Best Bikes For Kids

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Stampede Sprinter
Test Winner: Stampede Sprinter
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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? Read on to find out.

Standout Picks

Stampede Bikes Sprinter 16 Pedal Bike
As the name of the brand suggests, this bike is built for adventure and playing it rough, as most active kids do. Built out of aircraft-grade metal and featuring easy to use hand brakes, this ride is sure to keep things moving along.
Amazon Link
Cleary Bikes 12" Inch Single Speed Bikes for Kids
Following a close second in the rankings for the best bike for kids comes this entry from Cleary Bikes. The single-speed Gecko is specifically designed for ease of use and comfort overall. Do you want to get your kid interested in cycling? This is a great way to introduce them to the sport.
Amazon Link
Woom 2 Pedal Bike 14”, Ages 3 to 4.5 Years
If you haven’t heard of the Woom Brand, be ready to be pleasantly surprised. The Woom 2 is a lightweight intermediate bike for kids that is perfect for those who have graduated from the balance bikes and training wheels and need practice riding like the “big kids”.
Amazon Link
Tauki Kid Bike BMX Bike for Boys and Girls
If you’re looking for a great bike for a kid that seems to be imitating a weed every time you turn around, this bike from Tauki might just be what you need. It’s solidly built, easy to put together, and more importantly, easy to adjust.
Amazon Link
RALEIGH Bikes Girls Jazzi 16 Bike
If there is a young girl in your life that wants to ride, this bike is perfectly designed just for her. This bike from Raleigh Bikes is a great introduction to the world of cycling that is tailor-made to make it an enjoyable adventure for any girl, young or old.
Amazon Link
16" Steel Frame Children BMX Girls Kids Bike
If you know that your young cyclist is going to put their bike through the ringer, you’ll want one that can withstand just about anything, right? Then you definitely want to consider this one from FDW. It’s solid construction, quality materials and no-nonsense design make it a perfect choice for the young adventurer in your life.
Amazon Link
Dynacraft Magna Major Damage Boys BMX Street
If you’re son or daughter seems to be tough on nearly everything they come in contact with, chances are you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a bike. Especially if they might outgrow it in a season or two. This is where a bike like this one from Dynacraft is such a nice thing. It’s tough, it’s fun to ride, and it’s affordable.
Amazon Link
$95.09
RoyalBaby Honey & Buttons Kids Bike
This bike from RoyalBaby features a unique squared up design that makes it a great fit for both young girls and boys. If you’re looking for a bike for a group of kids to share, this is definitely one to consider.
Amazon Link
Schwinn Scorch Boy's Bike with Training Wheels
If you’re looking for a bike that is made for smaller riders and not simply a shrunken version of an adult bike, this is definitely one to consider. While it may be a bit heavy and large for kids under four, overall this bike from Schwinn is a sturdy choice for kids on the go.
Amazon Link
Raleigh Bikes Kids MXR 16 Bike
If you’re looking for a great bike for your young cyclist to learn on, this example from Raleigh Bikes is certainly worth consideration. The lightweight aluminum frame makes for easy starts, and the removable training wheels make transitioning a breeze.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Accessories

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!

Size

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.

Adjustability

Let’s face it; chances are your child will grow quite a bit in his or her young life. When you’re buying a bike, you definitely need to take that into account. Choosing a bike that has some adjustable features to accommodate some growth in your child is a wise choice. 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.

Features

For this factor, we specifically looked at braking efficiency and the various types of brakes. 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.

Top 10 Picks

1. Stampede Sprinter

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Stampede Bikes Sprinter 16 Pedal Bike
Amazon Link

As the name of the brand suggests, this bike is built for adventure and playing it rough, as most active kids do. Built out of aircraft-grade metal and featuring easy to use hand brakes, this ride is sure to keep things moving along.

Read more

Size
When it comes to the overall seat height, this bike is suited for kids with an inseam of at least 22 inches, 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.

Brake Style
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.

Tire Size
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.

Weight
The bike’s shipping weight is listed as eighteen pounds, so it does have a bit of heft to it. However, it does make for a very sturdy and dependable bike.

Gearing
The chain area near the pedals is somewhat protected from rocks and debris, but only minimally so.

Summary
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.

Amazon Link

2. Cleary Gecko

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Cleary Bikes 12" Inch Single Speed Bikes for Kids
Amazon Link

Following a close second in the rankings for the best bike for kids comes this entry from Cleary Bikes. The single-speed Gecko is specifically designed for ease of use and comfort overall. Do you want to get your kid interested in cycling? This is a great way to introduce them to the sport.

Read more

Size
This bike is relatively small, making it a great choice for beginner riders. The standover 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.

Brake Style
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.

Tire Size
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.

Weight
The overall weight of this bike is just over 15 pounds, which makes it fairly light and easy for smaller kids to maneuver.

Gearing
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 backward, which may happen.

Summary
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.

Amazon Link

3. Woom 2 Pedal

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Woom 2 Pedal Bike 14”, Ages 3 to 4.5 Years
Amazon Link

If you haven’t heard of the Woom Brand, be ready to be pleasantly surprised. The Woom 2 is a lightweight intermediate bike for kids that is perfect for those who have graduated from the balance bikes and training wheels and need practice riding like the “big kids”.

Read more

Size
This bike is a great fit for a child that measures between thirty-seven and forty-three inches in height.

Brake Style
This bike features both hand brake and coaster brake options for maximum safety and versatility.

Tire Size
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.

Weight
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.

Gearing
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.

Summary
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.

Amazon Link

4. Tauki BMX

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Tauki Kid Bike BMX Bike for Boys and Girls
Amazon Link

If you’re looking for a great bike for a kid that seems to be imitating a weed every time you turn around, this bike from Tauki might just be what you need. It’s solidly built, easy to put together, and more importantly, easy to adjust.

Read more

Size
This bike comes in two basic sizes: twelve inches 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.

Brake Style
This bike features only a rear coaster brake, which is a somewhat safer option, especially for riders who are still getting their bearings.

Tire Size
This bike is available in 12 inches and 16-inch tire size, which makes it a great choice for both beginner and more experienced riders.

Weight
Generally speaking, this bike is fairly lightweight and is easy enough for most children in the four to the seven-year-old range to operate it easily.

Gearing
This bike for kids has a single speed gearing system, so it’s easy enough to get the hang of riding in no time at all.

Summary
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.

Amazon Link

5. Raleigh Jazzi 16

Where to buy
Amazon Link
RALEIGH Bikes Girls Jazzi 16 Bike
Amazon Link

If there is a young girl in your life that wants to ride, this bike is perfectly designed just for her. This bike from Raleigh Bikes is a great introduction to the world of cycling that is tailor-made to make it an enjoyable adventure for any girl, young or old.

Read more

Size
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.

Brake Style
This bike is equipped with coaster brakes, which are by far the easiest to control and safest to use, especially for first-time riders.

Tire Size
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.

Weight
This bike weighs just under 20 lbs overall, which makes it a fairly lightweight bike that most young girls can easily operate.

Gearing
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.

Summary
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.

Amazon Link

6. FDW Frame BMX

Where to buy
Amazon Link
16" Steel Frame Children BMX Girls Kids Bike
Amazon Link

If you know that your young cyclist is going to put their bike through the ringer, you’ll want one that can withstand just about anything, right? Then you definitely want to consider this one from FDW. It’s solid construction, quality materials and no-nonsense design make it a perfect choice for the young adventurer in your life.

Read more

Size
The dimensions of this bike measure approximately 43 x 23 x30 inches, so it’s well suited for a young rider, probably between 4 and 8 years old.

Brake Style
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.

Tire Size
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.

Weight
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.

Gearing
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.

Summary
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.

Amazon Link

7. Dynacraft Magna Major

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$95.09
Dynacraft Magna Major Damage Boys BMX Street
Amazon Link

If you’re son or daughter seems to be tough on nearly everything they come in contact with, chances are you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a bike. Especially if they might outgrow it in a season or two. This is where a bike like this one from Dynacraft is such a nice thing. It’s tough, it’s fun to ride, and it’s affordable.

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Size
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 outgrow the bike.

Brake Style
This bike features a coaster style brake for added security and stopping power.

Tire Size
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 have been built up.

Weight
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.

Gearing
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.

Summary
If you’re looking for a tough, yet affordable bike to give a child that will either outgrow or outclass the bike in a few months or a year, this one from Dynacraft is a great overall choice.

Amazon Link
$95.09

8. Royalbaby Cubetube

Where to buy
Amazon Link
RoyalBaby Honey & Buttons Kids Bike
Amazon Link

This bike from RoyalBaby features a unique squared up design that makes it a great fit for both young girls and boys. If you’re looking for a bike for a group of kids to share, this is definitely one to consider.

Read more

Size
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.

Brake Style
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.

Tire Size
This bike is available in 12-inch tires, 14-inch tires, and 16-inch tires, so it can easily grow as your child does.

Weight
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.

Gearing
This bike features a single speed gearing system with an 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.

Summary
If your 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.

Amazon Link

9. Schwinn Scorch Bicycle

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Schwinn Scorch Boy's Bike with Training Wheels
Amazon Link

If you’re looking for a bike that is made for smaller riders and not simply a shrunken version of an adult bike, this is definitely one to consider. While it may be a bit heavy and large for kids under four, overall this bike from Schwinn is a sturdy choice for kids on the go.

Read more

Size
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.
Brake Style
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.
Tire Size
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.
Weight
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 manage.
Gearing
This bike features a single speed gearing system with an included chain guard to help keep things running smoothly.

Amazon Link

10. Raleigh MXR

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Raleigh Bikes Kids MXR 16 Bike
Amazon Link

If you’re looking for a great bike for your young cyclist to learn on, this example from Raleigh Bikes is certainly worth consideration. The lightweight aluminum frame makes for easy starts, and the removable training wheels make transitioning a breeze.

Read more

Size
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.

Brake Style
This bike features coaster brakes, so all a child has to do is pedal backward to stop or slow down. It really is one of the safest options out there.

Tire Size
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.

Weight
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.

Gearing
This bike features a single gear system that features a stylized chain guard for added protection from the elements and wayward legs.

Summary
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.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. NATALIE MARTINS, Kids’ Pedal Bikes: How to Choose, Article