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As much as you’d like them to say tiny and cute, your kids are little humans who are destined to grow up and go out into the world.
What better way to prepare them for the world than teach them the useful art of riding a bike.
Then one day you can teach them to drive a car.
As they say: baby steps. It starts with bike-riding, and it’s never too early to get them started. Children as young as 3 or even 2 years old can start riding a bicycle.
Read on to learn what the best kiddie bikes for 3, 4, 5 years olds have to offer…
How to Choose Bike Size
Depending on your kid’s age, the first question that comes to mind when considering a bike for your kid is size. What is the best bike for 3 year olds? We start with a brief overview of things you need to know to figure out what size bike for 3 year old or older is best.
First of all, do not choose a large bike size, with the expectation that the child will grow into it. Especially in the early years, the most important thing for a child learning to ride a bike is to build confidence. If you buy them a bike that is too heavy for them or above their skill level, they may get frustrated and lose confidence, maybe never learn to ride a bike.
Unlike adult bikes, children’s bicycles are not measured by frame size, but rather wheel size. As the kids get older, the wheel size increases.
The following are the different bike sizes according to differing kids’ ages and height:
Wheel Diameter (Inches)
Age of Kid (Years)
Height of Kid (Feet, Inches)
3 to 5
3’3” to 3’8”
4 to 6
3’5” to 3’10”
5 to 8
3’8” to 4’2”
7 to 9
3’10” to 4’6”
8 to 11
4’2” to 4’9”
Our Best Bike for 3, 4, 5 Year Old Kids
1. Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike
If looking for the best first bike for a child aged 2 to 5 years old, this Fisher-Price trike with a Harley-Davidson design is an excellent choice. It features Harley-Davidson styling, so you can bet it’s cool and has an iconic look.
It has eye-catching Harley-Davidson styling and graphics. Not only will your little kid have fun on it, but he or she will also look good on it. It’s really a great first bike for 3 year old kid. Your kid will have the coolest bike and that is a great feeling for a kid to have.
The tricycle comes with a secret storage compartment where the child can stow his or her snacks, toys, and other important gear. At that age, kids are always collecting things, so do not be surprised if your kid uses it as a place to stash all sorts of interesting things!
One of the reasons why this is the best bike for 5 year old girl/boy or younger is that it is pedal-powered. That means your child will rely on his or her own pedal power to take the trike around the yard. The good thing about tricycles is that there is no risk of falling, so you can breathe easy on that. Your kid gets to work out his/her little legs, build strength with pedaling, and boost confidence without you fearing about bruises.
Furthermore, thanks to the wide, stable wheelbase, the easy-grip handlebars, and the big foot pedals, this is a pretty easy and comfortable ride for little kids. Plus the tires are rugged and durable, and the seat big and comfy.
- Harley-Davidson styling
- Durable tires, stable wheelbase
- For 2 to 5 year old kids
- With secret storage compartment
2. Royalbaby Freestyle Kid’s Bike
Are you looking for the best bike for 3 year old, or do you prefer a bicycle for 5 year old? Well, this Royalbaby kid’s bike delivers on both counts, as well as for the ages in between. If you want a bike for 4 year old girl or boy, this is a suitable choice.
First of all, the bike is pretty easy to assemble, which should be a relief for you. All you have to do is install the training wheels, pedals, handlebar, and saddle. You don’t need to own assembly tools – all the tools you will need for the operation are included in the purchase.
Unlike the previous example, this is a two-wheeled bicycle, not a tricycle, so your kid is definitely going to learn how to ride a bike. Since these are young children, the bike features training wheels to help the kid learn with minimal incidents.
One of the most important lessons about riding a bike is braking. You want your kid to learn how to brake as early as possible for their safety and your peace of mind. For that purpose, this bicycle features a combination of two brakes: a rear coaster brake and a front caliper brake.
You can buy this bicycle for your kid when they are 3 years old and they will keep using it for a few years without being inconvenienced. The bike has a quick-release seatpost. That makes it easy for your fast-growing kiddo to adjust the seat height and remain comfortable.
- Quick-release seatpost, bell, training wheels, bell, and BPA-free water bottle
- Easy to assemble, assembly tools included
- Cushioned seat, high back
- Steel frame
- Front caliper brake and rear coaster brake
- 14-inch bike
- For 3 to 5 year olds
3. Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
This is the best bike for 5 year old boy or girl and as young as 18 months. The main skill a learner needs to ride a bike successfully is balance. Balance is not something you learn with training wheels. For that reason, the Strider 12 Sport Balance does not feature training wheels.
For a parent who wants their kid to really learn how to ride and build a huge store of self confidence early in their life, this is the bike to buy. The kid will learn how to balance and steer on a two-wheel bicycle without training wheels, putting him/her a peg above the other children.
However, the bike does not have any pedals, and with good reason. The thought behind this omission is that pedals can complicate the process. The purpose of this bike is mainly to teach balance and the kid can lose that when at the same time trying to learn how to pedal. Without this complication, riding becomes smooth and easy. For instance, the lack of pedals means that your kid won’t fall too often and learning balance will be a fun and relatively easy process.
Later on you can introduce the kid to a traditional bike that does have pedals and teach them how to pedal. Having gained confidence and balance from being used to riding this bike, that will be easy.
This particular model is super light thanks to its aluminum alloy frame. It has a weight of only 5.3 lbs, which is pretty lightweight when you compare it to the Sport, which weighs 6.7 lbs. This is why a child of 18 months can start playing on this bike and learn to ride (the lack of pedals helps too).
Furthermore, it features an improved, padded seat. Comfort is of paramount importance, particularly with children this young. The padded seat ensures your child is comfortable while riding.
- No training wheels
- No pedals
- Padded seat
- Aluminum alloy frame
- For 18 months to 5 year olds
4. Banana Bike LT – Lightweight Balance
Looking for a bike for 4 year old or younger? This banana-shaped bicycle has the right dose of fun and easy-to-use. It is a great bike for children as old as 5 years old and as young as 2 years old.
The bike has a banana design that gives it a fun, whimsical look. Furthermore, it has a low center of gravity, which means it has good stability in motion and your child won’t have a difficult time maintaining balance. The bike is not heavy – weighs 6.4 lbs.
The bike has no training wheels. You may worry as a parent about this lack of extra support, but it’s actually a great way for a child to learn how to maintain balance when riding a bike. With this bike, it is possible to skip the training wheels altogether and move directly to a bike that has pedals and no training wheels.
Yes, it does not have pedals either. This might seem like a problem, but it’s actually worth it. The lack of pedals ensures the kid is not confused by the necessity to pedal when trying to ride the bike. The main reason this bike exists is to teach your child how to maintain balance. Once the kid learns that, he/she is ready to use pedals and you can upgrade to a bike that has them.
The bike has an easy quick-release mechanism which enables you to adjust the seat height from 12.2” up to 15.75”. This allows for flexible sizing to accommodate your fast-growing child.
- Low center of gravity
- No training wheels
- No pedals
- Quick-release mechanism
5. RoyalBaby Honey & Buttons Kids Bike (12-Inch with Training Wheels)
The best bike for 4 year old and younger is this Royalbaby kids’ bike. It is a12-inch bike with training wheels, great bike for 4 year old boy or girl. It is suitable for children between the ages of 3 and 4. The unisex design makes it appropriate for both boys and girls.
It features patented 2.4-inch wide tires which ensure riding stability. This is necessary to ensure your kid maintains confidence when riding. Besides, the bike has training wheels and there is no fear that your child will fall when riding. The training wheels are good because they enable kiddo to learn how to pedal without the risk of falling all the time due to loss of balance.
Yes, this one has pedals. They are non-slip pedals to ensure your child’s safety. Pedaling is an essential skill in the art of riding a bike. Sooner or later, your kid will have to learn it. Why not start now? Later on, they can learn how to balance when you upgrade them to riding without the training wheels.
Braking is another essential bike riding skill. To ensure your kid learns how to brake, the bike comes with front handbrake and Quando coaster brake. The bike has a child-size brake lever with short reach.
- Features bell, assembly tools, designer frame pad
- Non-slip pedals
- Training wheels
- 12-inch bike
- Front handbrake and Quando coaster brake
- For 3 to 4 year kids
6. Royalbaby Jenny & Bunny Girl’s Bike
The best bike for 5 year old girls is this Royalbaby Jenny & Bunny bike. This bike is designed for little girls. It features traditionally girly colors such as pink. If looking for a cute bike for your little angel this is it.
The bike has both pedals and training wheels. Your child can learn proper balance later when she is ready to ride the bike without training wheels. Meanwhile, she will familiarize herself with what it feels like to be on a bike. She will also learn how to pedal.
Safety comes first. Other than training wheels, the other safety feature is the brakes. Your little girl should learn how to apply the brakes. This bike features front caliper and rear coaster brakes. In addition, there is a special kids’ size brake lever, special kids’ saddle, Kraton soft rubber grips, and QR seatpost clamp.
This particular bike is 14 inches in size and is appropriate for 3 to 5 year old girls. As your child gets older and bigger, you can get her a bigger bike. The other bikes have the following sizes: 12, 16, 18, and 20 inches. The 20-inch bike is suitable for kids aged 6 to 9 years old.
Assembling equipment is typically a drag, especially if you are not a very handy kind of person. Fortunately, this bike comes mostly assembled and the rest is easy to put together. Furthermore, it comes with the assembly tools you will require.
- Features bell, basket, handlebar bows, assembly tools, and training wheels
- 14-inch bike
- Front caliper and rear coaster brakes
- Easy to assemble
- For 3 to 5 year old girls
7. JOYSTAR Kids Bike
This kid bike comes in a variety of sizes, each of which will cater for a certain age range. There is the 11-inch bike – it is suitable for kids between 2 and 4 years old. The 14-inch bike is for children between 2 and 5 years old. The 16-inch bike is for 4 to 7 year olds. Finally, the 18-inch bike is for 5 to 9 year old children. Both boys and girls can use these bikes.
The bike comes with a pre-assembled body, so most of the work has been done. However, you still have to put in about 20 minutes of work (if you are a novice) to assemble it completely. It comes with the basic assembly tools. You will need a pump to inflate the tire.
Learning how to ride is one of the hardest thing a kid can do, but it’s good for them because it teaches them resilience. They learn that when you fall down, you have to get back up again and keep trying until you attain your goal. This particular bike comes with training wheels, but you can bet your kid will find walls to bump against. This constant bumping into things can take its toll on a bicycle.
To ensure that it survives the many bumps while your kid is learning, the bike’s frame is made of durable steel. In addition, it is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
The bicycle has training wheels to ensure your child’s safety as he/she strives to master bike riding. In addition, it comes with pedals, so your child can learn how to pedal in readiness for riding a bike with no training wheels.
Also included is a quick-release seat which makes height adjustment much simpler. This comes in handy when you have a child who is growing fast or when you have two children of different sizes sharing the bike. It ensures your child is comfortable when riding the bike.
- Steel frame
- Quick-release seat
- Training wheels
- Easy assembly
- Sizes: 12, 14, 16, and 18 inches
8. Schwinn Elm Girls’ Bike
This Shwinn Elm girls’ bike is the best bike for 4 year old girls. It is suitable for children between the ages of 2 and 4. It has pedals and training wheels. Your little girl will be safe when riding the bike and will learn how to pedal in her own good time, after which she can upgrade to riding without training wheels and master balance.
Learning happens in stages, and training wheels are good because they help the child learn and boost their confidence without falling. Later, when you take off the training wheels, she will have learned to enjoy bike riding and won’t give up when she loses balance and falls.
It features Smart Start design that includes a durable, steel frame. This is appropriate, considering that the learning cycler is likely to ride the bicycle into walls and bump it against things before she learns how to control it with the handlebars. The design also features kid specific proportions which enable easier pedaling and handling.
To ensure the child learns how to brake, the bike contains both the front caliper brake and the rear coaster brake. Once she masters these two brakes, it will be easier to transition her to a bigger, hand-brake-only bicycle.
The bicycle has a full coverage chain guard which ensures protection for your child’s hands, feet, and clothing.
It is a bike for children between 2 and 4 years old. However, children differ in size, in spite of age, so let’s phrase it in terms of size. The bike fits children who are between 28 and 38 inches tall.
It does, however, have an adjustable saddle and a slack seat-tube angle which ensures the bike grows with your child.
- Steel frame
- Front caliper brake and rear coaster brake
- Full coverage chain guard
- Adjustable saddle and a slack seat-tube. Angle
- Saddle handle for towing and storage
- For 2 to 4 year olds.
9. Huffy Glimmer Girls Bike
This is a 16-inch bike. It is to be ridden by girls who are between 4 and 6 years old – that translates roughly to a rider height of between 42 and 48 inches. It comes with shimmering streamers, a fun bike any little girl will like.
The frame is made of steel and is durable, built to withstand the learning period when the rider has no control over the bicycle and is bound to drive it into walls, bumping it against all manner of things. It is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
The bicycle features an alloy quick seat release that enables fast and precise height adjustments. This comes in handy when two kids are sharing the bike and one of them is bigger than the other one. Furthermore as your child grows, you will need to make height adjustments to ensure she does not feel uncomfortable. The child’s seat is padded.
The bike features a cloth handlebar bag where your child can stow away her favorite toys or hide some of the things she collects in the course of a busy day of adventure.
The bike has training wheels and pedals. The best thing about the training wheels is that they are removable. Once your little girl has gotten the hang of pedaling and gained confidence in riding a bicycle, you can remove the training wheels and let her learn to ride a bike the right way.
The bike features a front handbrake and an easy-to-use rear coaster brake. To stop, all she has to do is pedal back. This method is good for young children who still haven’t mastered how to balance on their bike.
- 16-inch bike
- Steel frame
- Removable training wheels
- Cloth handlebar bag
- Alloy quick release seat
- For 4 to 6 year olds.
10. COEWSKE Kids’ Bike
This bike comes in two sizes: 14-inch and 16-inch bikes. The 14-inch bike is for kids aged 3 to 6 years old. The 16-inch bike is for children aged 6 to 8 years old. The bike is appropriate for both boys and girls.
It has a front and rear hand V-brake, and in addition coaster/foot brake. This provides enough stopping power. The system is intuitive and easy to use.
The bike has 2.4-inch-wide knobby air-filled tires which ensure kiddo has a smooth riding experience. These tires are made of durable rubber that has extra thickness and width to ensure it does not burst.
The bicycle features a footrest design that ensures the kids can enjoy the experience to the fullest. The footrest design enables the kid to save some energy/effort.
Thanks to the fully enclosed chain guard, your child’s fingers are safe. In addition, flanged grips ensure your kid’s hands don’t slide off the bars.
The bike is easy to assemble. You will install: the pedals, training wheels, saddle, and handlebar. Any assembly tool you need is included.
- 2.4-inch, air-filled rubber tires
- Footrest design
- All assembly tools included
- Front and rear hand V-brake; coaster/foot brake
- 14-inch (3 to 6 year olds) and 16-inch bikes (6 to 8 year olds)
What to Look for Before Buying:
The following are the factors to keep in mind when you are shopping for a new bicycle for your child of 3 to 5 years old:
1. Bicycle Frame
Children’s bikes typically have a smaller wheel diameter than the norm. For that reason, these bikes are harder to pedal. To make bike riding easier for your child, you should look for a lightweight bicycle.
That means picking a bicycle frame made of lightweight material. The cheapest bikes are made out of cheaper materials and these tend to be on the heavy side. A lightweight bike will have a bike frame made from metal alloys rather than steel.
2. Braking Method
There are two braking methods to keep in mind: hand brakes and pedal brakes. Adult bicycles use handbrakes. However, it is difficult for children under 5 years old to use hand brakes. They lack the necessary coordination.
For that reason, young children should use bikes that feature pedal breaks rather than hand brakes. All the child has to do to activate the pedal brakes is pedal backwards. This braking method is more intuitive and easy to implement for little kids.
On the other hand, if you decide you want your child to operate with hand brakes from the get-go, ensure the brakes can easily be grasped. In addition, make sure your child knows how to use the brakes.
3. Bike Size
Finding out the bike size is one of the most important things. Unlike adult bicycles, the size is not determined by frame size. It is also not determined by seat height. The sizes of kids’ bicycles are determined by wheel diameter.
Typically, the wheel diameter of smaller bikes is smaller, and bigger bikes have a larger wheel diameter.
The bike size you choose should be appropriate for your child. You want your kid to have the ability to dismount. He or she should also be able to straddle the bike with ease on flat feet. The kid’s arms and hands should rest comfortably on the handlebars, not outstretched. Furthermore, it should not be so small that the kid’s knees are hitting the handlebars.
For that reason, avoid going for a bike that your child will “grow into”. A heavy bike will give your kid a hard time. It causes difficulty in learning how to balance or maneuver a bike. They could also get injured or frustrated trying to conquer a bike that is above their skill-level or is too heavy.
4. Training Wheels or No
It’s up to you to choose whether you want your kid to learn with training wheels or without. Some parents prefer not to use training wheels because they make the child feel confident enough to reach higher speeds than their skill levels can handle. As a result, the kid is unable to steer or stop, leading to accidents.
On the other hand, some parents believe training wheels are necessary and helpful for building confidence in young children who are learning to ride a bicycle.
Ensure that the training wheels come with adjustments that will enable you to move them higher off the ground as your child becomes a better cyclist.
We would like our kids to stay kids if we could, but they must grow up, and that means relinquishing some control, letting them make mistakes or fall. Still, we have to be prudent and ensure they are safe. The following tips will help keep your kid safe while he/she is riding a bike.
1. Wear a Helmet
Ensure your kid has a helmet on while riding as it will protect their head in case of a fall, preventing injury. A good helmet is a snug fit that covers all areas of the head. It stays in place while the child moves.
2. Check Brakes
In the course of time, bike brakes get worn out and are unable to work as effectively as possible.
Before your kid starts riding the bike, visually inspect the brakes to ensure all the components are present.
Check to see if there is a brake pad making contact with the disc brakes when you squeeze the handle bar levers.
Test against wheel movement by pushing the bike while squeezing the brake levers.
If the brakes are unresponsive, take the bike to a professional for inspection and adjustment.
3. Inflate the Tires
Before the kid takes the bike out for a ride, check the tires to see if they are properly inflated. They should have firmness. Ensure there are no holes in the tires through which air escapes. Riding a flat-tired bike puts the child at a higher risk of falling.
Push the bike and listen for a hissing sound as the wheels turn. A hissing sound is an indicator that a tire has a hole that needs to be patched or replaced before the kid can ride the bike.
If the tires are hole-free, but still feel flat, add some air to them using a pump. Stop when they feel sufficiently firm.
Watch as your child test rides the bike – you want to ensure the air pressure is alright and the child is comfortable when making turns as well as when going straight.
4. Level the Seat
When the bike seat is properly leveled, your child is able to enjoy a smoother, safer ride.
A properly leveled seat ensures the child can backpedal easily. Backpedaling is a braking method used in many children’s bikes. The kid should be able to reach the pedals without much straining.
You can determine the appropriateness of the seat level by watching your child pedal. Is the kid’s leg able to easily extend to the bottom of the pedal stroke? If not, the bike seat is high and must be lowered.
If the kid easily presses down on the pedal, but with legs that are overly bent and uncomfortable, the seat is low and must be raised.
A good indicator of a properly leveled seat is your child being able to put one or both feet down without getting off the bike seat.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are questions people ask often concerning kid bikes. You might find some of your own questions answered here.
1. Is my kid too old for a balance bike?
No. There are balance bikes for kids of all sizes and ages. Even with older kids, above 5 years old, all you have to do to turn their pedal bike into a balance bike is remove the pedals.
Note, however, that pedal bikes are usually heavier than balance bikes and would therefore require more effort when learning how to maintain balance. Balance bikes are lightweight and make it easier for a kid to learn balance.
Note that the best way for adult first-time riders too to learn balance is to ride a bike that has no pedals.
2. When do I know my kid is ready to transition from balance bike to pedal bike?
So long as your kid is able to run, balance, and stop their balance bike comfortably, they are ready to transition to pedaling. Balance bikes are easier for toddlers and preschoolers to master.
3. Balance bike or training wheels?
Both are valid means for learning to ride a bike. However, we feel that starting off with a balance bike is a more intuitive approach to learning how to ride a bike. The child is able to build confidence quickly and learn balance with a lower risk of falling.
Later on, when they have mastered balance and you introduce them to a pedal bike, their confidence on the bike will help them transition quickly.
Training wheels, on the other hand, don’t teach balance. The kid does learn how to pedal though, but when you remove the training wheels riding becomes scary and difficult.
Bike riding is one of the essential skills in life – like swimming or fixing a tire. Everyone should learn how to do it. Give your children an advantage by teaching them early.
You could opt for a balance bike or a bike that has training wheels. Both are valid options. Just ensure you adhere to the safety tips we have provided here.
As for choosing a bike for your little one, consider the pointers we have provided on how to pick the best bike for your kiddo. Now, take your pick from the 10 bikes we have covered, and make the purchase.
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