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Best trikes for toddlers and preschoolers, as recommended by real parents

If you have a child eager to get on wheels, we've rounded up Mumsnetters' top picks to help you choose the best trike for your child. Our expertly-curated list includes the safest, most fun and longest-lasting tricycles on the market to get your little one riding with confidence.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Aug 18, 2023

best trikes collage

Learning to ride a bike has been a rite of passage for children for generations but until recently they had to wait until they were around five to have the skills to make a start. These days, the best trikes make it possible for little ones to learn at an earlier age, helping them gain the skills needed to pedal and balance before they're old enough to consider a bike. As a result, tricycles are a helpful introduction to the world of cycling and a good alternative to traditional kids' bikes, ride-ons and trusty balance bikes.

Whether you've splashed out on a great paddling pool, invested in the best trampoline for your garden, or have a new hammock you're keen to try out, anything that helps get your kids outdoors and into the fresh air is worth its weight in gold. As well as allowing children to burn excess energy and have fun outdoors, trikes also help to develop gross motor skills, as they learn to steer, turn, grip the handle bars, and also pedal their feet alternately. And of course, learning to ride a trike builds confidence and resilience, too.

With summer just around the corner we’ll all be looking for ways to make the most of warm, dry days and spend as much time as possible outdoors, and heading out for a ride on a trike is a great option for active little ones. Most toddlers are very keen to do things on their own, so choosing the right trike for them - one which allows them to feel in control and safe - can help them to enjoy freedom and gain more independence. But, like children, trikes come in all shapes and sizes and what fits one may not fit another. So you'll want to choose a tricycle that's suitable for your child's age while also thinking about safety and development.

To help you choose the right one for your toddler, we've gathered a detailed guide of the best trikes for toddlers in the UK for you.

10 of the best trikes for babies and toddlers - at a glance:

1. Best overall trike: Little Tikes 4-in-1 My First Trike

Little Tikes 4-in-1 My First Trike

Price on writing: £100 | Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Age: 9 months + | Warranty: 1 year

What we love

  • Great safety features

  • 4 different ways to use

  • Looks great

What to know

  • Assembly instructions can be tricky to follow

What Mumsnet users say

“We got a little tikes trike for my one year old. The type with a handle, so we can push/steer but it adapts so he can ride it himself when he’s big enough. It's done so much mileage already!” (Recommended by LemonLemonLemon)

Our verdict

Little Tikes tricycles come highly recommended – and with good reason. The My First Trike is a four-in-one tricycle that can be used from just nine months old all the way up to two years, supporting children in the early stages of their riding development. With an adjustable and detachable push handle for parents, it's great for those times in the park when you'd just like to move that tiny bit quicker. The three-point seatbelt and protective safety bar also keep younger children securely in the seat, and the bar can be removed when they're ready to be a bit more independent.

We love that when the waist bar is installed the child isn’t able to turn the handlebars so the parent is in full control of the bike. Then as the child gets bigger and more independent you can let them take a bit of control, then finally you can remove the parent handle altogether to be left with a classic trike for the child to ride independently. All-in-all, this tricycle is the ideal option for children eager to get started and it's one that will grow with them too.

Related: The best scooters for kids, tried and tested by Mumsnetters

2. Best budget trike: Scuttlebug


Price on writing: £24.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 12 months to 3 years | Warranty: 1 year

What we love

  • No assembly needed

  • Folds for easy storage

  • Fun design

What to know

  • Can’t adjust the height

What Mumsnet users say

“DS had a balance bike at 2 but it wasn’t until he was 3 that he really got into it. He loved his scuttlebug at that age though.”  (Recommended by Spudlet)

Our verdict

When it comes to trikes, the Scuttlebug is a firm favourite for toddlers learning to balance and steer. With four designs to choose from – the Butterfly, Beetle, Bumblebee and Grasshopper – the Scuttlebug is a fun, easy-to-manoeuvre ride-on for one-year-olds who are keen to get moving.

The scratch-free wheels mean it stays in good condition so should be good for a hand-me-down and its front-wheel steering makes it really easy for toddlers to move exactly where they want to go.  The folding system means it can also go in the car for holidays and trips out easily and can be stored away between children. We like the fact that it can be used both indoors and out, making it an ideal choice for parents in need of a budget-friendly all-rounder to keep kids busy during playtime.

Looking for more like this? Check out our guide to the best ride-on toys for one-year-olds and up.

3. Best lightweight trike: Micro Trike

Micro Trike

Price on writing: £97.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 18 months to 3 years | Warranty: not listed, but all parts are replaceable

What we love

  • Extremely lightweight

  • Folds down for storage

  • Adjustable parent handle

What to know

  • Can tip going up and down kerbs

Our verdict

One of the downsides of anything on wheels is how much time you are sure to spend carrying it back from the park. While pushing a pushchair. And carrying shopping. And stopping a toddler wandering into the road. So anything that is lightweight and easy to carry is a boon. Enter the Micro Trike, which is compact, folds easily and weighs just 2.7kg. It has puncture-proof wheels, a safety belt and an adjustable footrest, so it’s really robust and feels sturdy, despite its lack of heft.

It’s pedal free so your child can propel it with their feet or it can be pushed using the adjustable parent handle, and it folds down easily to go in the car boot or be carried over your shoulder, which means you get lots more use out of it as it’s so easy to get it out and about.  The only complaints we’ve heard are that you have to be careful taking it up and down kerbs as, like with most trikes, it can tip. And taller parents have said they’d like the parent steering arm to go higher. But otherwise, the Micro Trike tends to seriously impress with its manoeuvrability and lightweight compactness.

4. Best multifunction trike: Globber 4-in-1 explorer

Globber 4-in-1 explorer

Price on writing: £129.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 10 months to 5 years | Warranty: 2 years limited

What we love

  • All in one training trike and balance bike

  • Comfortable to ride

  • Tool-free for switching between modes

  • Pedals store neatly in balance bike mode

What to know

  • Weighs 20kg so may feel heavy for some to lift/carry

Our verdict

This great looking trike from Globber is ideal for growing kids and easily adapts to suit them at different ages. It starts off as a solid, sturdy infant trike that’s suitable from 10 months old and is perfect for helping them learn to pedal and build their bike-riding confidence. Then as they get older you can easily convert the infant trike to a guided bike, then training bike, and finally to a balance bike by switching the wheels round and storing the pedals under the comfy, anti-slip seat.

We love the look of this bike as well as the fact that it will last for such a long time thanks to the way it can be changed from trike to balance bike. It also has an adjustable seat so it really can grow with your child and high-quality EVA foam wheels so you never have to worry about punctures. And best of all you don’t need any tools to make any of the adjustments so it’s easy to make changes on the go.

5. Best ride-on trike: Galt Toys Tiny Trike

Galt Toys Tiny Trike

Price on writing: £52.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 12 months + | Warranty: Not stated

What we love

  • Easy to put together

  • Chunky, solid design

  • Safety steering lock

What to know

  • Handle bars can become loose over time

Our verdict

Looking for something more traditional? Galt Toys' Tiny Trike is the ideal ride-on for children aged one or over. Built from hardwood for maximum durability and lots of charm, this wooden trike also boasts a safety steering lock. It has dual front wheels so although it’s a trike shape there are actually four wheels, which makes it much more stable for younger children to sit on.

While the wood does look gorgeous, remember this might be more of an indoor one than an outdoor one, particularly in bad weather. However, for younger children just wanting to scoot around the living room, it’s ideal. It also sits at the lower end of the price range, which means it's an affordable option for most families looking for their very first tricycle.

6. Best trike with parent handles: Q Play Rito Star Folding Trike

Q Play Rito Star Folding Trike

Price on writing: £89.99 | Buy now from Smyths

Key specs

Age: 10 - 36 months | Warranty: Not stated

What we love

  • 3 stages of use

  • Easy to fold down

  • Solid and sturdy

What to know

  • Not as big an age range as other options

What Mumsnet users say

“We are getting DS a trike as part of his first birthday in June. I’m currently looking at the Kinderkraft Aston or the Q Play Rito” (Recommended by Mumsnetter NEAKT5)

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a trike that you can use instead of the buggy on trips to the park and out and about then the Q Play Rito Star is a great option. From as young as 10 months your child can sit in the comfy seat, put their feet up on the footrests, and enjoy the view while you have full control. We love that the handle on this trike is similar to those on a pushchair so you can comfortably use both hands to push and steer.

As your child gets older you can fold up the footrests and they can start pedaling. The freewheel function means that they can move their handlebars but not actually steer the trike, so you are still in control and can make sure they don’t crash into anything. Then when they’re ready you can take the parent handle off and they can take full control for themselves. We love the little details on this trike like the sun canopy for bright sunny days, removable non-slip pedals, and the little storage basket on the back.

7. Best trike with safety belt: Chad Valley My First Trike

Chad Valley My First Trike

Price on writing: £42 | Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Age: 2 years + | Warranty: 1 year

What we love

  • Easy grip handles and chunky wheels

  • Bright and colourful

  • Removeable parent handle

What to know

  • Can’t steer with the parent handle

What Mumsnet users say

“A trike is perfect for a one year old! They are just developing their fine motor skills and the freedom that a trike brings can really help to promote their independence.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user NewBabyToys)

Our verdict

If colour's what you're after then you can't go far wrong with the Chad Valley My First Trike. With grippy handles and wide wheels, this trike is great for short trips to the park with toddlers who are just building up confidence – and it won't break the bank if they soon want to trade it in for a balance bike.

It also features a safety belt, handy storage bucket and a parent handle for those times when they just want a little push. The handle is a little bit tricky to steer with at times but is still useful for when little legs are getting tired and need a helping hand to get moving.

8. Best balance trike: Trybike Steel Balance Trike

Trybike Steel Balance Trike

Price on writing: £139.95 | Buy now from Mountain Warehouse

Key specs

Age: 12 months to 6 years | Warranty: 1 year

What we love

  • Lovely classic style

  • Low centre of gravity for stability

  • Wide rubber tyres for great grip

What to know

  • Quite pricey

  • Can’t fold it down

Our verdict

This vintage-style trike looks beautiful with its chunky, grippy rubber tyres, built in footrest, and steel frame. Unlike the other trikes in our list, the Trybike doesn’t have any pedals and is meant as a safe and sturdy introduction to balance bikes. And once they get bigger and build up their confidence you can use the supplied tools to convert the trike to a balance bike to last them all the way up to 6 years old.

The trike is also lower to the ground than a lot of other models which makes it super stable thanks to the low centre of gravity and also makes it really easy for even young children to get on and off. You can’t fold this trike down and it is on the heavy side so it’s not as portable as other options, but it looks stunning, is incredibly well-made, and will last families for years.

9. Best multi stage trike for comfort: Doona Liki Trike

Doona Liki Trike

Price on writing: £199 | Buy now from Boots

Key specs

Age: 10 months to 3 years | Warranty: Not listed

What we love

  • Useful storage and travel bag

  • Compact when folded

  • Dual steering system

What to know

  • Quite pricey

What Mumsnet users say

“Doona trike. The absolute best things I've ever bought for my toddler. Quite pricey but worth every penny imo.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user AYearOfCushions)

Our verdict

The Doona is a great trike to take your child from first wheels to a proper bike. You start with it in Parent Mode from 10-18 months with sides and a canopy to keep your child safe and protect them from the elements. From 18 to 24 months you use it in Push Mode where the sides come off but the parent control bar remains and your child’s feet go on the foot rest. Pedals are added for Tricycle Mode from 24-30 months and then the control bar comes off and they’re off on their own in Bike Mode from 30-36 months.

The best thing about the design of the Doona is the one-click fold and unfold button that allows you to fold it down for storage. It’s really compact when folded and should easily fit into the boot of your car or a cupboard under the stairs.

10. Best trike for beginners: Smoby Trike

Smoby Trike

Price on writing: £39.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age: 15 months to 3 years | Warranty: Not listed

What we love

  • Wide handlebars and ergonomic design

  • Silent wheels

What to know

  • Can be top heavy when used by older children

What Mumsnet users say

“The trike has been used daily this year. She loves it. We can walk miles. She jumps on and off, easy for me to push, handle will eventually come off when she can reach to peddle but we are a while off that. So it's more a pushchair replacement. Bag on back and easy to manage her walking and that.”  (Recommended by Mumsnetter IceDaisy)

Our verdict

Sleek, stylish and touchably chunky, this Smoby trike is a thing of beauty that you won’t resent having in a corner of your home and will be happy to be seen pushing. The ergonomic seat and wide handles make it a super-comfy ride, and the silent wheels mean no irritating squeaks as you do laps of the park.

A safety belt and non-slip handles give your child a feeling of security, though some reviews suggest the wheels are so light that the trike sometimes feels a little top heavy when a bigger child is sitting in it. The parent control bar lets you help her steer her way and can be adjusted to different heights so it’s comfortable for different adults to use. The handlebars and seat on the trike can also be adjusted so it can grow with your child from 15 months to 3 years old.  It would be nice if this model could grow with your child even more to help her make steps towards riding a bike, but as a first trike, this is a good price and is an excellent way to get your child into their first set of wheels.

Which kind of trike is best for different ages?

Trikes span a huge age range with some suitable from as young as 10 months, but most trikes start at the one year mark.

From 12 months to around 2 years, look for a model that has a parent control bar and good straps and safety belt so your child can’t fall out of the trike if you go over a bump. Side bars should also enclose them a bit so that they feel secure. They don’t ‘need’ pedals at this stage but will soon be wanting to learn to use them - look out for footrests instead.

At two years plus, you’ll still want a bit of parental control but might be looking at a model where you can remove the handle bar to help them start to propel themselves under their own steam.

By three years old, you’re looking at more of a traditional type of trike, with handlebars and pedals, or possibly a balance bike style where they push themselves along with their feet on the ground.

Read next: The best school bags to buy, as recommended by Mumsnetters

Balance bikes vs trikes

Many Mumsnet users say they favour balance bikes over tricycles, citing the transition to pedalling as being much easier (and often shorter) thanks to the absence of training wheels right from the get-go.

However, while balance bikes teach kids how to balance, trikes help them to master pedalling without ever having to worry about balance, and are a great option for use indoors as well as out.

How to choose the best trike

When choosing the right trike for you and your child, be sure to think about the following:

Assembly – consider opting for a trike that requires little to no assembly so your child can get riding straight away. And for trikes that can be adapted as your child grows look at whether you need specific tools to make adjustments or if they’re easy to do on-the-go.

Frame – the heavier the frame, the harder the trike will be for your child to lift and, of course, for you to carry. Lightweight is key!

Tyres – a grippy set of wheels and puncture-proof tyres are best suited to rough terrain, so if you plan to use the trike on the grass in your local park, then opt for a trike with large wheels.

Size – find a trike perfectly suited to your child's age and development.

Seat – an adjustable and comfy seat will mean that the trike grows with your child.

Usage – consider a folding tricycle if you don't have much storage space or need to transport it regularly. A trike with a parent push handle will allow you to control the trike if you need to. A wooden trike is the best type of trike to use indoors or on a smooth surface.

Material – look for a trike made of sturdy materials (metal may be more serviceable for you than plastic).

Safety – keep an eye out for additional safety features, including a safety harness, sun hood and steering lock, and make sure that your chosen trike meets European safety standards.

What’s the best trike to buy?

If you spend a fair bit of time outdoors as a family either going for walks or visiting the park then the Little Tikes 4-in-1 Trike is the best trike to buy. You can use it instead of the buggy from 9 months and it will then grow and adapt with your child up to the age of 2 years, by which point they may well be ready for a balance bike instead. With great safety features, good looks,and a sturdy parent handle with drinks holder you really can’t go wrong with the Little Tikes Trike.

Little Tikes 4-in-1 My First Trike

“We got a Little Tikes trike for my one year old... It's done so much mileage already!”


Little Tikes

Buy now

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real parents

Before recommending the best trikes and bicycles for toddlers and kids, we asked our trusted Mumsnet users, of which there are more than 10 million each month... That's a lot of honest, impartial advice. We've spent time researching the trikes that come most highly recommended, consulting parents on the Mumsnet forums.

Expert guidance

We always ensure our information represents the latest recommendations from experts so you can rely on it, and we research each product thoroughly to ensure it follows the latest expert advice and stands up to scrutiny. Here we consulted reputable sources such as consumer watchdogs Which?, and took note of what they looked for children's trikes and tricycles, and which ones they were recommending to their readers.

Consumer feedback

We also scour the internet, leaving no stone unturned to check out real reviews from customers who have bought the products themselves and given both positive and negative feedback.

Celebrated best products

Finally, we cross-referenced all of the above information to find the best trikes for toddlers that had won the most accolades and recommendations across the board to bring you a selection of the best ones at various price points. We think there’s something here for everyone.

About the author

Poppy O'Neill is a Content Editor at Mumsnet and a mother of two. She's been researching and reviewing baby and child products for 2 years, with a particular focus on baby essentials, toys and books for toddlers and outdoor play equipment. From potties to paddling pools and bunk beds to bedtime stories, she loves to deep-dive into research and find the best products out there.

Poppy is also the best-selling children's and parenting author of books such as Don't Worry, Be HappyThe Extraordinary Book That Makes You Feel Happy and Mother Power. She specialises in children's mental health and her books are used by therapists, teachers and SENCOs across the UK. She won the Kate Betts Memorial Prize in 2019, her books have been translated into eight languages and her writing has featured in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Sun.

After earning a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Leeds and a PGCert in Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism from University of the Arts London, she worked in fashion for most of her 20s. When her children were young, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and re-trained as an author and freelance writer. When she's not working, Poppy enjoys Pilates, hunting for sea glass on the Sussex coast and playing with tarot cards.

Why you should trust us

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