Best Bikes For Kids
There is a certain freedom to cycling. The ability to ride through the streets, down to the park, or even on the trail is something that most people fall in love with at a very early age. Long before you got the keys to your first car, you had your first bike and the freedom and exhilaration that comes with it. Today’s kids are no exception. As a parent, you already know what one of the best bikes for kids can do for your child. You know the physical exercise, the sense of freedom, and the overall fun that they’ll have riding around the neighborhood with their friends. But you also know that there are a lot of quality bikes out there for the choosing. How do you find the right one for your child?
Don’t worry; we’ve scoured the Internet, read the reviews, and put the choices through the gauntlet so that you don’t have to. Here are our top picks of the best bikes for kids on the market today.
- Stampede Sprinter
- Responsive brakes
- Adjustable seat
- Cleary Gecko
- Extremely lightweight
- Easy to maneuver
- Woom 2
- Fairly lightweight
- Great in-between bike
10 Best Kids Bikes
When it comes to the overall seat height, this bike is suited for kids with an inseam of at least 22 inches, just just under two feet. While it’s not entirely suitable for the youngest cyclists out there, for those who have a bit more height and experience, this is a great overall choice.
This bike features easy to use hand brakes that are perfectly matched in size for smaller hands. If your little cyclist needs to stop quickly, an easy squeeze of either the front or back brakes will slow them down easily and safely.
The tires on this particular bike measure 16 inches, so it’s a bit more suited for an older kid, one who is probably at least 4 years old.
The bike’s shipping weight is listed as eighteen pounds, so it does have a bit of a heft to it. However, it does make for a very sturdy and dependable bike.
The chain area near the pedals is somewhat protected from rocks and debris, but only minimally so.
If you’re looking for a great dependable bike that will not only grow with your young cyclist, but also withstand his or her adventures with ease, it’s hard to top this best bike for kids.
- Great level of adjustment overall
- Responsive hand brakes
- Seat that’s easy to adjust
- May be a bit heavy for some
- Suitable for children over 4 years old
This bike is relatively small, making it a great choice for beginner riders. The stand over height is twelve inches, and is best suited for those with an inseam of between fifteen and eighteen inches. In addition, it’s easy to adjust the seat height to accommodate a not so expected growth spurt.
One of the great things about this bike is that it features either a coaster brake or hand brake option, depending on what you need. Most people opted for the hand brake option because it was that easy to use, but both are viable options.
The tires themselves are a bit smaller than other bikes for kids on the market today, measuring just about 12 inches, and frankly, that’s a great thing. The smaller tire size allows for easier movement of the bike by smaller bodies, giving the kids more confidence.
The overall weight of this bike is just over 15 pounds, which makes it fairly light and easy for smaller kids to maneuver.
As expected this bike features a single speed gearing system that not only makes for simple pedaling, but also makes it easy to keep the momentum moving even when the young cyclist pedals backwards, which may happen.
The Cleary Gecko bike is an absolutely fantastic bike for the rider who is small, young and full of adventure. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and offers a great many options to truly make the ride enjoyable. While it is a bit small for more experienced kids, for those just starting out this is a great choice.
- Extremely lightweight
- Easy to maneuver
- Very easy to adjust
- Perfect for kids under 4
- Great for beginners
- Not suitable for older kids
Woom 2 Pedal
This bike is a great fit for a child that measures between thirty-seven and forty-three inches in height.
This bike features both hand brake and coaster brake options for maximum safety and versatility.
The tires measure approximately 14 inches, which is a great intermediate step between the smaller bikes meant for beginners and the more advanced riders out there.
This bike weighs a little over 12 pounds, so it’s relatively lightweight. It should be easy enough for a child between 3 and 5 years old to use.
This is a simple single gear bike, as you might expect for this age. Overall the motion is smooth and offers little in the way of mishaps or hiccups.
The Woom 2 bike offers a great intermediate step for those children who have clearly mastered the art of balance on a bike, but aren’t quite ready for the big leagues yet. It’s lightweight and easy to ride, making it a great way to build up their confidence.
- Fairly lightweight
- Offers both coaster and hand brake options
- Great in-between bike
- May be a bit small for children over six.
- Assembly can be confusing
This bike comes in two basic sizes: twelve inch and sixteen inch. However, the range of adjustments, including seat height, handlebar height, and even the pedal height to a limited degree is a great feature.
This bike features only a rear coaster brake, which is a somewhat safer option, especially for riders who are still getting their bearings.
This bike is available in 12 inch and 16 inch tire size, which makes it a great choice for both beginner and more experienced riders.
Generally speaking, this bike is fairly lightweight, and is easy enough for most children in the four to seven year old range to operate it easily.
This bike for kids has a single speed gearing system, so it’s easy enough get the hang of riding in no time at all.
While it’s not suitable for kids under four years old, this bike from Tauki is a great overall investment. It can easily be adjusted to fit your child’s growth and skill level, and can truly grow with them in their early years of cycling.
- Easy to use
- Easily adjustable
- Not well suited for first time riders
Raleigh Jazzi 16
This bike is a perfect fit for girls that are between 39 and 45 inches tall, or most likely between the ages of three and five years old.
This bike is equipped with coaster brakes, which are by far the easiest to control and safest to use, especially for first time riders.
The sixteen inch wheels may be a bit big for some smaller riders, but overall most kids and parents found them to be more than reasonable.
This bike weighs just under 20 lbs overall, which makes it a fairly lightweight bike that most young girls can easily operate.
As expected, this bicycle features a single speed gearing system. It also has a protective chain guard, which helps to keep a young child’s legs or hands from getting tangled up in the chain unnecessarily.
If you’re looking for a great in-between bike for your little rider, it’s hard to go wrong with this bike from Raleigh Bikes. It’s lightweight, solidly built, and is a great overall size for girls between three and five years old.
- Easy to assemble
- Protective chain guard
- Removable training wheels
- 16 inch tires may be slightly larger for older children.
FDW Frame BMX
The dimensions of this bike measures approximately 43 x 23 x30 inches, so it’s well suited for a young rider, probably between 4 and 8 years old.
Like many other of the best bikes for kids on this list, this one features coaster brakes, which have been shown to be more responsive and reliable overall than hand brakes.
The tires on this particular bike measure sixteen inches in diameter, which makes it suitable for older kids. This is one bike that probably isn’t well sized for those under four years old.
The shipping weight for this bike is about 21 pounds, which means that when it is completely assembled the net weight is probably somewhere between eighteen and twenty pounds overall. It’s a bike that does have a bit of heaviness to it, and the solid steel construction can be a bit weighty for some riders.
Like many of the kid’s bikes detailed here, this bike features a single speed gearing mechanism that is easy to operate and fairly easy to maintain overall.
If you’re looking for a bike that can go the distance and still keep your young cyclist enjoying the ride without too much hassle, this tough kid bike is certainly worth a closer look. While it is certainly heavier than some, the solid construction means that it can take a beating without missing a beat.
- Solid, dependable construction
- Works just as well on the trail as in the driveway
- Great for more advanced riders
- May be a bit heavy
- Not suitable for kids under four.
Dynacraft Magna Major
This bike is best suited for those kids that stand about four feet tall overall, or between four and seven years old. If your child is older than that, or taller than that, chances are they will quickly out grow the bike.
This bike features a coaster style brake for added security and stopping power.
The tires measure sixteen inches in diameter, making this a great choice for an intermediate bike. In addition, the included training wheels can be easily removed once enough confidence and balance has been built up.
The overall weight of this bike is about twenty-five pounds, so it’s certainly not something that a smaller child can use with ease. However, it is solidly built, and should provide a good deal of riding enjoyment for many older children.
This bike features a single speed gearing system. In addition, there is a sizable chain guard that can protect both the bike and kid from undue damage.
If you’re looking for a tough, yet affordable bike to give a child that will either outgrow or out class the bike in a few months or a year, this one from Dynacraft is a great overall choice.
- Tough construction
- Single speed gearing system
This bike actually comes in a range of sizes, between 33 and 47 inches, making it a great overall fit for kids ranging from three to six years of age.
This bike features both hand and coaster brakes, which makes for a fairly easy transition from coaster brake to hand brake when the child is ready.
This bike is available in 12 inch tires, 14 inch tires, and 16 inch tires, so it can easily grow as your child does.
One of the serious drawbacks of this particular bike was the overall weight. Many children and their parents found that it was hard to pedal, and that the bike itself was simply too heavy for smaller children to operate.
This bike features a single speed gearing system with enclosed chain and gearing system to prevent unwanted damage. There were a few parents who found the assembly of the gearing to be a bit problematic, but overall it was a fairly simple design.
If you’re child is comfortable riding with a little extra weight, this is a good bike overall that can easily grow and adjust to your child as they learn to ride.
- Unisex design
- Relatively easy to assemble
- May be too heavy for some younger riders
- Gearing system known to be a little stiff.
Schwinn Scorch Bicycle
The nice thing about this particular bike is that it is proportionally designed for kids between the ages of four and eight. It’s not just a smaller bike; this bike is actually designed to fit the different proportions of a child for a more comfortable ride overall.
This brake features both a rear coaster brake and a hand brake for added safety and control. As your child grows, the use of the hand brake can be integrated into the bikes use.
The tires are sixteen inches in diameter, which makes them a good size for older, more experienced riders. This bike is probably a bit large for those under four years old.
The bike itself weighs just about twenty-seven pounds, so it does have a bit of weight to it. Young cyclists who still have to develop their physical bodies may find it a bit harder to managed.
This bike features a single speed gearing system with an included chain guard to help keep things running smoothly.
- Features both coaster and hand brakes
- Proportionally designed for children
- Designed to look like a “big kids” bike
- May be too large for younger riders
- May be too heavy for younger or weaker riders
This bike is designed for boys between the ages of three and five years old, or somewhere between 39 inches and 45 inches tall. And while it is designed specifically for boys, there really is no reason why a girl couldn’t ride it just as easily.
This bike features coaster brakes, so all a child has to do is pedal backwards to stop or slow down. It really is one of the safest options out there.
The tire size on this bike is sixteen inches, which may make it slightly larger for smaller kids. This is definitely a bike to try before buying if your child is somewhat small for his age.
One of the nicest things about this particular bike is the lightweight aluminum frame that keeps it lighter than most kid’s bicycles on the market today. It weighs just under twenty-five pounds, fully assembled.
This bike features a single gear system that features a stylized chain guard for added protection from the elements and wayward legs.
While it may be slightly too large for some smaller riders, this lightweight bike from Raleigh Bikes is a great choice for those who are just mastering the art of balance and cycle riding.
- Features safe coaster brakes
- Easy to remove training wheels
- May be too large for some smaller riders
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
In order for your kid to enjoy riding, he or she has to have a bicycle that fits. While it’s impossible to get an exact fit for the duration due to a child’s natural tendency to grow, in most cases you can get a proper fit by comparing the overall size of the bike, the tire size, and the height of your child. It’s also is a good idea to pay attention to the inseam, or length of the leg of your child to get a more proper fit.
As a general rule, a bike that fits your child well will allow them to touch the ground with their toes when they are sitting comfortably on the bicycle seat, and be flat-footed (again comfortably) when they are straddling the bicycle. If adjustments to the seat position don’t rectify the problem, the bike may be too big or small for your particular young cyclist, and other options should be considered.
For the most part, the best bikes for kids are divided into three main camps when it comes to brakes. The first type is those bikes that use a coaster or pedal brakes. They are by far the safest option when it comes to young riders, and can be easily used and offer a much more reliable option. The second type of brake style that is sometimes seen is the use of hand brakes that employ calipers to stop the bicycle. While this option is a viable one, it really is only suitable for more advanced riders, or ones that are comfortable using hand brakes. The third brake style often seen is a hybrid style that features both a rear coaster brake and a front hand brake. This option is a great overall choice for kids that are just starting to learn how to use a hand brake, or need to build up their overall confidence.
Just like the kids that ride them, the best bicycles for kids can come in a number of different sizes. This is also true for the tires. In most cases, the larger the diameter of the tire, the larger the bike, and therefore the larger or taller the child needs to be for a proper fit. In most cases, a tire diameter of twelve inches or less is a good choice for smaller individuals, such as someone between the ages of two and four, while a sixteen-inch tire is better suited for someone older than four years old.
It’s important to remember, however, that tire size only means the diameter of the tire, not the thickness or the amount of rubber hitting the road. In most cases, you’ll want a tire that is fairly thick – about one half to two inches in width. This helps your child to keep control of the bike, even under adverse conditions
One of the most important, and often overlooked factors when it comes to children’s bikes is the overall weight of the bike itself. If you think about it, it’s easy to see why this factor would be an important one. Simply put, if the bike is too heavy, chances are young riders will have difficulty controlling it. If a kid can’t move the bike via the pedals, he or she won’t be able to focus on learning to balance and ultimately to have fun.
For the most part, quality bikes for kids range in weight between fifteen and thirty pounds, with most of them falling into the twenty-pound area. That might not sound like a lot, but for smaller children, a bike that is lightweight helps immensely when it comes to learning how to ride and balance on a bicycle.
On a kid’s bike, the gearing system is probably one of the most straightforward things you’ll find. They often only have one speed, feature a chain and sprocket system that is powered by the pedals, and perhaps a chain guard to keep everything protected.
More to think about when choosing your next pair of bikes for kids
Where will your child be riding?
When you’re buying the best bike for your kid, one thing that you really should consider is where your child will be riding most of the time. Today there are quite a few bikes that are designed primarily for street use, but there are a number of them that are better suited for use on trails, in parks, or even on BMX trails. If you think that your little cycler will be going for these off-road environments, you may want to consider looking for a bike with better suspension, tires that have a wider girth and more traction, and handlebars that provide for a larger amount of control. However, if you know that your child will be riding primarily on the street, the wider tires may not be essential.
How long will your child ride this bike?
Let’s face it; chances are your child will grow, and grow quite a bit in his or her young life. When you’re buying a bike, you definitely need to take that into account. Taking the time to not only choose the right bike, but one that will grow with your kid can mean the difference between years of riding fun and an uncomfortable or awkward ride.
When you go to buy a bike, it’s important to take your child with you. While you may want the bike to be a surprise for your child’s next birthday or the upcoming holiday, think of it this way – how excited will they be to actually be there as their bike is picked out, with their help? Look for a bike that provides plenty of room between your child’s knees and the handlebars of the bike, but also allows him or her to stand easily with both feet on the ground when the straddle the bike. When they sit in the seat, the balls of their feet should touch the ground, and they should be able to comfortably reach the handlebars. By making sure that these criteria are met, you’ll know that the bike in question will last for a few years at least.
What type of accessories should the bike have?
Just like their adult counterparts, the best bikes for kids have the potential to come with a lot of accessories. Some come with training wheels, kickstands, water bottle holders and even bells and baskets to name a few. While not everything you’ll find is needed, sometimes choosing those little extra accessories can mean all the difference to your child. So think about what your child may like now, and in the future. Can you see your little girl wanting a basket to put her things in as she rides around the neighborhood? Or will she probably prefer a horn to let people know she is coming? Will your little boy want a place to keep a drink while riding, or a kickstand to make sure his bike is propped up when needed? Will your child need training wheels, or did they first learn on a balance bike? What additional features, if any, that the bike has is truly up to you and the child, so be creative!
Q: Should I worry about buying a boy’s bike versus a girl’s bike?
When it comes to riding, not really. In fact, many times the lower step through that is often seen on a “girls” bike makes for easier riding and balance control when a child is first starting to ride. The overall differences between the two styles differ little in their functionality and ability to be ridden.
In truth, most of the time the choice between a bike designed for boys and one designed for girls is purely a social one. Some boys prefer to ride a bike made for boys because it may look cooler to them. A young girl may like one that is specifically designed for her because it is easier to ride and looks nicer. Or the reverse could be true. So don’t worry about getting a bike that is designed for your child’s gender, and instead focus on getting one that they like and they can relate to, regardless of whom it was designed for.
Q: Where should I buy my child’s first bike?
When it comes to buying the best bike for your kid, there are a lot of options when it comes to where to go. You can certainly buy the bicycle on the Internet, but going to a specialty bike store or a department store are also options. Each has their advantages. Buying online is super convenient, but it really doesn’t offer the same one on one service that buying in person can. And while the department store will often have the prices that you want to pay, they can’t always provide the selection that a specialty store can give you.
Truth is, where you buy your child’s next bike is a personal choice. If you’re buying for the first time, we would suggest that you and your kid shop together, and in person to make sure that the bike is a good fit for the long haul.
Q: Should I buy a used bike?
While it’s true that buying a used bicycle for your child may be a great economical choice, it may not be the right one for safety reasons. Simply put, you really don’t know the condition of a used bike, even after it has been looked over. Like any other vehicle, things such as frame damage or wear and tear on the gearing may lead to an early retirement for the bike, or worse yet, injury to your child.
In most cases, buying a bike new, or one that is still under warranty is a better option, if you can afford it.
But if you do choose to buy a used bike for your child, be sure to have it inspected by a reputable professional bike shop or bike repairer prior to making the purchase. These places and people see bikes from all rides of life and can often spot potential problems before they become big disasters. Yes, it might cost you a little bit of money for the inspection, say twenty to fifty dollars, but it can be well worth the investment considering the cost of the bike overall.
When it comes to the best bikes for kids buying one that is the best for your child is a personal decision. There are quite a few factors to take into consideration, including the overall style of bike, it’s size, weight, and what type of brakes it features. You’ll also want to consider how it looks, and how easy or difficult it is to ride. If you take the time and take your child’s likes and dislikes into account when making a purchase, chances are you won’t have too much trouble finding the right bike for them. We hope that this buying guide provides a great place to start your adventure.