

The Peradix Adjustable Baby Balance Bike offers a great — and stable — platform for your toddler to learn how to ride a bike. Designed to help little riders make the jump from an extra-stable ride to a traditional bike, this balance bicycle teaches kids how to balance, strengthens their most important bicycling muscles, and helps them stay in control as they push to move forward. Suitable for riders between 10 and 36 months old, any toddler can start getting their feet wet on this bicycle. Toddlers will begin to master stability on their own as they propel themselves and work on their coordination. Featuring an adjustable seat and handlebars, you can even increase the size as needed when your toddler grows. With use, this balance bike can prepare little ones for a larger, more unstable bicycle; it may even be able to eliminate your toddler’s need for training wheels.

Tips

  • Can’t decide between a balance bike and a pedal bike? You can turn a pedal bike into a balance bike by removing the pedals, giving your toddler the chance to balance with their feet first. 
  • Simplified bikes are best for toddlers. You don’t want to overcomplicate the learning process with hand brakes, chains, gear shifts, and other way-too-advanced parts. Focus on finding a simple bike until the basics are mastered.
  • Make sure your toddler always wears a helmet when riding a bike of any kind. A helmet is the most critical piece of safety gear.

FAQs

Q: What is the best bike for a 2-year-old?

A toddler balance bike is the best choice for 2-year-olds. We like the Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike because it offers excellent value and is a great way for toddlers to learn the basics of balancing.

Q: What kind of bike is best for a 3-year-old?

Three-year-olds are more advanced and tend to have better motor skills than younger toddlers, so they can ride pedal bikes and other more traditional bicycles with or without training wheels. Our top pick, the RoyalBaby Kids Freestyle Bicycle, is a great choice.

Q: What age should a child start riding a bike?

Children can start learning how to ride a bike whenever they’re ready. This age varies from child to child, but many are ready to begin pedaling a balance bike or pedal bike with training wheels between ages one and three years old. 

Final Thoughts

The RoyalBaby Kids Freestyle Bicycle is our top choice for a quality toddler bike. To get very young toddlers started at an affordable price, you can also choose the Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike. Which toddler bike do you think is the best of the bunch?