The best bike for a 1 year old toddler

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If you're desperate to get your 1-year-old toddler their first bike, you've definitely come to the correct place - welcome to Cycle Sprog!

We're here to give you independent advice on getting your child (and perhaps you!) cycling, whatever their age.

It's really exciting buying your child (or grandchild) their first bike, but please make sure you buy them one they fit now and will enjoy riding.

In this article, we cover a variety of different options of toddler bikes for 1-year-olds.

Can a 1 year old ride a bike?

There can be a real difference in the physical abilities of children at this age, especially between those who have just turned one and those who are approaching their second birthday.

Each toddler will develop at a different rate, so please be patient and don’t force them to ride a bike if they’re not interested or not ready.

If they’re still crawling, then they’re not ready to ride a bike.


Frog Tadpole Mini in use - one of the best balance bikes for a 1 year old toddler

What type of bike can a one year old ride?

Of course a one year old won't be riding a pedal bike, but there are several options available which are mainly suitable from about 18 months and over, although some toddlers will be ready slightly earlier than that and others a lot later.

A pre-balance bike or toddle bike, which has 4 small wheels is a great choice to get them started and is suitable from as soon as they can toddle around.

After that, they can move onto a balance bike as pictured above.

If you don't know what one of these is, see our cunning titled post What is a Balance Bike.

Best baby and toddler helmets

Find out our top picks of the best bike helmets for babies and toddlers.

The best bike for a 1 year old

Here's our selection of the best ways you can get a 1-year-old onto wheels.

As you'll see they are roughly in age order based on a mix of physical development and inside leg measurement.

They're not all traditional "bikes" as most 1-year-olds won't be ready for that - but they've all got wheels to start them on their cycling journey.

Before you start take a moment to grab your FREE kids bike buying checklist to help you record all the information you need to find the perfect bike for your child. 

Scramblebugs and Scuttlebugs


The Scramblebug is a popular choice with parents who have younger children desperate to get moving on wheels, but are too young to ride a balance bike.

The Scramblebug is aimed at ages 10 months to 2 years and has 4 wheels to provide maximum stability for young riders. It’s available in 3 bright colourful designs – green, purple and red.

It’s very lightweight, and features a 3-step simple folding system meaning it’s portable so you can easily take it on your travels.  

The wheels move 360° so the rider can move around in any direction – forwards, backwards and even sideways. The Scramblebug can be used both indoors and outdoors.


The Scuttlebug has a three-wheel design which is great for stability and is aimed at slightly older toddlers aged 1 to 3 years old.

Available in a range of bright, colourful designs, including bumblebee, butterfly, grasshopper and beetle.

It requires steering, so is the next stage in helping your child develop their motor skills (whilst having great fun and being active).

The Scuttlebug wheels are suitable for indoor and outdoor use and ensures a smooth, quiet ride. It folds in three simple steps meaning it’s portable and can easily be taken on your travels.

Puky Wutsch/Woosh

PUKY BIKES STOCK UPDATE: Sadly the distributor bringing Puky Bikes into the UK from Germany went out of business in July 2023.

There are still used Puky bikes available - their longevity makes them an excellent second hand choice.

The PukyWutsch (also known as the Woosh in English) may suit taller toddlers from ages about 18 months and over, who have a more developed sense of stability. The plastic tyres with rubber coating allows quiet indoor riding with the best possible grip.

The Puky Wutsch is sized for children with an inside leg of 26cm through to 36cm (roughly equating to a height of 80cm to 95cm).

Frog Tadpole Mini

The 10″ wheel Frog Tadpole Mini is one of the very smallest balance bikes available and it’s suitable for children with an inside leg of just 24cm.

The Frog Tadpole Mini balance bike does have a rear brake which will allow your child to get used to braking when they are ready. However, don’t expect a very young child to use them – feet are more than adequate for stopping!

The tyres are pneumatic, which means you can take this bike outside and ride on a variety of surfaces, and there’s a quick-release seat post so the bike easily grows with your child.

Strider Sport Balance Bike

Built to be incredibly robust, fast and fun, Striders are used in balance bike racing the world over, as well as by children who just want to ride at a more leisurely pace.

The most popular model is the lightweight Strider Sport which is readily available here in the UK.

The Strider Sport weighs 3kg, making it easy for your child to ride and manoeuvre. It features mini-grips meaning little hands can easily take control and learn how to ride and balance on the bike.

The saddle goes as low as 28cm, which Strider claims is suitable for 18 months plus, but remember every child is different so measure them carefully.

You can read our review of the Strider Sport here.

Wishbone 3-in1 bike

The Wishbone is a 3 in 1 bike that is designed to grow with your child.

It starts out as a three-wheeler trike for toddlers with an inside leg of 27cm, which easily converts to a small two-wheeled balance bike.

For older children, the frame can be flipped and seat post extended to cater for children up to an inside leg of 46cm (probably about 4 years).

There is also a 2-in-1 version that skips the trike bit if your child doesn't need it.

Wishbone is a New Zealand based company, and their environmental credentials are worth mentioning.

The wooden version is made from sustainably produced birch and the plastic version from recycled carpet fibres and only one product is needed to span several years.

Buy Used



Wishbone 3 in 1 is one of the best bikes for a 1 year old

Strider Balance Bike Rocker

If your child can sit up unaided but can't yet walk (often about 12 months onwards) you can get them onto two wheels with the innovative Strider Rocking Base, which turns an ordinary Strider Balance bike into a rocker. No need for rocking horses anymore!!

The minimum inside leg measurement needs to be 22cm to fit this.

Cost wise, you do need to invest in both the bike and the base at the same time but this option means as soon as they're ready to progress to using the balance bike you just need to remove it from the base and away they go.




A bike for a 1 year old is just the start - do keep in touch!

We hope you’ve found this post useful, and you find the best bike for your 1-year-old.

As they grow (rapidly!) over the coming years you’re going to be facing lots of decisions about what bike to buy at different ages, where to ride and what to wear.

Keep up to date with all the news, views and opinions on family cycling by following Cycle Sprog on Facebook and Instagram, or signing up for our newsletter.

Welcome to the Cycle Sprog family!!

Before you start take a moment to grab your FREE kids bike buying checklist to help you record all the information you need to find the perfect bike for your child. 

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Amanda Oakley

Are there any with peddles?
My one yr old wants to move her feet in that motion a lot .

I struggle to find a peddle bike or trike or bucket rider small enough.
Child Height 27” or so

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