Sprinter 16″

Sprinter 16″

Tough enough to take a beating from kids, yet nimble enough to cruise through pump tracks and single-track, the Stampede Bikes Sprinter 16 is hands down the best 16″ bike under $250. With dual handbrakes, no coaster and wider handlebars for a wider base, the Sprinter is a deal at $239.  With a minimum seat height of 22″, the Sprinter is best for kids in size 5 or 6 pants or experienced riders in 4T pants. (Stampede Bikes is TykesBykes new name)

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Weighing in at 17.9 lb., the Sprinter easily and eagerly put to work by four and five-year-old testers.  From driveway stunts to bike jumps, around the neighborhood, the Sprinter shined.

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All-terrain Riding and Positioning

Out at the pump track, the Sprinter didn’t skip a beat.  Its wide handlebars provided a solid base and the freewheel prevented unexpected stops and allowed for proper pedal placement at takeoff.  While knobby tires would be best on dedicated all-terrain bike, the Sprinter’s medium tread had no problems gripping packed dirt.

stampede-bikes-sprinter-16-trailThe Sprinter’s overall stability was an unexpected surprise.  Our four-year-old tester, who barely fits on the bike, heard the beckon of a lonely puddle and quickly put the Sprinter to work. Within minutes, he was turning sharply and leaning in and out of turns, skills he was previously resistant to try.  Sprinter’s flat and wide handlebars provided the stable base he needed.  His more upright WOOM was made it more comfortable for him to learn to pedal on, but made learning to lean more challenging.

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Gearing, Brakes and Grips

Getting down to the details, the Sprinter has a mid-range gain ratio (measures overall gearing of the bike) of 3.56, making it ideal for everyday riding, including moderate short inclines. The dual handbrakes are easy-reach and easy-pull and are paired with locking grips.  Locking grips prevent grips from slowly creeping down the bars, which can be a challenge to put back in place.  While rare, during one bike test, we actually had a grip completely fly off a 16″ bike, causing the testers to crash.

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Sizing

When first transitioning from a balance bike to a pedal bike, kids need to be able to touch the ground while on the seat so they can stop with their feet (like they are used to on a balance bike).  Once they learn master pedaling, they can ride bikes with a seat height several inches taller than their inseam.  Our 42″ tall four-year-old tester with an 18.5″ inseam (4T pants), has no problem riding the Sprinter with a 22″ minimum seat height, but it does take more effort to get started than his smaller 16″ bikes.  Once over the bike, he has just enough height to stand on his toes with one foot while positioning the pedal with the other.  If he was just learning how to pedal, the Sprinter would be too tall for him.

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Comparisons

When compared to similar 16″ bikes, the Sprinter continues to standout.  The Norco Samurai and the Commencal Ramones 16 also have dual handbrakes with no coaster, all-terrain geometry and also weight the same, but they cost more.  The differences in wheelbases of the bikes are also noteworthy.  The Sprinter’s wheelbase is 49mm longer (almost 2″) than the Norco’s.  For the average rider, the different isn’t significant, but for kids with longer torso’s, the Norco could feel more cramped.  Those with smaller frames will also likely benefit from the narrower Sprinter and Norco.  Width is measured by the q-factor, which is the distance between the inside edge of the pedals.  The wider the q-factor, the more kids have to splay their legs to pedal.

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Best 16″ Bikes for All-Terrain Riders
Bike MSRP Weight (lb) Seat Height Brakes Q Factor Gain Ratio Handlebar Wheelbase Purchase? Notes
Stampede Sprinter $239 17.9 22 – 26″ Dual Hand  6.25″ 3.56 Low 749 Online
Commencal Ramones 16 $250 17.8 20.5 – 24″ Dual Hand  7.25″ 3.56 Low 700 Online
Norco Samuari $265 17.9 20.25 – 22″ Dual Hand 6.25″ 3.9 Low 710 Bike Shop

Bottom Line

The best 16″ bike under $250, the Sprinter is a workhorse on both paved and all-terrain riding. With a 22″ minimum seat height, it is best beginning riders in size 5 pants or more experienced riders in 4T.  Stampede Bikes also offers a 20″ Sprinter with mechanical disc brake and 7 gears.

Where to Purchase

The Sprinter is available in blue and yellow at Stampede Bikes and on Amazon.  Although only minor assembly is required, we do recommend having it assembled or at least tuned-up by a bike shop prior to use to ensure the bike, specifically the brakes, and properly working.

FTC Disclosure:Stampede Bikes provided a Sprinter 16″ to help facilitate this review. No monetary compensation was provided and all opinions are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC. Two Wheeling Tots is not an affiliate of Stampede Bikes.

      • Emily Hurst Grant

        Stampede said that you can cut the seat post for a child with a shorter inseam. Would there be any reason not to do that?

        • Yes, you can! The only reason why you wouldn’t want to is that it shortens your maximum seat post by two inches. If that became a problem later, you could always buy a longer seat post to swap out the cut one.

      • Lara Mazur

        Wondering if this may be the best bike option for us? My son will be 5 years old in February and he’s tall and skinny, 44.5 inches. He’s almost outgrown his balance bike, which he has only been riding in earnest only for the last 6 months or so – we got it a couple of years ago but he just wasn’t interested for a long time, possibly since he isn’t the most physically coordinated kid. Over the last few days we went and looked at a few bikes, and it seems he needs the seat height close to the max on the 16 inch bikes, and the 20 inch bikes seem gigantic for his skinny frame. Any other suggestions, or is the 16 inch Sprinter the way to go, as it looks like it fits larger/taller than other 16 inch bikes? Thanks!

        • Lara Mazur

          Was just looking at the Woom website and noticed the Woom 3 is supposed to fit kids up to 47 inches tall, so looks like that could be another option. Wondering if it would be worth paying almost double for the Woom 3 vs the Stampede Sprinter? I have a feeling the more upright positioning of the Woom may be better for my son.

          • The Sprinter is certainly bigger than other 16″ bikes, especially the WOOM3. You can see my 4yo on in 4T clothes riding both the Sprinter and the WOOM3 here: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/ultimate-16-inch-kids-bikes-comparison/. As you noticed, the WOOM3 is much more upright than the Sprinter. My son loved the Sprinter for more aggressive riding (small jumps, curbs, etc.) but preferred the WOOM3 for regular cruising around the neighborhood. Considering your son is on the lighter side, I would probably go with the WOOM3, but seeing that it is twice as much, if it is out of your budget, I wouldn’t hesitate to get the Sprinter. It is an amazing bike for the price.

      • Cortney Blakemore

        I LOVE your website! It has been so incredibly helpful! I have been looking at the Stampede sprinter, Islabikes Cnoc 16 and many others you have listed. We are going to Islabikes this weekend to test them out and get officially fitted. Im looking to buy my very tall 3.5 year old a new bike as his 12″ is way to small (he wears size 5 pants) and my tall 6.5 year old daughter a 20″ bike. Living in Portland, everyone swears by Islabikes, but I am having a hard time with the price, espcially for the younger one who grows constantly. Both are average riders who easily do several miles on pavement. We do light trails and mostly neighborhood/ pavement riding. I spoke with Stampede today and they mentioned a discount code associated with two wheeling tots?? And of coarse, any advice is welcome!

        • How did it go with Islabikes? They are great bikes, but they aren’t cheap! If you didn’t end up going with them, the Stampeded Bike is certainly an option as well. It is a bigger bike than the Islabikes CNOC 16, but my son in 4T pants can easily ride both. They are also very different as the Islabikes is much better for longer road rides, while the Stampede is better for more all-terrain. If you are interested in the Sprinter 16, I believe the code is “twowheeltots”, which should work on their site. Hope that helps!

      • Paul

        I am looking for a pedal bike for my son for Christmas. It will be his first pedal bike. He will be coming from a 14″ balance bike with hand brakes that he had completely outgrown. He is almost 6, 48″ tall with a 20.5″ inseam. Most 16″ bikes he has tried seem too small for him because of his long torso, but the seats on 20″ bikes seem to be too high for a beginning rider. With the longer wheelbase of the Sprinter, would it be a good fit?

        • Kels

          What about one of the smaller single speed 20″ bikes? Like the islabikes CNOC 20?

          • Paul

            I’m beginning to lean toward a 20″, but the CNOC is a bit more than I planned on paying for a kids bike. The Pello Reddi also looks good.

            • I think the Sprinter 20 would be too big for a first bike. It is a big 20″, especially compared to the Islabikes. The Pello Reddi would be a great option if the CNOC 16 is out of budget.