by Hernan Slank

A toddler’s first bike should fit both their physical and age profile. It could influence the kid’s growth, and thus it needs to be a good fit. With bike riding, the earlier the toddler gets on a bike, the easier it will be to learn how to ride one.

That being said, what is the best bike for a toddler, and how can you get it? Read on to find out the best answers to those queries.

Balance Bikes Vs. Tricycles: Which Should be a Toddler’s First Bike?

Most people think of learning to ride a bike as some rite of passage. That isn’t far from the truth since learning how to ride a bike is one of the essential steps a toddler has to take to gain some form of independence.

One thing that troubles most parents, however, is choosing the right first bike. Tricycles had been a famous option until the advent of the balance bikes. That is why most parents are usually confused over which one to go for.

But are they that different? What sets the tricycle apart from the balance bike?


A tricycle is simply a bike with three wheels. For so long, the tricycle has been the first interaction toddlers have had with bikes. They are safe and easy to use even by kids as young as 18 months.

Tricycles are often confused with training wheels. They couldn’t be any more different. Training wheels are similar to the real bikes, only that they have two wheels added to the rear wheel to give the kid some stability as they learn how to ride a bike.

Balance Bikes

The popularity of balance bikes has been gathering pace and is threatening to overtake that of the century’s old tricycles. Balance bikes are kids’ bikes with only wheels and handlebars.

Balance bikes usually have no pedals, a chain, or gears. All the kid has to do to use them is get on the seat.  That makes them ideal for teaching kids how to balance a bike.

It has a low-profile design that enables the kid to have their feet firmly on the ground while seated on the bike’s seat. Most old-school parents aren’t familiar with them since they are a recent development.

That means most would still prefer the much more old-school tricycles and training wheels. But should they?

Why Balance Bikes are The Better Option

Balance bikes have several advantages over the other training bikes. Before you dismiss them, kindly read on some of the reasons why we think they are better of the three options.

1.   Balance Bikes are Easier To use

Balance bikes don’t come with pedals. That means the kid will be able to focus more on balance than on pedalling. They will learn a skill at a time, making it easier for them to transition onto a pedal bike.

Pedal bikes can be confusing since the kid doesn’t know whether to focus on balancing or pedalling.

2.   Balance Bikes are Safer

With the feet of the kid so close to the ground, the chances of them falling lessen. And even if they fall, they won’t fall too far away from the ground. Balance bikes are way closer to the ground than tricycles and bikes with training wheels.

They also don’t move that fast compared to the two.

3.   They teach Balance and Coordination

Balance bikes boost the kid’s coordination since they will be using their feet and arms to move. That builds their motor skills and gives them muscle endurance. Additionally, it also makes them more agile.

4.   They Make The transition to pedal bikes easier

Balancing is one of the most challenging skills for kids to get when learning how to ride a bicycle. A balance bike will enable them to learn this skill before they graduate to a pedal bike and learn how to work them.

The transition will be fa much easier for them than if they had used the other types of bikes.

Why Not Tricycles and Training Wheels?

Tricycles and training wheels focus more on teaching the toddler to pedal than to balance and steer the bike. The real challenge, however, is knowing how to steer the bike and control it. Pedalling is a straightforward affair that doesn’t need much to grasp.

They also have a higher centre of gravity than balance bikes which means a fall from one of these will result in more harm. The high centre of gravity makes them less stable than balance bikes, making them easily tip over.

When transitioning from the tricycles, your child will have to get rid of all their prior riding knowledge to learn afresh. That makes the transition not only harder but also potentially harmful. Transitioning from a balance bike, on the other hand, is smoother.

A balance bike from its name has the proper stability to allow the kid to learn how to balance and stay on their feet. They, therefore, have lesser accidents than the tricycles and training wheels.

In effect, training wheels and tricycles slow down the learning process of the kid. They will therefore take a long time to know how to ride a bike. That leaves the balance bike as your best bet.

We aren’t saying that tricycles and training wheels are that bad. We are saying that they can’t match up to the balance bike when it comes to learning how to ride a bike.

The balance bike is the best option if you are buying your toddler their first bike. Not only is it safe, but it will also teach your kid the most crucial skill of bike riding-balancing. It would thus be the better option to get for your kid as a first bike.


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