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5 Best Tricycles (“Pre-Bikes”) for Toddlers

Most kids are ready for a balance bike around 18 months of age.  But what happens when they want a bike even sooner than that? 

Having seen mom and dad (and grandma and grandpa and friends and racers) riding their bikes his entire infancy, my son was obsessed with bikes by 10 months old.

Luckily, there are a number of tricycles, or “pre-bikes” as I like to call them, for toddlers who aren’t quite ready for a real bike.  While I’d still highly recommend a balance bike for those old enough to safely ride it, these tricycles bridge the short gap between wanting a bike and being able to actually ride one.

The 5 Best Tricycles ("Pre-Bikes") for a 1 Year Old

Scuttlebug Tricycle

The Skuttlebug is the trike that my son had.  The cute design appeals to babies and young toddlers, and the tri-pod design requires little ones to work on balance. 

The soft wheels can easily be ridden inside the house without marking up your floors (my hardwoods can attest to this).  Finally, it folds up into a tiny package so that it’s easy to carry to the park or on vacation.

The wheels are tiny so it’s not great at making it over cracks in the driveway or any sort of obstacle, but once your kiddo is athletic enough for that it’s time to move on to a balance bike anyway.

Read Our Review: Scuttlebug

Price: Price not available (Last updated: 2023-12-02 at 22:14 – More Info)

Early Rider Bella Velio

early rider bella velio

As beautiful as it is practical, the Early Rider Bella Velio makes for an eye-pleasing nursery decoration when junior isn’t busy riding it.  While this isn’t *technically* a ride-on toy or trike (it’s a balance bike), it has the world’s biggest wheels making it stable enough for babies (10 months and up).

The only bummer about the Bella Velio is the fact that’s it’s expensive for a bike that will only be used for a year or so. Unlike the Wishbone (listed below), the bike won’t grow with your child.

Price: $199

Wishbone 3-in-1 Tricycle

Wishbone 3-in-1

The Wishbone 3-in-1 is a special kind of genius.  Unlike most tricycles, which kids are going to use for a matter of months not years, the 3-in-1 converts from a three-wheeled trike to a two-wheeled toddler balance bike to a pre-schooler sized balanced bike.  This makes it a solid investment despite the pricetag.

Do keep in mind that the Wishbone is made of wood. This means you don’t want to store it outside. (It won’t hold up in the rain or snow). And if you bring it inside, it has a bigger footprint than most of the bikes on this list, so you’ll need somewhere to store it.

Read Review: Wishbone 3-in-1

Price: $279.99 (Last updated: 2023-11-30 at 14:07 – More Info)

Hape Scoot Around Ride-On

Hape Scoot Around

For the eco-minded, the wooden Scoot Around is a great choice.  It is made of wood sourced from sustainable forests and keeps you from having yet another plastic toy in the house. 

The Scoot Around has four wheels which makes it super stable, but may not develop your child’s balance quite as much as the Skuttlebug or Spherovelo. It will also have a limited lifespan–your kiddo is likely to outgrow it within a year or so.

Price: $51.00 (Last updated: 2023-12-02 at 22:14 – More Info)

Kinderfeets TinyTot Tricycle

Kinderfeet TinyTots Tricycle

The Kinderfeets TinyTot has the look and feel of a real bike, but with three wheels rather than two.  The larger size wheels allow kids to move faster than the tiny caster wheels on the Scuttlebug, for instance. 

Truly unique, the bike frame is made of bamboo which is “stronger than steel and heartier than most hardwood.” Just make sure to the get the Tiny Tot and NOT the Tiny Tot Plus which is for bigger kids.

Price: $109.99 (Last updated: 2023-11-17 at 00:20 – More Info)

More Stuff To Help You Find The Right Bike For Your Toddler

About Us

The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.

Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.

If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!

3 thoughts on “5 Best Tricycles (“Pre-Bikes”) for Toddlers”

  1. i was interested in getting a schylling scuttlebug for my daughter after reading these reviews. However, i am not having any luck finding a place to purchase one. i am assuming still available since article was just updated this march? note – i am finding other brands but not sure if the quality is as good?

    • Hi Andi,
      I am sorry to see that it does look like the schylling scuttlebug has been discontinued! It was available as of my update in March. I can’t speak to any of the other similar brands since I haven’t tested them personally. The reviews of other “scuttleugs” on Amazon don’t look great.

  2. Thanks for this!

    FYI – the Shuttlebug is available at Target (11/21) — I just ordered it! It’s a Bee though now, not a ladybug.


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