Best Bikes for 3 to 5 Year-Old Kids

By Eric Awwy, 29 Nov 2020

Want to get your toddler up and active as early as you can? Does it get any better than with the use of a bike?

For little kiddos between three and five years old, 12-inch and 14-inch bikes are best suited for their sizes. The proportions of such bikes are just right for the little ones to master how to ride.

But believe it or not, other than the tire size, there’s a lot more that determines the right bike for your precious little one.

You want the best for your kiddo, so you also want to compare factors such as the bike’s frame material, weight, type of brakes it has, its comfort features, and more importantly, its safety features. We have a detailed account of what to look out for when searching for a kid’s bike, which you will find handy.

But even with this list in mind, it can still get strenuous when rummaging through the hundreds of kid’s bikes on the market. That is why we’ve tested and narrowed down 15 of the best bikes for toddlers and preschoolers for you.

Have a look

1 Woom 2 Pedal bike

Woom 2 14-inch Pedal Bike
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If there’s ever a kid-designed bike out there, it is the Woom bikes.

Woom specializes in manufacturing lightweight yet extremely sturdy bikes for little riders who are just getting initiated into the riding world.

The Woom 2 is a 14-inch pedal bike that weighs a negligible 11.2 pounds that kids find easy to navigate. In case that doesn’t convince you, then knowing that it’s the lightest 12 or 14-inch bike on the market definitely will.

Based on an aluminum frame, not only is the bike too light, but it is also designed to promote a naturally upright body positioning with its unique geometry. The upright positioning is excellent for the beginner ride, although it may not be the best for aggressive riders.

With its color-coded hand lever for safe braking as well as a steering limiter, this bike hits all the marks when it comes to ensuring the child’s safety.

Its price may be higher than most, but the Woom 2’s high-end components make the bike worth every coin spent.

With its high-end components, great geometry, and brake design, I think it’s safe to say, ‘once you go Woom, you can never go back.

2 RoyalBaby Space Shuttle Kids Bike (12 and 14 Inch)

RoyalBaby Kids Bike
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As far as sleekness goes, the Royalbaby Space shuttle gets it right with its smooth lines and glossy paint finish.

This 14-inch bike is ultra-light with a unique magnesium frame that makes it easy and intuitive for kids to handle.

It comes in 16-inch and 18-inch size variations, which also have an included heavy-duty kickstand for use when the child wants to park their two-wheeler.

It comes with a full Chainguard for chain protection, wide 2.4 inch tires, which offer extra stability for early riders, front and rear handbrakes for that double dose of safety, and training wheels for greater stability as the child learns to ride.

We especially love the ease of installation of the bike. With all the necessary tools included, assembly was beyond easy.

The adjustable handlebar is another great bonus as it allows shorter kids to grow into the bike and generally enables the bike to accommodate kids of different heights.

What makes the bike stand out in comparison to others on our review? It comes with a bell and two reflectors that work in unison to make it a fun and safe bike.

3 Raleigh MXR Kids Bike

Raleigh MXR Bike for Kids
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Well-known in the bike industry, Raleigh kids’ are the best bikes to buy on a budget.

This Raleigh Bikes 12 inch MXR bike is just the bike for balance bike graduates.

Boys will particularly love the sturdy build of the bike, as they can handle it as roughly as they want to, yet it won’t fall apart.

Like Woom 2, it promotes a comfortable upright riding position, making it comfortable to ride on.

The Raleigh MXR’s 17.3 pounds weight is our only reservation about the bike. However, the training wheels it comes with easily offset the weight, making the bike easier to balance and navigate. The training wheels can be removed once the kiddo is more confident in their skill

This bike is best suited for neighborhood rides where the coaster brakes can easily and automatically be operated.

Lastly, the fun and colorful designs it comes in are a child-pleasing touch to the bike.

For their price range, you won’t find a more durable bike.

4 Strider 14X Sport Balance Bike

Strider 14X balance Bike
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Strider has made a good name for itself in the bike industry, so you should have no qualms trusting its legitimacy.

This 2-in-1 14-inch bike is a new product that is a sure game-changer. The convertible balance bike is a must-have for parents who want to save the extra coins they would have to spend on another bike.

They start by gliding on the bike and learning how to balance it; then, when they have mastered that skill

One of the best features about convertible balance bikes is that they allow them to develop a personal bond with the bike as they transition from balance bike mode to pedal mode. This is a fact that is guaranteed by the Strider 14X.

If you want more on such bikes, check out our detailed list on balance to pedal bike convertible bikes.

That aside, the Strider 14X features a cushioned ergonomic seat, upright body positioning, and soft handlebar grips for ultimate comfort. Besides, the bike features a footrest for resting little feet when gliding in balance bike mode.

For safety, the highly reversible coaster brakes do a great job of stopping the bike when needed.

Merely weighing 12 pounds, this bike’s weight is kid-optimized, and as far as its size is concerned, the bike is recommended for kids between 3 and 7 years old. In our own opinion, the taller handlebars are great for taller three-year-olds or petite seven-year-olds.

5 Schwinn Koen Boys Bike

Schwinn Koen Kids Bike
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Built on SmartStart frame design, the Schwinn Koen is one of the most affordable boy’s bikes on the market.

Its steel frame handles any beating with dignity, so you can expect to hand it down to the next kid rather than ending up in the land mill.  

This bike comes with training wheels, which ease stability for the youngest riders. Plus, it fits kid’s proportions exceptionally, making its overall handling much easier.

Another safety feature is its full-coverage chain guard, which protects the young rider’s feet and clothing as they ride.

Created with the parent in mind, it further features a unique saddle handle that parents will appreciate when transporting the bike. We love the handle aids with transportation, but it’s more important for parents to help steady the bike before the child takes off.

For young boys who love the experience of a two-wheeler, this is just the bike for them.

6 Nickelodeon Paw Patrol

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Kids Bike
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Here’s a bike that’s been designed for toddlers who love Paw Patrol. The Nickelodeon Paw Patrol themed design will have the young fans ready to take this bike out for a spin as soon as they set their eyes on it.

Perfectly sized for kids between 2 and 4 years old, the Nickelodeon Paw Patrol has a lot more to offer than what meets the eye.

The 12 inch wheels and steel frame are easy to propel forward on lazy afternoon rides around the neighborhood.

The child’s safety is guaranteed thanks to a rear coaster brake, which steadily stops the bike when pedaled backward. Besides, they are protected from cuts and scrapes with a chain guard.

Moreover, the Paw Patrol’s tool-free adjustable seat will ensure that the child remains with the bike for as long as their size allows.

As we said, this bike’s big size makes it best recommended for preschoolers, and hey, if you match it with a protective Paw Patrol helmet, then you’ve got the best gift for your kiddo.

7 Schwinn Elm Girls Bike

Schwinn Elm Kids Bike
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The Schwinn Elm girls’ bike has ‘girly’ written all over it.

We especially like the front basket it comes with. It’s an excellent touch for young female cyclists who will love carrying their favorite dolls with them as they ride. However, we’ll warn against overfilling the basket as this will likely damage the basket.

Away from that, the 12-inch bike is mounted on a durable steel frame with both a rear coaster brake and front handbrakes for stopping power.

Featuring Schwinn’s unique Smart Start design, this bike’s proportions make handling the bike such a breeze for young girls. These proportions include a lighter frame, narrower pedal positioning, and smaller grip diameters, which suit the smaller hands and physiques.

Its full chain coverage makes it safe to ride with shorts, whereas its padded seat and cushioned grips enhance rider comfort.

The adjustable saddle enables the bike to be still useful even as the kid grows, while the included saddle handle promotes easier transportation and storage of the bike.

With a lifetime warranty and perfectly positioned training wheels, there’s very little we would like to add to this bike’s design.

8 Joystar totem Kids Bike

Joystar totem Kids bike
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If you know anything about kids’ bikes, then you’ve come across the Joystar brand.

It’s an affordable bike brand, best suited for parents who want a wallet-friendly yet functional purchase.

Based on a steel frame, the Joystar Totem is precisely that. Its functionality over bumpy roads and the ability to withstand harsh treatment are just what one expects from a steel-constructed two-wheeler.

However, we will warn you that the frame isn’t the lightest.

We appreciate the fact that its assembly is easy and straightforward, and once set, its durable tires glide over rough trails with ease.

Its removable training wheels work well for training early learners on how to curve and balance the bike when in place and transition into actual cycling on two wheels when the young one is ready for a big kid pedal bike.

The detached training wheels can then be reattached when the next kid is ready to hop on a bike.

If you’ve had experience with young riders, you know that the oldest trick in the book for parents trying to get their kids to learn how to cycle is to allow the kids to customize their bikes. That said, Joystar totem’s chain guard is fully customizable with the application of decals that make the kid fall in love with their bikes and make them the coolest kid on their block.

Lastly, the bike’s adjustable seat post allows the kiddo to stay with the bike longer, and its coaster brakes give them full leverage over the bike as they increase and decrease their speed.

9 Joystar Vintage Kids Bike

Joystar Vintage kids Bike
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Another appearance from Joystar is the Joystar Vintage bike.

The 14-inch bike is an excellent choice for young riders within the 3 to 5-year-old range. First, the bike sports an attractive ‘retro’ design that is further accentuated with a classic basket to seal the deal for aesthetics lovers.

If you’re not a fan of the headache-inducing manuals, you will love how easy it is to assemble it. Within minutes it is ready for the kiddo to hop on and have fun.

The Joystar Vintage’s frame is superiorly built of premium steel material.

Leather handlebar grips that are easy and comfortable to hold work together with Joystar’s unique shockproof seat that is exceptionally comfortable compared to narrower alternatives; to up the bike's overall comfort level.

Kid-friendly coaster brakes reverse easily to stop the bike while the training wheels enhance balance and guarantee safety.

Apart from an attractive appearance, kids are guaranteed a comfortable riding experience on this one.

10 Joystar Fairy Kids Bike (With Coaster Brakes)

Joystar Fairy Bike with coaster brakes
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than standard seats, making it more comfortable than other options.

This is one of the mainly attractive features of the Joystar Fairy.

The leather seat with the leather handlebar grips is additional eye-catchy features.

As far as technicalities go, this 14-inch bike’s frame is made of steel frame whose durability is a great bonus for families who bank on hand-me-downs. The hi-ten steel frame and fork work in conjunction with off-road tires for impact resistance and grip over bumpy trails.

For stopping power, it features coaster brakes, which work well to prevent accidents.

It comes 85% assembled, making assembly anything but a hassle thanks to the detailed manual that accompanies it.

Specifically made for girls, it also features a bike basket for young girls to bring their favorite toys or for them to bring home the items they may have collected along the way.

Another great feature is that the bike sports a low bar, making it easy to get on and off without risk of injury. Plus, its easy-adjust seat height guarantees a longer shelf life.

Available in 12 inches and 14-inch sizes, the Joystar Fairy is a winner in our books.

11 Joystar Whizz kids' Bike

Joystar Whizz Bike for Kids
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Our last entry from Joystar is the Joystar whizz.

This company doesn’t disappoint, and that is why many kids are fans of their bikes.

You can count on the stability of the Joystar Whizz training wheels if you want to start your kid’s riding life as early as possible.

This 12-inch bike is robustly built on steel construction that can hold its own when abused by rough kids.

A full cover chain guard protects little feet while the front caliper brake and rear coaster brake work to stop the bike from accidents resulting in injury.

Its saddle comes with a holder for parents to grasp onto as they guide their child from falling off the bike in their beginning stages.

There’s a lot to boast about this bike, but one of its best features is the DIY sticker, which the kid can use to name their bike and personalize it.

12 Segway Ninebot Kids bike

Segway Ninebot Kids bike review
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If there’s one word that can describe the Segway Ninebot Kids bike, it’s ‘lightweight.’

But it’s not the type of lightweight that is likely to fall apart after the first month of riding. On the contrary, this bike’s aluminum frame construction makes the bike easy for kids to handle and very sturdy.

The14 inch size is just ideal for kids’ smaller frames. To guide them in their early days, it features training wheels that roll easily in addition to its high-quality shock-absorbing tires.

The tires have excellent traction thanks to an ideal thread pattern

Above all else, the instant brake reaction that enables kids to ride safely got a huge checkmark from our reviewer's team. Safety always comes first, and that is precisely what the Segway Ninebot front and rear v brakes offer.

A fully enclosed chain adds to the bike’s safety, while an adjustable seat height enables the bike to stay with the child even as they grow.

In conclusion, if you’re a fan of camping or other outdoor adventures, you will love that the Ninebot is easily portable as it allows the kids to travel with it when they please.

13 Huffy MotoX kids Bike

Huffy MotoX kids Bike review
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The Huffy MotoX is a racing-inspired BMX-style bike that is a sure hit among bold riders.

This 14-inch bike has a sturdy steel construction that can withstand tough beatings.

The removable training wheels are accurately positioned for balance training; and easily detachable once the child gets bolder.

Besides, the front hand brake and easy-to-use coaster brakes enable easy and convenient stopping of the bike while a chain guard efficiently protects the chain from damage.

We love how easy it is to adjust the seat height, but our favorite feature of this bike is the handlebar bag/pouch it comes with. This enables convenient storage of toys and snacks and is an excellent choice for riders who don’t fancy a bike basket.   

Ultimately, among the many great features, we also love how the child can endure many hours of riding without resultant sores thanks to the bike’s highly comfortable padded saddle.

As far as kids' bikes go, Huffy has really mastered the art of bike making.

14 Huffy Quick Connect

Huffy Quick Connect bike review
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The Huffy Quick Connect is just the perfect way to spice up you and your kid’s outdoor plays.

This super-cute bike is available in a wide variety of designs, so your kid will be sure to find something that matches their taste. We love the lack of monotony when it comes to design, as it can become pretty dull for kiddos.

But aside from that, the quick assembly of the bike, its comfortable handlebar grips, chain guard, padded seat with quick release for seat adjustment, and a handlebar bag for toys and snacks were all pleasant features to note.

This bike is age-appropriately designed for kids between 3 and 5 years of age. For starters, it is well-built with a high-quality frame that doesn’t lean too much into the heavier side, a fact that would make it hard for kids to handle.  It also features 14-inch wheels, which are further supported by removable training wheels.

A front handbrake and rear coaster brake prevent accidental collisions, while the integrated hand slot enables parents to guide beginner riders.

Again, we really are hooked on this bike’s super cute decals. What sells this bike is whether the kid is a fan of sparkly or superhero-inspired themes, there’s a bike for them.

15 PJ Masks Kids Bike

PJ Masks Kids Bike review
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Last but definitely not least, in our review, we’ve got the PJ Masks kids bicycle.

To put it simply, this bike is flamboyant and colorful, a sure head-turner for vibrant kids. And yet, that isn’t all to its cool features.

The bike sports pneumatic tires with spoke wheels, which are completed with ‘off-road style’ mudguards for that cool-kid look.

Further, this 14-inch bike is the perfect bike for novice riders within the 4 to 7-year-old age range as it is solidly built yet not too heavy to lift and turn around.

It features front and rear brakes and a freewheeling rear wheel for speed control, adjustable saddle and handlebars to accommodate the kid’s increase in size, and removable stabilizers that offer exceptionally outstanding balance.

Based on a steel frame and tough wheels, this PJ-masks-themed bike reigns supreme in terms of durability.

It is definitely an excellent purchase for little one’s neighborhood rides.

Five Things you must know about bikes for 3-5-year-old kids

  1. Even though some parents prefer the 12 and 14-inch bikes for their kids, they are sometimes smaller to fit this category of riders. The good news is that the versions we have reviewed here have 16-inch bike sizes that can comfortably fit 3-5 year-olds, especially those blessed with heights and body size. Check out our article on why we feel like you should never buy 12-inch bikes. We have also covered the best 16-inch bikes, which can fit bigger 3-5-year-olds.
  2. When selecting a bike, use seat height as a determining factor for the best fit for your kid. When you are just introducing your child into cycling, which we have established to be beneficial either way, you need to rely on the inseam. The inseam must match the seat height of the bike. Logically, with such a setting, the kiddo can stop the bike on flat feet and start riding easily. On the other hand, if it is an experienced bike pedal rider or a kid using training wheels, which we are against, ensure that the inseam is 2 inches less than the seat height of the bike. In this latter case, it is beneficial as it allows the extension of the leg when pedaling, and the kids are also stopping using brakes.
  1. If you are on a budget, you can instead consider buying the best balance bike. A better-designed balance bike will introduce your kids to cycling. Balance bikes are gaining popularity, and we believe they are superior to training wheels when it comes to learning how to cycle.
  2. As indicated above, the testers we trained through balance bikes as opposed to little pedal bikes mastered the arts of balance, control, and confidence on bikes faster. Three and four-year-old kids are great with balance bikes than they are with 12-inch bikes.
  3. In terms of durability, lightness, and quality, the highly-priced or high-end pedal bikes take a lead. The high-end pedal bikes for kids have the advantage of being easy to handle compared to lower-end bikes. Even though the affordable kids’ bikes do the same task of making them learn to ride, they are laborious for the kids. Bikes with a price tag of $200 and above come with better features, and most of them are reviewed in our article above.

Our Final Words on 12 and 14-inch Bikes

Recruiting kids into the world of biking is a pretty hard hit-or-miss game.

You want to be sure that you hit the mark by choosing the right bike for your toddler. Otherwise, that bike will spend its better days locked up in the garage before eventually being thrown out or donated.

And that’s why we’ve assembled a list of the best 12” and14 inch bikes in the market today, so you won’t have to go through the hassle.

These bikes were a sure hit with our young testers, so you can be sure that your little one won’t miss their favorite. Just take your time, comparing prices and other personal preferences, then choose one.

Best of luck!

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