Choosing the best bike for your kids can be a serious challenge. As you have landed on this page, It’s safe to assume you are looking for the best lightweight bike you can find for your kids. Don’t worry, we have got you covered. We can assure you that after finishing this article, you will have a clear knowledge about what you should look for and most importantly what your best options are for your kids. So let’s dive right into it.
Things to Remember while choosing a kids bike: Quick Tips
Get The Right Fit
There is a temptation among parents to buy their kids a bigger and larger bike that they can grow into. But it can hurt the kid itself psychologically and physically. Not only can they get injured trying to handle a larger bike, but they can also feel frustrated trying to do the impossible and not being able to do it. Remember, as far as choosing the best bike for a kid goes, the enjoyment of the kid is the main priority.
Weight Matters for Kids Bike Too
Just like the adults, weight matters for kids bikes too. Even if it’s just three-four pounds overweight, it can prove to be much more significant for a kid who is just 30 pounds. A heavy bike can drastically impact your kid’s potential and enjoyment. You don’t want your kids to have that kind of discomfort while riding a bike. You can go for an Aluminum frame bike or bikes with fewer spokes. Just choose wisely because it surely matters.
Avoid Training Wheels and Multiple Gears
Training wheels used to be a necessity when balanced bikes were not around. But there is no necessity for that now. You can teach your kids to ride through a balanced bike which is way more useful for teaching body control and balance. Similarly, kids don’t need multiple gears or chainrings that can increase weight and complexity.
Hand Breaks Over Coaster Breaks
Because of the cheap and money-friendly nature, most of the market bikes come with coaster breaks. The problem with coaster breaks is they can limit a child’s ability to learn to paddle and also prevents them from naturally pedaling backward when they lose control. Handbrakes are much more reliable though they can increase the cost of the bike quite a bit.
Choosing the Right Kind of Tires
For kids who are just starting to ride, wider mountain-style tires are the best option. They do provide better traction on all surfaces. So the wise choice would be to go for air-filled tires. Once your kids get good enough for long rides on pavements you can get them the road-style skinny tires.
Look for Components That Add Benefit for The Kids
To ensure the best possible experience for your kids, focus on some components like crank length and stance width. Try to get a bike that has as narrow a stance width as possible because kids usually have narrower hips. The crank length should be sized right. Also, look for models that have saddles that can slide on rails and have handlebars that can be raised higher and lower and also positioned back and forward.
Now, we have divided the best collections of bikes for kids into some categories. So you can understand exactly what you are getting.
Best Bike for Kids for Everyday Riding
1. Woom Bike
If you want the best bike for your child, then hands down Woom bikes are your best option. Woom bikes are the lightest weight bikes you can get for your kids, conveniently designed to make bike riding as easy as possible for your kids.
Pedal bikes from the Womb start at 14″ wheel size and go up to 16″ before gaining gears. The Woom 2 (14”) and Woom 3 (16”) bikes are the perfect first pedal bikes to learn the basics of bike riding. Moreover, Woom has developed designs that are very much appealing to young kids. From color-coded brake levers to accessorizing with bells and bottles, not to mention the kid’s specific geometry of their frames. The Woom bikes certainly have it all.
Size Range: 14″ to 26″
Price Range: $199 to $899
Islabikes is the pioneer kids-centric bike brand. They revolutionized the world of kid’s bikes and inspired a lot of the excellent bike brands that you see nowadays. When you talk about kid’s bike luxury brands, then you are talking about Islabikes. Though they are pricey, they most definitely live up to that price and deliver the best bang for the buck.
As of fall 2018, Islabikes has stopped distribution in the USA. But on the bright side, You can often find them on eBay, and because the kids grow so rapidly, more often than not you can find them in great condition.
Size Range: 12″ to 24″
Price Range: $200 to $800
3. Guardian Bikes
If you are too concerned about the safety of your kid while riding, Then GUARDIAN BIKES are the perfect bike for you.
GUARDIAN BIKES have this unique feature called Surestop braking system which means a single brake lever applies force appropriate enough to activate both front and rear brakes. Thus eliminating any chance of having accidents that can be caused by applying the front brake only. Not only it makes the braking process simpler, but It also offers superior braking power which is helpful for beginner riders.
Ideal for young kids who have poor eye-hand coordination or who have difficulty learning the difference between breaking with their right hand and left hand.
Sizes Range: 16″ to 24″
Price Range: $279 TO $479
4. Priority Bicycles
What makes PRIORITY BICYCLES stand out from other brands is their relatively easy maintenance and easy-to-use features. It’s built to make learning to ride easier and more fun for the child. Thus it makes teaching and bike maintenance easier for parents.
PRIORITY BICYCLES use a belt drive instead of using a traditional greasy bike chain. Bike chains usually require regular maintenance and also fall off quite often, whereas belt drives are more durable, more weather resistant, don’t need maintenance and you can almost forget about the problem of falling off.
Not just that, other features like an internally geared hub with just 3 gears which makes shifting much easier, and a tool-free training wheel system for progressive learning makes it that much appealing for parents who want to give their child the best cycling experience.
Sizes Range: 16″ to 24″
Price Range: $319 to $399
Best Kids Bike for Adventurous Riders
1. Pello Bikes
Pello bikes are ideal for kids who want to cover the basics of aggressive riding before starting an adventurous trip. Kids who need a relatively long time to build their skills of aggressive riding can benefit from them.
If you have a potential mountain biker on your hand, Pello bikes can serve as their first step to improve their trail skill. Pello bikes perform particularly well on dirt, So they can be used as a school commuter too.
Sizes Range: 12″ to 24″
Price Range: $349 to $619
2. Cleary Bikes
CLEARY BIKES are the ironman of the adventurous kids’ bikes. That’s the simplest way to put it.
Built to last for years and countless adventures, CLEARY BIKES can help your kid dominate as a neighborhood adventurer. These bikes can certainly take a pounding. Whatever terrain your neighborhood is made of, be it ditches or down dirt hills, Your kid can ride like a king with cleary. So, if your kid is a passionate rider and likes to take his bike to its limit, clearly is the best option.
Sizes Range: 12″ to 26″
Price Range: $310 to $594
3. Prevelo Bikes
For confident and aggressive riding, Prevelo bikes are the no-brainer option. Prevelo bikes enable your kids to explore the enjoyment of riding back and forth on sidewalks and trails simultaneously.
Prevelo Bikes have two lines of bikes. Alpha line is better suited for around town and paved riding. On the other hand, the Zulu line provides some of the best pint-sized mountain bikes that you can find on the market. You can be racing through the neighborhood or riding on the skatepark, Prevelo bikes can be suitable for all.
To have your kid push his riding skill to the limit or to give them the best tools to experience aggressive riding, PREVELO BIKES can be your best option.
Sizes Range: 12″ to 24″
Price Range: $199 – $899
4. Frog Bikes
Designed by a small British company, run by husband and wife duo Shelley and Jerry Lawson, Frog bikes have taken the kid’s bike market by storm. Blending versatile performance with proper fit, offering a variety of colors and styles, attention-grabbing design for kids FROG BIKES have won over so many kids and parents around the world.
Designed with a highly adjustable headset, stem length, and saddle height FROG BIKES aim for the most natural fit for a kid. Each bike comes with two sets of tires. street tires and knobby, all-terrain tires which makes it easier for a kid to tackle a wide range of terrains and ensure a smooth ride.
Best Budget-Friendly Kids Bikes
1. Btwin Bikes
When we talk about top-notch kids bikes with highly affordable prices, The first name that comes to mind is Btwin kids bikes.
Unlike other cheap bikes that are not as adjustable and fitting for the riders, Btwin kid’s bikes cover the basics of sizing pretty well, similar to bigger brands like Woom and priority. Also being enough lightweight and durable makes it easier to ride for the kids.
Also, you have two options in terms of buying affordable Btwin bikes. You can choose the normal bikes or the more basic and less colorful 100 lines which can save you up to $50.
Sizes Range: 14″ to 24″
Price Range: $99 to $450
2. Rei Co-op Cycles
Quite possibly the best budget-friendly kids bike on this list If you think about the overall picture.
Not only are they the lightest on this list, but REI also has an incredible no-hassle return policy. If you live near an REI store, assembly of the bike and your first six months of service are included with your purchase. Sounds amazing, right?
Sizes Range: 12″, 16″, 20″
Price Range: $199 to $249
3. Park Cycles
PARK CYCLES is a fantastic option for you if you are looking for a budget-friendly bike but you don’t wanna compromise in terms of quality. If you want to have your kid start their riding journey on the right note, this may just be your go-to brand.
Though relatively new on the market, PARK CYCLES offers a high-end and kid-friendly geometry. You will get more basic components, But they are worth the price and pretty good quality too. It’s also a very good option for future mountain bikers as It offers knobby tread tires.
Sizes Range: 14″ to 16″
Price Range: $215 to $230
4. Guardian Ethos
Though not the lightest as it features a steel frame instead of an aluminum frame, GUARDIAN ETHOS still is one of the finest budget-friendly kid bikes available.
What makes GUARDIAN ETHOS bikes stand out is their unique sure stop braking system.SureStop braking system engages front and rear brakes sequentially with only one brake lever. It eliminates any chance of accidents that can happen from braking with just front brakes at high speed. Thus making it safer and easier to use than other traditional dual hand brakes.
Apart from that, GUARDIAN ETHOS also provides high-quality components and kid-friendly geometry which makes it even more appealing.
Sizes Range: 14″ to 24″
Price Range: $269 to $379
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Frequently Asked Questions about Best Lightweight Kids Bikes
What Are The Features That Make A Kids Bike Great?
Ans: First of all the shape and design of the bikes have to be good. A poorly designed frame of a bike can greatly reduce the comfort or ease of a child while riding.
Secondly, the q factor of a bike greatly influences a child’s comfort while riding. We can see that in higher-end and lower-end bikes. In higher-end bikes because of the narrower components, the width between pedals is narrower. So there is zero to minimal splay in a child pedal stroke. Which makes pedaling much easier and comfortable. Whereas In lower-end bikes the q factor or the measurement of width between pedals is wider which makes pedaling uncomfortable.
Thirdly, For kids, bikes with a lower center of gravity might be the best. A bike’s center of gravity depends on the distance between the bottom bracket of a bike and the ground. If the bottom bracket of a bike is higher on the bike, it will create a higher center of gravity which is much less stable. Besides Higher bottom, brackets can also make pedaling less efficient as it reduces the speed between the seat and the pedals.
How to Choose a Bike for 6-8-Year-Olds?
Ans: For 6 to 8-year-old children, the best sizes are anything from 18-20 inches bikes.
Usually, kids who are taller or about to turn 9 can go for 24-inch wheel bikes. But we have learned that age is not always the best guide. So it’s better to check your kid’s height, leg measurements, and inseam measurements first. After getting that and deciding on 18 or 20 inches wheel size, you can understand the seat height you should look for.
Balance Bike or Pedal Bike? What’s The Best Option?
Ans: A balance bike like a strider balance bike does not come with pedals. It’s controlled by a child’s own two feet. So balance bikes should be the first step for a child to learn to ride a bike. As it helps to learn control, balance, stability, etc. Once a child masters the balance bikes, he can go for a pedal bike.
Can Adults Ride 20-Inch Bikes?
Ans: 20-inch bikes are suitable for both adults and kids. But the minimum age of riding this bike is 7 to 8 years. If you are older than that, no problem at all.
Should I buy an expensive bike as my child can outgrow it quickly?
Ans: You can spend less and get a somewhat quality bike for your kid. But you have to compromise a little bit of comfort and features. But some very cheap bikes make riding difficult. So you have to research carefully before going for a cheaper bike. Expensive bikes have a good resale value so you can consider that option. But the most important thing to ensure is the safety of your child.
Should I fit stabilizers?
Ans: We are not a fan of it. Though fixing this extra set of wheels will help your child ride straight away, It won’t bring any good in the long run as it’s impossible to learn balance with those being on. So instead of using stabilizers, it’s better to use balance bikes as it teaches the kids to balance without causing any problem.
How Should The Geometry Of The Best Kids Bike Be?
Ans: In terms of bike geometry, the first thing to consider is to reach. As a kid cant lean forward like an adult because of their posture and musculature, the reach has to be shorter. Also, there should be a shorter top tube and a short stem. Bikes and brake levers should be custom-made for the kids as they should ensure shorter reach and greater leverage for smaller hands. Not to mention the lower center of gravity which should be caused by low bottom brackets. And to cap it off, the q factor or the measurement of width between pedals should be narrow to ensure a comfortable and smooth ride.
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