Which Radio Flyer tricycle is best?

Before your child has the balance to ride a standard bike, a tricycle introduces them to the fun of pedaling and the thrill of going faster than their legs can take them. If the name Radio Flyer sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the company behind the childhood staple “little red wagon.” But it also makes quality tricycles durable enough to be passed on to others once your child is ready to transition to a big-kid bike. 

Its best tricycle is the Radio Flyer Tricycle For Toddlers. It’s designed for kids aged 2-4 and comes in red and pink.

What to know before you buy a Radio Flyer tricycle

Radio Flyer tricycle types

Radio Flyer makes four types of tricycle: big wheel, push, upright and convertible.

  • Big wheel tricycles are the classic example. They have high-back reclining seats for comfort and a large front wheel for stability. They’re perfect for young kids transitioning from push models.
  • Push tricycles are the smallest variety. They have no pedals and usually have no back. They are powered purely by your child pushing off the ground. These are “baby’s-first” tricycles.
  • Upright tricycles are the last stage before big-kid bikes. They typically have no backrest and rely on full pedal power. The only difference between these and regular bikes is the smaller size and third wheel.
  • Convertible tricycles are designed to grow with your child, from baby to just shy of standard-bike ready. They start, effectively, as a stroller. Your child sits in the chair and places their feet on stable blocks instead of pedals as you push them with a handle from behind. When they’re ready, you strip away some parts and they become big wheel-like. Once they’ve outgrown that, more pieces come off and it becomes upright-like.

Weight

Radio Flyer tricycles need to carefully balance their weight with the intended age of rider. Too heavy and younger or weaker children won’t have the strength to pedal or push the tricycle along. Too light and it becomes easy to tip over, and thus, a safety hazard.

What to look for in a quality Radio Flyer tricycle

Frame material

Radio Flyer tricycle frames are typically made of metal or plastic.

  • Metal frames, usually steel, are typically used for older-leaning models. They are more durable and stable, but also heavier, so it takes more effort to get them moving. They are costlier.
  • Plastic frames are typically meant for young-leaning models. They’re small and light so they can easily be pushed around before your child has the dexterity for pedals. They’re also inexpensive, so it doesn’t sting when you notice your child is too big for it three months after purchase.

Adjustable seating

Kids grow fast. Thankfully, many Radio Flyer tricycles have adjustable seating to account for this. They can only adjust so far, but some of the better tricycles have a large enough adjustment range to squeak out an extra year or two, if your child is an average height with average growth speed.

How much you can expect to spend on a Radio Flyer tricycle

Radio Flyer tricycles cost between $30-$200, though most cost $50-$75. Sub-$50 models are plastic and meant for kids who can’t pedal. Models $75-plus are usually multifunction and built to last for years.

Radio Flyer tricycle FAQ

How safe are Radio Flyer tricycles?

A. Most have many safety features that limit accidents as much as possible. For example, some have harnesses that can keep a child from falling out. Many limit how sharp an angle the wheel can be turned to and use wide wheelbases to lower the risk of tipping over. Still, kids are kids, and they may find a way to hurt themselves.

How old should a child be to ride a Radio Flyer tricycle?

A. That depends on which one you’re considering and your child. Most Radio Flyer tricycles are designed with an age range in mind, but this is more of a suggestion if your child is smaller, larger or more advanced than average in some way. That said, stroller tricycles are perfect for any child the right size to fit comfortably in the seat. Other tricycles that require effort on your child’s part can’t be used until they can comfortably walk.

What’s the best Radio Flyer tricycle to buy?

Top Radio Flyer tricycle 

Radio Flyer Tricycle For Toddlers

Radio Flyer Tricycle For Toddlers

What you need to know: This is the ultimate classic tricycle design.

What you’ll love: The seat is adjustable so your child fits perfectly and continues to fit perfectly as they grow. The frame is made of strong steel and the wheels are made of rubber for a long-lasting, quality ride.

What you should consider: This is among the heavier tricycles, which can make riding difficult for the youngest kids. A few consumers received damaged and clearly used tricycles, and others struggled with assembly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Radio Flyer tricycle for the money

Radio Flyer Scoot 2 Pedal Ride-On Bike

Radio Flyer Scoot 2 Pedal Ride-On Bike

What you need to know: This is the perfect first tricycle for your toddler. The plastic construction is surprisingly durable and light enough to be easy to move.

What you’ll love: The pedals fold up so the youngest kids can scoot around, then fold down once they get old enough to really ride. The seat is contoured for comfort.

What you should consider: Some assembly is required and a few consumers reported not receiving the necessary screws. Other parents found it difficult for their children to get around.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Radio Flyer Pedal And Push Stroll N Trike

Radio Flyer Pedal And Push Stroll ‘N Trike

What you need to know: This model features a sunshade, snack tray and cupholder and is designed to change as your child grows older.

What you’ll love: It can be used as a stroller for babies to feel like they’re riding or deconstructed down to a standard tricycle. The seat is adjustable to change as your child grows, and it has a three-point safety harness that can be removed once they’re old enough.

What you should consider: There’s no system to prevent young children from changing the front wheel direction with the handles while it’s in stroller mode.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.