Best and Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes

Best and Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes

12″ and 14″ bikes are the best size of bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds, but they vary greatly in cost, size and features. For young kids, the weight and size of a bike play a huge role in determining how easy they pick up riding. The heavier the bike, the harder the bike is to balance for the child. To ensure a great fit for beginning riders, the child’s inseam should be as close as possible to the minimum seat height of the bike. Be sure to also take note that not all bikes comes with training wheels and kids who are moving up from a balance bike do not need training wheels.

Raleigh Jazzi 12″ – Best with Training Wheels: Girls

Best w/ Training Wheels

Best an Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes

RALEIGH Bikes Jazzi 12 Kids Bike with Training Wheels, Purple by RALEIGH $102.03 $10203  $149.99


Great quality, sturdy training wheels

With a tough build and fun and coloful designs, the Jazzi is a great bike and one of the few that comes with reliable training wheels. At 17 lb. it is a bit heavy for lighter weight kids.

FITS KIDS: With inseams ranging from 18″ to 21″. With training wheels, fits inseams from 16″ to 19″.

WEIGHT: 17.3 lb. (without training wheels)

TRAINING WHEELS: Comes with training wheels.

TIRE SIZE: 12″Pros:

  • Low step-through frame for easy on’s and off’s
  • Upright body positioning is comfortable for beginning riders
  • Sturdy build can take a beating
  • Good quality for the price
  • Fun and colorful graphics

Cons:

  • More challenging to pedal than other bikes
  • Coaster brake with no handbrake
  • Too heavy for petite riders

Raleigh MXR 12″ – Best with Training Wheels: Boys

Best w/ Training Wheels

Best an Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes

RALEIGH 2018 MXR 12 Kids Bike Blue by RALEIGH .

Great quality, sturdy training wheels

Built tough and with and cool graphic designs, the MXR is a great bike and one of the few that comes with reliable training wheels. At 17 lb. it is a bit heavy for lighter weight kids.

FITS KIDS: With inseams ranging from 18″ to 21″. With training wheels, fits inseams from 16″ to 19″.

WEIGHT: 17.3 lb. (without training wheels)

TRAINING WHEELS: Comes with training wheels.

TIRE SIZE: 12″

Raleigh MXR 12-inch (previous year design)

Pros:

  • Upright body positioning is comfortable for beginning riders
  • Sturdy build can take a beating
  • Good quality for the price
  • Fun and colorful graphics

Cons:More challenging to pedal than other bikesCoaster brake with no handbrakeToo heavy for petite riders

Strider 14x – Coverts from a Balance Bike to a Pedal Bike

Best Convertible

Best an Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes

Strider – 14X 2-in-1 Balance to Pedal Bike Kit by Strider $189.99 $18999 


Balance bike and pedal bike in one!

A great option for preschoolers who have yet to master a balance bike, the Strider 14x is a balance bike that converts to a pedal bike.

FITS KIDS: While the manufacturer recommends from ages 3 to 7, based on our testing, we recommend only from ages 3 to 5, or with inseams ranging from 15″ to 20″ in balance bike mode and 14″ to 20″ in pedal bike mode.

WEIGHT: 12.5 lb.

TIRE SIZE: 14″

Best an Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes
Strider 14x in balance bike mode

Pros:

  • Starts as a balance bike and easily converts to a pedal bike
  • Larger frame and tire size fit kids from ages 3 to 5
  • Comfortable, upright body positioning promotes confidence for beginners
  • Cushioned, ergonomic seat

Cons:

  • No hand brake, coaster brake in pedal mode
  • Very short crank arms in pedal mode – difficult for kids over age 5 to ride

ByK E-250 – Best to Grow With

Best to Grow With

Best an Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes

ByK Bikes E250 MTB (Mountain Bike) by ByK Bikes $239.00 $23900


Best for small toddlers ready to ride

Small and mighty, the lightweight ByK E-250 is a great choice for young toddlers ready to ride. Comes with training wheels and a push bar for adults.

FITS KIDS: Ages 3 to 5 with inseams ranging from 15.5″ to 17″ for use without training wheels.

WEIGHT: 14.4 lb.

TRAINING WHEELS: Included

TIRE SIZE: 14″Pros:

  • Low center-of-gravity design for easier balancing
  • Included push bar to help parents balance unstable kids
  • Lightweight for its price range

Cons:

  • Overall quality of components could use improvement
  • Coaster brake

Joey 2.5 – Most Versatile

Most Versatile

Best an Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes

Joey 2.5 Ergonomic Kids Bicycle, For Boys or Girls, Age 2-5, Height 33-41 inches, in Multiple Colors by JOEY $209.99 $20999 


Coaster brake free, comes with pushbar

Complete with training wheels, a push bar and NO coaster brake, the Joey is also a great choice for those not quite ready for two wheels as well as those who are. Comes in 6 colors!

FITS KIDS: With inseams ranging from 16″ to 18″.

WEIGHT: 14.8 lb.

TRAINING WHEELS: Included

TIRE SIZE: 14″

Best an Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes
Joey 2.5 ridden by a 3-year-old

Pros:

  • Longer wheelbase for increased stability
  • Upright geometry for easier balancing
  • Push bar and training wheels both included
  • Coaster-brake free

Cons:

  • Only 1.75″ of seat height adjustments
  • Single-pivot brakes versus v-pull

WOOM 2 – Best Overall

Best Overall

Best an Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes

Woom 2 Pedal Bike 14”, Ages 3 to 4.5 Years by RALEIGH .


Highest-quality and very easy to ride!

Ultra lightweight and impeccably built, the WOOM 2’s unique geometry centers the child’s weight over their hips allowing them to more naturally learn to balance a bike. Training wheels not included.

FITS KIDS: With inseams ranging from 16″ to 19″.

WEIGHT: 11.2 lb.

TRAINING WHEELS: Not provided.

TIRE SIZE: 14″

Best an Top Rated Bikes for 3 and 4-year-olds: 12 and 14-inch Bikes
WOOM 2 ridden by a 4-year-old

Pros:

  • Natural upright body position and easy to balance
  • The lightest pedal bike on the market (just 11.2 lb.)
  • High-end components
  • Green right-hand lever to promote safe braking
  • Optional freewheel kit (gets rid of coaster brake)
  • Available in four colors

Cons:

  • Too upright for very aggressive riders

Quick Tips about 12″ and 14″ Pedal Bikes

  1. Higher-end bikes are lighter, better-quality, and are generally much easier to ride than lower-end bikes. More affordable bikes are generally much heavier and more difficult for kids to ride. Unless you are willing to spend over $200, the budget bikes listed below are your best bet.
  2. Balance bikes teach kids how to balance a bike MUCH faster and easier than a bike with training wheels. To be honest, most 3 and even 4-year-olds would be better off on a balance bike than on a 12″ pedal bike. Consider getting a balance bike (like the Strider or woom 1) BEFORE you buy a bike with training wheels.3-year-old on Raleigh MXR 12″ vs. woom 1
  3. For those on a budget, also keep in mind that for the same price you can generally get a much better-designed balance bike than a pedal bike. In fact, balance bikes are becoming much more popular than 12″ bikes for kids learning how to ride a bike.
  4. The seat height of the bike is the best way to determine a proper fit.
    • For new pedal bike riders: a child’s inseam should match the seat height of the bike. This ensures they can stop the bike with their feet flat on the ground.
    • For experienced pedal bike riders and for kids using training wheels: a child’s inseam should be about 2″ LESS than the bike’s seat height. This allows for proper leg extension when pedaling. Kids will need to rely on the bike’s brakes (pedal brake or handbrake) to stop.
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