Teaching a child to ride a bike requires lower leg strength, balance, coordination, and motor planning. It's best to begin with a tricycle or a balance bike and slowly progress to larger bikes as your child grows. To avoid spending hundreds of dollars every year, plan and know which bikes will last as well as grow with your child.
Let’s evaluate bicycles for children based on age, performance, cost, and durability to select the best bike for each learning stage:
Ages: 1 ½ - 3 years old Price: $80-90
Tricycles are a great way to teach your child the mechanics of pedaling and steering. Your child will need to learn to control their motion using their legs and direct it with their arms. The Schwinn Roadster Tricycle is an easy to assemble tricycle with a low center of gravity to help prevent tipping on turns. This bike is easy to assemble however because of the seating position and the pedals being far forward, it may be harder to pedal for some children. This bike is also on the heavier side so if your child lacks the strength to propel the bike, this may not be the best bike for your child.
Ages: 2 ½ - 5 years old
The Radio Flyer Classic Dual-Deck Tricycle is a classic trike, made of metal. It’s dimensions are better suited for slightly older and taller kids. The seat and handlebars are adjustable. This bike tends to tip easily, so make sure you supervise your child. Because it is made of metal, it is a durable and long lasting trike.
Ages: 2 - 5 years old
The FirstBIKE balance bike is lightweight and a great way to help a child transition to a pedal bike. Unlike Trikes, balance bikes have two wheels and lack pedals/chains/training wheels; which helps improve balance and coordination. Young riders scoot themselves along with their feet and this allows them to learn how to balance on two wheels without the fear of falling over. The FirstBIKE comes with a steering limiter to help children control the bike. This bike lacks a foot stand, which forces children to suspend their feet when coasting. It also has a drum brake for added stopping power and safety. If you are debating between a tricycle or a balance bike, I would recommend going with the FirstBIKE balance bike.
*Click here to choose the best balance bike for your child according to their age and size.
Ages: 3 - 6 years old
Usually between the ages of 3 to 5, your child is ready to move up to a 12-inch bike. This bike comes with removable training wheels as well as adjustable seats. This bike is a well-built bike and is durable. This bike weighs about 22 lbs, so it is a bit on the heavier side.
Ages: 4 - 7 years old
Around ages 4-7, your child will probably be ready to move up to a 16 inch bike. At this age, a bike becomes less of a toy and more of a bike. This bike is easy to assemble and the cost is on the lower side. This bike has a coaster brake, which allows the child to stop the bike by pedaling backward as well as a front and rear hand brake. This bike is heavy but stable and durable.
Ages: 7 - 10 years old
Around ages 7-10, you should consider upgrading from a 16-inch bike to a 20-inch bike. Prices of bikes usually increase at this age and can cost anywhere between $100-$500. The islabike comes with six gears, is light weight, fast, and versatile. This is one of the best bikes on the market!
It’s time to purchase your child’s first set of wheels!!