Our Top Picks for Girls’ Bikes for 3 to 11-year-olds
Many little girls dream of pink and purple bikes with streamers and baskets. 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 ten 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″, 14″, 16″, 20″, and 24″ girls’ bikes on the market:
10 Best Bikes for Girls
|Brand||Why We Love It||Sizes Available|
|WOOM||Best Overall Quality||14", 16", 20", 24"|
|Priority||Best Neighborhood Ride||16", 20", 24"|
|Guardian||Best Braking System||16", 20", 24"|
|Raleigh||Best Bang for Your Buck||12", 16", 20", 24"|
|Prevelo||Best for Aggressive Riders||14", 16", 20", 24"|
|Pello||Most Versatile: Adventurous Riders||14", 16", 20", 24"|
|Cleary||Best for Everyday Adventurers||12", 16", 20", 24"|
|ByK||Best for Timid Riders: Budget||14", 18", 20"|
|Frog||Best Color Options||14", 16", 20", 24"|
|Schwinn||Best on a Budget||12", 16", 20"|
**Also check out our 6 Fun Ways to Bling Out a Girl’s Bike!**
Best Overall Quality and Performance
|Feature||woom 2||woom 3||woom 4||woom 5|
|Model||woom 2||woom 3||woom 4||woom 5|
|Age Range||3 - 4 years old||4 - 6 years old||8 - 11 years old|
|Seat Height||16" - 19"||19" - 25.2"||26.4" - 32.3"|
|Color Options||Purple, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow||Purple, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow|
Purple, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow
|Purple, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow|
|View on WOOM||View on WOOM||View on WOOM|
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 addresses 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
|Feature||Priority Start 16||Priority Start 20||Priority Start 24|
|Model||Priority Start 16||Priority Start 20||Priority Start 24|
|Age Range||4 - 6 years old||5 - 8 years old|
|Seat Height||18.5 - 23"||22" - 28.5"|| |
27" – 34.5"
|Color Options||Turquoise, Sky Blue, White, Gray||Violet, Blue, Gray|| |
Coral, Sky Blue, Black
|View on Priority||View on Priority|
Priority Bicycles were designed and developed to create a durable, high-performing bike that requires 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″ and 24″ bikes replace 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″ and 24″.
Best Braking System
|Feature||Guardian 16||Guardian 20||YeeToo|
|Guardian 16||Guardian 20||Guardian 24|
|Age Range||4 - 6 years old||5 - 8 years old||7 - 11 years old|
|Seat Height||18.5" - 23.5"||20.8" - 28"||25" - 33"|
|Color Options||Pink||Turquoise, Pink, Purple||Light Blue|
|View on Guardian||View on Guardian||View on Guardian|
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 RideSizer 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
|Feature||Jazzi 12||Jazzi 16||Jazzi 20|
|Model||Jazzi 12||Jazzi 16||Jazzi 20|
|Age Range||3 - 4 years old||4 - 6 years old|
|Seat Height||17.5" - 21"||19" - 23"|
|Color Options||Purple||Sea Foam Green|| |
|View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
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 more 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
|Feature||Alpha One||Alpha Two||Alpha Three||Alpha Four|
|Model||Alpha One||Alpha Two||Alpha Three||Alpha Four|
|Age Range||2 - 3 years old||4 - 6 years old||7 - 11 years old|
|Seat Height||15.6" – 17.5"||18" - 24"|
20.7" – 25.5"
|25.8" – 31.2"|
|Color Options||Purple, Blue, Silver||Purple, Blue, Silver|
Purple, Blue, Silver
|Purple, Blue, Silver|
|View on Prevelo||View on Prevelo||View on Prevelo|
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. 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 fully equip young riders for trail riding. Promoting 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 Versatile: Adventurous Riders
|Feature||Pello Romper||Pello Revo||Pello Reddi||Pello Reyes|
|Model||Pello Romper||Pello Revo||Pello Reddi||Pello Reyes|
|Age Range||3 - 4 years old||4 - 6 years old||8 - 11 years old|
|Seat Height||17.25" - 21.25"||19.5" – 23.5"|
21.25" – 26"
|25.25" - 31"|
|Color Options||Pink, Orange||Pink, Orange|
|View on Pello||View on Pello||View on Pello|
Pello bikes are versatile little workhorses that excel on dirt and paved trails, at the pump track, and even at the skatepark. With high-end components like Cane Creek headsets, Tektro brakes, and wide Kenda tires, every Pello bike is equipped to help your child dominate the ride.
Those wider, knobby tires provide great traction and ultimate cushioning for skateparks and aggressive dirt trails, but also have a flat enough tread that they’re quiet and smooth-rolling on pavement.
Pello bikes are unique from other “aggressive” bikes on our list because their geometry keeps a child in a more upright position, rather than leaned in. This upright positioning and narrow frame provide a comfortable and natural fit for beginning riders.
While very aggressive riders may prefer to be leaned in 100% of the time, Pello bikes default to that more natural, upright position, allowing kids to choose to lean in when necessary.
We especially love that Pello understands that different kids have different needs. Their 20″ bike actually comes in two models – one is a single speed (Reddi) while the other is geared (Rover). And their largest bike, the 24″ Reyes, has the option of a front suspension fork for kids who are ready to rip.
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Kenda tires excel on dirt and paved surfaces, high-end components (including Cane Creek headset and dual Tektro hand brakes), seamless transitions from dirt to pavement to skatepark and pump track.
Best for Everyday Adventurers
|Feature||Cleary Gecko||Cleary Hedgehog||Cleary Owl||Cleary Scout|
|Model||Cleary Gecko||Cleary Hedgehog||Cleary Owl||Cleary Scout|
|Age Range||2 - 3 years old||4 - 6 years old||8 - 11 years old|
|Seat Height||15" - 19"||19" - 26"||25" - 33"|
|Color Options||Pink, Blue, Red, Green, Orange||Pink, Blue, Red, Green, Orange|
Pink, Blue, Red, Green, Orange
|View on Cleary||View on Cleary||View on Cleary|
Cleary bikes are perfect for your little adventurer with a need for speed and an itch to get off the beaten path. While other brands on our list are better suited for true trail riding, Cleary bikes are our favorite bikes for young explorers looking to tackle dirt and paved trails around the neighborhood.
With wide, cushioning tires and sturdy frames, kids get a boost of confidence and adrenaline when they get on a Cleary Bike. We’ve seen time and again the excitement and rush of freedom that our testers get the first time they ride a Cleary.
With a slightly aggressive, leaned-in body position, kids feel that push to try things they haven’t before. From jumping off curbs to tackling all-terrain hills, kids quickly fall in love with these bikes!
For older riders ready to tackle true mountain terrains, Cleary also has you covered. Available in 24″ and 26″ sizes, the Cleary Scout is a wicked, full-suspension mountain bike properly spec’d for cross-country groms.
OUR FAVORITE FEATURES: Solid frame and aggressive body position give kids confidence to be adventurous, wide, cushioning tires to tackle paved and dirt terrain, stop-quality, durable components and frame, unique color options.
Best Color Options
|Feature||Frog 40||Frog 48||Frog 52/55||Frog 62|
|Model||Frog 40||Frog 48||Frog 52/55||Frog 62|
|Age Range||2 - 4 years old||4 - 5 years old||8 - 11 years old|
|Seat Height||15" - 20.8"||19.5" - 23"|
20.5" - 25.5"
|26" – 32.5"|
|Color Options||Polka Dot, Hot Pink, Red, +4 more||Polka Dot, Hot Pink, Red, +4 more|
Polka Dot, Hot Pink, Purple, +5 more
|Purple, Red, USA flag, +3 more|
|View on Ready, Set, Pedal||View on Ready, Set, Pedal||View on Ready, Set, Pedal|
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
|Feature||woom 2||woom 3||woom 4||woom 5|
|Model||ByK E-250||ByK E-350||ByK E-450|
|Age Range||2 - 4 years old||4 - 6 years old|
|Seat Height||15.7" - 18.1"||18" - 23.3"|
23.2" - 28.7"
|Color Options||Lilac, Pink, Blue||Purple, Pink, Turquoise|
Turquoise, Coral, Lilac
|View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
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
|Feature||Schwinn Tigress||Schwinn Jasmine||Schwinn Mist|
|Model||Schwinn Elm 12||Schwinn Elm 16||Schwinn Mist|
|Age Range||3 - 5 years old||5 - 7 years old|
|Seat Height||17" - 20"||20.5" - 24.5"|| |
24" - 27"
|Color Options||Hot Pink||Purple|| |
|View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
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
How to Choose the Best Bike for a Girl
Guess what? Whether you’re looking for a bike for a boy or a girl, you need to consider the same things. While some manufacturers sell kids’ bikes as “boys” or “girls”, the differences are purely aesthetic and have no functional purpose.
We have a much more detailed discussion about the features of kids’ bikes in our article Kids’ Pedal Bikes: How to Choose, but here’s a quick summary of the most important things to look for to find the perfect bike for your little girl (or boy!).
Men’s and women’s bikes are sized slightly differently to accomodate for differences in height and torso length. This is not the case for kids’ bikes. Whether you have a boy or a girl, bike sizing is the same.
There are five basic bike sizes, indicated by tire size – 12″, 14″, 16″, 20″, and 24″. 12″ and 14″ bikes generally fit 2 to 4-year-olds. 16″ bikes are a good fit for 4 to 6-year-olds, while 20″ bikes are for 6 to 8-year-olds. Finally, 24″ bikes fit kids from about 8 to 11 years old.
Tire size is a very general way to categorize kid’s bike sizing. For much better and more accurate sizing, you’ll need to take your child’s inseam and the bike’s seat height into consideration.
Check out our “New and Better Kids’ Bike Sizing Guide” to easily find a bike with the perfect fit for your child.
Ideally, your child’s bike shouldn’t weigh more than 30% of their body weight. In general, the lighter the bike, the easier it is for your child to ride. Heavy bikes are really hard to manage for little ones who are still mastering the art of riding!
For older riders, weight is less important, but a light bike can make the difference between struggling on or dominating that long family ride. It can also mean the difference between losing your love for biking, and keeping that love burning strong!
A bike’s frame design plays a major role in the overall feel and performance of a bike. While some “girls” bikes have a top tube that swoops down, this is a relic of the past and hearkens back to the early 1900’s when women would wear skirts to ride bikes!
There is no need for a swooping top tube, and in fact, it actually make the bike’s structure less strong. This won’t matter for purely recreational riding, but it’s also why the high-end bike brands don’t make bikes with swooping top tubes.
What you do need to consider about a bike’s frame is how it positions the rider on the bike. Some bikes put kids in a more comfortable, upright position. Other bikes cause a child to lean forward, putting them in a more aggressive position.
Upright bikes are ideal for beginning riders and casual neighborhood riding. Aggressive bikes are better for experienced, adventurous riders who benefit from being able to lean in for aggressive maneuvering.
Bikes with hand brakes are almost always preferable to bikes with coaster brakes (back pedal brakes). Due to governmental regulations, coaster brakes are always found on 12″ and 14″ bikes, and very often on 16″ bikes as well.
Many bike manufacturers offer what’s called a “freewheel kit” to allow you to remove the coaster brake and have the child rely solely on the hand brakes.
Why don’t we like coaster brakes? When learning to pedal and balance on a bike, kids (like adults!) naturally pedal backward when attempting to regain their balance. If the bike has a coaster brake, this attempt to regain balance will actually just cause the bike to stop, and throw the child even further off balance.
Gearing and Gain Ratios
12″, 14″, and 16″ bikes do not have gears because kids from 2 to 6-years-old usually aren’t coordinated enough to shift. A 20″ bike will be the first time you’ll have the option for gears, while most 24″ bikes will have gears.
Before a child has gears on their bike, the bike is designed to be in a single gear. This single gear varies from bike to bike. Bikes with high gain ratios (3.7+) are harder to start pedaling, but make it easier to gain more distance with each pedal stroke. If your daughter is going to want to cover long distances, a high gain ratio is ideal for her.
Low gain ratios (3.3 and below) are easy to get started pedaling, but don’t go very far with each pedal stroke. If you have a more timid child, a low gain ratio is needed to help her easily get going and maintain momentum quickly. We generally prefer mid-range gain ratios from about 3.3 to 3.7.
Good bikes come with a higher price tag, but in our opinion, are worth every penny. Bikes you’ll find at Walmart are made with cheap components and are typically very heavy. The more expensive bikes on this list are more lightweight, have higher-end components, and frame designs that make them easier to ride.
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!