Compare the Best Kids’ Bikes to Find Your Child’s Perfect Bike
Finding the best bike for your child is not as easy as it seems. Is a 14″ or a 16″ bike more appropriate for my kid? When are they ready for a 20″ or 24″ bike? And are the big-price-tag bikes really that much better that what’s really in my budget? Luckily, we’re here with all the answers. (Or most of them, at least!) We’ve tested and reviewed over 50 boys’ bikes and girls’ bikes and compiled all of our research for you. Using our comparison charts and recommendations below, you can shop smarter and find the perfect bike for your child.
Getting Started: The Three Most Important Specs of a Kid’s Bike
Bikes can be complicated, but for the average kid, focusing on these three basics will help you quickly narrow your options.
- Seat Height: Tire size is the most common indicator of a bike’s overall size, but it not the most precise. The seat height of a bike ensures a proper fit. If you’re not already familiar with bike sizing, please refer to our Kid’s Bike Sizing Guide.
- Weight: Ideally, a child’s bike should be less than 40% of their weight, but often this is not possible. Seek out the lightest bike you can find in your price range.
- Brakes: Dual hand brakes are ideal for all ages, but are hard to come by. Coaster (back-pedal brakes) are the most common but can delay a child’s mastery of pedaling.
- Want More Info? Learn more about the remaining specs listed in these charts by reading our page: Kids’ Bikes: How to Choose the Best for Your Child.
What Is the Best Bike For My Child?
Click below to jump to the appropriate age and tire size chart .
|AGE (Click to jump down)||BIKE TIRE SIZE||CLOTHING SIZE||CHILD HEIGHT||INSEAM|
|2 to 4||12″ or 14″||3T – 4T||36″ – 41.5″||15″ – 20″|
|4 to 5||16″||4T – 5||41″ – 43″||18″ – 22″|
|5 to 8||20″||6 – 8||44″ – 54″||19″ – 25″|
|8 to 11||24″||10 – 12||51″ – 59″||23″ – 26″|
|INSEAM NOTE: If a kid’s 1st bike is a 16″ bike, their feet need to almost fully touch the ground. If it’s their 2nd, then touching with tippy toes is best.|
What is the best bike for a 2, 3 or 4-year-old?
KEY BUYING ADVICE
- Child’s Ability: A child of this age is ready for a regular bike when they have mastered a balance bike and have shown interest in a pedal bike. Training wheels are a crutch and should be avoided when possible. Balance bikes are a better option for 2 – 4 year olds who have yet to learn to balance a bike without training wheels.
- Seat Height: For their first pedal bike, a child’s inseam should match or exceed the minimum seat height on the bike. This allows both of their feet to easily touch the ground when sitting, allowing them to safely stop the bike with their feet.
- Seat Height for Training Wheels: If you do choose to use training wheels, look for a bike with a minimum seat height 1 to 2 inches greater than your child’s inseam. The extra height will allow for more room to grow on the bike as well as help your child get maximum leverage on the pedals.
- Brakes: Coaster brakes are required by law on most 12″ and 14″ bikes, but they can make learning to pedal a challenge. Kids this age do have enough strength and hand-eye coordination to use a properly designed hand brake (but still need to be able to touch the ground with their feet to be safe).
Best 12″ and 14″ Bikes
A child’s inseam should be very close to the bike’s minimum seat height. Strive for the bike’s weight to be less than 40% of child’s weight.
|Bike||MSRP||Weight (lb)||Seat Height||Brakes||Q-factor||Gain Ratio||Handlebar||Wheelbase (mm)||Where to Buy|
|WOOM 2 14″||$339||11.7||17 – 20″||Dual Hand w/ coaster||5.25″||2.95||Mid||659||Amazon|
|Islabikes CNOC 14″ Small||$369||12.35||15 – 19.5″||Dual Hand w/ coaster||5″||3.13||Mid||652||Call 503-954-2410|
|Islabikes CNOC 14″ Large||$309, $369||12.4||18.5 – 22″||Dual Hand w/ coaster||5″||3.13||Mid||652||Call 503-954-2410|
|Spawn Furi||$340||14||17 – 22″||Dual Hand||2.89||Mid||650||Spawncycles.com|
|Pello Romper 14″||$289||15||18.5-22.5″||Rear Hand w/ coaster||5.5″||3.57||Mid||650||Pellobikes.com|
|ByK E-250||$229||14.4||15.7 – 18.1″||Front Hand, Coaster||6.25″||2.45||Low||645||Amazon|
|Cleary Bikes Gecko||$250||15||15 -21.5″*||Dual Hand||2.97||Flat||629||Backcountry.com|
|Specialized Hotrock 12″||$210||15||17 – 19″||Coaster||6″||2.89||Low||622||Bike Shop|
|Commencal Ramones 14||$249||15.6||17.5 – 21.5″||Dual Hand||7.25″||3.5||Mid||Chain Reaction Cycles|
|Haro Z 12||$189||17.5||Coaster||2.9||Mid||Bike Shop|
|Recommended with Reservations|
|RoyalBaby 12″ BMX||$99||18.9||17.3-21.3″||Coaster||Mid||571||Amazon|
|Trek Precaliber 12″ (girls)||$209||17.70||Coaster||2.9||High||Bike Shop|
|Trek Precaliber 12″||$209||17.20||Coaster||High||Bike Shop|
|Raleigh MXR 12 (boys)||$149||Coaster||2.9||High||Amazon|
|Raleigh Jazzi 12 (girls)||$149||Coaster||2.9||High||Amazon|
|Giant Animator/Adore||$170||Coaster||2.9||High||Bike Shop|
|Huffy Rock It||$40||14.2||18-19.5″||Coaster||High||533||Amazon|
What is the best bike for a 4, 5 or 6-year-old?
KEY BUYING ADVICE
- Child’s Ability (1st pedal bike): Older and/or taller balance bike graduates often start on a 16″ bike. In order to safely stop the bike with their feet like they are accustomed to, a child’s inseam should be within 1″ of the minimum seat height on the bike. This is necessary because the child is still gaining confidence and is not yet ready to rely solely on a braking system to stop without falling over.
- Child’s Ability (2nd pedal bike): For those young riders who mastered a pedal bike on a 12″ or 14″ bike, they no longer need to rely on their feet to stop. Look for a bike with a minimum seat height about 2″ above their inseam (they only need to touch the ground with tippy toes).
- Training Wheels: For an ideal fit when using training wheels, the minimum seat height should be close to 2″ greater than the child’s inseam.
- Weight: The lighter the bike the better. As a child is learning to balance, a heavy bike can hinder their progress.
- Brakes: Bikes without coaster brakes are easier for kids this age to ride; kids naturally pedal backward when learning to pedal and the coaster brake causes them to unexpectedly stop.
For a More Detailed Breakdown: Check out our Ultimate 16″ Bike Comparison page to learn about 16″ bikes by type (best all-terrain, pre-road, beginner/timid, etc.).
Best 16″ and 18″ Bikes
16″ bikes vary greatly in size. Pay close attention to their seat heights.
|Bike||MSRP||Weight (lb)||Seat Height||Brakes||Q Factor||Gain Ratio||Handlebar||Wheelbase (mm)||Where to Buy|
|WOOM 3 16″||$369||13||18.8 -23.8″||Dual Hand||5.25″||3.34||Mid||720||Amazon|
|Priority Start F/W||$249||17||19 – 23.5″||Dual Hand||6″||Low||780||Priority Bicycles|
|Early Rider Belter||$399||13.7||19.5 – 22″||Dual Hand||5.5″||Low||680||Amazon|
|Islabikes CNOC 16||$369||13.2||18.8 – 22.6″||Dual Hand w/ Coaster||5″||3.55||Mid||707||Phone 503-954-2410|
|Spawn Banshee||$350||15||18.5 – 23.5″||Dual Hand||Mid||686||Spawn Cycles|
|Stampede Bikes Sprinter 16||$219||17.9||22 – 26″||Dual Hand||6.25″||3.56||Low||749||Amazon|
|Ridgeback Dimensions||$349||16||20.5 – 25.5″||Dual Hand||6.75″||4.5||Low||705||WeeBikeShop|
|ByK E-350||$259||17.6+||18 – 23.3″||Front w/Coaster||6.25″||4||Low||800||Amazon|
|Commencal Ramones 16||$250||17.8||20.5 – 24″||Dual Hand||7.25″||3.56||Low||700||Chain Reaction Cycles|
|Cleary Bikes Hedgehog||$285||16||19 – 26″||Dual Hand||6″||3.02||Flat||708||Backcountry.com|
|Pello Revo 16″||$299||16.3||20 – 24″||Rear Hand w/ Coaster||5.5″||3.55||Mid||705||Pello Bikes|
|Norco Samuari / Mirage||$265||17.9||20.25 – 22″||Dual Hand||6.25″||3.9||Low||710||Bike Shop|
|Specialized Hotrock 16″ Coaster||$240||19||19 – 23″||Coaster||Low||Bike Shop|
|Trek Superfly 16||$309||18||19.5 – 24″||Coaster||6″||3.25||Low||737||Bike Shop|
|Cannondale Trail/Tango 16||$260||20.11||Coaster||Low||746||Bike Shop|
|Trek Precaliber 16||$229||19.95||Coaster||Mid||Bike Shop|
|Recommended with Reservations|
|Diamondback Mini Viper 16″||$110||20.8||20 – 24″||Coaster||3.5||High||758||Amazon|
|Diamondback Mini Impression||$159||Coaster||2.9||High||747||Amazon|
|Raleigh MXR 16||$189||Coaster||3.5||High||Amazon|
|Raeigh Jazzi 16||$189||Coaster||3.5||High||Amazon|
|Haro Z 16||$209||23.5||Rear Hand w/ Coaster||4.0||Mid||Bike Shop|
|Giant Animator 16||$180||19||21″ –||Coaster||High||Bike Shop|
|Next Rocket 16″||$40||19||22.5 – 23.5″||Coaster||6.5″||3.5||High||685||Walmart|
|Bikestar Classic 16||$189||29||21 – 24″||Front Hand w/ Coaster||Mid||715||Amazon|
|Royal Baby 16″ BMX||$87||24.2||20.9 – 25.6″||Front Hand w/ Coaster||Mid||749||Amazon|
|RoyalBaby 18″ BMX||$129||26.4||21.7 – 27.6″||Front Hand w/ Coaster||Mid||807||Amazon|
What is the best bike for a 5 to 8-year-old?
KEY BUYING ADVICE
- Child’s Ability: The jump from 16″ to a 20″ can be significant as many 20″ bikes come with gears. For many kids, gears can wait until their 24″ bike, but for advanced kids who are riding single-track mountain bike trails or long road rides with hills, gears can be a necessity.
- Seat Height: Minimum seat height should be 2″ – 3″ greater than the child’s inseam to allow for proper extension on the pedal for an efficient stroke.
- Standover Height: When standing over the bike (not on the seat) there should be 1″ – 2″ of clearance. The gap helps prevent injury if the child slips forward off the seat during a fall.
- Gears: See 2nd 20″ bike chart for geared bikes.
Best 20″ Single-Speed Bikes
From family bike rides to neighborhood rides, single-geared bike are best for everyday riders.
|Bike||MSRP||Weight||Seat Height||Standover||Brakes||GainRatio||Wheelbase (mm)||Handlebar||Where to Buy|
|Guardian 20″ Single Speed||$319||20.2||22.5 – 28″||Dual Hand, SureStop||898||Low||Amazon|
|Pello Reddi 20″||$349||17||21.25 – 26″||18″||Dual Hand||4.5||880||Low||Pello Bikes|
|Islabikes BEINN 20||$419||15||20.5 – 26.5″||Dual Hand||3.98||Low||Call 503-954-2410|
|ByK E-450||$289||19.8+||23.2 – 28.7″||16.5″ (g), 19.6″ (b)||Dual Hand w/coaster||4||880||Low||Amazon|
|Cleary Owl||$345||19.1||24 -29″||20″||Dual Hand||3.2||842||Flat||tikesbikes.com|
|Specialized Hotrock 20 Coaster||$240||23 lb. 9 oz.||19.8″ (b), 18.7 (g)||Rear Hand w/ Coaster||Low||Bike Shop|
|Cannondale Trail/Tango 20 Single-Speed||$270||22.44||17.5 – 24″||17.3″||Rear Hand w/ Coaster||3.6||886||Low||Bike Shop|
|Recommended with Reservations|
|Trek Mystic 20 S||$209||24.7||Rear Hand w/ Coaster||3.9||Mid||Bike Shop|
|Trek Jet 20 S||$209||24.7||Rear Hand w/ Coaster||3.9||Mid||Bike Shop|
|Haro Z20||$229||25.80||20.5 ” (b), 18.25″ (g)||Rear Hand w/ Coaster||4.5||Mid||Bike Shop|
GEARED BIKE BUYING ADVICE
- Gears: Kids as young as 5 or 6 can begin to start using gears. For most kids, grip shifters are best as their fingers are not long enough to activate some trigger shifters.
- Suspension: Suspension adds unnecessary weight to 20″ bikes and is rarely worth the added weight and expense.
Best 20″ Geared Bikes
|Bike||MSRP||Weight||Seat Height||Standover||Brakes||BB Height||Wheelbase (mm)||Gears/Shifters||Low/High Gain Ratio||Suspension||Where to Buy|
|Best for Street/Neighborhood/Light Trail Riding|
|WOOM4 20″||$449||17.6||21.8 – 27.5″||19.6″||Mini V||835||8/Grip||2.3 / 6.7||No||Amazon|
|Guardian 20″ Geared||$399||21.2||22.5″-28″||SureStop Mini V||8.9″||898||6/Grip||No||Amazon|
|Islabikes Beinn 20″ small||$439||17.3||21.5″ – 26″||18.5″||Mini V||8.2″||814||7/Grip||2.2 / 5.9||No||503-954-2410|
|Islabikes Beinn 20″ large||$499||17.3||23.5 – 28″||20.4″||Mini V||8.9″||845||7/Grip||2 / 5.3||No||503-954-2410|
|Frog 52||$420||19.3||Mini V||8/Trigger||No||Bike Shop|
|Frog 55||$420||19.4||Mini V||8/Trigger||No||Bike Shop|
|Stampede Sprinter 20″||$249||22||23 – 28″||Mech Disc||939||7/Trigger||No||Amazon|
|Pello Rover 7-speed||$429||18.5||22.5 – 27.5″||18″||Tektro Mini V||8.5″||880||7/Grip||No||Pello Bikes|
|Best for Beginning Cross Country/Trail Riding|
|WOOM4 Supra||$549||16.5||21.8 – 27.5″||19.8″||Mini V||835||8/Grip||2.3 / 6.7||No||Amazon|
|Spawn Savage 1.0||$600||20||~21″-26.5″||450||Tektro Mech Disc||856||7/SRAM Trigger||2 / 5.3||No||Spawn Cycles|
|Trek Superfly 20||$419||~18||23.5 – 28.0″||V-Pull||9.4″||863||6/Grip||1.9 / 3.8||No||Bike Shop|
|Cannondale Trail/Tango 20||$290+||25||21.5 – 27″||19.7″||V-Pull||9.3″||899||6/Grip||2.1 / 4.2||No||Bike Shop|
|Best for Experienced Cross Country/Trail Riding|
|Spawn Savage 2.0||$950||22||Tektro Mech Disc||856||10/SRAM Trigger||1.7 / 5.8||No||Spawn Cycles|
|Kona Shred 20||$529||21.3″||Tektro Mech Disc||895||6/Grip||1.9 / 3.8||Front||Bike Shop|
|Other 20″ Geared Bikes|
|Trek Precaliber 20 6-Speed Boy’s||$329||23.1||V-Pull||6/Grip||2.4 / 4.8*
2.1 / 4.2**
|GT Aggressor (boys)||$310||20″||Tektro V-Pull||10″||915||7/Grip||2.3 / 4.7||No||Bike Shop|
|GT Laguna (girls)||$310||19.7″||10″||890||7/Grip||2.3 / 4.7||No||Bike Shop|
|Specialized Hotrock 20 6-Speed||$360||21.8 (b), 20.2″ (g)||9.3″||916||6/Grip||2.3 / 4.7||Front||Bike Shop|
|Kona Makenna 20||$399||20.3″||Tektro V-Pull||897||7/Grip||1.9 / 3.8||Front||Bike Shop|
What is the best bike for an 8 to 11-year-old?
KEY BUYING ADVICE
- Child’s Ability: 24″ bikes come in a wide range of styles and functions. The bikes listed below are all suited for everyday riding and light trail riding.
- Standover Height: A child’s inseam should be at least 1″ to 2″ greater than the standover height of the bike (height of the top tube from the ground). The gap helps prevent injury if the child slips forward off the seat during a fall. Seat heights are given when standover heights are not available.
- Suspension: Suspension is only needed by advanced mountain bike riders. Suspension adds a lot of weight to a bike and should be avoided unless necessary.
- Gears/Shifters: Grip shifters are best for the average rider, as kids’ fingers are often not long enough to activate trigger shifters. Bikes with a 1x drivetrain (only one chain ring in front) are ideal for the average rider as they only have to use one shifter. Bikes with one number listed in the “Chain Ring” column have a 1x system with one shifter, bikes with 3 numbers listed have a 3x system and dual shifters.
Best 24″ Rigid Mountain Bikes (No Suspension)
Most online bikes are lighter and better quality than those found in local bike shops. Don’t be afraid to shop around!
|Brand/Model (w/link)||MSRP||Weight (lb)/Frame||Standover Height||Gears/Shifters||Brakes||Chain Ring||Cassette||Seat Height||Where to Buy|
|WOOM5 Supra||$549||17.8/Alum||(24″ – 33″)||8sp/SRAM Trigger||V-pull||27″-35.4″||us.woombikes.com|
|Islabikes BEINN 24″||$549||19.4 lb./Alum||(24″ – 30″)||8sp/SRAM Grip||V-pull||32T||11-32, 8sp||25.5″-32″||Phone 503-954-2410|
|WOOM5||$449||19.2/Alum||(24″ – 33″)||8sp/SRAM Trigger||V-pull||27″-35.4″||Amazon|
|Guardian 24″||$419||23/Alum||8sp/Shimano Grip||SureStop V-pull||14-34||25″ – 33″||guardianbikes.com|
|Frog 62||$420||20.3/Alum||8sp/Shimano Grip||V-pull||32T||12-32T||Bike Shop|
|Giant XTC JR 24 LTE||$250||~22/Alum||23.4″||7sp/Shimano Grip||Linear Pull||36T||14-34||Bike Shop|
|Giant Liv Areva 24 LTE||$250||~22/Alum||7sp/Shimano Grip||Linear Pull||36T||14-34||Bike Shop|
|Recommended with Reservations|
|Dawes Zombie 24||$287||24.2/Alum||18sp/Shimano Grip||V-pull||42/34/24T||Chain Reaction Cycles|
|Ridgeback Dimensions Boy’s||$495||25/Alum||21sp/Shimano Easy Fire Trigger||V-pull||22/32/42||14-28, 7sp||Amazon|
|Ridgeback Dimensions Girl’s||$495||25.9/Alum||21sp/Shimano Easy Fire Trigger||V-pull||22/32/42||14-28, 7sp||Amazon|
|Cannondale Street 24||$520||26.15/Alum||22.8″||21sp/Shimano Grip||Disc||24/34/42||14-28, 7sp||26″-31.5″||Bike Shop|