Are you wondering if it’s time for a new bike for your 4-year-old? They grow so fast, don’t they? But, what’s the next step if they aren’t ready to ride a bike without training wheels? We’ve done some research and put together a list of the 7 best bikes for 4-year-olds learning to ride, as well as some tips for finding the perfect one for your child.

Our Top Picks

RoyalBaby CubeTube Honey 18" Bicycle

Best Overall

ROYALBABY Honey and Buttons Kids Bike

JOYSTAR Training Wheels Kickstand Silver

Upgrade Choice

JOYSTAR Bicycle Training Wheels 

Huffy  Marvel Spider-Man Boys' Bike 

Best Budget Buy

HUFFY  Marvel Spider-Man Boys' Bike 

How to Pick the Best Bike for your 4-Year-Old

There are a few things to consider as you are searching for the right one. Here are some of the things that we look at as we are evaluating each different bike. You may have a few other features that are important to you, but this is a pretty good start for some of the things that might need to be considered.

1. Recommended Age

You’ll see a recommended age for all of the bikes for a reason. It’s about your child’s size, the size of the bicycle, and its weight. They’re specifically designed for certain ages. The tricky part is that all children grow at different rates. Basically, you’re looking for a bike that will make them stretch their feet to touch the ground when they’re sitting on it. This helps them learn to keep their balance safely. Most 4-year-olds will fit best on a 12″ or 14″ bike. You also want to make sure that it’s not too heavy for them to handle.

2. Type

Kids learning to ride bikes are transitioning from either 3-wheelers or smaller bikes with training wheels. So, what’s the next, best step? We found some great balance bikes and larger pedal bicycles with training wheels. Balance bikes are a lot of fun! With no pedals and no brakes, your child’s legs balance, steer, and guide. Either a balance bike or one with training wheels will help them with their balance. But, at some point, you will be introducing them to pedals and training wheels can be a big advantage.

3. Price

While price is usually indicative of quality, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the price of a bike is because of all of the bells and whistles that are added on. And, that might not be what you’re looking for. Or, you may want to go all out! It’s all about what you want them to get out of the bike. We’ll rank the prices as $ for the lowest price, $ for a medium priced bike, and $ for the more expensive ones.

4. Material

You’ll see the bikes made out of steel, aluminum, or wood. Steel will be the strongest and the heaviest, with aluminum being lighter and less likely to rust. Wood is a very charming and durable way of holding onto a little old-style action. Honestly, it’s not always a matter of what the bike is made of. It’s more about the quality of the material that’s being used, and who’s making it. That’s a big reason why we only review products made by responsible manufacturers.

5. Brakes

brakes when they race along on their balance bikes. But, the pedal bikes with training wheels will have a coaster break on the rear wheel. They may also have hand brakes on the handlebars, which is an added bonus, teaching them another important facet of bicycling.

6. Color options

It can be pretty frustrating when you find the perfect style of bike that you are looking for, but you can’t get it in the right color. It’s also nice to have colors available for both boys and girls.

The Winners

#1

RoyalBaby Honey and Buttons Kids Bike

Best Overall

The unique, squared-edge frame design really sets this one off with its own style. Not only does it look sleek and efficient. It is! The RoyalBaby Honey and Buttons Kids Bike is powered with a single-speed drive-train and a one piece crank, they’ll have no problem pedaling away. It even has an ergonomically designed seat to hold them in place.

Age: 4 to 8
Type: training wheels
Price: $$
Material: square-tube steel frame
Brakes: coaster and hand brake
Color options: yes, 6

#2

JOYSTAR Bicycle Training Wheels 

Upgrade Choice

She’ll look so prim and proper riding this tidy, little cutie that looks like days-gone-by. The JOYSTAR Bicycle Training Wheels  comes in two colors, tan or pink, both with a matching wicker basket for the front. An ideal big-girl bike for when she’s outgrown her little-girl bike, it’s just too sweet! 

Age: 4 to 6
Type: training wheels
Price: $$
Material: steel
Brakes: coaster
Color options: yes, 2

#3

Huffy  Marvel Spider-Man Boys' Bike 

Best Budget Buy

Blue and red all over, looking like a Marvel Spider-Man machine, this one’s pretty cool. It even has hooks on the web design so he can attach action figures to take along for the ride. The Huffy  Marvel Spider-Man Boys’ Bike is also a great price for a well-built, steel bike.

Age: 3 to 5
Type: training wheels
Price: $$
Material: steel
Brakes: coaster
Color options: no

#4

RoyalBaby Stargirl Girls Bike

Best girls bike with training wheels

The Royalbaby Stargirl Girl’s Bike is so pretty with its ribbon streamers and the little basket hanging over the handlebars. There’s even a bell. It’s adorable and tough! This one’s built to last with high-quality, welded, steel construction. And, it even has a quick-release on the seat for easy adjustments. 

Age: 3 to 8
Type: training wheels
Price: $$
Material: steel
Brakes: coaster and hand brake
Color options: yes, 2

#5

Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike

Best balance bike for 4-year-old

With a simple, sleek design, a large, comfortable seat, and padded handlebar grips, the Cruzee Ultralite Balance Bike will quickly teach your little one the art of not falling. Constructed with rust-free anodized aluminum, Cruzee even has 14 different colors to choose from, for both girls and boys.

Age: 18 months to 5 years
Type: balance
Price: $$
Material: aluminum
Brakes: no
Color options: yes, 12

#6

Prince Lionheart Balance Bike

Best balance bike

A nifty, little balance bike designed to look like an old motorcycle. Your little one will be off in no time as they learn to balance on their own and use the power of those cute little feet to take them wherever they want to go. The Prince Lionheart Balance Bike is an ideal way to get them ready for pedals.

Age: 2 to 5 years, up to 65 pounds
Type: balance
Price: $
Material: birch wood
Brakes: no
Color options: no

FAQs: All you need to know

Q What size bike is best for a 4-year-old?

A Of course, it depends on your child’s size. But, usually you’ll be looking at 12″ and 14′ bikes. Straddling the seat, their feet should be a couple of inches off of the ground. Training wheels are usually sold separately with bikes over 16″.

Q Which is best: balance bike-vs-training wheels?

A Balance is harder to learn than peddling. With a balance bike, they learn to balance, then move on to a pedal bike with training wheels. If they’re learning to ride with training wheels, they are mastering balancing and pedaling at the same time. So, there really isn’t a definite advantage of one over the other.

Q Why teach your kids to learn bike riding in the first place?

A It’s fun! Don’t you remember that exhilarating feel of the wind blowing on your face as you raced down hills on warm, summer days when you were a kid. Not to mention, it’s great exercise, which is good for their health. And, it’s free!

Q Does the material of the frame matter?

A It really comes down to a matter of preference. And, as we mentioned earlier, it’s more about the quality of the materials, and who is manufacturing them. As long as they are built solid and taken care of correctly, they’ll last for as long as you need them to.

Q Can I buy a bigger bike that they can grow with?

A This is tempting, right? You could save a little money and buy one that will last them longer. But, if the bike is too big, it will take them a lot longer to learn balancing. Plus, there is always the safety factor. Falls are no fun!

Q What are the best brakes?

A At this age, brakes might be a new concept for your little ones. With a balance bike, they are their own brakes. The coaster brake on pedal bikes is great for learning the power of braking. And, having brakes on the handlebars is just another way of setting them up for success for when they advance to their next bike, which probably won’t have a coaster brake.

Q What’s the best sitting position at this age?

A You’ll notice that some bikes have the kids sitting almost upright, while others have them leaning forward to grasp the handlebars. This is where the individuality of your child comes into play. Do you see them gently riding their bicycles with other friends in tow? Or, will they be racing their new bikes through the park. You just want them to be comfortable as they get some good, fun exercise.

Q Is the weight of the bicycle important?

A It can be if your 4-year-old is a little small for their age. If you think that the weight will be an issue, you could consider the aluminum-frame options. While steel is the strongest material for bikes, aluminum is much lighter, and can be just a durable if it’s taken care of.

Q Should you skip the training wheels altogether?

A It is an option. But, it will take a lot of physical exertion on your part. If you teach them to ride without training wheels, you’ll be right there beside them for all of the action. You’ll both be getting some great exercise!

Quick Decision

RoyalBaby Honey and Buttons Kids Bike – Best Overall
With its unique, square, steel-frame design and extra-wide tires for added support, this little beauty has both hand and coaster brakes, is available in a 12″ or 14″ with training wheels, and offers six different colors options, making it ideal for 4-year-old girls or boys.

JOYSTAR Bicycle Training Wheels  – Upgrade Choice
With the ultra-comfy, shock proof seat, an adorable basket on the front, and its sleek, old-school design, it’s a great next step up for your little girl who has outgrown her smaller bike.

Huffy  Marvel Spider-Man Boys’ Bike  – Best Budget Buy
Affordably priced, this Batman-themed bike with training wheels, a coaster brake, and spider webs all over it, is ideal for introducing your 4-year-old to the joys of bicycling.

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Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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