For kids, owning a bike is a rite of passage. It’s a way to prove that they’re growing up – and we all know how fast kids want to be adults. Finding the best bikes for kids is pretty basic: find the right size, the right design, and the right braking system. Don’t forget the helmet! Then you’re ready to set them off on their way.
Whether you’re looking for a toddler bike, the best bike for a 4-year old, or it’s your teen who wants a bike, this information will help you make the best possible choice.
|RoyalBaby BMX Freestyle Kids Bike|| 4.2 || $$ |
|Yamaha 12-Inch Moto Child's BMX|| 4.4 || $$ |
|Huffy Girls 20-inch Summerland Cruiser|| 5.0 || $$$ |
|TMNT Kids Bicycle|| 4.2 || $$$ |
|Diamondback Bicycles Mini Viper Kids BMX|| 4.3 || $$$ |
|Titan Girl's Flower Princess BMX|| 4.2 || $$ |
|Tauki Kid Bike BMX Style|| 4.3 || $$$ |
|Kent Super 20 Bicycle|| 4.0 || $$ |
|Dynacraft Throttle Magna Bike|| 4.5 || $$ |
|Power Rangers MegaForce Bicycle|| 4.0 || $ |
Features to Look at in the Best Bikes for Kids
When you’re shopping for a great bike for your kids, the most important factor to look at is the seat height. The height of a seat will determine how well a child will be able to ride their bike. Similar 16-inch bicycles may have 4-6 inches of variation in their seat height. Make sure to read the best reviews for kids’ bikes and carefully read through manufacturer descriptions to make sure the height of the seat matches the height of your child.
If your child is first learning how to ride, then they should be able to place a full foot on the ground. Once they’ve mastered their bicycle, it’s okay to have a child be able to only place their toes on the ground for control.
Handlebar shape and placement is also important. Many kids are learning how to balance for the first time on a bike and need to have their seat placed below the handlebars. The handlebars themselves should be somewhat flat, with perhaps a slight upward angle to them for a better grip.
For the best toddler bikes and for kids in the 3-8 age group, most of the bicycles have brakes that engage by pedaling backwards. Once your child masters the braking system and can balance well, it’s time to upgrade the bike to a levered braking system.
What You Need to Know About the Best Kids’ Bikes
The vast majority of bikes for kids are sized based on the circumference of the wheel. This means a 12-inch kids bike has wheels that are 12-inches in circumference. You’ll find this trend remains the same at every increase in size, up to the 24-inch bikes that are available right now.
To pick the proper size of bike for your child, you’ll need to take measurements and then compare them to actual dimensions of the frame itself.
Then you’ll notice that many bikes for kids tend to have certain knick-knacks added to the design of the bicycle. This may include baskets, streamers, bells, or lights. All of these features can be nice, but they also add to the final price you’ll pay for the bicycle. It is often better to invest into a kid’s bike that features a dual suspension, quality brakes, and a solid seat post because there is a lot of wear and tear that goes into the average bike.
What Is Standover Height? Why Does It Matter?
For any bike with a wheel circumference of less than 20 inches, the primary measurement is seat height compared to inseam. Once a child is older and is using a 20- to 24-inch bicycle, the standover height becomes the most important measurement. Kids are going to slip off the saddle of their bike from time to time. If the cross bar on the frame is lower than their inseam, then there is less of a risk of the frame causing an injury.
Lower standover heights also allow for more aggressive turning.
You’ll then want to look at the weight of the bicycle as well. Far too many of the best bikes for kids are actually too heavy for the average child. The best bikes should weigh less than one-third of the weight of the child. If you purchase a 20-pound toddler bike for a 3-year-old who weighs 30 pounds, then that’s far too heavy of a bike for them to use
What About Toddler Bikes?
Finding the right toddler bike is a similar process. Some toddler bikes are tricycles to help learn the basics of pedaling. You’ll even find some big wheel tricycles are in this category, which is a highly affordable way of getting your toddler active.
|Schwinn Boys' 12-Inch Grit Bike|| 4.0 || $$ |
|Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike|| 4.5 || $ |
|Paw Patrol 12-inch Bicycle|| 4.8 || $$ |
|Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike|| 4.7 || $$$ |
|TOMY John Deere Bicycle|| 4.2 || $$$ |
|YBIKE Balance Bike|| 4.2 || $$ |
|RoyalBaby Buttons Kids Bike with Training Wheels|| 4.4 || $$ |
|Ezee Glider Kids Balance Bike|| 4.4 || $$ |
|Prince Lionheart Balance Bike|| 4.1 || $$ |
|KaZAM Classic Balance Bike|| 4.3 || $$ |
When looking at toddler bikes, look at the leg distance from seat to pedal. You want your toddler to be able to reach their pedals without their knees banging into their chin or the handlebars. You’re looking for less leg splay, a firm wheel grip, and easy control mechanisms. This makes riding fun, which then encourages the toddler to step up to “big boy” or “big girl” bikes when the time is right.
If you’re really looking for the best possible bikes for your child, then you’re going to need to invest a good $200-$300 into this bike. That’s tough to do sometimes for kids who are tough on their toys, and obviously your budget is going to dictate what bike you can afford, but better materials and designs will cut down on leg splay and ultimately create better balance and fun.
Most bikes for kids are priced in the $60-$100 range. These include many of the cartoon character bikes that kids love today. With adequate care, including frequent monitoring of the bolts and screws in the bike, these are satisfactory for many kids to learn the basics of riding.
If you’re shopping for a bike for a teen, the same budgeting rules apply as they would to adult bikes. Look for $100-$300 prices for entry level bikes, with the best value options available in the $350-$600 range.
Here’s Our Reviews:
Best Kids’ Bikes: The quality of a bike for kids follows the same standards as adult bikes. For that reason, you’re looking for lightweight bikes that are a proper fit so an injury doesn’t occur should a sudden stop or bump in the road cause your kid to lose balance.
This BMX-style bicycle is perfect for kids who are just learning the basics of cycling. The training wheels help to keep the bike balanced, while the multiple-size frame options allow kids of all ages to embrace cycling in their own way. Front lever brakes allow for fast stopping and we appreciated the water bottle holder just above the rear wheel. If you want a solid bike, then get your kiddo this one and it will be greatly appreciated.
Kids can come up with some crazy ideas. They also have an impressive imagination. You’ll embrace both concepts with this motocross-style BMX bide. It features a steel frame and fork, coaster brakes, and steel rims that give a solid riding experience. Fenders are included to protect the chain, though the plastic pedals might need an upgrade with some aggressive riders. It assembles quickly, looks fantastic, and you’ll see improve jumps begin to form in front of your house immediately.
A bicycle is a great way to show your support for your favorite TV or movie characters. Only a few options exist for today’s parents who love the same characters as their children. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are one such franchise. Show your love for the turtles and pizza thanks to multiple size options. The frame is a little compressed and the bike is a bit heavy for younger children, but overall this is a straight-up purchase for a reliable bike at a fair price.
This is the bike to purchase if you know for certain that your kiddo is going to be an aggressive rider. The training wheels are heavy duty, the frame is super-solid, and the fork is welded well so that the bike can take some good wear and tear. Kids are going to love the stable riding experience that this bike offers because of its center of gravity. We found the ride to be smooth and braking comprehensive with this bike.
Bicycles for kids aren’t just about the smaller 12- to 18-inch bicycles that are on the market. Older kids deserve to experience cycling too. This 7-speed bike with 20-inch wheels can provide just that. The dual suspension steel frame features a downhill fork and strong brakes so that the bike is quite forgiving. The quick release seat clamp allows for fast adjustments and twist-grip shifting is consistent and beneficial. It’s not really a beginner’s bike, so grab this one for the kiddo who is ready for an upgrade.
Best Toddler Bikes: Toddler bikes are a different story. They are generally smaller and often include a tricycle design. Look for balance bikes as a great training resource for 3- and 4-year-olds who are interested in cycling.
This toddler bike exudes fun. It’s a 12-inch standard bike with training wheels, so you can send your kiddo down the sidewalk with little worry. If you have an aggressive rider, we also appreciated the inclusion of a “parent push-handle” that will help you steer the bike safely… or help you push it back home because cycling has suddenly become more of a chore than something fun to do. Fenders help to keep dirt and debris away and the seat post offers you the chance to have this bike grow with your kids.
If your kiddo loves to look cool, then this mini big wheel tricycle is a solid option to help the learning process. It’s still pedal-powered and features large platform pedals so little shoes can get a big grip. The handlebars offer proper movement and rotation, while the seating is low enough to the ground that foot braking and control is also possible. There’s also a secret compartment under the seat for goodies – which means you’ll have leaves, rocks, and sticks to sort through later on at home.
There are many branded bikes for toddlers out there today, but few have the rounded design of this 12-inch beauty. All of the characters from Paw Patrol are featured on this bike, which comes with training wheels and fenders for added durability. You’ll just need to measure out the standover for this bike because the frame actually rounds upwards. This gives it a better balance, but also means some toddlers won’t be able to touch the ground with their whole foot.
This strider/balance bike is one of the best that’s out there right now for teaching the balancing mechanics of cycling. You’re going to be giving your toddler extra freedom, but at the same time, you’re also teaching them coordination and balance. Assembly only takes about 5 minutes thanks to this one-piece lightweight frame which features polymer tires. Seat upgrades and posts are also available if your kiddo is growing like a weed. Grab this balance bike today and you’ll see smiles for days to come.
This might be a 16-inch bike, but we’re still calling it a toddler bike because it gives you all of the learning essentials for a fair price. It’s an officially licensed product, rated for kids 4+, and helps to bring the lessons of the farm to your kiddo as they ride. Now if you’re a Case family, you’ll hate this bike – we understand. Yet with a rear coaster brake, a front hand brake, shocks, and a steel frame, this bike lets the mini-you have a mini-bike just like you.
The best bikes for kids and toddlers help them learn to ride, offer high quality safety features, and multiple sizing options. Cycling can start as soon as 18 months thanks to the modern designs of bikes today. If you love cycling, then transfer that love to your kids with one of these awesome bikes right now.