What Size Tricycle for a 3 Year Old?

When you were a kid, choosing a bike was the best thing in the world. You only have to walk into a store, choose the best looking and most colorful one out of the rest of the bicycles, and you’re all set. However, now that you have your own kid, getting a bike for your child is not that easy with your child’s safety in mind.

So, how do you choose the right bike for a 3-year-old? There is a long list to consider, but one of the most crucial ones is the bike’s fit and size. Let’s find out how to choose a bike that fits your child’s current stage of growth. 

Bike Size Chart 

Start by checking the children’s bike size chart. These are available at bike shops and everywhere else that sells bikes. 

Bike Size Chart – Height 

Age  Child’s Height  Wheel Size
2 to 3 years old 85 to 100 cm 30 cm
3 to 4 years old  95 to 110 cm 36 cm
4 to 5 years old  110 to 120 cm 41 cm
5 to 8 years old 120 to 135 cm 51 cm
8 to 11 years old 135 to 145 cm 61 cm
11+ year old 145+ cm 66 cm

Bike sizes, Types, and Features 

Bikes for kids come in sizes measured by their wheel diameter compared to bikes for adults measured by their frame sizes and the seats’ height. The typical wheel diameters for a child’s bicycles are 12, 16, 20, and 24 inches compared to adult mountain bikes that usually start 26 inches. 

It is worth noting that not all bicycle brands make bikes in all of these sizes. Some companies offer models with 14 or 18-inch wheels. 

Standard bikes for small children: 


Tricycles are ideal for children aged 2 to 3 years old. Tricycles are fun to use, and they also help your kids improve their balance and coordination. 

Balance Bikes 

Balance bikes are perfect for children aged 2 to 4 years old. Most kids start showing interest in a two-wheeler at the age of three. For kids like them, balance bikes with 12-inch wheels are usually the first choice. 

This type of bike does not have pedals, and it may or may not come with a brake. Your kid can propel himself by scooting along with his feet on the ground and can stop by planting his feet on the ground. 

Small Wheelers 

Small wheelers are ideal for children aged 3 to 5 years old. This is a basic first pedal bike because most small wheelers do not have plenty of features that you can find in bigger bikes, such as freewheel hubs and handbrakes. 

These bikes are a good transition from their tricycle or balance bike. You can find a bike with coaster brakes because it does not require plenty of manual coordination and agility. 

Considerations For Buying a Tricycle or Bike 


Choose a tricycle or bicycle that is made of strong and study materials. Choose metal over plastic, if you can. Always check and test out the steering to ensure the tricycle does not tip over easily. Do not forget to purchase a helmet for your child.  

Pedal Power

Make sure that toddler can easily reach the pedals and handlebars of the bike. If they cannot use any pedal power, they cannot ride; therefore, they won’t have fun. Make sure you get a bicycle that your child can ride today and not six months from now. 

The Right Type of Tricycle

When choosing the best tricycle for toddlers, there are plenty of tricycles to choose from. There are the basic three-wheeled bikes, the big wheel tricycle, and the push tricycles. 

  • Big wheel tricycles: A big wheel tricycle is a low-riding tricycle usually made of plastic with an oversized wheel in the front. 
  • Push tricycles: Push tricycles or Tricycle strollers allow parents to push their toddler’s tricycle along. They can give their kid a break when their legs get tired or are still not confident enough to pedal. This is easier for parents than having to carry the bike around while they keep on their kids. 

Final thoughts 

If you have a toddler or a young child, having a tricycle is a great way to encourage and motivate them to do outdoor physical activities. Nowadays, many children do not enjoy playing outside and would rather spend time indoors playing video games, watching television, and using their smartphones. 

Kids will love using their tricycles and bicycles. Even if you do not have a big enough yard to put outdoor toys and equipment or even a nearby park for them to play in, a tricycle will allow them to ride around the neighborhood safely with the big kids.  A tricycle will also enable them to get some much needed fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. 

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