- Value: 18/20
- Functionality: 19/20
- Quality/Ease of Use: 19/20
- Aesthetics: 20/20
- Star Status: 20/20
- TOTAL: 96/100
When I initially got a pitch to check out the Liki Trike by Doona, I was intrigued. Not just because I was housebound with an occasionally tantrum-y two-year-old who desperately needed new ways to burn off energy while social distancing, but because this tricycle-turns-bicycle had a ringing celebrity approval: Cool dad Bradley Cooper’s daughter has been seen pedaling it around town. (A celeb customer isn’t everything, but it certainly piqued my curiosity.)
Was this fancy tricycle ($299) an A-Lister favorite for a reason? I was about to find out.
The concept: This convertible piece is designed for use from 10 months to three years old. You start off with “parent mode” (10 to 18 months) or “push mode” (10 to 24 months), which allows you to lock the pedals and steer, as you would a stroller, with your child still feeling like they’re the one in control. Next comes “tricycle mode” (for kids ages 24 to 30 months). This means you can remove the footrest and set your chil up to pedal on their own, though you still have the ability to steer. Finally, there’s “bike mode” (for kids ages 30 to 36 months). Here, the backrest, footrest and control bar all comes off—they’re on their own.
The setup. The instructions were very straightforward, which meant that as soon as I found a moment to do it (during naptime), I had built the tricycle in less than 10 minutes. Breaking it down to store is just as easy. Press a single button and it collapses, something that makes it ideal for city dwellers or those with limited space.
Using “push mode.” This was my son’s first tricycle experience. Yes, he’s two (aka ready for “tricycle mode”) but I was a touch nervous, so we eased into things. He loved it the minute he sat down, even though he wasn’t the one in control…yet. Speaking of control, from the parent perspective, that’s the number one perk; The steering system gives it the feel of a traditional (easy-to-push) stroller.
Using “tricycle mode.” I unlocked the pedals by tapping a button. Then, with the control bar still on for back-up steering, we went for a stroll to our neighborhood post office and gave our son the option to pedal on his own. He was thrilled. And, more importantly, capable. He figured out how everything worked rather fast and loved being the one driving the bus, so to speak. Halfway through our walk, he did get tired, but no big deal—we tapped the same button and reverted back to “push mode” on the fly. He could rest and relax. (My son is too young for us to test the “bike mode,” but we’re working up to it as he’s nearing 30 months.)
My only criticism. This might be because he’s a pedaling newbie, but my son’s feet slipped out of the Velcro foot straps quite a few times. We had to frequently stop to re-insert them only to have them slip right out again.
The cuteness factor. I’m not kidding when I say that two separate drivers pulled down their windows to ask us through their face masks: “Where on earth did you find that adorable tricycle?” One woman even did a U-turn: “They said it’s by Doona! You have to get one for Grace,” she exclaimed to her daughter who was on speakerphone.