Children come in all sizes, just like the bikes they use. There are bigger kids, smaller kids, kids who need more stability, and kids who need a strong frame. Ergo, the best kids bikes are really the bikes that best suit your kid, and your budget.
When shopping for a bike, one important thing to keep in mind is that bicycles sold in bike shops can lack some of the special features we see on models sold online. The bike you can buy in a big box is typically no more than a nice toy, and its lifespan, on the short side. On the other hand, when you’re shopping online, you can’t get your kid to try the bike to get a feel for it. This is where reviews and testimonials come into play.
Proper bike shopping, whether online or in a conventional bike store, will require comparing the performance of several options along specific categories. This article will list some specific criteria that are important when shopping for a kid’s bike and will point you towards 5 great buys.
Important Considerations for Buying the Best Kids Bikes
The points below are the most important when selecting the best bike for your kid. A good bike is one that can provide a stable ride with responsive control suitable to your child’s skill levels. By contrast, the criteria you use to select a road, mountain, or BMX bike are very different.
- Budget — A higher quality bike is going to cost you a bit more than the bottom shelf variety, but the payoff will be nothing less than safety and longevity. That said, as long as a bike is safe and features durable components, any price is right.
- Child’s Ability — The first pedal bike a child rides fits them differently than the bikes they will use after they have mastered biking. Kids who are learning to balance without training wheels have to balance using their body or stopping the bike with their feet. This means that the seat should be level with the child’s inseam.
- Seat Height — The seat of a bike is actually called a saddle, but most of us have been saying “bike seat” forever and this article will stick to the common title. As mentioned above, a good height for the seat is level with your child’s inseam.
- Geometry — The way a child rides the bike and the amount of space they have in the “cockpit” is also very important. Measure the distance between the seat and the handle bars; if they are both at the same height, your child will be riding in a very aggressive position which can tire them quickly and that also promotes a bad posture.
- Weight — The bike an adult will use typically weighs 20% of the adult’s body weight; a child’s bike can weigh almost 50% of their body weight. Ideally, you will want a bike that doesn’t exceed 40% of the child’s body weight so they will be able to maximize energy efficiency.
- Brakes — The most important function of the bike is not forward motion but the capacity to come safely to a full stop. When a child is learning to balance on their bike, they often switch between pedalling forward and backward to maintain balance. Coaster brakes, the type that engage when the rider pedals backward, can make this transition slightly more difficult.
Best Kids Bikes
The Razor High Roller Kids Bike is our No. 1 rated kid’s bike due to its durable steel frame and all-round quality. This top-quality bike will safely carry your little tyke and a plus one on its durable front wheel stunt pegs. Some experience with training wheels, pedalling and balance are necessary to enjoy a slightly larger “Big Kid’s” bike like this.
The seat features a quick release post clamp that makes getting the right seat level a much simpler task. The reliable front and rear braking system also makes this a great option for the child moving on from training wheels to mastering the art of balance and pedalling on a larger bike.
The Razor’s accessible price is one of its big selling points. We are absolutely sure your child will love the sophisticated design and high quality materials of the Razor BMX. The most rambunctious child can take this bike through the roughest terrain, knowing its sturdy four-bolt stem will make sure none of the rugged riding detracts from the fun of the experience.
This attractive option built for the slightly larger and more experienced peddler is tough yet comfortable. The high tensile steel frame is nicely cushioned with suspension forks that promise a smooth ride. The linear hand braking system is simple, safe and effective, just what you need for an intro to bigger, more powerful bikes.
This option also features a top quality Shimano 7-speed drive chain, making it possible to adjust the gear ratio for speed or better energy conservation. The very user-friendly gear shift system is great for learning the value and function of this important biking feature.
Simplicity is what makes this option so ideal. Young bikers will love the simplistic hand braking system, which helps them gain the confidence to begin travelling further and move faster with greater control. A top quality steel framework will also ensure the longevity of the investment.
If you are looking forward to taking long bike trips with your child, this would be a great option to start out on.
The Mongoose Boy’s Bike features a super lightweight body frame and fork, which makes this a good option for kids, especially lighter kids. With top of the line front calliper and rear U-Braking system, this is one of the most responsive units available—the perfect choice for a safety-conscious parent.
The adventurous youngster will be thrilled by the Mongoose’s capacity for jumps, grinds, and tricks on a light but strong frame and its complete set of four pegs. High-quality four bolt stems and mag wheels with sealed bearings significantly increase the service life of this bike.
It is the high durability, unyielding strength, and light-weight frame that makes this number such a great option for enthusiastic young riders. Whether you are looking for a bike that can be pedalled through a relaxing park or fly off a terrifying vert ramp, the Mongoose won’t disappoint.
For the very young adventurer, a smaller unit like the Buttons Kid’s bike from Royal Baby is ideal for learning the basics. This is an especially cost-effective choice that features impressive design and quality and is a great selection for boys and girls alike.
In addition to a sturdy set of training wheels that can stabilize the child, the Buttons Kid’s Bike also features a rear coaster braking system and a front handbrake. While it’s true that a coaster braking system can inconvenience a child when they are learning to pedal, using such a system with the support of training wheels can actually help the child get used to the coaster brake without a problem.
While a youngster can’t be expected to reach high speeds on this bike, it is very comforting that it features such a dependable braking system.
This model is also conveniently available in three different sizes; the lowest seating height on the smallest model is 43.9 cm, while the highest seat height on the largest model is a full 64.8 cm. This model also features a chain guard to keep clothes and fingers safe from harm.
For the classy young lady who wants to sport an especially attractive bike, the Tomcat from Bikes USA is the only way to go. The 20” wheels feature a handsome chrome finish and actual tire and inner tube setup. Half the fun of owning such a fine bike is in providing it the regular care and maintenance that you typically provide to larger, more professional bikes — a great way to begin learning the basics.
The Tomcat also uses the coaster braking system for the rear tire and a hand brake for the front. If your kid’s pedalling still needs some work, a coaster brake can make it difficult for a beginner to practice pedalling properly. Another benefit of presenting this bike to an inexperienced rider is the stabilizing training wheels (sold separately), which can make the coaster easier to get used to.
This outstanding bike is perfect for a girl between the ages of 7 and 12. The durable quality of the design and materials mean this bicycle could last for many years with proper care and maintenance, but a one-year manufacturer’s warranty is another attractive feature of the Tomcat.
Best Kids Bikes for 2016 Review
|Picture||Bike Name||Price||Size |
|Razor Freestyle Kids Bike||$90 - $130||20||4.5|
|Diamondback Girls Bike||$170 - $200||20||4.5|
|Mongoose Boys Bike||$175 - $200||20||4.3|
|RoyalBaby Buttons Kids Bike||$80 - $200||12/14/16||4.2|
|Bike US Girls Tomcat||$140 - $180||20||4|