Tricycles are highly recommendable for those who cannot ride bicycles for whatever reason. But do they fit everyone? What age are tricycles for, exactly?
Tricycles are best starting from toddlerhood. Kids as young as 1-3 years can ride them as long as they can touch the pedals and the ground while seated with their feet. There are, however, no upper age limits as even seniors can ride them.
Note, however, that tricycles, famously known as three-wheels or trikes, come in different sizes to suit different sets of people.
As for toddlers, you only need to consider their age and match them with a suitable trike. But for older kids, youths, and adults, you must consider their height.
Another thing you shouldn’t forget to look at is the load capacity. The trike should be able to carry your weight.
Tricycles Vs. Age Discussed!
Tricycles for Toddlers (1-3 Years): Tricycles For 1-3 Year Old.
When it comes to toddlers, they can ride a tricycle as early as their first year to about three years, depending on their development. That explains why most tricycles are recommended for kids between 1-3 years.
But before you can get a tricycle for your toddler, you’ve to ask yourself these two questions:
Question 1 – ‘Can my toddler steer it?’
If the answer is yes, get a big-wheel tricycle, which allows them to ride independently. But if the answer is NO, you should get a push tricycle, which enables you to push them as they try pedaling.
I’ll talk about the two tricycle types in a few.
Question 2 – ‘Is the tricycle well-built to keep my kid safe?
Sadly, not every tricycle is solid enough to guarantee the safety of your kid. The easiest way to know if a trike is well built is to look at its frame and wheels. If they are strong, then go for it. If not, consider the next option.
Let’s now talk about the two types:
a) Push Tricycles for Toddlers
As the name suggests, push tricycles require someone (a parent) to push the toddler as they pedal. It’s generally best for younger toddlers, mostly one year, who cannot ride independently.
That is the case with the Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 Kids’ Tricycle (View on Amazon). This toddler push tricycle is perfect for kids from 10 months (infants) to those who weigh up to 44 pounds.
So, your infant could grow with it as it enjoys four stages as follows:
- 1st Stage (Push Trike Stage) – Where the parent is in complete control of the tricycle and the toddler is only a passenger
- 2nd Stage (Baby Stage) – Where the surround arms come off and the baby pedals with a bit of push from the parent
- 3rd Stage (Advanced Stage) – Where the baby pedals without the surround arms
- 4th Stage (Trike Stage) – Where the push handle comes off and the child rides independently
b) Big-Wheel Tricycles for Toddlers
Big-wheel tricycles don’t come with a push handle and generally feature three large-size wheels for balance and ease of riding. Unlike push tricycles, big-wheel tricycles are for those toddlers who can ride independently. Of course, under the guidance of the parent.
One fantastic choice for toddlers and even older kids of up to 4 years is the Schwinn Roadster Tricycle (View on Amazon). This retro-style street trike is comfortable and safe to ride by kids, and it’s the type that your toddler can grow with.
How Do You Know Your Toddler Is Ready for A Tricycle?
(Tricycles Vs Age and Other Factors)
Not every toddler can ride a tricycle. So, you should be able to tell when your kid is ready, and here are the things to consider:
Ordinarily, tricycle manufacturers recommend their tricycles for 1-3-year-olds. But let’s face it; a 3-year-old is likely to ride a tricycle better than a 1-year-old.
So, it’s smart to get a push trike for a 1-year-old and a big-wheel tricycle for a 3-year-old.
Age is not the only thing that indicates a toddler can ride a specific trike. Also, consider their height. In that case, your child should be able to reach for the pedals, and while seated, they should be able to touch the ground with both feet.
That’ll ensure they can brake quickly as a toddler’s trike braking mechanism is dependent on touching the ground with both feet.
- Physical Strength
Your toddler should also be physically strong enough to pedal the trike independently unless you get them a push tricycle. The young one should also turn the three-wheel and stop it at will.
- Balance and Coordination
Balance and coordination are critical for your toddler to ride a tricycle independently. They should ride it in a straight line and do it upright. More importantly, they should have spatial awareness.
Tricycles for Kids Older Than 3 Years
Kids older than three years are almost outgrowing regular kids’ tricycles. So, only those between 3 and 4 years may be able to ride them.
Once your kid gets to 5 years, you should be training them to ride a regular two-wheel kids’ bike. But before they do, they need to learn to balance and coast, and that’s where you’ve to decide between a kids’ bike with training wheels and a balance bike.
In my view, a bike with training wheels is the same as a tricycle as none is effective in teaching your kid to coast. What you should get instead is a balance bike. It’s perfect for kids up to 5 years or even older.
Overall, you cannot go wrong with the Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike (View on Amazon). It’s perfect for kids up to 5 years, and the best bit is that you can get it for an 18-month toddler. So, your toddler could grow with it.
Tricycles for Adults (Age Not Considered)
Unlike kids’ tricycles, you can only get the right adult tricycle size by looking at its wheel size and not your age. In that case, you can go for either a 20-inch, 24-inch, or 26-inch tricycle, depending on your height, as shown in the table below.
|Wheel Size (inches)||Height|
Note that since the average woman is 5’4″ tall while the average man is 5’9″, men are likely to ride only 24-inch and 26-inch trikes while women can ride 20-inch or 24-inch.
But why do adults need tricycles when they could get regular bicycles?
Well, not all adults are confident riding a bicycle. Some are just afraid to try, and they prefer something more stable, and nothing fits the bill more than a trike.
To them, tricycles are safer than bicycles, and it’s not just because of their stability but also because of their slow speed.
You’ll also note that tricycles are comfortable, given that most have shock-absorbing saddles and others offer lumbar support. Plus, they have a larger carry capacity than bicycles.
One tricycle that checks almost all the boxes is the Schwinn Meridian Tricycle (View on Amazon).
This adult trike is available in 24-inch and 26-inch and comes in a low step-thru frame design that makes it very accessible.
Overall, you can choose to go single-speed if you plan to ride on a flat road or 3-speed or 7-speed if you plan to ride on slightly hilly or rougher terrain.
Tricycles for Seniors
Seniors require tricycles that offer them back support, and that’s where recumbent tricycles come in. It doesn’t mean that an upright trike like the Schwinn Meridian cannot work, but seniors generally need a trike that offers them the most lumbar support.
The advantage of a recumbent trike is that it evenly distributes the rider’s weight on the seat. That reduces the risk of concentrating pressure on one area, the lower back.
That’s the case with the Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle (View on Amazon). This trike comes with an extended frame that makes it roomy enough for seniors to ride it comfortably.
Overall, it suits riders who are 4’2″-6’3″ tall but not heavier than 250 pounds. Not only does it fit seniors but also most adults and youth within the height range.
FAQs (About Tricycles and Age)
1. What Age Do Toddlers Ride Tricycles?
Toddlers start to ride tricycles as early as one year. Note, nonetheless, that some may take longer, depending on their development. But still, those who cannot ride independently can ride push tricycles with adult help.
2. Can A 2-Year-Old Pedal a Tricycle?
2-year-olds can ride regular big-wheel tricycles as long as they can reach for the pedals and the ground with their feet. If they cannot, they should use push tricycles, more like strollers – they need someone to push them.
3. Can 4-Year-Olds Ride Tricycles?
Four years is a good age for riding tricycles. At this age, most kids are confident enough to ride a tricycle and try regular kids’ bikes. It’s essential, however, that you get the right tricycle size as most of them are for toddlers aged 1-3 years.
4. Are Tricycles Good for Toddlers?
Tricycles are fun for toddlers. They are a great distraction outdoors that toddlers would love. But more importantly, they allow toddlers to gather courage and confidence for riding a traditional two-wheel (bicycle) when the time is right.
5. What Age Is Appropriate for A Tricycle?
Provided that the rider can balance and steer a tricycle, they can ride it. So, there is no appropriate age. However, most manufacturers recommend them for toddlers, 1-3 years.
6. Are Tricycles Useful?
Tricycles come in handy in carrying lots of loads and are thus helpful in running errands. Additionally, these cycles are a perfect alternative to traditional bicycles, given that they are more stable and comfortable to ride.
7. Are Tricycles Good for Adults?
Tricycles are good for adults as they are a decent commuter choice even though they are slow. They suit those who often carry lots of heavy loads and those adults who prefer to do low-impact exercises, especially seniors.
But still, they are a better alternative to regular bicycles, especially for adults who cannot ride bicycles out of fear.
What Age Are Tricycles for? Closing Thought:
Generally, while there is no age limit for riding a tricycle, riders must reach for the pedals and brake with their feet. That means tricycles are best from toddlerhood (1-3 years). They, however, don’t have an upper age limit, which means that even seniors can ride them.