No one forgets their kid’s first steps, not because they’re special. But because after that, they wreak havoc everywhere. After walking, comes running, and then comes the most natural progression – riding a bike. This skill takes a lot of patience to teach, and if you’re using the wrong type of bike, it will make the process much more frustrating.
Two and three-year-old children will generally fit on 12 and 14-inch bikes. Even so, choosing the right one can be confusing and stressful. But you don’t need to worry. We promise to solve all your issues by the time you read the article.
We’ve curated the perfect list of wheels for your toddler. But before you finalize a bike, here’s something you need to know:
Tips about Buying
- If your child is older than three or taller than the average three-year-old, then a 16-inch bike would suit them better.
- Leave the training wheels behind. Balance bikes teach kids how to balance better than old-school training wheels. Go for a balance bike and then upgrade to a pedal bike later.
- Cheap rides are usually heavy and made with lower-quality materials than higher-end ones.
- You can get a better and well-made balanced bike for the price of a mediocre pedal bike.
- Don’t use the wheel size as a guide. Instead, use your child’s seat height and the inseam measurement to find the perfect fit.
Best 12-inch bikes with training wheels
Raleigh MXR Kids
The Raleigh MXR is a small bike, perfect for kids that can barely reach the counter or are about 40 inches tall. With its lightweight steel frame, kids can glide and ride this bike anywhere they go. On top of that, it also has a chain guard, making the little rides in your neighborhood safe and fun. The ride features comfortable geometry and enough control that your child can easily transition from a balanced bike to this one. We haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. It might look expensive, but it’s one of the more affordable options!
|Age Range (Description)||2 – 3 years|
|Wheel Size||12 Inches|
- It’s made of quality materials.
- Despite no assembly instructions, it was still easy to put together.
- It’s a great price for the bike.
- It’s ligthweight.
- It’s not always available on Amazon.
- Our order never came with assembly instructions.
Not a fan of bland and boring colors? Well, let the huffy spiderman bike be the more fun alternative. There is no kid in the world who doesn’t appreciate a good superhero movie. The spider web design all over the frame and saddle make this ride visually pleasing while also ensuring you save a buck or two.
The 12-inch bike comes in pieces, but thanks to its QuickConnect technology, you’ll be able to assemble it in no time. If you’re not ready to let your kid swing around on this ride like spiderman, you can attach the training wheels to calm your nerves. It has both front and back brakes to make this tiny vehicle even safer.
|Brand||Huffy Marvel Spider-Man Kid|
|Item Weight||19.00 pounds|
|Wheel Size||12 & 16 Inches|
- The Spiderman look is loved by our son!
- It’s well-built.
- It’s a great size for a 4-year-old.
- It was easy to build.
- It was a bit more expensive than the previous one.
Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Bicycle
If your toddler is absolutely obsessed with cartoons, then getting them this ride would make their dreams come true. The paw patrol bicycle is perfect for all younglings ready to explore the world in style. With 12-inch wheels and a lightweight steel frame, the wheels won’t just glide but also flow like the wind.
Safety is the biggest concern for parents with toddlers. That’s why this ride has a rear coaster brake that brings the ride to a halt when pedaled backward. On top of that, the chain guard will protect your child’s little legs from any scratches.
Getting a ride that fits perfectly can be tough, but with the Paw Patrol , you can tweak the seat till your kiddo is happy with it. All you need is a paw patrol helmet, and you’ve got yourself the perfect Christmas gift!
|Brand||Nickelodeon Paw Patrol|
|Special Feature||Training Wheel|
|Suspension Type||Coaster Brake|
|Wheel Size||12 Inches|
- The price is very reasonable.
- It feels durable.
- It was easy to assemble and arrived on time.
- It showed up without instructions on assembling it.
Best 14-inch girls’ bikes
The Schwinn elm is for all those little fashionistas that make sure everyone in the room knows they’re there. The SmartStart has a light frame and sturdy construction that ensures little to no wobble when the child first gets on the ride.
With a front-hand brake and a coaster brake, you can teach your child how to use either or both. To add on, the wheels have flexible geometry with front-facing pedals and gears that help start the bike smoothly. It also includes an adjustable saddle, seat, and slack seat tube angle that ensures your little girl can use this ride for longer.
- It’s made of quality materials.
- It rides smoothly.
- It comes with a kickstand and stabilizers.
- The assembly was a bit tough.
If your kid likes to play pretend fairies and princesses, then the Royalbaby Stargirl is the one for them. This ride knows how to do aesthetics right with its baby blue colored body and white and pink tires. Don’t be fooled by the colors. This ride is one of the most durable options in the whole market.
Starting with this ride will be a blast because it comes with adjustable handlebars and an adjustable seat. With the proper fit, our children will have the comfort and the confidence to strut anywhere with their fabulous rides.
As for safety, the ride has a front handbrake and a rear coaster brake. It has wide wheels that will provide your Stargirl with stability and better balance. Let’s not forget the strong grip the non-slip pedals and handlebars provide. This ride will shine just as much as a real star when it’s in use.
|Included Components||Training Wheels, Basket, Bicycle, Bell, Assembly tools|
|Item Weight||21 Pounds|
- Any girl will feel like a princess on it.
- It comes from a brand you can count on.
- It’s reasonably priced.
- It feels sturdy.
- Good value for money.
- The instructions weren’t great for putting it together.
- It took some time to put together compared to other bikes.
COEWSKE Kids Little Princess Style
The COEWSKE Kids Little Princess Style is for children who are born creative and like to customize everything. They cannot only choose the color of their ride but also accessorize it just how they want. Besides the looks, the fancy ride features two types of brakes, so your child can learn the importance of both.
Your child will love the bike, but what you’ll love is that it’s very simple to assemble. In fact, all the tools needed for assembly are included within the bicycle set. Moreover, its low-set frame works wonders for short kids who are just learning to get on and off bikes. As for its wheels, they provide a mighty grip. All thanks to the deep treads and grooves in them!
- It’s a great, girly bike.
- Assembling it was easy.
- The build quality is great.
- The instructions could have been better.
- It’s a bit heavy.
Best 14-inch boys’ bikes
Not all kids are fans of bright colors and cartoons. If you think your child will like something simple and sleek, then the segway Ninebot will be the perfect ride. Made from aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, it’s light as a feather but hard as a rock.
It has a front-hand brake along with shock absorbing and wide tires. If you look closely, you can see handles placed at the back so that you can pick up the ride easily and transport it if your kid is all wiped out.
It has removable training wheels wider than regular ones to make the ride as comfortable and stable as possible. It allows your kid to handle bumpy roads and other debris that might cause a hindrance.
- It’s a very reasonable price.
- It feels very durable.
- It’s very good value for the price.
- Any small boy will love it.
- It’s a bit heavy.
Royalbaby space shuttle
The Royalbaby space shuttle has a design like no other. Its futuristic frame is made of magnesium and features an adjustable seat and handlebars. The adjustability of the whole ride is beneficial for smaller kids since not all bikes might be the right fit for them.
Parents always fuss about brakes, but this bike eliminated all that anxiety. It has two handlebar brakes that control both the rear and the front wheels. To top it all off, it has 2.4-inch wide tires that can overcome any sort of rugged terrain.
Considering Royalbaby is one of the most prominent companies in the bicycle market, there’s no way you can go wrong with one of their products.
- The frame looks cool.
- It was easy to assemble.
- It’s very modern.
- It rides well.
- It’s a bit heavy.
JOYSTAR Whizz Kids
What’s better than a rad bike that comes 98% assembled already? Nothing! The Joystar whizz kids bike is built to be your toddler’s best friend through the years, thanks to its Hi-ten steel frame. The impact resistance frame will allow your little guy to ride over rocks, gravel, and everything bumpy.
The ride has only one drivetrain, which helps the kids maneuver it easily. Since the ride has rubber air tires and both a handbrake and a coaster brake, it allows kids to conquer any land in sight.
If you think you’ll be going on morning rides with your child off-trails in the shining sun, then this sturdy ride will do the job just fine.
- The price can’t be beaten.
- It’s a great value option.
- It’s a great starter bike.
- It rides fairly well for the price.
- It’s a bit big for a 4-year-old.
Best bike with training wheels
With The huge plethora of rides manufactured by uncountable companies, it’s difficult to choose just one overall winner. But the Joey 2.5 outdid itself enough to make its position quite clear. It features a sturdy build and a long wheelbase that will make the transition from a balanced bike to a pedal bike smooth as butter!
Not everyone is a fan of the balance bike, and that’s completely okay too. The Joey 2.5 comes with training wheels and a push bar that will give you peace of mind and a sense of safety while your child takes the next steps.
It even has the perfect geometry to provide sufficient balance. On top of that, it doesn’t have the much-disliked coaster brakes. A win-win!
- It feels well-made.
- It’s a reasonable price.
- The assembly was fairly easy.
- The seat is very comfortable.
- The customer support was great.
- The instructions were not very good.
How to choose the best bike
Every company advertises its product like it’s the best thing since sliced bread, but it’s not always like that. You’ll need to look out for a few things to find the perfect ride for your child. Here’s a list of all the factors you should be extra careful about!
Consider the size
Some children grow very fast, while others linger around the same height for months. Bikes aren’t a one-size fits all product. You’ll need to take a few measurements to find the right size for your kid.
The most important measurement you’ll need is the inseam, which will determine the minimum seat height of the seat. The ride’s stand-over height should be as tall as the child’s inseam, at the very least.
Kids are very tiny creatures, and giving them wheels heavier than them will only result in injuries. Ideally, the ride should weigh only 30% of your child’s weight. While this might seem difficult, many lightweight bikes in the market will be perfect for your kid.
Other than the general construction of the bike, the size of the wheel also plays a huge role. The most common sizes were 12-inch, 14-inch, and 18-inch tires. 12-inch bikes, the smallest option, often come with training wheels and pedals. But as times change, balance bikes (bikes with no pedals) have risen in popularity. Kids use these to learn to balance and then upgrade to real bikes with pedals. Using a balance bike allows children to get rid of training wheels and move right onto 14-inch rides.
Regarding wheel size, the larger option is more beneficial since it easily glides over rocks, bumps, and cracks.
If your child keeps falling off their wheels, it might not be their fault. Some rides are just built poorly. A few things separate a well-built ride from a faulty one. For instance, a good bike has a longer wheelbase and a small distance between the pedals. It also needs to have a low center of gravity so it’s easier for the child to control it.
The geometry of the bike
Besides those factors, the geometry of the ride also determines how comfortable your child will be on the bike. If the top tube and the down tube of the ride are completely straight, then the ride’s geometry is considered upright. The upright geometry is suitable if your kids are super athletic and know their way around a bike.
Avoid coaster brakes at all costs.
When children learn to bike and pedal, they accidentally backpedal a lot. And if you’re using coaster brakes, it can cause the vehicle to stop suddenly. This sudden stop might not be an issue for you, but for the little ones, it’s very stressful. Instead, opt for hand brakes which are easier and more efficient to use.
While we’re on the topic of brakes, ensure that even the handbrakes are easy to use. They need to be smooth enough to operate effectively!
Your bike’s size will depend on your four-year-old height since no child is built the same. If your child is around the average height, which is 40 inches, then a bike with a 15–20-inch inseam will fit just fine. Don’t rely on wheel sizes as your guide because each brand will have drastically different measurements. Instead, measure your child’s inseam and use that as a guide for the seat’s height.
There is no right or wrong age when it comes to riding a bike by yourself. Generally, kids start to get the hang of the wheels without assistance at 5-7. But that’s just an estimate. There are several stages to learning the required motor skills needed to ride a bike. Don’t be alarmed if your child takes longer to understand the mechanics and workings of a cycle!
It seems redundant to change a method that has worked for centuries. But now might be the time to leave behind the training wheel. The extra assistance helps your child stay upright on the ride only. If you’re trying to teach your child to ride it, you don’t need the training wheels because they only hinder the process. The glide method, where the kid propels himself forward by walking or running, is a much more effective alternative.
4 years-olds have sufficient coordination and balance skills that they don’t need a ride with training wheels. You know your kid best, so if your child needs a little more time then that’s perfectly okay too!