10 Best Bikes for Kids Fully Reviewed
So you are ready to embark on the next classic milestone of childhood for your kid. Riding a bike is an important occasion in a fast growing, little child’s life. There is a lot to choose from and they are certainly not one-size fits all. Many kids bicycles aren’t made at the level of adult products. The market shows that parents aren’t willing to invest in spending a ton of money on a toy their child will quickly grow out of. However, parents will be looking for and will pay a bit more for bicycles that are safe and relevant to their child’s age, size and development stage.
The The size you choose is important. Your child should be easily able to keep their feet on the ground and they shouldn’t have a difficult time getting on and off. When considering the size of the model, the IBF provides these guidelines:
- Ages 4-5 will want a wheel size that is 12-14 inches, the child’s inseam will be 14-20 inches. A model with attached training wheels.
- Age 6 years, the wheel diameter is 16 inches and the child’s inseam would be 18-21 inches. Many in this category have coaster brakes and some may have hand brakes.
- Ages 7-8 years will want a wheel diameter that is 20 inches and the child’s inseam should be about 22-25 inches. Bicycles in this range may have more than one speed and they will have hand brakes.
- Ages 9+ will want a wheel diameter of 24 inches with the inseam being 26 inches or more. These will have many features that adult bikes have including increased price.
When we reviewed the options for kids on the market today, we use specific metrics for our picks. In this guide, the ones we chose included important information considered which were safety features, the frame, the breaking method, and the overall design.
- KaZAM v2e
- Great Learning Tool
- Schwinn Roadster
- Helps Build Strength & Endurance
- Joovy Bicycoo
- Easy to Maneuver
10 Best Bikes for Kids
This patented design helps little novice riders find their center of gravity. That helps them develop their balance and support their development towards being able to use one with pedals. It provides practical support and it is very comfortable for your little ones. Experiencing what it feels like to have their feet off the ground helps them gain confidence in riding and future larger models.
This one seems to be very comfortable for children, and it is a bit larger than others in its category so you will get far longer life out of it. You will have the option of using it while your child grows and until they are fairly ready to move onto the next level.
Cost and Value
This is a really nice and thoughtful design. It is tough enough to stand up to hard toddler use, it can take being banged up and still provide a great toy for your children. You can adjust the seat height to accommodate a variety of sizes of children.
Great for improving balance
Comfortable and supportive
Limited color options
It doesn’t come fully assembled, but literally, anyone can put this tricycle together with no problem. You can get it up and running easily for your little ones to be on the sidewalk peddling away. If you need to grease any parts, you can just as easily take it apart to access those parts for a quick fix.
Great for small kids who want to ride.
Your child will really love this one if they are interested in bicycles. It is easy to learn, it is safe and easy for your little ones to control once they get up and running. The frame is solid and the wheels are high quality. It can be cleaned once a week with no trouble at all.
Cost and Value
This model comes at a great price point. Its sporty retro look will turn heads in the neighborhood. It is made of metal, not plastic so you can be sure it can stand up to wear and tear and also be passed down between siblings.
Excellent build quality
Easy to clean and repair
Fantastic price point
Some assembly required
The aluminum frame is extremely lightweight which is great for smaller kids. Heavy wood and steal models are harder for children that are small to control and move forward. The tires are wider than most which add to help your child with balance. The tires are also made of high-quality rubber which will have a longer lifespan.
The suspension qualities of the rubber tires allow for a nice, effortless ride. The working hand brakes are for the rear tires. They simulate how real gears operate. As your child gets used to using them, they will stop using their shoes as breaks which reduces injuries and will keep a longer lifespan for your kid's shoes!
Cost and Value
This is a sturdy and high-quality product. It has great recessed bolts which make it a more comfortable ride for your little ones. The handbrake is a nice feature that gets your kids understanding how to use it early so they can have a smoother transition into larger bicycles.
- Lightweight and easy for children to maneuver
- Joovy products tend to be great quality
- Terrific balance model
- Impressive design
- Hand Brakes
- Instructions may be unclear
- Can be a little big for children who are on the very small side
Guardian really takes safety seriously in their designs. They say their mission is “accident-free biking.” They design for kid’s proportions versus just downsizing adult-sized models. Guardian was motivated to make theirs because they felt the industry was becoming more money obsessed and lacking in safety as a result.
The design incorporates a single lever that will trigger both breaks. It is an easy system that your child can operate with just one hand. This intelligent break design disperses it’s breaking power to both of the wheels. That helps limit stopping distance which prevents and reduces the risks of accidents.
Cost and Value
This is very comparable to higher end models and it is really designed to protect your child from accidents. It is a high-quality product with awesome brakes. Made of quality materials and it won’t take you much time at all to put it together.
Built for safety
Intelligently designed brakes
Terrific construction quality
Lots of custom details are included in RoyalBaby’s design. The training wheels will decrease noise so your child will be able to hear much better when they are riding. The tire tread to the grips on the handles is all unique to RoyalBaby.
Safety is taken into account with this one. Already discussed was the training wheel design. Those training wheels are also heavy duty. It also offers an enclosed chain guard and those cute safety grips.
Cost and Value
This is a nice looking “big kids” model that resembles a mountain bike. Great design, clever spacing for its water bottle. You can get it in the 14” size which is generally a size that can be fairly hard to find. Very easy for kids to use and become super confident in their riding abilities.
- Has a handle on the back of the seat
- Very comfortable seat
- Easy to use
- Good variety of sizing
- Really great build quality
- Pedals leave more to be desired
- It is very tall
A key feature of this one is that its frame is light-weight aluminum. It uses a long wheelbase that helps keep the riding sturdy and balanced. It is set for an upright riding position. It has low-profile balloon tires that can tackle various environments.
It uses narrow, child-sized cranks. These are designed to be better suited for the ergonomics of a child’s body. The gearing ratio is suitable for all riding and practicalities. There are front and rear hand V-Brakes and it has a freewheel component.
Cost and Value
This one also comes with a spare rear rim and everything you need to put it together in no time. It has terrific design and great safety features. It is very light which helps little ones navigate uneven terrains. It is well built and ordering for shipping is very easy.
- Light weight, 3 pounds lighter than the 2 model
- Comes fully packed with all your needs to assemble
- Easy assembly
- Freewheel capability
- Good company with a great reputation
- Back break sometimes can become loose
- Rear dropout faces backward
Made of birch trees that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. It has adjustable and easily washable cushioned seats. It has a low step-through frame that is perfect for young ones. The tires do not require air so they are maintenance free. The packing materials are minimal and they are made from recycled paper.
You get a great fit for your children. This one is designed to be ergonomically correct for the proportions of young children. The seat and handlebar are set to help your child begin developing good posture and be comfortable to boot.
Cost and Value
You have an inexpensive and fun toy with this pushbike. It is all natural and environmentally friendly. This handmade product is high quality and invaluable for developing coordination and fine motor skills for young children.
- Fun chalkboard finish
- Great price
- Great for development of young children
- You might want to remove the foot rests as they could impede walking
- Hard, plastic tires
You have a ton of stability with the design of this bike. There are two hand brakes and a foot brake so your child will understand using hand brakes easily. The design of the brakes is such that small hands can easily feel comfortable using it. Its wide tires are made of material suitable for a variety of terrains and also provide added balance support.
Will help your child ride without training wheels
Not sure how Woom does it but their design magic when it comes to helping kids quickly and effortlessly transition from balance models and training wheels to pedaled bikes works. This is no exception. Many people have seen their kids transition to being able to ride a big kids version with no training wheels.
Cost and Value
It is an amazing product that is very well made and it looks great too. It comes with a kickstand and freewheel option. It has a very low-level seat so little ones can have their feet touch the ground which will help with their confidence.
- Low seat
- Lots of balance and stability features
- Freewheel option
- Rear axle bolt could be longer
This one has a pretty nice build quality and it is super easy to assemble.The brakes are very functional, the rear brakes provide lots of adjustability. It is relatively lightweight and offers a lower inseam requirement. Not to mention it comes with a fun bell too.
Great for kids
Both boys and girls can easily transition to this model as their first real bicycle. Its narrow tires make it much better for road use. The lightweight design makes it much easier for kids to pedal, especially in difficult uphill and uneven environments.
Cost and Value
Priced on the higher end, it is made with quality materials and has a nice overall build. Can be for both boys and girls. You can assemble it effortlessly and it has a high gear ratio which is awesome for downhill and flat terrains.
- Great light weight
- Nice design
- Good for both boys and girls
- Easy to ride and control
- Wheels should be trued
- Front brake has limited adjustability
This one has a stylish design with great color. The size is fitting for many smaller children and is made out of durable materials. Its adjustability is a nice feature. The seat can be adjusted and the training wheels come off.
You get this one shipped to you with nice packaging and you get a portable pump and tools included in your package. The seat and handlebars are adjustable, the tires use air and they are wider which really helps with balance. There are soft rubber grips, it is easy to assemble. Built with a solid steel fork and frame.
Cost and Value
It is a terrific option for beginner bicycle riders. It is high quality and durable. It uses tires that need air so you get a much smoother ride. It is easy to put together and it has a nice design with eye-catching color your kids will appreciate.
- Great for beginners
- Tools and a pump come with it
- Pretty safe
- Fashionable look
- Long lifespan, can easily take a beating
- On the heavier side
- Could be difficult for smaller children to pedal
Bicycle riding is a terrific life skill for people, one that is largely taken for granted. Learning young how to master it as well as how to enjoy it can last a lifetime. Biking riding allows you to easily explore and travel throughout your surroundings and environment with ease and in an environmentally conscious way if you are into that. It is great physical exercise, low impact on joints, highly cardiovascular and it can really increase one’s endurance. The foundation of learning to ride a bike and liking it can be the basis of healthy exercise habits that can endure with children throughout their lives. It is really pure, simple, fun that is truly rewarding. This fun activity is freeing and enjoyable that you can participate in solo or with a partner or even with a group of friends or family. Exercise isn’t only physically rewarding, but mentally. Especially for children, exercise helps them to be less distracted and more eager to engage, listen and learn. It is an activity that is family oriented and a great healthy family bonding time. It is truly fun and something that all children should have the ability to learn and the ability to master and enjoy for life.
The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation
When you are shopping for the right bicycle for your child safety is first and foremost in your mind. Serious trauma can happen if an accident occurs and that’s specifically so for younger riders who aren’t experienced, engaged, or balanced enough to actively avoid danger or be able to react appropriately and timely in the event of an accident.
Younger children will need training wheels, a dependable braking system, and quality brake pads. Wider tires are best for younger riders who still need help developing their natural balance. Bikes that are designed for the right proportions for children and not just as a smaller size of an adult model are really nice. Bright colors that are easily seen and reflectors are also important. Durable tires are also critical in your decision.
Little kids just learning how to ride a bicycle will give the thing a fairly decent beating. There may be plenty of tiny accidents, falling over, running into things, letting it roll down the driveway and crash into the road or, eeek…something else. They may play rough with their stuff as well, so quality materials and solid build will ensure it can take the beating an still easily provide hours and hours of outdoor physical fun. Cheaper ones often are made out of low-cost and poor quality materials. As this happens, these will have a tendency to be bulkier and heavier which make for an awkward and complicated model for a young child to move and operate. Frames made of metal alloys are a good choice.
Smaller children, those under 5 years in age, should most often use pedal brakes. These brakes function to stop the wheels by the pedal going backward. This is because these younger children will often lack the coordination and dexterity to be able to make handbrakes work for them.
Choosing a model that has handbrakes the first consideration to be aware of is does your child know how to use them? The second factor for consideration is are they easy to reach and to hold? It can be very dangerous if your child is faced with a potential hazard or mishap and doesn’t know how to stop.
With many factors to take into consideration, size, safety features, frame, breaking method, etc., it is a lot to think about. Don’t forget to just overall compare designs. For the wheel, check how it spins. It should be able to move freely without moving when you push it side to side. When you find a quality wheel it will have a metal hub, and a rim as well as spokes.
We already discussed the value of a quality frame, but you should not forget to test the frame. Ensure the metal is not simply bent by hand. The frame should be aligned. Check for this by examining it head-on to see that everything lines up, the tires as well as the frame.
Last, definitely explore the materials the parts are made from. Plastic doesn’t last as long as metal-based parts. Steel can be heavy, specifically when it is used in the tire rims. If you are able to purchase one that your child likes second hand, don’t buy it unless it is in full working order. Check it out yourself but also ask questions. Has any work been done on it, like oiling the chain? Take a hard look at the wear and tear on the brake pads. As discussed earlier, you will not want your kids to fly down the street with worn down brake pads.
Other Important Factors to Consider
While it is important that your child’s bicycle is built safely itself, don’t forget the additional safety accessories to have your child wear when they ride. A helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards. And carrying water with you when your child is out and about is never going to serve you wrong. Hydration is important and sometimes our little ones are so excited when playing outside that they don’t stop to regularly drink some good old H2O.
Additionally, even though many parents, understandably so aren’t as interested in spending big bucks on children’s bicycles that they will outgrow fast, taking a bit of time to check out your local store could really be an invaluable resource for an easy to use, perfectly sized, quality product. Generally, they supply lighter models which are much easier to handle than heavier types for little ones and they also tend to be more durable. An added benefit is that if you have multiple children or an extended and family or friend network, these will last longer and be able to easily be handed down for multiple uses and love from many more children.
Last, are you going to use training wheels? This is a heavily debated aspect among parents. If you choose to use them you should ensure that they have adjustments to move them higher off the ground as your child improve their abilities on the bicycle. As your child gets a sense of his/her balance they will feel confident in knowing that there is the backup support of these wheels and that will also help their improvement. That being said, don’t feel the need to push your child too quickly to go it alone. Work together to decide when it is right to remove training wheels. You wouldn’t want to push too early because that has the potential of making your child less motivated and interested in riding altogether, and that would be a great shame. It is enjoyable, healthy and low impact on the limbs. It is a great lifelong physical activity and skill that would really benefit your child’s life young and as they get older.
Q: Does child temperament have a place in choosing a children’s bike?
We know you don’t want to hear that there is one more thing on this long list of factors to consider when choosing one for your child, but here is one more. Yes, temperament is a factor to consider. Even if your child is physically ready to ride a bicycle, they may not be mentally ready. Because balance is such a huge factor in bicycle riding, your child may actually not have the self-confidence or interest until the age of 10 or even older! Your vision of when your child should be riding versus your child’s outlook on this could be very far apart. Most experts say that a balance model is the best way to start because they allow for practice and training on balance. These also use the child’s own legs to stop them from falling which provides added personal care.
Q: Why is my child’s inseam important?
You can get a fairly good idea of which one to buy if you know your child’s age and size. The height of your child will be best reflected in their inseam measurement. You may have a child who is a height in the 50th percentile but has a shorter or longer inseam. That difference in the inseam could greatly change your decision on a product that is most comfortable for your child.
Q: Can you surprise your child with a bike based on measurements?
Well, this is tricky. Potentially if you have the right measurements and take into all the factors we have laid out, you could hit it spot on. But even though it is enticing and exciting to buy one as a surprise, the single best measure to ensure you are buying the exact right model, try it before you buy it. Your child should be able to put flat feet on the ground when they are on top of it, while also being able to be comfortable putting their foot down while seated. Their limbs shouldn’t be awkward while they pedal as well as they shouldn’t have to have fully stretched legs to work towards getting to the pedals when they are in their lowest position. Buy the one that is the right size for your child now, not one bigger to grow into. That will make it and could become a safety risk. If your child doesn’t quite fit, they will also have a harder time using it which may drastically reduce their interest and motivation to ride.