YBike Evolve 3 in 1 starts out as a trike, then transforms to a two-wheeler, letting your little rider gain confidence with each step. 2 to 5 years, $140; rightstart.com
Adjust the seat on the Red Bullet Balance Bike so your child can start, coast, and stop by pushing her feet on the ground. She'll learn how to keep it upright, no training wheels required. 3 years+, $50; chiccoshop.com
Get a little guy motivated with a ride that acts tough: He'll love the gadget on the Hot Wheels 12-inch Bike that makes an engine-revving sound. 3 to 5 years, $68; walmart.com
The 16-inch Novara Stinger comes with training wheels for a school-age learner. Later, a handle on the back of the seat helps you guide him. 5 to 8 years, $170; rei.com
Depending on how fast they grow, big kids can ride a 24-inch bike through their teens. Diamondback's Della Cruz has coaster brakes (she just pedals backward to stop) and a steel frame. 8 years+, $220; amazon.com
Originally published in the May 2014 issue of Parents magazine.