Tricycle and tested

Finding a kids trike that's not going to break the bank (or your child's head) is no easy task. We select seven of the best

1. Ariel Racing Tricycle

Our mini-tester was unable, or unwilling, to tear her fingers away from all the battery-operated buttons (indicators, screeching brakes, Disney tunes and a bubble-maker) to actually go anywhere on this Harley Davidson-style trike. Definitely one for the girls, if you can live with the putrid pink Disney clutter, this is a reasonably solid option. Close to the ground, it’s naturally stable, so the absence of a safety belt was not too much of an issue. Your toddler will need pretty long legs to reach the pedals, but the laid-back style means she can propel herself along with her feet without getting her legs caught. True, this may delay the graduation to pedal power, but it will save mum and dad’s back, because there’s no pushing handle either.
Other colours: No
Age range: 2 years+
Price: Dhs249
From Toys R Us (04 206 6552)

2. Ben 10 Tricycle

This tricycle proved popular in our toddler test, chiefly because of its squeaky, squidgy horn. Despite being totally plastic, the handle felt relatively sturdy and it had other endearing features such as a seatbelt and a handy tray for carrying refreshments, teddies and other treasures. Not too boyish – outdoorsy girls could get away with this one too.
Other colours: No
Age range: 18 months-3 years
Price: Dhs379
From Toys R Us (04 206 6552)

3. Coloma Baby Sport Pink Tricycle

We liked the look of this one with its chunky wheels, over-sized front wheel and handle-bar rack. But despite the appearance of sturdiness, the bike has a flimsy feel. The pushing handle didn’t feel overly secure and the absence of ‘proper’ handlebars may not appeal to all kids. Plus the steering rack is rather big and bulky, so smaller tots may find it difficult to see where they’re going. The main downside, though, is the absence of a tray to keep all their goodies – a major omission.
Other colours: Green
Age range: 18 months-4 years
Price: Dhs349
From Toys R Us (04 206 6552)

4. Coloma Volqui 846 tricycle

A luminous yellow, green and orange tricycle with steel frame, tippy rear bin, squeaky horn and safety belt. The funky colours will appeal to both boys and girls, and we liked the no-nonsense approach with the accessories. The tippy bin may be a little difficult for younger kids to master but it adds another dimension as your child grows older. Like most other trikes, the pushing handle is a little rickety, but overall this model ticks all our boxes. The price is reasonable, but not too low so that you feel you’re scrimping on quality.
Other colours: No
Age range: 2-4 years
Price: Dhs310
From Babyshop (04 341 0604)

5. Melody trike with light

A basic plastic model in neutral green and blue, it has few bells and whistles, save the glowing battery-operated blocks on the handlebars. The absence of a parent handle will be tough on your back in the beginning until your child masters the art of pedalling. But we like the simplicity of this cheap-and-cheerful option, which is ideal for occasional use.
Other colours: No
Age range: 2-4 years
Price: Dhs120
From Babyshop (04 341 0604)

6. Raleigh Buggy

This is the mother of all toddler trikes, replete with baby surround and air-cushioned seat for extra padding on those nappy-clad rears, a steel frame and foot rests so your pedalling pup has somewhere to lay their weary feet while you take over the pushing.

The pedals can be locked in position or left to spin, and the height-adjustable directional push bar gives parents more control. ‘Sounds good!’, we hear you cry, but on closer examination, the baby surround is more of a burden than a blessing. Yes, junior is secure, but he’s robbed of the opportunity of practising getting on and off which is, of course, half the fun. However, the main downside is the hefty price. Maybe we’re meanies, but Dhs500+ for a teeny trike (decorated with disappointing cheapo stickers) is a little too much to stomach.
Age range: 2-4 years
Price: Dhs519
From Magrudy’s (04 295 7744)

7. Raleigh Molly Trike

We were initially attracted to this bike by the Raleigh brand name, plus the steel frame and handlebars which hark back to the quality of mum and dad’s youth. But the overall effect is marred by the plastic wheels, mud guards and seat. The tipping bin at the back is a nice touch but there isn’t even a horn or a bell to amuse little fingers, nor is there a seatbelt. The boys’ style in black is easier on the eye than this sickly pink version, but overall a little disappointing.
Other colours: Black
Age range: 2-4 years
Price: Dhs289
From Magrudy’s (04 295 7744)

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