You can buy a brand-new tricycle that looks exactly like one you rode as a kid. After considering more than 30 of today’s tricycles and test-driving 12 of them with a dozen kids, we think most people whose kids are still toddlers should get the Joovy TriCyCoo 4.1. This grow-with-me tricycle offers significantly more versatility than competitors.
But it lacks a back support, adjusts only a bit to accommodate taller riders, and is very heavy at 21¼ pounds. In our tests, the Classic Red was harder to ride than the Joovy or any of our other picks. With a wide rear wheel position, the Meridian tricycle provides more stability than a bicycle so riders of all experience levels can get around easily. The low standover aluminum frame makes it easy to get on and off, while the extra-large seat offers superior comfort on every ride.
Even though the company sells more to institutions than directly to parents, you can buy an Angeles tricycle at retail. It comes at a higher price than our picks, but you can likely pass it on to other kids as well. Despite its heavier weight, we found that the smooth-riding Angeles was as easy to start and pedal as our pick. The preassembled bike is schwinn mountain bike extremely stable, with spokeless wheels and a large banana seat that accommodates up to 70 pounds of weight, so it remains fun for bigger kids after they’ve outgrown our other picks. The Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer & Stroll isn’t as versatile as our pick for littler kids, because it doesn’t have a protective ring and straps to hold a baby in place.
My 1-year-old was able to sit comfortably in the seat—unlike the Joovy and Radio Flyer this trike has no straps—but he kept sliding forward onto his crotch and standing on the foot rests. On the other hand, the SmarTrike has a completely independent push-steering system, so even if a kid is jerking the steering column to the left, you can still turn right. In the older-kid configuration the trike seemed a little small and underpowered compared with the other convertibles we tested. “Trikes are really the first tool that give kids the sense of moving forward,” says Judy Wang, a physical therapist based in Los Angeles.
Light-up features and engine sounds add the alluring characteristics of the real thing into the mix. And while having fun is on the agenda, your little one will learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills along the way. The SmarTrike Lollipop 3 in 1 Baby Trike is designed for babies starting at 10 months up to kids 3 years, a narrower age range than other convertible trikes.
The molded plastic seat slides back on a track to be adjustable for bigger kids. It took a little longer for my son to get moving on this trike than on the Joovy, schwinn mountain bike but the ride was smooth once he got up to speed. For bigger kids, the Schwinn Roadster 12-inch Trike is a shiny, gorgeous tricycle that’s fast and fun to ride.
My wife loves the size, comfort and ease to mount and dismount. We have used this bike for about two weeks now and are totally pleased. Ecotric bikes are built well and a pleasure to operate. That’s the bit that lets you coast along without pedalling, and the rear chain will keep moving with the rear wheels. Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions.