10 Best Toddler Bikes for Your 1 and 2-year-old

The best bike for a toddler depends on their age and level of physical development. There are only two types of toddler bikes we recommend – (1) Ride-on toys,  and (2) balance bikes. Young toddlers don’t have the motor skills for a balance bike yet, so ride-on toys are best for them until they are 18 months or just turning 2 years old.

collage showing a toddler progress on three different ride on toys

While cute, tricycles or bikes with training wheels are not good bikes for toddlers.  Both of these options encourage children to be dependent on their parents for help and are generally very difficult to maneuver. They also usually hinder a child’s progress in learning to ride an actual bike.

Why trust us? We have personally tested all these bikes and toys with our own kids for over 10 years! Unlike other websites, we don’t just create lists, we put bikes to the test and only recommend products we’ve actually used ourselves.

Toddler Bike Toddler Age Why We Love It Price
Best Starting Age: 9 months +
GOMO Sprout 9 mo - 24 mo Ride On Toy for Babies $29
Chillafish Trackie 9 mo - 3 yo Walker, Rocker + Ride-On $50
Wheely Bug 9 mo - 4 yo Cute and Fun Factor $89
Best Starting Age: 12 months +
YBIKE Pewi 1 - 3 yo Easiest to Maneuver $55
Hape Scoot Around 1 - 2 yo An Easy, Stable Ride $55
Chillafish QUADIE 1 - 2.5 yo Adjustable Seat $45
Radio Flyer Retro Rocket 1 - 2 yo Extra Stable $49
Best Starting Age: 18 months +
Micro Mini 3-in-1 18 mo- 2.5 yo Easy Gliding $119
woom 1 18 mo - 3 yo Best Quality Bike $249
Strider Sport 18 mo - 4 yo Great Universal Fit $129

Want to see our top picks in action? Watch our little toddler bike testers in action and learn what we love about each bike on our list.


Some people picture a toddler bike as a tricycle, while others think it’s a sit-on toy or a tiny pedal bike with training wheels. Before we jump into the details of our favorite toddler bikes, let’s first clarify what the three different options are, and the pros and cons of each.

1. Ride-On Toys: Best for 1-year-olds

1-year-old toddler riding on the Hape Scoot Around, Radio Flyer Retro Rocket, Pewi YBike, and Chillafish Bunzi.

The ride-on toys we recommend do two things:  (1) teach a toddler to push with their feet (AKA, no pedals!), and (2) teach them to maintain their balance while sitting and moving. Basically, bikes that keep things simple and help prepare them for the next step – a balance bike! That’s why we often call them “pre-balance” bikes.

We also consider important features like stability, steering ability, and seat height range.

Many babies start using ride-on toys before they are 1-year-old, but will most likely need a lot of assistance from parents until they develop the skills to move that bike on their own.

All of our selections in this category have three or four wheels which will keep the bike upright. This saves the skill of true balancing on two wheels for a little later in a child’s development.

These ride-on toys are designed primarily for indoor use. While they certainly can be used outside, they are more likely to tip on a non-smooth surface and the wheels will wear out more quickly. Be sure to put on a helmet when riding outside!

2. Balance Bikes: Best for 18-months and 2-Years-Old

toddler riding on three different balance bikes - Swagtron K3, Yedoo Too Too, Prevelo Alpha Zero

If your toddler is anywhere from 18 months to just turning 2 years old, they may be ready for a balance bike! With only two wheels, balance bikes teach toddlers the art of balancing from an incredibly young age, and will prevent the drama of training wheels later on.

Once mastered, they provide the most natural and fun riding experience of any of toddler bike. Just remember to set realistic expectations when you hand your child a balance bike, especially if they are younger than 2 years old. Because kids on balance bikes ride independently, it does take longer to “master” a balance bike.

While our experience has shown that the best time to start on a balance bike is between 18 months and 2 years old, older toddlers also love balance bikes and benefit hugely from learning to ride a bike in this manner.

3. Tricycles and Training Wheels

Side by side comparison of toddler riding Radio Flyer tricycle, and child riding 12 inch bike with training wheels.

While tricycles and training wheels are both still more common than balance bikes, we DO NOT RECOMMEND this option. Parents are familiar with them because that’s what we used when we were young.

We encourage you to steer clear of tricycles or training wheels and explore the brave (and better!) new world of balance bikes instead. For more reasons we prefer balance bikes over tricycles and training wheels, check out our article all about it!


Toddler ride-on toys are ideal for littles ones ages 9 to 18 months who need extra help with stability and don’t yet have the motor skills to take on a balance bike. We love ride-on toys as they teach kids to sit and push with their feet, just like a balance bike.

GOMO Sprout Baby Balance Bike

Best Balance Bike for Babies

14 month old and 24 month old riding Gomo Sprout baby balance bike

MSRP: $29

BEST FIT: Babies and toddlers in size 12 months to 2T clothing

WEIGHT: 3 lbs.

FEATURES: Adjustable-height handlebars and seat, steering

With a low seat height combined with low handlebars, the GOMO Sprout is the smallest bike of the bunch and is best suited for the youngest and smallest early walkers. But it’s also the only baby bike on our list that has height-adjustable handlebars (about 4″) and saddle (about 3″), which makes it a better fit as your toddler grows.

As an added bonus, the Sprout is also available in a “flip frame” version. The GOMO Sprout Flip extends the life of the bike by flipping the frame over, which allows the seat height and handlebars to be raised even higher. If your toddler is already about 36 months, we recommend buying the Flip version so they have plenty of time and room to grow.

The GOMO Sprout features narrowish-set rear wheels that offer great stability, but also don’t interfere with a toddler’s stride. And with a lightweight, extremely low step-through frame, the Sprout is exceptionally easy for your little one to move around and get on and off. 


  • Handlebars and seat are height adjustable for a better fit as your child grows
  • Low center-of-gravity design for great stability
  • Low step through frame makes it easy to get on and off
  • Soft, cushioned seat
  • Simple assembly takes just a few minutes


  • Because it’s so lightweight, it doesn’t stay grounded for older, heavier pre-schoolers who want to go fast


Easiest to Maneuver

toddler girl standing next to the pewi ybike ride on toy

MSRP: $55

BEST FIT: Babies and toddlers in 12 months to 3T clothing

WEIGHT: 3.87 lbs.

FEATURES: 4 caster wheels, no steering (but multi-directional movement)


After months of watching our toddler and her friends ride various ride-on toys, the Pewi has emerged as our surprise favorite. It’s sooooo easy for a toddler to maneuver and the pure joy on their faces as they scoot around the house is easy proof that young ones love it!

The most unique among the bunch, the Pewi features small, caster-style wheels that allow a little rider to easily move in any direction. No super wide turns from twisting handlebars, or picking the bike up to turn it around, the caster wheels move in any direction like an office chair.

The benefit of the wheels is that kids don’t get stuck in a tight spot with limited ability to find a way out, and they’re super smooth for a fast and seamless ride. Be aware though, that the wheels are really fast. Although the Pewi can be used outside, we wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re in a large, open area (like a school ground black top) where there is no chance that your toddler could get into the street.

The Pewi is also designed to be a “walking buddy” push-toy for kids as young as 9 months. While in theory this is a really cool idea, the caster wheels cause the bike to move so quickly in front of the walking child that they can’t keep up unless they’re already a very confident walker or using it on thick carpet. We do absolutely recommend it as a push-toy though. Our barely 1-year-old confident walkers and even older toddlers loved pushing it around the house and seeing it move so fast.

Another surprise benefit is that its unique shape makes it easy for older riders (we’re talking 8 and 10-year-olds!) to ride it. This was one baby toy the entire family has enjoyed!


  • Smooth caster-style wheels make maneuvering a breeze
  • Super stable
  • Adorable design looks like a tiny person
  • Confident riders love how fast they can go
  • Available in four colors


  • Speed of bike could be dangerous outdoors if not used with caution
  • Caster wheels move too fast for the “Walking Buddy” function with less-confident walkers
  • Somewhat detailed assembly required

Hape Scoot Around

Best for an Easy, Stable Ride

1 year old and 2 year old riding the hape scoot around

MSRP: $55

BEST FIT: Babies and toddlers in 12 months to 2T clothing

WEIGHT: 5.7 lbs.

FEATURES: 4 plastic/foam wheels, steering

FULL REVIEW: Hape Scoot Around

The Hape Scoot Around is one of those “just right” bikes for little babes still gaining confidence. It’s cute, functional, super stable, and moves easily for little legs – but not too fast to make them (and you!) nervous. Its steering function is smooth and easy, but also limited in range to prevent tight-turn tip-overs.

With two wheels in front and two wide-set wheels in back, it’s one of the most stable bikes we tested. With higher handlebars than many baby balance bikes, it feels like a much bigger bike and will allow your little one to ride it longer as they grow.


  • Two wheels in front and two wide-set wheels in back for maximum stability
  • Smooth and easy steering
  • Higher handlebars for a comfortable, upright body position and more room for growth
  • Wheels roll with minimal effort and at just the right speed for little ones


  • Detailed assembly required
  • Only available in two colors

Chillafish Trackie

Best Multi-use: Rocker/Walker/Ride-On

1 year old riding a Chillafish Trackie toddler bike ride on toy. Collage showing as rocker, as walker, and as ride-on toy.

MSRP: $50

BEST FIT: Babies and toddlers in 12 months to 4T clothing

WEIGHT: 3.5 lbs.

FEATURES: 4 multi-directional caster wheels, no steering, 4 modes of play – rocker, walker, ride-on toy & ability to connect multiple Trackies together, 2 seat heights 

The Chillafish Trackie may be the most versatile ride-on toy out there. The Trackie has 4 different ways to play, and 3 of the 4 are specific to developmental milestones. This truly is an all-in-one toy that will grow  with your baby, toddler, and even preschooler.

The Trackie goes from sitting and rocking, to standing and walking, then to pushing and riding. The 4th mode of play is the ability to connect more than one Trackie together in a train. As your child starts to grow, they can use their Trackie in the way that suits them. 

Our baby tester started using the rocker function of the Trackie at just 11 months, and he could have used it even sooner. As long as your baby is a stable sitter and with supervision, they should be good to go. 

Our same 11 month old baby tester has also started using the stand and walk mode of the Trackie which has been the perfect height for this little guy (handles are roughly 15.5 inches from the ground).

We do warn parents that these multi-directional wheels are very quick on hardwood and tile flooring. Our baby tester can more safely maneuver his Trackie in the walking mode on carpet. 

Because the Trackie is one of the taller/larger ride-on toys out there, your child will need to be slightly older and taller to use the Trackie in ride-on mode. The benefit of this is that your child will fit the ride-on mode at a more developmentally appropriate time that most other ride-on toys (unless your child is very petite).

This is also a great toy for toddlers and preschoolers not taking to the balance bike just yet. With a height-adjustable seat, the larger Trackie will comfortably fit a child for much longer than any other ride-on toy we’ve tested.


  • Extremely versatile with 4 modes of play – rocker, walker, ride-on and connect multiple to become a train 
  • Multi-directional caster style wheels allows the toy to be maneuvered effortlessly
  • 2 seat height positions – “grow-with-me” design provides an appropriate seat height based on a child’s developmental stage
  • Anti-tip system for more safety
  • Toy can be utilized by a wide range of ages 1 – 4 years old 
  • Toy comes assembled and no tools required for changing modes of play or adjusting seat height


  • Caster wheels move too quickly on hardwood, vinyl or tile flooring for less confident walkers

Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug

Cute and Fun Factor

Prince Lionheart wheely bug lady bug toddler bike great size for 1 year olds

MSRP: $89

BEST FIT:  Small – 12 months – 3T clothing (11 inch inseam); Large – 3T clothing+ (13 inch inseam). Prince Lionheart recommends a size small for toddlers up to 3T. However, a child between 2T and 3T may want to use the large vs. a small.

WEIGHT: 4.4 lbs (small)

FEATURES: Cushioned body and seat, 4 multi-directional caster wheels, no steering

With seven different Wheely Bug animals to choose from, this ride-on toy definitely wins for cute factor. But it’s also one of the easiest ride-on toys to use, even from a very young age. Due to its low seat (seat height about 8.6 inches from the ground), it allowed for an average-height, 8-month-old baby to sit comfortably and touch the ground with shoes on.

At 9 months the same baby reviewer started to make tiny movements forward with his feet and legs while being spotted and assisted by a parent (as he can’t walk yet). He also loves just sitting on his Wheely Bug, which is great balancing practice!

The multi-directional caster wheels make the toy almost effortless to maneuver  (only a few toddler bikes use caster wheels). The wheels not only go forward, backward, and side to side, but can spin 360°. These multi-directional wheels allow easy navigation for tiny tots or babies. Even our 9-month-old baby tester was able to enjoy the Wheely Bug as he crawls and pushes or drags his lady bug with him. 

While the Wheely Bug can be used outside, the wheels don’t maneuver quite as well over bumps or cracks like on a sidewalk. Pavement, dirt, and sand can also cause damage to the wheels. However, you can order replacement wheels.


  • Multi-directional caster wheels – wheels can spin 360°
  • Low seat allows younger babies to use while assisted by parents
  • Low center of gravity – very stable
  • Comes in 2 sizes – small and large, as well as 7 different animal styles
  • Easily wipes clean
  • Cushioned body and seat
  • Comes 100% assembled


  • Best use is indoors
  • Low seat makes babies’/toddlers’ feet drag if pushing them on the toy (one more reason to teach them to move independently!)

Chillafish QUADIE

Height Adjustable Seat

Young toddler riding Chillafish Quadie toddler bike

PRICE: $45

BEST FIT: Babies and toddlers in 12 – 2T clothing

FEATURES: 4 rubber wheels, steering, height-adjustable seat

FULL REVIEW: Chillafish Bunzi

The Chillafish QUADIE, available in several fun colors, has four wheels set wide enough to be quite stable. Weighing in at just 5.6 lbs, it’s lightweight and easy for little ones to propel forward and maneuver. 

While the littlest ones may struggle a bit with steering, older toddlers will appreciate that smooth steering, which is also a helpful skill to learn before transitioning to a balance bike. 

We especially appreciate the QUADIE’s height-adjustable seat, which is rare for a ride along toy! There are three settings, with a min of 8.25” and a max of 9.9”. As a reference point, the Hape’s seat height is 8.75”.

We previously had the Chillafish Bunzi on this list, but after getting our hands on the QUADIE, we think it’s a better design for most kids. The Bunzi has just a single wheel in front and two close-set wheels in back, and was the least stable of the bikes we tested. 

And while the Bunzi converts to a balance bike, the seat height for balance bike mode is very low – too low for most toddlers to comfortably ride by the time they are ready to attempt a balance bike. 

The one downside to the Quadie over the Bunzie is that the Quadie’s wider-set rear wheels do interfere with a child’s stride. However, those wide-set wheels make it more stable, which we’ve seen to really increase a toddler’s confidence.


  • Grows with your toddler – ~ 1.5″ seat height adjustment
  • Very stable
  • Lightweight, high-quality ABS plastic frame
  • Silent anti-skid TPE tires suitable for indoors or outdoors
  • Seat lifts up for under-seat storage
  • Easy assembly
  • Available in four colors


  • Kids can hit their legs on wider-set rear wheels

Radio Flyer Retro Rocket

Extra StableBest for Timid Kids

1 year old riding the radio flyer retro rocket toddler bike

MSRP: $49

BEST FIT: Babies and toddlers in 12 month to 3T clothing. (While this has the lowest seat height of the bikes on our list, it has a wide seat which requires kids to splay their legs quite a bit).

WEIGHT: 4.6 lbs.

FEATURES: 4 small wheels, NO steering

Radio Flyer excels at making adorable kid vehicles, and the Radio Flyer Retro Rocket is no exception. With a rocket nose that turns and clicks, to light-up launching buttons that also talk, the Retro Rocket will entertain your little one beyond a traditional ride. The Rocket also features a lift up seat with quite a large cargo area to carry dolls, blocks, sippy cups, and secret treasures. 🙂

While the quality on the Retro Rocket isn’t quite what we’d expect from Radio Flyer (pretty basic plastic and rub-on side stickers), it’s still a solid little ride-on toy and the most budget-friendly toddler bike on our list.


  • Super stable with four wide set wheels
  • For timid riders, its lack of steering/turning keeps things simple
  • Fun, light-up buttons with noises
  • Comes 100% assembled
  • Most budget-friendly


  • Stickers on side aren’t the best quality and have bubbles in them
  • Only moves forward and backwards, no ability to turn (can be a benefit for timid kids, but limits overall maneuverability)

Micro Mini 3-in-1 Deluxe

Best Ride-On Toy: 18 mo+

1 year old on a micro mini 3 in 1 ride on toddler toy

MSRP: $119

FITS KIDS: Toddlers ages 12-months to 3-years (but best for 18-months+)

FEATURES: 3 easy-rolling wheels for gliding, 2 seat heights, converts to a scooter

FULL REVIEW: Micro Mini 3-in-1 Deluxe

With the Mini 3-in-1 Deluxe, our favorite scooter company converted their best selling scooter (the Micro Mini), into a smaller ride-on toy for toddlers. Essentially a scooter with a seat attached (that can later be removed), the Mini 3-in-1 rolls smooth and easy like a scooter, and offered the most “fun factor” for our toddler testers.

While the lean-to-turn maneuvering of the scooter is too complicated for toddlers in ride-on-toy mode, toddlers 18-months+ will quickly learn to pick up the Mini to turn, and then glide all over the house screaming “whee!!!!”. (Trust us, it’s adorable!) We love that the wheels allow kids to glide quickly, but are slower than the sometimes nerve-wracking Pewi.

The Mini’s narrow body allows kids to push off the ground and then lift their feet to glide. This feature is a great building block for toddlers who will then transition to a balance bike, where gliding is also the end goal.


  • 3 easy-rolling wheels roll fast and smooth
  • 2 seat heights to better accommodate toddlers as they grow
  • Narrow body prevents toddlers from hitting their legs on the wheels as they stride
  • Easily glides for more fun play as toddlers get older and more adventurous
  • Higher, round handlebar is easy for little ones to grab
  • Converts to a scooter


  • Steeper learning curve (but more fun when toddlers finally “get it”)
  • Difficult to maneuver for very young toddlers
  • If used as a scooter, kids often resist transitioning to a balance bike


Balance bikes are not only super cute, they are amazingly fun and educational! Once mastered (balance bikes do have a steeper learning curve than other ride-one toys), you’ll be amazed at what toddlers can do on their balance bike!

woom 1

Best Balance Bike: Overall

1 year old riding a woom balance bike for toddlers

MSRP: $249

FITS KIDS: Toddlers ages 18-months to 3-years

FEATURES: Air tires, hand brake, super lightweight aluminum frame, high-end, durable components


The woom 1 is hands-down the best balance bike you can buy. Weighing in just over 6 lbs, its light weight makes it much easier for little ones to maneuver. And with the lowest seat height of any balance bike on the market, it’s also the best option for little ones starting out early on their balance bike journey.

Air tires provide fantastic traction and cushioning, which allow your little explorer to safely and comfortably explore any terrain they choose. From skateparks to red dirt trails and asphalt pump tracks, our little testers have adventured just about everywhere with the woom 1!


  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Air tires and a handbrake
  • Overall geometry makes balancing a breeze
  • High-end components are fine-tuned and perfected for the most natural riding experience
  • Comes in 5 fun colors


  • Price may be high for some families

Strider Sport

Best Balance Bike: Universal Fit

toddler riding a green Strider balance bike

MSRP: $129

FITS KIDS: Toddlers ages 18-months to 4-years

FEATURES: Lightweight frame, easy-to-adjust seat height, 8″ of seat height adjustment

FULL REVIEW: Strider Bike

Strider is the most popular balance bike in the United States, and for good reason! For a reasonable price you get 8 whole inches of seat height range on a very durable, lightweight frame. A Strider balance bike fits a very wide range of kids, which allows your child to grow with their bike as long as they need to. This little workhorse will also last through several kids.


  • Lightweight
  • Extended seat post allows the Strider to fit a wider age range of kids
  • Well-designed with good quality parts
  • Smaller hand grips for little hands
  • Quick release seat post and handlebars for easy height adjustments


  • Foam tires don’t offer much cushioning or traction

How to Choose the Best Toddler Bike for a 1-Year-Old or 2-Year-Old

1 year old on the XJD balance bike for babies

Ride-on toys are the perfect toddler bike for your 1-year-old or 18-month-old. By 2-years-old we recommend moving on to a balance bike, which is a better fit and would be much better developmentally for your growing child.

In the meantime, what features of ride-on toys really matter? If you want the best experience for your 1-year-old, we recommend sticking to the ride-on toys that we consider to be “pre” balance bikes. Here’s our advice from our own experience.

No Pedals – Learning how to push

Young toddlers don’t have the coordination to pedal, so pedals simply aren’t needed!  We’ve found the best ride-on toys to be those that allow the child to sit and push with their feet. It addition to being able to independently ride the bike from day one,  it also teaches your toddler to push against the ground with their feet while sitting up straight – the perfect preparation for a balance bike!

Toddlers riding the Radio Flyer Retro Rocket ride on toys

Steering – A challenging skill for toddlers

Many ride-on toys have fixed front wheels that don’t turn left to right. Others have a front wheel that turns for steering. It really comes down to a matter of preference for your toddler.

For the lower end of the age group whom these ride-on toys are designed to fit, steering is too complicated. Especially when manufacturers state that their bike is for a 12-month-old – it would take a highly advanced 12-month-old to steer a bike. Once your toddler has developed more gross motor skills (for us, this was around 16 months), steering becomes more manageable and something your child may enjoy doing.

For those ride-on toys that don’t have steering, you might think if you’re paying so much, the wheels should at least turn, right?? Very likely, your young toddler will actually be able to manage better without the ability to steer.

toddlers of different aged riding the YBIKE pewi ride on bike

For example, with the Hape Scoot Around, one of our favorite toddler bikes, our youngest testers (12 months) would often get stuck it a situation with the front wheels turned and they didn’t know how to move forward. However, our slightly older toddlers (16 and 18 months), didn’t seem nearly as bothered by this and seemed to like the independence that turning the bike gave them.

The stand-out bike in this category is the YBIKE Pewi. With multi-directional wheels, it allows a toddler to easily maneuver in any direction without ever getting stuck. Toddlers of all ages loved the Pewi because it moved around with such ease, moving in the direction that they pushed their feet without added the complexity of intentional steering. Check out our video of the YBIKE Pewi in Action!

Age and Gross Motor Skills 

A baby needs to be able to walk before they can attempt any sort of toddler bike on their own. Many parents (myself included!) buy ride-on toys before their toddler is a steady walker because these bikes are so stinkin’ cute! Just be aware that you’ll likely need to help them on and off the bike and encourage them to use it at the youngest recommended ages. You may even be the one propelling them forward!

Three toddlers on ride-on toys. One happy with help from Mom, one sitting next to it who can't ride it yet, and one sitting on the Radio Flyer Retro Rocket crying

Putting the cuteness factor aside, the end-goal is for your toddler to independently use the ride-on toy and then carry that independence over to a balance bike. You don’t want to train your child to climb on a toddler bike and expect someone to push them.

Our advice is to allow your toddler as much independence as possible, while also being realistic about a 12-month-old’s abilities. Use this “pre” balance bike stage to your advantage!

If your toddler can’t easily stay on the bike by themselves or move themselves forward, there’s certainly nothing wrong with being a support. While every child is different, the point is that just because your toddler is already toddling confidently doesn’t mean they’re ready to ride a bike.

Desire and Temperament – Know your toddler

If you have a toddler, you know they’re going to do whatever they feel like, whenever they feel like it. And also refuse to do anything that doesn’t suit their fancy. Your child’s temperament is a huge consideration factor, and something only you truly understand!

While we 100% advocate for ride-on toys as “pre” balance bikes, it’s important to set your expectations. Just like with any toy, some kids take to particular activities more than others. And usually, it’s pretty hard to predict! Some kids will love their toddler bikes and eagerly ride them every day, while others will only ride them on occasion.

Kids who are naturally more independent will likely pick up riding despite any help from mom and dad, while really timid kids are likely to become dependent on their parents helping them out.

The desire to ride may also come with age. From about 11 to 16 months, my daughter would ride for a few minutes only if I put her on the bike and stood there encouraging her to do it. What she preferred to do was pull and drag the bikes around the house instead. Nothing wrong with that! (Especially the YBIKE Pewi which is actually designed for that!)

Two toddlers pushing the YBIKE Pewi toddler bike around the house

Between 16 and 17 months she finally started to be interested in riding. Now she sees the bikes, gets on them, and rides around the house independently.

Size – Toddler bikes vary in size

Ride-on toys are pretty small in size and are best suited for young toddlers, typically in 12-month to 2T pants.  Balance bikes are a better fit for older toddlers and preschoolers for both their size as well as helping build gross-motor skills.

Finding the best balance of “fits-me-now” and longevity of use can be hard. As with any toy, it’s ideal to buy a toddler bike at the earliest recommended stage to maximize its use. Especially because most of their seat heights are fixed (no adjusting up or down like a balance bike), as your toddler grows, ride-on toys become less of an optimal fit.

But even after a ride-on toy is no longer the perfect fit, our tall 2-year-old and older testers still had a blast scooting around the house. We even have 8 and 10-year-old kids that love racing around on the YBIKE Pewi!

1 year old and her sisters all riding the ybike pewi toddler bike

The width of the ride-on toy is something else to consider as it can make a huge difference in two ways. (1) If the rear wheels are set wide, a child can hit their feet on them each time they take a full stride. (2) Wider bikes are more difficult for a toddler to get on and off of by themselves.

For example, the body of the Radio Flyer Retro Rocket is quite wide. At 15.5 months, my very tall daughter would get frustrated trying to get on and off by herself. Now at almost 17 months, she’s able to manage on her own pretty well. Check out our video on the Radio Flyer Rocket in Action!

Bottom Line for Toddler Bikes and Ride-on Toys

Every toddler is unique and will do what they want. If you’re dying to get your 1-year-old an adorable bike – do it! Just be prepared for them to possibly ignore it. Or perhaps they’ll take right to it and never want to get off!

We recommend buying your toddler a ride-on toy early to maximize the time they can use it. Ideally, if they’re using it as a “pre”-balance bike, you will transition your toddler to a balance bike somewhere between 18-months and 2-years old. Keep that ride-on toy around though… kids still love playing with them even after they’ve been outgrown!

If your child is already 18 months old, and definitely if they’re approaching 2, you may want to look at balance bikes instead. Not only are ride-on toys generally not the best fit for kids after age 2, but most 2-year-olds are developmentally ready for a balance bike.

Kudos to you for building your toddler’s love of biking at a young age. From safety equipment to learning how to ride a bike, check out our additional articles to help guide your child on their biking journey.

10 Best Bike Helmets for Babies and Toddlers: Our favorite helmet that are both comfortable and easy to use.

Child Bike Carriers: Learn about all the different ways to bring your little one with you while you ride!

10 Best Bike Trailers: We’ve tested over 40 bike trailers to find the best for every budget

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