Big Wheels are a fun toy that can allow a child to learn motor skills as well as to strengthen their muscles. Best of all, these toy vehicles can be used both indoors and outdoors so they are perfect in all weather and seasons. If you look to buy one for your child, Kidcrave.com recommends the Radio Flyer brands for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. It is simply the best product in its class and deserves some recognition. Find out the best big wheels for toddlers and kids today.
Radio Flyer Big Wheel Review
The big wheels from Radio Flyer is a high quality toy with different models that cater to the different age groups. For 3 year olds, we recommend its Big Flyer old model as it received the best reviews on Amazon. Radio Flyer has a model Grow n Go for 2 year olds, which we will also review in the later section of this article.
The Big Flyer is an outstanding vehicle toy that we think it is the best in the category. It is simply very well made in terms of both the design and the functionalities. Like all big wheel toys, the seat is adjustable to accommodate a growing child. Its front tire is a combination of plastic and rubber so the grip is very solid. If your child likes to spine the big wheel, it will no issue handling the stress.
This model is strictly for 3 year old and above. Any younger and it will be too big for the child to handle unless he or she is really very tall i.e. top 10% when compared to their peers.
In terms of putting it together, the instructions are fairly easy to follow and is 100% accurate. You will need tools like hammer, phillips screw driver and a crescent wrench to complete the assembly.
Parents who have this mostly said that their kids love it and use it very frequently. As of this writing, over 85% of the 700+ reviews on Amazon gave it 4 or 5 stars. That is how well rated this model is. Kidcrave.com fully recommends this as the best big wheel toy for 2016.
Grow n Go Big Wheel Review
As the name implies, the Grow n Go model has an adjustable seat that makes it possible for a 2 year old to use this big wheel. That being said, if your child is really short, I would hold on to the purchase as I heard some parents saying that even at the shortest configuration, it is still too big for their 2 year olds.
The Grow n Go also has a nice storage compartment at the back which kids can store their toys or bags. This feature is not available in the Big Flyer model.
Assembling this big wheel is easy enough, especially when you compared to the horror stories from other brands (see below). After the big wheel is put together, I must say the overall look is very nice and should attract the attention of the kids.
That being said, there is one particular problem that I think should not arise. The tires for this model is made of pure plastic, rather than a combination of plastic and rubber like the Big Flyer model. This plastic wheel makes it harder for the wheel to move and some kids might not be to master how to peddle correctly. I feel this is totally unnecessary if the company keeps to the same material. Maybe they did it to save cost?
Brands To Avoid
If you are not convinced that the Radio Flyer offers the best big wheel, here are Kidcrave.com’s opinions on the other brands and why we are not recommending them here.
Original Big Wheel
I like the adjustable seat aspect of the product but everything else just plain sucks. The main problem is that the seat wouldn’t last due to the way it is made and designed. When a kid pedals forward, he is exerting a lot of backward pressure. As the seat is a one piece design while the seatback is secured very tightly to the trike’s body, the pressure is then exerted on a thin piece of light plate that joins the seat and the seatback. Unfortunately, it is not strong enough and will tear away eventually, thus separating the seat from the seat back. This why you see so many reviews complaining about the non durability of the product. It is an inherent design flaw!
In addition, the assembly takes more effort than it should because the tools required are rubbish. For example, the instructions tell you to use a wooden block to prevent the axle from sliding down when you are inserting the rear wheel. Unfortunately, no wood block is provided if you are off to find one on your own. However, the most frustrating thing is when poor manufacturing problems lead to parts not matching each other when they are suppose to.
If you compare Big Wheel vs Radio Flyer, there is simply no comparison. The latter wins out by a big margin as it is easier to assemble and has no problems with the seat being separated.
Disney Big Wheel
I am surprised that a company as big as Disney will allow this to be made. Overall, the sizing for ok for a small child but the parts seem cheaply made and not worth the price. The biggest problem was it is difficult to turn the wheel because the rod connecting the wheels at the back is too short. Children will have a hard time maneuvering the vehicle.
The Disney big wheel also has installation issues. Specifically, the numbers of the parts do not match the ones stated in the instruction manual. In the end, you have to use a lot of guesswork to put the big wheel together. This should not happen at all. Someone at Disney is definitely sleeping on this.
How About Big Wheel For Toddlers?
I know there are some parent out there who are going for small big wheel for their 1 year olds. Although Disney do offer this kind of trikes, I am not recommending them here as the pedal drags the ground. This can be very frustrating for a toddler as he or she will struggle to turn the wheel or even go anywhere. Avoid this frustration and wait until your child is at least 2 years old to get him or her a better rated big wheel, like those mentioned above.
Big Wheels vs Trikes
One alternative of buying big wheel is to get a trike. Parents who are thinking about this might be wondering what are their differences. Below is a simple summary points to know:
- Safety: Compared to the trikes or scooters, Big Bike is safer at top speeds because it is so much lower to the ground. Also, a kid don’t need to balanc a big wheel since center of gravity is very low.
- Spin: Kids can learn how physics work through their ability to spin the big wheel. Even if they fall down from the spin, their proximity to the grounds ensures no much harm will be done.
- Ease of pedaling: Trikes will definitely be easier for a kid to paddle. In a big wheel, he is basically fighting gravity and has to position his leg at the 45 degrees to get the pedal going. In a trike, gravity is working in the kid’s flavor.
Big Wheels vs Balance Bike
Now that you know the difference when comparing big wheels vs tricycle, what about balance bike? Here are their differences:
- Safety: Both vehicle types are pretty safe. Kids cannot go fast in Balance Bike as they are merely pushing the bike along with their legs.
- Balancing: Big wheel has a bit of balancing element that the kid has to learn when he or she is spinning the toy. On the other hand, balance bike is made to help kids to learn about balancing so it is more useful in this aspect.
- Speed: Speed is definitely faster for a big wheel
- Spin: Only the big wheel can do the spin
If you want to learn more about balance bike, check out our article of 13 of the best balance bikes.
Big wheels for kids can be lots of fun if you get the right model. Pick a wrong model or a wrong brand and it could be big wheel hell for the parents. Trust us in this and just get the Radio Flyer’s Big Flyer model. You can’t go wrong.