Our Top Picks for Girls’ Bikes for 3 to 11-year-olds
Lots of little girls dream of pink and purple bikes with streamers and baskets and bells and rainbows and unicorns. While a girl can certainly ride any bike with any design or color, for those who want a bike with more traditional girl styling, it’s not easy to find a quality bike that’s more than just a pretty toy. If you want a bike that will make your little girl’s dreams come true and be a comfortable, fun, easy ride for them, your options are much more limited.
Lucky for you, we have years of experience with eight different bike manufacturers that have taken the time and effort to make quality bikes in colors and designs many girls want. Here’s our short list of the best 12″, 16″, 20″, and 24″ girls’ bikes on the market:
Best Bikes for Girls
|Why We Love It||Brand||Sizes Available|
|Best Overall Quality||WOOM||14", 16", 20", 24"|
|Best Neighborhood Ride||Priority||16", 20"|
|Best Braking System||Guardian||16", 20", 24"|
|Best Bang for Your Buck||Raleigh||12", 16", 20", 24"|
|Best for Adventurous Riders||Prevelo||14", 16", 20", 24"|
|Best for Timid Riders: Budget||ByK||14", 18", 20"|
|Most Color Options||Frog||14", 16", 20", 24"|
|Best on a Budget||Schwinn||12", 16", 20"|
**Also check out our 6 Fun Ways to Bling Out a Girl’s Bike!**
Best Overall Quality and Performance
Meticulously designed, sized, and built for child-specific needs, WOOM bikes are some of the lightest kids’ bikes on the market. To help kids balance and maintain control while riding, WOOM bikes are narrower and have a lower center-of-gravity than the average child’s bike. These super kid-friendly bikes also center a child’s weight over their hips (like when standing), allowing them to feel more comfortable and natural as they ride and balance.
Taking it one step further, WOOM also addressed the specific needs of various age groups. Their smaller bikes (WOOM 2 and 3) are built with a more upright design to help timid riders easily balance the bike. Their larger sizes provide a more athletic, lean-in position to help kids shift around their weight when riding as they gain confidence with age and experience.
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Top-notch quality, lightweight, low center-of-gravity design for easier balance and control. WOOM’s 14″ and 16″ bikes have a green right-hand brake lever to help teach young riders to brake with their right hand first (the right hand brake is attached to the rear tire).
Best for Neighborhood Riding
Priority Bicycles were designed and developed to create a durable, high-performing bike that required as little maintenance as possible. In addition to hand-selecting every component on their bikes to ensure top quality at an affordable price, Priority took the bold step to simplify their bikes by removing chains and derailleurs on all their kids’ bikes.
Gone are the days of worrying about the chain coming off or grease getting on your kid’s pants! Instead of a chain, Priority bikes rely on a grease-free and essentially maintenance-free Gates belt drive.
Priority’s 3-speed 20″ bike replaces the standard bulky derailleur with a sleek and worry-free internally geared hub. With the gearing mechanism tucked into the wheel, the gears are not exposed to the world (and the destructive power of kids!), so the gears pretty much work ALL THE TIME, with no maintenance. Better yet, 7 or 8 gears usually just confuse young riders, so Priority stuck to three – one for hills, one for everyday riding, and one for going downhill or for fast rides!
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Grease-free and essentially maintenance-free belt drives (no chain), comfortable upright positioning for beginning riders (16″), simplified 3-gear shifting on 20″.
Best Braking System
Who knew braking could be fun? Apparently Guardian Bikes did! Guardian took their innovative SureStop braking system and designed an entire line of kids’ bikes around it. Not only are their bikes high-quality, lightweight, and easy to ride, but they make braking safer and a fun part of the riding experience.
The SureStop system uses one brake lever to sequentially engage both the rear and front brakes. Braking is more precise and faster. It also prevents a child from accidentally braking with only the left hand (front wheel), which can often throw a child right off the bike!
Besides having the best braking system on the market, Guardian is also dedicated to building bikes that are a perfect fit for your child. They offer a small and a large 20″ bike, which is a bike size that’s notoriously hard to find a perfect fit because kids are entering that stage at a wide range of ages. They also have a proprietary software called SizeRight that allows you to input your child’s measurements and see exactly how your child will fit and grow on their bikes!
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Guardian has two lines of kids’ bikes – the Original, and the Ethos, which are more budget-friendly models, patented SureStop braking system for faster and more controlled braking, low center-of-gravity design for better balance and maneuverability, great designs and colors to choose from
Best Bang for Your Buck
A well-established bike brand with years of experience, Raleigh offers solid-quality bikes with an easy to swallow price tag. While basic in features (wider frames than high-end bikes, no handbrakes and coaster brakes only on 12″ and 16″, medium-quality components), Raleigh’s Jazzi line of bikes are a great choice for families looking for a durable and easy-to-ride bike to cruise around the neighborhood.
It’s important to note that the Jazzi 12″ is built with a steel frame, versus aluminum, and is heavier than other brands and not recommend for really lightweight kids. The Jazzi 16″ and 20″ are built with lightweight aluminum and are comparable in weight to other brands.
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Fun and colorful graphics, low-step-through design for easy entries and exits, comfortable upright positioning for a more natural-feeling ride.
Best for Aggressive Riders
Prevelo is our go-to recommendation for future groms! The brainchild of a mountain biking dad, Prevelo builds lightweight high-performing bikes that are fine-tuned to meet the needs of early riders. Their smaller bikes feature a well-thought-out intermediate body position, which allows new riders to feel centered on the bike while still giving them a taste of being leaned forward on a bike. Combined with responsive hand-brakes and no coaster brakes, their 14″ and 16″ are amazing first bikes for young rippers.
Prevelo’s 20″ and 24″ bikes feature a more aggressive position to full equip young riders for trail riding. Wanting the ideal for aggressive riders, Prevelo bikes also feature trigger shifters to help kids quickly and easily shift on the go (grip shifters are available for more intermediate riders).
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Lightweight, quality frames, low seat heights and an intermediate positioning for new riders on their 14″ and 16″ sizes, more aggressive positioning for increased control on all-terrain trails on their 20″ and 24″ line, trigger shifters
Most Color Options
Originating out of the UK, Frog Bikes offer an exceptional mix of fun and function. Built with lightweight aluminum frames available in 7 different colors (including pink, purple, and polka-dot), they are designed with a low center-of-gravity for better control and balance and topped off with responsive easy-to-reach dual hand brakes.
Compared to many of the other bikes we review, Frog bikes have a low-rise handlebar which places the rider in a more leaned forward position. When leaned forward, kids can more easily shift their body weight, allowing for more adventurous riding.
To allow your child to customize their bike, each bike comes with two sets of tires – standard street and knobby all-terrain – as well as optional plastic fenders that kids really love.
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Comes with a set of street and all-terrain tires to tackle any terrain your child chooses, highly adjustable seat and handlebars to provide the perfect fit for your child, plenty of color options.
Best for Timid Riders on a Budget
Hailing out of Australia, ByK bikes’ simple, no-frills design and larger-diameter, thinner tires result in a comfortable, fast ride that is a consistent favorite with our young testers. The bikes’ low center-of-gravity design places the rider closer to the ground for easier balancing and control, making ByK similar to many high-end bikes, but at a mid-range price point.
For timid riders or those whose sense of balance is still developing, ByK bikes’ easy-to-balance design is coupled with an upright body position that is similar to WOOM’s as it helps kids more naturally learn to ride a bike. ByK’s quality certainly doesn’t match WOOM’s, but their bikes are a great choice for those hesitant riders on a budget.
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Easy to balance design and thinner, larger tires help kids of all abilities learn to ride fast and with confidence. 14″ bike comes with a push bar to help parents stabilize the bike, 14″ and 18″ bikes come with training wheels (18″ bike is sized like a 16″ bike).
Best on a Budget
Big-box stores often have a huge selection of budget bikes, but over the years we’ve found that most of them are way too heavy for young riders and are difficult to balance. While still very much a budget bike (in price and quality of components), the Schwinn SmartStart series offers a child-friendly line of bikes that are lighter weight, easier to balance, and just more comfortable than any other budget bike we’ve seen.
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Upright geometry provides a more comfortable body position while riding. With baskets and streamers, these are the most “girly” options on our list!
FULL REVIEW: Schwinn SmartStart Series
Kids’ Bikes: Comparison Charts – To view and sort even more kids’ bikes, and read reviews.
Kids’ Bikes: How to Choose – Detailed information on what to look for when choosing a bike.
How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike Without Training Wheels – It doesn’t have to be painful!
6 Fun Ways to Bling Out a Girl’s Bike – Streamers, bells, and baskets oh my!