5 Best First Bikes for a 3 Year Old – First Vehicle Experience (Spring 2022)

We've done the research to find the best first bikes for a 3 year old and ranked them according to their pros and cons.
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Last updatedLast updated: March 04, 2022
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The first bike for a 3 year old may be a bit difficult to choose. You can’t be sure which type is the best choice since it really depends on your kid’s abilities and preferences. Getting your child’s first bike should be an enjoyable experience, with the right knowledge.

Choosing a quality bike for a 3 year old, first of all, consider such factors as an adjustable seat since all children even of the same age are different in height and moreover they are fastly growing. The second factor is bike type, it depends on your child`s needs and abilities. One more thing to consider is wheel size to maintain balance. Last but not least is the bike`s weight and brakes which provide a crucial safety aspect.

Top 5 First Bikes for 3 Year Old Review 2022

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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 3520 people in the past 30 days
9.8
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.5
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.6
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.3
9.8
1
Editor’s Choice

Yvolution Y Velo Flippa 4-in-1

Features
  • Bike type: Balance bike\Tricycle\Push bike
  • Wheel size: 9.6 inches
  • Brakes: Rear foot brake
  • Weight: 15 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Age: 2 to 5 years
  • Max user weight: 44 lbs.
  • Min user height: 32 inches

More features: 3 colors, rear suspension, 4 ride modes, removable pedals, adjustable seat\handlebars, larger wheels

We nominated Yvolution Y Velo Flippa 4-in-1 bike as our best choice for its amazing multifunctionality. It is undoubtedly the most versatile pedal bike. It combines the properties of a balance bike with the rear wheels transforming into one wheel and removable pedals, a tricycle with pedals on the front wheel, and a push bike with parent steering. Thanks to its versatility this bike is perfect for kids aged 2 to 5 years, so you can easily adjust it to your kid`s needs. Plus, the larger wheels and rear suspension make it easy to ride, and the adjustable seat and handlebars ensure a perfect fit.

Compared to other toddler bikes by Yvolution like the Y Velo Junior, the Y Velo Flippa 4-in-1 bike is the best first pedal bike. The two bike models have a lot in common except the Y Velo Flippa has a parent steering handlebar that will give you an easier time teaching your child the first cycling tricks.

Why did it make our list?

  • This model comes in 3 colors
  • 4 riding modes
  • Transformation from tricycle to balance bike in one moment
  • Removable pedals for more versatile use
  • Balance bike mode
  • Adjustable seat and handlebar for different heights and ages
  • Larger wheels and rear suspension for safety and easier riding on different surfaces
  • Three wheels provide more stability for beginners
  • Parent push bar and a rear foot brake for better control
  • Sturdy frame

What is not ideal about it?

  • Lack of footrest
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 4943 people in the past 30 days
0.9
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
0.7
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
0.5
Features & Benefits
Product Review
0.6
0.9
2
Premium Pick

RoyalBaby Kids Bike

Features
  • Bike type: Kids bike with training wheels
  • Wheel size: 12 to 20 inches (5 sizes)
  • Brakes: Front caliper pedal brake and rear coaster brake
  • Weight: 20.3 to 32 lbs. depending on wheel size
  • Material: Steel
  • Age: Up to 16 years
  • Max user weight: Not stated
  • Min user height: Not stated

More features: 7 colors, wide 2.4 inches pneumatic tires, non-slip resin pedals, sealed bearing BB parts, adjustable height seat, water bottle, training wheels, bell, chain guard

RoyalBaby Kids Bike is a great first pedal bike and real memory-maker for your kids. This child’s bike has a modern design with a water bottle and bell, it’s easy to assemble and very safe. The pedal bike is made of steel with 7 different colors, 2.4 inches wide pneumatic tires. Non-slip resin pedals and training wheels along with front caliper brake levers and rear coaster brakes provide comfort and safety for young riders getting the first experience in cycling. It also features sealed bearing BB parts that make the wheel run smoothly and safely.

Compared to other RoyalBaby bikes for toddlers with training wheels like the RoyalBaby Honey kids bike, the BMX freestyle bike offers better value for money. Moreover, it is our premium pick because unlike other bikes on this list like the Yvolution Y Velo Flippa 4-in-1 bike, your child can grow with it. They can easily transition into two wheels with the bike.

What do we love it for?

  • This model comes in 7 colors
  • 5 wheel sizes
  • Durable construction
  • Two brake system for safety
  • Sealed bearing BB parts for an easier ride
  • Seat height range for growing kids
  • Water bottle and convenient holder for it
  • Sturdy training wheels
  • Wider 2.4 inches tires for more stability
  • Chain guard to prevent rider`s clothing from entrapping
  • Anti-slip resin pedals

What were we disappointed with?

  • The bike may be heavy for some kids
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 7892 people in the past 30 days
9.6
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.2
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.4
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.5
9.6
Features
  • Bike type: Balance bike
  • Wheel size: 10, 12 inches
  • Brakes: None
  • Weight: 6.39 lbs.
  • Material: High-tensile steel
  • Age: 18 months to 5 years
  • Max user weight: Not stated
  • Min user height: 31

More features: 4 colors, wide footrest, adjustable seat and handlebar, air-free tire

This joystar kids bike is one of the best budget bikes and a perfect gift for children who are just starting to ride a bike. The wide footrest makes it easier for them to stay on the bike and learn to keep the balance. The seat and handlebar are adjustable, so it can grow with your child. The air-free tire means that there is no need to worry about getting a flat tire. Besides, this 12 inch bike is super light, so young riders can handle it without any difficulties.

Compared to other kids bikes like the Woom 1, the Joystar balance bike is easier to use, thanks to its range of seat heights. This decent bike is also incredibly lightweight, coming in at a mere 6.39 pounds; probably the lightest on the market. Plus, the bike is made for both younger and older toddlers, therefore, your child will grow with it.

Why did it make our list?

  • Affordable price
  • This model comes in 4 colors
  • Lightweight
  • Wide footrest for gravity
  • Air-free tire to reduce the weight
  • Adjustable seat and handlebar for growing kids
  • Easy to assemble

What is not ideal about it?

  • Some buyers note that handlebars are loosely fixed
  • Plastic tires don`t provide smooth riding
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 3140 people in the past 30 days
9.4
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.9
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
8.9
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.2
9.4
4
Best Balance Bike

Strider Sport Balance Bike

Features
  • Bike type: Balance bike
  • Wheel size: 12 inches
  • Brakes: None
  • Weight: 6.7
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Age: 18 months to 5 years
  • Max user weight: 60 lbs.
  • Min user height: Not stated

More features: 7 colors, stainless steel frame, puncture-proof no-flat tires, from 11 to 19 inches adjustable seat height, padded seat, performance footrest,  child’s inseam 12 – 20 inches

The Strider 12 Sport Balance bike is a great choice for your child’s first two-wheeler.  This baby bike has all the benefits of a classic balance bike, with the added benefit of being adjustable to fit your growing child. The lightweight frame and no-flat tires allow children to learn how to balance and steer without needing training wheels or worrying about falling over. This model features an adjustable seat height from 11 to 19 inches tall, allowing it to grow with your child as they develop their coordination skills. Plus, the padded seat ensures comfort while riding.

If you need excellent quality, the Strider balance bike is a better option than the Joystar balance bike above. The two bikes are pretty similar, however with a different price range – Joystar Kids balance bike is cheaper. They are both built for younger and older toddlers and both are quite comfortable as the first bike. However, the Strider is higher in quality and has better tires and bike geometry.

What makes it stand out?

  • This model comes in 7 colors
  • Wide age range from 18 months to 5 years
  • Puncture-proof tires don’t require maintenance
  • Footrest
  • Adjustable seat height for growing kids
  • Lightweight
  • Padded seat for a more comfortable ride
  • Max user weight 60 lbs.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Plastic tires are hard and slippery
  • The price for a balance bike is quite high
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 8518 people in the past 30 days
9.3
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.0
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.1
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.2
9.3
Features
  • Bike type: Kids bike with training wheels
  • Wheel size: 12, 16 inches
  • Brakes: Coaster brake
  • Weight: 19 lbs.
  • Material: Steel
  • Age: 2 to 5 years
  • Max user weight: Not stated
  • Min user height: 28 inches

More features: 5 styles with Paw Patrol characters (for girls and boys), removable training wheels, adjustable seat, durable steel frame, handlebar plate\bag, chain guard

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Kids Bike is a great gift for Paw Patrol fans. This bike is designed for kids 2 to 5 years old and features the characters from the show. It has a steel frame, adjustable seat, coaster brake, and training wheels that can be removed when your child is ready to ride without them. The bike comes in 5 styles with different Paw Patrol characters (for girls and boys). It also includes a handlebar plate\bag with character graphics.

The Paw Patrol bike may make your toddler look forward to cycling more than most bikes on this list would. It stacks up well against other popular toddler bikes like RoyalBaby but its build quality doesn’t match. If you want a bike your child can grow with, you’d be better off with the RoyalBaby but if you need a bike that will make cycling exciting for your baby, then the Paw Patrol is the way to go.

What are its best features?

  • 5 styles with Paw Patrol characters (for boys and girls)
  • Removable training wheel for safer learning to keep the balance
  • Rear coaster brake which is easier to use for beginners
  • Adjustable seat height for growing kids
  • Handlebar plate\bag making the design special
  • Lightweight steel frame
  • Partial chain guard to prevent rider`s clothing from entrapping

What could be improved?

  • Some buyers note that bolts easily come loose
  • The bike may be heavy for some kids

Things to Consider

The first bike is very important for kids. It should be easy to ride, fun, and safe. It is natural for all kids to love bikes. Bikes let them explore the world in their own way, and it is great fun.

Choosing a bike for your 3 year old consider an adjustable seat because kids grow fairly fast. You do not want to buy a bike every few months and with an adjustable seat, you can change seat height every time it is necessary. Bike type is also important for kids, especially those who are 3 years old. This is one of the first bikes for your kid, so you have to be sure that it has good features. There are three most popular bike types for kids: balance bike, tricycle, and training-wheeled bike. Many depend on wheel size. Wheel size influences a bike’s control, a child’s comfort, and the style of their bike. The weight of the kid`s bike is very important too. Generally, you should look for a weight that is proportional to the child`s age and size. Finally, brakes. As kids are learning how to bike, they need much more gentle brakes.

Adjustable seat

The adjustable seat for kids` bikes is a very important issue to be discussed.

The fact is that parents should select a bike that allows their child to be in the seat and touch both feet on the ground.

It means it should fit child’s inseam. This is why the adjustable seat is a good helper in providing the right posture. Besides, it is very much necessary to have an adjustable seat since at this age your child gets taller very fast. If the height of the bike does not get changed then it becomes difficult for your kid to ride on. The adjustable seat gives a proper adjustment to the height of your kid. It allows a kid to ride the bike with a proper posture and in a safe manner.

Bike type

5 Best First Bikes for a 3 Year Old – First Vehicle Experience (Spring 2022)

Bike type is an important decision when purchasing a bike for a 3 year old. The type of bike varies depending on the child’s size, strength, and balance.

There are several different types of bikes that can be used as a kid`s first bike including balance bikes, tricycles, and bicycles with training wheels. Balance bikes are bikes that have no pedals and allow the child to place their feet on the ground as they ride. Balance bikes are another great choice for kids who are learning to keep the balance while riding and many consider these bikes as the best to start with. If you are looking to introduce younger kids to cycling, then read our article about best wooden balance bikes. Tricycles are a great option for young kids to learn pedaling. Tricycles can be easier to learn on than two-wheeled bikes. Pedal bikes with training wheels are often used as a first bike by kids who lack balance but want to learn how to ride two-wheeled bikes. The training wheels on these types of bikes can be adjusted depending on the child`s height, stability, and experience level. Once the child gets the hang of pedaling the bike,  the training wheels can be removed. However, if your child already can ride a bike and wants to experience proficient riding and tricks, you may be interested in best bmx bikes for kids.

Wheel size

When buying a bike for your child, you’ll have to decide if it will be 12 or 14 inch bikes – these are the most common wheel sizes for a 3 year old. You can choose according to the weight: if your child is under 40 lbs, then get your child a 12 inch bike. If your child is 40 lbs, then a 14 inch bike is better. You can also choose it in accordance with the height: 12 inch bike for 39.4 and 14 inch – for 43.3. If you are interested in 14 inch bikes, read our article about best 14-inch bikes.

Weight

The bike’s weight is often a factor that parents want to be lighter, especially when children are younger. In fact, finding the right bike for each child, parents should take into account their size and skill level. For children who have not been exposed to bicycles before, it may be best to get a bike with a lower weight, for a 3 year old it should be 20 lbs. maximum. Note that if you buy a bike that is too light for your kid, then he\she may have problems balancing it and maintaining control of it. On the other hand, heavy bike leads to discomfort and difficulty pedaling.

Brakes

5 Best First Bikes for a 3 Year Old – First Vehicle Experience (Spring 2022)

As kids are learning how to bike, they need much more gentle brakes. This is why it is important to get a bike with brakes that work well and are easy to apply.

If you are looking for best bike for your 3 year old, it is important to make sure that the bike has good brakes. The brakes will keep your child safe; if the brakes aren`t good enough, then a kid could fall when going too fast. There are two types of brakes available in kids` bikes: front caliper brake and rear coaster brake. A front caliper brake is a hand brake attached to a caliper, it is activated with a lever on handlebars. While a rear coaster brake is usually located in the center of a bike`s wheel and a rider uses reverse pedaling to stop. Front caliper brakes are not so good for children. The reason why it`s not suitable for all kids is that when your child slows down or comes to a stop, the bike goes forward and this makes them lose balance. Another reason why it`s not suitable for children is that they don`t have enough grip to press the lever, so using it may be difficult and a kid won`t be able to stop in time. For the first bike in life, it is better to choose a rear brake because it is more secure and easy to use for beginners.

10 Tips to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike

  1. Introduce the bicycle to your child at the appropriate age which is about 3 years.
  2. Teach them to pedal with the feet rather than knee-pedal or foot-pitcher.
  3. Let your child choose their own bicycle.
  4. Choose a safe place for learning – a smooth, flat surface without much traffic is good enough for beginners.
  5. Learn with them, step by step.
  6. Teach them to steer the handlebars instead of just using them to hang on.
  7. Let them do without brakes at first – kids don’t need them, especially if you are teaching in a safe place.
  8. When your child is ready, teach him\her to brake with one foot (leg) first.
  9. Let your child choose her own style – if they want to sit on the seat, let them; if they want to put both feet on the ground and push like scooter or skateboarder, let them do that, too. Kids develop differently and learn skills at a different pace.
  10. Most importantly – have fun!

FAQ

The best age to teach children how to ride a bike is between ages 3 and 7. Younger children will have trouble with coordination, balance, and focus. At this time they are more focused, less likely to get distracted, and have better coordination. Around age 3 or 5 is when they start learning through play.

Training wheels are designed to help your child learn how to ride a bike. They usually attach using either quick release clamps or bolts. Quick release clamps are easier to deal with but the danger is that they can come undone while riding, leading to potential injuries. The typical lifespan of the average training wheelset is four years, depending on use.

Balance bikes are designed for children who do not know how to ride a bicycle yet. They allow children to get used to balancing the bike before they learn how to pedal. Since balance bikes are lighter than regular bicycles, it helps kids develop their sense of balance, coordination, and motor skills more easily compared with using tricycles or training wheels. This is why a balance bike is a good investment.

Our Verdict

The Y Velo Flippa 4-in-1 bike is the best choice for your 3 year old. It’s easy to transform this mega trike into a two-wheeled balance bike, and with 3 colors to choose from, your child will love cruising around on this bike. This transformer comes with an adjustable seat and handlebars, so it can grow with your child. While parent push bar feature provides better control. This kid’s bike is undoubtedly one of the best first bikes for 3 year old for its versatility.

The RoyalBaby Kids Bike features a premium design and has a training wheel system that helps keep your child stable and safe as they learn. The wide pneumatic tires provide a smooth ride, and the two brake system ensures that your child can stop quickly and safely.

Joystar Kids Balance Bike is the best value balance bike for toddlers who are just starting to learn how to ride a bike. The footrest makes riding comfortable. While the air-free tire means that there’s no need to worry about getting a flat.

References

1.
Choosing the Right Size Bicycle: Tips for Parents - HealthyChildren.org
​A bicycle of the wrong size may cause your child to lose control and be injured. Any bike must be the correct size for the child for whom it is bought.
2.
Two Secrets Teach A Child How to Ride A Bike - CyclingSavvy
If you know these two secrets, you can teach any child how to ride a bike.
3.
Teach your kids to ride a bike : BikeReady
Here’s how to help your child learn to ride in a few easy steps.
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