Ridgeback MX14, £119.99, www.ridgeback.co.uk

The MX, available in both 14in or 16in (£129) wheel sizes for over-3s, provides the next step up from a balance bike or trike. It’s singlespeed and can be used with or without stabilisers. The bike has alloy V-brakes with short reach levers so kids quickly learn to use and trust ‘real’ brakes, unlike many bikes in this size range which have pedal-back brakes. It’s got real bearings throughout rather than plastic bushes and the lighter aluminium frame is an excellent feature, making the bike easier to manoeuvre. 

PROS: V-brakes, light frame
CONS: plastic pedals need swapping for metal