Trikes are the perfect first introduction to the world of cycling. Giving older babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers the thrill of whizzing around on 3 wheels – whether powered by parent push, leg shuffling or proper pedalling – is an excellent way of building confidence, learning how to steer and, when they're moving under their own steam, burning off lots of energy.

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Learning to ride a trike is fantastic for developing gross motor skills, helping to boost your child's coordination and balance, as well as building up muscle strength. Trikes are also a brilliant way for your child to improve their hand-eye coordination as they learn how to steer, and whole-body coordination as they eventually learn how to steer and pedal at the same time.

"A push-along trike are a fun way to travel – particularly for babies who are not fans of the pushchair!" says 'Auntie K', otherwise known as parenting expert and consultant Kirsty Ketley. "And they can also help your toddler learn to pedal without needing to balance, which means they will be less frustrated. For preschoolers, a trike offers a real sense of independence."

And of course, anything that encourages your child to get outdoors and active gets the thumbs up from us!

We've taken a long hard look at dozens of children's trikes and, with the help of our child and parent testers, selected 10 of the very best in a range of prices, style and age suitability...

Best trikes at a glance

  • Best multi-mode toddler to preschooler trike: Beehive Multifunctional 3 in 1 Trike, £96.99
  • Best multi-mode baby to preschooler trike: Kinderkraft Spinstep 5-in-1 Tricycle, £129
  • Best wooden trike: Steiff Tiny Tot Classic Trike/Bike, £99.90
  • Best multi-mode preschooler trike: Globber Explorer Trike 2-in-1, £74.99
  • Best balance trike: Trybike Steel Balance Trike, £139.95
  • Best budget multi-mode baby to preschooler trike: Little Tikes 4-in-1 My First Trike, £65
  • Best vintage-look preschooler trike: Radio Flyer Classic Red 10 Inch Tricycle, £131
  • Best budget toddler trike: Scuttlebug, £19.99
  • Best multi-mode trike for comfort: TP Toys 4-in-1 Trike, £80
  • Best trike for portability: Micro Trike XL, £97.95

Which kind of trike is right for which age?

For babies: Trikes can be suitable for babies as young as 9 months old. There are models packed with special features, like a 5-point harness and footrests to keep your baby safely and comfortably in place. These trikes come with a large handle at the back, so you can push and steer your little one around as they take in the world from a sitting position (make sure the handle is height-adjustable and, if you're tall, that it adjusts high enough for you). Many of these models will then convert into variations on the conventional trike that your child can learn to ride as a balance trike or a pedal trike (or both) as they get older.

For toddlers: Don’t worry about trying to introduce moving pedals at this young age; instead, opt for simple, sit-on trikes, either without pedals or with lockable pedals, that your toddler can move by pushing (or, more likely, shuffling) along the ground with their feet as they hold onto the handles. It will take a while for children this age to understand and master steering but practice makes perfect, so encourage them to persevere and always be on hand to help out.

For 2 to 3-year-olds – and older: Trikes with pedals are a great choice for preschoolers, who will now have the muscle strength to put these into action – and they will relish the independence as they whizz along. There are a number of very cool trikes marketed for older children but do bear in mind that kids over the age of 4 may be more interested in getting their first pedal bike and learning to cycle on 2 wheels.

If you’re not sure which steering/pedalling skills to teach your child when – or how to teach them – read our guide on how and when to teach your toddler to ride a trike. And whether they stick with trikes or move onto bikes, make sure they always wear a helmet.

Here's our pick of the best trikes for children

1. Beehive Multifunctional 3 in 1 Trike, £96.99

Best multi-mode toddler to preschooler trike

Beehive Multifunctional 3 in 1 Trike with child tester orla

Age suitability: 18 months to 5 years | Seat height: 34 cm | Weight: 7kg | Max child weight: 25kg | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards

This lightweight aluminium-framed push trike converts – without tools – into both a standard trike and a balance bike (the rear wheels can be pushed together to make a single wheel).

It has a detachable, adjustable-height parent handle (up to 95cm – maybe a little on the small side for tall parents), puncture-resistant EVA foam tyres, non-slip rubber handle grips and removable pedals. The pedals also lock, so they can double as footrests for your child if you're doing the pushing.

It had a lovely retro vibe and it rides and pushes very smoothly. It's a shame the seat height is not adjustable but we do like the circular support bar (pictured, right) that you can add to give your child an extra feeling of security when it's in push-trike mode. And it's handy that it folds down – with the click of a button – so you can stow it more easily in a car boot.

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"Orla shouted 'I love it!' when we opened it," said Sian, mum of our child tester, Orla, 2 (pictured above). "She's previously had another trike that is more similar to a pushchair but this is more lightweight, so she can manoeuvre it more easily, which is great for her confidence and independence. I like how easy it is to change modes – we'll get a lot of use from this." Comes in blue and white or black and yellow.

Pros: Lightweight, 3 modes, tool-free mode conversion, adjustable and removable parent handle, removable pedals, lockable pedals, folds easily
Cons: Parent handle could be longer, seat height no adjustable, not suitable for babies

Available at: Beehive Toys and Amazon

2. Kinderkraft Spinstep 5-in-1 Tricycle, £129

Best multi-mode baby to preschooler trike

Kinderkraft Spinstep 5-in-1 Tricycle with child tester

Age suitability: 9 months to 5 years | Seat height: 50cm | Weight: 10kg | Max child weight: 25kg | Awards: Joint Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards

This steel-framed trike has 5 different modes – from parent-facing push trike to outward-facing push trike to 3 variations of trike – and can be used with a child as young as 9 months.

It has a detachable adjustable-height (up to 108cm) parent handle, solid tyres and a 360°-swivel seat that you position as forward-facing or parent-facing, as well as adjusting to be further from the pedals as your child grows. There's an adjustable 3-point safety harness and detachable, front-opening bumper bar to use when your child is small, and a plethora of other top-notch features and accessories, including a detachable waterproof UPF50+ hood, foldable footrests, 2 baskets (1 for you, 1 for your child), a bag, a cup holder and a wind-up bell. It also folds – not massively small but enough to make a difference if you're loading up a car.

It's not very lightweight and it is pricey but it has a quality feel and you get a lot of flexibility. You may also think it's worth paying a little more for the parent-facing stroller option, the toddler-friendly basket and bell, and the fact that, when you're using the parent handle mode, you can disconnect the drive of the front wheels from the pedals (so your child can pedal away but you're still in control of the speed).

"Eibhlin loves being pushed about in this and really enjoys dinging the bell and shouting beep beep!" said Laura, mum of our child tester Eibhlin, 1 (pictured above). "Her nearly 3-year-old brother has been enjoying riding it too, using the pedals." Comes in pink, grey or green.

Pros: 5 modes, tool-free mode conversion, adjustable and removable parent handle, adjustable seat, great accessories, folds easily, suitable for babies
Cons: Pricey, not lightweight

Available at: Baby Planet, Kinderkraft and Baby Birds

3. Steiff Tiny Tot Classic Trike/Bike, £99.90

Best wooden trike

Steiff Tiny Tot Classic Trike/Bike with child tester Rory

Age suitability: 2+ | Seat height: 23cm to 30cm | Weight: Not specified | Max child weight: 20kg | Awards: Joint Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards

This cute wooden pedal-free trike transforms (with the use of tools) into a balance bike as your child grows in confidence. It has solid rubber wheels and an adjustable-height seat with a removable plush saddle cover and a furry Steiff teddy bear head on either side of the frame.

It's very well-made and beautiful to look at and it's sturdy too – it's not really meant for outside play but our child testers all took it outdoors and it coped excellently. We like the adjustable seat (although it doesn't go up as high as we'd like) and love that the seat cover – which can't possibly stay looking that plush and clean for long – is both removable and washable.

It is heavy and it doesn't have all the baby or toddler-friendly multiple modes and bells and whistles of other trikes in our selection but it is certainly a stylish, smooth ride.

"I like my trike," said our child tester Rory, 3 (pictured). "It goes fast and it turns into a bike and I can beat my granddad down the street on it. It's super fun and my favourite."

Pros: 2 modes, sturdy wooden frame, adjustable seat
Cons: Quite heavy, needs tools for mode conversion, doesn’t fold away, not suitable for babies or young toddlers, seat height limits upper age limit

Available at: Harrods and Steiff

4. Globber Explorer Trike 2-in-1, £74.99

Best multi-mode preschooler trike

Globber Explorer Trike 2 in 1 with child tester

Age suitability: 2 to 5 | Seat height: 31cm to 34cm | Weight: 5.5kg | Max child weight: 20kg | Awards: Bronze, MadeForMums Toy Awards

This lightweight aluminium-framed trike converts to a balance bike without the need for tools and has EVA foam wheels.

The saddle is adjustable to 2 different heights (the highest of which should fit a 4 to 5 year old nicely), the curved handlebars have anti-slip grips and pedals can be stored underneath the seat when in balance-bike mode. The seat itself is nicely curved and covered with a soft, anti-slip material.

We love this preschooler trike's bright, cool look and really like the simple twist-and-click way you change it from trike to balance bike. "It’s definitely worth every penny for me," said Faseela, mum of our child tester Adam, 2 (pictured). "It's a lovely classy design, in nice colours, and it's amazing quality. It's light but feels sturdy and it's so easy to change it from trike to bike. Adam loves it - he's been on it every day." Comes in teal and black or red and black.

Pros: Lightweight, 2 modes, tool-free mode conversion, adjustable seat
Cons: Doesn’t fold, not suitable for babies or young toddlers

Available at: Uber Kids, Amazon and Plum

5. Trybike Steel Balance Trike, £139.95

– Best balance trike

Trybike Trike with child tester Heidi

Age suitability: 15 months to 6 years | Seat height: 30cm to 45cm | Weight: 6.3kg | Max child weight: 35kg

This vintage-style, steel-framed trike can be converted (with supplied tools) into a balance bike and features 12" spoked steel wheels (the front wheel is height-adjustable), extra wide pneumatic tyres, a very generously adjustable-height saddle and handlebars, built-in footrest and easy-grip handles.

It doesn't have pedals in trike mode, though: the idea is that your child pushes it along with their feet, just as they would in balance bike mode. Amy, mum to our child tester, Heidi, 3 (pictured) said: "I wasn't sure about this initially but it’s actually been great as a pedal-free trike."

It's very sturdy and strong and, as it's pretty low to the ground, even our youngest child testers found it easy to scramble on and off. We really like that the front wheel is height-adjustable as well as the seat and handlebars: this is a trike that that should fit your child well for years.

We also rate the steel frame and vintage look – it gives it a nice, premium feel – but obviously this is a trike that isn't designed to fold. We found it straightforward, although not super-quick (allow a good 30 mins), to convert between modes. Comes in white, grey, blue, pink, green and red.

Pros: 2 modes, sturdy frame, adjustable seat, wheel and handlebar height, suitable for babies, toddlers and older kids
Cons: Pricey, doesn't fold, not lightweight, needs tools (included) and time for mode conversion

Available at: JoJo Maman Bebe, Kidly, John Lewis and Buggy Baby

6. Little Tikes 4-in-1 My First Trike, £65

– Best budget multi-mode baby to preschooler trike

Studio shot of Little Tikes 4-in-1 My First Trike

Age suitability: 9 months to 5 years | Seat height: Not specified | Weight: 7.2kg | Max child weight: 23kg

This blue and white lightweight trike with solid wheels converts from stroller mode to self-pedal mode via 2 intermediary modes where you're still pushing but your child can steer and then steer and pedal.

It has an adjustable-height seat with 3-point safety harness and removable bumper bar, a detachable and adjustable-height parent handle and non-slip pedals. It also features a detachable sun canopy, adjustable foot rests and a storage bucket at the back.

It's great value for money and though it's not as streamlined, as cushioned or as feature-packed as some of the other trikes selected here that are suitable for babies, it's nice and sturdy and rides/pushes well. Do note that it doesn't fold, though.

"We got this trike for my son Lachlan's 1st birthday," said Amy, who's a member of our Top Testers Club, "and we still use it now – and he’s almost 3!. It’s easy to adapt to what stage they're at and he's now learning how to pedal by himself without us pushing."

Pros: Lightweight, 4 modes, good value, adjustable and removable parent handle, adjustable seat height, suitable for babies, toddlers and older kids
Cons: doesn't fold, needs tools for assembly and mode conversion

Available at: Argos and Amazon

7. Radio Flyer Classic Red 10" Tricycle, £131

Best vintage-look trike for preschoolers

Studio shot of Radio Flyer Classic Red 10 Inch Tricycle

Age suitability: 2 to 5 | Seat height: 34cm to 38cm | Weight: 5.4kg | Max child weight: 20kg

This shiny red-and-cream steel-framed trike is made in the US and has classic retro styling complete with sleek chrome handlebars and fender, a big front wheels and a rear step – and a bell.

The spoked wheels have rubber tyres and the trike has an adjustable seat and controlled turning radius to prevent it tipping over.

This is a preschooler bike that's all about looks and style – which it delivers in bucketloads – and the seat adjusts quite high, so it will last your child a good few years. But it's single mode (no converting to a balance bike and all that), doesn't fold and there is a fair bit of assembly to do (though the instructions are great).

Pros: Pretty sturdy, adjustable seat height
Cons: Pricey, single mode, fair bit of assembly (tools needed), doesn't fold not suitable for babies and toddlers

Available at: Amazon

8. Scuttlebug, £19.99

– Best budget toddler trike

Scuttlebug trike with child tester Finley

Age suitability: 1 to 3 | Seat height: 25cm | Weight: 2.4kg | Max child weight: 20kg

This sweet, brilliant-value plastic 'foot-to-floor' toddler trike has front-wheel steering and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Like a 2-wheel balance bike, the absence of pedals means your child scoots, rather than having to learn to pedal, so picks up the essentials of balancing and steering, without having to grapple with anything too complicated. It's single mode, though, so no balance bike variations.

Price aside, the star feature of this trike is how quickly and easily it folds down – and how compactly too. In 3 steps, you can fold your trike down into a small, lightweight package that'll fit into most pushchair storage baskets. When your Scuttlebug first arrives, too, there's almost no assembly to do.

Elaine, who's a member of our Top Testers Club, and mum to Willow, 3, said, "It’s really sturdy and solid but light enough to carry. It's great value and has been much loved over the 18 months or so that we’ve had it."

Comes in 4 bug-themed colours: green grasshopper, a red beetle (pictured, above), pink butterfly and yellow bumble. You can also buy a Scuttlebug XL, a slightly larger version that's suitable for 1 to 4 years (pictured with our child tester Finley, in our picture above).

Pros: Brilliant value, lightweight, minimal assembly, folds very easily
Cons: Seat isn't adjustable, single mode, not suitable for young babies

Available at: Very, Amazon, Argos, Scuttlebug and Smyths Toys

9. TP Toys 4-in-1 Trike, £80

– Best multi-mode trike for comfort

TP Toys 4 in 1 trike with child tester Bonnie

Age suitability: 10 months to 3 years | Seat height: Not specified | Weight: 6.1kg | Max child weight: 23kg

This metal-framed 4-in-1 trike converts from stroller mode to push trike to training trike to independently pedalled trike. It has a luxurious padded seat that makes it a lovely ride for babies but it doesn't extend in age range beyond 3 years.

It has a detachable adjustable-height parent handle, wide, shock-resistant wheels and that padded seat has a 3-point safety harness and bumper bar. It also features easy-grip handles, a retractable sun hood, removable footrests, a drink holder and a storage basket. It also has a parental steering lock, so that you control the steering even if your child's pedalling, until you feel your child's ready to take over.

We like the drinks holder for your child in the front but it's too small to take the more chunky toddler beakers. We also found it a little clunky to steer and it doesn't fold.

"You feel like your child is really safe in this," said Lou, mum of our child tester Bonnie, 19 months (pictured), "and the seat seems much comfier to sit in than other trikes we've tried. Bonnie's quite happy to sit in this trike for ages." Comes in Dusky Pink and Midnight Blue.

Pros: Lightweight, 4 modes, super-comfy seat, adjustable and removable parent handle, tool-free mode conversion, suitable for babies
Cons: Seat isn't adjustable, doesn't fold, not suitable for preschoolers

Available at: Argos, John Lewis and Pramworld

10. Micro Trike XL, £97.95

Best trike for portability

Studio shot of Micro Trike XL

Age suitability: 18 months to 3 years | Seat height: 37.5 cm | Weight: 2.2kg | Max child weight: 20kg

This pedal-free, single mode trike has a slick pared-down look and is super lightweight. It comes with puncture-free wheels and adjustable-height parent handle (that doesn't quite adjust high enough for tall parents) and features adjustable footrests and a safety belt.

"I love how compact it is and it’s so easy to manoeuvre!” said Davina, who's a member of our Top Testers Club and bought this trike for her child. More than that, it folds away flat, making it easy to stash in the boot or carry over your shoulder when out and about.

Although the trike does come with a seatbelt to help younger toddlers feel more secure, we think this is better suited for older toddlers who are happy to sit still when being pushed around – we prefer an 'impossible to wriggle free from' safety harness for young ones!

The seat is small but comfy and the puncture-free wheels make it a doddle at scooting over different surfaces. Comes in Aqua or Black.

Pros: Extremely lightweight, folds very easily, adjustable parent handle, suitable for toddlers
Cons: Seat isn't adjustable, single mode, not suitable for preschoolers

Available at: Micro and Amazon

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How we tested:

When choosing and testing these trikes we considered age suitability, price, variety of modes, comfort, features, weight and longevity of use.

Out 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our testing during the MadeForMums awards and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club.

Each year, 1000s of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, but instead a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we aim to help you discover what is best for your family.

About the author

Sarah Dawson has worked as a writer for over 15 years, writing about parenting for Family Traveller, Baby magazine and 5 Minute Fun, as well as working as a reviewer for MadeForMums and The Independent's IndyBest. She lives in a little village in Leicestershire with her husband, 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, as well as the sweetest rescue dog and a cat who, quite frankly, just wants some peace and quiet. 

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