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

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

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.

Schylling Scuttlebug Tricycle

This 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.

Read my full review of the Schylling Scuttlebug.

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Early Rider Spherolvelo Ride-On

Early Rider SpherolveloAs beautiful as it is practical, the Spherolvelo makes for an eye-pleasing nursery decoration when junior isn’t busy riding it.  For babies, the bike can be used with stabilizers to keep it from tipping. Later, once they’ve gotten the hang of things and developed their core strength, the stabilizers can be removed to help develop balance and gross motor skills.

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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 bike is a little bit bigger than some of the other options on the list, so wait until 12 months old for this one.

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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.

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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.”

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Kristen is a project manager and writer. She spends all her free time mountain biking with her family on the trails in Salt Lake City and Park City, UT.

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